Some Pakistani human rights activists including Shia activists have rejected – as ’very weak’ – the formal statement issued by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on the Mastung massacre.The recent massacre on September 20, 2011 claimed twenty-six Shi’a Muslims’ lives in Mastung area of Baluchistan that were en route to Iran for pilgrimage.
The banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has claimed the responsibility for the killings and the local politicians quickly claimed ‘foreign hands’ behind the continuous instability of the Baluchistan province.
Some banned terrorist organizations, including Sippah-e Sahaba, Pakistan (SSP); Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ); and Tehrik-e Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) have been readily claiming responsibility for the ongoing massacres including the recent rash of Shia mass murders.
Many reports in the local and international media indicate that the banned organization have continuously received supports from various Pakistani security institutions, including evidence of complicity of military, judiciary, and even the political parties in promoting extremism in various regions of Pakistan.
However, when it comes to Hazara Shias, rights organization like Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, HRCP, and many ‘non-responding journos’ have been at the receiving end of criticism by the other activists for not sufficiently highlighting as such the “massacres by the SSP-TTP proxies of the deep state.”
In their most recent criticism, the activists have accused HRCP leadership, specially naming Zohra Yusuf, its chair, of lack of fortitude and uprightness.
“Why doesn’t Zohra Yusuf and her colleagues in HRCP show some courage and integrity,” says Pakistan Blogzine, a human rights activism website.
The activists have decried HRCP statement for portraying the ongoing Shia massacres by “the SSP-TTP proxies of the deep state” as ‘routine’ sectarian clashes among Sunnis and Shias.
The website also denounced HRCP for failing to “name and condemn the Deep State for its institutional support to the SSP-TTP foot soldiers who are killing Shia Muslims and other minority communities in Pakistan.”
Not everone in the activism quarters agrees with the criticism of HRCP statement and most of the disagreements are playing out on social media websites such as Twitter.
“…attacking HRCP is counter-productive,” says Ali Dayan Hasan, who represents Human Rights Watch in Pakistan.
“..have done this work basically all my adult life. but i am equally trained to see what damages the cause. this does,” Hasan resentfully tweeted in response to the barrage of disparaging posts from multiple quarters.
“HR professionals will always hve activists snapping at their heels,” Munir Khan, a human rights activist tweeted in response. “U should embrace that & recognise tht it comes wth the job.”