Previously we have highlighted how Pakistan army is enabling further Shia massacres in Pakistanby tacitly supporting the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, an alliance of vehemently anti-Shia, anti-Barelvi, anti-Ahmadi organizations. Two main components of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council are Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (new name: Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat) which is banned in Pakistan, and Jamat-ud-Dawa (previous name: Lashkar-e-Taiba) which is banned internationally.
We have also documentedhow Pakistan army-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian groups have been carrying out target killing of Shia Muslims, Barelvis, Ahmadis, Christians and other groups in the last several years. In particular, we have been highlighting how ISI-sponsored Haqqani Taliban, aided by SSP-ASWJ terrorists, have been persecuting and killing Shia Muslims in Parachinar.
Only last month, on 14 January 2012, an SSP-ASWJ terrorist attacked Shia Muslims in Khanpur (Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab) killing at least 34 Shias.
Yesterday (16 Feb 2012), Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Islamabad on an official visit to Pakistan.
Pakistan army backed Haqqani Taliban (who are visibly active in Kurram Agency, and have close links with Punjabi-dominated Sipah-e-Sahaba-ASWJ) took the opportunity to send a befitting gift to Iranian President.
According to Shia sources, as long as indigenous Toori-Bangash volunteers were maintaining check posts around Parachinar city (to keep the area secure from Taliban-SSP-AWSJ attackers), the city was safe. Only recently paramilitary Frontier Corps replaced the Toori-Bangash volunteers, allowing suicide bombers to discreetly creep in the Parachinar city, thus enabling today’s attack. (Source)
“It was a suicide attack,” a senior Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Seven shops were also destroyed as a result of the blast. The injured were shifted to the Agency Headquarters hospital.
According to Newsweek Pakistan, a Taliban commander Fazal Saeed Haqqani (a member of ISI-supported Haqqani Taliban Network) has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred near a mosque in Parachinar as the main Friday prayers were taking place. “A few days ago, a person belonging to the Turi tribe was caught placing a bomb near a petrol station belonging to Haqqani,” a spokesman told Newsweek Pakistan. “We have carried out this bombing as revenge.”
According to daily Dawn: Fazal Saeed, leader of a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the latest attack in Kurram, near the Afghan border. “We have targeted the Shia community of Parachinar because they were involved in activities against us,” he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. Saeed was part of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) but broke away last year after disputes with the umbrella militant group’s leadership. He is said to have close ties with the Haqqani militant group, one of the most feared factions of the Afghan Taliban.
Fazal Saeed Haqqani-led Tehreek-e-Taliban Islami (TTI) – a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – has claimed responsibility of the attack. Saeed Haqqani is said to have close ties with the Haqqani militant group, one of the most feared factions of the Afghan Taliban. Saeed Haqqani had reportedly issued a statement soon after the accord – inked in October 2011 – in which he made claims that no peace could be established in Kurram Agency against his will and “it is only possible when TTI wishes for it”. There are also reports that he had refused to give any guarantee for the implementation of the accord and to follow the decisions made by the two factions.
Hailing from Bagan area of Kurram Agency, Saeed Haqqani is known to be the first cousin of Munir Orakzai, parliamentary leader of FATA. He has been involved in abduction of more than 40 Turi Bangash tribesmen. A dozen of those kidnapped were killed. Reportedly, TTP, TTI and the Afghan Taliban movement fighting Western forces in Afghanistan are deep-rooted in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. All have allegedly been involved in anti-Shia activities for years. They continue to have strongholds in the region despite a series of military operations in the last few years. Pakistani forces have been conducting operations against militant groups in Kurram Agency since the beginning of this year, in which dozens were killed in fierce fighting. However, Saeed Haqqani’s group is said to remain safe during the military operation, especially during the ‘Operation Koh-e-Sufaid’ following some unofficial accords. This indicates that absence of any operation against him has made him a sole powerful player in the area. Saeed Haqqani started his militant activities with the help of between 300 and 400 militiamen a few years ago.
According to BBC Urdu, death toll in Parachinar today includes those Shia Muslims who were killed by straight firing by the security forces when they were protesting against the suicide attack. At least one Shia protester was killed under a military tank!
A single attack was not enough. After the attack, security forces fired on crowd protesting the attack, killing three people. (Source: Telegraph).
According to Shia sources, at least 8 Shia Muslims were killed by straight firing by security forces (Frontier Corps), at least one person was cut into pieces when he was run over by an army tank. There is currently a military curfew in Parachinar; Pakistan army is treating peaceful, innocent residents of Parachinar with violence and firing; all communication lines (telephone, mobile etc) have been disconnected by the military thus isolating Parachinar from the rest of Pakistan. In essence, Parachinar has been converted into a mini Gaza of Pakistan; Frontier Corps is using all violent tactics against innocent Shia Muslims of Parachinar that Pakistan army has been using for last at least five years against innocent Baloch civilians in Balochistan.
We condemn the following:
Those who carried out the attack on Shia Muslims in Parachinar (the footsoldiers of the Haqqani Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ))
Those who provided the logistical support (Pakistan army, ISI)
Those who provided the financial support (Saudi Arabia, other Arab countries in the Gulf region)
Those who enabled Shia genocide by supporting the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (Imran Khan, Ijazul Haq, Sheikh Rasheed, Hamid Gul etc)
Those progressive authors and columnists who (except a token Tweet or once a year column) are silent on Shia genocide in Pakistan (e.g., Nusrat Javed, Raza Rumi, Nadeem Paracha, Fasi Zaka, Nasim Zehra, Mosharraf Zaidi, Talat Hussain, Irfan Hussain, Omar Qureshi, Ayesha Siddiqa, Beena Sarwar, Tammy Haq, Feisal Naqvi, Ejaz Haider etc)
Those media persons and analysts who are misrepresenting target killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan as routine Suni-Shia sectarianism, thus indulging in false neutrality. The SSP-LeJ-ASWJ-Taliban killers do NOT represent Sunnis, they only represent their backers and mentors in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan army.
Those human rights groups and champions who are consistently silent on Shia killing in Pakistan, particularly Zohara Yusuf of HRCP and Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International.
List of some of the Shia Muslims killed in Parachinar on 17 Feb 2012