Original Articles

Shia massacre in Gilgit: Media apathy and misrepresentation of Shia genocide in Pakistan

Today's massacre of 20 Shias in Gilgit reminds of similar Shia massacre in Mastung, Balochistan

Related posts: AHRC Report: It is hard to refute the accusation that military is involved in killing of Shias in Pakistan

Those committing genocides in Pakistan and their handlers are repeat offenders – by Dr. Mohammad Taqi

Today’s massacre of at least 20 Shia Muslimss in Gilgit brings the tally of murdered and injured Shias close to 250 since the beginning of 2012 and aside from two dedicated articles, both in the Daily Times, and both by two honourable Pashtuns, Pakistan’s “progressive”, “liberal” and “secular” media remains defeaningly silent on this topic.  While Pakistan’s social media networks have been abuzz with Oscar awards, cricket matches, Maya Khan and Veena Malik, aside from the token tweet and sentence, Pakistan’s liberal media continues to ignore the ongoing Shia Genocide in Pakistan.

The PPP-led government remains both clueless and helpless to stop this ongoing genocide – while some of its elected representatives have spoken out against this but the world knows that it is not the elected Government in Pakistan that has enabled Shia Genocide – it is the military establishment.  The ISI’s partnership with the nexus of interconnected extremist Deobandi-Salafi groups (TTP, Jundullah, SSP-ASWJ-LeJ, JM, LeT) responsible for this has been formalized via Difa-e-Pakistan Counci (DPC). Furthermore, alternate political groups like Imran Khan’s PTI are also complicit as evidenced by their open support for DPC.

The right-wing in the Urdu vernacular press has no qualms in sympathizing with the Jihadists responsible for such acts.  However, their (mostly) pseudo-liberal counterparts in the English language segment of the media is even worse.  The latter claim to be liberal and progressive – however, after the third major Shia massacre in 2012 (Khanpur 34 killed, Parachinar 49 killed, Gilgit 20 killed), aside from the two examples mentioned, they have either remained silent, uttered the token condemnation or grossly misrepresented the issue as a routine Sunni vs Shia violence.

LUBP has provided a detailed has provided detailed casualty figures for Shias in January 2012;


This data is also available at other Shia websites and facebook groups – in case our “liberal” media can take time off from self-congratulation and the England-Pakistan cricket series.

It has also provided detailed analysis on this topic. Refer to:

Intellectual dishonesty in misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan

Yet Pakistan’s “liberal” media is more at ease in writing on safe issues or those that can further material advancement.  The topic of Shia genocide is off limits because it exposes the role of Pakistan’s security establishment.  This is where Pakistan’s “liberal” media has drawn its limits.  It is excellent in token gestures, taking up “safe” causes that do not affect the interests of the military establishment. In furthering its financial interests through NGOs and heaping platitudes on each other, Pakistan’s “liberal” media is probably one of the best in the world.  However, for the embattled Shia Muslims of Pakistan, they appear to be least bothered.  When Pakistan’s liberal and progressive activists stay silent, misrepresent or provide brief, token protest on the Shia genocide taking place, it enables and encourages the Shia-killing Jihadists.

We can only hope that Pakistan’s influential English media writers take up this issue and present it to the rest of the world.

This is what today’s tragic massacre of Shia muslims may have looked like. This is the graphic video of a similar massacre that took place in Mastung, Balochistan just a few months ago.


Video report on Shia massacre in Kohistan:


Dead bodies of slain Shia Muslims were brought to Gilgit

Senior political and strategic analyst Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa clearly identifies Pakistan army and its Jihadi policies as responisble for Shia massacre:

’ شاید اب ہوش آجائے‘
آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 28 فروری 2012 ,‭ 15:54 GMT

پاکستان میں منگل کو گلگت بلتستان جانے والی ایک مسافر بس سے شیعہ فرقے سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد کو کوہستان کے علاقے میں بس سے اتار کر نامعلوم حملہ آووروں نے گولیاں مار کر ہلاک کر دیا۔ پاکستان میں بڑھتے ہوئے فرقہ وارانہ واقعات پر بی بی سی اردو سروس کے پروگرام سیربین میں دفاعی امور کی ماہر ڈاکٹر عائشہ صدیقہ سے بات کی۔



About the author

Jehangir Hafsi


Click here to post a comment
  • Thank you, Jehangir, for writing this post.

    This is what I wrote to progressive columnists and anchors on Twitter:

    You are a Pakistani columnist. Never wrote a column on #ShiaKilling? You are a Yazid Zadah. Shame on you!

    You are a Pakistani TV anchor. Never did a talk-show on #ShiaKilling? You are a Yazid Zadah. Shame on you!

    We encourage Shia activists to let Shia Muslims know that their massacre is being enabled by silent columnists and anchors!

    All facebook pages and Twitter TLs were full of Sharmeen Chinoy yesterday. Blackout on Shia massacre in Gilgit today. Yazid Zaday!

  • To whoever wrote this article,

    At the top of the page it says “Let us build Pakistan” and here you are promoting sectarian hate. This page “criticalppp” should be renamed “shiakillings” because that’s all you ever speak about. What makes the death of an innocent Shia any different than that of a Sunni? Are we not all Pakistanis? Is this the official stand of the PPP, to divide Pakistanis up amongst sects, as if we aren’t already divided up ethnically? If you care about the deaths of people, speak about the Drone Attacks which kills hundreds of innocent people every time! Or the Sindh Flood Affectees this government abandoned. You care about the deaths of Shias, are the non-Shia’s not human beings or Pakistanis?

    I’m disgusted with your behaviour and your stand. Those were Pakistanis who died, not Shias, kindly change your backwards 13th century mentality.

    Thank you,

    Anwar Hayat

  • Dear Awar Hayat:

    LUBP’s support for Sunni Barelvis:



    For Baloch:












    Call us ehtno-centric, sectarian or whatever, we will keep highlighting the plight of those who are being killed due to their faith or ethnicity.

  • The bus No. 8371 owned by Mashaburum private bus service was carrying at least 39 passengers on board from Gilgit to Rawalpindi.

    Eight armed terrorists of banned outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba aka Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ stopped two buses and a coaster. The terrorists were reported to be in Army uniform. They asked the passengers to get off the bus and shot Shia Muslims after checking their identity cards.

    A spokesman belongs to Jandullah faction of the Pakistani Taliban, an extremist Deobandi militant group, claimed responsibility for the killings.

    The bodies of martyrs have been kept at Shatial hospital.

    Abdul Sattar, a local lawmaker (MP), said eight gunmen were involved in the ambush, and all were wearing military uniforms, presumably to make it easier to stop the bus.

    Kohistan also borders the Swat valley.

  • The attack took place close to the remote and mountainous area of Harban Nala, approximately 130 miles (208 km) north of the capital, Islamabad.

    Four buses were travelling in a convoy from the city of Rawalpindi to the northern town of Gilgit.

    “Armed men hiding on both sides of the road attacked,” local police chief Mohammad Ilyas told the Agence France-Presse news agency. Local officials say that the men who ambushed the bus were wearing military fatigues.

    It happened in an area dominated by Sunni tribes, Reuters quotes a policeman as saying.

    Correspondents say that more than two-thirds of Kohistan’s 500,000 people live a nomadic life and move up and down the country in search of pastures.

    Kohistan is 7,400 sq km of sheer mountains, rising from 2,400m (7,874 ft) to 3,700m (12,139 ft) with virtually no plains.

    Sunni extremists allied to or inspired by al-Qaeda and the Taliban routinely attack government and security targets in north-west Pakistan, in addition to religious minorities and other Muslim sects they consider to be infidels.

    The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad reports that there are frequently complaints from Shias that the Pakistani state does little to stop the attacks and has even released from custody notorious militants accused of carrying them out.

    Last month more than 42 Shias were killed in an attack on a mosque in Parachinar north-west Pakistan.


  • ISI, Pak Army knew about Osama hideout: WikiLeaks
    Last Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012,

    Islamabad: Officials of the Pakistan Army and spy agency ISI knew about Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, according to a report by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

    WikiLeaks Monday published more than five million emails from US-based global security analysis firm Stratfor. The messages were reportedly stolen by hacker group Anonymous.

    “Mid to senior level ISI and Pak military, with one retired Pak military General, had knowledge of the OBL (Osama bin laden) arrangements and safe house,” Online news agency quoted Fred Burton, Stratfor vice-president for intelligence, as writing in an email.

    The email was reportedly written May 13 to one of the company’s regional directors for South Asia soon after the killing of the Al Qaeda chief.

    Bin Laden was killed May 2 in a unilateral operation launched by US special forces at his mansion in Abbottabad near the Pakistani capital. However, Burton — considered one of the world’s foremost experts on security, terrorism and terrorist organisations — did not reveal his source, saying only that the source was in Pakistan.

    He also wrote that less than a dozen people within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pakistani military had information on bin Laden.

    In the May 13 email, he wrote that the source did not provide him with names.

    At the same time, he asserted that the US intelligence knew about it.

    According to Online news agency, Wikileaks has alleged that Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to former ISI chief Hamid Gul.

    Hackers linked to the Anonymous group said they had stolen the emails of around 100 Stratfor employees in December last year. The group said it planned to publish the data so people would know the “truth” about Stratfor’s operations.

    WikiLeaks in 2010 released secret video battle footage and thousands of US diplomatic cables about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • کوہستان میں زائرین کی پر بس پر لشکر جھنگوی کا حملہ، 18 شیعہ شہید
    Written by Admin | February 28, 2012 | 5
    پاکستان کے صوبہ خیبر پختون خوا کے ضلع کوہستان میں نمائندے کا کہنا ہے کہ ایک زائرین کی بس پر ہونے والے فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں کم سے کم 18 افراد شہید ہوگئے ہیں۔

    مقامی لوگوں کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ واقعہ کوہستان کے صدر مقام داسو کے دور دراز پہاڑی علاقے ہربن نالہ میں شاہراہ قراقرم پر پیش آیا.انہوں نے کہا کہ ایک زائرین کی بس روالپنڈی سے شمالی علاقے گلگت جارہی تھی کہ ہربن نالہ کے علاقے میں کالعدم سپاہ صحابہ کا مُسلح ونگلشکر جھنگوی کے مسلح افراد نے گاڑی روک کر زائرین کو نیچے اتارا اور ان پر اندھا دھند فائرنگ کردی۔ تاہم بعض ذرائع کا کہنا ہے کہ بس گلگت سے راولپنڈی جارہی تھی۔

    مزید اطلاعات موصول ہورہی ہے کہ پنڈی سے گلگت جانے والی بس 8371 پر فائرنگ کی گئی۔ بس میں صرف شیعہ مومنین سوار تھے جن کو کالعدم سپاہ صحابہ کے مُسلح ونگ لشکر جھنگوی کے مُسلح دہشتگردوں نشانہ بنایا۔ خبر رساں اداروں کے مطابق بس میں 25 مومنین سوار تھے۔ دہشتگردوں نے پہلے شناخت کی کہ کون کون شیعہ ہے پھر بس سے باہر لاکر گولیاں برسادی۔ کالعدم سپاہ صحابہ کی دہشتگردی کا شکار ہونے والے موممنین میں 3 خواتین اور تین بچے بھی ہے۔ دہشتگرد حکومتی بے حسی اور سکیورٹی اداروں کی بے شرمی کی وجہ سے فرار ہونے میں کامیاب ہوگئے۔ لشکر جھنگوی کے دہشت گردوں کی فائرنگ سے شہید اور زخمی ہونے والے تمام افراد کا تعلق ہزار نگر اور اسکردو سے ہے۔

    7 شدید زخمی مومنین کو چلاس ھسپتال منتقل کر دیا گیا ہے ۔ شہیدوں کے جسد خاکی چتیال ھسپتال منتقل۔
    شہداء میں تین بچے اور تین خواتین بھی شامل ہیں ۔ زائرین کو بس سے اتارنے کے بعد شناخت کر کے شہید کیا گیا ۔

    واضع رہے کہ اس سے قبل بھی شیعہ زائرین کو کالعدم سپاہ صحابہ کے مُسلح ونگ لشکر جھنگوی کے دہشتگرد نشانہ بناچُکے ہے۔ کشھ ماہ قبل دہشتگردوں نے کوئٹہ کے زارین کو بھی نشانہ بنایا تھا۔ مگر حکومتی اداروں کے ناسنجیدگی کی وجہ سے دہشتگرد اب دوسرے علاقوں کے زائرین بھی نشانہ بن رہے ہے

    لشکر جھنگوی کے دہشت گردوں کی فائرنگ سے شہید اور زخمی ہونے والے تمام افراد کا تعلق ہزار نگر اور اسکردو سے ہے


  • January 10, 2005

    Share | |
    EDITORIAL:Story of Gilgit deaths foretold

    At least 14 people were killed, six of them burnt alive and 14 injured during sectarian attacks in Gilgit on Saturday, after which a curfew was imposed on the city and troops deployed to restore order. The clashes took place after “unidentified” people shot at the car of Agha Ziauddin, a Shia community leader and imam of the main Gilgit mosque, killing two of his bodyguards and seriously wounding him. One of the assailants was shot dead when fire was returned.

    The Gilgit population, which is 60 percent Shia, then came out of their homes and rioted, setting fire to several government and private buildings and torching the home of forest officer Taighun Nabi, burning him and five others alive. In another attack, the local health department chief, Dr Sher Wali, was shot dead by the infuriated mob. A male passer-by was also killed. The injured included the Northern Areas home secretary’s assistant and a Gilgit municipal committee member. The Northern Areas home secretary has stated that the one killer shot dead in the return-fire was from ‘outside’ Gilgit.

    Let us note that on December 27, 2004, four masked men killed two workers of the Aga Khan Health Services Office in Chitral and burnt four vehicles belonging to the charity organisation. The police registered a case against “unknown assailants” and arrested four persons belonging to “a banned organisation”. The press later carried the name of the organisation: Harkatul Mujahideen, whose leader Fazlur Rehman Khaleel — known for his close links with Osama bin Laden — had been released from detention the same week by the authorities in Islamabad. The name of the “banned organisation” was changed in some papers to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a “blanket” term to conceal the identities of those that the state wished to gloss over. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists so far captured have all been Punjabis.

    We editorialised in this paper on December 29, 2007: “This kind of violence has happened in the area before but has gained momentum after the MMA campaign against the Aga Khan Foundation in the rest of the country. In the adjacent Northern Areas (Gilgit) the Aga Khan charity institutions have come under attack regularly in the past years after being targeted by the radical religious elements waging jihad in Kashmir.

    “Earlier this year, we had news about sectarian unrest in the North for almost six months. Schools were closed and there were instances of sporadic violence in areas where Shia and Ismaili populations are concentrated but where power and influence have passed to Sunni clerics.”

    We went on to warn the government that: “The truth is that a hidden desire to exclude one more community from the pale of Islam persists after what the religious fanatics have done to non-Sunni majority locations in the North. What was happening so far in the periphery is now threatening to come to the centre. That is why General Pervez Musharraf must take firm action against the elements which have attacked the Aga Khan Health Services Office in Chitral and are working under a scheme to destabilise the country by exacerbating its sectarian conflict. That is also why he should seriously think of displacing the reactionary MMA with a liberal party in his political affections.”

    Following the incident in Chitral, the chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba, Hafiz Saeed, proclaimed in Lahore that the government was “apostatising” the Muslims of the Northern Areas, meaning that it was supporting the so-called “heresy” of Ismaili and Shia Islam. The Lashkar-e-Tayba gained influence in the Northern Areas during the Kargil Operation in 1999, not without causing some sectarian incidents. From being a completely Ismaili region in history, it has been injected with external populations through natural immigration from the rest of the country. But there have been manipulations too, as a result of which the region has suffered violence.

    Let us take a close look at the distribution of population in the Northern Areas according to the various Muslim denominations. Islam came to the region in the 13th century and it was Ismaili Islam. (The Ismailis were in Multan before Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sindh.) But in the following years there was competition of sorts between the big sects, and clerics from other parts of the country introduced the Twelver Shia and Sunni faiths too. Today Gilgit is 60 percent Shia, 40 percent Sunni; Hunza 100 percent Ismaili; Nagar 100 percent Shia; Punial 100 percent Ismaili; Yasin 100 percent Ismaili; Ishkoman 100 percent Ismaili; Gupis 100 percent Ismaili; Chilas 100 percent Sunni; Darel/Tangir 100 percent Sunni; Astor 90 percent Sunni, 10 percent Shia; Baltistan 96 percent Shia; 2 percent Nurbakhti; 2 percent Sunni.

    Saturday’s killing in Gilgit is a big incident recalling the 1988 massacre which accounted for 44 deaths after “lashkars” sent in by a politician nicknamed the “devil of Hazara” entered the Shia city after travelling the Karakoram Highway which was supposed to be guarded closely by the Pakistan Army. Then it was the high tide of General Zia’s jihad in Afghanistan and the Shia — from Kurram Agency to the Northern Areas — were considered “non-cooperative”. That year, Parachinar and Gilgit were both subjected to invasions and hundreds of people were put to death. The climax of the anti-Shia campaign was reached when the all-Pakistan Shia leader Allama Arif ul Hussaini — a Turi from Kurram Agency and close companion of Imam Khomeini — was murdered in Peshawar. Shockingly, ten days later General Zia was himself killed in an air-crash in Bahawalpur.

    Was the Musharraf government not forewarned? Sadly, it was, when last year there was unrest in the Balti Shia areas and the local population gathered several times in protest against the textbooks being prescribed in their schools. There were also complaints against clerics coming from ‘outside’ the area and delivering fiery sermons based on sectarian hatred. But nothing was done. The incidents were not treated as a series of connected happenings leading up to a climax. Islamabad seems to be more concerned about mollifying the clergy on “religion entry” in the passports than about thinking of how to save our vulnerable populations from increasingly falling victim to religio-ideological policies. *


  • Extremely sad that killing Shias is not reported. Probably Express Tribune did clearly report that Shias were attacked by local sunnis.
    Sad and condolences to all those affected. We as pakistanis are all affected by this.

  • @Ahmed Iqbalabadi

    Local Sunnis did not kill them; this is a dishonest slant by Express Tribune and those feeding this slant.

    Killers (ASWJ-Taliban) do not represent Sunnis, they represent only their masters. This is not sectarian clash or violence, this is the establishment-engineered target killing.

  • @Abdul bhai,
    I am saying that we are all responsible for what is happening. Yes the establishment has propped these guys up but it is the mindlessness and craziness of the mullas that is leading to this killing.

  • AN
    UN Secretary General Ban offers condolences on Shia massacre in Pakistan to those who are killing Shias: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=5890

    New York, 28 February 2012 – Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Pakistan
    The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack in Pakistan today in which gunmen reportedly killed eighteen people after ordering them off a bus travelling between Islamabad and the town of Gilgit. The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this abhorrent attack, as well as to the Government of Pakistan. The United Nations stands by Pakistan in its efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism and extremism, which continues to claim the lives of so many Pakistanis.


    UN rights experts’ statement: By failing to protect Shia Muslims, Pakistan is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  • ’چند افسران کو اسامہ کی موجودگی کا علم تھا‘
    آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 28 فروری 2012 ,‭ 16:33 GMT 21:33 PST
    دوست کو بھیجیں
    پرنٹ کریں

    امریکی تھنک ٹینک سٹریٹفور کی وکی لیکس پر افشا ہونے والے ای میلز کے مطابق پاکستانی فوج کے درمیانے درجے کے افسران کو القاعدہ کے رہنما اسامہ بن لادن کے ایبٹ آباد میں واقع کمپاؤنڈ کا علم تھا۔
    یہ بات سٹریٹفور تھنک ٹینک کی ان مبینہ ای میلز میں کہی گئی ہے جو ہیک ہونے کے بعد وکی لیکس کو دے دی گئی تھیں۔
    اسی بارے میں
    اسامہ بن لادن کا مکان مکمل طور پر منہدم
    ایبٹ آباد کمیشن میں حسین حقانی کی پیشی
    ایبٹ آباد واقعہ: کمیشن کے سامنے چیلنج
    متعلقہ عنوانات
    پاکستان, امریکہ
    تھنک ٹینک کے کمپیوٹر پچھلے دسمبر میں ہیک ہوئے تھے۔
    سٹریٹفور کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ کوئی ردِعمل نہیں دیں گے کہ آیا یہ ای میلز مستند ہیں یا نہیں۔
    واضح رہے کہ حکومتِ پاکستان اور پاکستانی فوج نے تردید کی ہے کہ ان کو اسامہ بن لادن کی ایبٹ آباد میں موجودگی کا علم تھا۔
    وکی لیکس پر شائع کی گئیں ای میلز کے مطابق سٹریٹفور کے اعلیٰ عہدیدار نے اپنے ساتھیوں کو ای میل میں لکھا ’درمیانے درجے سے اعلیٰ آئی ایس آئی اور فوجی افسران بشمول ایک ریٹائرڈ فوجی جنرل کو اسامہ بن لادن کی موجودگی کا علم تھا۔‘
    ای میل میں کہا گیا ہے کہ ان فوجیوں کے نام اور رینک معلوم نہیں ہیں لیکن ہو سکتا ہے کہ امریکہ کے پاس یہ معلومات ہوں۔
    اس مبینہ ای میل میں کہا گیا ہے کہ تقریباً بارہ افسران کو اسامہ کی موجودگی کا علم تھا۔ تاہم ای میل میں مزید کہا گیا ہے کہ ان افسران کے عہدے معلوم نہیں اور نہ ہی یہ معلوم ہو کہ وہ حاضر سروس تھے یا ریٹائرڈ۔
    ای میل میں جن معلومات کا ذکر کیا گیا ہے وہ مبینہ طور پر ان دستاویزات سے حاصل کی گئی ہیں جو اسامہ کے کمپاؤنڈ سے برآمد ہوئے تھے۔
    یہ واضح نہیں کہ سٹریٹفور نے یہ معلومات حکومتِ پاکستان کو دی یا نہیں۔ لیکن تھنک ٹینک کے ایک رکن نے ای میل میں کہا ’میں یہ معلومات حکومتِ پاکستان کو نہیں دوں گا کیونکہ ان پر بھروسہ نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔‘
    سٹریٹفور کے سربراہ جارج فریڈمین نے کمپیوٹر ہیک ہونے کے بعد ایک بیان میں کہا تھا کہ اگر کوئی یہ سوچ رہا ہے کہ بہت اہم معلومات حاصل ہوں گی تو ان کو مایوسی ہو گی


  • کوہستان میں مسافر بس پر حملہ، اٹھارہ افراد ہلاک
    آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 28 فروری 2012 ,‭ 10:11 GMT 15:11 PST
    دوست کو بھیجیں
    پرنٹ کریں

    پاکستان کے صوبہ خیبر پختون خوا کے ضلع کوہستان میں حکام کا کہنا ہے کہ ایک مسافر بس پر ہونے والے فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں کم سے کم اٹھارہ افراد ہلاک اور سات زخمی ہوگئے ہیں۔
    مقامی لوگوں کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ واقعہ کوہستان کے صدر مقام داسو کے دور دراز پہاڑی علاقے ہربن نالہ میں شاہراہ قراقرم پر پیش آیا۔
    اسی بارے میں
    کوئٹہ: بس پر فائرنگ سے تیرہ افراد ہلاک
    سکول بس پر فائرنگ، چھ ہلاک
    کوئٹہ میں فائرنگ، تین افراد ہلاک
    متعلقہ عنوانات
    انہوں نے کہا کہ ایک مسافر بس روالپنڈی سے شمالی علاقے گلگت جارہی تھی کہ ہربن نالہ کے علاقے میں نامعلوم مسلح افراد نے گاڑی روک کر مسافروں کو نیچے اتارا اور ان پر اندھا دھند فائرنگ کردی۔ تاہم بعض ذرائع کا کہنا ہے کہ مسافر بس گلگت سے راولپنڈی جارہی تھی۔
    کلِک شاید اب حکومت کو خیال آ جائے : تجزیہ نگار عائشہ صدیقہ
    کلِک حکومت بے بس نظر آتی ہے: مقامی صحافی
    گلگلت بلتستان کے وزیرِ اعلی سید مہدی شاہ نے ذرائع ابلاغ سے بات کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ علاقے میں کسی بھی ممکنہ کشیدگی کے پیشِ نطر سکیورٹی سخت کر دی گئی ہے۔ گلگت شہر میں دفعہ ایک سو چوالیس نافذ کی گئی ہے اور تمام سکول بھی تین دن کے لیے بند کر دیئے گئے ہیں۔
    کوہستان سے ممبر صوبائی اسمبلی ستار خان نے واقعے کی تصدیق کرتے ہوئے اسے واقعہ فرقہ واریت کا نیتجہ قرار دیا ہے۔ مارے جانے والے تمام افراد کا تعلق اہلِ تشعیہ سے ہے۔
    ایک ماہ قبل شمالی علاقے دیا میر میں سنی فرقے کے دو افراد مارے گئے تھے جس پر احتجاج بھی ہوا تھا۔ ستار خان کے مطابق یہ حملے اُسی واقعے کا ردِ عمل ہوسکتا ہے۔
    کمشنر ہزارہ ڈویژن خالد خان عمر زئی نے بی بی سی سے کے نامہ نگار رفعت اللہ اورکزئی کو بتایا کہ کوہستان اور چلاس سے جائے وقوعہ کی طرف امدادی ٹیمیں راوانہ کردی گئی ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ دور افتادہ پہاڑی علاقہ ہونے کی وجہ سے ابھی تک واقعہ کی نوعیت معلوم نہیں ہوسکی۔
    انہوں نے کہا کہ جس جگہ پر فائرنگ کا واقعہ پیش آیا ہے وہ علاقہ ہزارہ ڈویژن کا حصہ ہے لیکن شمالی علاقہ جات کو زیادہ قریب پڑتا ہے


  • Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa clearly identifies Pakistan army and its Jihadi policies for Shia massacre:

    ’ شاید اب ہوش آجائے‘
    آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 28 فروری 2012 ,‭ 15:54 GMT 20:54 PST
    دوست کو بھیجیں
    میڈیا پلئیر

    متبادل میڈیا پلیئر چلائیں
    پاکستان میں منگل کو گلگت بلتستان جانے والی ایک مسافر بس سے شیعہ فرقے سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد کو کوہستان کے علاقے میں بس سے اتار کر نامعلوم حملہ آووروں نے گولیاں مار کر ہلاک کر دیا۔ پاکستان میں بڑھتے ہوئے فرقہ وارانہ واقعات پر بی بی سی اردو سروس کے پروگرام سیربین میں دفاعی امور کی ماہر ڈاکٹر عائشہ صدیقہ سے بات کی۔


  • Interview with local journalist Imtiaz Ali Taj

    امتیاز انٹرویو
    آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 28 فروری 2012 ,‭ 15:54 GMT 20:54 PST
    دوست کو بھیجیں
    میڈیا پلئیر

    متبادل میڈیا پلیئر چلائیں
    کوہستان کے علاقے میں شیعہ مسلک سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد کو بس سے اتار کر نامعلوم حملہ آووروں نے گولیاں مار کر ہلاک کر دیا۔ اس سلسلے میں بی بی سی اردو سروس کے پروگرام سیربین میں مقامی صحافی امتیاز علی تاج سے انٹرویو کیا


  • Kohistan massacre: 16 executed in sectarian bus ambush
    By Muhammad Sadaqat
    Published: February 29, 2012

    Banned terrorist outfit Jundallah claims responsibility. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE
    In a chilling sectarian attack on Tuesday, sixteen men were hauled off buses in a northern district of Kohistan and shot dead in cold blood by unidentified assailants disguised in military fatigues.
    Gunmen flagged down the buses, climbed on board and asked passengers for identification. They then proceeded to drag a group of men off the bus, stood them in a line by the roadside, and mercilessly sprayed them with bullets, a senior police official told The Express Tribune.
    Fifteen out of the sixteen passengers killed were Shias.
    According to sources, the outlawed terrorist group Jundallah has claimed responsibility for the attack. A commander of the group, Ahmed Marwat, contacted the media soon after the attack to claim responsibility.
    Harban police station SHO Umer Khitab told The Express Tribune that one bus and three minibuses, carrying approximately 117 passengers, were travelling from Rawalpindi to Gilgit when 10 to 12 gunmen disguised in military fatigues blocked the vehicles at a deserted section of the Karakoram Highway (KKH). The official went on to add that the assailants did not target women or children passengers. A criminal case has been registered against the unidentified assailants at Harban police station while heavy contingents of police have been deployed to apprehend the accused gunmen.
    “The motive was sectarian. The gunmen were wearing army uniforms,” Mohammad Ilyas, the police chief in Kohistan told AFP.
    “They checked the identity of the passengers, got the Shias off the vehicles and shot them dead,” Ilyas said, adding that the dead were all male.
    Khan Muhammad, a local who claimed to be an eyewitness of the gory incident, said he noticed some unusual activity on the KKH while he was collecting firewood from the forest overlooking the highway. According to his eyewitness account, 12 to 14 men dressed as soldiers intercepted the Gilgit-bound passenger vehicles and shot a group of men with AK-47 assault rifles after tying their hands to their backs. The assailants, carrying hand grenades and rocket propellers, then hiked into the nearby hilly areas and resorted to aerial firing, Muhammad added.
    Pakistan Muslim Legue-Nawaz MPA Abdul Sattar Khan linked the ambush to the murder of two Sunni Muslims a few days ago in Gilgit. “The people of the area had vowed they would take revenge,” Khan said.
    The bus conductor of one of the vehicles, Nisar Ahmed, was also killed in the attack when he failed to convince the gunmen that was a Sunni Muslim. A police official, who recorded statements from the surviving passengers, said Nisar was shot dead when he erred in answer regarding Fajr prayers.
    Gilgit unrest
    The destination of the bus was Gilgit, where the district administration imposed Section 144, ordered offices and schools to remain closed till Friday as a safety precaution, and advised residents to stay indoors, local administration chief Tariq Arqam said.
    A man was killed while two others sustained bullet injuries in reprisal attempts following the Kohistan attack, police said. Obaidullah was gunned down in Jutial while two people were wounded in the Skawar area, a police official said.
    Residents said Gilgit was tense and roads deserted. Shops in most areas were closed and traffic very thin.
    Millat-e-Jaferia President Allama Ramzan Tauqeer condemned the incident while speaking to The Express Tribune, adding that the government must take action against those attacking Shia Muslims with the objective of serving anti-Pakistan elements.
    “The government must ensure its writ and take those to task who are openly claiming responsibility for the attack,” Tauqeer said, attributing the attack to a conspiracy of sabotaging the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. The Shia community will observe mourning across the country on Wednesday, he said.
    Provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that “[terrorists] wanted to trigger sectarian violence in the country – adding that cash compensation will be given to the families of the victims.
    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari also strongly condemned Tuesday’s carnage.
    (Additional input from AFP)
    Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.


  • The Jandullah faction of the Taliban – one of the country’s deadliest and best organised militant groups – claimed responsibility.
    “They were Shias and our mujahedeen shot them dead one by one after bringing them down from a bus,” said Ahmed Marwat, a purported commander, who called a reporter of an American news agency from an undisclosed location. Human rights groups have heavily criticised the government for failing to crack down on sectarian violence that has killed thousands.


  • Iftikhar said the passengers were travelling from Rawalpindi to Gilgit Baltistan and had been targeted some 65 km away from Dasu, the headquarters of Kohsitan District.

    “More than 117 people were travelling in the four vehicles but only a few of them were identified and gunned down,” Khan said, adding that police are investigating.

    A passenger, Jamil, who was in one of the vehicles said that people wearing army uniforms stopped the vehicles near Harban Nala and put the passengers on an identification list.

    “They separated the people of a particular sect and gunned them down,” he said. Another passenger, Rahim, said the attackers first checked ID cards and made some inquiries, then killed some of the passengers.

    “We were really terrified,” he said.

    The Shia Muslim community announced three days of mourning in Gilgit while section 144 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits a public gathering of more than five people, has been imposed in the area to avoid further trouble in the tense situation.


  • Former MPA Maulana Dildar Ahmad told The News that the attackers were in army uniforms and masked and managed to escape after executing 18 persons belonging to the Shia sect. He said that he informed Commissioner Hazara division about the incident after reaching the spot.

    When contacted, Commissioner Khalid Umarzai said the investigation team headed by the Deputy Inspector General(DIG) of Police, Hazara Range, Dr Naeem Khan had been constituted to probe the gruesome killing of innocent passengers.

    Some of the slain men were identified as Najibullah, Younas, Rosidad, Abdul Hassan, Nisar Ahmed, Nisar Ali, Irshad Ali, Dostar Khan, Maqsood Alam and Roohul Hassan, who was the bus conductor.

    Agencies add: Eight people were wounded in the attack, including two women and three children. All the dead were male. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the attack on militants.


  • In London, the International Imam Hussain Council (IIHC) slammed the killing of Shia pilgrims, calling the absence of security for them outrageous and adding that the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups.

    Barrister Rubab Mehdi Rizvi, the IIHC chair in London, said in a statement: “IIHC is appalled by the gruesome killing of Shia pilgrims in Kohistan and finds the utter lack of protection for them outrageous, particularly when people in the area had been attacked previously on sectarian grounds and were known to be at risk.”

    Quaid-e-Millat Jafariya, Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi also condemned the killing of innocent people, saying the “international terrorist” is utilising all its energies to destroy the foundation of Pakistan.

    In a statement, he said that the activities of the banned groups with new identities are a slap on the face of the rulers. He said the government must deal with the terrorists with an iron hand and the public should also be vigilant and adopt measures for self defence.


  • گلگت: 19 مومنین کی شہادت پر احتجاج کرنے والے مومنین پر رینجرز کی فائرنگ 5 مومنین مزید زخمی

    پارہ چنار میں ایف سی ہماری قاتل، گلگت میں رینجرز ہماری قاتل__ جی ایچ کیو پر حملہ کرنے والوں کو تو یہ وردی والے روک نہیں پاتے ہے مگر نہتوں پے بدمعاشی کرنے کے ماہر ہے

  • Shia leaders considering a protest outside army headquarters GHQ in Rawalpindi

    ہماری نسل کشی کرکے ہمیں جی ایچ کیو (پاک آرمی ہیڈ کواٹر) کے سامنے دھرنہ دینے پر مجبورنا کیا جائے
    معروف عالم دین علامہ امین شہیدی

  • کوہستان: 19 شیعہ مسلمانوں کی شہادت کی زمہ داری تحریک طالبان کی زیلی جماعت اور کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی/ سپاہ صحابہ کے ہم دوست “جنڈواللہ” نے تسلیم کی ہے۔
    اب جو کہتا ہے ان دہشتگردوں کے ساتھ بات چیت کرو تو ایسے لوگوں سے کم از کم ایک شیعہ ہونے کی حیثیت سے شیعہ کلنگ تو ایسے سیاستدان اور اُن کے ساتھ بیٹھنے والوں پر لعنت بھیجتا ہے۔ دہشتگردوں کے حمایت یافتہ لوگوں سے بات کرنا گویہ اپنے بھائی کا گوشت کھانا ہے

  • Bus massacre: G-B students, Shia organisations protest Kohistan killings
    By Umer Nangiana
    Published: February 29, 2012

    Protesters blocking traffic on Islamabad Expressway. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID
    Hundreds of students from Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and activists of Imamia Students Organisation and Wahadat-ul-Muslimeen blocked Islamabad Expressway on Tuesday for over three hours. They were protesting against the killings of passengers in an attack on a bus that took place in Kohistan on Tuesday.
    The majority of people killed were from the Shia community of G-B and militant outfit Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the killings.
    Traffic on the expressway remained suspended as protesters burned tires and moved heavy concrete blocks onto the highway, bringing traffic between Rawalpindi and Islamabad to a halt.
    “We condemn the killing of innocent people at the hands of terrorists and inadequate security measures by the government,” said Wahadat-ul-Muslimeen (WuM) Rawalpindi Secretary General Agha Amin Shaheedi.
    Prominent Shia leaders spearheading the protests warned of a march in front of the Parliament House building next Friday if the government fails to nab those responsible for the killings.
    “We have decided to hold a protest march towards the Parliament on Friday after prayers and we will protest the killing of innocent Shia people,” said an ISO spokesperson. He said it was worrying that armed men attacked a bus full of innocent passengers and easily fled without being detected.
    A number of people from G-B come to the twin cities to work and for higher education. Every day, dozens of people travel between Rawalpindi and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), through public and private transport services.
    Although the slogan-chanting students and activists remained peaceful, contingents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad police were deployed to maintain law and order. The police restored traffic on the overhead Faizabad Bridge and link roads along the highway. However, the main expressway remained blocked till late in the evening.
    Agha Shifa Najafi of Imam Bargah Al-Sadiq in Sector G-9/2, while condemning the killings of innocent people by militants, asked the protesters to remain peaceful. The government, he said, appears helpless before people who are openly taking people’s lives.
    The protestors dispersed peacefully after staying on the roads for over three hours. However, they vowed to return if the killers of the bus passengers were not arrested.
    Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.


  • Khuda kisi ko gamy Hussain kay alawa aur koi gum na day. But this bus massacre and killings of unarmed,peaceful Shia families give us a horrible message. Our security agencies failed to protect or involved in Shia killing every where in Pakistan.

    A truth commission over politicians,Psychologists and human rights activists should be formed for reforms in secret security agencies and Pakistan Army. The agencies officer should be interviewed by the truth commission and the commission should be given powers for disqualification of rigid Islamist and racist officers.

    Choudhri courts should take suho moto on Shia killings in Pakistan.

  • Breaking News
    SC takes suo motu notice of Waheeda Shah slapping incident

    Dear Chief Justice

    What about Shia massacre in Gilgit, They are not human or judiciary afraid of wahabi deobandi killers

  • Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik on Wednesday claimed that the investigation team has found some authentic clues on Kohistan bus firing incident, saying the responsible would not be spared and brought to justice.

    “As per initial information 20 terrorists intercepted the buses while some of them were hiding in the mountains. We would trace them soon,” he said while talking to media persons after announcing regularization of more than 14,000 employees of National Database and Registration Authority here.

    He said the firing on Gilgit-bound bus in Kohistan was a conspiracy to destabilize the country and added those, who were trying to give the incident a sectarian colour, would not succeed in their nefarious designs as security in the area had been beefed up.

    He said out of 18 victims, eight belonged to Gilgit, seven to Hunza Nagar and three to Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan.

    He appreciated joint investigation team headed by DIG Hazara Division and said the team was working well in tracing out the criminals.


  • March 01, 2012

    Share | |
    EDITORIAL: And the wheel goes round and round

    What should these terrorists be called for the atrocious carnage of passengers they committed in Kohistan area? It is a word that doesn’t exist in any dictionary of the civilised world. The savage and cold-blooded murderers sifted through the passengers on board a Gilgit-bound bus and, later, three minibuses, separated and gunned down 18 Shias. Jundallah, a faction of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for this unforgivable crime. Indeed they have little remorse over the brazen deed attested by the statement of their spokesperson: “They were Shias and our mujahideen shot them dead.” News of this butchery has saddened the whole country. People from all strata of society and religious belief have condemned it. However, sectarian tension has mounted enough to strengthen fears of a potential law and order situation in the Shia majority city of Gilgit and its suburbs. The Kohistan incident resembles a pattern in which Shia pilgrims had been killed in the Mastung area of Balochistan last year. Banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) had claimed responsibility for that massacre. The terrorists have repeated it, once again, and really…why would they not? Nothing concrete has come out of the investigations into the Mastung incident. The near-nil performance of the law enforcers is in front of us all. The LeJ with a new alias is continuing its terrorist activities, as they have little to fear. Some analysts and ‘religious circles’ are terming Kohistan’s incident as another attempt of the saboteurs of peace to trigger sectarian violence and clashes in the country. They seem to be right, as there have been such examples in the past, which caused many deadly clashes between the country’s majority Sunni community and Shia minority despite the fact that both basically believe in the same God whose religion preaches peace and teaches compassion and tolerance towards other human beings. How can these terrorists justify and preach their brand of Islam after wreaking so much havoc through the length and breadth of Pakistan?
    The law enforcement agencies have to deal with these terrorists sternly. Their ruthlessness has to be answered with the same severity. At the moment, Pakistan cannot afford a sectarian rift, as it is already going through a tough time being part of the war on terror. Our security forces should keep in mind that our war against terrorism has not ended. There is still a long way to go before we breathe a sigh of relief. These terrorists are still present across our country with an aim to achieve their sinister designs of occupying nuclear-armed Pakistan through forcing its people to practice their unpopular religious beliefs. We are faced with an extraordinarily callous enemy and a line has to be drawn — clear and deep. A crackdown has to be launched aimed for their bases immediately to disincentivise any future adventures.
    The government needs to be clear that it has enemies within that must be dealt with before perceived enemies ‘abroad’ become a concern. Right of freedom of movement is a basic human right as holy as any other. It is the government’s function to ensure that right for its citizens. As for sectarianism — that is a violation of every citizen’s rights. For an organisation to believe it is above the law of civilisation and convention is dangerous beyond expression. It must be curbed with the stroke of finality. *


  • Protest demo staged against Shia killings

    Our Correspondent
    Thursday, March 01, 2012


    SHIA Shehryan-e-Pakistan (SSP) staged a protest demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club on Wednesday to condemn the killings of 18 Shia bus passengers in Kohistan and the murder of Shia leader Saqlain Naqvi in Muzaffargarh.

    The protestors, led by SSP Convenor Waqar Hasnain Naqvi and others, raised slogans against the terrorists. They raised slogans against the government for failing in nabbing them to ensure security of life and property to the citizens.

    Addressing the demonstrators, the leaders warned that terrorists were killing innocent people under the patronage of secret agencies. The leaders, including SSP secretary General Mazhar Hussain Naqvi, Lahore Convenor Amir Raza Rizvi, Nasir Mehdi, Muzammil Hussain Rizvi, Qasim Shah, Hussain Zaidi and Chaudhry Imdad Ali, also condemned the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC) for accepting in its folds the banned groups and said after the DPC rally in Quetta, the ‘Quetta-styled’ killings of Shias were done in Kohistan.

    They demanded of President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani and COAS to see where the secret agencies were taking the country. They also demanded of the chief justice to take suo motu notice of Shias’ killings.

    They announced 40-day mourning over the killings of Shias and holding of another demonstration on Thursday (today) outside Karbala Gamay Shah.


  • KARACHI- Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) Central secretary general Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jaffari on Tuesday said that United States, Zionist Israel and their ally India are involved in Gilgit Baltistan and Parachinar tragedies adding that this axis wants to destabilize Pakistan internally.

    He expressed these views while addressing a matami rally organized by MWM Karachi division at MA Jinnah Road to protest the genocide of Shia Muslims. Hundreds of enraged activists were participated in the protest rally condemning the government and US.

    MWM’s secretary general Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri, Karachi chapter’s secretary general Mohammad Mehdi, Maulana Munawar Naqvi, Maulana Ali Anwar Jafri, Maulana Jaffar Subhani, Ali Osat and other office bearers spoke at the rally.

    The participants were mourning beating their chest and chanting the slogans against United States, Government and Security agencies. The rally was started from Masjid-e-Shah-e-Khorasan and culminated at Masjid and Imam Bargah Ali Raza (A.S.).

    They asked the government to break off all sorts of relations with United States forthwith.

    Allama Raja Nasir Abbas said that government has failed to enforce its writ in many areas including Gilgit-Baltistan that was evident from Tuesday terrorism in which terrorists massacred 18 Shia Muslims on their return from pilgrimage.

    He vowed that Shia Muslims would foil the conspiracies of common enemies of Pakistan and its Shia Muslim citizens.

    He said that banned terrorist outfits as agents of the axis of devil that he identified as mainly U.S. and Israel and India. He demanded of government to rein in those terrorist outfits and its leaders and members.

    He said that attack on and martyrdoms of innocent Shia Muslims were condemnable acts of terrorism and an intolerable one. The participants responded to his call vowing that enemies’ conspiracies are doomed to failure.


  • Kayani visits army officers in Skardu, did not bother to visit the families of those who are being killed by army-backed Jihadis. Instructed army officers to maintain law and order (read kill more Shias who dare to protest against genocide, just like parmilitary forces killed 12 Shias in Parachinar by direct firing.


    Press Release
    No PR31/2012-ISPR Dated: February 29, 2012
    Rawalpindi – February 29, 2012:
    Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Skardu and Forward Locations at Minimerg and Domel Sectors in Gilgit Baltistan, today.
    The COAS was briefed about the current internal security situation of the region, in the aftermath of shahadat of 18 innocent citizens at Harban Nullah, Dassu on 28 February 2012. He instructed the local commanders to extend full cooperation to Civil Administration in maintenance of law and order.
    Later, the COAS met troops deployed in sub zero temperatures, at the highest mountainous region anywhere in the world. He commended their selfless devotion and fortitude in braving the rough weather and performing duties in an area where even survival is an achievement.
    COAS was accompanied by Lieutenant General Khalid Nawaz, Commander Rawalpindi Corps.


    Group Photo of Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visit to Skardu and Forward Locations at Minimerg and Domel Sectors in Gilgit Baltistan, today. (29-02-2012) – Photo ISPR


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    February 29th, 2012 | Add a Comment

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  • Calming anger: Heirs of Kohistan victims to get Rs2 million each
    By Shabbir Mir
    Published: March 1, 2012

    Shias protest against the killing of community members in Gilgit. PHOTO: AFP
    A host of new security measures and a revised compensation package helped avert a standoff between rival sects in Gilgit on Wednesday.
    Tensions had peaked in the otherwise simmering region after 16 people belonging to the area, travelling from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, were shot in cold-blooded murder in Kohistan. Outlawed militant group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the attack.
    “Rs2 million will be given to the heirs of the dead as compensation,” announced Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who flew to Gilgit early Wednesday.
    Prior to the announcement, Malik met with clerics who had turned down the Rs0.5 million compensation package announced by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Mehdi Shah. Earlier, the interior minister was briefed on the law and order situation in the region, especially in the aftermath of Tuesday’s killings that have widened the sectarian rift in G-B.
    Beefing up security
    Malik said that a special highway police would be deployed along the Karakoram Highway (KKH) and that Gilgit Scouts and Rangers would be granted powers to control the law and order situation in Gilgit.
    “Half of the expenses on the highway police would be borne by the federal government,” Malik said, adding that additional recruitment in Gilgit Scouts would be made soon.
    Tensions escalated in Gilgit after bodies of those killed in the Kohistan sectarian attack were flown in for burial. Protestors refused to bury the dead, demanding the arrest of the militants responsible for the attack, and Rs5 million as compensation to the families of every deceased.
    The standoff was resolved, however, after Malik met clerics from both sects.
    Fearing a spread of violence, the G-B government announced the closure of government offices and educational institutions till Friday, besides imposing section 144, which prohibits gathering of more than five people at a time in one place.
    Elders decry use of Kohistan
    Tribal elders at a jirga in Dassu, Kohistan blocked the KKH on Wednesday, in protest against the sectarian attack.
    They criticised the attack on Shia pilgrims in Kohistan district, adding that both, the attackers and the deceased, were from G-B and appear to have settled scores against each other.
    Distancing themselves from the attack, the elders warned of permanent suspension of vehicular traffic if any local is implicated in the case.
    They did, however, offer support to the local police, assuring them of cooperation in the investigation.
    Former lawmaker Maulana Dildar Ahmed and tribal elders from across the region were among the 400 participants of the jirga.
    District Coordination Officer Kohistan Syed Aqil Shah also rejected the involvement of the local community in the attack, adding that it was the repercussion of the murder of a Sunni man in Chilas in early January this year.
    The Sunni community blocked the KKH in Chilas for about four days, demanding the arrest of the attackers, believed to be Shia, and threatened to avenge the murder, the DCO said.
    Meanwhile, according to police sources, heavy contingents of elite and paramilitary force and police have been dispatched to expected hideouts of attackers in the hilly areas of Harban Nalla but no arrests were made till the filing of this report.
    A joint investigation team headed by Deputy Inspector-General Hazara Dr Naeem Khan has started gathering information in the case.
    Cabinet’s condemnation
    The federal cabinet condemned the Kohistan incident and the prime minister has called for a crackdown against the culprits, said Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan while addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
    The premier directed the interior minister to immediately rush to Gilgit-Baltistan and help the local government control the situation, she added.
    (With additional reporting from Muhammad Sadaqat in DASSU KOHISTAN.)
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.


  • Kohistan Carnage — the first mishap between now and later [Editorial]

    SUBMITTED BY EDITOR ON FRI, 03/02/2012 –

    It is hardly possible to talk about politics in Pakistan without mentioning religion. It is altogether impossible to talk about religion without mentioning the role of Army in religious affairs. The funny thing is: there are very few practicing religious military men in Pakistan. Even the children of military officers go to mosques mostly for Friday prayer only— it is an intriguing paradox.
    Almost, all military centers, units and training schools have built state-of-the art military mosques in which worshipers pray to God. The mosques, however, are not as inclusive as the military itself. You will never find any Shia imam in these mosques. Very few people from other sects of Islam go to the military mosque. One of the Sepoys, an unprejudiced worshiper told us that once he was bullied by his co-worshipers when he did not lift his Index finger during the Shahadat part of the Sunni congregational prayer.
    The mosque is not used purely for worshiping purpose. During the Zia Era and until 9/11 military mosques were frequently visited by the currently banned Islamic organizations to preach Jihad and the Pakistan Army was never reluctant to patronize such groups. We do not know the post Bin Laden scenario but we are sure the ethereal waves still communicate somewhere. This can be seen in the case of Brig. Ali who, according to reports was planning to air strike GHQ.
    The practices in the mosques are frequent as compared to the conflicts in the streets. So when it comes to protecting the citizens in trouble times by the military men, especially in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan, the most frequently practiced mindset prevails and protection of minority groups by state organs thus becomes doubtful.
    The western allied Pakistan Army has to reform its military mosque system. It should bane all the external preachers into its facilities and ought to maintain the sanctity of the mosque as sacred place to worship Allah. As you will see a famous poetry— Na Koi Banda Raha, Na Koi Banda Nawaz— emblazoned on hills and mountains near Army facilities in Pakistan, the army practically has to implement the message of inclusiveness in the military mosques. General Kiyani should send a COAS message to every unit and army center, propagating religious inclusiveness within the Pakistan Army.
    There was a time when India used to be a direct threat to Pakistan’s security and the nation remained united against the commonly perceived threat. The security paradigm, now, has shifted more to internal insurgency and home-grown violence and a religiously fractured mindset cannot deal with this issue without inviting a danger. One of the Military combatants in Swat, in a private conversation told us that his hands were shaking when he had to open fire on an armed Mulvi Sahib in Swat operation.
    The news of reconciliation between Pakistan and its former strategic arms— the Jihadi groups in Afghanistan and KP— has made the people of Gilgit-Baltistan nerves about their very existence. Here it is generally perceived that the post Afghanistan jobless mujahedeen can turn their guns towards Gilgit-Baltistan.
    The rising political activism and the rapidly falling living standards in the region can go out of control and in such situations strategically Mujahidin can be used to drag the attention of the people off the road.
    There are Taliban sympathizers in parts of Gilgit-Baltistan including the military mosques and for the Mujahidin to infiltrate their Jihadi activities here is as easy as a pie.
    The annexation of KP borders with the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan is a cheery on the cake for them.
    During 1988, Jalal Abad, a sizable village of Gilgit-Baltistan inhabited by a specific religious sect was set on fire. Independent analysts and local nationalist parties believe that the muggers had full support of Zia’s military garrison in Gilgit.
    During Taliban regime in Afghanistan a religious tabloid newspaper, Zarb-e-Momin edited by Mujahiden was propagating Jihad in the then Northern Areas, for they believed that the region was inhabited by infidels. “Ironically, this religious tabloid used to be on the reading rostrum in military officers mess” a former military officer told.
    It is feared the people of Gilgit-Baltistan will see more killings in the post Afghanistan era. The West has now stopped calling the Mujahideen “the bad guys” and it is already thinking to reconcile affairs with Taliban in Afghanistan— they will get back to their business in their own country, sooner or later. The groups along with the borders of Gilgit-Baltistan would then definitely like to do some sport and God knows what sort of sport they would be playing then. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are in fear at this thought.
    Pakistan and its Army would definitely follow the Americans to negotiate with the Mujahideen and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have to pay close attention to detail in the process.
    This would be a high time for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to ask Pakistan and the international community as to how their security will be ensured when Pakistan and Mujahideen strike the peace truce and the groups are unleashed.
    In the wake of the Kohistan carnage, people of Gilgit-Baltistan have made it clear that they want to live together peacefully. Ismailis of Ghizar and Hunza, Shias of Skardu and Sunnies of Diamer have protested strongly to condemn the act of genocide in Kohistan.
    The play cards which the protesters were upholding this time were different than before. Slogans used to be “Sunni Kafir” or “Shia Kafir”. But now the slogans in Gilgit-Baltistan read “Shia-Sunni Bhai Bhai”( Sunnies and Shias are brothers), Ye Jo Dashat Gardi hay, Is key peichhey wardi hay( There is a uniform involved behind every terrorism). It is interesting to read but equally alarming for Pakistani establishment.
    Pakistani government, it’s military and the international community has to resolve the matters of the 2 million disenfranchised people of Gilgit-Baltistan before the situation here gets out of control. Pakistan has many problems to resolve in the coming years—some are of immediate concern— the security of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan has to be the top priority after the issue of Baluchistan.
    People of this region are very educated they are no more appeased by ad hoc packages couriered by KANA division in Islamabad through local Pirs and high school passed illiterate political leaders. They want genuine political settlement of the area; for they believe all roads to peace pass through genuine political discourse and a constitutional cover up.
    According to Tehran Times the people who were killed on Karakurum highway were Shia pilgrims returning from Tehran. If that is true then people in Gilgit-Baltistan might rightly wonder that somebody was following the pilgrims from the border of Taftan(Baluchistan-Iran) to the border of Gilgit-Baltistan. There must be intelligence feeding to the attackers sitting at Harban Nala. Who was that, Pakistan has to explain to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
    It is not enough to say that “there is an international conspiracy against Pakistan”. Pakistan does not need international enemies, for it has abundance of them within its own borders.
    The killings of 19 innocent people in the dark night of the isolated Kohistan mountain is perhaps the first mishap between ‘now’ and the post Afghanistan ‘later’.


  • Shia Muslims killed in Pakistan by Sunni Islamists: singled out and murdered. By Lee Jay Walker and Joachim de Villiers

    The sectarian divide in Pakistan claimed the lives of more innocent Shia Muslims who were singled out and brutally murdered. Currently it is understood that 18 Shia Muslims were killed by Sunni Islamic fanatics after having their identity checked. This brutal incident took place in Kohistan which is in northern Pakistan.

    It is reported that Sunni Muslims who were traveling with fellow Shia passengers were spared death because of their religious affiliation which was shared by the brutal Sunni Muslim terrorists. This applies to the militants checking the identity cards of all the individuals and then murdering the Shia because of their “blind hatred.”

    This incident highlights the reality that you have no “Muslim religious brotherhood” which is often highlighted in the West. In recent years you have had untold massacres of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and other nations. The one common theme is that they are being butchered by Sunni Muslim fanatics who believe in enforcing their monoculture worldview. Also, in nations like Bahrain the Shia community is excluded from the engines of “real power” and in so-called moderate Malaysia the Shia faith is illegal.

    Other religious minorities also suffer in Pakistan and this applies to Christians, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Not only this, when moderate Sunni Muslims openly rebuke militancy then they also face “the sword of Sunni Islam.” After all, Salman Taseer spoke out against religious discrimination but many Sunni Muslims celebrated the death of this brave moderate Sunni Muslim.

    Bill Roggio in an article published by The Long War Journal highlights the fact that even moderate branches of Sunni Islam are turning against “all notions of justice and freedom.” The article states that “Lawyers showered the suspected killer of a prominent Pakistani governor with rose petals when he arrived at court Wednesday and an influential Muslim scholars group praised the assassination of the outspoken opponent of laws that order death for those who insult Islam.”

    “Mumtaz Qadri, 26, made his first appearance in an Islamabad court, where a judge remanded him in custody a day after he allegedly sprayed automatic gunfire at the back of Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. A rowdy crowd slapped him on the back and kissed his cheek as he was escorted inside. The lawyers who tossed handfuls of rose petals over him were not involved in the case.”

    “As he left the court, a crowd of about 200 sympathizers chanted “death is acceptable for Muhammad’s slave.” The suspect stood at the back door of an armored police van with a flower necklace given to him by an admirer and repeatedly yelled “God is great.”

    “More than 500 clerics and scholars from the group Jamat Ahle Sunnat said no one should pray or express regret for the killing of the governor. The group representing Pakistan’s majority Barelvi sect,

    which follows a brand of Islam considered moderate, also issued a veiled threat to other opponents of the blasphemy laws.”

    “The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy,” the group warned in a statement, adding politicians, the media and others should learn “a lesson from the exemplary death.”

    “Jamat leader Maulana Shah Turabul Haq Qadri paid “glorious tribute to the murderer … for his courage, bravery and religious honor and integrity.”

    Therefore, the recent massacre of Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslim fanatics in Pakistan highlights the complete indoctrination of individuals who believe that killing innocent people is the work of God. This brutal act is not only cold-bloodied and callous but it is a clear reminder that “year zero” which crushed all forces of Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan, is now intent on creating “year zero within the Islamic faith itself.”

    This applies to crushing the enormous diversity within the Islamic faith whereby vast numbers of different sects hold different thought patterns. Sunni Islamic radicalism is not only at war against the non-Muslim world but it is also at war against the “diversity of the Islamic world.” Therefore, the desire for Sunni Islamists is for a complete monoculture to crush different thought patterns. More worryingly, the death of Salman Taseer highlights that moderate forces within Sunni Islam in Pakistan are also turning against justice and freedom.

    It is essential that all moderates in Pakistan, irrespective of religion or no faith, work together to crush all forms of radicalism because Islamic indoctrination is crushing the nation of Pakistan. The potential of this nation is enormous because you have so much vibrancy in many sectors. However, religion is being used by ideologists in order to crush this diversity and richness.

    In simple terms, the light of “Salman Taseer” is based on a Pakistan of moderation and modernization. His light will continue to shine brightly providing people re-take the nation from zealots which want to crush diversity. Yet, the brutal murder of Salman Taseer, and the recent massacre of Shia Muslims by radical Sunni Muslim fanatics, is a clear indicator that the “forces of darkness” are bent on creating “a year zero.”



  • Stop Brutal Sectarian Violence against Shias. Dilshad Bhutto

    Pakistan: March 1, 2012. (PCP) The Chairman Pakistan Secular Forum Dilshad Bhutto has strongly condemned the massacre of Shia in Pakistan and said federal, provincial Government and Police is often failing to protect the members of religious minorities including Ahmadias, Shias, Christians and Hindus. In his press statement Dilshad Bhutto said Militant groups are carrying out suicide bombings and targeted killings across the country. The Taliban and affiliated groups are increasingly targeting civilians and public spaces, including marketplaces, hospitals, and religious processions on the way. It is a recognized fact that a state’s police and law enforcement agencies play a critical role as the first line of defense against the threats of terrorism and insurgencies. Although Shias are a minority in the country, Pakistan holds the second largest Shia community after Iran in terms of numbers. The total Shia population in Pakistan is approximately 50 million and may be as high as 60 million. Globally, Shia Islam represents 10-20% of the total Muslims population, while the remaining 90% or nine-tenths practice Sunni Islam. Attacks in Hazara, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and the north-west seem to be manifestations of the bitter split between Sunnis and Shias. In most cases, no-one claims responsibility for such attacks.

    The PSF Chairman said Pakistan’s ISI-backed Punjabi judiciary once again demonstrated its institutional hatred of Shia Muslims today by releasing the notorious leader of the Jihadi-sectarian organization Malik Ishaq, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (also known as the Punjabi Taliban or Sipah-e-Sahaba). Punjabi judges, backed by Punjabi generals, released a Punjabi terrorist to enable further massacres of Shias, Ahmadis, Christians and other targeted communities and they all banned organizations founded Diffa-e- Council Pakistan, Chief Patron is Notorious Former Intelligence Chief Retd Gen Hameed Gul. He is leading and patronizing all Jihadi org which are working in Kashmir and Afghanistan the Chairman PSF Dilshad Bhutto has demanded from Govt Pakistan to take strict action against such Religious Militant organizations which are involve in genocide of Shias and are also involve in all kind of Sectarian Violence in Pakistan


  • March 11, 2012

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    GB on verge of violence and bloodshed

    By Manzoor Qadir

    ISLAMABAD: After volatile Balochistan, the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has turned into a volcano that could erupt at any time, exposing hundreds of locals to violence, hatred and death, Daily Times has learnt from reliable sources.
    At present a great deal of unrest that is being witnessed among the residents of GB representing various religious sects, including Deobandi, Shia, Sunni and Ismaili, could disrupt the law and order situation, triggering large-scale violence in the northern areas anytime.
    Sources said a large amount illegal arms and ammunitions have been dumped in various parts of the GB by various communities under the nose of government while administration had its eyes closed over the issue.
    This huge cache of illegal arms and ammunition has reached the GB – where arms and ammunitions are not manufactured unlike FATA – after crossing three-hundred kilometres, passing through various security checkposts and pickets set up by the law enforcement agencies.
    Recently, during a raid a huge cache of illegal arms and ammunitions was recovered from the Yadgar Mohala area, however, reportedly in the areas of Kashrot, Baseen, Nopurah, Sakarkoi and Nagar still hold a large quantity of illegal weapons.
    The target killings and miserable law and order situation in Gilgit-Baltistan has become a routine matter and is worsening for the past few years due to increasing sectarian violence. The cash and literature, coming from Pakistan, Iran and some European countries where people representing Shia and Ismaili sects are residing, is adding fuel to the issue.
    Most of the time the major cities of the GB, especially, Gilgit face imposition of curfew by the security forces to maintain the law and order situation, whereas media is also unable to report independently on the issue.
    The media reports also highlight that a large number of locals from various areas of GB are being trained for militant activities in the training camps at Diamer and Mansehra in case of any violence.
    It is pertinent to mention here that local government of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is termed a puppet government by the locals, has failed to introduce solid measures restricting any expected violence and to defuse the growing uncertainty, sectarianism and hatred among locals.
    Situation had turned so hostile for the government functionaries and the security forces in the area on March 8, that Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah issued a notification for cancellation of all the arms licences and to monitor the activities of all banned organisations, including Tehreek-e-Talban and Wahdatul Mulismeen in the GB.
    He also formulated a committee led by Provincial Minister Wazir Shakeel to work out a plan to sustain the peace in GB and to avoid terrorism.
    Another aspect of the growing uncertainty is attempts to introduce forced demographical topology of the region by the government and the establishment.
    The forced change in the demography of the region is reportedly being planned by the government,which envisage merging Chitral and Kohistan into GB from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however the forced changes always result into continued violence and bloodshed, as it was the case in the Kurram Agency where FC Kurram-Area of Orakzai Agency – was made part of it, still it has become difficult to maintain peace from years.
    The need of hour is to put emphasis in GB to avoid the burst of violence in the area and to defuse the situation prior it’s too late.


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