One Way War – by Dr Hassan Auj
Video     Photos     Pakistan     World     Islam     Health     Crime     Islamic News     Business     Society     India     Travel     Middle East     Sport     sci/tech      Contact      RSS
Search

The myth of surgical strike on Pakistan: How Modi fooled the India?

Do Khattak mulls over dissolving KP Assembly?

US defence attaché not named in ECL due to Saudi-allied PMLN govt

MWM slams criminal silence of international community against Indian atrocities

Birthday Anniversary of "Great Saviors of Islam"

UK refuses to back UN inquiry into Saudi ‘war crimes’ amid fears it will damage trade

Wooed by Imran : Would Ch.Nisar join PTI?

Bahraini court jails 24 Shias, strips them of citizenship

Russia: German chlorine, UK grenades found in Syria

Russia tests Nuke that can wipe UK off the map 3 times over

A German newspaper announced the possibility of a chemical attacks in Europe executed by ISIS terrorists.

Eyeless in Gaza: The story of an Israeli soldier

PTI loses majority in K-P assembly

Cross-border skirmish: Can Pakistan Try Afghan soldiers under international law?

Pakistan reducing dependence on US arms: FT report

Russia warns of ‘painful’ retaliation in face of US sanctions

Yemeni forces target airport on Saudi soil with ballistic missile

Iran vows to buy all the weapons it needs, irrespective what the world thinks about it

Grand Mufti of Egypt declares buying Facebook likes ‘haram’

'Reciprocal' travel restrictions to be imposed on Pakistan diplomats: US.

Baloch activist says RAW asked him to heckle Nawaz in 2015

A Russian praise for Imran Khan

Saudi Arabia open to sending troops into Syria: FM

Saudi, UAE recruiting 1000s of African mercenaries: Report

The Chankia accusation: Is Pakistan inciting Khalistan movement?

Pakistanis among 4000 people handed over by Musharraf regime to US

Theresa May earns cold reception in U.K. Parliament over Syria attacks

Endgame In Syria: Why US has conceded defeat?

The Indo-Iran Syndrome & Pakistan

Man dies as protest against rape, murder of minor girl turns violent in Karachi

Shame for Musharraf: ‘4,000 Pakistanis handed over to foreigners for dollars’

Who is in danger: Would RAO Anwar become an approver in Naqeeb murder case?

Assad's aide: Syrian defenses smarter than US missiles

'No amount of killing will stop us,' vow Nigerian Shias

Pakistan orders probe into attack on judge

'World War 3' Google Searches Spike After Syria Strike

China voices support for Russia on Syria, holds naval drills against USA

Details of terrorist training were found in a notebook of an ISIS member

Akin to Altaf Hussain: LHC bans Nawaz Sharif's and Maryam Nawaz's speeches

A clean chit: The backdoor deal with Khadim Rizvi

Is Afghanistan the next Caliphate?

Syria Missile attack: Why UN has become a useless object?

Trump morally unfit to be president: Ex-FBI director

Would Ch.Nisar make a forward bloc in PML-N?

Stupid than ever: A Muslim country newspaper claims that Queen of England is descendant of Holy prophet (pbuh)

Why the West hates Syria?

The politics within: Who divided PML-N?

Qatar’s allowing missiles to be fired from airbase shameful: Syrian official

Morocco to pull warplanes from Saudi-led coalition: Report

Attack on Supreme Court Judge: Is it a message to Chief Justice?

The Sham democracy: Why is India still sleeping on rape of a minor in Kashmir?

Model town killing case: Would Adiala Jail welcome both Sharifs?

US Choppers Caught Evacuating ISIS Terrorists according to Syrian news agency

US Considers Opening Embassy in Pyongyang

Erdogan's dual face: Turkey welcomes US-led airstrikes in Syria

Who brought Nawaz Sharif to the closed end?

Russian state TV tells viewers best supplies to pack for Word War III bomb shelters

A mortal blow to Nawaz or a new mountain to climb?

Increasing economic ties: Iran to be part of CPEC

Rape of Kashmiri girl: Would UN awake on Kashmir issue?

Would new CJP annul decision against Nawaz Sharif?

Syria comes under military attack on Trump's orders, 13 missiles shot down

Pak-Iran Ferry service from Karachi to Chabahar to be started to benefit pilgrims

New Scandal: Trump fathers an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower

Where does Nawaz Sharif's disqualification for life leave him and the PML-N?

Saudi-led boycotters stick to steep demands for Qatar: Report

Historical Judgement: Nawaz Sharif disqualified for life

Penchant for religious extremism: Punjab promulgates ordinance allowing four loudspeakers at mosques

Would Nawaz Sharif be handed life time disqualification?

Pakistan stands with Syria: A green signal to Russian bloc

What Another showdown with TLP would result in?

Merkel: Germany will not participate in any possible military action against Syria

In own trap: Trump Demands Saudi King Quickly End Qatar Dispute

Israel minister calls for assassination of Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad

Can ICC bring Rohingya's murderers into justice?

Would Tehrike.eLabaik topple govt this time?

Is Wajid Zia backtracking from his statements?

Diplomatic war: Did Pakistan stun US with strict message?

Syrian forces frees Douma, entire Eastern Ghouta, from terrorists: Russia

Iran: Saudi Arabia cannot hide support for terrorism through playing blame game

Iran threatens Israel over Syria air base strike

Pro-Taliban Deobandi seminaries refuse audit of their funds

War threats: Can Syrian conundrum trigger world war III?

257 dead as military plane crashes in Algeria

US State Department denies imposition of travel restrictions on Pak diplomats

Is Adiala jail ready to receive Nawaz Sharif?

Changing the history: Pakistan puts US diplomat on trial

700,000 Syrians displaced by fighting in 2018: UN

Iranian, Pakistani groups send humanitarian aid to Syria

U.S. 40 Years Behind Russian 'Satan 2' Nuclear Missile

Saudi considering proposal to set up military base, nuclear waste site on Qatar border

Is Pakstan really in the Post-Taliban Era?

Is Britain about to join US military action over reports of Syria chemical attack?

Syria warns about ‘dangerous repercussions’ of Israeli attack

US tells Indian daily that Pakistan took steps against terrorists

In favor of Nawaz Sharif: Capital FZE docs have no evidential value, admits Wajid

Another disaster in the often: Is TLYRA deliberately inviting chaos?

Sinking ship of PML-N: How Saraiki region would prove a disaster for PML-N?

Would Chief Justice take pity on oppressed Hazaras?

A question of national integrity: Can Pakistan put US diplomat on ECL?

2017-05-11 12:39:53

One Way War – by Dr Hassan Auj

brothers1-768x285Each day one wakens to a news bulletin about the killing of random civilians. The reports are now so commonplace that they often go unnoticed. And the victims’ identities are usually obfuscated by the mainstream media. But a little bit of spadework helps unearth the facts. Most of the deceased are invariably Shia Muslims.

Muharram is the month that draws the Shias out on the streets to commemorate the sacrifice of the martyrs of Karbala. Not long ago, the head of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), sectarian leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, issued a statement that his followers would desist from taking to the streets for rallies if the Shias stopped taking out their Muharram processions. The message: the most important ritual of the Shia faith has the same significance as a protest gathering by members of the proscribed ASWJ (as per the National Counter-Terrorism Authority list). The ASWJ’s presumption in making demands of such magnitude is not hard to understand. By law, the party is not allowed to gather anywhere in Pakistan since it is a banned organisation. Yet they continue to hold rallies whenever and wherever they want, with complete impunity. And they do so while chanting inflammatory sectarian slogans like ‘Shia kafir.’

But hate speech against them is just the first part of the Shia community’s travails. They have become victims of an ongoing bloodbath – and no Shia anywhere seems safe. On the 3rd of Muharram, four Hazara women in a bus in Quetta were identified as Shias. They were killed. Soon thereafter, two young Pashtun Shia men were targeted in Hasanabdal. On the 6th of Muharram, Mansoor Zaidi, a school principal and the trustee of an imambargah was killed, and his son Ammar Zaidi was critically injured right in front of their house, allegedly because they had secured a permit to hold a procession on 7th Muharram in Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi. The same night, two Shias, identified as Jawwad and Haider, were killed in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. And on the 12th of Muharram, dozens of Shias were injured during a mourning ritual in Kotli Laharana Mashriqui, Sialkot district. All the victims of these attacks were attacked for only one reason: their religious beliefs.

The ugly face of sectarianism first raised its head with the formation of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) in 1985. To counter them was born the Sipah-e-Muhammad in 1994, which led to a series of killings that were extreme in nature and venomous in ideology. Banned by Pervez Musharraf in 2002, the Sipah-e-Muhammad ceased to exist soon after, but the SSP continued its hate campaign under a different name: the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. This group comprises clergy from the Deobandi school, but is not owned by the mainstream Deobandi sect. And thereafter began, in the words of slain civil society activist, Khurram Zaki, “a one-sided genocide.”

Being an increasingly vulnerable minority group, Shia Muslims have nowhere to plead their case. Many in Pakistan do not, in fact, even identify them as Muslims. Post the Iranian revolution, Shias in Pakistan increasingly began to be seen as a political entity rather than a religious sect. This theory was further strengthened by the formation of the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqah Jaffria, which was originally created in opposition to the anti-Shia laws promulgated by Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. The laws were repealed in 2002.

On October 29, 2016, the banned ASWJ conducted a rally in the heart of Karachi chanting ‘Shia kafir’ slogans. Five hours later, at a majlis of women being held in a house in Nazimabad, assailants, who later claimed to be from another sectarian organisation, the Laskar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), killed five people, including three brothers and their uncle who happened to be on the premises. The siblings were identified as Baqar Abbas Zaidi, Nayyar Mehdi, Nasir Abbas Zaidi and their uncle, Syed Zaki Abbas. The brothers were visiting Pakistan from the US and UK respectively. Five others were injured in the attack. The killers were trying to get into the majlis but they were apprehended by the men who got shot while protecting the women.

The murders engendered a protest rally, which began at the Sindh Inspector General Police’s (IGP) office. Some protestors were arrested and later released. The protest then continued at the Press Club for 12 hours, with the protestors demanding the suspension of the police superintendent under whose policing jurisdiction the area where the attack had occurred lay. Finally, the IG Sindh, A.D. Khwaja, addressed a delegation of protestors, and agreed to take action after conducting an inquiry into the matter. He also asserted that in future any “takfeeri” (the act of declaring people apostates) or “anti-Shia” act would not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, on October 31, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto commented that Chaudhry Nisar was silent when it came to the issue of terrorism, and added that the minister could instead be seen holding photo sessions with pro-Taliban individuals, referring to the meeting of the home minister with Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi of the ASWJ and Maulana Sami ul Haq.

It was not the first time a member of the government had cosied up to extremist elements. Several members of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) have routinely held meetings with individuals associated with proscribed organisations. And these banned elements, no matter what name they use, have continued through their sleeper cells, to propagate anti-Shiite and anti-Barelvi sentiment and disburse hate literature among peaceful young Deobandis. This is the same extreme ideology that has led to attacks on Ahmadis and Christians, and the forced conversion of Hindus.

Civil society activist Khurram Zaki, who was martyred on May 7, identified a particular sub-group of a sect which is at war with all other sects, and the leading preachers of that faith have failed to disprove this allegation. Maulana Hassan Jan, a leading Sheikh ul Hadith and politically affiliated with the JUI-F, did try, but was targeted and slain in 2007. Sarfaraz Ahmed Naeemi, a leading Barelvi scholar known for his anti-terrorism stance, was killed in a suicide bombing in Jamia Naeemia, Lahore in 2009. And like members of the Shia sect, Sufi shrines continue to be targeted across the country since extremist Islamists view Sufi Barelvi Muslims as heretics.

Data Darbar Complex, a Sufi shrine in Lahore was bombed in July, 2010, leaving 50 pilgrims dead and 200 injured. The same year in October, the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Karachi was attacked, resulting in the loss of 10 lives and injuring 50. There have been many other incidents of this nature since then, the most recent being at the shrine of Shah Bilawal Noorani in Hub, Balochistan, which was hit by a suicide bomber on November 12, resulting in the loss of 55 lives. More than 100 were also injured in the attack. ISIS allegedly accepted responsibility for the attack.

On November 4, five members of the ASWJ including two prayer leaders, were killed in three separate attacks in the city. Maulana Usman Hyderi, Muhammad Yaqoob and Shahid Rafiq were targeted at Shafiq Mor. Prayer leader Shafiq-ur-Rehman was gunned down in North Nazimabad while returning from a rally. Amin Muhammad was killed in another attack, and Abdul Baqi was injured at Patel Para. Police officials attributed the killings to payback for the recent attacks on a rival Shia group in Muharram. And an ASWJ spokesperson asserted that everyone knew who had killed the men, pointing towards the Shias.

While no one can rule out revenge as the motive for the murders, using them to term the sectarian cleansing of one community as a war – which signifies equally matched enemies – is erroneous. The outcome of the killings was the arrest of Faisal Raza Abidi, who is labelled as a ‘radical’ Shia leader by the ASWJ and other like-minded groups, even though he has never been known for hate speech harbouring any anti-Sunni sentiments. In fact, he has always categorically condemned terrorist groups and radicals. Dozens of Abidi’s workers were also arrested after he was picked up, which resulted in massive protests that led to further chaos. Finally, on November 8, a meeting between a delegation of Shia ulema belonging to assorted sub-organisations, and Sahibzada Hamid Raza of the Sunni Ittehad Council, with the Chief Minister Sindh, secured the promise of the release of all the apprehended men. Meanwhile, Allama Taj Muhammad Hanafi, a ringleader of the proscribed ASWJ, was not jailed, despite the recovery of arms and hate literature from his premises. He was merely taken into ‘protective custody.’ Cleared by the ECP, Hanafi contested the Local Bodies (LB) polls from NA-258 in Karachi in November. Ever more outrageous, a full bench of the Lahore High Court allowed Maulana Ludhianvi, chief of the officially proscribed ASWJ, to contest the by-election from Jhang.

The question is, can it be addressed as a ‘sectarian war’ when that term implies conflict between two equally matched adversarial groups? Here there is one side of the country’s majority faith with even its extremist fringe enjoying state patronage, and the other the victims. Has any Shia group or individual ever been identified in the perpetration of a suicide blast? There has never been an attack on any Sunni seminary at the Raiwind ijtima or at any religious gathering of Deobandis. How many Sunni families have lost a loved one purely on the basis of their faith? Conversely, in almost every other Shia family there is the story of the loss of a loved one. No imambargah or Shia procession is safe. No Sufi shrine is safe. But Sunni seminaries are safe, since they are themselves part of the problem.

Creating a false binary and balancing the violence by declaring it a sectarian war is totally obscuring the factual Shia and Sufi Sunni genocide.

According to a recent report, 93 madrassahs in Sindh have solid links with banned organisations. How many imambargahs have links with banned organisations? Some contend that it is an Iran-Saudi proxy war that is being played out in Pakistan. But how many seminaries are being funded by Iran? How many suicide bombers were Shias? If there had been any truth to this proxy war, there would have been an equal number of killings of members of the tableeghi jamaats and their seminaries. It is these dangerous delusions that will lead us to serious sectarian war.

One can be oppressed to an extent when the only natural instinct is retaliation. After the killing of human rights activist, Khurram Zaki, his friends and fellow activists kept begging the police to register an FIR against two leading clerics who had threatened Zaki, but the police refused, and began to harass them instead. Left with no option, they sat in protest in front of the Chief Minister’s house with Zaki’s dead body. It was only when an FIR was registered that they took the body for burial. But the mourners were unaware of the fact that they – including leading activist Jibran Nasir who was at the foreground of the protest – had been nominated in a case under sections 147, 148, 149, 427, 337-H, and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and section 6/7 of the Sindh sound (Regulation) Act, with section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Those nominated in the killing of Khurram Zaki were never investigated. The killing of members of a banned organisation, meanwhile, led to the arrest of a former senator, also a Shia.

And that is where the problem lies – the different set of rules for Shia and Sunni victims. One side is being continuously victimised, while the other enjoys state patronage.

On November 7, Chief Minister Sindh, Murad Ali Shah held a press conference and mentioned the arrest from Liaquatabad of two leading killers of the LeJ’s Naeem Bukhari group: Ishaq Bobby and Asim Capri. Bobby is a hafiz-e-Quran and joined the LeJ in 2012. The head of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Raja Umer Khattab mentioned that they had found proof against the two men in 28 cases of terrorism, including the assassination of qawwal Amjad Sabri. Asim Capri offered a bizarre but telling explanation for killing Sabri. According to him, the latter used to attend majalis in Muharram. Capri also added that Khurram Zaki had made some questionable statements in a TV programme and Amjad Sabri had nodded to indicate affirmation, which is why they killed him.

The extreme narrative that believes in takfeer can only be countered effectively when scholars from the same school of thought that propagates this belief stand up and present a counter-narrative. Deoband literature is very sound and rational, which led to its widespread acceptance in the subcontinent. The Tableeghi Jamaat is doing a commendable job in spreading peace. But inciting people towards violence or hatred, particularly those who are disenfranchised, illiterate, landless and living on the fringes, is easily done by radical elements through their sleeper cells.

So perhaps the only way to be safer in Pakistan is to stop attending Muharram processions, majalis, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi events, desist from visiting Sufi shrines, and to change one’s name if it sounds like Naqvi, Zaidi, Kazmi – i.e. Shia. That in itself is surely genocide of a kind.

Source:

http://newslinemagazine.com/magazine/one-way-war/

Categories:   Other News ،
Tags:  
From other agencies (RSS Reader)