Original Articles

Wall of silence on anti-Shia violence in Pakistan – by Abbas Nasir

Source: Adapted and edited from Dawn

WE have made this Islamic Republic such a heaven on earth that we struggle to find words, often fight over these, to describe what its proud sons are capable of.

Just two days ago, someone asked on Twitter why our Fourth Estate calls bloody attacks on the Shia-Hazaras in Quetta ‘sectarian violence’. “Isn’t it Shia genocide?” I dived into various dictionaries but couldn’t come up with a definitive answer.

Butchery, slaughter, carnage, mass murder and of course genocide have been variously used to describe such bloodlust as is being evidenced in (not just) the Balochistan capital. Your vocabulary is as good as mine.

But will finding the correct word, using the most appropriate, accurate terminology alter the bloody ground reality or render it any clearer? Not really. Then, aren’t there even more significant questions to be asked?

Such as what drives our propensity to hate so much that even a name arouses the vilest of passions. How vile? Well, vile enough for us to kill. Didn’t you hear the ‘motive’ for the killing of a KESC official in Karachi, was said to be his Shia-sounding name though in fact he wasn’t.

How did we get here? Don’t you wish you knew? All we can see is when a state thinks nothing of using an indoctrinated non-state cast for its ‘strategic objectives’ it is but a small step for some of these villainous actors to start pursuing their own ideological agenda, no matter how toxic.

And what do we do? We prioritise. In Balochistan, our first priority is to tackle those who are ‘threatening the integrity of the state at the behest of their foreign masters’. These ‘misguided’ militants can be dealt with later if at all, even brought back on the rails as they are patriotic.

We are defending the country against external threats. All else must be secondary. One day the citadel of Islam will become that for certain. What’s the worry if for now it resembles no more than a slaughterhouse soaked in the blood of its innocent sons and daughters?

When you see the daily relentless slaughter of the Shia-Hazaras in Quetta (frankly, it’s pointless to keep count when you know it’ll need to be updated every 24 hours if not sooner) and similar hatred at work elsewhere from Chilas to Karachi, what do you do?

Well, many Shia-Hazaras say the electronic media, in particular, prefers to shut its eyes or just look away rather than acknowledge the horror. Perhaps they are right. Religious fanaticism that drives people to mass murder isn’t half as sexy as politicians tearing each other limb from limb on live telly.

Everyone is stepping over each other to please the latest centre of power in the country, the esteemed black-robed judges. The military and its intelligence apparatus continue to sell with, dare I say, consummate ease its national security threat perspective to journalists.

It may itself be under siege but even a government that has failed at almost everything except delivering on a hearty legislative agenda still has enough ideological support or the means to buy a voice or two that counts in its favour.

But who’ll march for the Shia-Hazaras, they ask. They have little hope in a decadent government whose chief executive is either so disinterested or feels so powerless that his detractors now count the number of days he is able to spend in the province he represents each month.

He prefers the handlebars of his Harley Davidson to ride around the federal capital and entertain himself rather than demonstrate the steel required to steer his troubled, torn province to safety as he was elected to do. Sincere apologies if such reports are mere propaganda.

What isn’t propaganda is that (given the size of the community) a disproportionately large number of Shia-Hazaras have been killed in and around Quetta. This happened not as they planned or executed acts of aggression against anyone. Their crime: being easily identifiable as Shia-Hazaras.

You haven’t heard many Hazara voices, have you?

While there are several in Pakistani media and social media who want to misrepresent Shia genocide in ethnic (Hazara vs Baloch/Pashtun) or sectarian (Sunni vs Shia) terms, the following Shia Hazara activists on Twitter provide credible news and views from Quetta and wider Balochistan:

@AliAMuntaziri @Darveshh @AnwarChangezi @WorldShiaForum @karbalaequetta

It’s interesting to note that in his recent statement, Imran Khan condemned violence against Hazara community and did not once refer to their Shia identity and the larger Shia genocide taking places at the hands of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (aka Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan or Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat). May I ask: Is LeJ an ethnic group?

Perhaps Imran Khan may wish to refer to this recent statement by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) which clearly acknowledges that Shias including Shia Hazaras are being killed due to their religious belief (Shia sect). The HRCP statement also points towards the alleges complicity between LeJ-ASWJ and security agencies.

Last but not the least, both Hazara and non-Hazara Shias are being killed by LeJ-ASWJ militants in Quetta. As noted by Anwar Changezi (Shia Hazara activist on Twitter):

Over 150 non-Hazara Shias have been killed in Quetta. The 5 people killed earlier in the month were not Hazara. Shias are being killed. According to population ratio, more non-Hazara Shias have been killed. 500+ Hazaras out of 500,000. But 150+ non-Hazara of few thousand. Identity and motive both are important. Even if Hazaras are being killed, the reason is their faith. Sunni Hazaras also live in Quetta, never targeted. We shouldn’t fall prey to false narratives of a few with certain political agenda. Out of 700 people, 1 HDP leader was killed for reason other than ‘religion’. He went against his masters in ISI on 1 issue & was killed. No HDP people so-called nationalists have been killed in Quetta. In Quetta only Shias are being killed. All religious people. I challenge anyone to investigate this and slap it on face of HDP & its supporters who want to misrepresent Shia genocide. While we remember Shia Hazaras killed by LeJ-ASWJ and their mentors, it is equally important to pay respect to non-Hazara Shias killed in Quetta. Here’s an incomplete list: https://lubpak.net/archives/64797

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  • Thank you, Mr. Abbas, and thank you, LUBP for the extra bit. Very informative.

    Thank you again.

  • Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    Of all our tragedies the Shia-Hazara’s must be the most heart-wrenching: My Dawn column: http://dawn.com/2012/06/30/blo … via @dawn_com

    ejaz haider ‏@ejazhaider
    @marvisirmed here’s my proposed resolution: they are LUBP shia! @madeehasyed @abbasnasir59

    4h madeeha syed ‏@madeehasyed
    @ejazhaider LOL! @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59

    4h Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @madeehasyed I’d rather not trivialise a traegedy.Let the well-meaning yet self-righteous youths say what they want @ejazhaider @marvisirmed

    4h ejaz haider ‏@ejazhaider
    @abbasnasir59 no one is trivialising trag; yet, no, self-righteousness IS the prob resulting in such tragedies @madeehasyed @marvisirmed

    Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @ejazhaider Pak State’s toxic national security policy is the biggest cause of the mayhem in my humble opinion

    Kamran Shafi ‏@KamranShafi46
    @abbasnasir59 @ejazhaider @madeehasyed @marvisirmed Toxic, dishonest, and completely mindless policies of the Deep State @mazdaki

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    If you call them Hazara, you’re ISI stooge ‪#LUBPLogic‬ MT @abbasnasir59: Shia-Hazara’s must be the most heart-wrenching http://dawn.com/2012/06/30/blo

    4h Ali Taj ‏@AliAbbasTaj
    @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59 condemn ‪#LUBP‬ for getting after you. But they raise a god point. Why are Hazaras killed? because they ID ez shia

    4h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @AliAbbasTaj Yes agreed. But are you telling me that their being Hazara is simply not responsible for making them a target? @abbasnasir59

    4h Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @marvisirmed No @AliAbbasTaj

    Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @marvisirmed In the 90s, early 2000s they killed 84 Shia doctors in Karachi alone. They weren’t Hazara. Ask me some day why I left the best

    4h Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @marvisirmed their being Hazara is also coincidental as it makes them easily identifiable. Chilas bus victims weren’t Hazara @AliAbbasTaj

    Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    I have a feeling all of us, regardless of terminolgy, are outraged over not just Quetta mass murder but targeting people coz of faith etc

    Ali Dayan Hasan ‏@AliDayan
    To all those obsessed with whether ‪#Hazaras‬ are being killed because they are Shia or Hazara: HAZARAS are being killed period.

    Ali Arqam ‏@aliarqam
    I feel sorry for my friends, whom I have defended on many occassion, thought they were right, how they failed to realise situation on ground

    3h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @aliarqam me? :(((

    3h Ali Arqam ‏@aliarqam
    @marvisirmed I thought some people in ‘Bughz-e-Muawia” are unnecessarily making a simple issue v complex, haven’t they read ‪#HRCP‬ statement

    3h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @aliarqam oh. But they call even HRCP an organization playing to galleries! I’m curious to know, who in their dictionary is a true liberal?

    3h Ali Arqam ‏@aliarqam
    @marvisirmed Today, I have found them commending ‪#HRCP‬ for their statement on ‪#ShiaKillings‬ they have called it an achievement

  • Haider Changezi ‏@Aushpaz
    @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59 @Razarumi LeJ letter in B’stan addressed ‘Shias &Shia Hazaras’-If it was only sect then just Shia wudve sufficed
    Retweeted by Marvi Sirmed

    Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
    @Aushpaz No doubt about it. Hazaras are targetted both for their Shia faith and their ethnicity as was said by @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59
    Retweeted by Marvi Sirmed

    Syed Munawar Hasan ‏@SMunawarHasan
    I strongly condemn the killings of innocent hazara brothers in Balochistan. We should unite to stop these killings

    4h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @abbasnasir59 Targetting Hazara serves their strategic purpose as well, in addition to the divine one! @Darveshh @AliAbbasTaj

    Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    If you call them Hazara, you’re ISI stooge ‪#LUBPLogic‬ MT @abbasnasir59: Shia-Hazara’s must be the most heart-wrenching http://dawn.com/2012/06/30/blo

    5h madeeha syed ‏@madeehasyed
    @marvisirmed what are they then? @abbasnasir59

    5h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @madeehasyed lubp thinks there’s nothing significant abt their being Hazara. They’re simple plain shias. Disagree? you’re ISI @abbasnasir59

    5h ejaz haider ‏@ejazhaider
    @marvisirmed here’s my proposed resolution: they are LUBP shia! @madeehasyed @abbasnasir59

    ejaz haider ‏@ejazhaider
    @madeehasyed maddy, try to understand. the issue is not about rationality, it’s about LUBP-ity @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59

    5h Marvi Sirmed ‏@marvisirmed
    @ejazhaider hahahahahaha @madeehasyed @abbasnasir59

    madeeha syed ‏@madeehasyed
    @ejazhaider LOL! @marvisirmed @abbasnasir59

    Abbas Nasir ‏@abbasnasir59
    @madeehasyed I’d rather not trivialise a traegedy.Let the well-meaning yet self-righteous youths say what they want @ejazhaider @marvisirmed

    ‪#LUBP‬ & ‪#NishaPuri‬ articles are taken from anti ‪#Pakistan‬ & ‪#Islamophobic‬ Journos from US!

  • Not unlike Hamid Mir, Ejaz Haider and Marvi Sirmed, Imran Khan too wants to paint it as a Hazara ethnic issue:

    Hazara community being targeted in Quetta attack: Imran
    By: Online | June 29, 2012, 9:25 pm

    Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Friday termed the barbaric incident of Quetta is part of the systematic wave of violent attacks against the Hazara community. He strongly condemned attack on a Quetta bound bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Iran, which led to loss of 13 innocent lives. Terming the attack barbaric, Imran Khan said that the incident is part of the systematic wave of violent attacks against the Hazara community. Atleast 60 people belonging to the Hazara community have been brutally killed during the past six months. Imran Khan stated that there could be serious repercussions if the dangerous trend of increasing frequency and intensity of violent attacks against the Hazara Community is not reversed. The security situation of Balochistan is extremely uncertain and continued attacks against a particular community can push the province into a state of complete chaos. Constant failure to ensure security of the Hazara community despite loss of so many innocent lives is criminal negligence on part of the government. The situation demands the government to undertake emergency measures to stop violent attacks against the community, he added. Imran Khan demanded stern action against the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has openly claimed responsibility of this barbaric attack. The PTI Chairman expressed complete solidarity with the Hazara community and conveyed deepest condolences to the bereaved families.


    Shame on Taliban Khan and his backhanded condemnation!

  • Those who want to paint Shia massacres as an ethnic issue must also tell us which ethnic group is killing Hazaras?

    Is LeJ an ethnic party?

    ISI wants to ignite a fight between Hazaras and Balochs/Pashtuns.

  • Shias are being killed. HDP gains political strength.

    Abdul Khaliq Hazara and General Kayani are smiling.

  • Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @MeeraGhani Acc to population ratio, more nonHazara Shias have been killed in Quetta. Numbers can be deceptive at times @Darveshh @khudiali

    29m Meera Ghani ‏@MeeraGhani
    @AnwarChangezi @Darveshh @khudiali do you have the numbers for that. Because I’ve read the opposite.

    25m Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @MeeraGhani 500/500,000 and 150/20,000 gives you the answer. Of the 700 people killed, 500+ are Hazara, their population is 500,000. At the same time over 150 people killed were non-Hazara Shias. Their maximum population would be 20k.

    Atif S Ahmad ‏@atifahmads
    All those trying to give ‪#ShiaGenocide‬ an ethnic color i.e ‪#HazraGenocide‬ should right away join PTI and volunteer for JuD-ASWJ-JI-MTKN-ISI

    34m Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @atifahmads They are already serving ISI which is a master to fake liberals, Hazara nationalists as well as PTI-LeJ-DPC-ASWJ.

    Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @MeeraGhani We cannot isolate it from the pogrom of Shias elsewhere in Pakistan. It is all connected. LeJ is doing it. @Darveshh @khudiali

    37m Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @MeeraGhani Even in Afghanistan they were declared apostates for being Shia. They have been killed for religion not ethnicity @Darveshh

    Ali Muntaziri ‏@AliAMuntaziri
    Thousands of Shias took 2 streets in support of their Shia brethren of ‪#Quetta‬.How many’d have come on ‘ethnic’ basis? https://t.co/i1StLype

  • Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    Special ‪#FF‬ for @abbasnasir59 for, what I said in the morning, a powerful article on the plight of ‪#Shias‬

    1h Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Darveshh Yes despite the fact that @abbasnasir59 thinks Saleem Javed is a legitimate SHIA voice, who actually serves ISI’s Khaliq Hazara

    57m Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    @AnwarChangezi @abbasnasir59 Anwar lalai, sir knows what Shias have gone through all over Pakistan. Review his TL for today

    55m Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Darveshh I know. I liked his article DESPITE the fact that he doesn’t know who Saleem Javed is actually serving. @abbasnasir59

    Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Darveshh Saleem Javed also misrepresents Shia killings as Hazara killings. All he does is please a few fake liberals. @abbasnasir59

    Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    For being a hit on Twitter, have ‘bio’, flaunt it loudly. Then question people who use pen-names. That’s cool.

    1h Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Darveshh & cling on to the tails of a few insecure fake liberals, clean their intellectual potty & grow on their leftover like Saleem Javed

    Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    From Gilgit-Baltista to Karachi, from Kurram Agency to Quetta, and from Lahore to D. I. Khan, people get targeted for being ‪#Shia‬.

    1h irfan ‏@khudiali
    @Darveshh being ‪#Shia‬ is a sin and profane ‪#Pakistani‬ Agencies promoted and protected this agenda of ‪#Shia‬ ‪#genocide‬

    1h Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    @khudiali No. It’s not being Shia. You must listen to the people who say it’s ‘ethnic’ killing.

    1h Anwar Changezi ‏@AnwarChangezi
    @Darveshh Yes, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a racist organization that doesn’t like our small noses. And pigs can fly. @khudiali

  • Today, Imran Khan, Hamid Mir, Ejaz Haider, Marvi Sirmed and Munawar Hasan are united in condemning #HazaraGenocide. Hiding #ShiaGenocide.