New Age Islam Special Correspondent
January 07, 2021
New Age Islam readers may be reminded of the constant assaults on the innocent members of the Hazara Shia minority by violent Takfirist and extremist organisations in Pakistan. It is known to them that the IS, Taliban and other Sunni militant groups have repeatedly and systematically carried out ghastly attacks targeting the Balochs and Shia Hazaras. In 2013, three bombings killed more than 200 Hazara people in the district of Quetta. Now the Islamic State has claimed the responsibility for the Sunday suicide bombing.
But what is more distressing is the involvement and complacency of the Pakistani security establishment in orchestrating these sectarian attacks, an open secret which is becoming clearer and more self-evident now after Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his inability to visit members of the Hazara community who have refused to bury 11 miners killed by the Islamic State, even as protests against the killing spread to different parts of the world.
In this backdrop, a number of Sunni Ulema in solidarity with the Shia organisations in India have taken part in the protests which are demanding measures to ensure the safety of the Shia Hazara community in Pakistan. Delhi-based Sunni Ulema and Shia organisations, according to a report published in the Delhi-based edition of Daily Inquilab on January 7, have strongly denounced Sunday’s ghastly attack in Quetta, Baluchistan on the Hazara community members in which 11 minors of the Shia Hazaras were brutally killed. In the wake of this attack, Indian Islamic organisations have not only registered strong protests but also demanded the protection of minority rights in Pakistan.
People gather around the bodies of the coal mine workers killed near Machh coal field on Sunday (Photo Credits: AP)
Maulana Jawed Qasmi, an alumnus of Darul Uloom Deoband and President of Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Shariat-e-Islami Hindi, expressed deep concern over the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan. He lamented the fact that the sectarian violence is on the rampage in the Sunni-majority provinces of Pakistan. “Internationally, there are concerted efforts to bring the Sunnis and Shias at the loggerheads, and Pakistan is the instrumental behind these nefarious conspiracies which must be condemned in the harshest manners, unless Pakistan ensures the safety and security of the religious minorities”, he said.
Speaking at a commemoration gathering (T’aziyati Ijlas) organised by Anjuman-e-Haidari in the North Eastern part of Delhi, Maulana Sheikh Muhammad Askari, Imam of Shia Masjid Haidari severely criticised the role of Pakistani government in orchestrating these killings and sectarian violence against the Hazara minority. He averred: “While the Qur’an calls for unity and Islam forbids the spilling of human blood, the daily routine of killings and persecution against the Hazra community in Pakistan shows the government’s utter disregard to the Islamic commandments”.
All India Shia Council also called for a meeting of the executive committee members in order to register strong protests against the persecution of the innocent people in Baluchistan and the Shia community members who find it hard to survive and earn their livelihood in Pakistan. National Spokesperson of the All India Shia Council, Maulana Jalal Haidar Naqwi stated that the Hazra community in Pakistan is one of the rarest, honest, courageous and peace-loving communities which have fallen victim to the tyrannical expansionists and their merciless attacks. “After they have been brutally attacked in Quetta, now they are again being mercilessly murdered in Baluchistan. This is too tyrannical to tolerate. It must not go unchallenged”, he said.
Maulana Asghar Maulaai, President of All India Shia Council said that the present regime and the security establishment in Pakistan have spoiled the attempts to bring peace and prosperity for the common citizens and especially the vulnerable religious minorities in different parts of Pakistan. “Instead of curbing the terrorist organisations on its soil, the current Pakistani government is rather emboldening them. This is precisely what deeply pains and distresses us across the borders”, he said.
Maulana Mirza Imran Ali, General Secretary of All India Shia Council, said that Sunday’s attack was the worst kind of major assaults on members of the Hazara community since the present regime came to power with the tall claims and hollow promises of maintaining peace and protecting minorities. “Systematic attacks on the Shia Hazaras is a self-explanatory proof of that”, he lamented.
Not only in India, a vociferous condemnation of the Pakistani establishment in this regard has also come from across the borders. In Peshawar, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Imamia Jirga and Muharram Committee have registered unprecedented protests in front of the Peshawar Press Club against the killing of 11 members of the Shia Hazara community in Balochistan. They have demanded the Imran Khan government to hold a sit-in in Quetta. “The demands of a sit-in for the Shia Hazara community should be met as soon as possible and the terrorists and their facilitators in the country should be brought to justice”, they strongly appealed. The demonstrators held placards and banners with slogans in the favour of the oppressed people in Pakistan, as reported today in Urdu daily, Jung.
The protests in Peshawar were led by Akhwanzada Muzaffar Ali, Coordinating Secretary of Imamia Jirga in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Demonstrators included the common people from among other sects also. They ask as to how long the Pakistani Shia Muslims and the Hazara community will carry the dead bodies of their loved ones! It is an obvious failure of the state to fulfil its responsibility of providing protection to the citizens.
The Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen, a pan-Islamic organisation in Pakistan insist that they want Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Quetta, where the dead bodies have been placed as part of the protest, and give assurances for the safety of the persecuted minority community. They continue to mount pressure through sit-ins and ongoing protests in Karachi and Quetta that are being attended by hundreds of men, women and children.
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