The genocide of the Shias continues unabated in different parts of Pakistan-- particularly in Balochistan, Gilgit, the Kurram Agency and Karachi. The security forces and the intelligence agencies have been unable to prevent frequent massacres of the Shias in these areas and to crush the activities of the Sunni extremist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), which has been openly admitting responsibility for these massacres.
The police controlled by the ministry of the interior headed by Mr.Rehman Malik, is supposed to be responsible for controlling the activities of the LEJ, but it has not been able to. Different security agencies--the Army, the para-military forces, the police, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Interior Ministry--have dissociated themselves from responsibility for inaction against the LEJ and for the failure to protect the Shias.
The Army has not accepted the demand of the Hazara Shias of Balochistan, who are the worst affected, that it should take over the responsibility for their protection. As a result, the Hazara Shia anger, which was initially directed against the security forces/agencies as a whole, is increasingly getting focused on the Army as an institution and Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), as its chief.
The extent of this anger against Gen Kayani has become evident after the massacre of over 100 Hazara Shias of Quetta on January 10 during two explosions targeting a local snooker hall located in a Hazara Shia area. It has been reported that the relatives of the Shias killed have refused to have their bodies buried till the Army takes over the responsibility for their protection and assures their safety.
The Dawn of Karachi ( January 12) has quoted Maulana Amin Shaheedi, a Shia leader, as telling a press conference: “I ask the army chief: What have you done with these extra three years you got (in office). What did you give us except more deaths?” The burials had been scheduled to take place after Friday prayers but the Shia leaders said the bodies would remain in place until the Shias receive promises of protection. “They will not be buried until the army comes into Quetta,” he said.
The Dawn has quoted Ali Dayan Hasan of the Human Rights Watch as saying: “Last year was the bloodiest year for Shias in living memory. More than 400 were killed and if yesterday’s attack is any indication, it is just going to get worse.”
The Army’s focus has been on crushing the Baloch freedom struggle. It is not prepared to divert its resources in Balochistan for protecting the Hazara Shias. Moreover, the fact that the Hazaras originally migrated to Pakistan from Afghanistan has created a certain lack of interest in the Army in protecting them. Initially, they migrated to Afghanistan from Iran. They have Persian features and speak a Persian dialect.
The Hazara Shias have also been suffering due to the fact that while there is sectarian solidarity among the Shias of Pakistan, there is very little ethnic solidarity between the Shias of Afghan origin and native Pakistani Shias.
In the past, Shia anger against individual officers of the Army had led to the assassination of Lt Gen Fazle Haq, a close associate of Gen.Zia-ul-Haq in 1991. He used to be the Martial Law Administrator of the then North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). He also co-ordinated the training of the Afghan Mujahideen. The Shias allegedly killed him because of his suspected involvement in the assassination of a respected Shia cleric.
The death of Zia in a plane crash in August 1988 was itself suspected to have been due to Shia anger over a massacre of the Shias in Gilgit in the beginning of that year.
The Army also ought to be worried about the impact of the anger of the Hazara Shias against Gen.Kayani on the Shias serving in the Armed Forces but the Pakistani security agencies seem to believe that the anger of the Hazara Shias against Kayani may not infect the native Pakistani Shias. This belief may be belied if the massacres of the Hazara Shias continue. Ultimately, sectarian solidarity may prevail over ethnic differences.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies.
People can be responsible for how they interact with those whom they are in contact with. The question is not how a small part of the people behave, but how they interact with those who see these people. It appears, that interaction seems unpleasant, but the large number see the interaction which is unpleasant, as perhaps good, and the small number might have this perception which might be a false perception. It seems, these people who see the unpleasantness as being a burden put on them, then grow in number, and then they find reason to bear arms. This could be the cause of armed conflict, in any number in society.
>>>> Only very strong military action can deal with extremist savages such as the LeJ, LeT and the Taliban. If Pakistani leaders do not have the guts to take them on, their impending dystopia is just too painful to imagine.
>> You are prescribing strong anaesthetic injection to cure the pain of a cancer patient but that will never help.
Armies do not use anaesthesia. They shoot bullets. Why do you write such senseless posts?
Anwaar >> Only very strong military action can deal with extremist savages such as the LeJ, LeT and the Taliban. If Pakistani leaders do not have the guts to take them on, their impending dystopia is just too painful to imagine.
You are prescribing strong anaesthetic injection to cure the pain of a cancer patient but that will never help. What needs is "Strong Chemotherapy". The Theocracy of Pakistan must be dismantled, LOCK, STOCK and BARREL and replaced with a strong, Secular state along lines of Kemal Attaturk's Turkey. Only that can restore peace in this state. And the secularisation of Pakistan will also need the blood of a few thousand talibanites to be shed. But that is in larger interest of a peaceful future in secular pakistan.
Only very strong military action can deal with extremist savages such as the LeJ, LeT and the Taliban. If Pakistani leaders do not have the guts to take them on, their impending dystopia is just too painful to imagine.
This is just an observation about Muslim society. It is apparent, that Muslims in Kashmir, are Shia, and Sunni, and then there are non Kashmiri Muslims, and also Muslims in Ladakh. The U. P. Muslim is also Shia and Sunni, and there are many Muslims in India, not ethnically Indian. The Muslim is supposed to be a religious society, of equal consideration, of being Muslim. It seems, that the idea of unity is a high ideal, because the Muslim is living in a supposed global village.
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