Danish’s crime was being a Shia Muslim – by Marya Mushtaq

Muhammad Danish Baltistani, 32, left his home in Nawan-Killi (Quetta) for University of Balochistan, where he taught in the Computer Science Department on November 29 only to be carried back home by several men. He was killed. His crime: being Shia.

Quetta is house (not home) to a small Balti Community – a maximum of 2000 – all of whom are Shia, and who have migrated from Baltistan and settled in the city over many decades. Unlike the Hazara Shia population in Quetta that is relatively larger and concentrated mainly in two localities, the small Balti population is scattered in various parts of the city.

Danish Baltistani was the 6th Balti to have been killed in Quetta. This figure might seem modest by Pakistan’s standards and can easily be ignored by Pakistanis who are accustomed to a culture of violence and remain indifferent unless either dozens of ordinary citizens or one or more army men are killed. But on a pro rata basis, this small figure which makes up 0.3% of the total Balti population in Quetta, is equivalent to 540,000 deaths in Pakistan (population assumed to be 180 milion).

While Danish’s assassination is another example of state failure (and its direct or indirect complicity in the continuing Shia killings), it also proves that only Hazaras are not being targeted in Quetta, but all Shias are being attacked irrespective of their ethnic affiliations. Danish was not a Hazara, but a Shia, and that crime was sufficient to label him a target and take his life.

Danish achieved martyrdom and will find place in Ganj-e-Shaheedan, Behesht-e-Zainab (s.a) Graveyard (Quetta) on November 30 when he shall be buried there. But as expected, his death couldn’t find space in the corporate media. The state doesn’t care, the government doesn’t care, and the ‘independent’ judiciary wouldn’t bother occupying its time dealing with the death of a lesser-Muslim and lesser-Pakistani.

Rest in Peace Danish

17 responses to “Danish’s crime was being a Shia Muslim – by Marya Mushtaq”

  1. Very sad!

    Shia Muslims have as much right to life and equality as anyone else. Government and military must make all efforts to protect Shias from religious fanatics.

  2. Balochs and Shias are two consumable commodities in Pakistan.

    Where is CJP?

    Where is Pakistani media?

  3. Syed Ali Raza
    Brother, I knew the man personally. He could not hurt an innocent soul;never. He was killed for being a Shia, and there are no hopes for the perpetrators being brought to justice. It will be the same as before. The state/government/agencies/judiciary is useless in its machinery to provide justice. We have long lost hope that this injustice and imperialism within Pakistan will ever fade. The solution available in the days to come will be a kind of its own-people will have no choice. These killings will continue unabated.
    The person in question was like an elder brother to me. While I am away studying in Karachi, whenever I would visit my hometown/Quetta, we would meet up. RIP Danish Bhaii. You will last forever in my memory as a gentle and brave soul. You are our hero!

    khizir farooq
    i hv known him since my childhood he was my best friend and brother. i totaly agree with u Ali raza he was an innocent person who always helped everyone arround him and we will mis him very much. the gap can never be filled. the govt and state has failed to provide safty and justice i hope no family have to bear such a loss and i pray to Allah to give courage and strength to his family……… ill miss u dashi.

    Nausheen Saeed
    We lost another great teacher and a great human . Shame on the Government. they will take as just another killing

    An innocent and Brave person, who was well educated and was spreading his precious knowledge to those who cannot afford. He was a limelight of Gilgit/Baltistani community. My Mother and Aunt used to give me his examples during my childhood, and emphasized me to be like him, a part of motivation from him helped me to be at the stage and status I am.
    I Salute you Danish Bhai, Rest in Peace.
    May Allah curse the cruel.

    Thanks to our Arab friends who have been funding to destablise Pakistan so that their corporations (and airlines) can make more money and please their Master USA.


    Shame…Down with these target killers..

    May his soul rest in peace, and plz pray for his family, that is all what we can do for him, he was my first cousin 31 years old, father of 2 kids.I dont think that any would be able to replace his position as he did alot for his family,friends and students.Dashi you left us all alone forever. I salute your hard work, he was a self made, loyal,hard working person. Dashi remember we always use to have a competition to be on the top, and today I am proud to say that you have completely defeated me by sacrificing your life for your religon,family,students and have made your place amoung the Twinkling STARS.You are a Winner, A real Hero, We will really Miss U Alot.
    May God Give Us strenght to bring those animals (Murderers) to justice, Ameen.

    Danish bhai we will always remember you in our hearts and we will never forget you.
    You will always be remembered all the way to germany. There are no corners in this world where you won’t be missed.
    Danish bhai was a very friendly and jolly person. I hope these persons who did this will get there punishment and i hope justice will be taken. We will miss you danish bhai from your cousins and your pupoh.
    Danish bhai

    I am sorry for your loss.
    Unfortunately this bigoted murder falls under the pattern of sectarian cleansing agenda, especially of minority intellectuals, by these religious anti-Shia ideological Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremists which has been going on for decades.
    Unless security, government and society recognize and condemn the prejudiced religious intolerant views and take this extremist militant, terrorist threat seriously, I fear there will be little hope. I’ve learned in Gilgit/Baltistan sectarianism is quite sadly institutionalized as reflected in the local government.
    There has been positive steps taken in Karachi with a crackdown on guns and militants, albeit after 2 murders and a riot on the first day of Muharram. I can only hope and pray similar measures are taken in Quetta and elsewhere.


  4. Alam was the second university teacher to be killed this year, while a total of five university professors and lecturers have been gunned down since 2008.
    A Baloch intellectual and professor of Islamic Study Saba Dashtiari was shot dead on Saryab Road, near the university, in June this year.
    Saba Dashtiari, whose real name was Ghulam Hussain, was a prominent activist who took part in protest rallies and demonstrations held by the Baloch Students Organisation Azad, Balochistan National Front and Baloch Republican Party against disappearances and target killings of Baloch nationals.
    The other victims include Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Safdar Kayani, lecturer at Media and Journalism Department Nazima Talib and Professor Library and Sciences Department Khurshed Ansari. To date, there has been no progress in all these cases.


  5. The sectarian killings belie the claim made by leaders of religious parties as well as those of PTI and PML(N) that the terrorism is simply a reaction to the US presence in Afghanistan and that with Pakistan dissociating itself from what they call the US war on terrorism, peace would return to the country. What they fail to understand is that extremism is the source and fountain of all terrorism. Unless this is eradicated through comprehensive and all out efforts, incidents of terrorism will continue to take place in the country. What needs to be done side by side is to improve the working of the security agencies. One has to realise that the phenomenon is likely to hound Pakistan long after the departure of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan.


  6. 29 Nov 2011

    Murder in Muharram

    Whenever an occasion even remotely religious in nature comes round in Pakistan, everyone braces themselves for the potential dangers ahead. That the occasion — Muharram — is one that is specially revered by Shias is all the more cause for worry and security concerns. These concerns were quickly realised in the very beginning of the holy month of Muharram this year when Karachi was targeted by an apparent sectarian crime. A protest rally taken out by members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba near Numaish Chowrangi turned violent when its members started firing indiscriminately into a Shia camp that had been set up in that area as part of a Muharram procession. Two people were killed and some 11 people were injured in the incident. It is fortunate that the police arrived on time at the scene as the assailants were apprehended. However, a mob gathered and demanded that the gunmen be handed over so that they be delivered some ‘mob justice’. As we all know, after the Sialkot lynching case, such action has seriously negative repercussions. The crowd grew quite rowdy and had to be diffused after a round of baton charging. The enraged crowd torched vehicles and created a riot. Muharram has only just begun.

    In light of how Muharram has come and gone in past years with violence and bombings taking place at venues and processions where Shias have gathered to commemorate the occasion, it is a wonder that our security and law enforcement agencies still leave so much to be desired. There is always potential for trouble in Muharram with so many hate groups against the Shia community thriving in Pakistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba being one of them. Why was there no security in place at a very likely target such as this Shia camp? Why were law enforcement bodies so obviously missing in action that members of a hate group were able to fire into the crowd and kill and maim so many people? Authorities are well aware of the risks that many religious communities face in this country yet they still have not done enough to prevent sectarian strife. Agreed, the security forces in our country have been stretched very thin due to the war that is raging in the tribal areas and the urban centres but that does not mean that the many crimes against different sects in this country go ignored. One need not remind our law enforcement agencies of the kind of hate Shias face in Pakistan — the brutal murder of Shia Hazaras in Balochistan is a case in point. When they can be gunned down on just about any day of the year, what makes our security agencies feel that they can relax on an occasion of specific importance to the Shia community?

    The malaise of sectarian killings is not confined to the boundaries of any specific area or metropolis. It is a whirlpool of brutality that knows no limits. The rampant running amok of groups such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba, which are allowed to hold rallies in the cities of this country, is an example of how we are leaving behind any last remnants of civility and gradually falling into the abyss of barbarity. Such fanatical Sunni groups are waging their own war against the state and the law enforcement agencies seem unconcerned. Instances such as this one in Karachi, right at the beginning of Muharram, ought to serve as a warning to our security agencies that more such attacks could be right round the corner.


  7. Funeral prayer of two Pakistani Shia martyred scouts offered

    The funeral prayer of two martyred scouts, who were shot dead at Numaish Chowrangi on Sunday on first of Muharram, was offered at Masjid-e-Khairul Amal.

    According to the Shiite News Correspondent, thousands of Azadars and mourners participated in the funeral prayer of Shaheed scouts Syed Azhar Hussain and Syed Zainul Abdin.

    The both scouts of Pak Hyderi and Abu Turab was gunned down by the armed terrorists of outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi at Nishtar Park (Numaish Chowrangi), when they were engaged in their duties for the security of Central Majlis of Muharram held at Nishtar Park.

    The thousands of the participant of the funeral prayer staged a sit-in at Shahrah-e-Pakistan after the funeral prayer and condemned the failure of Police and Rangers to maintain law and order situation in Muharram.

    The volunteer of Pak Hyderi Scouts martyr Syed Azhar Hussain was laid to rest in Wadi Hussain graveyard on late Sunday night. The volunteers of Pak Hyderi Scouts and others laid the flower wreath on the grave of the martyred Scout, who sacrificed his life in the path of his lord Imam Hussain (as) for the supremacy of Islam.

    However, the death body of martyr Zain ul Abideen of Buturab Scouts was after the funeral prayer sent to his native district Chakwal on Monday morning.


  8. I’m extremely agitated for Danish & his family who like many Hazaras fell victim to the state sponsored maniacs & religious bigots.
    With apology, there seem to be a bias approach while addressing to Hazaras here & the writer’s intention is somewhat based on prejudice.

    I appreciate writer’s ‘maths’ but what if we apply the same golden rule to Hazaras & Balochs?? Roughly, they (Hazaras)make up a population of around half a million–could be a bit less or more–I question the writer to apply the same method in case of Hazaras & Baloch seperately and share the findings with all of us.

    And above all why have you (writer)been reluctant not to mention that the so called ‘Ganj-e-Shaheeda’ OR ‘Behesht-e-Zainab’ is in fact a century old ‘HAZARA QABRISTAN’ at the foothill of Murdar Mountains.

    Balochs, Pashtoons, Panjabis & Hazaras and all of our Brothers have been equally gunned down by deep state ‘assets’. But you must admit that Balochs & Hazaras in Balochistan has suffered brutally than any of the aforementioned ethnic groups.

  9. Who says we, the Tooris of Parachinar, are being killed by TTP-LeJ because we are Shias! Lej-TTP terrorist are killing us because we are Pashtuns.

    If Abdul Khaliq Hazara, Ejaz Haider, Ali Dayan and ISI- and LeJ-apologists can play the ethnicity card to obfuscate Shia genocide, why can’t I?

  10. Thanks to Deobandi monsters- the products of madrasas… they have their roots in India and they were opposed to the creation of Pakistan as an independent state during the Pakistan movement. the poor Baluchis struggled for Pakistan and today they have been labeled anti Pakistani and the Deobandis have become the caretakers of an Islamic Pakistan. These stupid mullahas, whether belong to JUI/Deobandi or JI have been opposing by all means… they declared Jinnah as Kafir Azam, see Modudi’s book. today those anti Pakistani elements have become the true defender of the country. Those who talks against their interest of breaking this country are being labeled as anti-state and the state agencies step in to kill and kidnap them. We all should come together and fight these stupid and bloody mullahs….kick their ass and move them back to Deoband India or wherever they want to go. See their name reflects their affiliation- Deobandi has nothing to do with Islam they are just Deobandi not Muslim. Once they have been kicked out we can make Pakistan a country reflecting Islamic values-which is not what these Mullas have been telling us.

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  12. The article is not well established. No one should be killed because of his religious beliefs.
    Points with which I disagree
    1)You said that govt. has not taken any action because he was a shia ! Well President of Pakistan Mr. Zardari is Shia, so you should blame him. Anyways the fact is that gov.t doesnt care if shia dies or sunni dies. So please spreading hatred.
    2) Not talking in terms of value of lives taken,every single life is precious.But the numbers are too insignificant to make a ratio (you should study statistics).
    Killing a single human is like killing whole humanity. Rest in peace Danish, you will be missedby your loved ones.Also we don’t havemuch educated personsin our country.
    RIP !!

  13. I can safely say from the entire Sunni population of Pakistan that we condemn this incident to the fullest. No sane person – coming from any religious sect – has the right to kill anyone. Second, it is the failure of the PPP government lead by Asif Zardari who should be held accountable for all these deaths – be it the military, sunni, shias or any Pakistani for that matter.

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