Eyewitness account of Babusar Pass massacre of Shiite Muslims

Here’s an eyewitness account of a miraculous survivor of the Babusar Pass massacre of Shia Musims.

Imtiaz, 22, says there were around 30 to 40 gunmen who attacked the buses on their way from Rawalpindi to Gilgit Baltistan near the Babusar Top. The militants had long hair (a trade mark of Taliban / Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants, and were wearing military uniforms. They carried ropes, blades and knives. The Taliban-LeJ men surrounded the buses and checked everyone’s national identity cards and asked several people to read the ‘6 Kalmas’ and Dua-e-Qanut, so as to determine whether they were Shiite or Sunnis. It may be recalled that Shiite Muslims have only one Kalma (article of faith) and their Qanut prayer is different than the Sunni version.

The Taliban-LeJ militants appeared to be from Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa based on their physical appearance and the language (Pashto) they were communicating in. Their long hair made it look like they were women, just like Baitullah Mehsud and other Jihadis long hair trained in Pakistan army’s training camps.

Imtiaz says he survived because during the checking, he hid underneath a bus. After the massacre of Shia Muslims, the terrorists ordered the passengers to chant slogans (Shia Kafir, i.e., Shias are infidels, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Zindabad, Long live LeJ). When the bus, now carrying mostly Sunnis, had travelled about a kilometer and a half, the driver asked Imtiaz if he was alright, then brought him up to sit inside the bus.

Eye witnesses claim there were around 20 to 25 people, all of them Shias, killed, 11 of whom belonged to Astor, 2 belonged to Karachi, 2 belonged to Nagar, 2 to Gujar Khan (Punjab – town of origin of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf) and 1 to Bagrot.

Another account:

The tyres of the Landcruiser squealed wildly as Gul Khan slammed the brake pedal. My head crashed against the dash board. “Sir, get out of car,” my driver, Khan, 41, shouted frantically. “Please hurry up,” he said as he jumped into a nearby ditch. I followed him. Seconds before jumping into the ditch, I heard the rat-a-tat burst of AK-47s. On the road ahead, four masked men sprayed bullets at a line of over 20 bus passengers. The assailants were masked. They were flanked by a dozen armed men. It was 5.45 am. We were at ‘Thanda Pani’ 180 km east of Gilgit.

The attackers stopped the buses at gunpoint and had segregated the Shiites. They had offloaded their hapless victims from three buses of the Mahfouz Travel Company that plies buses between Rawalpindi near Islamabad and Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan province. They checked the identification of their vicitms and then shot them. It took them nearly half hour to do so.

The attackers pushed the dead bodies into a nearby ditch. The attackers, interestingly, did not hurt the other passengers. They shouted at the bus drivers to move on. Another Kalashnikov-toting gunman walked down the line and ordered the other vehicles to start moving. We emerged from the ditch, jumped into our vehicle and drove away as fast as we could.(Source)

Government’s and army’s inaction against terrorists

According to Shia Killing website, on 30 July, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik had warned the Interior Secretary that terrorists might be planning something on the Karakaram Highway. A terrorist named Farooq son of Abdul Jabbar, who belongs to Jagir Man, involved in the Kohistan massacre, was reported to be in contact with other known terrorists of Makar Koi, Jagir Bain and Kashrot. He invited them to Kohistan. An ISI officer communicated this threat in the central mosque Bo Committee’s Chief Secretary’s office about a month ago. However, the local government and the agencies, instead of arresting them and breaking their networks, looked the other way, thus providing the terrorists with more chances to commit even more organized genocide of Shiites. The government has failed to arrest dozens of LeJ-ASWJ terrorists who mobilized a mob to attack and kill Shias. The gruesome details of that massacre are available on Youtube with clear identification of at least some of the LeJ-ASWJ terrorists. In fact the Taliban have once again started to gather around in Chilas and Gilgit, something which Rehman Malik and Mehdi Shah knew and did not act on. Why is the current government not acting up to its responsibilities?

What does the current Municipalty Chairman say? According to him, the massacre of Babusar was not an accident. It was planned and it was a conspiracy. The Interior Ministry had warned the Gilgit Government and provided them with names of the known terrorists but no action was ever taken by the PPP govbernment in Gilgit Baltistan. As a result, dozens of innocent travellers were killed. These concerns were expressed by the current Muncipalty Chairman and the Organizer of Muslim League Mohammed Ilyas. He said the Taliban have set up a network in Zil-e-Diya Mar. The proof of which are the three continous terrorist attacks against Shias in the last few months. But the federal and provincial governments nor Pakistan army took any action against those responsible for Shia genocide, just gave names and arrested a couple of innocent people.

Source: Adapted and edited from Pak Shia

Analysis by Mushtaq Minhas and Nusrat Javed: Bolta Pakistan

8 responses to “Eyewitness account of Babusar Pass massacre of Shiite Muslims”

  1. Urdu version:

    سانحہ بابوسر: 22سالہ امتیاز نے کیا دیکھا؟ سیکرٹری داخلہ نے مراسلے میں کیا کہا تھا؟
    Posted date: August 17, 2012 In: گلگت بلتستان
    گلگت بابوسر دہشت گردی میں معجزانہ طور پر بچنے والے استور کے 22 سالہ امتیاز نامی نوجوان کا کہنا ہے کہ حملہ آوروں کی تعداد 30 سے 40 تک تھی۔ جن کے لمبے بال تھے اور کمانڈو وردی میں ملبوس تھے۔ جن کے ہاتھوں میں رسہ، بلیٹ، میں خنجر بھی تھے۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ حملہ آوروں نے چاروں اطراف سے گھیر لیا اور مسافروں کے شناختی کارڈز چیک کیے اور مشکوک لوگوں سے کلمہ بھی پوچھا۔ حملہ آور بول رہے تھے اور لب و لہجہ سے خیبرپختونخواہ سے تعلق رکھتے تھے اور ان کے لمبے بالوں سے گمان تھا کہ وہ خواتین ہیں۔ اپنے بارے میں بتایا کہ دوران شناخت وہ گاڑی کے نیچے گھس گئے اور گاڑی کے ٹینک سے لپٹ کر بیٹھے رہے، جب غیر مطلوب لوگوں کو گاڑی میں بٹھا کر روانہ کر دیا تو ڈیڑھ کلومیٹر دور جا کر ڈرائیور سے خیریت معلوم کی اور گاڑی میں بٹھا کر علاقے سے نکال دیا۔

    عینی شواہدین نے بتایا کہ مرنے والوں کی تعداد 20 سے 25 تک ہے۔ جن میں زیادہ کا تعلق استور سے ہے۔ 11 افراد کا تعلق استور سے، 2 کا تعلق کراچی سے، 2 کا نگر سے اور ایک شخص کا تعلق بگروٹ سے اور 2 کا تعلق گوجر خان پنجاب سے ہے۔ یاد رہے 30 جولائی 2012ء کو مرکزی حکومت وزارت داخلہ سے سیکرٹری داخلہ کے ایک مراسلہ آیا جن میں شاہراہ قراقرم پر دہشت گرد دوبارہ سے کوئی کارروائی کرنے کا منصوبہ بنا رہے ہیں۔ سانحہ کوہستان میں ملوث فاروق نامی دہشت گرد جس کا تعلق جاگیر من عبدالجبار کا بیٹا ہے، اپنے دہشت گرد ساتھیوں جن کا تعلق مکار کوئی جاگیر بین اور کشروٹ سے ہے رابطہ میں ہے۔ انہیں کوہستان آنے کی دعوت دے رہا ہے۔ اس خدشے کا اظہار مرکزی مسجد بو کمیٹی کے چیف سیکرٹری کے آفس میں ایک مہینہ قبل آئی ایس آئی کے کرنل نے اپنے بریفینگ میں بتایا تھا لیکن مقامی حکومت اور ایجنسیاں دہشت گردوں کے نیٹ ورک کو توڑنے اور ان کی نقل و حمل کو تباہ کرنے کی بجائے انہیں مواقع فراہم کر رہے ہیں تاکہ وہ مذید منظم انداز میں گلگت بلتستان میں شیعوں کا قتل عام کریں۔ سانحہ منادر کے پس پردہ حقائق کو اب تک حکومت منظر عام تک نہیں لائی بلکہ چلاس، کوہستان میں طالبان دوبارہ منظم ہو رہے ہیں، جس کے بارے میں ایجنسیوں کو پہلے سے معلوم ہے۔ مگر کارروائی کرنے سے گریز کر رہی ہے۔ نامعلوم حکومت اپنی ذمہ داریوں سے چشم پوشی کیوں کر رہی ہے؟

    سابق چرمین بلدیہ گلگت کیا کہتے ہیں؟ سانحۃ بابوسر چلاس محض ایک حادثہ نہیں بلکہ مکمل منصوبہ و سازش ہے۔ وزارت داخلہ نے قبل از وقت علاقے میں سرگرم دہشت گردوں کی جانب سے ممکنہ دہشت گردی کا خدشہ ظاہر کرتے ہوئے دہشت گردوں کے نام گلگت بلتستان حکومت کو آگاہ کیا لیکن کسی کے کان پر جوں تک نہیں رینگی۔ جس کا نتیجہ درجنوں بے گناہ مسافروں کو شہید کیا گیا۔ ان خیالات کا اظہار محمد الیاس سابق چیئرمین بلدیہ گلگت اور آرگنائزر آل مسلم لیگ نے اپنے بیان میں کیا۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ضلع دیامر میں طالبان دہشت گردوں کا نیٹ ورک منظم ہو چکا ہے۔ جس کا ثبوت مسلسل تین دہشت گردی کے واقعات ہیں لیکن حکومت نے نہ تو گزشتہ دہشت گردی کے ذمہ داروں کے خلاف کوئی کارروائی کی، محض نام بتا دیا، ہر جرگے سے ملی بھگت کر کے چند افراد کی گرفتاری پر اکتفاء کیا لہٰذا اس مجرمانہ غفلت اور ملی بھگت پر دیامر جرگے کے اراکین کے خلاف دہشت گردی میں مدد دینے کی پاداش ہیں۔ دہشت گردی ایکٹ کے خلاف مقدمات درج کیے جائیں ورنہ گلگت بلتستان کو سوات اور وزیرستان بنانے کی ناپاک سازش کامیاب ہو سکتی ہے


  2. Thank you, SK and LUBP, for publishing this account, while mainstream media is publishing lies and deceptions (sectarian violence, ethnic violence, bla bla)

  3. It is said that the killers were masked. But a video on You Tube clearly shows the faces of two person. One of them asking an elderly man if he is a Shia and examining his back to identify him.

  4. […] Source : LUBP Did you like this? Share it:TweetRelated NewsBabusar killings Sunnis refused to identify Shias in front of terroristsHRCP condemns Shias killings, demands arrest of culpritsSeveral Shia Muslims detained in Karachi during Rangers-Police operationSSP-LeJ terrorists attack on Youm ul Quds rally in Skardu, 10 injuredAbbas Haider succumbed to his injuries, embraces martyrdom in Karachi2 martyred, 20 injured in bomb attack on Al-Quds rally bus in Karachi + PicsUN chief ‘appalled’ by Shia Genocide in Pakistan3 more Shias killed as extremists open fire in QuettaAl-Quds Day observed across Pakistan25 Shias pulled off bus, shot martyred by Wahabi terrorists in NW Pakistan […]

  5. Babusar killings Sunnis refused to identify Shias in front of Taliban-LeJ terrorists

    According to an eye witnesses of the horrific incident, on August 16 some buses on way from Rawalpindi to Astore were intercepted at Babusar by about 14 terrorists wearing commando uniforms and carrying walkie-talkies while dozens of their fellow terrorists stood on the nearby hills.

    They ordered the passengers to step down and started enquiring about their sect.

    Those who belonged to Shia sect were taken aside and later shot dead in cold blood.

    The total killed were 22, including four Sunni Muslims, who protested and pressed the terrorists not to kill innocent Shia Muslims.

    One Sajjad who luckily saved his life said that fellow Sunni passengers did a good job by saving many lives otherwise all Shias would have been brutally murdered.

    The terrorists even beat Sunni passengers and forced them to help in identifying Shias so that they could kill them.

    In spite of that, the Sunnis did not cooperate with them, he added.

    The same tactics were used in Kohistan in March in which a Gilgit bound bus was intercepted and 18 Shia passengers were slaughtered by terrorists wearing army uniforms.

    Thirteen of those killed in the latest incident belong to Astore, three to Skardu,

    two to Karachi, and one to Gujar Khan in the Punjab and three to Gilgit.

    The Ulema of Gilgit, Baltistan and from all schools of thought condemned the incident and termed it a heinous crime and declared that terrorists are not Muslim, rather they are anti Muslim and anti-Islam.

    Bodies of three, out of the twenty-two who were slaughtered at Babusar, were brought from the site of the carnage to Skardu and buried amid immense sorrow and grief.

    The funeral prayer, led by leading religious leader Sheikh Hasan Jafri, was attended by about 50,000 people.

    In his address on the occasion, Sheikh Hasan Jafri said that this is a heinous crime committed by terrorists as no sect allows such a despicable act. He said that these terrorists are not Muslims, let alone they belong to any sect. He urged the people to follow the true spirit of Islam and remain calm and restrained.

    Those buried were identified as Hamid, Qari Hanif and Shabbir Husain.