World Shia Forum

Identity, Equality, Unity

World Shia Forum responds to The New York Times misleading report on Pakistani Shias – by Dr Mukhtar Askari

Dr. Mukhtar Askari is Secretary General of WSF.

Dr. Mukhtar Askari is Secretary General of WSF.

On 3 December 2012, The New York Times published an article titled “Pakistan Reels With Violence Against Shiites”, by Declan Walsh, NYT Pakistan Bureau Chief. The previous title of the article (changed afterwards) was “Pakistan’s Hazara Shiites under siege” URL:

The article misrepresents Shia genocide in Pakistan in several ways.

We outline our key concerns, which include errors and omissions as well as some mis-statements, as follows:

1. The article presents the country-wide Shia genocide in Pakistan, in which 20,000 Shia Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds and areas have been killed, as a largely Hazara specific ethnic issue confined to Quetta.

2. The article blames Sunni Muslims, not Deobandis, as responsible for Shia genocide. This Sunni vs Shia sectarian angle overlooks the internal heterogeneity of Sunnis and also overlooks the fact that Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban (two organizations mainly responsible for Shia genocide in Pakistan) are almost entirely Deobandi militant organizations. Not a single Sunni Barelvi (majority in Pakistan) is a part of Sipah Sahaba and Taliban. More over, the article ignores the fact that same Takfiri Deobandi militants who kill Shias also kill Sunni Barelvis, moderate Deobandis, Ahamdis, Hindus and Christians. Thus, violence and terrorism in Pakistan is Takfiri Deobandis vs the rest of Pakistan, not Sunni vs Shia.

3. The article does not state the fact that out of total 20,000 Shias killed in all parts of Pakistan, only 700 are Shia Hazaras.

4. The article does not state the fact that within Quetta and surroundings, at least 300 non-Hazara Shias have been killed, who, in terms of their minuscule population in Quetta, have the highest death rate due to target killing of any Shia sub-group in Pakistan. They are doubly unfortunate because they do not get the attention from the mainstream media or human rights groups.

5. The reporter refers to the case of “26 Hazara men” who were dragged out of the bus and shot, but does not mention that the 26 victims also included a number of non-Hazara Shias (of Pashtun, Punjabi and Qandahari origin).

The reporter appears to have been misled by propagandists of Hazara ethnic party (Hazara Democratic Party) which, not unlike Imran Khan’s PTI and Hafiz Saeed’s DPC, is suspected to be sponsored by Pakistan’s military establishment. HDP operatives usually obfuscate Shia genocide in Quetta as a Hazara ethnicity specific issue in order to gain political mileage for their ethnic politics and also to obfuscate the real perpetrators of anti-Shia violence, i.e., ISI-sponsored Takfiri Deobandi militants. It is usual in Pakistani social and mainstream media to see HDP propagandists (mis)appropriate murder of non-Hazara Shias in Quetta and present it as Hazara genocide. In the past they have presented murder of Qandahari, Punjabi, Baloch, Pashtun Shias in Quetta as Hazara related incidents. This is notwithstanding the fact that even within Hazaras, HDP has very low support. The sitting member of parliament belongs to the PPP, and majority of Shia Hazaras are very faith-conscious unless ethno-atheist tendencies of HDP. For details and examples, visit Karbala-e-Quetta, largest internet portal (more than 18,000 members) of Shia Hazaras of Quetta which routinely rejects HDP ethno-fascist tactics and propaganda.

6. We would like to inform the NYT and its Pakistan Bureau Chief that such misleading reports do not in anyway help an already persecuted community (Shia) which is facing a pre-genocide situation in Pakistan.

Further readings:

List of non-Hazara Shia Muslims killed by SSP-LeJ-Taliban in Balochistan – by Marya Mushtaq

Shia Genocide Database: A detailed account of Shia killings in Pakistan from 1963 to 2012

Is it Hazara genocide or Shia genocide? – by Musa Changezi

ISI-sponsored Shia genocide in Pakistan or Sunni-Shia sectarian violence?

Abdul Khaliq Hazara and the ethnic cleansing narrative – by Marya Mushtaq

Similarities between Khaliq Hazara and Ahmed Ludhianvi – by Raza Ali

Fortunately, the Sunni Hazara brothers are safe in Quetta – by Mehdi Changezi

Is Shia genocide an adequate term to describe the plight of Pakistan’s Shia Muslims?

Semantics of Hazara genocide or Shia genocide: Why no unity in outrage?

Shia genocide: What’s in a name – by Dr Taqi

Imran Khan, Munawar Hasan and Hamid Mir’s discourse on Hazara genocide in Quetta

6 comments on “World Shia Forum responds to The New York Times misleading report on Pakistani Shias – by Dr Mukhtar Askari

  1. Shah N. Khan
    December 4, 2012

    Enemies of Pakistan are trying to incite not only sectarian but also ethnic hate and riots and have hired criminals to kill innocent by terrorism as most analysts say.

  2. Bakhtiar Agha
    December 4, 2012

    killing of a single person who so ever is like killing of whole humanity

  3. whatever
    December 8, 2012

    Yes the main target of militant factions are shias and not hazaras. Hazaras are targetted due to their shia origin

  4. Muhammad Raza Hazara
    December 11, 2012

    Hazara Democratic Party does not have any reputation among Hazaras and in the entire history of 12 years of the party, not a single councillor from any constituency of HDP supporter has ever been elected. Although, HDP makes shallow claims to be the sole representative party of the Hazaras, their mere dream remains unfulfilled as in the population of over 0.7 million Hazaras in Quetta, HDP scored miserably low in the 2008 general election and lost the seat of provincial assembly to an independent candidate, ie., Jan Ali Changezi.

    Abdul Khaliq is the biggest puppet of ISI who would go to any extreme to obtain the provincial assembly’s seat. They claim to be anti-Iran but intelligence reports reveal that many of the HDP loyals and top office bearers are discreetly working to protect the interests of Iran in the region.

    There are credible proofs that Abdul Khaliq had hand in the killing of an active Hazara Nazim who was shot dead by unknown terrorists on Fatima Jinnah Road. His name was Syed Talib Agha while intelligence reports also disclose Khaliq’s association with Lashker-e-Jhangvi.

    Abdul Khaliq is a tout, Ahmaq Kohzad and Raza Wakil are pimps.

    Down with HDP, Down with its supporters.

    Muhammad Raza Hazara

  5. TaHa HdR
    December 12, 2012

    please follow and visit our website “WWW.INQALAABEISLAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM”

  6. Raana Bokhari
    December 22, 2012

    It is clear that the ‘misleading’ and ethnicisation of this violence is a deliberate plot to divert attention away from the reality of how Shias are being systematically killed – there is nothing ethnic about this genocide: it is sheer religious intolerance. Please sign this petition to add your name to all those who are against this violence, so that we may petition the relevant authorities once we have accumulated enough:

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This entry was posted on December 4, 2012 by in WSF.
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