“The bus was stopped and the women were shot because of their ethnicity,” said provincial government’s spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar.
The entire nation has come united behind the Kashmiri cause. It is the one cause that can even bring together opposing political parties. And it is easy to understand why. How can one watch the brutal treatment of Kashmiri people by Indian forces and not feel some sympathy and anger? It is the same pain we feel when we see how our brothers and sisters in Palestine suffer. This is not an post criticising support for the Kashmiri people. But it is asking why we can’t find the same sympathy for others closer to us?
Yesterday, four Shia women were murdered by sectarian militants in Quetta. They were singled out and killed because of their sect. This incident has received some reporting, but nothing like the attention paid to Kashmir. Before you say, “but this is just four women and Kashmiris are being killed and injured by hundreds” let me remind you that yesterday’s attack was only the latest anti-Shia attack in a long line of such killings. A few months ago, Jinnah Institute released a report noting that Pakistan has become a nightmare for Shia who are being slaughtered by the thousands.
There has been an upsurge in attacks against Shia Muslims in Peshawar, Rawalpindi and southern Punjab…The Shia Muslims have been …. besieged for a very long time as violence has grown in some parts of Pakistan, particularly in Quetta, Karachi and north of the country…
Gen Raheel has strongly condemned the killing of Kashmiri youth, but he is silent on the killing of Shia women. Behind the Army chief’s silence, though, there is some talking.
Sipah-e-Sahaba/ASWJ Mansehra chief Rabnawaz Tahir with Brigadier Wajahat
Have we used all of our sympathy for innocents being killed in other places? Don’t our own fellow citizens deserve the same level of sympathy and anger while they are being slaughtered? Where are the angry condemnations? The speeches at the UN? Where is the Difa-e-Pakistan Council rally to defend our country’s Shia? Or is one’s value only a factor of their political usefulness in our eternal war against India?
It has been one week since terrorists boarded a bus and began carrying out cold blooded killings. Their victims, dozens of innocent Ismaili Muslims whose only fault was not subscribing to the same extremist interpretation of religion as their murderers. Despite obviously being the work of jihadi terrorists, almost immediately the attack was blamed on RAW. Our own intelligence agencies told media that they had obtained evidence of India being behind the attack, which was dutifully reported by unquestioning media. Political leaders, too, were taking in by this line with no less than CM Sindh who is working closely with the military on Karachi law and order operation announcing that he had been told intelligence agencies had “solid evidence” of India’s involvement in the attack. Now, however, the tune is changing. This is an embarrassment for media, political leaders, and most of all our own intelligence agencies. Worst of all, it is helping the very terrorists we are trying to defeat.
Wednesday’s terrorist attack at Imambargah Qasr-e-Sakina is the fourth terrorist attack since the past 8 weeks, three of which have targeted Shia worshipers killing almost 100 innocents and injuring dozens more. It is impossible to continue ignoring the devil in the room which is the rise in sectarian killing. Still the country is not divided along sectarian lines, but could that be on the brink of changing?
When my mother heard that three Muslim doctors had been shot in North Carolina, she immediately called me. She was upset and scared for my cousin who is studying in Chicago. Is he safe? Will he be targeted? Why doesn’t he come home? I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to comfort her, to reassure her that nothing like that could ever happen, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have similar fears for friends and family living overseas. Any time there is a news report about a shooting or a bomb or something I get a familiar feeling of dread. This time, though, there was another feeling that was causing tears to well up in my eyes while talking to my mother. It was due to the last of my mother’s questions: “Why doesnt’ he come home?”