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Identity, Equality, Unity

This is how Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban slaughter Shia Muslims in Pakistan – by Aqib Kazmi

In 2008, three days after my uncle took charge as the principal of Elementary College Jamrud, he informed my father about a warning letter sent by a local Taliban official. The letter warned my uncle that they would kill him unless he left Jamrud immediately. Not one to fear death and abandon his responsibilities, he stayed on. However, the warning was taken seriously and he duly informed the administration, including the political agents of Jamrud.

Now, let me tell you a little about my uncle. He was apeace-loving man, an author and an educationalist. He had served in the department of education for 32 years and was even the controller of many educational boards in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Having reached grade 20, he was willing to retire peacefully. Eighteen educational awards to his name are enough to show just how loyal he was to his job and how ardently he desired a better education system.

Two days after the warning letter was issued, my uncle was kidnapped while he was on his way to office with his official guards. The guards offered no resistance to the kidnappers and were spared.

An ocean of grief swept upon to my family. Every member was bent in prayer for his safe return, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, such was our fear.

Initially, we were informed that he was taken to Orakzai Agency. The kidnappers called us soon enough and asked us to arrange as much money as we could and to wait for their next call. Thus, we frantically started to do so. The very next day, they called us again saying that they had got the money and my uncle had been sold to another group who had sectarian biases. After that, we waited for seven days.

Those seven days stretched on – the longest days of my life. My uncle’s wife was paralysed with grief and kept murmuring:

“He has never wronged anyone; I am not going to believe in God’s justice if anything happens to him.”

We eventually received a call from Khyber Agency. A boy’s voice on the other end of the line informed us that my uncle’s body had been found in a water drainage pipe – his dead body.

Relatives rushed to the scene, but all we found was mangled body parts; we found a head with no nose and no ears, a body with no legs or hands. We also recovered a CD, but no other remains of his body were found.

My uncle did not deserve to die this brutal death.

A few days later, I watched the CD against my better judgement. In the last few moments of his life, I saw my uncle begging to be allowed to pray one last time. I saw the kidnappers laughing and saying “you are an infidel”; I saw them cutting his nose, ears, hands, legs and neck with great pleasure, as if  they were sacrificing cattle on Eid day.

My uncle died a tragic death. Now, grief has surpassed me and all that is left in me is shame.

I feel shame because Pakistan left a person to die – a person who had never compromised on his duty, a person who worked 32 years to educate its people. I am ashamed of authorities who paid no attention at all to my uncle’s plight; I am ashamed of my protectors who pocket more than 70% of our budget in the name of protecting us. If someone cannot protect me inside my own country, how can they protect me from external threats?

More than 1,500 cases of kidnapping for ransom have been registered in FATA during the last four years and not a single guilty person has been arrested. Millions of rupees have been looted from innocent people and hundreds of CDs have been sent to their families.

Who should I blame?

Things will only get worse if the authorities don’t take any action.  There are currently three security forces working in FATA i.e. the levies, the Army, and the Frontier Corps. Still, they have failed to catch any kidnappers.

Bringing peace to this area will not be easy, but we must take concrete steps to make it a possibility.

Source: Express Tribune, Pakistan Blogzine

One comment on “This is how Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban slaughter Shia Muslims in Pakistan – by Aqib Kazmi

  1. admin
    August 24, 2012

    A similar painful story:
    A widow’s story: Pay the ransom, receive a body bag
    By Zehra Abid
    Published: January 22, 2012
    LeJ is responsible for murdering a Shia doctor and upending the lives of his family.
    KARACHI:
    It had been a long wait: 22 days. On the last day, Batool* waited all night for her husband to come home. She had cooked and kept aside change to pay the taxi driver when he arrived.
    In the living room of Dr Masood Naqvi’s* house in Quetta, women were reciting verses of the Quran and praying for his safe return. Every sound outside the house would raise hope, but each time they were disappointed.
    The night passed and in the morning a friend called and frantically asked Batool if her husband was OK. The tone of his voice told Batool the wait was over. She let everyone in her house know there was no need to pray anymore. As she now tells the The Express Tribune: “The tickers about his killing had started running on TV, but I did not know until then.”
    She heard her neighbour scream “Is it true?” and the faint hope she had until then was lost. The police gave the body to her neighbours, who informed Batool.
    At first glance, only the black shoes and shalwar on the body were visible. She told herself the clothing was not his, so the body must be someone else. But there he was, lying beneath the sheets drenched with blood.
    Dr Naqvi had been shot that day with four bullets, including two to the head. Police said Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had told them to “take their doctor home”. Without bandaging his wounds, police officers had brought the body back with his face still dripping with blood, she says.
    Dr Naqvi, a professor at a medical college in Quetta, was one of 91 Shias killed in Balochistan last year, according to police statistics. On March 28, he was abducted while on his way to college.
    Despite the frequent sectarian killings, his wife believed he would survive. “I thought he would come back because if they wanted to kill him why would they ask for ransom?” she says.
    The ransom had been paid the night before. Batool’s brother negotiated with the kidnappers for 22 days.
    “First the kidnappers asked us for Rs50 million, but it was impossible for us to pay that much. As soon as they came down to Rs2.6 million, I somehow collected the money and asked our friends to pay it,” Batool says. The kidnappers not only took the money and killed Naqvi, but also left a note on his body which said: “My wife and brother-in-law did not pay the ransom so I was killed.” The note had his signature on it.
    “I am glad we paid the ransom … If we had not made the payment I would have always felt that he was killed for money,” Batool says.
    The day the ransom was paid, Batool’s brother was threatened that he would be next. Fearing for their lives, all the relatives fled their hometown within days.
    The media’s coverage of the death increased her fears. “When Masood died, the media flashed our house on TV screens. However, later no one came to ask us what happened.”
    Batool also says there was no support from the police or government. “The police did not carry out any investigations; they only brought the body home. They didn’t even ask us where and to whom we paid the ransom to.”
    The Balochistan government has not made things easier. “It’s been nine months, but I still have not been paid his salary. There is a government rule that if a person dies in a target killing, their family is paid their salary till the day the deceased was meant to retire,” she says.
    Now Batool lives with her siblings in Karachi. Despite their love and support, her heart is in Quetta. At various points in the interview she keeps going back to how her city used to be.
    “We left the city as soon as we could. We left everything we had struggled so hard to build. I was born in Quetta, I lived there all my life and at this age I had to leave…”
    Of course, not everyone can seek refuge in another city. “When the news of Masood’s death came, the majority of people sitting in my house were those who had lost a brother, husband or son in similar incidents,” she says.
    “But it’s not easy to leave your job and house. I had the support of my siblings so I moved to Karachi and I have only come here because of the security of my daughter.”
    Her teenage daughter Zainab* does not understand why they lived in Quetta to begin with. As her mother talks about how the city was once peaceful, with a week-long education festival, debates and theatre at the boys’ college, Zainab listens in disbelief. The only question she asks is why her grandparents chose to move to the “worst province of Pakistan” after partition.
    Once again, Batool insists that it is not how it used to be. But, to Zainab, the stories sound like an old fable.
    *Names have been changed to protect privacy
    Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/325365/a-widows-story-pay-the-ransom-receive-a-body-bag/

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2012 by in Shia Genocide.
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