POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Mar 27, 2014 AT 23:58 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 28, 2014 00:58 IST

I have written before about the historical background of the Shia-Sunni conflict, and in particular about its manifestations in Pakistan. Since then, unfortunately but predictably, the phenomenon of Shia-killing in Pakistan has moved a little closer to my personal circle. First it was the universally loved Dr Ali Haider, famous retina surgeon, son of the great Professor Zafar Haider and Professor Tahira Bokhari, killed in broad daylight in Lahore along with his young son. 

This week it was Dr Babar Ali, our friend and senior from King Edward Medical College; He was the assistant DHO (district health officer) and head of the anti-Polio campaign in Hasanabdal, who was shot dead by "unknown assailants" as he drove out of his hospital at night. Shia portals reported his death but it is worth noting that no TV channel or major news outlet reported on this murder. Such deaths are now so utterly routine that they do not even make the news.

This should scare everyone.

In 2012 I had predicted that:

“The state will make a genuine effort to stop this madness. Shias are still not seen as outsiders by most educated Pakistani Sunnis. When middle class Pakistanis say “this cannot be the work of a Muslim” they are being sincere, even if they are not being accurate.

But as the state makes a greater effort to rein in the most hardcore Sunni militants, it will be forced to confront the “good jihadis” who are frequently linked to the same networks. This confrontation will eventually happen, but between now and “eventually” lies much confusion and bloodshed.

The Jihadist community will feel the pressure and the division between those who are willing to suspend domestic operations and those who no longer feel ISI has the cause of Jihadist Islam at heart will sharpen. The second group will be targeted by the state and will respond with more indiscriminate anti-Shia attacks. Just as in Iraq, jihadist gangs will blow up random innocent Shias whenever they want to make a point of any kind. Things (purely in terms of numbers killed) will get much worse before they get better. As the state opts out of Jihad (a difficult process in itself, but one that is almost inevitable, the alternatives being extremely unpleasant) the killings will greatly accelerate and will continue for many years before order is re-established. The worst is definitely yet to come. This will naturally mean an accelerating Shia brain drain, but given the numbers that are there, total emigration is not an option. Many will remain and some will undoubtedly become very prominent in the anti-terrorist effort (and some will, unfortunately, become special targets for that reason).

IF the state is unable to opt out of Jihadist policies (no more “good jihadis” in Kashmir and Afghanistan and “bad jihadis” within Pakistan) then what? I don’t think even the strategists who want this outcome have thought it through. The economic and political consequences will be horrendous and as conditions deteriorate the weak, corrupt, semi-democratic state will have to give way to a Sunni “purity coup”. Though this may briefly stabilize matters it will eventually end with terrible regional war and the likely breakup of Pakistan. . Since that is a choice that almost no one wants (not India, not the US, not China, though perhaps Afghanistan wouldn’t mind) there will surely be a great deal of multinational effort to prevent such an eventuality.”

Unfortunately, it seems that the state, far from nipping this evil in the bud, remains unable to make up its mind about it.

The need to have a powerful proxy in Afghanistan after the American drawdown seems to take priority over the need to maintain sectarian harmony in Pakistan, as do the financial ties that bind Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. Many (though not all) on the left also remain convinced that pitting Sunnis against Shias is mainly (or even entirely) a project of the CIA, promoted as a way to keep the Middle East in turmoil. But even if this is true (and I personally doubt that the purveyors of this theory have the evidence, or have even worked out the implications of their worldview, but that is a separate story), it does not absolve the ruling elite in Pakistan of their responsibility in this matter. The strangest and most irrational meta-narratives can be sustained while acting rationally and shrewdly in the world of actions and short term consequences (where most politics is necessarily conducted), but the reverse is not always true; there are some blindingly obvious mistakes that should not be tolerated no matter what meta-narrative you wish to subscribe to.  The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ)’s campaign against the Shia sect is one of those. Whether people have a Marxist or Islamist or Capitalist worldview hardly matters; the ruling elite cannot possibly sustain itself if this affair progresses much further. 

I would argue that:

  1. The ASWJ and its fellow travellers (whatever their historic background and philosophical roots may be) are an existential threat to the modern state of Pakistan. The modern Pakistani state can tolerate (and has tolerated) many amazing contortions and disasters, but open season on the Shia population is not one of them. Unlike Ahmedis or Sindhi Hindus, the Shias of Pakistan are not a small fringe community. They are an integral part of Pakistani society, deeply woven into the Pakistani state, capable of armed retaliation, and able to obtain support from at least one (probably two or even three) well-resourced neighbours. Their elimination or suppression is not a a realistic option for Pakistan even as a practical matter (quite apart from the blindingly obvious moral issues involved). The ASWJ is very clear about their intentions and makes no secret of it. Those intentions cannot be dismissed as mere words after all that has happened in the last 30 years. They are deadly serious. They will not tolerate Shias as equal partners in the Pakistan project. They have repeatedly insisted that Shias should be removed from “important positions” in the state and their religion must be demarcated as something distinct from “real Islam”. With a wink and a nod, they may say that they are willing to accept the existence of Shias “if they do not cross the line”. But that line will be defined as needed by the ASWJ, and will eventually be drawn so tightly across Shia necks that they will not be able to breathe. The parallel with the Nazi view of the Jews is entirely valid. This project has no peaceful resolution. It must be condemned, its leaders ostracized and its violent executioners terminated with maximum prejudice. Otherwise you can say good bye to Pakistan.
  2. The “strategic priorities” of the state (one of the cruellest jokes perpetrated on our unready institutions by think tanks and teachers from “advanced” countries) have led it to encourage the spread of extremely intolerant and violent ideologies and organizations across the length and breadth of Pakistan. Here I would like to add that I do not disagree with those who say that there are deeper economic and social reasons for the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism and the spread of organized violence (whether Islamist or Maoist) among the “weaker sections of society”. My point is much shallower and more urgent. The social and economic challenges and changes that have driven the rise of Hindu and Sikh militants, Maoists and even South American drug gangs are also operative in Pakistan, but the self-destructiveness and confusion of the Pakistani ruling elite goes well beyond the norm. For 13 years the international community (not just the United States) has poured money and weapons into the Pakistani state to assist it in destroying the network of Jihadist terrorist organizations created (with American help at the beginning) in our region. Even if one believes the most insane conspiracy theories about the CIA acting at the same time to prop up these very organizations as part of some diabolical plan of the trilateral commission or the elders of Zion, the fact remains that the Pakistani ruling elite did not have to actively work for any such diabolical plan. It is not in their interest to sustain and support any of these terrorist organizations or provide them cover. To continue to do so for the sake of “obtaining leverage in Afghanistan post 2014” is insane, and it remains insane no matter what meta-narrative you wish to apply on the situation.
  3. There are also those who believe that the connection between various “Good Taliban/anti-imperialist resistance” in the tribal areas and the Shia-killers in the rest of the country, is exaggerated by people who are being paid in dollars to make this case. Why the dollar-slaves (Imran Khan’s loving term for those who oppose his pro-Taliban leanings) would make such a connection when the CIA desperately wants to spread sectarian conflict within Pakistan (as Imran Khan and many others also believe) is not clear, but could this claim be true? Could it be that use can be made of the “good Taliban” and their network of Madrassahs and political supporters in Pakistan, while launching a clearly demarcated operation against the Shia-killers of the LEJ? I think not. The ideology of Sunni purity and Shia-hatred that drives the LEJ is also the ideology of the good Taliban. Economic and social pressures may create the target killers, but ideology is the proximate cause for their alignment with this particular form of “protest against real suffering”. Since the socio-economic conditions of Pakistan will not change at any speed rapid enough to defang this beast before it kills Pakistan (simply because they have never changed that fast in any country at any time, all fantasies of overnight successful and productive people’s revolution notwithstanding), it is the proximate causes (the ideology and its armed enforcers) who will have to be dealt with. Any policy that permits the Taliban and their support networks to operate unhindered, will also permit the ASWJ and its network of killers to operate unhindered. To imagine that the good Taliban will be pushed into the coming Afghan civil war fast enough to permit the ruling elite to recover ground in Pakistan while remaining allied with them (the dream scenario of the strategic depth community) is to carry self-delusion to incredible heights. The links between the good and the bad Taliban are too numerous, their cause too closely interlinked, for this to be possible. Whether driven by fantasies of strategic depth or by other (equally “modern”) fantasies of anti-imperialist struggle, this calculation is not tenable.

It is time to change course. A few snippets and videos worth a look:

This is a section from a report about the arrest of Shia-killer Tariq Shafi alias doctor, a friend of Waseem Baroodi (a policeman who killed many Shias, spent time in prison, was freed and went back to both the police and his job as shia-killer):

“ During the JIT Interrogation , he told his where about as he was born in 1968 , and was the resident of P.I.B Colony , And got his elementary education from Govt . High School, Sindhi Hotel , Liaqatabad, and during the same Period he also did a Refrigeration Course , and passed his Matriculation Privately in 1989 . And In 1990 he Joined the Garden area Police as a Mechanic . But at the Untimely death of his Brother in 1995 , he left the Job and shifted to Bhawalpur , where he Married his maternal Cousin, and got involved in the Fabric Business , but as the Business could not florish , so he came back to Karachi in 1998 , and his Job also got re Instated in the Police Department .

And During his Job in the Police , he got in contact with a Young Man named Waseem Baroodi , who use to come to one of his students , who was a Prayer leader of Mosque in Orangi Town 11 ½ , who convinced him for the sectarianism & Blood shed of Opponents , So finally one fine day he told that he has a 30 bore Pistol with him , and Waseem Baroodi took him along to kill a Innocent Boy , Both walked toward the Boy , and on Pointation  of Waseem Baroodi of that Boy , I fired on him ,  resulting his death.

From 2000 to 2001 before he got arrested he Killed about 9 or 10 Shia men. One day He and Waseem Baroodi were walking on the road as they came across some Street criminal Men , who were trying to snatch cash from Waseem Baroodi , but on his resistance he got injured due to their firing , in the mean time I took out my Pistol , and fired on them , and due to the firing One of the Dacoits got Killed , and as Waseem was also injured , and I was trying to take Waseem to Hospital for treatment , but at the same time we were arrested by the A.S.I Ali Raza of Orangi Ext. 

P.S , we were arrested on 11 different cases , for which I was in Jail for about Seven and a Half years , till finally I was released on Bail in 2008 – 2009 , and by that time Waseem was already released on Bail , about 7 to 8 months , earlier , and during the Imprisonment period , he was the Group Leader of Sipah e Sahaba Pakistan.”

Also, do not miss this event. It is a gathering of ASWJ leaders in Quetta, under the protection of security forces; awards are being handed out to local ASWJ leaders who have played a prominent role in anti-Shia activities in their region. Since this local branch has the “distinction” of having killed hundreds of Shias at a time (instead of picking them off one by one), one of the speakers recites a poem that commends them as “those who make centuries instead of playing for ones and twos” and the crowd laughs and cheers. Everyone knows what he means. It is an absolute must-see. 

The following videos shed light on the aims of the ASWJ/SSP/LEJ:



This was first published on

POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Mar 27, 2014 AT 23:58 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 28, 2014 00:58 IST
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Daily Mail
May 04, 2014
03:23 PM

Quiad and Iqbal fought for Pakistan.Muslims all over India supported creation of Pakistan including Shias .They had more faith in Zinnah being a Shia Muslim.

Many Muslims in India left for pakistan leaving enough of their family members in India to control the Lands and property here meanwhile migrants went in search of green pastures.

Thy thought they will have have both the Worlds.

As soon as Jinnah died soom Shias ,Ahemdias,Khijas, Bihras saw the true face of Pakistan their dream land Puristan. They were unwanted in Pak and hated in India or breaking the country.

Even Sunnies from UP Bihar etc too become undesirables and labeled Muhazirs and dumped into Camps -wher ethey still live after 67 years -the reward for breaking their mother Land.

But non Sunnies are the worst sufferers followed by Hindus and Christains in Pakistan.

" Goodbye Pakistan’

Shahzad Raza Shahzad Raza

A Shia religious leader’s decision to leave Pakistan highlights increasing sectarian violence in the country

‘Goodbye Pakistan’
A girl cries during the funeral of victims of a bomb attack in a Shia area of Quetta

Khanum Tayyaba Bukhari has left Pakistan. Chicago is her new home. Like others before her, she doesn’t know whether or when to return.

A firebrand and saucy speaker, she recently emerged as a voice of the Shia community. She is media savvy, with regular appearances on talk shows challenging her detractors.

“My mother was really worried after I received serious threats to my life. I made this decision with a heavy heart. I am leaving and I don’t know when I will return,” Khanum said.

Last Moharram, she escaped an assassination attempt. After that, she had to keep her movement secret, and whenever she had to travel, the people in charge of her security made sure there was no loophole in the arrangements.

Khanum is one of the highest paid religious speakers of the country. Perhaps, therefore, she can afford to live in the United States. She already set up a small facility to deliver religious sermons without fearing someone awaiting her outside the Imambargah to silence her.

Recently, the Interior Ministry told the Senate that more than 2,000 people had lost their lives in sectarian violence in the last five years.

In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 867 people were killed on sectarian grounds. The troubled province of Balochistan came second on the list with 737 people dead, mostly in attacks targeting the Shia Hazara community in Quetta, and the buses of Shia pilgrims going to or coming from Iran. In Sindh, the target killing of doctors, professors and religious leaders continued in the last five years. More than 252 of them were killed over sectarian differences. In Punjab, which also witnessed worst sectarian riots last Moharram, more than 100 people were killed in sectarian violence. More than 100 people were killed in sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan, where attacks on Shias have risen in the recent years. There were only 22 sectarian related casualties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Five people were killed over their faith in Islamabad.''

NOW FRIEND FAROOKI is arguing Hindus lived in Golden age during Mughal Rule.And perhaps Rule of Alamgir Auranzeb wa sthe best period of Mughal Rule for the HIndus.

Bhai Jaan that and this Golden Rule Aap hi ko  Mubarak ho .
Hammey Baksh di jey Mehrbani kar ke!

ashok kumar ghai
Mumbai, India
Apr 06, 2014
10:10 AM

"All applicants [ for applying for Pass Port in Pakistan ] must also sign on a rendition of the first kalma, the reciting of which officially welcomes one into the fold of Islam."

Ghai sahib, this shows Pakistan is a secular country. Congress will pass this law in India too if they come back to power.

Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Apr 05, 2014
04:27 PM

"All applicants [ for applying for Pass Port in Pakistan ] must also sign on a rendition of the first kalma, the reciting of which officially welcomes one into the fold of Islam. The Passport Office’s “Declaration in case of Muslim,” is reproduced here exactly as it appears on the computer-generated application form:

I hereby solemnly declare that: 1. I am Muslim and believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the prophets. 2. I do not recognize any person who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description what soever after Muhammad (peace be upon him) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or a religious reformer as a Muslim. 3. I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Quadiani to be an imposter nabi and also consider his followers whether belonging to the Lahori or Quadiani group to be non-Muslims. "

a k ghai
mumbai, India
Apr 05, 2014
01:12 PM

SHIA PHOBIA ;;; Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

What is Mahmud Ghaznavi, Aurangzeb Alamgir and Shah Abdur Rahim’s connection to the current shia persecution in the country? Kunwar Khuldune Shahid explores

When Muhammad bin Qasim was busy becoming the first Pakistani 1,200 years before the country actually came into being, the Umayyads were busy sidelining the Shia in the hub of Islam. Abbassids, Ottomans and Mughals dutifully followed their lead as Shia oppression spread from the Middle East into South Asia.

As far as the history of the subcontinent is concerned, Mahmud Ghaznavi was the first to orchestrate Shia genocide in the region, when he butchered the Ismaeili Shia in Multan in 1,005 AD. The fact that he managed to massacre even more Hindus and destroyed temples as well, further rubberstamped his legacy as a “true Pakistani”.

During the Mughal era the 10 Taraajs – Taraj-e-Shia – between the 16th and 19th century, saw barefaced attempts to obliterate Shia habitations. The community was forced to hide its faith as village after village was being erased, leading to a massive Shia exodus. Shiaphobes like the king Aurangzaib Alamgir and scholar Shah Abdur Rahim – Shah Waliullah’s father – combined to compile the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri, ‘officially’ excommunicating the Shia and creating a takfiri template that the likes of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) – formerly Sipahe-e-Sahaba – still follow.

In Pakistan, the country’s founding father MUHAMAD ALI JINNAH himself a Twelver SHIA  following his conversion from the Ismaili sect, NEEDED TWO SEPERATE BURIALS  – ONE according to the SUNNI RITUAL  in the open and the OTHER before that according to SHIA norms in his home – to appease Shiaphobes in 1948.

Since then incidents like the Therih massacre in 1963, where 118 Shia were killed, and the 22 Shia killed in processions in Lahore and Karachi in the year 1978, laid the foundation for the Ziaul Haq regime to up the ante on sectarian bigotry. Zia proliferated Deobandi madrassas and injected Shiaphobia into the ideological roots of Pakistan. His era coincided with the Iranian Revolution and its aftereffects; and Zia dutifully clung onto the Sunni half of the Saudi-Iran divide, leaving behind Sipah-e-Sahaba as an emblem of his Shiaphobic legacy.

LeJ formed by Malik Ishaq in 1995, gave Shiaphobes a militant wing to organise the Shia killings. Malik Ishaq, an internationally recognised terrorist meanwhile, despite being charged over 30 times for homicide and terrorism, is still free to spread Shia hatred all over Pakistan. Ishaq along with Mahmoud Baber – on record as saying how he is a proud murderer of 14 Shia – and Ahmed Ludhianvi the president of ASWJ, form the “holy trinity” of Shiaphobia in Pakistan.

The Gilgit massacre of May 1998; Parachinar attacks in 2011 and 2012; Kohistan massacre in 2012 typify the brutality of the Shiaphobes who have collectively taken the number of targeted and killed Shia since Pakist----


Never knew

a k ghai
mumbai, India
Apr 05, 2014
12:38 PM

Even in Saudi Arabia some winds of change are palpable. If a Saudi cleric talks of democracy and separation of powers one should feel encouraged:

"His broad appeal, in a passionately religious country where most clerics are government-paid flunkeys, hints at a slowly rising discontent with authoritarian rule, they say. Mr. Awda, alone among Saudi clerics, openly welcomed the Arab uprisings of 2011, and even published a book called “Questions of Revolution.” Promptly banned here but widely disseminated on the Internet, the book drew on Islamic texts and history to reach some very unorthodox conclusions: that democracy is the only legitimate form of government; that Islam does not permit theocracy; that separation of powers is required; that the worst despotism is that practiced in the name of religion."

Dallas, United States
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