Shia Hazaras of Quetta reject misleading report on #ShiaGenocide by New York Times’ Declan Walsh – by Jafar Hazara

In his interview to the PBS News Hour, Mr. Declan Walsh (Pakistan bureau chief of the New York Times), has provided some details which obfuscate the county-wide Shia genocide.

Here’s a link to his interview:

In essence, Declan Walsh:

1. Hides the fact that we, the Shia Hazaras of Quetta and wider Balochistan, are being killed by Deobandi, NOT Sunni, militants. He hides the fact that Deobandi militants who are killing Shia Hazaras and non-Hazara Shias in Balochistan are also killing moderate Sunni Muslims in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan.

We ask Mr. Walsh: Can we combat terrorism without identifying the terrorists?

2. Presents Pakistan-wide Shia genocide in false Sunni-vs-Shia sectarian binary which is not only simplistic but also extremely misleading and injurious to Pakistani Shias. This Sunni vs Shia sectarian angle hides the internal heterogeneity of Sunnis and also hides the fact that Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban (two organizations mainly responsible for Shia genocide in Pakistan) are almost entirely Deobandi militant organizations. Not a single Sunni Barelvi (majority in Pakistan) is a part of Sipah Sahaba and Taliban. On the contrary, Sunni Muslims disown and reject Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba and Taliban. According to a recent report published in The Friday Times (January 2012): “Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, a leader of Sunni Barelvi organization Sunni Tehrik, says his group in Karachi has been targeted by the same sectarian groups that target Shias. “We take strength from the Hazara community’s sit-in in Quetta,” he said. “The Sunni community stands with them and we understand their pain because we have been targeted by the same people.”” (Source)

Indeed, Declan Walsh’ article hides the fact that same Takfiri Deobandi militants who kill Shias also kill Sunni Barelvis, moderate Deobandis, Ahamdis, Hindus and Christians. Thus, violence and terrorism in Pakistan is Takfiri Deobandis vs the rest of Pakistan, not Sunni vs Shia.

3. Hides the fact that in addition to Shia Hazaras, a large number of non-Hazara Shias (i.e., Shias of Baloch, Punjabi, Pashtun, Muhajir etc backgrounds) have been killed in the same city, in fact in larger numbers and proportions. According to Government statistics recently released, in the past five years (2008-12), 758 members of the Shia Muslim community were killed by Deobandi militants (Sipah Sahaba aka LeJ-ASWJ) in 478 incidents. Of these, 338 victims belonged to the Shia Hazara community and 420 belonged to non-Hazara Shia communities (Baloch, Pashtun, Punjabi, Muhajir etc), indicating that Shia Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds remain the prime targets of target killings in Balochistan. It may be noted that Shia Hazaras total population in Quetta is estimated to be around 500,000. Total 338 Shia Hazaras killed in a population of 500,000 (Hazara population in Quetta) makes a death rate (due to violence) of 0.06 percent. In contrast, non-Hazara Shia population in Quetta is estimated to be around 20,000. Total 420 non-Hazara Shias killed in that population gives a death rate of 2.1 percent. In other words, non-Hazara Shias are at least three times more likely to be target killed in Balochistan than Hazara Shias. While Shia Hazara are indeed vulnerable due to their Mongolian racial features, non-Hazara Shias remain vulnerable too due to their language (Urdu, Punjabi, Gilgiti), and lack of social support networks due to very low numbers of non-Hazara Shias in Balochistan. Here is link to the Government report: Here is a list of non-Hazara Shias killed in Balochistan:

4. Ironically, in the same interview in which Declan Walsh describes the attackers of Shias in Quetta as Sunni militants, he describes the identity of same attackers on moderate Sunni Deobandi Tblighi Jamaat in Swat as an act of Taliban. In other words, he hides the fact that both acts of violence, i.e., against moderate Sunnis in Swat and Shia Muslims in Quetta were carried out by Deobandi militants of Sipah Sahaba Taliban. He hides the fact that Sipah Sahaba is an alias of the Taliban in Pakistan’s settled areas, and that both Sipah Sahaba and Taliban, in the main comprise Takfiri Deobandi militants, with overlapping membership and shared goals, agendas, tactics and sponsors.

5. In sum, Walsh presents the country-wide Shia genocide in Pakistan, in which at least 21,000 Shia Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds and areas have been killed (, as a largely Hazara specific ethnic issue confined to Quetta. In 2012 alone, at least 1450 Shia Muslims were killed by Deobandi militants in Pakistan. Here’s a link to the report:

We note that in the past, Shia Muslims of Pakistan have rejected misleading reports by Declan Walsh. In other words, Mr. Walsh adamantly continues to misrepresent Shia genocide in Pakistan. In fact, through his lazy reporting, he is enabling further Shia genocide (e.g., by providing legitimacy to Deobandi militants by describing them as Sunnis, by hiding the true identity of the target killed community and their killers, by hijacking Shia genocide in ethnic terms, by completely wiping off the identity and numbers of non-Hazara Shias killed by Takfiri Deobandi militants.)

We want to let the NYT’s Pakistan Bureau Chief know that by such lazy and misrepresenting reports, he is not at all helping a community (Shia) which is facing a pre-genocide situation in Pakistan. We also ask Mr. Declan Walsh (and all other journalists and rights activists) to refrain from misrepresenting Shia genocide in Hazara ethnic or Sunni-Shia terms and instead consider the observations we have outlined in this post.



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