World Shia Forum

Identity, Equality, Unity

Letter to BBC in response to their coverage of massacre of over 100 Shia Muslims in Quetta Pakistan – by Asif Zaidi


Twin blasts at a snooker hall in the south-western Pakistani city of Quetta have killed 81 people and injured more than 120, police say.


While covering today’s blasts in Quetta, Pakistan, you ascribe it to Shia-Sunni violence in the country. This is gross misrepresentation of an absolutely one-way sectarian-cleansing of Shias in Pakistan by the extremist militants. To put it very succinctly:

People are being taken off the buses and killed for being Shias after proper identification. (Why every other Pakistani in the same bus goes unscathed?)
Shias are being identified and then killed in the major urban centres.
Hazaras in Quetta are being isolated and being killed merely for being Shias.
Parachinar, Tirah, Gilgit, Baltistan, Nagar etc are being sequestered and brutally attacked just because Shias live there.

This amounts to a modern systematic cleansing of a group in Pakistan with a death toll that now surpasses that of Srebrenica Massacre recognized as genocide. The annihilation of Shias in Pakistan meets with genocide’s essential notion of complete or partial destruction of a national group as per 1948 Genocide Convention and all subsequent legal definitions of genocide. It aims to destroy a group and not just the individuals making up the group with the ultimate purpose of destroying the group’s identity to impose identity of the perpetrator. Just as the Jews and Gypsies were seen by their killers as being outside of German, Polish, and Lithuanian national groups, the Shias in Pakistan are viewed by their killers as being outside of Muslims as a group. A complete inability to identify, apprehend and bring the perpetrators to justice widens the sphere in government’s and media’s complicity in this genocide.

Shia persecution is largely an uncovered topic in the mainstream media. The wretched reality is that it is of no interest to the majority of the world. Globally, there is a severe lack of awareness on this topic as the Western media hardly discusses Shia genocide. In Pakistan, most people do not acknowledge the Shia genocide as a problem. The mainstream media in Pakistan has been silent as well. The terms like terrorism and sectarian-violence are often employed to confuse the truth of Shia-cleansing.

The killing of Shias in Pakistan epitomizes the essence of genocidal practices in partial (or complete) destruction of a national group as Lemkin understood it. It bears resemblance with the killings of Jews in the Germany of early and mid-1930s. Experience has shown that calling a case of genocide by its proper name is useful in identifying and stopping such actions. Genocide can be prevented in its early stages, but this requires decisive action. When such action is not taken, those who are indifferent to the increasing scale and intensity of violence become complicit in the exponentially increasing crimes, as we now see in Pakistan.

We must begin by identifying the victims as Shias being targeted as a religious national group regardless of their ethnic background. The clear intent is to destroy the whole group. The surviving members of the group must be viewed as co-victims in accordance with genocide’s definition.

In a backdrop such as this we look up to an institution like yours to live up to its high standards of fairness and play its due role in disabling this genocide through media reporting in the international community. Can we count on you to feed accurate information of the happenings and the intent on the ground that can lead to action by the international community?

Please use your capacity to push for action.

Yours truly,

Asif Zaidi


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7 comments on “Letter to BBC in response to their coverage of massacre of over 100 Shia Muslims in Quetta Pakistan – by Asif Zaidi

  1. Izaj Rehman
    January 11, 2013

    We must not forget that our government is run by Shia rulers we need to refrain from spreading violence be careful when reporting such matters which is believed by so many innocent readers when they read one way version such as this on the internet.

    • Humair
      January 11, 2013

      Exactly which power guy is shia?? Quid E azam was shia .. General Musa (a hazara shia .. the only war pakistan EVER won against india, general Musa lead it ..)
      if you call zardari a ‘shia’ .. you must google the word ‘shia’ once again :)

    • Fatima
      January 14, 2013

      Dont try to befool people by ur silly lame excuses. Just count the number of deaths of other sect n compare against huge massacre of shias across the country. a few countable terrorists who are killed very rarely always remain in ur ad-on calculations making an inference in the end “sectarian violence, cross fires, etc etc”. u all r damn prejudiced. Ur so called “Haq Parast” columnists as Irfan Saddiqui, Ansar Abbasi, Haroon ur Rasheed, Qasmi, Shami; almost all of them never utter a single world against such massacre. You are never shaken even if the worst happens to shias and at the same tym u ppl show deep grief for drone attacks, shahzeb , malala, arfa as if we are not humans wwe dnt have right to exist we r as worthless as an ant which is pitched under someone’s feet. They say suicide bombing and other terrorism is a gift of drone attacks as u see nothing of such kind ever happened in past. n we say that dis hypocrisy of urs is costing u heavily the way wat is going on here Extensive target killing continued for a deacade atleast wen terrorist like Riaz Basra, Akram Lahori n such other kind would undauntedly enter our homes, shoot our brothers, fathers, sons and run. The doorbell was a sort of death angel for us at that tym. They would never be caught. and if they were caught and still if they r caught today, no judge has ever courage to punish them or even to prosecute them otherwise they were also threatened. It was a tym of intense Barbarism wen we would lift 36 bodies a day. Any police officer who would investigate them will be ruthlessly murdred like the one Ashraf Marth. n in the end the only courage they could show was to kill them in a staged police confrontation not allowing them to enter prosecution. But they couldnt do this after Riaz Basra Jahannumi. No voicewas raised ever and u were punished by God wen the same terrorists reached ur necks. U shouted en innocent children, men n women were killed in markets, roadside blasts, mosques etc. Still some shamelss creatures like Ansar Abbasi n Irfan Saddiqui called it drone’s response. I ask 2 questions;
      1. whether one should be punished for the act he has never commited
      2. Wether those killed in drones are equal to te number wch dies in terrorism

      u can n u will never answer bcs i believe that;

  2. Hassan
    January 11, 2013

    Our Government is run by neither Shia nor Sunni. In fact, the Government is a collection of greedy wolfs who sold the nation’s blood for the sake of little pennies.
    Government religion is US Dollars. If you pay more than the President will sold his daughters to you.

    • Humair
      January 11, 2013

      I wont buy his bitches ..

  3. Ali Naqvi
    January 12, 2013

    Well done, you have explained clearly the THe SHIA Genocide in Pakistan

  4. Gracie
    May 23, 2013

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice morning!

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