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Link TV’s report on social media activism on #ShiaGenocide in Pakistan – by Michelle Stockman


Michelle Stockman of Link TV has compiled a useful report on the gravity of Shia genocide in Pakistan by Deobandi militants of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Since the beginning of the year (2013), more than 350 Shia Muslims have been killed and hundreds more injured in bombings and targeted killings in Pakistan. Islamabad-based journalist Michelle Stockman reports (for Link Asia 29 March 2013) on who’s behind the violence, and how Pakistanis protesting the violence are using social media to get their message out.

However, there are a few important omissions or errors in the report:

1. Deobandi militants of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ, currently operating as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ, previously known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan SSP) have been described as Sunni militants. This false identification hides the fact that in addition to killing at least 21,000 Shia Muslims, Deobandi militants of the LeJ-ASWJ have also killed thousands of Sunni Sufi Barelvi Muslims through numerous attacks on Sufi shrines in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Balochistan.

2. Sunni-Shia sectarian violence is an inaccurate and false neutral term to describe Shia genocide at the hands of Deobandi militants. First, Deobandi militants have not only killed Shias but also Sunni Barelvis. Second, the term sectarian violence gives a false impression of equal violence between Shias and Deobandis, which is simply as untrue as the mis-description of the Jewish Holocaust by Nazis as sectarian violence between Jews and Christians.

3. The reporter does not acknowledge that in addition to 600 Shia Hazaras killed in Quetta, at least 300 non-Hazara Shias too have been killed in the same city. Thus, Shia genocide is not an ethnic issue. Shias of all ethnic backgrounds from Quetta to Gilgit and from Karachi to Peshawar are being killed.

4. Surprisingly, Michelle Stockman does not engage with or cite almost all majors voices in support of Shia human rights in Pakistan, e.g., CriticalPPP (LUBP, and its various activists), ShiaKilling, World Shia Forum, Shia Post etc.

Barring the omissions reported above, it’s overall a worthy report. We hope that the reporter will continue to cover Shia genocide and prepare future reports with the above feedback in mind.

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