Original Articles

How the Pakistani “Left” obfuscates Shia Genocide

Nadeem F. Paracha’s article “Smokers’ Corner: The fateful split” (August 9th, 2015) rehashes the same selective and apologist drivel that sections of the Pakistani “left” misuse to obfuscate Shia Genocide in Pakistan.  These “leftists” use the same discredited discourse that omits the most crucial details and in a subtle and oblique way, obfuscates Shia Genocide in Pakistan as an Iran vs Saudi proxy war.  Even worse, the brutal and systematic targeting of Shias is misrepresented as a class struggle  – as if those  those who are funded to the tune of billions of Saudi petrodollars are somehow engaging in a class struggle when they engage in cowardly attacks on Shia doctors in Karachi

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NFP writes:

“Formed in 1985 (in Jhang, Punjab), the SSP emerged as a militant anti-Shia outfit that claimed to be working towards stemming the tide of ‘Shia influence’ in Pakistan especially after the formation of a revolutionary ‘Islamic regime’ in the Shia-majority country of Iran (in 1979).  Though it is correct to assume that the reactionary dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq somewhat facilitated the formation of the SSP, the organisation was not entirely the construct of the said regime.”

There are several omissions in the origin story of Sipah -e- Sipah Sahaba (SSP) aka Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) by NFP. He completely forgets to mention that State sponsored pogroms against Shias started in 1978 when Ali Basti in Golimar was attacked by IJT thugs in 1978 – two years before the Iranian revolution took place.  At that time, IJI – the student wing of Jamaat -e- Islami was directly under the patronage of the military dictator, General Zia ul Haq. Shias were attacked and their houses were burnt down as the law enforcement agencies which were under the control of Gen. Zia did nothing.  In 1963, the first large scale massacre of Shia muslims took place in Pakistan – nearly 17 years before the Iranian revolution took place. These are crucial facts that are often deliberately omitted by the (sectarian) sections of the “left” in Pakistan who continue to obfuscate Shia Genocide.

NFP also does not bother to mention the role of Sawad-e-Azam; the progenitor to SSP whose ideologues like Baleeghuddin incited virulent hatred against Sufi, Sunni Barelvi and Shia muslims by distorting their faith practices.

Instead, like many others, Nadeem F. Paracha continues to present ASWJ-LeJ as a class struggle against the “influence” of “mostly Shia landowners” in Jhang.

“Meanwhile, during the same period, some cadres who were part of JUI’s youth wing in the 1970s formed the SSP. One of them was Haq Nawaz Jhangvi who had been radicalised by 1974’s anti-Ahmadiyya movement and then graduated to become an important member of the JUI in the 1980s.  SSP soon became the most militant expression of anti-Shia politics in Pakistan. It was mainly backed and funded by the Sunni trader classes in the city of Jhang who saw the organisation as a radical anti-feudal outfit because most landowners in Jhang had belonged to the Shia sect.”

This is the sort of problematic discourse which is why the targeted Sunni (Barelvi), Christain, Shia, Ahmadi and Sufis have stopped depending on the (Fake) Left-liberal elitist discourse and have started to develop their own narratives.

What does the Shia Hazara in Quetta or the Shia doctor in Karachi or the Shia police officer in KP have to do with the feudal politics of Jhang. Why are they being targeted by the same ASWJ-LeJ which was formed in Jhang with the direct patronage of General Zia and the Saudis – another fact that NFP conveniently omits and dilutes.

So as per sections of the Pakistani left, if ASWJ-LeJ arose as an opposition to the feudal politics in Jhang, then why is the same ASWJ-LeJ leading the funeral prayers of Baloch feudals like Khair Bakhsh Marri?

It is critical omissions like these that has made people lose faith the discourse of certain sections of the “left” in Pakistan. NFP also conveniently leaves out any mention that the Deobandi terror outfit ASWJ-LeJ is also responsible for the massacres of Sunni Barelvi, Sufi, Ahmadis and Christians.  One wonders what “Feudal influence” is held by Ahmadis and whether it is the continued slaughter of Christians by ISIS-affiliated Deobandi terror outfits can also be obfuscated as part of some proxy war. 

As a insightful commentator of cricket, NFP should ponder the reasons behind which feudal politics and revolutions lead to the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team by the same ASWJ-LeJ terrorists in 2009.