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Ayesha Siddiqa’a poor article on sectarianism is the reason why this problem has become worst

In her article, Ayesha Siddiqa peddles the usual talking points of her PML N lobby group. Missing in the article is that Ayesha’s PML N leadership has been the biggest backer of Sipah e Sahaba and TLP for decades!

Maryam Nawaz has even publicly liked and retweeted both Ahmed Ludhianvi, the head of Sipah e Sahaba/ASWJ and Khadim Rizvi, the head of TLP.

The “20,000 Deobandi vote bank” in Punjab was developed under the last 40 years – most of which where under PML N’s watch who have been the Establishment’s handmaidens in Punjab since most of the time from 1981.

Siddiqa merely mentions General Zia ul Haq’s role in passing. This is another tactic of the #CommercialLiberalMafia whose agenda is to dilute and deflect the crimes of US-backed military dictators like General Zia ul Haq. Zia did not just “look the other way”

He practically intervened by securing the release of hate and violence inciters like Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. This has been documented by Tariq Khosa. So it is disappointing but not at all surprising that Ayesha Siddiqa conveniently leaves out this important detail. Her class of opportunist liberals also omits mentioning many of Zia ul Haq evils like his anti-Ahmadi SROs. It is part of an insidious trend to gradually absolve General Zia as someone who had no agency and deflect his crimes to those whom he displaced and murdered.

Ayesha also leaves out the fact that PML N’s senior minister, Rana Sanaullah has publicly campaigned with Sipah e Sahaba. And that Nawaz Sharif has backed both JUI F factions.

Another grave omission by Ayesha Siddiqa is that Nawaz Sharif is himself a major Saudi stooge. It was Nawaz Sharif who played a crucial role in damaging Pakistan’s foreign policy with Saudi Arabia. It was Nawaz Sharif who discouraged the Saudis from developing more equitable ties with Pakistan by playing the dirty sect card. Nawaz Sharif played his dirty role by presenting PPP and Benazir/Zardari as a Shia sectarian party. For his own benefit, Nawaz Sharif played the sectarian card. This was evidenced when Saudis refused to meet PM Gillani and President Zardari after the PPP was elected in 2008.

Of course Ayesha has to drag in the PPP. But can she explain how PPP is responsible for the growth of JUI F madrasses in Balochistan?? Or how JUI F madrassas in Sindh probably had their biggest growth during the Musharaf years? And what about JUI F madrassas in Urban Sindh like Karachi. How about some more details there.

Of course, Ayesha peddles the Shia Muslims = Iran binary and leaves out another fact that Saudi Arabia also flew in Tahir Ashrafi – a favorite hate mullah and Ally of Pakistani liberals. State backed pogroms against Shia Muslims in Pakistan occurred in 1978 – more than a year before the revolution in Iran.

Another fact that Ayesha leaves out is that the Islamabad D.C. was attending the hate rally of Sipah e Sahaba. But she deflects this by using vague terms like “urban centers of Punjab”

Ayesha Siddiqa’a article is more a political hit piece that is a rehash of other pieces by her and her liberal friends. Imran Bad, PPP bad, Nawaz Sharif “brave”. These hit pieces misrepresent every topic because of their writer’s political bias.

For example, since General Zia, there has been a concerted effort to paint Pakistan’s Shia Muslims as Fifth columnists of Iran. This false image has not been helped by establishment touts like Jawad Hazarvi (Naqvi). Ayesha Siddiqa also peddles the same rubbish.

This false image has eroded the standing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan. It was Shia Muslims who lead the struggle for Pakistan and supported the State in its most toughest circumstances. But the last 40 years have seen an erosion of the soft power of Shia Muslims who make up 15-20 % of Pakistan’s population. Shias, as opposed to the Takfiri Deobandi militants, have not harmed Pakistan domestically and globally. In fact, Shias have been the leaders in politics, business, professionalism, arts, sciences, education, medicine, philanthropy and culture.

Intellectually dishonest articles like this are the very reason why Pakistani Shia Muslims need to realize they need to be wary of liberal opportunists who have misrepresented their genocide in Pakistan for decades.