by Ikhtiar Hussain
If you read newspapers or watch TV, the good news is that over thirteen hundred years of sectarianism in the Islamic world have come to a marvelous conclusion. No Shias are being killed anymore. Do not worry about the Ahmadis; they have constitutionally been apostatized, and the very law of the land has ample and explicit provisions to decimate them.
Thus, argue our journalists and analysts, in Quetta it is the Hazaras who are being killed. Now the problem is that it is the Hazaras themselves who are responsible for their own killings. Why? Because of their features. Our journalists and analysts tell us that they are so recognizable on account of their Central Asian features that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi jihadi hit men make no mistake in identifying them correctly. But there is good news here: Yes, it is on account of their facial features that only Hazaras are killed, and no innocent non-Hazara falls to the assassin’s bullets. Another piece of good news that the media has vociferously highlighted is that on a sudden inspiration, the commissioner of Quetta has dug out the hitherto unknown Law of Avoidance of Certain Death: He has demanded that the Hazaras obtain an NOC (No Objection Certificate) before venturing out of their homes. Thus, once they are issued an NOC, they will be given police escort. Given that there are well over half a million Hazaras in Quetta, not more than ten persons can be issued NOCs. Now, the Hazaras do not need to eat, they do not need to go to school, they do not get sick—indeed they have no human needs and desires.
Yes, the Hazaras are Hazaras. The media wants you to understand that they have no religion, no sect, and no identity. The media will not say ‘the Shias of Quetta’. No; but “the Hazaras”. And if they continue to be killed, the democratically elected chief minister of Baluchistan says that he will send a truck loaded with tissue papers so that the orphans, widows, and other mourners can wipe their tears off.
Now let us go to Kurram Agency. The media will not tell us that for over a decade the Shias of Kurram have been facing genocide there at the hands of the state-sponsored Taliban. In Kurram, the media claims that a conflict has been going on between the Toori and the Bangash tribes. A conflict presupposes some measure of equality of strength and mutual ability to inflict damage. The media will not report that the Shias living abroad have to go to Afghanistan in order to meet relations in Kurram. You cannot travel from the normal routes in Pakistan to visit Kurram. On account of the Taliban-enforced blockade, there are no medicines available in Kurram. No human rights missions go there. Day in and day out, the Shias of Kurram lose lives. But the media dubs it vaguely as violence going on between the two tribes. Here there are no Shias in Kurran; there are only Tooris.
Now let us go to Karachi. Here the media reports “target killings” of “MQM workers”. Additionally, when the Sipa-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi fire on Shia processions, the media reports it as “clash between two rival groups”. And in Lahore, some unknown assailants shoot Professor Hassan. Certainly a Shia professor and auithor of over fifty acclaimed books was not killed; he had received no threats from anyone.
Thus no Shias are killed in Pakistan.
Now this is how our ‘azaad’ and ‘nader’ media reports incessant Shia killing in Bahrain: “Government troops open fire on protestor”. No number of the casualties is given. It is never told that those who opened fire are Pakistani mercenaries hired by the Bahraini tyrant. The word “government troops” gives legitimacy and supremacy to the killers and their masters. On the contrary, the “protestors” are implies criminality and anti-sate agitation. The media will not tell you that the Bahraini Shias are over 70 percent of the Bahraini population whose only ‘crime’ is that they want their basic human and natural rights. They want democracy, a system which we claim is what Islam is all about.
When it comes to Saudi Arabia, the holiest of the cows, the ‘azaad’ and ‘nader’ media is at its best: It just blacks out what has been happening to the Shias of Saudi Arabia for decades. No report is given of the Shia girl who was raped a couple of years ago by nineteen men, but the Salafi judge held her responsible because had she been a good Muslim, she would not have left her home in the first place. “Good Muslim”? She is not a Muslim at all according to Salafi-Deobandi characterization of the Shias. No mention is made that Saudi Arabia sent its troops to Bahrain to kill the Shias indiscriminately. No mention is made of how our Saudi benefactors have been pumping in hundreds of millions of dollars to Deobandi terrorists who kill the Shias.
Conclusion: The Pakistani media has perfectly proved through its reporting that no Shias are being killed anywhere in the world.
(Ikhtiar Hussain is a human rights activist who lives in Bronx in New York. He can be contacted at: email@example.com)