Asian Human Rights Commission report on Army-Saudi Arabian nexus behind Shia genocide

ahrc-stm-042-2013The Asian Human Rights Commission strongly protests the murders of members of the Hazaras Shia community. A series of bombings in Hazaras town, Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, claimed many lives, all of them members of the Shia Community. This recent blast on February 17 is the second one. The first one took place on January 10, and killed 90 persons. Then in the short space of just one month and seven days, another blast occurred which cost the lives of 107 persons. In both incidents more than 500 persons were injured. The second bombing took place despite the presence of the army and one of its units, the Frontier Corp (FC) which was assisted by more than three intelligence agencies working under the military command.

After the first blast of January 10, the government suspended the assembly of the province and imposed Governor’s Rule in a bid to control the sectarian terrorism. However the efforts seem futile as the root of the issue has not been properly addressed. In similar manner acts of bloody terrorism have been ongoing in different parts of the country for more than a decade. They are carried out by well known and identified militant groups, particularly in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province and in many parts of the Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province.

The militancy and suicide bombings have become a well established business of the country and have successfully overpowered the state which, for decades now, has been spending huge amounts of money on the military and the intelligence agencies. There are 19 intelligence agencies including seven agencies under the Armed Forces and they are not accountable to any state institution. Despite this huge expenditure not a single day goes by without a suicide blast or a terrorist attack. The powerful army governs the state in a real sense in the name of national security and the so-called ideology of Pakistan, never allowing civilians to enter into what they consider to be national security affairs. This is the reason why the military does not want other institutions to tackle the menace of terrorism. Instead the military treat the terrorists as friends-in-arms, hoping for their assistance in the event of trouble after the withdrawal of the allied forces from Afghanistan. It is evident that retired army officers are providing training to the terrorists.

Balochistan province and especially its capital have been virtually under the control of military and its intelligence agencies for the past one and half decades, in every nook and cranny there are security kiosks and check posts of the military and the FC. No person has the liberty to go about his business without producing his or her identity and suffering a search of all their belongings. Even a person who purchases food stuffs from the vendors has to get clarification from the FC personnel who are all around the streets of the capital. The searches extend even to the shoes of the residents. Therefore it is not possible that anything can enter without the permission of the FC, police and other local law enforcement agencies but the bombings continue. There is also very strong network of intelligence agencies in Balochistan, if any guest arrives at any relative’s house, even, in the remotest part of the province the intelligence agencies and police enquire about the guest and sometimes detain him for several hours for enquiry.

Therefore, it can only be assumed that the terrorists with huge amounts of explosive material are moving about with the tacit approval of the FC and other law enforcement agencies. Since the last two years it is observed that when the Hazaras pilgrims were going in buses to Iran their buses were attacked close the picket points of the FC. This was also witnessed when the Shia pilgrims from Gilgit Baltistan were travelling in buses and were attacked and killed by men in military uniforms. All these incidents were reported and to-date the military has remained silent. Interestingly neither have they contradicted such reports.

The failure of the military and intelligence agencies to stop the killings of members of the Shia community in Balochistan province is now being discussed in the media and in government circles. Indeed, media analysts are blaming Saudi Arabia for the killings. This is significant because only a short time ago to make such an allegation was prohibited. It is said that the killings of the Shiites is the result of the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is openly believed that because Pakistan is entering into different trade pacts with Iran and China the United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia want to block such ventures. Saudi Arabia is providing huge grants to the Pakistan army and many analysts report that the army and its units have a vested interest in turning a blind eye to the sectarian attacks against the Shiites.

During the latest carnage against the Shiites on February 17, the terrorists were carrying 1000 kilograms of explosive material in a water tank which passed through many check posts of the FC. The driver informed the FC officials that he was carrying water to Hazaras town and so was not searched. However, considering that this was a most sensitive area due to the bombing on January 10 where 107 persons were killed there is no excuse for the FC not to have checked the contents of the tank.

A banned organisation, Lashkare Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack as it has done for the previous attacks on Shiites and particularly on Hazaras. This organisation all its bases in Punjab province and is running hundreds of mosques from where they preach their messages of hate against Shias calling them infidels and liable to be killed. Its leaders are free and openly collecting funds from the streets. Instead of taking action against them the law minister of the Punjab government is notorious for providing protection to the militants of banned organisations and these groups support him in the elections.

The courts also have a soft attitude towards such organisations and release them for want of evidence. Even the Chief Justice of Pakistan has released its leader, Malik Ishaq for not having any evidence. This is despite the fact that Malik himself confessed publicly before his release in 2010 that he has killed more than 100 Shia persons and was involved in the attack of Sri Lankan cricket team. After every incident of terrorism Malik goes to Saudi Arabia where he gets VIP treatment and given huge rewards for his ‘the service to Islam’.

The Asian Human Rights Commission once again urges the government to take strong action against the sectarian violence in the country and rein in the militant groups that virtually control the mosques without any interference. The use of loud speakers from the mosques through which their messages of hate are spread are banned according to the law except for Friday prayers. However, no action is ever taken against this violation of the law. The government must clamp down on any mosque that makes use of loud speakers to incite sectarian violence.

The government must prosecute the corps commander of the army stationed in Quetta, the FC commander, the Inspector General of Police and the chief of the ISI in Balochistan on the charge of the killings of hundreds of Shiites. The nexus between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the army of Pakistan must also be investigated so as to ensure exactly who the army command is loyal to.

The Asian Human Rights Commission also strongly urges that the FC, the army and the intelligence agencies are withdrawn from Balochistan province and immediately conduct free and fair elections so that the problem can be handled politically rather than militarily.

7 responses to “Asian Human Rights Commission report on Army-Saudi Arabian nexus behind Shia genocide”

  1. This is beginning, in coming years it will become holocaust. The supreme commander of Pakistan (Zardar) is playing minority cards. Election games. He is ibne Ziad of Karbela-i-Pakistan. Yazid is sitting in Riaz. Work out who is Shimr.

  2. Pakistani minorities Speak out. Silence is complicity. Yesterday, Ahmadis and Christians were target. Today are Shias and Hindus. Tomorrow will be your turn again. It appears to me Ahmadi bloggers are indifferent, I wish I am wrong.

    Barelvis and other non-Takfiri Ahnaf! Once Sunnis were in majority in today’s Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-Wahabi alliance changed their faith by force. Open history books, how Hanafi, Humblis and Shafieen were eradicated by them. Loot murder, and … of Taif. Those hypocrites did not even spare the shrine of Bint-e-Rasoolalh (PBU-Them). The global “Islamic” terrorism is being funded and planned by SA and micro-states of Persian Gulf. It is not just war of Shia, USA and NATO, it is everyone’s who wants dignity and future of his/her children. All at this stage is required is correct understanding of what is going on in the Islamic World.

  3. Abdullah Alfaisal, they are not indifferent, they are just scared. Majority Sunnis should speak up a lot more and put pressure on Government and army to take actions.

  4. Good to hear from Anu. Ahmadis in Pakistan are too suppressed to speak, I understand. But there are a large number of them in Europe and Canada, we want them to be more vocal. Pakistani Sunnis lack correct understanding and effective leadership. The army is the very part of the problem, not part of the solution. The genocide of minorities (Shia included) will continue for many many years, if not generations, until the Yazidi state of SA is demolished.

  5. Pakistan’s ‘strategic’ backwaters
    By Ayesha SiddiqaPublished: February 20, 2013

    The writer is an independent social scientist and author of Military Inc.
    It seems that Balochistan is no one’s responsibility when it comes to dealing with crisis but everyone else’s responsibility when it is a matter of taking critical decisions. Thus, no one wants to deal with the law and order problem but the province’s natural resources are just another matter. Eventually, no one does anything meaningful for the province. One of the biggest examples of the above-cited attitude is the federal government’s signing of a deal with China to develop and run Gwadar port or the MoU signed with Iran for the gas pipeline through Balochistan. Both the projects are great and will hopefully bring some level of prosperity to the region. However, it is the manner in which both actions have been taken, which must be questioned; the federal government signed off control of the port without any major involvement of the provincial government.
    Was it that the provincial government was too absorbed in dealing with the Hazara killings of last month and thus it could not attend to such an important matter? Or is it that the federal government thought it was in a better position to negotiate interests? Such behaviour is odd especially after the much-propagated Eighteenth Amendment to the 1973 Constitution, under which major ports and shipping falls under the list of subjects that are shared responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. This means that the Balochistan government should have been included in the negotiations and part of the signing process. Surely, there are many who would draw attention towards the capacity issue. They would argue that a government that cannot protect its citizens, like the Hazaras, does not have the capacity, hence the right, to be part of the process. However, capacities don’t grow on trees and unless people are made to take responsibility, they will never learn. Pakistan’s 66-year history has also been that of crowding out of regions and institutions by the more powerful ones, so in the end things remain where they are because those who are supposed to do the work don’t know how to do it. In any case, there shouldn’t have been any fear of opposition from a fairly pliant provincial government. According to an expert, who works on devolution of power from the centre to the provinces, with a pliable government in Quetta, there was no likelihood of anyone raising any question, so why not include the province just for the sake of appearance. Indubitably, the provincial government’s capacity to protect its Hazara population should not be used to take away its right to decide the use of its resources.
    Intriguingly, no federal institution is ready to take responsibility for securing law and order in the province for which everyone, including the highest courts, would like to blame the inept provincial government or the prime minister who does not really control various forms of the security establishment in the country, especially those operating in Balochistan. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has a lot to answer for but he certainly does not control the various militant outfits like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) operating in the province. The LeJ operates in Karachi in its various forms — it is running wild in Balochistan and is expanding happily in Punjab and Sindh without anyone stopping such proliferation. Malik Ishaq, who is one of the leaders of the LeJ, sits happily in Punjab with full knowledge that nothing serious can happen against him except for being jailed under the MPO. He knows fully well that the only case in which he was caught was of the murder of an Iranian diplomat in Multan in 1997, and this case was closed by the Supreme Court in 2011. The SC not only released Ishaq but overturned his death sentence by the anti-terrorism court (ATC). Sadly, the case dragged on until the time that the ATC judge giving the sentence escaped the country and the LeJ walked around merrily shooting down each of the about a dozen eyewitnesses who had given evidence in the case, including a senior police officer from Gujranwala, Ashraf Marth.
    Now, the security agencies happily hide behind the artificial classification of ‘controlled’ versus ‘uncontrolled’ LeJ. The narrative being popularised is that there is a good LeJ headed by Ishaq that sits in Punjab and is friendly to the Pakistani state versus the LeJ International (al-Alami) that is stationed in North Waziristan and attacks the state and its citizens. However, it is also very odd that the intelligence agencies and the security establishment has not done a thing in using Ishaq to negotiate with the bad LeJ as was done during the attack on the GHQ in 2009. Ishaq was flown in to buy time from the assailants to secure senior army officers stuck in the headquarters. The larger argument is that the good militants are used to negotiate with the bad militants. Intriguingly, this is the same formula suggested for Afghanistan in some of the papers written and supervised by the establishment types and sold to the public as consensus document.
    Those buying into the ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ militant argument forget that the LeJ and other militants have always been and remain conduits of state actors. Pakistani scholar and former police officer Hassan Abbas’s book Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism (M E Sharpe, 2005) is essential reading to understanding some of the connections. The author lays out the connection between our prime intelligence agency, America’s CIA and the LeJ in the killing of an Iranian diplomat in 1997. There was a money trail from the US to the LeJ’s Riaz Basra responsible for the killing. Leafing through the book, one is forced to think if the same logic or relationship prevails now. The LeJ in Balochistan could happily take cover of the shared suspicion of Iran by Islamabad and Washington to kill the Hazaras that many in the Pakistan establishment consider as being close to Iran or (even trained by the neighbour). A similar suspicion of the above linkage in the 1980s had resulted in a Shia massacre in early 1988 in Gilgit-Baltistan, which was then suspected of becoming too autonomous of the state and going under Iranian influence.
    Sadly, with no one taking responsibility of security and foreign policymaking, the Hazaras and Shias or other minorities may continue to be killed.
    Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2013

  6. If the liberal and moderate class of Pak remain indifferent to what is going on on the country in the name of islam, them this country will become a hell for civil society and Malik Ishaq type jihadi proxies will become ameer-ul-momineen

  7. 5 December 2010 Last updated at 20:27 Share this pageEmailPrint
    Wikileaks: Saudis ‘chief funders of Sunni militants’

    The cables said militant groups had used front companies in Saudi Arabia to fundraise
    Continue reading the main story
    Wikileaks Revelations
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    Cables at a glance
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last year in a leaked classified memo that donors in Saudi Arabia were the “most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”.

    She said it was “an ongoing challenge” to persuade Saudi officials to treat such activity as a strategic priority.

    The groups funded include al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, she added.

    The memo, released by Wikileaks, also criticised efforts to combat militants by the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.

    Meanwhile, a lawyer for the founder of the Wikileaks website said he was holding back secret material for release if anything happened to him.

    He told the BBC that a rape case being prepared in Sweden against Julian Assange, an Australian national, was politically motivated.

    ‘Dependent on CIA’
    In one classified cable sent in December 2009, Mrs Clinton urged diplomats to redouble efforts to stop funds reaching militants “threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting Coalition soldiers”.

    “While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” she wrote.

    Large sums are raised by militant groups during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, US diplomats believe
    The Saudi government had begun to make important progress, but “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”, she added.

    Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba “probably raised millions of dollars” annually from Saudi sources, often during the Hajj – and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, she alleged.

    Mrs Clinton said reforms to criminalise terrorist financing and restrict the overseas flow of funds from Saudi-based charities had been effective, but that they did not cover equally suspect “multilateral organisations”.

    Another cable alleges that the Pakistani charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which has been accused of being a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005.

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    The lack of effective border controls on cash is no doubt exploited by Taliban couriers and Afghan drug lords”

    Leaked US diplomatic cable
    The US embassy in Riyadh said in February that the Saudi authorities remained “almost completely dependent on the CIA” for information.

    ‘Key transit point’
    Wikileaks is currently working through the publication of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables, whose release has embarrassed the United States.

    Washington has condemned the disclosures – including indiscreet descriptions of world leaders and instructions to spy at the UN – as an attack on the world community.

    In the latest releases, three other US allies in the Gulf were also listed as sources of funding for militants in the memo sent by Mrs Clinton.

    Al-Qaeda and other groups continued to “exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point”, partly because it remains the sole Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) country that has not criminalised terrorist financing, the cable said.

    Continue reading the main story
    The Main Leaks So Far
    Fears that terrorists may acquire Pakistani nuclear material
    Several Arab leaders urged attack on Iran over nuclear issue
    US instructs spying on key UN officials
    China’s changing relationship with North Korea
    Yemen approved US strikes on militants
    Personal and embarrassing comments on world leaders
    Russia is a “virtual mafia state” with widespread corruption and bribery
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “paranoid and weak”
    Comments on the extent of alleged corruption in Afghanistan
    Wikileaks cables: Key issues
    “While the GOK has demonstrated a willingness to take action when attacks target Kuwait, it has been less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks outside of Kuwait,” Mrs Clinton wrote.

    Kuwaiti officials resisted the “draconian” measures sought by the US against the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a charity designated a terrorist entity in 2008 for providing aid to al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, according to one cable.

    Qatar is meanwhile criticised for having “adopted a largely passive approach” to fundraising activities, and its overall level of counter-terrorism co-operation with the US is “considered the worst in the region”.

    The UAE is described as a “strategic gap” that militants can exploit, with the Taliban and Haqqani Network believed to be earning “significant funds” from business interests, kidnapping and extortion there.

    “High volumes of cash and electronic funds flow both to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the vast majority of which is derived from legitimate trade and remittances. The lack of effective border controls on cash is no doubt exploited by Taliban couriers and Afghan drug lords, camouflaged among traders, businessmen and migrant workers,” one cable said.

    Another cable said militants avoided money transfer controls by sending amounts below reporting thresholds, using couriers and hawala – an Islamic informal transfer system.

    Emerging trends include mobile banking, pre-paid cards, and internet banking.