26 Shi’ite Pilgrims Killed in Pakistan

Pk-07By Gul Yusufzai

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) – Gunmen opened fire on a bus in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan in a suspected sectarian attack on Tuesday, killing at least 26 Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims traveling to Iran, police said.

Four assailants attacked the bus carrying more than 50 pilgrims near Mastung town around 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial capital of Quetta.

“They opened fire on the bus from all four sides. Then they got into the bus and fired again,” a police official in Mastung said.

Three more people were killed when gunmen opened fire on an ambulance near Quetta as it headed to the attack site in Mastung.

Sunni Muslim militants loyal to al Qaeda and the Taliban have carried out high-profile attacks on members of Pakistan’s Shi’ite minority in the past.

“Two vehicles intercepted the bus. Forced all the passengers off and opened fire. Many of them fled,” the driver of the bus, Khushal Khan, told reporters at the scene of the blast.

“They were eight to 10 men and they were carrying rocket launchers and Kalashnikovs.”

Some shoes of the victims were scattered in the area. Rescue workers removed bodies from the spot.

Sunni militants have stepped up attacks against Shi’ites in Baluchistan in recent months.

Ethnic Baluch militants have been waging a low-level insurgency in Baluchistan for years for more autonomy and greater control over natural resources of the region.

Officials say there is no evidence linking them with Islamist militants.

At least 10 Shi’ites were killed in a suicide bombing near Quetta on the Muslim festival of Eid on August 31.

Pakistan has seen a surge in violence since al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in a secret raid in a Pakistani town in May.

Militants have vowed revenge for bin Laden’s death.

(Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

reuters.com




Target Killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan – by Mehmal Sarfraz

Pk-04Two despicable terrorist attacks targeting the Shiites in Pakistan should ring alarm bells but it seems that the Pakistani state is oblivious to any such warnings. On Eid day, 11 people lost their lives while more than a dozen others were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a Shia congregation offering Eid prayers in Quetta. A day later, seven Shias were killed when gunmen opened fire on a minibus on its way to Parachinar in Kurram Agency. There are not enough words to condemn the attack on a mosque on Eid day and another attack on innocent travellers on the second day of Eid. Hazara Shias in Balochistan and Shias in Parachinar have been targeted continuously by sectarian groups over the years. The resurgence of sectarian groups is alarming. In the 1980s and 90s, sectarian killings became a norm in Pakistan because of General Ziaul Haq’s extremist policies. The military and its intelligence agencies aided and abetted sectarian groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), among others to pursue the state’s nefarious agendas as well as their own. The Wahabi school of thought, propagated through Saudi-funded madrassas and organisations, are inherently anti-Shia. Saudi Arabia’s enmity with Shiite Iran is no secret. Wahabis have been using Pakistan to fight their proxy war against Iran and Shias in the region for decades now. Pakistani mercenary forces are presently being used in Bahrain to barbarically quell the majority Shiite uprising.

Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies are very active when it comes to intimidating, harassing and killing Baloch nationalists and/or progressive elements in the country. But when it comes to protecting the Shias or religious minorities, these same forces are found wanting in their duties. It seems that our law enforcement and security agencies have turned a blind eye to the massacre of Shias in Balochistan, Kurram and elsewhere in the country despite there being a pattern of systematic attacks on Shias. The reasons behind this could be many. Either the security forces are helpless, plain incompetent or complicit in these attacks. Whatever the reasons for the security agencies’ failure in protecting the citizens of Pakistan, especially the Shias, it is beyond disgusting that the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ continues to ignore the plight of its Shias. We have seen several terrorist attacks on Shiite processions in the holy month of Muharram. Even though the state provides some sort of security during Muharram, the Shia community itself is far more vigilant than our law enforcement agencies. This is a sad state of affairs because it is the responsibility of the state to ensure the safety of its citizens, be they from any sect or religion.

The Pakistani state is fast turning into one of the most intolerant societies in the world. Attacks on the Ahmediyya community, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are usually swept under the carpet while the attacks on Shias are condemned but not much is done to counter these attacks or nail the culprits. This gives a signal of poor law enforcement and gives rise to a climate where the country is seen as a pariah state. Islam preaches tolerance but our ruling elite think that just by naming our country an ‘Islamic Republic’ we have done great service to Islam. On the contrary, by mixing religion and the state’s affairs we have made Pakistan into a quasi-theocratic state fast turning into an extremist hotbed. In order to save Pakistan from poisonous elements, the country must be turned into a pluralistic, democratic and secular state.




Gunmen Martyr Seven Shia Passengers in Pakistan

Pk-02The passenger vehicle was traveling from the town of Ali Zai in Lower Kurram to Parachinar as the nation celebrated Eid al-Fitr when the armed assailants opened fire, killing four people on the spot and severely wounding four others.

Moreover, three of the four wounded people later died at at the Agency Headquarter Hospital while the fourth was said to be in critical condition.

Meanwhile, local tribesmen were reported to have engaged the fleeing attackers in a gun-battle.

Six out of the seven people who lost their lives in the incident belonged to the same family.

On Wednesday in a powerful blast at least 11 Shiite Muslims were killed and 22 injured when a bomb was detonated on Gulistan Road  in the Murriabad area of  Quetta out side of Jamia Imamia Imambargah .

An army operation called Operation Koh-e-Sufaid in Kurram Agency, which was launched to clear the area of militants whose fighting had increased the incidence of sectarian killings, kidnapping, and extortion in the agency, also recently ended.

Pro-Taliban groups have launched a violent campaign against Shia Muslims, and appear to have widened their terror campaign in major Pakistani cities.

Several Shia religious gatherings have been targeted in different parts of the country over the past few months.

Meanwhile, Taliban-linked militants in the towns of Parachinar and Hangu and other areas in the Kurram tribal region have killed hundreds of community members over the past few months.

Taliban’s influence is also rapidly increasing its grip on the major cities and even the so-called settled areas in the country.

Shia sources say they make up one-third of Pakistan’s population of nearly 170 million.

Since the 1980s, thousands of people have been killed in sectarian-related incidents in Pakistan.




Taliban killed 5 Shia in Parachinar

PK-10The Nasabi-Wahabi terrorists of Taliban on Friday killed the Five Shia Muslims hails from Parachinar including a woman on the failure to get the ransom amount of 6 to 10 million rupees to release these innocent people.

According to the Shiakilling Correspondent, The families of detained people were not able to provide the huge amount to the Taliban kidnappers belongs from Mengal tribe.
It may be noted here that the kidnappers of Taliban had abducted five Pakistani Shia of Parachinar from Paktia province of Afghanistan on August 14, have demanded Rs6 million as ransom for their safe release. The people of Parachinar were used the route of Afghanistan to reach in Peshawar or rest of Pakistan because of the illegal blockade of Parachinar by the Taliban terrorists from the last five years.
Source:eng.shiakilling.com



For Shia Hazaras, it’s Funeral After Funeral

SONY DSCKARACHI, Aug 26, 2011 (IPS) – Rukhsana Ahmed finds comfort visiting her husband Ahmed Ali Najfi’s grave. “I feel at peace there,” says the 60-year-old widow, mother of four and member of the Shia Hazara community.

What disturbs her moments of peace is the increasing number of fresh graves of the Hazaras in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, where some 550,000 members of the minority community are concentrated.

“It was September of 2009. My husband was going to his factory when he was ambushed by five armed, masked men who sprayed him with bullets and then fled,” recalled the widow, speaking with IPS over phone from Quetta.

The killers of 63-year-old Najfi were apprehended. They belonged to the banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). “The killer admitted publicly that he killed my husband because he was a Shia,” said Rukhsana. “He even flashed a victory sign!”

Shias of all ethnicities account for about 20 percent of Pakistan’s 160 million, Sunni-majority population.

The LeJ, which has strong ties with the Al-Qaeda and Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan, is a sworn enemy of the Shia sect and considers its members to be apostates.

The LeJ has a declared agenda of ridding Pakistan of all Shias who include the 966,000 Hazaras, descendents of Mongols who were part of Genghis Khan’s armies.

Eliminating Pakistan’s Hazaras follows a pattern in which they were persecuted in neighbouring Afghanistan under Taliban rule from 1995 until 2001, when they were ousted by invading U.S. and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) forces.

The Hazaras of Pakistan fled Afghanistan some 120 years ago when they faced an earlier round of persecution from the dominant Sunni Pashtun tribes. In Pakistan, they were well received and rose to hold important positions in the government.

Today, however, the Hazaras are being persecuted in Pakistan because of their ethnicity and their history of conflict with Sunnis.

“The same game played over a century ago to force Hazaras out of Afghanistan is being replayed. Religion is used as a tool to persecute them,” says Irfan Ali of the Human Rights Commission on Social Justice and Peace in Quetta.

“We are easily distinguished because of our (Mongol) features and physical attributes,” says Abdul Khaliq, a prominent Hazara politician and leader of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP).

Hazaras also speak Persian, rather than Balochi, Pashto or Urdu, Pakistan’s national language.

Anti-Shia violence reached a high in July. On Jul. 10, two people were killed and 11 injured when armed men ambushed a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran. On Jul. 30, 18 Shias, including a woman, were shot dead in Quetta. Eleven of the victims were Hazaras.

Earlier, on Jun. 16, Syed Abrar Hussain Shah, a Hazara boxer who represented Pakistan in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, was shot dead in Quetta.

“We are attending one funeral after another and there is no stopping it,” said Khaliq, whose predecessor as HDP chief, Hussain Ali Yusufi, was assassinated by the LeJ in 2008.

Over the years, says Rukhsana, the provincial general secretary of the women’s wing of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, the cream of the community has been systematically eliminated. In the last 10 years, some 500 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan and over 1,500 have suffered injuries.

“If you look at the list of those killed, you will find it includes doctors, engineers, teachers, students, politicians and even ordinary shopkeepers and vendors. Not a single person had any political affiliation,” said Khaliq.

Three months ago, on May 18, Mohammad Ali, 45, a vegetable vendor, was going to the market in a pickup along with 12 others when masked gunmen opened fire on the van, killing seven. “My father was among the dead,” said Asadullah, a cobbler and the eldest of Ali’s seven children.

Today an unlettered Asadullah, who earns a mere Pakistani rupees 200 (2.30 dollars) a day, feeds 11 mouths in his family.

“We are a liberal, open-minded and educated community, compared to the Baloch and Pashtuns,” said Rukhsana. According to Amjad Hussain, a correspondent with Dawn News, a private television channel, young Hazaras do not see any future in Pakistan and are steadily migrating.

“Till a few years back, many were fleeing to Australia, via Indonesia. Of late, though, the interior ministry has directed the Indonesian embassy to stop issuing visas to Hazaras,” he said.

Hussain believes that pro-Taliban lobbies (including Pakistan’s intelligence agencies that backed the Taliban initially) are penalising the Hazaras for colluding with the Northern Alliance and the U.S. army in Afghanistan.

It is also possible that members of the defeated Taliban who found refuge in Balochistan province, after fleeing Afghanistan, may be taking their revenge on the community.

The Shia and Hazara killings, and growing insecurity among Pakistan’s biggest minority sect, have failed to draw the attention of the state or media.

“Hazara killings do not make headlines because Balochistan is sandwiched between the big story of Baloch nationalism and the alleged Taliban presence in Balochistan,” says Malik Siraj Akbar, a young Baloch journalist.

Akbar added: “Although the HDP has always stood behind Baloch and Pashtun nationalists during hard times, they have never condemned the persecution of Hazaras.”

At the same time, said Akbar, the Islamic political party, the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), an important partner in the coalition ruling Balochistan, has never condemned the killings of Hazaras or Shias.

Khaliq said his party has tried but failed to get Islamabad to act against the ethnic cleansing.

“All they come up with are hollow words of regret after each death. They can stop the killings instantly, if they want to do it. We cannot accept their words of comfort anymore,” he said.

By Zofeen Ebrahim




Two Shia Muslims Martyred in Karachi by Wahabi Terrorists

130098_mTwo Shia Muslims were martyred in Karachi in the separate incidents of target killing on Saturday by the terrorists of Nasabi-Wahabi outfits.

A member of Pak Hyderi Scouts Open Group, Aoun Mohammad was gunned down by the armed terrorists of Nasabi-Wahabi terrorists organization of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Laskhar-e-Jhangvi in Organi Town area Karachi.

Member of the largest Shiite Scout group of Karachi, Aoun Mohammad has received three bullets on his body and was shifted at the local hospital in Karachi but later he got martyred. His body was shifted at Rizvia Mosque Nazimabad for his funeral.

However, In another incident President of PIA Peoples Unity, a sister organization of Pakistan Peoples Party, Aamir Shah son of Safdar Shah, was gunned down by the terrorists at Gulistan-e-Johar area, when he was along with his companion on their way when their car was targeted by unknown gunmen in the area of Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

Aamir Shah was also a chairman of PIA’s People’s Unity.

The target killing of Shia Muslims have been continued in Karachi from the last three decades but the Government and law enforcement agencies have failed to arrest the terrorists and their masterminds involved in the genocide of Shia Muslims in Karachi and Pakistan.

The district west of Karachi consisting on Orangi Town, Qasba Colony, Raees Amrohi Colony, Mangopir and others areas were becomes the safe haven of the Al-Qaeeda linked Taliban terrorists and they were involved in the killing of Shia and Beralvi Muslims and attacked on National installations.

This is the need of hour that the Government of Pakistan and Law Enforcement Agencies of the Country should take stern action against the anti-state elements to restore the peace of the country.

abna.ir




13 Shia Muslims Killed in SW Pakistan

Pk-03At least thirteen Shia people have been killed and several others injured after gunmen opened fire at a passenger pick-up in Pakistan‘s southwestern province of Balochistan.

The Saturday attack occurred in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, when two armed men riding a motorcycle started shooting at the vehicle carrying people from Hazara Shia community on their way to work, Xinhua reported.
The assailants managed to flee the scene, which was later cordoned off by the police. The injured were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex in the city.
No group has claimed responsibility for the assault.
In a similar incident on Friday, at least seven Shia Muslim pilgrims were killed and several others wounded when a group of heavily-armed militants attacked a bus on the outskirts of Quetta.
Shia leaders have frequently accused Pakistan’s security forces of failing to protect Shia people against assaults by militants.
In a major attack in September 2010, at least 53 people lost their lives and around 200 others were wounded when a huge explosion took place in Quetta at a Shia Muslim rally held in support of Palestinians.

Source:PressTV




Shias Targeted in Pakistan Bombing

Pak-01At least 33 people have been killed and up to 170 others wounded after a series of blasts struck processions of Shia Muslims in the Pakistani city of Lahore, officials say.

The blasts on Wednesday, suspected to be suicide bombings, hit three separate locations as 35,000 Shia Muslims marched in a traditional mourning ceremony for the assassination of Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, some 1,300 years ago during the month of Ramadan.

“The three explosions took place at the end of a Shia Muslim mourning procession in Lahore city,” AFP news agency quoted a police official as saying on Wednesday.

It was the latest in a long history of violent attacks against Shia Muslims, which are frequently claimed by extremist and pro-Taliban groups, although they had halted in recent weeks as the country struggles with some of its worst flooding in decades.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan‘s prime minister, condemned the attacks, saying in a statement that the attackers would not escape justice.

Marchers’ fury

After the blasts, the marchers erupted in fury, setting fire to a police station, another police facility, two police cars and three motorcycles, Zulfiqar Hameed, a senior police officer, said.

Police threw tear-gas canisters at the crowd and fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd, he said.

The first blast was a time bomb that exploded in the street near a well-known Shia Muslim building, Hameed said.

Footage of that explosion shown on Pakistan’s private Geo television channel showed a small blast erupting amid a crowd of people on the street followed by a large plume of smoke.

Hundreds of people fled from the blast, while others rushed to carry the wounded to safety.

Minutes later, with the streets in chaos, a male suicide bomber who appeared about 18-years-old tried to force his way into an area where food was being prepared for the marchers to break the traditional Ramadan fast and exploded, Hameed said.

Soon after, another suicide bomber detonated himself at an intersection near the end of the procession.

Mourning call

Abbas Kumaili, a prominent Pakistani Shia Muslim scholar as well as a senator, called for three days of mourning over the attack and condemned the bombers.

“They are our enemies, both Shias and Sunnis should remain united and foil their evil designs,” he said.

Hours earlier, three people were wounded in a shooting near a similar Shia Muslim procession in the southern city of Karachi, but Iqbal Mahmood, a senior police officer, said the incident did not target the march.

In July, twin suicide attacks at Pakistan’s most popular Sufi shrine killed 42 people.

Also on Wednesday, a bomb exploded near a police vehicle in the town of Shabqadar in northwest Pakistan, killing one passer-by and wounding 15 people, including one police officer, Nisar Khan, another police officer, said.

The bombings came after Pakistan army jets and helicopters targeted fighters’ hideouts near the Afghan border, killing 60 people identified as fighters or their family members, including children, security officials and a witness said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencie



Gunmen Kill 8 Shia Muslims, Abduct Dozens In Pakistan

Unidentified gunmen killed eight people and kidnapped dozens of passengers of a convoy traveling through a volatile district of northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border on Friday.

A convoy of five buses were traveling on the main road through Kurram, connecting the northwestern city of Parachinar with Peshawar, capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, when they were ambushed by a band of armed men.

Reports quoting local officials said they opened fire on the first two mini-buses, and then kidnapped passengers of other three vehicles that followed. The casualties included a woman and a child.

BBC said the victims were Shia Muslims who recently struck a peace deal with Taliban militants in the Kurram region, while Reuters said those targeted, belonging to the Turi tribe, recently blocked Taliban militants from the dreaded Haqqani network from using their territory to cross into Afghanistan.

Militants are opposed to jobs and education for women in the deeply conservative tribal region of Kurram, which is a safe haven of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Kurram has long been a flash point of sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and Shia Muslims, who constitute only 20 per cent of Pakistan’s population.