Why no Salala style national outrage on Shiite massacres in Pakistan? – by Shyema Sajjad
Are human lives less important than samosas and ostriches? Apparently, it seems this just might be the case in Pakistan. Why else would government leaders along with the Chief Justice have the time to pass rulings and notices on these and stay silent on the Shia killings taking place in the country?
Imagine being a parent on a bus, going home to meet your children. Imagine being a youth on a bus, going to find a better job in another city. Imagine being a patient on a bus, going for treatment to a better hospital. Imagine being pulled out of the bus then and shot dead. Why? Because some men weren’t too happy with your religious affiliation and since your name seemed to confirm your association with a particular sect, the men didn’t think you really deserved a chance to live longer.
Are you terrified of what you just imagined? How much more terrifying is it to know that this is the reality today in Pakistan? At least it was for those 20 Shia passengers who lost their lives in the Mansehra attack. Sadly, the UN Chief seemed to be the only chief ‘appalled’ at this tragedy. No government chief and no judiciary chief seemed to share Ban Ki-Moon’s sentiments. They never do when it comes to these killings – these killings of innocent members of the Shia sect, who are pulled out on the street and shot dead or when Hazaras in Quetta are targeted randomly. And no, politicians tweeting “outraged by attack” doesn’t cut it.
No suo moto action from the Chief Justice, no condemnation from the president, prime minister or opposition leaders. Why? Which group are they trying to appease with their silence? Where are the sit-ins and the dharnas and the “iron-fist” dealings on these killings? As pointed out in Dawn’s recent editorial, if there could be swift response on the Salala attacks, why is there sheer silence and apathy on the Mansehra killings? Why are some lives more important and others less? Who decides this? Does condemning these attacks or taking action against sectarian violence have no place on their agenda? Is security for all not in national interest?
Why do we only see Shiite organizations protesting against such incidents? Has the country’s 70 to 75% Sunni population absolved itself of all moral and societal responsibilities? This then can be understood in the context of the PEW research data that only 50% Sunnis in Pakistan consider Shias as Muslims. Does that explain the deafening silence, apathy and/or misrepresentation of Shia genocide as Sunni-Shia sectarian violence or Hazara specific ethnic issue?
The time has come where changing routes of buses carrying Shia travelers and providing security to these vehicles is not enough – neither will conspiracy theories featuring our favourite “foreign elements” pacify the masses. The government, the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary need to realise that their silence and indifference to these human lives are costing the nation heavily.
Finding out who is instigating, arranging, funding and provoking such attacks is only a small part of the solution. The bigger priority needs to be placed on the plan to stop these attacks and targeted killings. And if the government and security agencies are not willing to do that, they might as well follow former Prime Minister Gilani’s example and openly declare that “those who wish to leave can leave.”
At least that way, every minority, every sidelined sect and anyone else who doesn’t conform to the majority (or favoured) group will know that they have been left to their own devices and now saving their life is up to them – not the state. For it seems that the state has already started the process of abandonment.
Note: The writer is the Deputy Editor at Dawn.com. The article first appeared as a blog in Dawn newspaper
Do you know who is out there protesting in Pakistani streets?
Shame on us Sunnis!
Thousands rap Babusar tragedy
By: Our Staff Reporter | August 25, 2012 | 0
KARACHI – Scores of people protested on Friday against Babusar tragedy and blast in Al-Quds Day rally’s motorcade on last Friday of Ramazan.Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen’s central leader Allama Nasir Abbas Jafferi had called for observance of Friday as a protest day to condemn Babusar tragedy and attack on Quds Day rally’s motorcade. After Friday prayers, rallies and demonstrations were staged outside local mosques. Main demonstration was held outside Noor-e-Eman Jamia Masjid under the aegis of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM). Maulana Sadiq Raza, Mubashir Hussain, Maulana Mirza Yousuf Hussain, Maulana Ali Anwar, Mohammad Mehdi and Asghar Zaidi spoke to the protestors at different places. They denounced the government, armed forces, the judiciary and security agencies for their failure to stop terrorism and punish terrorists. They said that genocide of Shia Muslims and terrorism increased after the judiciary released terrorists. They said that Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces make borders with other countries and genocide of Shiites and terrorism in these provinces is a conspiracy to encourage separatist tendency among people there. They said armed forces have failed to provide security in these bordering provinces.They said that Babusar tragedy is a failure of Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa government. They alleged that there are individuals in Punjab government who publicly support banned terrorist groups. They said that roadside bomb attack on Al-Quds Day rally’s motorcade was a proof that the United States and Zionist regime of Israel and their stooges are directly involved in terrorism in Pakistan. They warned of a prolonged and stiff protest by staging sit-ins if anti-Shia terrorism is not stopped and if the terrorists are not hanged publicly. They demanded registration of case of Quds Day rally attack against US Consul General based in Karachi.
Pakistan: Shiite target killings continue
Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:49PM GMT
Muhammad Toori, Press TV, Karachi
Pakistani Shiite Muslims have gathered outside the Mosques across the country, to voice their anger at the targeted killings of Shiite Muslims in various parts of the country.
Killings of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan are continuing again. Thousands of Shiite Muslims have taken to the streets across the country after the Friday prayers protesting the brutal violence against Shiite community.
They have expressed anger at the horrifying incidents in Mastong, Kohistan, Babusar, Chilas and Quetta in which gunmen dragged Shiite Muslims from a bus after checking their identities and shooting them dead.
Furious Shiites protesters across Pakistan have gathered near the Mosques to condemn the on going targeted killings of Shiites community in the country. They are demanding their primary right of security from the state of Pakistan.
Participants have condemned the Pakistani local media as well as the Chief justice of Pakistan who they say is not taking any action against those responsible for killing Shiite Muslims in the country.
According to local media, some 186 Shiite Muslims have been gunned down in 2012 and the death toll of Hazara community in Quetta in last couple of years reached over 700. In August, thirty Shiites were the target of such violence.
Participants also slammed the institutions, who they say have used the same elements in their strategic-backyard-Afghanistan and their policies are now back firing and banned out fits who claim responsibility of murdering Shiite Muslims are going scot free.