2018 ended the way most years have ended for Shia Muslims in
Pakistan; with the loss of another valuable community leader who raised
his voice against Takfirism. The murder of Syed Ali Raza Abidi
highlighted for the umpteenth time that Shia Muslims in Pakistan
continue to face a slow motion genocide.
As per reports compiled
by LUBP based on news items, we have the following statistics. During
2018, there were 29 instances of attacks on Shia Muslims resulting in 57
deaths and 49 being wounded.
The biggest incident was the bomb
blast targeting the Sunday Bazar in Orakzai agency. This blast was
planted in an area with a large Shia Pashtun population, resulting in 30
deaths and 35 critically injured.
The highest number of
incidents targeting Shia Muslims took place in KPK followed by
Baluchistan. There were four incidents reported in Sindh and one in the
Quetta as a city had the highest number of incidents
followed by Dera Ismail Khan. It is important to note that in
Balochistan, the Shia Muslims targeted were from different ethnic
groups. This directly contradicts those fringe activists who want to
obfuscate and limit Shia Genocide as a specific ethnic issue. Similarly,
in KPK, the victims included both Pashtun and Seraikis.
3 incidents were reported in Karachi during 2018 during which 3 Shias were martyred and 3 were critically injured.
For a basis of comparison, there were 33 incidents of attacks on Shia
Muslims in 2017. 308 Shia Muslims lost their lives in these attacks and
548 were injured.
As per the details and reports accumulated by LUBP, close to 23,000
Shia Muslims had been killed by 2012*. Banned Takfiri Deobandi terrorist
hate group, ASWJ-LeJ (aka) Sipah Sahaba brazenly took credit for many
of these murders.
By 2018, this number is estimated to be over 2018.
As per data prepared by LUBP, the casualties of Shia Genocide include
30% who are under the age of 18. This comes to about 6,000 children!
Inspite of these realities, Pakistan’s commercial mafia, journalists
and NGO interests not only fail to acknowledge Shia Genocide. Not only
that, they actively deny, obfuscate and even justify Shia Genocide in
There are three dimensions of Shia Genocide is in
Pakistan that need to be highlighted – but rarely are they. These
dimensions include 1) highlighting the Shia identity of the victims 2.
Identifying the Takfiri Deobandi identity of ASWJ-LeJ that is carrying
out this genocide 3) Questioning the flimsy excuses and obfuscations
used to justifying Shia Genocide
Firstly, Pakistani Shia
Muslims are the most heavily targeted faith community in Pakistan – both
in terms of incidents and casualties.
Secondly, it is important
to highlight who is perpetrating Shia Genocide in Pakistan. Those who
are targeting Shia Muslims are from a Takfiri background whose specific
faith identity is Deobandi. ASWJ-LeJ/Sipah Sahaba, Taliban, JeM,
Jundullah, Jamaat ul Ahrar are all Deobandi terrorist hate groups having
affiliations with ISIS Al Qaeda.
The third dimension is to
obfuscate and justify Shia Genocide in False Binary terms such as Sunni
vs Shia/Saudi Arabia vs Iran.
These flimsy justifications fall
apart when it is also highlighted that those Takfiri groups targeting
Shias ALSO target Sunnis, Sufis, Christians, Moderate Deobandis, Hindus,
Ahmadis and Sikhs.
Another insidious obfuscation tactic of
denying Shia Genocide is to dilute and negate the Shia identity of the
victims and distort and confuse the issue using an ethnic cover. So
fringe establishment groups like the HDP distort Shia Genocide in Quetta
as purely an ethnic issue – even as LeJ that is doing the killing is
clear that it is the Shia faith identity of the Hazara ethnic population
that is the reason for their targeting. Actually, Non-Hazara Shias have
been killed in a greater proportion to their overall population in
Baluchistan, what to say of the rest of the country.
tactics are employed in DIK, Parachinar and Peshawar to obfuscate the
Shia identity of the victims of Takfiri violence. These insidious
tactics serve two purposes. They are designed to deny Shia Genocide as
well as support the weaker narratives of sub-nationalist movements. The
most prominent example is that of Sabeen Mahmud whose murder was first
hijacked to create attention for the Baloch movement. Her killer
actually turned out to be an educated urbanite who was a hard core
follower of Sipah Sahaba’s Takfiri ideology and who murdered Sabeen for
her stance against the notorious Lal Masjid. Khurram Zaki was another
person who paid with his life for standing up to the Lal Masjid and
Just recently, Ali Raza Abidi’s murder was
misused and misrepresented purely as the infighting between various MQM
factions. Similar tactics were also employed to obfuscate the murders of
Amjad Sabri (Sufi), and Manzar Imam (Sunni). All these individuals were
under threat by Takfiri terrorists and hate mongers but some tried to
misrepresent their deaths initially.
This column by the Daily Times today provides a good end note against the obfuscations constructed to deny Shia Genocide:
“The question that who killed Abidi can be answered simply by going
through his statements and activities from the past few months. Prior to
the general elections, Abidi was an active part of the civil
society-led campaign against participation of banned sectarian outfits
in the polls. In a video clip that he had released at the time, Abidi
was seen condemning the state’s failure to restrict the electoral
involvement of SSP/ASWJ. He had said that their involvement in the
election is violation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and that the
state should ensure that such elements do not reach the assembly. In
this video message, the slain politician had clearly named and called
out anti-Shia terrorist organisation Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and its
political wing Ahl-e-SunnatWal Jamaat (ASWJ) which contested the
elections under a newly-formed group called Pakistan Rah-e-Haq party.
Abidi had commented that the state was not acting against the banned
terror groups which have continued their political activities under new
names in violation of the NAP. He had always been vocal against banned
sectarian outfits in the National Assembly as well. This is why these
banned terror outfits frequently posted hateful content on their social
media pages (which are still up and running despite hate speech),
targeting Ali Raza Abidi for his Shia faith.”
*this number includes both reported incidents as well as those Shias
who have been killed in mass scale indiscriminate attacks by Takfiri
Deobandi terrorists. Takfiri terrorists from the Deobandi sect were
found to be responsible for 90% of all terrorist activity by a 2010
study covered by Murtaza Haider’s “An Incurable Disease” (DAWN). That
number has only gone up after several mass scale attacks by the same
Deobandi terrorists on schools, Imambaras, Sufi shrines, churches, Shia