Comparing Imran Khan’s and President Zardari’s statements on Shia massacre at Babusar Pass

Have President Zardari and Chairman Bilawal ever visited Shia Muslims to offer condolences and sympathies?

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has on Thursday (16 August 2012) strongly condemned the tragic killing of Shia Muslims at Babusar Pass. PTI Chairman Imran Khan said this is a matter of great concern and the people of this region (Gilgit Baltistan) have been attacked and killed systematically on sectarian pretext.

“This brutal and callous act of terrorism targeted the Shia community, killing numerous people and injuring many. This is not the first time such an attack has taken place. It reflects the total deterioration of law and order in the region,” he added. He expressed deep sorrow to the bereaved families, offered his condolences and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. He urged all affected communities to remain calm and peaceful. “We strongly condemn all acts of sectarian violence and will take progressive steps to eliminate it,” he added.

The PTI chairman warned the government of its inefficient governance, which is resulting in these sectarian killings. He said the PTI will ensure that law and order is restored in the country and special attention is paid to creating ethnic and sectarian harmony. (Source: Business Recorder)

Have you ever seen PML-N or PPP workers protesting against Shia genocide?

We note that in the past Imran Khan has issued clear condemnation of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists (currently operating as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) holding them responsible for target killing of Shia Muslims.

On 20 April 2012, Imran Khan visited Shia Muslims of Quetta to offer his condolences and sympathies to the target killed community.

On 20 August 2012, Imran Khan condemned Shia genocide at Babusar Pass in his interview with Mubasher Lucman (ARY News):

We take this opportunity to remind the PTI leadership that Shia genocide in Quetta is not Hazara specific ethnic issue. Here are two important posts on this topic:

List of non-Hazara Shia Muslims killed by ASWJ-Taliban in Balochistan – by Marya Mushtaq

Fortunately, the Sunni Hazara brothers are safe in Quetta – by Mehdi Changezi

The recent attack (16 August 2012) on Shia Muslism has been proudly claimed by TTP terrorists. These criminals, enemies of Pakistan, do not represent Sunni Muslims. Imran Khan must not insist on dialogue with these animals.

The Darra Adam Khel faction of the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the Shiites, Reuters reported. “We have targeted them because they are enemies of Sunnis and conspire against us,” Mohammed Afridi, a spokesman for the faction, was reported as saying in a telephone interview. “We will continue such attacks in the future.”

On the same day (16 Aug 2012), 3 Shia Muslims were massacred in Quetta. From Pakistan’s North to South, Shia genocide is taking place. The government, army and judiciary seem to be either complicit or ineffective.

Other world leaders and rights groups including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Executive Director of HRW Kenneth Roth have condemned Shia massacre in Pakistan.

Kenneth Roth ‏@KenRoth
Awful growing plague of deadly attacks on Shia Muslims in #Pakistan northwest.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon was “appalled” by the sectarian killing of 20 Shias who were dragged off a bus in Pakistan on Thursday, his spokesman said. “The secretary general expresses his outrage over such deliberate attacks on people due to their religious beliefs in Pakistan,” said a statement released by UN spokesman Martin Nesirky which strongly condemned the attack. Gunmen dragged the Shiite travellers off a bus in the northwestern district of Mansehra and killed them at point blank range, officials said. It was the third attack of its kind in six months.

With folded hands, Zardari and Bilawal have agreed to sacrifice thousands of Shia Muslims to retain their government in Islamabad.

We appreciate Imran Khan’s relatively clear condemnation of the massacre of Shia Muslims in Naran which is much better than obfuscations and meaningless remarks by President Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and others responsible for the security of innocent Shias, Sunni Barelvis and other persecuted communities.

According to Pakistan Today:

President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday took strict notice of attack on passengers in Babusar and demanded inquiry report from the concerned authorities.
As per the presidential spokesperson¸ President Zardari expressed his grave concern over killing of 25 innocents who were traveling to their hometowns to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.
The president condemned the cowardly attack by the terrorists on the passengers and added that the nation will stand together to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari also condemned terrorist attack on Kamra Air Base and he will return this week after concluding his visit of Saudi Arabia.
Kamra Air Base attack occurred on the night between Wednesday and Thursday.
The president, who was on his visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OCI), shortened his visit after the attack on Kamra Air Base.

Did you notice how President Zardari wiped out the identity of Shia Muslims, Pakistan’s most target killed faith group? More than 19,000 Shia Muslims have been killed by ASWJ-LeJ-Taliban terrorists in the last few decades which may be easily described as a slow motion genocide. Here we haver a President who writes letters to a foreign country expressing his concern over Rohingya Muslims but refuses to acknowledge identity and suffering of Shia Muslims!

There are some people who say that we should mourn all humans and not mention anyone’s faith or sect. Many of such hypocrites who refuse to condemn Shia genocide in clear terms then go on to condemn murder and persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma etc. Clear identification of faith identity of a persecuted group, particularly when faith identity is the single major or only reason of their murder, is not only preferable but also a moral and political duty. We cannot hide Jewish Holocaust by saying all humans are equal. It is important to clearly acknowledge and condemn the fact that Jews were killed due to their faith. Case of Shia genocide (19,000 have been killed so far) in Pakistan is not much different.

Contrast Imran Khan’s statement with Rehman Malik’s only comment on Twitter so far in the aftermath of the massacre of 25 Shias in Naran and 3 in Quetta yesterday:

Rehman Malik ‏@SenRehmanMalik
I briefed the press lastweek that nation/innocent ppl may experience many terrorists attacks to destabilize Pakistan/Govt inthe nearfuture..

With this, Senator Malik absolved himself of any responsibility to protect Shia Muslims and other persecuted communities. Does anyone remember Malik’s callous statement on Sindhi Hindu community’s migration to India?

Despite great effort we could not locate any statement by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Shia massacres in Naran and Quetta. Is he really a Chairman of the party of the peoples? Is he not accountable to his own voters and party workers, many of whom happen to be Shia Muslims?

In the end, we encourage Imran Khan and PTI to take more clear and bold stance on Shia genocide. We also suggest that instead of blaming Sunnis for Shia genocide, PTI leaders should pinpoint the real culprits, i.e,., TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) and ASWJ-LeJ terrorists. Clearly TTP, LeJ don’t represent the majority of peaceful Sunni Muslims. Hence incidents of target killing of Shia Muslims must not be described as sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias.

Exclusive video of victims of Shia massacre at Babusar Pass

Video of Quetta massacre

Pictures of 3 of the 25 Shias (Nisar and Qari Hanif) killed near Babusar Top on 16 Aug 2012

Imran Khan condemning Shia Genocide in Chichawatni Jalsa April 13, 2012

62 responses to “Comparing Imran Khan’s and President Zardari’s statements on Shia massacre at Babusar Pass”

  1. Zardari and Rehman Malik have blood of innocent Shias, Balochs, Ahmadis on their hands.

    Bilawal is only a kid who narrates whatever is dictated to him by Aunt Sherry. Aunt Sherry cares less about Shias.

  2. Darra TTP sets up wing to carry out suicide attacks

    Yasir Shah
    Friday, August 17, 2012

    KOHAT: The Darra Adamkhel chapter of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Thursday announced setting of its new “Fidai” wing “Al-Mansooreen” for carrying out suicide attacks all over the country.

    Mohammad, the spokesman of the TTP Darra Adamkhel, phoned reporters in Kohat from an undisclosed place to announce that “Al-Mansooreen” had already despatched its commandoes to different parts of Pakistan for undertaking their mission. He said all members of the group were commandoes trained to carry out suicide attacks. He added that Commander Tariq Mansoor himself would head the “Al-Mansooreen” wing.

    The Darra Adamkhel chapter of TTP has the reputation of being one of the most dangerous in the organisation. It had kidnapped a number of people, including a Polish engineer from Attock, and killed them. It has also been blamed for kidnappings for ransom.

  3. To author of this article. You included every one’s response but not the reaction of the actual people of Gilgit Baltistan who were killed yesterday.

    Here’s a press release by one of G-B rights groups:

    Shia genocide continues in Pakistan: 25 more gunned down in occupied Gilgit

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Press Release

    August 16, 2012

    25 Shias of Gilgit Baltistan pulled down from 4 vehicles and gunned down by militants near Abottabad

    Gilgit Baltistan National Congress condemns the mass Shia killing incident which took place on Thursday August 16. The assailants wearing military uniforms gunned down the passengers at point blank range after identifying the Shias from their documents. There are conflicting reports of incident taking place near Mansehra or Babusar top on the way to Chilas. It is also not clear whether the buses were heading towards Gilgit, Astore or Skardo.

    It is also stated as claimed by Dr. Sajjad Ali Astori, that the incident took place at about 7 am when three buses, heading from Islamabad to Astore, and a van heading to Gilgit, were attacked by about 30-40 assailants wearing military commondo uniforms. After the ambush, the assailants then allowed Sunni passengers to leave towards Astore and left the scene without resistance. Out of 25 dead, 13 were from Astore. Some of the names that have come on social media networks are Qari Mohammad Hanif, Ghulam Nabi, Musharaf, Yaqoob, Dr.Nisar, Dolat Ali, Ishiytaq, Sajid, M. Mazhar, Jalauddin, M. Mustafa and Ijlal. Many injured are in serious condition and number of deaths could increase. According to reports, two dead bodies have been sent to Skardo while four have been taken to Dinyor and Bagrote valleys.

    Political parties of Gilgit Baltistan including GBDA, BNF, GBUM, KNM and PYF have condemned the incident and accused Pakistani intelligence services of providing patronage to the anti-Shia militants. It is feared that Shia killings will continue until the strategic region of Gilgit Baltistan has a Shia majority population. The region connects Pakistan with China and Central Asia and intelligence agencies see Shia majority as a threat to their control over this strategic corridor.

    Similar attacks by pro-Pak militants on Shia majority populations in the strategic valley of Parachinar have forced tens of thousands of Shias to abandon their homes, now converting Parachinar into a Sunni region. Parachinar provides direct access to Pakistani troops to Ghazni, Gardez and central Afghanistan. It is feared that similar strategies are being implemented in Quetta, which beighbors Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan, and where Hazaras make up almost one-third of capital’s population. After the incident near Babusar, three Shias were gunned down in Quetta on August 16, 2012.

    Pakistan’s anti minority policy compells GBNC and other organizations to demand that the state department should grant a CPC status to Pakistan and impose restrictions on activities of Pakistani secret service agencies and their militant allies.

    At the same time, United Nations and USA are requested to pressure Pakistan to open travel and trade routes towards Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Indian Ladakh so that Shias are not forced to travel on the roads that have become killing fields and virtually controlled by ISI-led militants like Lashkar Toaiba, Lashkar Jhangvi and Sipah Sihaba.

    Senge Sering
    Institute for Gilgit Baltistan Studies
    Washington DC, DC

  4. @Kashif Jafri

    The source (Business Recorder) is cited in the post. I wish they also cited Senge Sering’s statement.

  5. Dear.
    Asif zadari and current govt, Pak Army mean all are tottaly failed to stop the Genocide to Shia Muslims in Pakistan. Now I can say without any hesitatation that Pakistan is a fail State..

  6. Dear.
    Asif zadari and current govt, Pak Army are tottaly failed to stop the Genocide to Shia Muslims in Pakistan. Now I can say without any hesitatation that Pakistan is a fail State.. Pakistan is a Taliban state now. Pakistan is a paradise for terrorist groups. We request to UNO to keep here peace force they will give protection to shia Muslim. Pakistan govt agencies leads and support terrorism in Pakistan.


    Chairman Imran Khan on sectarian violence in Babusar Pass, Gilgit-Baltistan

    LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Imran Khan strongly condemns the tragic incidence of sectarian violence at Babusar Pass. This is a matter of great concern and the people of this region have been attacked and killed systematically on ethnic and sectarian pretext. Chairman PTI said that this brutal and callous act of terrorism targeted the Shia community, killing numerous people and injuring many. This is not the first time such an attack has taken place. It reflects the total deterioration of law and order in the region. Chairman PTI expressed deep sorrow to the bereaved families, offered his condolences and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. The Chairman has urged all affected communities to remain calm and peaceful. Chairman Imran Khan said that we strongly condemn all acts of sectarian violence and will take progressive steps to eliminate it.

    Chairman PTI has warned the government of its inefficient governance which is resulting in these sectarian killings. PTI will ensure that law and order is restored in the country and special attention is paid to creating ethnic and sectarian harmony.

    Shafqat Mahmood
    Central Information Secretary
    Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf

  8. Khufia agenda of LUBP?

    shafqat aziz ‏@shafqat_aziz
    @AbdulNishapuri so LUBP, another Tsunami apologist now\?

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
    @shafqat_aziz We evaluate political leaders’ statements and actions on merit. No one is spared.

    shafqat aziz ‏@shafqat_aziz
    @AbdulNishapuri I regard ur freedom of expression but let me say that IK item is clearly a Uturn and certainly carries some “Khufia agenda”

    Other reactions:

    Ali Hazara ‏@Hazarapatriot
    “@RiazToori: Can you please ask Mr. Zardari – Why PPP govt is not willing to curb these terrorist groups. Shia#Hazara #Genocide

    Ammar Yasir [RONIN] ‏@ammaryasir
    @shirazhassan Zardari’s 4 yrs old Presidency has lil or no relation with decades long shia killings in PK.

    Vela Shaks ‏@vela_shaks
    @alisalmanalvi Zardari being dishonest at Kaba as well. Remeber you are a imbecile.

    Webable ‏@Webable1
    Ruling party #PPP is dominated with shias Are you saying these shias are so inept that they fail to protect their brothern? @AbdulNishapuri

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
    @Webable1 India’s President used to be a Muslim. What proves if Zardari is a Shia or otherwise?

    Hibah M.Rafiq ‏@HibahAqsa
    Let me get this straight. Zardari, the President is Shi’a himself yet there has not been any firm action taken towards #ShiaGenocide? Sad.

    Ammar Yasir [RONIN] ‏@ammaryasir
    An old man saves his life by reciting Quranic verses, while killers check his body for marks of matam ( ) #ShiaGenocide

    Dawn Media Group ‏@dawn_com
    HAVE YOUR SAY: Why has the Pakistani government failed to curb sectarian attacks against Shia Muslims?

    Yousuf Nazar ‏@YousufNazar
    @dawn_com Becoz President Zardari doesn’t give a shit. NRO,Contempt fights more important than blood of Shia Muslims & other innocent people

    Ammar Yasir [RONIN] ‏@ammaryasir
    Often Zardaris sect is use as a justification for ongoing shia genocide in PK. Like it has become Halaal for some odd reason!

    Ammar Yasir [RONIN] ‏@ammaryasir
    What’s more frightening, is living under a rule which theoretically oppose these militants but practically doesn’t stop them.

    Ammar Yasir [RONIN] ‏@ammaryasir
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends – Martin Luther King

  9. فیصل آباد: شیعہ بھائیوں کےساتھ ہونے والے ظلم کی مذمت کرتا ہوں،یہ حکومت کی مکمل ناکامی ہے،عمران خان

  10. Zainab Binte Ali ‏@ZainabBinte_Ali
    @AbdulNishapuri we will remember the silence of our friends.#shameonPPP

    PTI ‏@PTIofficial
    #PTI announces support of 3 day mourning for victims of Babusar violence #Shia #ShiaKilling

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
    Good step RT @PTIofficial #PTI announces support of 3 day mourning for victims of Babusar violence #Shia #ShiaGenocide

  11. Dawn editorial points out deafening silence by all political parties on Shia genocide. Imran Khan is relatively better.

    Just about every political entity is ignoring what is clearly becoming a Shia genocide:


    Shia killings on the rise
    From the Newspaper | 4 hours ago 0

    Thursday’s execution-style killing of Shia citizens in Mansehra district and the killing of Hazaras in Quetta were only the latest incidents in what is now a clear trend: targeting innocent members of the sect — not necessarily members of any political or religious organisation — and killing them for no reason other than their religious affiliation. The Mansehra attack had a particularly disturbing aspect to it, with passengers made to show their identity papers and those suspected of being Shia, on the basis of their names or tribal affiliations, being picked out and killed. Like other recent sectarian killings in Balochistan, Kohistan and Orakzai, the approach used resembled ethnic cleansing in its chilling focus on identifying and killing innocent citizens simply because of their membership to a particular community. And while the Hazara community under attack in Balochistan is relatively small and powerless, the same is not true of Shia communities elsewhere in the country. If not arrested, this trend could well spiral out of control, turning the issue into a much larger conflict.

    Meanwhile, where is the outrage from the security forces and politicians? We know these groups are willing to launch aggressive messaging campaigns when they wish to. Take, for example, the army’s response to Salala, the PML-N’s reaction to the government’s refusal to write the ‘Swiss letter’, the ruling party’s defensive posture on threats to democracy or the PTI’s campaign against drone strikes. And while it is unclear what judicial activism can achieve in such cases beyond raising their profile, where is the judiciary that otherwise takes suo moto notice of everything from the price of sugar to violence in Karachi? As each of these groups tries to focus on topics they think will boost their populist or nationalist credentials, the campaign to eradicate a minority community continues to receive less official attention than it should.

    Beyond the messaging failure, little appears to have been done to confront the physical danger. Providing security escorts to pilgrims’ buses and changing the routes Shia travellers take has not been enough. Whether combating the problem is a matter of improving intelligence-gathering to prevent attacks, pre-emptively going after the groups that are carrying them out, improving policing in vulnerable areas or other intelligence or security measures, further delays are inexcusable. The state needs to demonstrate what it is doing to combat this threat. If not, Pakistan may as well give up any pretence of being a state for anyone other than its majority religious community.

  12. Two more editorials:

    Menace of intolerance
    August 18, 2012 | 0

    Yesterday’s chilling target killing of 25 Shias in the Babusar area of the Mansehra district left the nation stunned. Identified by ID cards after they were dragged off their bus, the travellers were shot at point blank range. The attack was claimed by the Terhreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the same day as it claimed responsibility for the Kamra airbase attack. The same day, three men from the Hazara community were shot dead, travelling back from their place of employment on a rickshaw, by armed assailants in Quetta. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-i-Islam group. Today, the motorcycles leading a procession to join the Al-Quds rally organized by the Imamia Student Federation were shot at. Immediately after, the bus following behind, carrying 25 students from the Karachi University to participate in the rally exploded as a bomb installed inside was detonated by remote.
    The frequency, brutality and cold-hearted targeting with which acts of terrorism are being perpetrated against the Shia community in Pakistan should set alarm bells ringing in the corridors of power at Islamabad. The trend is a source of serious concern for the patriotic sections of society and those who believe that all citizens, irrespective of their religious or political persuasions, have the right to live in the country in peace. Unless the spirit of understanding and goodwill that not long ago used to prevail in the country rules the minds of people again, there would be chaos and disarray in their ranks. There is an urgent need to devise a well thought out plan to get rid of the menace of intolerance, root and branch. And the best means to achieve the goal, though in the long term, is through the introduction of a studied system of tolerant education that instils the virtues of peace and brotherhood.
    Side by side, there is also need to probe the causes that have led to such militant groups operating with impunity and then phoning in responsibility, all the way planning their next heinous act. Where exactly are our security establishment when protection against such evil is needed? In this context, certain pertinent questions call for answer. No Pakistani will stand for such violence in the name of religion or against any community on the basis of their faith. This is exactly the kind of victimization that Pakistan was formed to protect its citizens against. Pakistanis stand together under these principles of our founding fathers and always will. Security agencies must step forward and unequivocally crush any efforts to cause unrest in Pakistan. Thus far, their failures have been recorded in blood.


    Sectarian scourge

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Thursday morning’s brutal sectarian massacre of 22 passengers travelling through the Babusar Top area of Mansehra district was a bloody iteration of a chilling pattern of attacks against religious minorities, including members of Muslim minority sects. In the early hours of the morning, terrorists ambushed four buses, hauled off passengers, checked their national identity cards and summarily executed the Shias. A spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killings. While there was legitimate outrage across the country over Thursday’s Kamra airbase attack and the subsequent loss of lives and damage to national assets, the slaughter of innocent civilians belonging to the Shia community was not met with quite the same amount of indignation. In fact, if the past is a benchmark, the 22 victims of Babusar Top will have died as insignificantly as they had lived, with no one held responsible or answerable for their deaths. In a state where the concept of national security does not yet incorporate the crucial element of human security, the symbols of state authority seem to matter more than the citizens whose protection and well-being constitutes the very raison d’être of the state. Thus, while the airbase attack unleashed a debate about the militants’ determination to target Pakistan’s most sensitive installations and raised questions about their safety, the more elemental questions were lost in the cacophony: are Pakistan’s citizens safe? Can Pakistan protect its minorities? Is any part of Pakistan free from the scourge of sectarian terror?

    As things stand, this is the third attack this year that has specifically targeted Shias on buses. Meanwhile, Hazara Shias are routinely murdered in Balochistan, including the three more killed on Thursday, while sectarian violence has become a regular feature of life in Mansehra District, Kurram Agency, Dera Ismail Khan as well as south and central Punjab. The country’s financial hub of Karachi too has witnessed more than its fair share of sectarian attacks in recent days, with a blast near a bus carrying Shias to a rally on Friday killing at least one. The thick sectarian tide in the overall wave of militancy sweeping Pakistan can be explained by the fact that sectarian groups here have linked up ideologically with global jihadism. Overtly sectarian and jihadi elements are also increasingly seen occupying the same stage as mainstream religious parties. Meanwhile, those behind repeated acts of violence – such as the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – are rarely caught or punished. Indeed, killing minorities in Pakistan seems to have become fair game while those responsible for securing citizens remain helpless, leaving minority communities to believe the security establishment is protecting the perpetrators. The mysterious escape of the local head of the LeJ, Usman Saifullah, and a key leader, Shafiq Rind, from a very well guarded Anti-Terrorist Force jail in Quetta Cantonment, is a case in point. A deadly pattern is emerging: terrorists are on a murderous rampage against Pakistan’s minority sects while the authorities have failed to prove themselves capable of taking them on. Virtually all terrorist outfits operating in Pakistan have donned the religious cloak. It is this criminal abuse of religion that the state must check against. And yet, the state is doing nothing to identify, capture, prosecute and punish those involved in sectarian terrorism. Thus, the scandal here is not just that Shia after Shia is being killed; it is that the state has become a silent onlooker in the massacre. Flaccid behaviour is too often empowering for a cunning enemy. Today, this logic is creating a dangerous moment in Pakistan where those on a killing spree are asserting themselves for little reason beyond the conviction that they can, while those who can stop them do nothing. In Pakistan, the triumph of evil may have become more and more possible under a silent, impotent state emasculated by religious extremists.

  13. The Shia tragedy

    Non-stop killing of the Shia minority has rattled the international press and even evoked condemnation from the UN Secretary General. From recurrent summary executions of the Shias in Gilgit to near daily killings of Hazara Shias in Balochistan and sporadic big-city incidents like the al-Quds Day blast in Karachi, the Shia minority comprising 15 percent of our population ends up amongst the dispossessed of the country. Even the simplest investigation into the matter reveals disturbing trends that take us to the jihadi madrassas and also the heart of Pakistan’s security construct. The state is responsible for the life and liberty of all citizens, therefore the government must address some very serious issues. One, more often than not, militants do the government’s most serious work for them — identifying the perpetrators. Why then do the heads of militant outfits that claim responsibility for such acts continue to roam free? Granted, arresting the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders is a remote possibility, but why is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq addressing Difa-e-Pakistan Council rallies? Two, why the silence from the political class, both government and opposition? Some of the more blatant hits — like the bus episode in Gilgit — draw the usual condemnation, but these ritual statements are seldom followed up by anything concrete like arresting those responsible, bringing them to justice and protecting the victim community. Three, why is there no mention of terrorist funding? Why are we afraid of admitting the harm done by madrassas run predominantly on petrodollars from some of our most reliable allies? Why are we so willing to continue playing proxy battlefield for powers whose interests are no longer aligned with ours, if they ever were? Four, how many more episodes of needless deaths will it take to prompt serious and meaningful action from our security agencies? Must our social fabric be torn asunder further for expedient reasons?
    Continuing army action in the tribal area, recent Swat history, attacks like the Kamra and Mehran bases and ISI and GHQ premises, and increasing radicalisation of society already point to the spectre of civil war, as even COAS General Kayani has warned. Allowing sectarian militias to carry out targeted minority killings, particularly at this juncture, seriously injures the writ of the state. With the official machinery always behind the curve, always reactive and never proactive, Islamabad risks opening another bloody chapter in this already repugnant narrative. Failing immediate and meaningful action, the government will have only itself to blame as Pakistan’s needless, self-destructive downward spiral intensifies.


    The menace of sectarianism, with Shias usually being targeted, is often delinked from the militancy that is plaguing the country. Treating both as separate issues is unwise, as many of the attacks on Shias are carried out by the same groups that are at war with the country and, even if the perpetrators are different, they share the same hateful ideology. More so, the unending violence and the state’s inability to tackle it in a meaningful way only emboldens these terrorist outfits, who then feel free to attack with even further impunity. Thus, you end up with an incident like the one on Babusar pass, which connects Gilgit-Baltistan to the rest of the country, where at least 20 people were gunned down in four different buses. Before being murdered, they were forced to show their identity cards, so it is likely that Shias were the target.
    Targeting Shias on buses has become something of a modus operandi of militant groups. In the last few months alone, Shias have been killed in bus attacks in Turbat, Parachinar and Quetta. Even in Gilgit, 18 Shia bus passengers were killed in February. The targeting of Shias is usually accompanied by some form of official collusion. Curfews imposed in Gilgit tend to affect the Shia community the most and they are often even stopped from offering Friday prayers at mosques. In Balochistan, the Hazara Shias are now so fearful of the systemic elimination of their community by groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, that they are choosing to leave the province and even the country that they have called home for generations.
    Needless to say, the government needs to bring the perpetrators of this attack to task. Realistically speaking, though, that may be hoping for too much. The government and the security establishment have shown scant concern for vulnerable communities. In a country where politicians get gunned down for expressing any sympathy for minorities, there are precious few political leaders willing to risk standing up for the marginalised. A few perfunctory words of condolence are not enough; they have to be accompanied by a full-throated defence of the Shia community and backed up by tangible action against militant groups who propagate a hateful and twisted ideology.
    Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.

  14. As a Pakistani Shia I thank Imran Khan for speaking about target killing of Shia Muslims in Babusar and Quetta in his interview with Mubasher Lucman on ARY TV. (20 August)

  15. ISI- touts and LeJ thugs and apologists (Hamid Mir and co) in Pakistan’s mainstream & social media are really worried, they want Imran Khanto abandon his bold stance on Shia genocide.

    Hamid Mir etc are worried why @ImranKhanPTI is specifying the Shia identity of Pakistan’s most target killed faith group. Same people don’t hesitate to specify faith and ethnic identity of Rohingya Muslims of Burma and Palestinian Muslims of Gaza.

  16. My hero once again bravely condemned Shia killings on Twitter today. Where are thieves Nawaz Sharif and Zardari hiding?

    Imran Khan ‏@ImranKhanPTI
    Killing of all innocent ppl is against the spirit of Islam. The loss of this essence of r Faith is visible in the brutal killing of Shias.

    Imran Khan ‏@ImranKhanPTI
    On Eid it saddens me to see how we have lost the essence & spirit of r great religion Islam – the sense of Justice & Compassion.

  17. An expert on North Korea at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in northeast China said he doubted the North Korean government would have had any knowledge of the incident when it happened.

  18. Oleh : Kizuna26… Kenapa angka 26 dijadikan alasan? Aku masih memikirkan tentang angka tersebut. Aku tidak percaya hanya kerana peningkatan angka tersebut, aku didesak oleh ibu untuk segera berkahwin.??Ini pilihan keluarga. Samada Zara suka atau…

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  33. If good intentions and trying harder would make drunk driving goaway, we’d have long gotten past the wrenching statistics. And sowe haven’t. The Dallas Morning News launches a three-day seriestoday on Page One that gathers the numbers, reflections andfrustrations of this vexing societal ill. Parts Two and Threefollow tomorrow and Tuesday.

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  36. I am no the only one who sees the underside of God a the same time. There are lots of us, and we are at home in the biblical stories of antiheroes and people who don’t get it; beloved prostitutes and rough fishermen. How different from that cast of characters could a manic- depressive alcoholic comic be? It was here in the midst of my own community of underside dwellers that I couldn’t help but begin to see the Gospel, the life-changing reality that God is not far off, but here among the brokenness of our lives. And having seen it, I couldn’t help but point it out. For reasons I’ll never quite understand, I realized that I had been called to proclaim the Gospel from the place where I am, and proclaim where I am from the Gospel.

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