Commemorating the Chehlum (40th Day) of Askari Raza’s martyrdom, thousands of Shia Muslims gathered in Karachi to mark the Difa-e-Shia Conference (DSC) (or Difa-e-Tashayyo Conference) on February 18, 2012. While Pakistan’s mainstream media gave no coverage to this conference, a Pakistani blog has published a brief report which can be read at this link.
The Difa-e-Shia Conference took place one day after a suicide bomber belonging to the ISI-backed Haqqani Taliban (linked with SSP-LeJ-ASWJ) exploded himself in a busy market in Parachinar (Kurram agency) killing at least 46 Shia Muslims and injuring many others.
Askari Raza was murdered in Karachi 6 weeks ago by ISI-sponsored Lashkar-e-Jhangvi/Sipah-e-Sahaba terrorists (new name: Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ) after having received death threats not only from the SSP-LeJ-ASWJ terrorists but also senior police officer Chaudhary Aslam known to have close links with the ISI. As expected, and as usual, this huge and very important gathering went unnoticed as the corporate-jihadi media had blacked it out.
The conference in Karachi, which passed several resolutions, was anchored basically on a single-point agenda: putting an end to the state-sponsored genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Shia Muslims have been targeted for defying the Jihadist policies of the military establishment ever since the military coup by General Zia ul Haq. From the burning of Ali Masjid in Karachi in 1978 to the latest attack (17 Feb 2012) on Parachinar by the Haqqani network, Shias have lost thousands of lives for being on the wrong side of the military establishment. From opposing the enforced Islamization drive of General Zia to opposing the Taliban, especially in Quetta, Parachinar, D.I.Khan, Karachi and South Punjab, Shias have paid a heavy price.
However, the ISI and its terrorist sucklings are not the only antagonists Shias are facing. In recent times, ISI has played a diabolical game by putting an oppositional veneer on two of its organs, the media and the judiciary, and they too are charged up against the cornered Shia Muslims. While the Judiciary is bent upon releasing terrorists such as Malik Ishaq, Qari Saifullah Akhtar etc, Pakistan’s pro-establishment media either puts a blanket to all news related to Shia Muslims or misrepresents the facts portraying the one-sided mass killings of Shias by state-backed Jihadists as “sectarianism” thereby dishonestly portraying the situation as a routine Shia-Sunni conflict. Such discourse omits the fact that majority of Sunni Muslims reject SSP-LeJ-ASWJ terrorists, hence ISI-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian violence against Shias must not be reported as Sunni-Shia sectarianism.
In the meanwhile, Pakistan’s weakened civilian government, President, Prime Minister, Provincial Chief Ministers, Interior Minister etc have completely failed to protect innocent Shia Muslims. While government ministers and office bearers are interested in saving and retaining their ministries and other prestigious positions, they have turned completely blind to the ongoing massacres of Shia Muslims right from Karachi to Parachinar and from Quetta to D.I.Khan.
Keeping in view the Difa-e-Shia Conference, one might be compelled to say that perhaps the Shias of Pakistan, having been battered and betrayed by the multi-headed-hydra of the Pakistani state, have finally realized that they can no more rely upon the assurances of the state and need to be strengthened, build themselves a platform to fix their feet upon. All Shia Muslims must apply for licensed weapons and use such weapons to attack any SSP-LeJ-ASWJ killers which approach to attack them. Shias must also maintain close contact with media and human rights groups in order to get their routine silence duly highlighted in Pakistani and international media.
Shias should bear in mind that they too need to stop looking beyond the borders for policy directions and help, and reject certain lobbies within their ranks that support unrealistic, pan-Islamist policies. Such policies must be rejected irrespective of their origin and creed. Pakistani Shias should also make sure that they do not leave any ambiguity in identifying their real enemies, i.e., Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian beasts. Chanting slogans against USA (Notwithstanding the USA’s disgraceful selective morality on Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia) wouldn’t help them when Shias of Pakistan are actually being targeted by the ISI backed terrorists.
Video: Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi’s address
Huriyat TV’s report on Difa-e-Shia Conference