Original Articles

Identity Assassination of Shia Community in Pakistan – by Ali Salman Alvi

Related posts: Who will free Pakistan’s Shias from the Iranian-agenda scholars?

MWM must not act as a Shia version of Difa-e-Pakistan Council

A critical analysis of the MWM resolution at the Karachi Shia rally

Raja Nasir Abbas of MWM and nation’s mazloom daughter Aafia

Shia religio-political party MWM criticizes LUBP

IRI- and ISI-influenced Shia clerics keep misguiding Pakistani Shias

MWM leaders threaten to surround US Consulate to put an end to Shia genocide

Pakistan holds the second largest Shia community in the world after Iran in terms of the community’s population. The total Shia population in Pakistan is approximately 50 million to as high as 60 million according to Vali Nasr, a leading expert on Middle East and Islamic world.

Despite being such a gigantic populace with significance it’s a distressing veracity that Shias living in Pakistan are deprived of a genuine leadership that can protect their political interests and raise the issues faced by this beleaguered community in Pakistan at the uppermost levels.

Needless to say that Pakistan is becoming increasingly subjugated under the clutches of religious intolerance and extremism encouraged by the local religious fanatics and extremists from all over the world for their vested interests who in their turn have made religion a salable commodity under vile ostentatious dogmatic rituals. Amidst this gloomy state of affairs the so called Shia leadership, which can be aptly ascribed as inefficacious and incompetent, is making the situation even worse for the already troubled Shia community.

The crisis of leadership in Pakistani Shias is primarily that of identity, belief and political organization.

It goes without saying that the religious clerics from the Shia community have been trying their best to lead Shias in the political battlegrounds as well albeit they have miserably failed to put up a momentous effort in this regard. Majority of these religious clerics get their graduation degrees from different seminary schools located in Iran especially in the Iranian city of Qom. After returning to Pakistan they sound keen on preaching the greatness of Iran, their cultural values and traditions for the rest of their lives notwithstanding the palpable socio-political differences between the Shia communities living on either side of the Pak-Iran border. Advertently or inadvertently they fail to understand that the issues of Iran are eminently incommensurable to the issues of Pakistan, political paradigm shift takes place for the betterment but there can’t be a religious paradigm shift because it’s about believes. Shias living in Iran are relishing the luxury of being a majority populace whilst Shias living in Pakistan are suffering systematic political, social, cultural as well as religious discrimination. Pakistani Shias have a culture of their own that is quite different from their Iranian counterparts. The traditions followed by Pakistani Shias in their day to day lives are not similar to Iranian traditions and culture either.

Despite all these differences these religious clerics vociferously advocate the Pakistani Shias to toe the line of those in Iran & calling upon the masses to look forward to Iran in each and every matter.

Meanwhile the persecution of Shias by the outlawed terrorists groups, aided by the deep state elements and sponsored by ‘Halal’ funding, continues at a mass rampant rate in the country. The latest assaults on Shias have claimed twenty more lives in Chilas and Quetta in separate incidents. The hard liner Salafi/Wahabi terrorists stopped six buses going to Gilgit from Rawalpindi. Seventeen passengers, after being identified as Shias, were hauled off buses and then shot dead in cold blood from point blank range. In another incident two more Shias, from Hazara tribe, were target killed in Quetta. Assailants barged into a medical store and shoe shop and opened fire on the victims. From 1987 to 2011, as many as 5,000 Shias are estimated to have been massacred in Pakistan.

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Those who were martyred in Kohistan massacre.

In Pakistan, the organized killing of the members of Shia community dates back to 1980’s. It’s immensely pertinent to find out what else was going on in the country at that very time to comprehend the reasons behind the Shia killings that has now spread throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan — a country that is becoming an exceedingly hostile land for the Shias and other minorities inhabiting here. Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Jhang, Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Hangu, Parachinar, Gilgit, Southern Punjab, Kohistan and now Chilas — this is increasingly becoming a well thought-out genocide of Shias in Pakistan that has claimed thousands of innocent human lives including the lives of women and children.

It wouldn’t take much of an exertion to recollect the events which took place in 1980’s. Remember? Zia ul Haq had come into power prior to subverting the Constitution of Pakistan and overthrowing the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in a military coup on July 5, 1977. His reign (1977 – 1988) is categorically regarded as an era of mass military repression in which hundreds of thousands of political rivals, minorities, and journalists were executed or tormented across Pakistan. Afghan Jihad — sponsored by CIA and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — executed by Pakistan — errs… Pakistan’s ISI and the thousands of Jihadists recruited by these powers. During the same period the land of pure was littered with a number of sectarian outfits, belligerent in spewing venom against the “infidel” states of India, Israel and Soviet Union. Consequently the tribal belt astride Pak-Afghan border, also known as the Durand Line, became the safe haven for the extremists who were imported from all over the world in the name of Jihad. On the other hand the mantra of hoisting Pakistan’s flag on the Delhi’s Red Fort (Laal Qil’ah) and the slogans of crashing India into bits and pieces laid down the perfect platform for you know who!

From 1980′s to the circa of 2000-2010 — The world in general and Pakistan in particular had entered in another era widely known as post 9/11 in the aftermath of a series of four coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. areas on September 11, 2001. Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks. Three days later the United States Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing US Presidents to fight terrorists and the nations that harbor them. On October 7, 2001 and less than a month after the Twin Towers were razed in New York, the U.S., aided by the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries including several from the NATO alliance, launched a consolidated military action, bombing Taliban and Al-Qaeda-related camps in Afghanistan. The stated objectives of this military operation were to remove the Taliban from power, and prevent the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations. Pakistan, which had remained the frontline state against communism, re-acquired the tag and emerged as an imperative ally of the U.S.

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Militants in Swat, Pakistan, destroyed 191 schools including 122 for girls.

American assault on Afghanistan triggered fury among the Taliban, supporters of Taliban and hardcore Islamists living in Pakistan. All these elements vowed to wage a holy war but this time it was against the United States unlike the previous Afghan Jihad which was funded by the United States against the Soviet Union. Among many other groups Malakand Taliban, a militant outfit, led by Sufi Muhammad, the founder of Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) and his son in law Molvi Fazalullah recruited a number of Jihadists to battle to fight the U.S.-led invasion in Afghanistan. Sufi Muhammad was later jailed for sending thousands of volunteers to Afghanistan; however he was set free in 2008 after he presumably renounced violence.  To fortify their control which already had been in Dir, Swat & Malakand districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, apart from Waziristan, Taliban instigated bombing schools, hotels, Police stations, and shrines to spread terror and fear among the local inhabitants. So much so that they target killed their opponents in the region and hung their beheaded corpses upside down in a square in Mingora (a city of Swat district) that was named as “Khooni Chowk” (Bloody Square) by Taliban. Swat valley once known as “Switzerland of South Asia”, for its great natural beauty and popularity among the local and foreign tourists, had become a valley of carnage at the helm of Taliban.

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Taliban flogging a girl publicly in Swat.

Stooping down to the might of terror campaign the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa made an agreement with Sufi Muhammad for establishing a system in the region known as “Nizam e Adal” (The system of Justice) which was demanded by Sufi Muhammad to officially establish a system introduced and endorsed by Taliban that would allow them to publicly behead, amputate and flog the people if they are found guilty by the “Qazi” (An Arabic/Urdu title referring to a Judge). This system was palpably in parallel to the judicial system established in the rest of the country in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan. To get the Government’s approval on the “Nizam e Adal” Sufi Muhammad called for a temporary ceasefire in the Malakand region. The provincial government agreed to allow the implementation of Nizam e Adal in the region once violence had stopped. Muhammad traveled to Swat to discuss the deal with Maulvi Fazlullah and his followers, who agreed to observe the ceasefire. Showing complete camaraderie with Sufi Muhammad and Fazlullah, a spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Muslim Khan publicly announced that his group would observe an indefinite ceasefire. Facing the escalating political pressure to reach a settlement, President Zardari signed the controversial regulation into law on April 13, 2009 after a National Assembly resolution approved of the measure. The resolution was supported by Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party, the Awami National Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and generally pro-government FATA officials. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) opposed the motion but abstained from voting. In a show of rare defiance, only one MNA Ayaz Amir stood up and opposed the regulation valorously despite the grave coercions by Taliban’s spokesman, Muslim Khan, carried by all the daily newspapers in the morning.

Announcement letter signed by various Shia clerics, at Jamia tul Muntazir Lahore, showing solidarity with Sufi Muhammad.

As feared the militants took advantage of the peace deal and expanded their territory into other districts and within few days they took control of Buner, Lower Dir and Shangla. Given a free hand to the deo-bandi hard liners, it was evidently understood that the Shia community would suffer the most since Taliban and their supporters firmly believe that Shias are apostates/infidels. Much to the bewilderment of many readers the so called Shia leadership (understandably constituted of religious clerics) gathered in a well known seminary “Jamia tul Muntazir”, located in Model Town Lahore, and fervently endorsed highly controversial Nizam e Adal regulation proposed by Sufi Muhammad vide an announcement letter despite facing such a palpable threat to the community. The letter claimed to have been released with the consent of Sajid Ali Naqvi and it held the support for the regulation as a religious obligation on all the seminaries affiliated with Wafaq ul Madaris Al-Shia Pakistan as well as all the Shias living in Pakistan. It goes without saying that the much extolled Niazm e Adal regulation later yielded in horrific repercussions.

Shia community in Pakistan, bearing in mind that there is no time to lose, will have to find a way out of this absurd state of affairs. Instead of following those who never miss an opportunity to stab in the back, Shias should endeavor to bring forth a leadership that can safeguard their interests and not of those who aren’t anywhere in the picture. Otherwise living peacefully in Pakistan would become a distant dream not only for Shias but for other minorities including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis considering the sense of insecurity ripping through a commoner’s mind. No doubt the Salafi/Wahabi regimes have been financially supporting terrorist organizations in Pakistan but why have the people of Pakistan swayed into fanatic charm of Saudi Arabia to destroy peace in Pakistan? World perceives Pakistan as a safe haven to terrorism, Saudi Arabia enjoys the dominance of the rich oil wealth, who stands as the beneficiary of trust deficit in the world? Who is at the receiving end of all these troublesome realities? It won’t take much of a labor to find out the answer. Somewhere to a large extent the peoples psyche has been swayed.

To get things in order all of us will have to strive together; let’s safeguard our society and our rich cultural values of tolerance, hospitality and equanimity. Let’s defy hatred, bigotry and intolerance with all the available resources — let’s shield our next generations from the wrath of intolerance, extremism and barbarianism — let’s protect our beloved motherland — let’s save Pakistan.

Source: ASA’s blog

About the author

Ali Salman

16 Comments

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  • This is an extremely well written article. Shias of Pakistan must pressurize their leaders to save them from ISI-sponsored Shia genocide instead of aligning with ISI’s touts such as Sufi Muhammad, Imran Khan, Sami-ul-Haq.

    However, this article may also be misinterpreted by ISI-friendly people.

    ISI-esque liberals may use this article to generalize entire Shia community of Pakistan as Iranian proxies.

    ASWJ cadre too may use this article to claim that all Shias are Iranian agents.

  • Sajid Naqvi allied with Sami-ul-Haq in the MMA.

    Raja Nasir Abbas and Hasan Zafar Naqvi of MWM supported Imran Khan.

    ISI-stooges alliance!

  • The crisis of leadership in Pakistani Shias is much more grave than their genocide by Sipah-e-Sahaba.

  • There are two lines of thought in Shia scholars in Pakistan Najafis & Qummis named from the city they graduated. Najaf has been centre of Shia scholarship since 1000 years, mowt of Shia students used to go there as there is no higher learning institute in Pakistan. Saddam banned all foreigner students so all students went to Iran. Qum is recent centre since last 150 years. The cities where one stays for a larger period DO influence one’s personality and thinking as they say “westernised” for those who lived and studied in Europe/North America. Najafis are the senior leadership of Shia scholars including Mufti Jaffar, Shahid Hussaini (he studied last few years in Qum when expelled from Najaf) but junior Shia scholars are graduated from Iran. Shia scholars of Iraq (like Ayatullah Sistani and others) never participate in Iraqi politics despite having a large influence so their students get the lesson while it is contrary for Iran as scholars are part of judiciary, parliament & government. My point is it is learnt attitude and thinking of students from respective environments same like one returns from USA/Europe or Saudi Arabia, they are not on the agenda mission. Their thinking should be challenged by saying that now they are in different country rather than name calling…!

  • America, Israel involved in killing innocent
    By: Our Staff Reporter | April 05, 2012

    KARACHI – Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslameen (MWM) on Wednesday termed that the US, Israel and terrorists of banned outfits were involved in conspiracy to destabilise the country by killing innocent people.
    Addressing a demonstration outside Karachi Press Club to condemn the target killings of Shia Muslims across Pakistan including Karachi, Quetta and Gilgit-Baltistan, MWM leaders said that the US and Israel and terrorists toeing their agenda were involved in said genocide.
    A large number of women and children were raising slogans against the US and Israel for murders of Asghar Jafri, Naseem Abbas, Sajid Hussain in Karachi, 11 innocent passengers in Chilas (Gilgit-Baltistan) and another two in Quetta during last 24 hours.
    Maulana Mukhtar Hussain, Ali Ausat, Allama Aftab Haider Jafri, Maulana Imran Naqvi, Muhammad Mehdi and Maulana Ali Anwar of the MWM spoke to the protestors.
    The demonstrators were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans “Down with incompetent government”, “Down with incompetent security agencies”, and “Dismiss SSP Central Captain Asim.” They also burnt the US flags to vent anger at the US involvement in Shia genocide.
    The MWM’s office-bearers demanded the government to arrest and punish the terrorists and ban the renamed banned outfits. They warned that if demands were not met, they would stage sit-in outside the Chief Minister House and the US Consulate.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/05-Apr-2012/america-israel-involved-in-killing-innocent

  • These “hazrats” and Hujjut ul Islam are equally responsible for every Shia who is being murdered. We should call for boycott of these people and make the community aware of these fifth columnists who are shedding false tears on genocide and sitting on the laps of those who are killing us

  • Maula Bux Thadani ‏ @MaulaBuksh
    @alisalmanalvi Did these pro-ISI Shia theocrats win any elections? Important distinction needs to be made – these are ISI-IRI sellouts

  • Compare the post above with this rather apologetic posts on Shia mullas

    Raza Rumi’s discourse on Pakistan’s Shia Muslims

    A few days ago, Raza Rumi (editor of Pak Tea House blog and regular contributor to The Friday Times and Express Tribune) claimed that the notorious military-backed Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a conglomerate of 40 Jihadi-sectarian organizations, also includes Shia representatives in the form of Qazi Niaz Hussain Naqvi of Wafaq-ul-Madaris Shia, and the principal of Jamia al-Muntazir Lahore Hafiz Syed Riaz Hussain Najafi.

    Here is a copy of his tweets:

    We have confirmed with someone close to Qazi Niaz Hussain Sahab, who has categorically rejected the rumor and termed it ludicrous. He further clarified that neither he, nor Hafiz Riaz Hussain Najafi have ever been associated with the infamous DPC (Difa-e-Pakistan Council), and they do not intend to join it ever either. He also said that if need arises, they shall even issue statements rejecting these false allegations. Anyone aware of the ground realities in Pakistan would know that such a public denial of am unsubstantiated rumour might endanger their lives and by calling them out without any substantial basis is both insensitive and irresponsible!

    On what basis has Mr. Rumi made this allegation? Did he seek the clarification from those Shias whom he claims are part of DPC? And what is the point of making these allegations?

    The Shia Muslims of Pakistan are already at the receiving end of the ISI-backed Jihadists who want to commit their genocide along with that of other targeted groups like Ahmadis, Sunni Barelvis, Christian and Hindus.

    If that is not enough, do they have to suffer further from the dishonest discourse of Pakistan’s Jejune liberals who are either unmoved to write about their genocide, or worse, misrepresent it?

    The above observation must not be misconstrued to mean that we are not aware of the fact that a few Iran-financed, ISI-influenced Shia mullahs do not exist. Of course the existence of such fringe element within Shia community must be highlighted and challenged, as has been done in recent posts by LUBP and Pakistan Blogzine. For example:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/75088,
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/74905
    http://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/mwm-must-not-act-as-a-shia-version-of-difa-e-pakistan-council/

    This is unlike Raza Rumi and some other “liberals” who resort to generalizing allegations against Pakistan’s Shia community, and distort fact (e.g. alleged participation of Shia leaders in DPC). Moreover, some of them are seen to misrepresent Shia genocide in Quetta as ‘ethnic violence’ while misrepresenting Shia genocide in other areas of Pakistan as ‘sectarian violence’. http://criticalppp.com/archives/74987

    On a not very unrelated note, while Shias as well as other communities of Pakistan are increasingly concerned about the lack of attention by Pakistan’s civil society and human rights groups to the silent Shia genocide taking place in various areas and provinces of Pakistan, this is how Raza Rumi rationalized the silence of human rights groups:

    With respect, we request Raza Rumi and other “liberals” to carefully review their role in maintaining and contributing to the silence or misrepresentations on State-sponsored Shia genocide in Pakistan. Instead of reminding and encouraging human rights groups to break their silence on Shia genocide, they are in fact encouraging them to do what they are already doing, i.e., remaining silent! http://criticalppp.com/archives/58864

    Sadly we note that Raza Rumi and some other liberals have in the past misrepresented Shia genocide in Pakistan as ‘sectarian violence’ and also published false and obfuscating information on this topic. http://criticalppp.com/archives/74987

    All we can say is that when future historians will write on Shia genocide in Pakistan, certain names in Pakistani media and blogs will always be remembered for the respective role they played in enabling or confronting the genocide. Choice resides with Raza Rumi and others who claim to be a champion of liberal values and human rights. How would they like to be remembered?

  • Dear Kaki,

    It is Halal if we criticize ISI-proxies in Shia mullahs.

    It is Haram if we criticize ISI-proxies in fake liberals.

    Wah, Kaki, Wah

  • I believe everyone relishes freedom of the speech. I have great respect for Raza Rumi. He wrote what he feels and I wrote what I felt. You can disagree with anyone but the element of respect should never go missing. In short we should do away with suspicions. Peace.

  • …….

    Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @MahdiBaloch No they don’t share the stage/agenda now. However, they were part of the first meeting as the letter by M Sami ul Haq states.
    In reply to Mahdi Baloch
    8h Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @MahdiBaloch It is clear by now that in the current set up Shia Mullahs are not there but they were in the initial meeting. That is factual!
    In reply to Mahdi Baloch
    8h Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @MahdiBaloch If you know the Allama, have you not checked with him as to why this letter was circulated? And if it is genuine?
    In reply to Mahdi Baloch
    8h Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @MahdiBaloch No it is a related subject. Same ideology and backing by the estab. Is this a fake letter? http://bit.ly/Hq6eT2 #NizameAdal
    In reply to Mahdi Baloch
    9h Raza Rumi ‏ @Razarumi Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    @MahdiBaloch I am watching Sana Bucha’s Lekin dated Feb 4.So Shia clerics distanced themselves from DPC.Tks for the lead. I have a question.

    …….

    Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Shia view on Nizam Adal, Swat http://www.shiatv.net/view_video.php?viewkey=021478a8c9ebdcd457c6 @Laibaah1 @alisalmanalvi
    In reply to Laibaah
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Laibaah1 I ve serious doubts on at least one of signatures, precisely No. 6 Shaikh Hyder Ali Jawadi @alisalmanalvi
    In reply to Laibaah
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi then please tweet that they r not part of it & remove photos. Aagay aap ki marzi & thanks for engaging, indeed very kind of u.
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi & If u sincerely believe they r to be blamed for that again tweet abt it, I promise I ll RT it & never raise a question but if not
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Shia scholars do blunders as like all of us but atleast in this crime they r not participants
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi If u don’t know the agenda nor ve idea of participants I won’t blame u for that. & see Hindus, chirstians, sikhs thr but not shias
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi I invite u in my home & Malik Ishaq and plan to kill Ahmadis, Can I blame u for attending the meeting? It was @ Hamid gul not sami
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Our discussion was on whether they r sharing stage with killers of Shia in DPC or not? No, they do not
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi I agreed on that with u, in first informal meeting they were invited but when they knew abt the agenda & organisations they refusd
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Till that would u plz clarify that Shia mullahs r not part of current setup of DPC 😉
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi I haven’t his contact details but ll try but wouldn’t be more rational to ask the blogger for the source?
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi But backing the estbl argument is invalid here as DPC list don’t have their names & Shaikh rashid said same thing
    8h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi I have seen this just two days back. I am asking for the source of the document, I am more than 90% sure he is not a signatory
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    9h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Either he has changed his signature, or some one else signed on his behalf or the document is fabricated. I really don’t know
    9h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi I seriously doubt it, I personally know Agha Hyder Jawadi & his signature , a signatory on the document , he is from Hyderabad
    9h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Although different subject but Who can support the butchery? No sane person can, but I don’t know the source of the document
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    9h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi Also thanks for the time and your efforts to verify the facts
    In reply to Raza Rumi
    9h Mahdi Baloch ‏ @MahdiBaloch Reply Favorite · Open
    @Razarumi List of oragnisations on PDC website is also there but any question is welcome