You don’t have the right to keep misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan: A comment on HRCP 2010 Report

Systematic massacres of Shia Muslims remain equally ignored by Pakistani media and human rights groups.

Source: Pakistan Blogzine

Related posts: LUBP: Intellectual dishonesty in misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan

Ahmadiyya Times: Activists slam rights organization statement as ’very weak,’ lacking integrity

Today, the first thing I received on Twitter was the following message from Amnesty International:

amnesty AmnestyInternational
Happy Human Rights Day!

Next I received a tweet which directed me to a Pakistani blogger Sana Saleem’s article titled “You do not have the right to remain silent” published in daily Dawn, to mark the celebration of human rights around the world.

The catchy title and the subject itself gave me hope that finally someone has decided to break Pakistan’s urban elite’s and media’s silence onthe ongoing and systematic Shia target killings in Pakistan by Pakistan army backed Jihado-sectarian groups (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi LeJ, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan SSP, Tehrik Taliban Pakistan TTP etc).

However, my hopes were soon dashed when I read that the only reference to Shia massacres in Sana’s post was this vague sentence:

“Violence against various Muslim sects claimed the lives of 418 people and injured 963.”

The above statement reminded me of the much cited LUBP post: Intellectual dishonesty in misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan

Apparently, the main source and motivation of Sana Saleem’s article is the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) annual report 2010 which has been recently released to document and highlight the state of human rights (or lack thereof) in Pakistan.

Thinking that Sana Saleem perhaps did not adequately interpret the HRCP’s annual report, I decided to review the report myself with a view to read its findings on the ongoing target killings of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

(It may be noted that according to an estimate, more than 1000 Shia Muslims have been target killed in various areas of Pakistan, including Parachinar, Quetta, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan, Lahore and other areas in the last three years. In terms of sheer numbers, Shia Muslims are the largest target killed faith group in Pakistan followed by Barelvi Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and others.)

The following is a quick summary of my findings after reviewing the HRCP’s annual report 2010.

  • The HRCP’s State of Human Rights in 2010 annual report  is a blatant attempt at obfuscating the target killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
  • The report ( masks and misrepresents the largest target killed faith group in Pakistan (ie, Shia Muslims). Read and weep!
  • HRCP dishonestly misrepresents Shia genocide as acts of equal violence amongst various Muslim sects. How LeJ-esque, how vague!
  • HRCP misrepresents Shia massacres in Pakistan by ISI-backed LeJ-SSP-TTP as random “violence against various Muslim sects”
  • In the entire HRCP report, there is no mention of how Pakistan’s military establishment enables LeJ-SSP in Shia genocide in Pakistan.
  • On no point is the complicit role of Pakistani judiciary highlighted which routinely releases known terrorists eg Malik Ishaq, Hafiz Saeed, Qari Saifullah Akhtar.
  • On no point in its report, HRCP mentions the silence and/or misrepresentation of Shia massacres in Pakistan’s mainstream media.
  • Showing either its incompetence or dishonesty, HRCP report offers no statistics on total number of Shia Muslim target killed in 2010, which according to an independent estimate is between 300 and 400.
  • On pp.125-6, the HRCP report masks Shia genocide in an ambiguous heading “sectarian violence”, while the same report deems it apt to have a dedicated section on human rights of Sikhs, Hindus, Ahmadis. There is no dedicated section on Shias and their genocide!
  • Not a single time in HRCP’s report, it acknowledges that 95% of religious violence against Shias, Barelvis, Ahmadis, Christians etc is committed by radicalised Deobandis of LeJ-SSP-TTP.
  • HRCP report very dishonestly presents LeJ-SSP as a Sunni group. For God’s sake, LeJ-SSP terrorists represent their Saudi-ISI masters, not peaceful Sunnis.
  • HRCP mentions Barelvi, Shia and Ahle-Hadith sects by name. However, it does not refer to one group. Guess who?………….. ….err….Deobandis! (Is it a coincidence that SSP, LeJ and TTP are all Deobandi groups!)
  • HRCP’s report mentions 2 women killed when houses collapsed due to rains in Dera Ismail Khan; the report, however, makes no mention of dozens of Shias killed by SSP-LeJ in D.I.Khan!
  • HRCP has a consistent pattern of ignoring and misrepresenting the largest target killed faith group in Pakistan. Very Sad!
  • In September 2011, Zohra Yusuf of HRCP issued a similar, vague statement on Shia killings in Pak. Here’s a commentary:
  • Apparently HRCP comprises incompetent or dishonest people. Can’t they read good research done by others, eg Murtaza Haider and cite in their reports?

What a pity that on Human Rights Day, Pakistan’s most target killed faith group Shia Muslims find little consolation in HRCP’s annual report!

Then we have urban bloggers, eg Sana Saleem who lecture us on “You do not have the right to remain silent” based on an uncritical reading of HRCP and other mainstream media reports.

Of course, how many in our mainstream media reported the two recent videos of Shia Muslims being slaughtered by security forces backed LeJ-SSP terrorists?

I request all rights activists and journalists to call out the HRCP’s hypocrisy in masking and misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan. I urge everyone to review how HRCP has misrepresented Shia killings in its annual report. It is important to join our weak voices together to confront the criminal silence in the mainstream media and urban elites.



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