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  1. http://jang.com.pk/t...-2013/spr.htm#2 “The country should be declared a Sunni state” — Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, Chief of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) By Waqar Gillani The News on Sunday: How do you look at the rising wave of sectarianism in Pakistan these days? Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi: In my view, these acts are being undertaken by foreign and external elements, aimed at weakening Pakistan. We think this government has completed its term and there should be no conspiracy to cause delay in the elections. Black Water, the US, India, Israel and Iran are behind these blasts to destabilise Pakistan. Many of the accused arrested by the Pakistani authorities in Karachi, according to our information, were trained in Iran. We always condemn the killing of innocent people. We urge the Supreme Court of Pakistan to deeply look into these matters to understand the conspiracies behind these incidents. Why only Hazaras are being targeted in Quetta when other Shiites also live in Quetta? This is surprising for us. There are many in-fights within that community which has roots in Afghanistan. Conspiracies are being hatched to separate Balochistan from Pakistan. We, for the sake of peace, have also held a peace conference in Quetta on the platform of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of more than 30 religious parties. TNS: There are reports in the media that LeJ, a militant group that emerged from SSP and is stated to be close to ASWJ ideology, has accepted responsibility of these attacks on Shias. MAL: We have, many times, categorically stated that ASWJ (Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat), the party which I am leading at the moment, has nothing to do with Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. I can challenge this allegation on any platform. This is beyond imagination for us how the LeJ, like the Taliban, sends their messages to the media, claiming responsibility of such attacks. The LeJ and Taliban seem as if they are a creature hanging between the earth and sky because our intelligence and law enforcement agencies fail to trace them. They have failed to trace the killers of innocent Shias and Sunnis. We believe that you cannot crush anybody with power and the ultimate solution to these issues, always, is to sit on the table and talk. TNS: What’s your take on the government targeted operation against terrorists? MAL: We believe targeted operations cannot resolve this issue. Just take the example of ANP which, ultimately, has gone for a dialogue with Taliban. The solution lies in talks and not in targeted operations. There is need for a consensus strategy and I believe it is high time the government called an All Parties Conference to discuss the issue of sectarian killings. In 1996, religious parties formed the Milli Yakjehti Council (MYC), comprising all religious parties, including the Shia parties. They agreed to a code of conduct. The sectarian issue was resolved to a reasonable extent. There was a decrease in violence. Recently, late Qazi Hussain Ahmad, also wanted to form a council of religious parties on similar grounds but, unfortunately, he passed away. There was not much disagreement between LeJ and SSP on that code of conduct. TNS: It is said that some elements in the SSP disagreed with the idea of forming MYC and ultimately formed LeJ, targeting Shias. Later, there were reports in the press that you, on the request of then Punjab government, met the chief of LeJ, Malik Ishaq, in jail to make an agreement that he would remain inactive after his release. MAL: It is true that I met Malik Ishaq, chief of LeJ, in jail a couple of times and he promised me not to be violent if he is released. I challenge the accusation that Malik Ishaq is involved in sectarian or any other kind of violence after his release. A few days ago, some Shia groups tried to attack him during a wedding ceremony and a public procession and some of his activists were injured but they did not respond to the attack. So, we should not create a situation which forces such people to defy the policy of peace. TNS: Does ASWJ have political ambitions? MAL: Yes. We have become part of Muttahida Dini Mahaz (MDM), currently led by Maulana Samiul Haq. It is an alliance of six religious parties and our agenda is to resolve the issues politically by entering the parliament rather than coming on roads and staging protests. The manifesto of MDM would be launched very soon. On this platform, we also want a solution to sectarianism through effective legislation. We believe that nobody should be allowed to utter derogatory remarks against companions of Prophet Muhammad and there should be a strict punishment if any person commits this blasphemy. This demand is close to Namoos-e-Sahaba and Ahle-Bait Bill once presented by late Maulana Azam Tariq in the National Assembly. TNS: There are reports in the press that you are also in contact with the PML-N for electoral alliance. Are you planning alliances at the national, provincial or local level? MAL: Since we have political motives and the MDM has decided to contest the upcoming general elections, we are in contact with many political parties, including the PML-N. We want to make an alliance with the parties which are close to our ideology and understand our point of view, parties that vow to protect the ideology of Pakistan. These alliances can be at any level if the other side agrees to our manifesto. We believe that the ruling coalition, led by the PPP, has created a mess in the country. It is high time they announced the schedule of elections. We believe that these terrorist and sectarian incidents are a plan to delay the next elections. A free and fair caretaker set-up can maintain the law and order. If a free and fair caretaker set-up is not there, the situation might become even worse. TNS: How close is the PML-N to your ideology and objectives? MAL: The PML-N is not very close to our ideology, but, at the same time, it is not very far either. TNS: On how many seats do you plan to make an alliance to contest general elections? MAL: We have decided to field candidates on about 20 seats. Currently, we are aiming to contest elections in Jhang, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur in Punjab, Tando Allah Yar, Mirpur Khas, Karachi, and Khairpur in Sindh, Peshawar, Dera Ismael Khan, Batgaram, and Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We have decided our candidates for these areas. From Jhang, I will be the candidate for the National Assembly seat against Sheikh Waqas Akram. TNS: The SSP has also been demanding that Pakistan be declared a “Sunni State”. To what extent do you have this agenda in your objectives? MAL: We believe that Sunnis have a clear majority in Pakistan. They are 97 percent of the total population of the country. The country should be declared a Sunni state and all the Sunni factions can make rules accordingly. The president, prime minister, chief justice of the Supreme Court and all other offices should be held by Sunnis. You can take the example of Iran where Shia are in majority and they have declared the country a Shiite state. If they can do it why we cannot go for this? Shia, in Pakistan, should be declared a minority and they can live peacefully like other minorities.
  2. http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2012/12/shias-and-their-future-in-pakistan-.html December 03, 2012 Shias and their future in Pakistan by Omar Ali Shias (predominantly Twelver Shias, but also smaller groups of Ismailis and Dawoodi Bohras, etc.) make up between 5 and 25% of Pakistan’s population. The exact number is not known because the census does not count them separately and pro and anti-Shia groups routinely exaggerate or downgrade the number of Shias in Pakistan (thus the most militant Sunni group, the Sipah e Sahaba, routinely uses the figure of 2% Shia, which is too low, while Shias sometimes claim they are 30% of the Muslim population, which is clearly too high). Shias were not historically a “minority group” in the sense which modern identity politics talks about “minorities” (a definition that, sometimes unconsciously, includes some sense of being oppressed/marginalized by the majority). Shias were part and parcel of the Pakistan movement and the “great leader” himself was at least nominally Shia. He was not a conventionally observant Muslim (e.g. he regularly drank alcohol and may have eaten pork) and was for the most part a fairly typical upper-class “Brown sahib”, English in dress and manners, but Indian in origin.  He was born Ismaili Khoja but switched to the more mainstream Twelver sect; a conversion that he attested to in a written affidavit in some court or the other. His conversion was said to be due to the Khoja Ismaili sect excommunicating his sisters for marrying non-Khojas, but less charitable observers do note that it was also politically astute for an Indian Muslim leader to be Twelver Shia rather than Ismaili since mainstream acceptance of Twelver Shias was far greater. His position as a Shia was thus not a significant problem for him as he led the Muslim League’s movement for a separate Muslim state. Twelver Shias were well integrated into the Muslim elite and in opposition to Hindus, they were all fellow Muslims. The question of whether Jinnah was Shia or Sunni was occasionally asked but Jinnah always parried it with the fatuous stock reply “was the holy prophet Shia or Sunni?” This irrelevant (and in some ways, irreverent) reply generally worked because theologial fine print was not then a priority for the superficially Anglicized North Indian Muslim elite. Their Muslim identity distinguished them from Hindus and especially in North India, it was frequently mixed with a certain anti-Indian racism (the assumption being that they themselves were “superior” Afghans, Turks, Persians, etc.). Shia and Sunni was not a big issue for them yet. But foreshadowing the problems that would come later as the ideology of Pakistan matured, a Shia-Sunni distinction did arise when he was buried; his sister arranging a hurried Shia funeral in the house, while the state arranged a Sunni funeral in public.  That event and his studied avoidance of any specifically Shia observance in his own life has since led to some claims by anti-Shia activists that Jinnah was in fact Sunni. But years later, a court did get to rule on this issue and they ruled that he was Shia (property was involved). Meanwhile, by the time his sister died in 1967, matters had become uglier and even an orderly Sunni funeral was not easily arranged. Since then, things have become much worse. The leaders of the Muslim league in general and the great leader in particular seem to have thought that once a Muslim state had been founded, it would function as a kind of Muslimized version of British India. The same commissioners and deputy commissioners, selected by the same civil service examinations, would rule over the “common people” while a thin (and thinly educated) crust of Muslim landlords and other “Ashraaf” lorded it over them. Having used Islam to separate themselves from their Hindu and Sikh neighbors, they might judiciously use it to strengthen the spirit of Jihad in Kashmir or carry out other nation-building projects but it was not seen as a potential problem. Some of them probably thought there would be something called Islamic law in Islamic Pakistan but most of the push for sharia law came from mullahs who had earlier strongly opposed Jinnah’s project on the logical basis that no one as ignorant of Islam as Jinnah could possibly create an Islamic state…but they soon realized that this pork-eating, whisky drinking Shia had indeed done so, and they were then quick to move in and try to take ownership). Jinnah and some of the other Westernized Muslims in the Muslim League (like their later descendant Imran Khan) seem to have had the vague notion that a true Islamic state was some sort of social-democratic welfare state that was first introduced into the world by the Caliph Omar and then taken by the Swedes to Europe (see here for details regarding this belief). Some of them even thought Pakistan would be a secular Westminster- style democracy, but one dominated by Muslims rather than Hindus (to which they added the common belief that Muslims are "inherently democratic" while Hindus are “caste-ridden”). But the mullahs knew better. An Islamic state must have Islamic laws. And these laws are not going to be created de novo by some Westernized Muslims impressed by Scandinavian Social Democracy; a lot of them already exist. They were developed over hundreds of years in medieval times. And they are serious business. Very deep questions of legitimacy and authority were debated by the people who created those law codes. Part of the Shia-Sunni dispute had to do with exactly these questions of authority and legitimacy. As long as the state is British or Indian or ethno-nationalist, these debates are mostly history; if and when there is an Islamic renaissance they will no doubt be dredged up by the kind of people who insist the ten commandments are the basis of all Western laws, but that level of development has yet to occur in any Islamic country. Outside of Saudi Arabia, what we have right now is Western/colonial legal codes and state institutions with a smattering of “sharia punishments” thrown in for effect when desired. But of course, if you have created a state with no real basis except Islamic solidarity it doesn’t take long to start wondering how and when the state will actually become Islamic. And once you start down that path, you have to specify which Islamic law? Or you have to do the hard work of inventing a whole new set. The “new set” option is a step too far for the limited intellectual resources available to the Pakistani elite (and involves fighting past the apostasy and blasphemy roadblocks), so we are back to arguing about which school to follow. General Zia, who understood these matters better than the average Pakistani liberal, took his theology seriously. He favored hardcore Sunni schools of thought, though his exact allegiances are by no means clear. He also understood the importance of Saudi Arabia as a source of cash, and that may have played a role in his decisions (e.g. it has been claimed that he introduced the Islamic law of cutting off the hands of thieves purely in order to get short-term Saudi favor). In any case, he introduced a series of “Islamic laws” one of which made it compulsory for all Muslims to pay Zakat (poor tax) to the state. Shia jurisprudence regarded this as a personal matter rather than a state matter and a very large number of Shias organized to demand that they be excluded from this law. This Shia movement was given some support by Iran (a message from Khomeini was read out to the largest gathering in Islamabad), a fact that has allowed some apologists to claim that all later problems are part of some sort of proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia (a claim that is thoroughly debunked here). While the Shias won that round and were exempted from Zakat, a line had been drawn that has continued to become darker and bloodier with time. At ground level, a lot of this was not due to any one single organized conspiracy but involved the confluence of several factors: Islamization put the question of “whose Islam” on the table; Zia’s personal leanings led to support for anti-Shia factions; Saudi Arabia inserted Wahabi-Salafi propaganda into the mix; The Shia response to the Zakat law and open (even if mostly symbolic) support from Iran also helped opponents to label them Iranian agents; and modernization and modern education themselves led to a preference for modern (and fascist) versions of Islam in comparison to folk Islam with its “superstitious” rituals and rather obvious multicultural colorfulness. Newly rich Saudi and Gulf individuals wished to promote “true Islam” in Pakistan. Many individuals in Pakistan wished to be paid by Gulf and Saudi millionaires to do the same. While the actual madrassa cannon-fodder came mostly from poor families, the policy the promoted the same came from middle class military officers and suchlike. Modern education and economics had prepared the minds of many middle class Pakistanis (including many whose families were traditionally Barelvi Sunni) to accept Maudoodi-type “back-to-basics” modern Islamism. Just like traditional folk Hinduism was rejected by Arya Samajis and other Hindu reformers (and minds prepared by such reform then found it easy to drift into modern Hindu nationalism and its fascist offshoots) educated middle class Muslims in Pakistan were ready to reject folk Islam and strive for purity. Thus,in predominantly Barelvi Pakistan, the majority of the new madrassas set up all over the country and paid for by Gulf money turned out to be hardline Deobandi, Ahle hadith and Wahhabi in sectarian orientation. It is worth repeating that the Anti-Shia polemic may not have been paramount in the minds of many of the geniuses who promoted these policies. In fact, many in the Pakistani middle class still have no clear idea of where the anti-Shia polemic is coming from. It was not part of our education. While Shias were a minority sect, their version of Karbala and the martyrdom of Husain was accepted and reverence for Ali and the house of Ali was part of most Sufi orders. Shia symbolism had spread well beyond the Shias and become part of the cultural heritage of educated Sunnis in South Asia. Certainly there were Ahle hadith and Wahhabi mullahs who were frankly anti-Shia, but even they tended to stay away from any direct criticism of Imam Hussein and his family. That this is not a universal feature of the Muslim word is not something most Pakistani or Indian middle class Sunnis were even dimly aware of in the good old days. That in Indonesia and Malaysia there is practically no sense of Moharram as a month of universal mourning is a surprise; that the Saudi Wahhabis have a well-developed anti-Shia polemic that brands the Shias as heretics, agents of the Jews and frank enemies of Islam was poorly understood in our world. But the fact is the Saudi Wahhabis and their fellow travelers DO have such a story. When I first heard the Saudi version (from a Pakistani doctor who had converted to Saudi Islam and ran a “study circle” in our residential camp in Saudi Arabia) it was a bit of a shock. It took a while to realize that his version of history was completely mainstream in Saudi Arabia. In this version, Islam (basically a military enterprise from day one) was spreading rapidly on its way to conquer the world, until a Jew named Ibne Saba helped to create a fitna (the first civil war) that sabotaged this first attempt at world conquest. This fitna is now known as the Shia sect and they have been sabotaging Islam ever since. I paraphrase of course, but this is not too far from what any pious Saudi or Gulf millionaire believes. It is therefore no surprise that they would spend good money to teach Pakistanis these “truths” and some would go out of their way to support killers who take the next step and start physically eliminating Shias. A second and perhaps only locally important economic factor was the fact that there were some prominent Shia landlords and power-brokers in Southern Punjab. Anti-Shia polemics combined in those parts with what the Marxists would gleefully call “class issues” to further fuel a hardline Sunni revolt against the local Shia elite in these areas. But the critical third component of this perfect storm was the state policy of Jihad or “strategic depth”. The Afghan Jihad that effectively destroyed Afghanistan may have been a CIA project, but from day one it was supported and then hijacked by local actors who had priorities of their own. Cynical Saudis saw it as a way to send away religious zealots to “jihad camp”; Pious Saudis saw it was a way to spread true Islam to the benighted heathens; and GHQ saw it as a golden opportunity to get “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, to be translated later into conquest of Kashmir and projection of power (perhaps even an empire!) in Central Asia. As a result, the ISI got oodles of cash from the CIA and the Saudis (every American dollar was matched dollar for dollar by the Saudis) and had complete autonomy in who they handed it out to. They handed it out to the most hardline Islamist groups they could find. And the Saudis paid for the madrassas where hardline Islam was to be taught to future suicide bombers. That it included a healthy dose of anti-Shia propaganda was part of the package. Even today, many Pakistanis who have not been directly involved in jihad and anti-jihad have no idea what kind of ideological poison was being injected into Pakistan’s Madrassa and Jihad underworld starting in the 1980s and accelerating through the 1990s under state patronage and then continuing even as the state itself became at least partially ambivalent about the cause. One visit to this site and others like it should help to put things in perspective. Very early on, some of the anti-Shia groups started targeting Shias within Pakistan. Jhang in central Punjab was an early battleground, as were Gilgit, Kohistan and Parachinar. Zia’s regime is said to have actively helped set up the Anjuman e Sipah Sahaba (ASS), the primary anti-Shia militant group, probably as a way of getting political leverage against uppity Shias. Like many other inventions of general Zia (MQM being the most famous) the puppets soon escaped from state control (while continuing to receive help and protection from factions within the state). Ultra-militant offshoots of the ASS (offshoot or deniable-militant-arm, take your pick) like the Lashkar e Jhangvi (LEJ) had launched open war on all Pakistani Shiites by the 1990s. The state made some efforts to rein them in , but since the same militants were linked by common donors and patrons to other militants that were considered “good” by the state (as in Kashmir Jihadists, Taliban, etc.) this crackdown was always ineffectual and remains so to this day. The level of violence has steadily accelerated over time. To get an overview of the violence, see here. This has now reached the point where I personally know well-established Shia doctors who abandoned their life in Karachi and escaped to the US because someone across the hall was shot dead in broad daylight because of his sect. This year, over 300 Shias were killed or injured in attacks during the holy month of Moharram. Since 2001, 700 plus Shia Hazaras have been murdered in Quetta city and its environs and over 3000 injured. In events that evoke the horrors of partition and 1971, Shias were taken down from buses in Kohistan and identified either using their names (there are some typically Shia names, though overlap occurs) or the scars of self-flagellation many Shias have on their backs. They were then shot in cold blood. The term “Shia genocide” has been used and several op-eds have appeared in which prominent writers are asking where this will end. So where will this end? Prediction is where the Pundit rubber meets the road, so here goes: The state will make a genuine effort to stop this madness. Shias are still not seen as outsiders by most educated Pakistani Sunnis. When middle class Pakistanis say “this cannot be the work of a Muslim” they are being sincere, even if they are not being accurate. But as the state makes a greater effort to rein in the most hardcore Sunni militants, it will be forced to confront the “good jihadis” of yore who are frequently linked to the same networks. This confrontation will eventually happen, but between now and “eventually” lies much confusion and bloodshed. The Jihadist community will feel the pressure and the division between those who are willing to suspend domestic operations and those who no longer feel ISI has the cause of Jihadist Islam at heart will sharpen. The second group will be targeted by the state and will respond with more indiscriminate anti-Shia attacks. Just as in Iraq, jihadist gangs will blow up random innocent Shias whenever they want to make a point of any kind. Things (purely in terms of numbers killed) will get much worse before they get better. As the state opts out of Jihad (a difficult process in itself, but one that is almost inevitable, the alternatives being extremely unpleasant) the killings will greatly accelerate and will continue for many years before order is re-established. The worst is definitely yet to come. This will naturally mean an accelerating Shia brain drain, but given the numbers that are there, total emigration is not an option. Many will remain and some will undoubtedly become very prominent in the anti-terrorist effort (and some will, unfortunately, become special targets for that reason). IF the state is unable to opt out of Jihadist policies (no more “good jihadis” in Kashmir and Afghanistan and “bad jihadis” within Pakistan) then what? I don’t think even the strategists who want this outcome have thought it through. The economic and political consequences will be horrendous and as conditions deteriorate the weak, corrupt, semi-democratic state will have to give way to a Sunni “purity coup”. Though this may briefly stabilize matters it will eventually end with terrible regional war and the likely breakup of Pakistan. . Since that is a choice that almost no one wants (not India, not the US, not China, though perhaps Afghanistan wouldn’t mind) there will surely be a great deal of multinational effort to prevent such an eventuality. Sadly, the Tariq Ali type overseas/Westernized-elite Left will play no discernible role in any of this. If we do (God forbid) get to the nationalist-Sunni-coup phase, Pankaj Mishra may find something positive in it (“strength” and the willingness to stand up against imperialism being a high priority for him) but events will not fit into that framework for too long.
  3. http://pakistanblogz...uenced-mullahs/ Who will free Pakistan’s Shias from the Iranian-agenda scholars? In a previous article, Marya Mushtaq has highlighted how some Shia leaders in certain ethnic parties (e.g., Abdul Khaliq Hazara) are trying very hard to misrepresent Shia killings by the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban terrorists in Pakistan by giving them an ethic colour to deflect the attention from the real killers. In this article, we will highlight how some politically active Shia ulama (religious scholars) are equally complicit in the crime of deflecting Shia Muslims’ attention from the real killers, i.e., by deflecting the attention to Israel, India, USA etc instead of boldly naming and condemning the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban militants. Let’s start with a brief historical context of Shia activism in Pakistan in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran led by Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, some Pakistani Shia religious scholars misled the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Iranian government by ensuring them that a pro-Iran (or pro-Shia) Islamic revolution in Pakistan was not very far. The formation of the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria (TNFJ) in Pakistan in 1979 was a good move to confront the enforcement of controversial Wahhabi-Deobandi laws and discrimination against Shia Muslims and other oppressed groups by Geneal Zia-ul-Haq. However, TNFJ then took a path which was rather injurious to Pakistan’s Shia community. In the subsequent years, TNFJ (later renamed as TJP) became tightly aligned with Iran’s ruling clergy, its controversial notion of the Vilayat-e-Faqih (the political authority of an Ayatollah) and Iranian government’s foreign policy goals, and in that process sacrificed the very interests of Pakistan’s Shia community. (Pakistan’s military establishment was able to create an off-shoot of TNFJ in 1984 under the leadership of Agha Hamid Moosvi, however, the influence of this GHQ-version of TNFJ remained limited to one or two cities.) Despite their low numbers (Shia Muslims constitute 10 to 20 per cent of Pakistan’s population), some Iranian influenced Shia ulama in TNFJ (later TJP) kept dreaming of bringing about a pro-Shia Islamic revolution in Pakistan in support of Iran’s revolution. A pro-Shia revolution in Pakistan was never a possibility; the entire idea reflected an immature mindset which had little understanding of the demographics and religio-political situation in Pakistan. While the notion of an Islamic revolution was apparently intended to promote Iran’s or Shias’ interest in Pakistan and the region, the actual effect was completely opposite. Pakistan’s military establishment, ISI in particular, wanted to teach Shias a lesson particularly due to their opposition to General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization (or Wahhbization) agenda. Saudi Arabia too was anxious about the prospects of a growing Iranian influence in Pakistan particularly in view of increasingly aggressive public postures of the TNFJ. The so called Jihad (1980-1988) against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan provided Saudi Arabia and its radical Wahhabi and Deobandi affiliates in Pakistan army with an excellent opportunity to nurture, train and produce Jihadis who were not only useful as cheap mercenaries in Afghanistan (and India) but were also vehemently anti-Shia and anti-Iran. The demographics as well as the extent of financial and institutional support were in favour of anti-Shia Deobandis and Wahhabis, who were recruited, trained and brainwashed for an external Jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir and an internal Jihad against Shias and other oppressed groups in Pakistan. If Pakistan’s Shia ulama had any better sense of the entire situation, they would have dissociated themselves from an Iranian agenda and, instead of wasting their energies on an impossible pro-Shia Islamic revolution, would have struggled for a democratic, progressive Pakistan, separating religion from the state. Contrary to what some Sunni and Shia mullahs dishonestly claim, secularism is not equal to la-deeniat (faithlessness), it rather indicates that faith is each individual’s private matter which is of no concern to a state. This is exactly what the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, himself a Shia Muslim, stated as his vision of Pakistan in his speech to Pakistan’s first Legislature Assembly on 11 August 1947. For example, Shia ulama could have engaged with other progressive parties and groups (e.g., centre left PPP and ANP, centre right PML, liberal MQM, JWP, moderate Barelvi organizations etc) in creative, pragmatic and constructive ways to ensure equality and protection of Shia Muslims and other oppressed groups (Barelvis, Ahmadis, Christians etc) in Pakistan. They could have dissociated from all such organizations (e.g., MMA, AMTKN, JI, JUI etc) which were involved in Jihadi-sectarian activities or spreading hate speech against other religions and sects, e.g., anti-Ahmadi, anti-Christian, anti-Jew, anti-Hindu organisations, and also those organizations which were creating xenophobia against the USA, UK etc because of their specific pro-Taliban, pro-Al Qaeda agenda. (Of course, it is legitimate to criticize USA’s unjust policies towards Pakistan, Iran, Bahrain, Palestine etc, however, that does not mean that Shia Muslims should share platform with the pro-Taliban, pro-Sipah-e-Sahaba leaders to reinforce hate speech against Jews, Christians, Hindus or India, USA etc.) Instead of supporting the JI, JUI and other anti-Shia parties, Shia ulama could have developed close links and reciprocal support mechanisms with other oppressed communities of Pakistan, e.g., Balochs, anti-Taliban Pashtuns, Barelvis, moderate Deobandis and Wahhabis, Ahmadis, Christians etc in order to develop a broad based alliance against an ISI-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian Wahhabi-Deobandi network. However, they never chose this pathway because it did not match with the dictations of their Iranian mentors and financiers. The Shia ulama’s dream of a pro-Iran Islamic revolution through a superficial alliance with the ISI-sponsored radical Deoabndi groups (JI, JUI etc) was not only childish but also counter-productive. Shia ulama conveniently ignored the fact that the Sipah-e-Sahaba was an off-shoot of the JUI and that many SSP-LeJ activists were also a simultaneous part of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other radical groups. In this entire process (pursuit of an imaginary Islamic revolution in Pakistan), Shia Muslims of Pakistan were and are still exposed to unnecessary threat in promoting Iranian foreign policy agenda. While urban elite Shias (a tiny minority) remain unharmed because of their class and tight alignment with Pakistan’s military establishment, the vast majority of poor, disadvantaged Shia Muslims in Pakistani cities, towns and villages, imambagahs and mosques, offices and streets remain victims of frequent suicide attacks and target killing by the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban terrorists. Same groups of terrorists who are attacking Shia Muslims in Pakistan also attack Western individuals and institutions not only in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan. There are plenty of examples not only in Pakistan but also in other countries, e.g., Afghanistan, Egypt and Palestine, which show that Iranian regime has been using Shia Muslims as a consumable item or canon fodder to promote its specific foreign policy agendas, with little consideration to the immediate interests of local Shia community in the respective country. For example, some Shia ulama of Pakistan blindly follow Iran’s foreign policy by supporting the Hamas in Palestine, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, completely ignoring the fact that the Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and JI are pro-Saudi, anti-Shia organizations, which have brutally oppressed Shia Muslims and attacked Muharram gatherings on various occasions. Jmaat-e-Islami’s students attack Shia Muslims in Lahore On 22 December 2011, extremist Deobandi-Wahhabi affiliates of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) attacked Shia students of the Punjab University with bamboo sticks and stones and opened the indiscriminate firing to sabotage a program of Youm-e-Hussain (as) to mark the sacrifice of grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) Hazarat Imam Hussain (as) and his companions in Karbala. At least thirteen Shia students were critically injured in the firing and attack by the IJT militants who were supported by the Sipah-e-Sahaba students. (Source) Also read the following article in which Abbas Ather hints towards the fact that several of the Sipah-e-Sahaba (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) terrorists were previously a part of the Jamaat-e-Islami. http://criticalppp.com/archives/299 In the meanwhile, Iranian-influenced Shia ulama of Pakistan keep praising Hamas: (Source) Shia Muslims of Pakistan must realize that the Iranian government has its own geo-strategic alliances and enmities, Pakistani Shias cannot afford to blindly follow the Iranian foreign policy at the cost of their own existence. Also, it is a fact that in matters of faith (Taqleed, i.e., religious followership), as many Pakistani Shias are aligned with Iraq’s Najaf Seminary as are with Iran’s Qom Seminary. In other words, Iran is not the sole proprietor of Shia community or jurisprudence. Of course Shia Muslims are free to follow any leading Ayatollah (Marja) for the purpose of Taqleed whether he is from Iran, Iraq or any other country, however, the institution of Taqleed must not be confused with the controversial institution of Vilayat-e-Faqih. In other words, Pakistan’s Shias need to think independently in terms of their political direction and priorities. They need to liberate themselves from the vilayat-e-faqih and the Iranian-agenda ulama who routinely hide the fact that the Saudi-funded, ISI-sponsored LeJ-SSP-Taliban terrorists are killing Shias in Pakistan. Instead, Pakistan’s Shia Muslims should think about securing their specific interests within the context of Pakistan with an independent and critical mind.
  4. In this hypothetical scenario of war between Pakistan and Iran. Who would the pakistani shias support in this war, Iran or Pakistan??
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8744092.stm Why Pakistan's Ahmadi community is officially detested By Mohammed Hanif BBC News, Karachi When a Pakistani Muslim applies for a passport or national ID card, they are asked to sign an oath that no Muslim anywhere in the world is asked to sign. The oath goes like this: "I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor prophet. And also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group, to be non-Muslims." Like millions of other Pakistanis, I have signed this oath several times without giving much thought to exactly what Mr Ahmad stands for, or what the technical difference between Lahoris or Qadianis is. I want my passport, and if I have to sign up to a fatwa to get it, so be it. But like millions of people from my generation I also remember that when I was growing up, the minority Ahmadi sect were considered just another Muslim sect. Non-Muslims Like scores of others I had friends who were Ahmadis. We played cricket together, and sometimes, when our parents ordered us off to the mosque, we even prayed side by side. Last month, when more than 90 Ahmadis were massacred in two mosques in Lahore, I remembered the precise moment in 1974 when it all began to change. There were street protests by religious parties against Ahmadis demanding that they should be declared non-Muslims. One day I saw some bearded activists standing outside a clothes merchant's shop in our town, chanting anti-Ahmadi slogans and turning customers away, telling them that buying clothes from Ahmadis was haram - forbidden. At the time I was learning to memorise the Koran from a very kind, mild-mannered teacher. I asked him what exactly was wrong with the Ahmadis. He explained to me that they didn't believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last and the final messenger. I said OK, maybe that makes them kafirs, infidels, but who says that kafirs can't sell cloth? My teacher's response was a full-handed slap, so sudden, so unexpected that it rang in my ears for days to come. That same year Pakistan's first elected parliament declared Ahmadis non-Muslims. Then in 1984 Pakistan's military dictator and self-appointed guardian of the faith General Zia-ul-Haq inserted that oath in the constitution that we are all required to sign. Because of the new laws, Ahmadis have been sent to prison simply for using the Muslim greeting Assalamu alaikum, or putting a Koranic verse in a greeting card. Heretic Over the last three decades the hatred against Ahmadis has become so widespread that Pakistan is now embarrassed by the only Nobel laureate it has ever produced. Dr Abdus Salam Khan won the Nobel Prize for physics and, as a proud Pakistani, accepted his award in national dress. But he was an Ahmadi so there is no monument to celebrate him, no universities named after him. The word "Muslim" on his gravestone has been erased. Even the town he is buried in has been renamed in an attempt to erase our collective memory. This hatred was evident in the reactions to the massacre. TV channels were more obsessed with making sure that in their broadcasts Ahmadi mosques were called "places of worship". When you refuse to call a place of worship by its proper name, you are implying that it's not a mosque, it's not a church, it's not a synagogue, it's a place where godless people do godless things. And all the various Islamic political parties, whose leaders often refuse to pray together, are united on this. When Pakistan's main opposition leader Nawaz Sharif used the phrase "our brothers" for the murdered Ahmadis, leaders from 11 political parties came together to condemn him and threatened to issue a fatwa declaring him a heretic. Over the last three decades the siege has been so palpable that those Ahmadis who couldn't afford to emigrate have taken to hiding their identity. If you want to destroy someone in public life it's enough to drop a hint that they are Ahmadi. In the 1980s, the former chief minister of Punjab and current federal minister didn't attend his own mother's funeral because there were rumours that she was an Ahmadi. When the funerals of the massacred Ahmadis took place there were no officials, no politicians present. Pakistan's liberal bloggers and some English-language columnists did write along the lines that Ahmadi blood is on our hands. Others were adamant that it was yet another Friday, yet another massacre by the Pakistani Taliban, and we should just fight this sort of terrorism and leave the sectarian debates alone. Two incidents in the past week made me realise how pathological our response was. At a vigil to mark the massacre, where a handful of people had turned up, a passer-by asked me "Are you an Ahmadi?" My own loud and aggressive denial surprised me. Then an Ahmadi friend whose father survived the Lahore massacre wrote to me saying: "You know we have been living like this for decades. [Did] something like this have to happen for you to speak up?"
  6. http://en.wikipedia....lam_in_Pakistan Political Influence Pakistan is the only Sunni majority country where Shias have been elected to top offices and played an important part in the country's Independence, history and nation building. The founder of Pakistan Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Muhammad Ali Bogra, Khawaja Nazimuddin and their families were Shia Muslims, and so are the Bhuttos, Asif Ali Zardari, Haidar Abbas Rizvi, Syeda Abida Hussain, Syed Fakhar Imam, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Fahmida Mirza, Zulfiqar Mirza and several other top ranking Pakistani Politicians and Generals such as Mushaf Ali Mir, Yahya Khan, Musa Khan and Iskander Mirza.
  7. First of all, either have a valid definition of what is a Wahabi otherwise stop trying to divide mainstream islam. There are also lots of shias in the pakistani army including the higher ranks of army. Shias are well-represented in the army and are not discriminated against in recruitment and promotions.
  8. Why is it that on this forum, when there is an argument or disagreement between a sunni and shia. The sunni person is quickly labelled a "wahabi" "salafi" "deobandi" etc. It seems like according to shias, brailvis are the only sunnis. But the reality is that those who are referred to as wahabi or salafi by the shia are as sunni as the brailvis. For people who still use words like wahabi/salafi, i have a simple question. Either come up with a valid definition of wahabi or salafi, otherwise stop trying to divide mainstream islam.
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlCssrRXE84
  10. I agree that Shia muslims are safer in india than in Pakistan. But it can also be argued that dalit hindus are safer in Pakistan than in india. Most of the hindus living in Pakistan are from the dalit caste
  11. I think that zulqarnain feeling isolated because of his religious beliefs is just a conspiracy theory. Danish kaneria, a hindu, has played in the team for many years and was dropped from the team recently only because of poor performance. If most of the cricket team being sunni muslims can get along with non-muslims in the team. Then i don't think they would have any problem with having shia muslims in the team
  12. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/pakistan/8121624/Zulqarnain-Haider-told-he-will-not-play-for-Pakistan-again.html But the story of a whistle-blower seeking protection from match-fixing thugs has been cast into some doubt, and not only by the PCB. Sources close to the case pointed to the religious differences that isolate Haider, the only Shia Muslim in the Pakistan side, from his Sunni team-mates.
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