Related post: Name and Remind: Nasim Zehra’s silence on Shia massacres in Pakistan – by Mustafa – See more at: https://lubpak.com/archives/72597
As I write these lines, dozens of Shia families in Lahore, Jhang, Multan and other parts of Pakistan are mourning the martyrdom of their loved ones in Mastung (30 December 2012) by Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba Taliban (SST): https://lubpak.com/archives/236129.
The attack on the buses of Shia pilgrims going from Punjab to Iran burnt dozens of Shias including women and children to death. At least 40 have died while over 100 others are wounded and permanently maimed. More than 100 Shias have been killed in the same area alone over a number of attacks by Takfiri Deobandi militants in the last few years. Last year, Shias were taken out of the buses, identified and then shot to death in Mastung. http://tribune.com.pk/story/256419/gunmen-attack-bus-in-balochistan-20-killed/
This is apart from the attacks in Chilas and Kohistan where Shia pilgrims and passengers were first separated, lined up and killed by dozens of armed men. https://lubpak.com/archives/224113
Videos were later uploaded on YouTube by the same Takfiri Deobandi militants to display the brazenness and ruthlessness as Pakistanis continue to look the other way.
On the same day when at least 40 Shias were killed in Mastung (30 December 2012), BBC Urdu published a report wherein Nasim Zehra, renowned Pakistani anchor and analyst, herself a Shia Muslims, denied there was any Shia genocide in Pakistan. She completely dismissed any such notion, and said there are only occasional target killing of Shias which cannot be termed genocide.
نجی ٹی وی چینل کی ڈائریکٹر کرنٹ افیئرز اور صحافی نسیم زہرہ ان ہلاکتوں کو نسل کشی ماننے پر تیار نہیں۔ ’جب میں یہ لفظ (نسل کشی) سنتی ہوں تو مجھے پریشانی ہوتی ہے کیونکہ درحقیقت پاکستان میں ایسا نہیں ہو رہا ہے۔ اگر پاکستان میں میرے نزدیک کسی کی نسل کشی ہو رہی ہے تو وہ ہزارہ ہیں کیونکہ انہیں ایک علاقے سے نکالنے یا ان کے خاتمے کی باقاعدہ منظم کوشش کی جا رہی ہے۔شیعہ افراد کی ٹارگٹ کلنگ ہو رہی ہے اور یہ ایک حقیقت ہے مگر نسل کشی کے لفظ کا استعمال بےمحل ہے۔‘
اس بارے میں نسیم زہرہ کا کہنا ہے کہ ’شیعہ افراد کا قتل بالکل ہو رہا ہے لیکن اسے صرف فرقہ وارانہ رنگ دینا درست نہیں ہے۔ شیعہ افراد کی شکایات درست ہیں مگر یہ بات درست نہیں ہے کہ میڈیا یا ریاست ان کے خلاف کارروائی کر رہی ہے۔ اگر دیکھا جائے تو ریاست نے بہت آگے جا کر جیسا کہ اس بار محرم کے دوران شیعہ افراد کی حفاظت کے لیے انتظامات کیے تو یہ بات عمومی طور پر چسپاں کر دینا درست نہیں ہے۔‘
Source: BBC Urdu
Nasim Zehra is not alone. In recent past, Pakistan’s Oscar award winning film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy too has denied Shia genocide in Pakistan. https://lubpak.com/archives/235017
Both Nasim and Sharmeen have of course either not seen or disregarded over 20,000 Shias killed in Pakistan since 1963. Here is list of over 20,000 killed since 1963 https://lubpak.com/archives/132675
Only recently, a network like Al-Jazeera called it Shia genocide http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/11/201211269131968565.html,
Other leading newspapers e.g., Dawn, Express Tribune, Daily Times, The Hind etc have described it as Shia genocide.
Zofeen Ibrahim, http://dawn.com/2012/08/27/if-this-isnt-shia-genocide-what-is/ ,
Khuldun Shahid https://lubpak.com/archives/232697 ,
Pakistan is also being placed in Shia genocide watch list now http://www.genocidewatch.org/pakistan.html
All such aforementioned writers are few of the most respected names in media. Never have they shied away to use the term Shia genocide because they are aware of the magnitude of the problem and plight Shias are faced with. The term Shia genocide has been used by key political leaders and scholars, e.g., Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Husain Haqqani, Dr. A.Q. Khan etc.
In such tough times, Nasim Zehra’s denial of Shia genocide is deeply hurting. Coming from a respected analyst who commands wide following, this amounts to insult to the victims of Shia genocide and their families. This also gives anti-Shia elements active on social media to spread their propaganda with more force now as a ‘credible’ analyst has denied Shia genocide. Only a week ago, she condemned attack on notorious Sipah Sahaba terrorists Aurangzeb Farooqi while remaining completely oblivious to his crimes against Sunni Barelvis and Shias.
Shouldn’t Nasim Zehra revisit her statement as a compassionate human being and responsible journalist given the incontrovertible evidence that is contrary to what she said to BBC in the interview? Also her appreciation of the State for its role in the protection of Shias is either naive or blatantly dishonest. Every single Shia man and woman in Pakistan knows that the State, army in particular, is directly complicit in Shia genocide by nurturing and protecting Deoobandi Jihadist assets.
Last but not least, Nasim Zehra also needs to update herself on the plight and statistics of Shia genocide. Out of total 20,3000 Shia killed so far, almost 700 are Shia Hazaras of Quetta. However, within Quetta, a much higher percentage (not absolute number) of non-Hazara Shias has been killed. In Quetta, out of a population of 500,000 Shia Hazaras, 700 have been killed. In contrast, out of a population of 20,000 non-Hazara Shias in the same city, at least 250 have been killed.
It’s a matter of simple mathematics and wider analysis to understand that Shia genocide in Pakistan does exist and it is neither area specific nor ethnicity specific.