Open Letter to Rulers & Media of Pakistan from Shia

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Open Letter to Rulers & Media of Pakistan from Shia

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:16 pm

To: Rulers and Media of Pakistan
This is an open letter being addressed on behalf of the Shi’a
community of Pakistan to those who wield influence in the governance
and media of Pakistan, wherever they may be: Islamabad, Rawalpindi,
Karachi, Riyadh, Edgware Road and Whitehall (London), Washington, D.C.
or Langley, Virginia.

Pakistani Shi’a community has been
physically under attack for decades by obscurantist zealots created in
the 1980s and funded and backed by American, Saudi and Pakistani
security establishments. Thousands of Shi’a Muslim religious scholars,
politicians, doctors, businessmen, intellectuals and even those
attending prayers or other religious ceremonies have been brutally
killed since then by those professing to follow Islam.

These
one-sided cold-blooded atrocities have continued since the dark days of
dictator Zia. Shi’as have seen their best being brutally murdered, but
have not uttered a word beyond token protests necessary for catharsis
as we realized the difficulty that Pakistan may have to face if a
frontal response was given by us to the sectarian terrorism perpetrated
against us.

Sadly,
rather than this being appreciated, and due protection being given to
the community by those at the helm of affairs, this appears to have
been perceived as our weakness.

The anti-Shi’a atrocities were
quite brazen to begin with, but have become nakedly brutal over the
past few months. As the country entered sixty-second year of its life,
and the elected representatives remained busy in arranging change of
guard at the Presidency and the Supreme Court, this is what was
happening to the Pakistani Shi’a community:

• Parachinar, the
last fortress on our Western borders against Talibanesque obscurantism,
is besieged by terrorists for 14 months now resulting in dearth not
just of foodstuff and heating fuel (in severe winter), but even
affecting the supply of life-saving medicines. Over the past few months
the local Shi’a population has been under heavy armed attack of foreign
Taliban. The government and the armed forces are conspicuous by their
absence: the only attempt at escorting a convoy of supplies turned
futile when the soldiers, armoured cars and helicopter gunships
supposedly providing protection ran for cover at the time of a Taliban
attack, and the eight Shi’a young men taking these essential supplies
to Parachinar were brutally hacked to pieces, and their body pieces
delivered to their mourning families along with compact discs depicting
the whole process of killing.

Shi’as living in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu and now even some areas
of Karachi have been receiving letters from the terrorist gangs
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and Sipahe Sahaba threatening them to
‘convert’ to Sunni Islam or migrate or else be ready for being killed
and their property and honour being trampled upon. A component party of
the present government is known to be backing these threats. Events in
Tank and DIK over the past year or so evidence that these threats are
actually being carried out, and migration of unprotected Shi’as from
these areas is taking place, as confirmed the other day in the national
assembly by the honourable member from Bhakkar, Rashid Akbar Khan.

Shi’as in other areas of Pakistan are not safe either, as recent
sectarian attacks in Karachi and Quetta have shown. The ruthless and
deliberately planned suicide attack the other day in DIK that killed
dozens of innocent Shias shows the extent of this threat, and the level
of brainwashing of attackers.

While we Shi’as are the inheritors of the spirit of Karbala and welcome rather than fear martyrdom, what hurts our youth is

1.
the shameless apathy of the rulers and the security establishment who
have taken nary an action other than occasional lip service and clichéd
statements of dealing with the terrorists with an iron hand
2.
the suspicious role of the ‘free and independent’ print and electronic
media that runs reports of minor road accidents as ‘breaking news’ but
has – with very few noble exceptions - not, for over 14 months now,
broken the news of wholesale atrocities committed on Shi’as in
Parachinar, DIK, Tank, Hangu and all over the country. An extremely
peaceful public meeting of over 50,000 Shi’a representatives from
across the country was held on 3rd August in Islamabad followed by a
similarly peaceful ‘Save Pakistan’ rally to Parliament House. Channels
that held marathon live coverage of anti-State Lal Masjid insurgency
last year, and full day coverage of its anniversary that was attended
by a few hundred, almost completely blacked out this event that brought
a message of peace. Similar was the attitude of print media the next
day. One wonders what pressure was brought and by whom to bring about
this almost total news blackout.
3. the
general lack of condemnation by our Muslim brethren of the animal-like
atrocities committed by so-called Taliban against Shi’as


Shi’a
Muslims of the sub-continent were at the forefront of the struggle for
creation of Pakistan under the leadership of our Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad
Ali Jinnah and his loyal soldiers like the Raja of Mehmoodabad, while
those who now apostatize us were apostatizing the country’s founder.
Despite all the atrocities against us since then, and despite the
Pakistani Shi’a community being alienated and cornered more and more
into a Bangladesh-like situation akin to 1971, we are still cognizant
of our community’s role and responsibility in saving Pakistan, and thus
our creed “Pakistan banaya thaa, Pakistan bachaen gey” (We made
Pakistan, we will save Pakistan).

However, of those who wish
to rule Pakistan we only ask that they should facilitate our lives as
equal and secure citizens of this state. This can be done by
immediately taking the following actions that were recommended by our
leadership on 3rd August 2008 in Islamabad:

• Removal of Taliban terrorists from Hangu-Parachinar Road and its opening to all travelers irrespective of their sect

Kurram Militia, that had been responsible for peacekeeping in Kurram
Agency since British rule and whose removal is one of the major causes
of lack of control of situation by government, to be reinstated to this
area
• Recommencing PIA flights from major Pakistani cities to Parachinar
• Resettlement in Tank of Shi’a families who have been forced to migrate from there by Taliban terrorists
• Controlling the Taliban menace in D I Khan so that similar exodus from there can be stemmed
• Return to Parachinar of those locals – both Shi’a and Sunni – who had to leave in 2007 after start of Taliban
atrocities

Arrest of terrorists responsible for recent sectarian killings in Dera
Ismail Khan, Quetta and Karachi, as well as for attacks on government
establishments in Lahore and Wah
• Payment of compensation to families of all those martyred in sectarian attacks


If,
however, the rulers are too impotent, indifferent or fearful to take
even these basic actions, they should so announce and, as suggested the
other day by MNA Rashid Akber Khan in the parliament, let Shi’as defend
themselves and save their beloved country. For with this country are
attached the lives and futures not only of ourselves but our future
generations as well as that of the Muslim ummah. To those foreign
powers that wish to destroy this country, and to their local agents we
convey that if, God forbid, something happens to this country, the
fallout will encompass not only the power centres of Islamabad and
Rawalpindi, and commercial centres of Karachi and Lahore, but will also
be felt in faraway places like Riyadh, London, Washington, D. C. and
Langley, Virginia. So to them, we the inheritors of the valour of
Haider-e-Karrar alaihissalam say: "Hands off our beloved Motherland!"


Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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