#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend – by Alizeh Khaleeli

#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend – by Alizeh Khaleeli

It means taking one life away and leaving a few hundred near death. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Another sectarian attack in Parachinar. The infamous hashtag Shia Genocide, however, only lasts momentarily on Twitter before being taken over by more worthy trends like #replaceMovieNameWithSharamnak.

A thoughtless comment by a random person inspired this post.

“Why isn’t it called #SunniGenocide when people die in Parachinar?”

Firstly, let me explain that genocide isn’t claimed by the Shias because it’s the fab trend these days, just in case someone was confused between gadget hype and reality.

Second, genocide isn’t an award or laureate we’d all like to place in a glass showcase. It is the epitome of inhumanity which rages on caused by the efficient inaction by governments (both past and present) fuelled by the desire to not intervene because it is ‘somebody else’s war’, or because it is exactly what they secretly sanctioned.

The United Nations defined genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as:

 ”Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part […]“.

Shia genocide isn’t just a term. It means that for decades, you watch your friends and family watch those they love be sprayed with bullets, butchered, set fire to and be slain. It means that a singer’s death will get an immediate response from the president, his son, and the prime minister; their family will be offered condolences but yours won’t. It means that your dead are unworthy of even that gesture unless you refuse to bury your dead for over four days. It means that a little girl gets to sit in the sleet with her father. It means that a mother will die at the grave of her son, when he is finally buried and she is consumed whole by grief. It means that when whatever shreds of family that is left gathers to commemorate their martyrs on the fortieth day, they too must die.

Sometimes, it is because of the marks on their backs, sometimes because of their features, mostly though it is because of their faith.

It means orphans further orphaning their children. It means there will be screams, crying, nightmares and hugging. It means having the audacity to reign the youth that wants to take some action; that wants permission to reply to the enemy in the same manner and reasoning with them. It is about silencing the last window of hope left; it means there will be no justice now or ever. Lastly, it means that it is okay because we have to learn to let it go.

It means taking one life away and leaving a few hundred near death.

But despite this explanation, you might just be a numbers man. So I’ve compiled in a concise and easy to read form of data from 2012 -2013 of Shia deaths, from target killings to horrific acts like Chilas.

Please note: names, ages and relationships which may be inconvenient and cumbersome for your scornful eyes to read through have been omitted.

I hope you have the stamina to read the answer to why it is a #ShiaGenocide. And if you do have the courage, try to remember every date you just casually glanced over; that particular date is a death anniversary for a family. Many of whom may not have even reached that first anniversary mark yet.



January in Pakistan:

Punjab: 5th, 15th and 16th January

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 7th, 31 January

Sindh: 12th, 13th, 19th,23rd ,25th 30th and 31st January

Balochistan: 17th,18th and 25th January

February in Pakistan:

Sindh: 9th, 15th and 16th February

Punjab: 11th and 19th February

Gilgit Baltistan: 28th and February 29th

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 13th and 17 February

March in Pakistan:

Sindh: 5th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 24th, 26th and 28th March

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 10th, 12th (Parachinar), 12th (Kohat), 18th and 23rd March

Gilgit and Baltistan: 4th, 7th March and 27th March

Balochistan: 18th, 26th, 28th and 29th March

Punjab: 3rd and 17th March

              April in Pakistan:

Gilgit Baltistan: 3rd April

August in Pakistan:

Gilgit Baltistan: 17th August

             September in Pakistan:

Balochistan: 20th September

November in Pakistan:

Sindh: 6th ,7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 21st, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 30th November

Balochistan: 10th, 12th, 17th, 18th and 28th November

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 7th and 29th November

Punjab: 21st, 22nd and 24th November

Islamabad: 12th November

December in Pakistan:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 3rd December

Sindh: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 11th, 12th,13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 29th and 30th December

Balochistan: 4th,13th, 14th,17th,20th ,26th and 30th December

Gilgit Baltistan: 23rd December

Punjab: 8th, 22nd, 30th and 31st December


January 2013 in Pakistan:

Balochistan: 7th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 8th January

Sindh: 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 30th, 31st January

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 19th, 22nd 29th January

Punjab: 5th January.

            February in Pakistan:

Balochistan: 16th February

Sindh: 3rd, 18th March

July in Pakistan:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 27th July

Gilgit Baltistan: 29th July


So you see, #ShiaGenocide is not just a ‘trend’ on Twitter; it is a reality.

Source :


8 responses to “#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend – by Alizeh Khaleeli”

  1. anonymous Aug 3, 2013 – 2:01PM
    To all,
    The reason why its not called sunni genocide is that because sunnis are not being specifically targeted for their religious beliefs. Most Sunnis can go into a mosque, travel to work and shop in karachi without having to continuously look back at your shoulder to check if someone is following them. How many apolitical sunni doctors, educationists, bankers etc have been target killed in karachi because they were sunnis (barring those with shia names)?
    Most sunnis being targeted in karachi are being done so mostly on their political beliefs. Most shia target killings are not even reported in media. I know of plenty of apolitical shias who have lost their loved ones just because they were educated and were shia. So dont bring in the fictitious argument of more sunnis being targeted in karachi. If you look at the hard facts and numbers there is simply no basis for the argument of shia genocide being blown out of proportions argument. Around 40% of (strictly) civilian casualties during the past year were shias even though shias form only 15-20% of total population.
    If you are too blind or biased to admit to a shia genocide in Pakistan then there is really no point in arguing with you.

    Replyunbiased Aug 3, 2013 – 1:39PM
    @Abdul Moiz:
    had it been a sectarian strife, shias would also be blowing themselves in sunni masses to avenge the killing of their loved ones … but Pakistan has yet to see any such bombing !!!!!

    Replyunbiased Aug 3, 2013 – 2:16PM
    @Unaccepted son of soil aka Karachi Wala:
    saeen how many sunnis have been killed for their faith ????? for their being sunnis ???? how many ???? shias are being killed for being shias !!!! and yes if u say bralvis are being killed for their i agree with u as the killers of braelvis and shias are the same …

    Replyasif Aug 3, 2013 – 2:45PM
    There is no Sunni genocide in Karachi because those people are not being targeted for their Sunni religion.
    All murders and homicides cannot be called a genocide.

    ReplyUnfortunate Pakistani Aug 3, 2013 – 2:27PM
    To all ‘non-shia’ readers – No one stops any writer from writer about ‘Sunni genocide’. You find material/events/murders and write about it. Your ignorance in representing your cause is not the fault of any journalist or any community. It can mean two things: Its either YOU are too lazy to report murder in your own home, or it doesn’t happen with such frequency or ferocity that makes it prominent enough to be cried about. Its not in Its not like their heads chopped off and delivered on their doorsteps, or regularly blowing themselves up in mosques…which btw happens to Shia muslims, with alarming frequency. Death of a human being is not a competition. Death of masses on the basis of their religion doesn’t deserve a medal for 1st and 2nd places but some serious thinking on what is wrong with teaching, values or morals which enrages someone to such an extent as to kill someone on the basis of what he thinks.
    A better approach would be to leave the pathetic facade of religious harmony, and embrace the notion, the Sunnis would not like to live with Shias. Leave the hypocrisy behind.
    And ET please dont censor my comment….plzzzz

    ReplyJamaluddin Aug 3, 2013 – 3:55PM
    Well written Alizeh. It was hard hitting and factual. Kudos to you for highlighting the plight of Shias in Pakistan in a brilliant manner.

    ReplyParvez Aug 3, 2013 – 3:33PM
    One is at a loss for adequate words to condemn the atrocity of killing and more so of killing in the name of religion.
    The Canadian academic Murtaza Haider has in daily DAWN pointed out a report by the European Parliament – Policy Dept – titled The Involvement of Salfi / Wahabbism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world. In this the names of KSA, UAE an Qatar are taken in very unflattering terms………..this makes for interesting reading.
    The blame for allowing this to happen………rests with us.

    ReplyUnfortunate Pakistani Aug 3, 2013 – 2:11PM
    Kindly compare sunnis killed in the name of religion with Shias…do it and you have your answer. You cant compare killing in the name of politics, gangwars and what not with Killing because of your beliefs. I certainly hope that the sunni population of Pakistan gets picked off in packs and packs…then you will be right in lamenting about Sunni genocide. Hypocrites!!

    ReplySaad Khan Aug 3, 2013 – 1:10PM
    What about the #Sunnigenocide in Karachi?Social media activists remain silent over that.

    Replybigsaf Aug 4, 2013 – 2:51AM
    Those who are trying to make a disingenuous parallel with ‘Sunni genocide’ are like white supremacists who claim they’re discriminated more than a historically persecuted and still currently persecuted black folks. The privileged Sunni supremacist sentiments and anti-Shia arguments are simply borne out of prejudiced and bigoted ideological resentment of the minority, who are indeed suffering more disproportionately, and is absolutely NOT an equal 2 sides sectarian affair.
    The fact of the matter is that overall terrorist violence, including sectarian violence, is heavily monopolized by Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremist militants, and it is quite lop-sided. The Barelvi Sunni Muslims are also suffering from these extremists, but are also now embroiled and victims in local political violence in Karachi. Extremist activists from Deoband organizations such as ASWJ, tied to militant terrorist organizations, also get targeted, by both Shia or Barelvi militants, however, there is no random Sunni Muslim who is murdered for simply being Sunni Muslim (though they do get killed by other Sunni extremists, who are targeting a specific public location or anti-extremist personality), nor are they bombed into oblivion anywhere for simply being targeted for being ‘Sunni’. The statistics do not lie and they bear them out.

    Replyanonymous Aug 4, 2013 – 6:22AM
    @Urooj Zehra, Peshawar:
    Yes Sunnis are being murdered, christians are being burnt and shias are being slaughtered. Difference: christians and Shias are being killed because of the very fact that they are christians and Shias; HENCE THE TERM TARGET KILLING!! I sincerely hope that helps.

    Replyjamal Aug 3, 2013 – 8:32PM
    Sunni are not murdered for being Sunni.
    But Shia are murdered for being Shia. This is why it is a Shia genocide.

    Replyazhar siddiqui Aug 3, 2013 – 1:13PM
    People from both the sects are dying,there are militants within both the sects.Let’s not pretend that only one sect is being targetted.

    ReplyUnaccepted son of soil aka Karachi Wala Aug 3, 2013 – 1:41PM
    No one talks about everyday 9 to 15 Sunnis die on the streets of Karachi….Wait Sunnis are in majority so their killing can not be justified as genocide right…..If you have accidently read the newspaper there were around 1,700 people killed in the Karachi from January to June if I’m not worng there will be only 200 shia out of those 1,700….Why don’t we think above sect a live lost is live lost not shia or sunni. Riseup above the sect it will be better for us and for Pakistan.

    ReplyMehdi Aug 3, 2013 – 5:18PM
    Your blog points out the view presented here by many that there is no Shia genocide, as many Pakistanis are in denial and fear the truth. Shias are targeted because of their faith. It is preposterous to say that there is a Sunni genocide by numerous post, i have seen here.Some are even implicitly supporting Shia killing. Shias are killed by extremist Sunni in a country where a study has been done that shows 50% of the populace think that shias are not even Muslim. Pakistan is heading towards being a failed state, if people continue to harbor such bigoted mindset. But again job well done highlighting the plight of oppressed minority.

    ReplyAbdul Moiz Aug 3, 2013 – 1:09PM
    This is a sectarian conflict that has been going on for centuries and it’s not one sided as some people are desperate to portray it as.Sunnis are on the receiving end in Karachi but no one in the media talks about this fact.Both sides are taking the hits.This attempt by some people to portray this as only one side suffering are fooling no one.

    Replyanonymous Aug 4, 2013 – 6:17AM
    @Beenish Bawany:
    I would really appreciate a proof of Sunni Genocide, i.e. by terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or TTP. Is there a proof, or a claim by these terrorists or any other terrorist organization (and I would really appreciate if you expose them) that they killed Sunnis in Karachi just because they are Sunnis and only for there religious believes.
    No one here is saying that people aren’t dying. Country is in turmoil. But thats the thing when Christian colonies are burnt, its condemned yet when not one, not two, not even three but dozens of minority civilians of this nation are killed (brutally butchered), why do we remain silent?

    ReplyAbidi Aug 3, 2013 – 1:03PM
    It isn’t just the trend on twitter. It has become a trend to hear about the genocide, rant about it and then wait for the other upcoming target killings. Nobody seems to care. Everybody is just busy in his own lives and he won’t care until this tragic thing won’t knock at his door. But again the point is what exactly can we do about it? It isn’t any education policy which we can change.

    ReplyUnfortunate Pakistani Aug 3, 2013 – 3:21PM
    Please report Sunni Mass murder! Please! we wont to hear about it…the world needs to know it…come on…Pakistan is waiting.

    ReplyShumaila anwar Aug 3, 2013 – 1:20PM
    Why are people being misled into believing that only one sect’s individuals are dying?

    Replyvaqas Aug 3, 2013 – 9:07PM
    We all hear stories of people id cards being checked and such and then being murdered. I have heard of only two types of people being murdered like that. One are the shia sect people, and it is happening to them generally all over the country and particularly karachi and quetta ( karachi probably because i live in it, so i hear more stories from it ) . And the others are non- balochi, particularly punjabi being done with in the same manner in balochistan. Recently i have heard a story of the same nature about non- balochi being dragged out of a bus near the lyari area, and being taken away too, but that might just be a sporadic event. Im not one to go looking for such stories, but i hear them nonetheless. If they are true, and they probably are, they are very sorry tales of a barbaric nature. If the same is happening with sunnis, then please do share. Otherwise shut up and recognize the brutality and act against it before the inhuman dogs carrying out these heinous acts find a reason to do you and everyone else too. Pathetic people we all our. Shame on all of us.

    Replysidjeen Aug 3, 2013 – 6:43PM
    to all those who say why not sunni genocide well the writer said it in the article. genocide is not a trophy. and by the way no sunni has so far been taken out of a bus asked for his identity card and then killed because his name sounded like a sunni

    ReplyTania Jawed Aug 3, 2013 – 1:23PM
    @Saad Khan
    No,the popular narrative that has been set is that only one sect is suffering.That’s the official narrative in Pakistan and anyone daring to disagree with that is branded a Taliban,Al Qaeda sympathizer.No one dare deviate from the set narrative.

    ReplyMuhammad Bilal Aug 3, 2013 – 1:18PM
    Sectarian activists on the social media are trying to give the colour that only shias are being murdered whereas in reality Sunnis are being targetted in great numbers especially in Karachi.It’s time the world talked about that also.

    ReplyZeeshan Aziz Aug 3, 2013 – 1:15PM
    Karachi has become the favourite refuge for those who are committing Sunni genocide.Sunnis are being target killed in karachi,while shias are being targetted in Quetta.This sectarian war will only damage Pakistan.

    ReplyAsghar Aug 3, 2013 – 6:13PM
    Great Article Alizeh…Unfortunately nothing will change in this country. You can get an idea of that by the type of comments. In spite of your clear explanation regarding genocide, the bias and resentment some people have in their hearts leaves them no choice but to respond with these types of arguments. It is truly sad…

    ReplyMehdi Aug 3, 2013 – 5:25PM
    Yes that piece was an eye opener. Shias will not be safe in Pakistan with the present mindset of the people who have expressed their view points here. I despise when people justify one wrong deeds with another one. It is common theme among esteemed Sunni Muslims. Shias under attack through out Islamic world, that is the many reason Shias opt for asylum in a non Muslim countries where they flourish.

    ReplyBilal Aug 4, 2013 – 11:37AM
    To all,
    The reason why its not called sunni genocide is that because sunnis are not being specifically targeted for their religious beliefs. How many apolitical sunni doctors, educationists, bankers etc have been target killed in karachi because they were sunnis (barring those with shia names)?
    Most sunnis being targeted in karachi are being done so mostly on their political beliefs. Most shia target killings are not even reported in media. I know of plenty of apolitical shias who have lost their loved ones just because they were educated and were shia. So dont bring in the fictitious argument of more sunnis being targeted in karachi.
    If you are too blind or biased to admit to a shia genocide in Pakistan then there is really no point in arguing with you.

    ReplyInsaan Aug 3, 2013 – 3:30PM
    @azhar siddiqui: People from both the sects are dying,there are militants within both the sects.Let’s not pretend that only one sect is being targeted
    When one sect starts killing people of other sects, and other sects starts to respond, you can’t say both sects are bad.
    Pakistan created talibans and Mujhahideens to control Afghanistan and bleed India. If these terrorists start killing Pakistanis, Pakistan can’t cry “terrorism” because it itself created the problem.

    ReplySuqraat Aug 3, 2013 – 9:57PM
    Before I say anything, I swear upon my mother that both my parents are Sunni and I am also a Sunni. Having said that I agree with the authoress on the content of the above blog. Now coming to the comments I would say that ranting about Sunni genocide in Karachi is plain balderdash. Precarious security environment in Karachi is mostly due to militant factions of every major political party. Confusing it with Sunni oriented killings is plainly unjust and akin to blindfolding oneself to facts.
    One has to admit that ponderous blasts which happened twice to Hazara community in Quetta, Abbas town blast Karachi and than Parachinar blast were terrible and we Sunni’s are lucky not to witness such massacres. Touch wood.

    Replybigsaf Aug 4, 2013 – 3:04AM
    Even far away Canada, which is not embroiled in a sectarian war, lists its number one major domestic and foreign threat, out of all its other lesser threats, as religio political Sunni Islamist extremism, particularly of the Wahhabi/Salafi kind.
    This is also what ails Pakistan, but unfortunately its population and state are simply not honest with itself in accepting this reality, which is not a coincidence. I would hope there were more moderates instead of such biased folks from the majority.
    The only good news from some of the denialist and deluded comments above is that there wasn’t the usual conspiracist RAW, CIA, etc to explain away the sectarianism (probably because some of the violence is finally coming close to home), which I remember hearing for decades whenever there was a brutal attack on the Shia Muslim minority community.

    Replyfaiyaz Aug 3, 2013 – 6:43PM
    to all those who are talking about sunni genocide.
    first of all sunni’s being murdered doesn’t come under the umbrella of the term ‘genocide’ which the writer mentioned in earlier paragraphs.
    secondly what is wrong with you people, seriously?? when the writer tried to pronounce the ongoing issue that has plagued and grossing us out why are you all people trying to nullify it with sunni murder?? can it be nullified? or if you’re trying so are you doing any iota of goodness to those shia’s being targeted for which the article was written in the first place.In reality you’re deliberately throwing your gaze away from shia genocide towards sunni one. does that not mean that you’ve poles in your ideologies in this regard.
    talk about shia genocide please. no one will kill you for that. yes you could be killed..more so if you’re a shia

    ReplyStrange Aug 3, 2013 – 9:58PM
    The topic is Shia geogocied Right?
    Can anyone deny that its not happening?
    The killing of any person irrespective of their faith is equally regrettable (Sunnis and other sects)
    But all other sects are not the victims of TTP, SSP and LeJ. These butchers have claimed the responsibility of Shia Killings almost on every occassion. A news site reported that during DIKhan jail break only the Shia prisoners were beheaded, So if there isn’t anything like Shia geniocide then why Shia prisoners were brutally killed?
    Whatever the history of sectarian conflicts might be, killing the members of a specific sect which happens to be in minority is brutality.
    Everyone should consider these sorts of killings a cruelity, a menance even if they do not agree with the term Shia geneocide.

    Replyomer ali Aug 4, 2013 – 2:58PM
    no one can deny it ..#ShiaGenocide is a reality in pakistan

    Replyhurr Aug 3, 2013 – 6:49PM
    call it genocide or ethnic cleansing they are perpetuated because of hatred based upon a particular group’s religious beliefs. It is evidently been done and repeated by the fanatics the be it taliban, lashkar jhangvi or any group who convienently proclaim any one as an infidal KAFIR these takfeeris are ruthlessly buchering shias in Pakistan as shias are the scape goats–easy targets beside the ahmedis. all those moderate muslims who are keeping a mum on these sectarian killings of shia will themselves be the next victims of this buchery as these fanatics will not spare anyone in the future; who ever raise a voice against them will be eliminated. These talibans and their associates have a very narrow agenda– to control pakistan and perhaps other places for their personal gains– ironically still people deliberate whether these killings are genocide or not

    ReplyPradhan Aug 4, 2013 – 7:26AM
    @Urooj Zehra, Peshawar:
    Of course shunni must have been murdered too but you see, you can’t complain about how much your palm hurts after you slap someone.
    @Beenish Bawany:
    Its not a narrative the author has given the dates and time where killing occurred and ppl got killed just coz of they being shia. Why the author called it a genocide she gave her reasons by citing the definition of the word genocide. The question you should be asking yourslef is are you brave enough to accept/call a geocide ad genocide?? or are you going to call a genocide a propaganda.
    You have to think about why these killings occuring?? As per wiki, the first group created based on their hatred towards shia sect is in 1980 which was supported by then leader of Pakistan Zia Ul Haq and the group name is Sipah-e-Sahaba. This group officially described it that Shia are not Muslim. There are I am sure still people think Shia are not Muslims.
    My problem is not what they think about Shia or ahmadis or any other muslim sect. My problem is the kind of mindset that justify/allows muslms to kill non-muslims.

    Replyunknown Aug 4, 2013 – 1:01AM
    for those claiming it to be a sectarian conflict …but i also agree this shia killing is not done by our sunni brothers but by Wahabis…tell how many bombing has happened at any big wahabi gathering or place in the recent past?? remember pakistan has almost 70-75% sunnis living in it and barely 20% shias now compare the death toll and ull see 70% people killed are shia and 20-25% are sunnis does it make sense……

    ReplyMehdi Aug 4, 2013 – 5:50PM
    Yes I do. Respect is two way street, when you implicitly support Shia killings, then your opinion borderlines Bakwas or bigotry. As a Shia myself I will call you out.

    ReplyMehdi Aug 4, 2013 – 5:52PM
    Do you agree if there is a Shia genocide going in Pakistan ? Yes or no. Answer is quite simple. I despise people who support killers.


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