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اتوار، 24 فروری، 2013

Designs behind attacks on Hazara community

The Hazara Shias acted peacefully, but firmly, in demanding justice. One takes the hat off to their discipline and patience in extremely trying and provocative circumstances. Even the spineless government of Pakistan was forced to take some measures. If this government does not succeed in stopping the atrocities committed by the LeJ, then this government has no moral or legal justification to rule the country. In such a case, this government must resign. It has failed in every field — the economy, law and order, welfare of the people and other matters related to it. It is known that the terrorists are clearly identified. Then why is there delay? Why is the political elite not ready to give full support to the armed forces to confront the terrorists? They want to cling on to their vested interests. They want to cling on to their benefits and comforts. It must be clearly understood that it is not only the ruling political parties who are guilty, the so-called ‘opposition’ and the ‘guarantor’ parties, in particular, are equal partners in crime. If they do not understand then they will not be clinging to their power base; they will only be clinging on to the mass of dead bodies of innocent citizens.

Nationwide demonstrators, strikes and sit-in protests by the Shias engulfed various cities and towns of the country for three days in reaction to the deadly suicide attack which killed more than 100 persons of the Hazara Shias in Quetta at Kirani Road, Hazara Town, on February 17, this year. Even, leaders of the Sunni political and religious parties strongly condemned the incident, expressing solidarity with the Hazara community.

Thousands of Hazara Shias refused to bury victims of their community, demanding that they be provided security and the army should be called into Quetta, and immediate action should be taken against the militant group, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

However, after the government accepted the demands of the protesters, upon appeal of the Shia Ulema Council, the protesters decided to call off the sit-in and to bury the bodies. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directed a targeted operation against the terrorists in the province of Balochistan, conducted by the Frontier Corps (FC). In this respect, security forces have killed four men and arrested seven culprits including mastermind of the Kirani road terror attack, while Police has rounded up 172 suspected people including the provincial chief of extremist Sunni outfit Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.

A similar sort of protest and rallies took place, after suicide bombers killed 92 people of the Shias of the Haza community in Quetta on January 10. For that deadly attack also, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had owned responsibility. Taking cognizance of the reaction of the Hazara Shias, leaders of political parties including those of the ruling party regarding Quetta blasts, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf imposed governor’s rule in Balochistan. Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani who failed in controlling the deteriorating law and order situation of the trouble-hit province went abroad to avoid criticism about that incident.

Although sporadic sectarian violence against these Muslim Shias has accelerated, yet it cannot be seen in isolation as it includes multiple anti-Pakistan designs.

It is notable that secret agencies like American CIA, Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW are behind sectarian violence in Pakistan, which has been accelerated in the past few years. In fact, the US had planned to spark a civil war between the Sunnis and Shias in the wake of war on terror. So, we cannot blame these secret agencies without solid evidence.

For the purpose, a study of the Rand Corporation, titled ‘US Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11’ was conducted on behalf of the then US Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force. The report of the Rand Corporation-a leading think-tank, released on December 27, 2004 advocated that Sunni-Shia sectarian division should be exploited to promote the US objectives in the Muslim World.

The report of the Rand Corporation was first implemented in Iraq. In this context, CIA also got the services of Mossad and RAW to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq. In 2004, major terror-attacks were carried out against the Shias in Karbala and Baghdad. Afterwards, a chain of Shia-Sunni clashes started between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis, targeting each other’s mosques, religious leaders through bomb blasts, suicide attacks etc.

After Iraq’s experiment, more deadly pattern of sectarian strife and clashes have been conducted in Pakistan. While in Balochistan, besides other acts of sabotage, sectarian assaults on Shias, particularly on those of Hazaras have continued in order to fuel sectarian riots in the province. In this context, on September 3, 2010, a deadly suicide attack in Quetta killed more than 55 people who participated in the rally of the Al-Quds Day. In another violent attack, on July 30, 2011, 12 persons were shot dead in Quetta when unidentified armed men opened fire at Suzuki van. During the months of June and July, in four separate incidents, around 40 Shia Muslims were gunned down in Quetta. On many occasions, Shia pilgrims were killed by the unidentified gunmen who targeted passenger vehicles, carrying them from Quetta to Iran. Nevertheless, attacks on the Hazara Shias keep on going unabated.

In fact, some banned religious outfits like Lashkar-i-Janghvi and the Sunni militant group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have claimed responsibility for a number of terror assaults on Shias, especially of Hazara community in Balochistan get arms and ammunition from RAW and CIA. These foreign-backed militants groups are behind target killing of many Sunni and Shia leaders, political figures of these sects, bomb blasts etc. in order to achieve the covert aims of the US, India and Israel.

These insurgent groups kidnapped and killed many Iranian nationals in Pakistan including Iranian diplomats. Jundollah conducted many subversive acts in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this regard, Tehran has directly accused CIA of funding these types of terror attacks.

While hinting towards US, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rightly disclosed, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”

It is mentionable that killings of Hazara Shias is part of the strategic game of US, India and Israel to create unrest in Balochistan which has ideal geo-political location-and especially due to its Gwadar Seaport which can link Central Asia with rest of the world. China has invested billions of dollars to develop this port. Besides other subversive activities in the province, Islamabad’s recent decision to handover the control of Gwadar Seaport to Beijing coincided with the terror assaults on these Shias of the Hazara community, while now the agreement has been signed between both the countries. Besides, sectarian violence in Balochistan also coincided with the implementation of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, and in this context, Pakistan rejected US pressure.

Moreover, Pakistan is a declared atomic country, while Iran is determined to continue its peaceful nuclear programme. Therefore, US-led India and Israel have been sabotaging Pak-Iran ties clandestinely, and by also assisting Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and other separatist elements to dismember Pakistan. These hostile elements are behind the bombings on the Hazara Shias in Quetta.

It is of particular attention that regarding Kirani Road incident, in its report, submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan on February 20, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said that the agency had shared information with the civil administration about procurement of explosives by terrorists from Lahore to Quetta and possibility of fresh terror attacks on Hazara community. The court noted that ISI’s information was accurate, but the civil administration did not act on time.

In case of Balochistan, Pakistan’s law-enforcing agencies and intelligence organizations have thwarted many terror attempts of the militants through pre-arrests, discovery of weapons and huge explosive material, suicide jackets etc.

And several personnel of the security forces have sacrificed their lives for improving situation in the province. But, while speaking in the tone of foreign enemies, some political entities have been holding the Frontier Corps (FC), Military Intelligence (MI) and ISI for deteriorating law and order situation of Balochistan. Otherwise, it is responsibility of the federal and provincial governments unless army is called to take full control of the province. Some media anchors have also been criticizing army and intelligence agencies without any logic. Regrettably, those political parties who were misguiding the general masses about Pak Army and ISI about the aggravated situation of Balochistan including missing persons to increase their vote bank have been urging the government to handover the control of the province to these security forces.

Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik pointed out on February 20 that Punjab housed hubs of terrorists with headquarters of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, asking the Punjab government to take action against them or the federal government would eliminate the terrorists’ sanctuaries in the province. He added that explosives were transported from Lahore to Quetta to carry out massacres of Hazaras. Notably, in the 2010, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer (The Late) disclosed that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has links with Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. Therefore, he is not taking effective measures against these banned outfits.

At this sensitive juncture, Pakistan’s politicians and media including all the segments of society must show selfless unity with the security forces and law-enforcing agencies so as to improve the deteriorated situation of Balochistan, and to castigate the sinister designs of those external powers which seek to dismember Pakistan.

By Sajjad Shaukat

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