Part 1 – Honoring the fifth anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s assassination
Part 2: Lack of state-protection enabled Benazir Bhutto’s murder, same is enabling Shia genocide – by Rusty Walker
Auribus teneo lupum: “I hold the wolf by the ears.” — From Terrence’s Phormio.
The relentless target killing (amounting to genocide) of Pakistan’s Shia Muslims at the hands of Takfiri Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba (Pakistani urban version of Taliban and Al Qaeda) remains a gruesome, hidden secret to much of the world. In this month of December that marks the fifth anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, one reflects on the fact that there would have been greater world awareness were Benazir Bhutto’s voice still heard. But, why discuss Shia genocide conjoined with Benazir Bhutto, when deceased historical figures cannot return? The answer is we need vanguards of this level; those nameless individuals within a 150-200 million Pakistani populace that may become leaders by virtue of Benazir Bhutto’s example.
Even today Benazir Bhutto’s nemesis General Pervez Musharraf continues to double-talk, in an act of disingenuous sympathy, inaccurately stated recently: “I strongly sympathize with Shia families that are losing loved ones everyday on account of escalating sectarian violence. The Government cannot and must not ignore the atrocities being committed against Shia muslims in the name of religion. Sectarian violence is irreparably destroying our social fabric and we must act immediately to stop it.”
This is not sectarian violence, and to call it so is to be in denial of demonstrable proof to the contrary- this is a deliberate attempt at extermination of Shias by the Takfiri Deobandis of Sipah Sahaba (aka Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ or Lahskar-e-Jhangvi LeJ led by Ahmed Ludhianvi Deobandi and Malik Ishaq Deobandi).
Not unlike other Jihadist generals and bureaucrats, General Musharraf joins the continued insensitivity, ignorance and obfuscation by Pakistani and international media who continue to paint Shia genocide in Sunni vs Shia sectarian or Hazara ethnicity-specific terms. The distinction is paramount. I say this, mindful of the many Sunnis who support minorities, and the moderate Deobandis and Sunni (Sufi/Barelvi) Muslims who are not jihadists, and in fact have been targeted by Takfiri Deobandis.
Thus, my essay is both a tribute to Benazir Bhutto and a call to action. I quote above, Terrence’s “Phormio,” “Auribus teneo lupum,” precisely because to “hold the wolf by the ears,” recognizes that you are faced with predicament from which you cannot flee without dangerous results for yourself. Did not Benazir Bhutto grab the ears of the wolf upon returning to Pakistan despite clear and present death threats? Against certain annihilation, a beautiful intelligent woman in history retained the martyr’s mentality of sacrifice for the greater good. However, this is not a call for suicidal martyrdom- BB was informed by then-president General Musharaff there would be protection! Therefore, we must watch each other’s backs against the unscrupulous wolves at the door.
These Wolves from Hell are the extremist Jihadist Takfiri Deobandis of Sipah Sahaba Taliban, and they have murdered no less than 6,000 Shia children along with thousands of Sunni, Ahmadi and Christian children.
My good friend and colleague, Abdul Nishapuri of Pakistan’s alternative media website LUBP, has just updated the Shia genocide database which now provides the most recent figures available. In 2012 alone (till 18 December 2012), 573 Shias have been murdered in Pakistan in one year by this terrorist group.
Total Shias fatalities so far: 20,308. Killers responsible are the Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba Taliban: https://lubpak.com/archives/132675
So, yes, publicizing and honoring Benazir Bhutto as a courageous leader can be a motivator for today’s current and potential leaders as a role model for both men and women in crises. Politics aside this is a time in history for those boldest among us to unite. We need strong-minded leaders, now more than ever. Benazir Bhutto detractors notwithstanding, they cannot deny she was a woman of charisma and valor. Benazir Bhutto was global-minded and recognized as a brave credible voice by the developed and undeveloped world. Although BB often criticized American foreign policy, she did so fairly, and historically she has been proven to be correct, America loved her still. Her history confirmed even during her short life, that she was dauntless and more courageous than any current member of the government, sadly including the current president, her own husband, Asif Ali Zardari. Benazir Bhutto held higher political currency with the lower class, undereducated religious that are needed to be reached in this fight. She had a greater political mandate, including the attention of all world leaders.
Some bold journalists and analysts have already brought increasing awareness of attempted Shia extermination, confirming that sight is restored in some, and with it, increasing outrage. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote, “There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” The first two classes can be reached by these articles. The last class includes the establishment press, elitists and Jihadist apologists that refuse to see. But, those who have lost loved ones, or the truly erudite, wealthy or poor, the suffering, whether professional or workers, through concerted efforts like these will come to “see” Shia genocide for what it is. All Pakistanis are capable of taking a firm stance against Takfiri Deobandis, were they only to see it to their advantage. In the face of potential blood spilled, and for the blood of innocents already spilled, if the government or military establishment cannot stand against the Takfiri Deobandi militants, who will?
Who will emerge with the courage of a Benazir Bhutto?
Perhaps by comparing themselves to Benazir Bhutto, those in government and military may be shamed into realizing their duties and responsibilities to protect the population, including religious and ethnic minorities, and be moved to action! This state of affairs requires heroic action, but with back-up support. Such a predicament is what we now face when we “hold the wolf by the ears,” namely, the: “Takfiri Deobandi Jihadists.”
Returning attention to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir, she stood as a role-model for justice for not only the lower classes where she sought more education and had a plan for including the neglected tribal cultures into the educated identity of Pakistan, standing for pluralism, a secular government sensitive to differences in culture, religion, and any and all minorities. She and her mother were known for encouraging democratic governance. To those political rivals that even today will challenge me on this, remember that Benazir Bhutto was cut down before she was able to implement her plan. It was comprehensively spelled out in her autobiography “Reconciliation: Islam, Democrcy, and the West,” (2008).
It is possible there might not even be a Shia genocide occurring had Benazir Bhutto survived as a leader. How could this be? It is my opinion, that Benazir Bhutto would have addressed this slaughter of Shias with alacrity, sincerity and strength of character. Her Iranian-Kurdish mother, Begum Nusrat Ispahani a Shia, and Pakistani father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto a moderate Sunni, would have positioned her as a figure of strong Muslim faith around which, the educated secular community, as well as, high, middle, and lower socio-economic classes of Muslims could rally. That is, rally against evil forces such as the Saudi-funded Salafist jihadists and Takfiri Deobandi militants. Education and funding for many in the FATA tribal regions and diverse ethnic groups of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, might have protected them initially from the overwhelming forces of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Sipah Sahaba, Lashkar Jhangvi, Jamaatud Dawa, and other jihadists, but only in concert with the ISI and Pakistan Army. Yet these “protectors” support the Deobandi militant groups. Benazir Bhutto, given the support needed, would have re-organized the security forces and top military brass, just as the current president and prime minister should do. She would have surely increased awareness, and her plan included education and funding (as the current government still could provide given the will, and being held accountable by the people), to enable opportunities; opportunities create jobs; and despite differences in religion, and cultures. The Punjabis, Pashtuns, Mojahirs, Sindhis, Saraikis, Baloch, Hindkowans, Chitralis, Kashmiris, et al., that still feel the sense of being isolated, or separate, and such feelings of being abandoned by the government, contributes to rebellions, or our youth become vulnerable to the influence of radicals. However, a singular identity provides cohesion to disparate groups- being brought into the fold of the greater Pakistan surely might have overcome the opportunistic Takfiri Deobandi, who are based on terrorism born out of Deobandi Madrassas of ignorance.
Commensurate with the enabling of the terrorist wolves of Takfiri Deobandi is the presence of a frightened government, a military unwilling to stop the carnage, and a pro-Taliban, pro-Deobandi judiciary. Benazir Bhutto would have had the courage, we see lacking today, to bring radical elements to justice, over and above current Supreme Court biases. But, only after dispensing with the internal wolf: the Salafist and Takfiri Deobandi threat to Pakistan itself.
The Pakistani Supreme Court released Malik Ishaq Deobandi, the leader of Sipah Sahaba’s militant wing, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Malik Ishaq after release then boasted about killing Shias publicly. Such blatant disregard for justice empowers criminal elements; and encouraged the genocide we see today.
The Islamist Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to Pakistanis’ astonishment has often released Takfiri Deobandi and Salafist jihadists. A change by the people is necessary, perhaps closer to the U.S. system of justice. In the United States, justice is depicted in our statue as blindfolded- blind to bias. Within the US Justice system due process requires that the procedures by which laws are applied must be evenhanded, so that individuals are not subjected to the arbitrary exercise of government power. Therefore, even the most ideological judges, whether left or right, still uphold the LAW/Constitution unlike the current biased Pakistani Judges who are taking over the Pakistan Executive and Legislature while encouraging terrorists and Shia Genocide. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would be considered an “activist” judge in the U.S., that is, one who judges by personal feelings.
When the Pakistani Supreme Court aligned itself with the Jihadists it revealed a brazen display of disregard for its justice system. No system of Justice is perfect, including the U.S. justice system, because humans are not perfect. That said, there are countless examples of the U.S. justice system overcoming personal bias by virtue of the group effort of the Justices’ sincere attempts in interpretation of the Constitution. Although, unrelated in topic, the following example offers an account of overcoming personal bias for the higher good in a justice system based on the Constitution. In the Supreme Court Justice decision of Roe v. Wade, the controversial issue of whether to allow or ban abortion was decided. Each judge had to overcome personal feelings in order to establish the difficult decision having to do with life and death and when life becomes life. The Court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. Even with concurring and dissenting opinions issued the Supreme Court used constitutional adjudication, over religious and moral personal views. A Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would be disqualified and dismissed in U.S. Supreme Courts under the “appearance of partiality” given even one, of the many confessed jihadists murders he released. A nation to remain strong must have incorruptible Rule of Law, and unbiased Blind Justice, and strict accountablity to its people.
The Shia genocide we see today are carried out with impunity, without arrests. There is no rule of law in a region where innocents are herded off buses and humiliated by Takfiri Deobandis pulling up the back of shirts to see scars, or ferreting out Shia names, then assassinated. If found Shia, the Deobandi militants gun them down, men, women, and children. For those of us who have seen footage as I have, Shias gruesomely beheaded, sawed again and again while still alive, one witnesses true evil; a look of delight and lunacy across the killer’s face, holding up the head with pride. Meanwhile buses and Shia homes and families are burned to the ground- such are the monsters ignored by human rights organizations, the UN and mainstream media. We in other countries must become more aware and provide help as the United States did in Bosnia. Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide as they targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims. This was stopped by US troops sent in by President Clinton. I am not suggesting US intervention, but I am suggesting UN acknowledgement and possible intervention. Or, have we learned nothing from the WWII Holocaust, Soviet Ukraines, the Rwanda and Darfur genocide that went on unimpeded?
Citing the worst is easy looking back at history: Mao Ze-Dong killed 75 million of his own people “Mao: The Unknown Story,” Chang, Jung & Jon Halliday(2005); Stalin murdered 35 million of his own people, plus Ukraine’s famine; Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945), gulags plus the purges , Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79), Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94), 1.6 million (purges and concentration camps; Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-88) 600,000, Mullah Omar – Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001); Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71); 300,000 (Bangladesh, Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000); Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99); Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20, 30,000 (dissidents executed); Francisco Franco (Spain), 30,000 (dissidents executed after the civil war); Fidel Castro (Cuba, 1959-1999), 30,000…do we now add state-sponsored genocide of Shias in Pakistan? The body count has already exceeded 20,000 Shias killed, not by Sunnis, but by Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored Takfiri Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba Taliban.
See these sources:
- Shia Killing: http://shiakilling.com
- Shaheed Foundation: http://www.shaheedfoundation.org/
- Karbala-e-Quetta: https://www.facebook.com/Karbala.e.Quetta
- Let Us Build Pakistan: https://lubp.net
- Pakistan Blogzine: http://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com
- World Shia Forum: http://worldshiaforum.wordpress.com
To those among us with backbone, arise! Grab the ears of the wolf of Takfiri Deobandi militants and stop their cowardly genocidal goals by building a community of local activists, within agencies and, province by province, country by country, until there is a global protest that will activate global awareness to actionable criminal apprehension of the perpetrators. If the government is unwilling to step in, nor the wealthy and powerful Pakistani Army, so fettered by their self-created Strategic Depth Gordian Knot, then it is up to local and global communities and authorities to come together.
May there may be a singularity of purpose that manifests solidarity of Shia and like-minded Sunnis formed, along with other minorities and secular society, all socio-economic groups, all willing to face releasing the wolf-ears and killing it: the Takfiri Deobandi militants. this can happen only after a fierce and armed community is galvanized into action, to dispense retribution against the Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba Taliban responsible for Shia genocide. I am certain Benazir Bhutto would have personally visited the aggrieved Shia families in Parachinar, Gilgit, Quetta, Karachi and D.I.Khan, in order to administer financial compensation to the families of the murdered and the injured Shias; she would personally participate in Muharram processions in Islamabad and Larkana not only as a sign of Pakistani State’s respect to religious diversity but also to strengthen Sunni – Shia unity; she would personally oversee Takfiri Deobandi militants being brought to justice and given exemplary punishment.
Today, more than ever, Pakistan needs a leader whose role model is Benazir Bhutto, to boldly and forcefully stop the ongoing atrocities of Deobandi militants against Shias, Sunni Barelvis, Ahmadis and other persecuted groups of Pakistan.
About the author: Rusty Walker is an educator, author, political analyst, ex-military, from a military family, retired college professor, former Provost (Collins College, U.S.A.), artist, musician and family man. Rusty Walker is an ardent supporter of Pakistan. Here is a link to Mr. Walker’s other articles published on LUBP: https://lubpak.com/archives/tag/rusty-walker