No, Hamza Ali Abbasi, you cannot shame us for talking about Pakistan’s minorities too!

Published: June 9, 2015

Rohingya migrants drift in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe, in the Andaman sea, on May 14, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

They say charity begins at home. But for many right-wing Pakistanis, it seems as if home is not Pakistan; it is the Muslim Ummah – just the Sunni-identifying part to be precise. Like the rest of us, these fellow Pakistanis seem to be rightly concerned about the current plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.

However, they don’t seem to bat an eye on the treatment meted out to our own minorities on home soil. Tell them the Rohingya Muslims identify as Shia Muslims or Ahmadi Muslims, and the fury and passion will magically dissipate in an instant. Some might even start justifying the persecution. For these right-wing Pakistanis, hypocrisy and double standards continue to be prominent themes even in issues related to human persecution.

Sadly, some celebrities and televangelists aid in promoting these same double standards. Mr Hamza Ali Abbasi is one such character. In a social media post from yesterday, he rightly praised the media and government on talking about “our Rohingya Muslim brothers and sisters”. Indeed, the Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minority communities worldwide and deserve our voice.

However, Mr Abbasi’s duplicity showed in the very next part of his statement. He cautioned readers not to start a “rant”, referring to the voice against the persecution of Pakistan’s own Ahmadi, Shia, Christian and other minority communities. He went on to shame those who condemn the persecution of minorities in Pakistan alongside the persecution of the Rohingyas.

Why can’t we condemn all persecution of all peoples alike? Why is it shameless to speak up louder (‘rant’) for our fellow marginalised citizens here at home?

Mr Abbasi then belittled the horror faced by our Pakistani minorities as “by few hell bound terrorists”, comparing it to the important role of state in the case of Burma’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims.

I do not think Mr Abbas harbours any hatred for Pakistan’s Shias, Ahmadis, Christians or Hindus etcetera. I think he only suffers from the same ignorance and pseudo-nationalism that has blinded the majority of Pakistan’s right-wing to the plight of our own countrymen – folks perceived as different from the accepted majority in one way or the other.

Far from silencing those few who boldly speak for Pakistan’s minorities, the case of the Rohingyas must serve as a reason to expand our support for them. Injustice in any part of the world must not be used to stifle activism elsewhere, but to fight injustice everywhere, consistently.

Let’s take a look at the situation in Burma.

According to estimates, there are about a million Rohingya Muslims in Burma – constituting two to three per cent of its total population. Since 1982, Burmese law has denied them the right to citizenship, despite their presence in the country for generations. As such, most of them cannot obtain government jobs or serve in official capacity in the army. The government insists the Rohingyas register as “Bengali”, and forfeit their right to self-identify as they wish. This decades-long institutionalised discrimination has served as a fertile ground for violence by hard-line Buddhist nationalist groups. During the Rakhine state riots in June 2012 that sparked the current wave of unrest, around 60 Rohingya Muslims (and 30 Buddhists) were killed. In January 2014, extremist Buddhist mobs were accused of slaughtering at least 48 Rohingyas in Arakan State. Hundreds of thousands have since been displaced both internally and to neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh. Recently, there has been a surge in emigration to adjoining states, but blockade by these countries has left hundreds of Rohingyas stranded on water, many dying of hunger or drowning at sea.

There is no doubt that their plight is real and deserving of our voice, and to not lend our voice to them is criminal. However, the plight of our own citizens, who continue to face increasingly brutal persecution by the day, is no less real and equally deserving of our prompt attention. Silence in this case is equally criminal, if not more so. And quite frankly, we can do much more for our minorities here at home if we had the same will.

Take Pakistan’s peaceful Hazara Shia community for example. The Hazara Shias have been the target of a brutal campaign by militant outfits like the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). These extremists have threatened to make Pakistan “a graveyard for the Shia Hazaras”. There are around 500,000 Hazara Shias in the city of Quetta alone.

According to an estimate, over 1,500 have been killed since 1998, a hundred of these just in the last six months. Thousands have fled Pakistan, some risking their lives at sea, just like the Rohingya Muslims. A few years ago, 54 Hazara boys drowned when their boat sank near Indonesia. Another 23 Hazaras lost their lives when their boat capsized near Malaysia around the same time. Forced by circumstances and deserted by their state, they were leaving Pakistan illegally to find a secure home elsewhere.

In a recent message to his gang, a leader of LeJ said,

“Just as our fighters have waged a successful jihad against the Shia Hazaras in Afghanistan and butchered them, our mission [in Pakistan] is the abolition of this impure sect and people, the Shias and the Shia Hazaras, from every city, every town, every village, every nook and corner of Pakistan.”

While the Shia community faces such barbarity, their killers roam free in Pakistan, and are considered power brokers by many at the top of the political ladder. Note the similarity with the Burmese state and its appeasement of extremist Buddhist nationalist groups operating there.

Then we have Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslims, who number around five million according to most estimates. The Ahmadis have been denied their basic right to self-identity since 1974. The state did not stop here. In 1984, an ordinance was issued, denying the Ahmadis all rights to religious freedom. Just as the Rohingyas, this institutionalised discrimination created a fertile environment for violence against Pakistan’s Ahmadi community. Hundreds have since been killed, and thousands imprisoned for “crimes” such as saying the Salam, reading the Quran, identifying as Muslim, referring to place of worship as a mosque etcetera.

Discrimination in public institutions is also commonplace. Not far back, all 23 Ahmadi Muslims at a medical school were rusticated for their faith. In some universities, Ahmadis are forced to keep separate dining areas. The Ahmadis have also been systematically disenfranchised, unable to vote for decades. And just like the Rohingyas, tens of thousands of Ahmadis have had to flee the country after facing threats from extremist groups. These groups – like the extremist Buddhist groups – call for further restrictions on the freedoms of Ahmadis and routinely incite violence against them.

Why is it shameful to speak up for Pakistan’s own Shia and Ahmadi communities?  Why is it shameful to speak for Pakistan’s Christian, Hindu and other minority factions? Why does the pain of one group in another country bring us tears and that of another right here at home be perceived as a mere “rant”?

Mr Abbasi, you are right about the Rohingyas. Of course we should help them and speak up for them in all ways possible. However, we should do so not because they are our Sunni Muslim brothers, but because they represent persecuted humanity. The same persecuted humanity that is found in every nook and corner of Pakistan.

If you agree with the premise that all humanity deserves our voice, then let us remember to launch this charity at home. If not, feel free to ignore my ‘rant’.

kashif.chaudhry

Kashif Chaudhry

A graduate of King Edward Medical University, Lahore and Mt Sinai University Hospital in New York, Kashif is currently completing his Cardiology fellowship in Boston, USA. He writes for various American newspapers and Pakistani publications and blogs at the Huffington Post. His interests include medicine, human rights and interfaith dialogue. He tweets @KashifMD (twitter.com/KashifMD)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Headstrong

    Mr Abbasi may be well-meaning, but exhibits the same head-in-the-sand characteristics displayed by most of you, blaming everyone else for your troubles. If you would look inward, stop rearing snakes and deal with all terrorists of all hues (good AND bad) in a similar manner, maybe there would be some peace in this region. One lives in hope….Recommend

  • Sami

    Well Hypocrisy is evident in every part of our life. We love the music , but hate the musician. We love Hollywood and western nations, but hate them at the same time. We love to talk about Universal humanity , but our humanity is then bounded by religious believes as well. We love to talk about equality and justice, but we will not spare a moment to break all the rules for our family members and friends.

    Same is the case in terms of religious sentiment as well. My very educated friends are in hue and cry when it comes to the problems pertaining to their own sect. But when it comes to others then suddenly rationales pour in to justify every brutality.Recommend

  • Vap

    If only the author was another head in sand person he would have not voiced his opinion about minorities in Pakistan and yes he is not blaming everyone else for troubles we face.Recommend

  • Sab

    i believe Hamza has no idea whatsoever of the state backed systematic persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan. the 2nd amendment? the Ordinance XX of 1984? he and his generation have probably never heard of it.

    Also, I feel ashamed while admitting that Ahmadis/Shias are Rohingyas of Pakistan for past 3/4 decades as Wussatullah Khan says here http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2015/06/150607_baat_say_baat_hkRecommend

  • Maliha Sabah

    Very right! I totally agree that many minorities are being slaughtered and suppressed by the fanatic groups claiming to be pro- islamic…but its not the Islamic way of dealing with minorities! Lets follow the Great Sunnah and do not take the power of including n excluding anyone from Islam..Recommend

  • Emad

    Either you lack basic skills to interpret the English language or you purposely misinterpreted the very point which Hamza Ali Abbasi was making. I say this because you just did what Mr Abbasi was talking about and that is to use the Rohingya genocide to say that the exact same thing is happening in Pakistan. No one is justifying the killing of minorities and and i can also assure you that the vast amount of Muslims living in this world will not support genocide against Shias and Hazaras but the only argument which is being made is that please do not exaggerate the current situation, you can look at your own statistics where you said that 1500 Hazaras have been killed in a span of 17 YEARS! while comparing this to the Rohingya who have been killed in MILLIONS over the past couple of years is downright illogical. Thus i agree Pakistan is not the best example for representing minorities but we are improving (take for example the building of the cross in karachi) and to completely downplay all those achievements to portray the country as some sort of serial killer waiting to kill every single minority is nothing short of slander and exaggerationRecommend

  • Opinionless Spirit

    Millions rohingyas killed ? are you mad or drunk ?
    Their whole population is even less than a millionRecommend

  • Headstrong

    Very true. But if you read my comment, I was talking about Mr Abbasi and not the author! Confused much? Recommend

  • Faisal Kiani

    Fully agreed.Recommend

  • Khalid Shaikh

    “(take for example the building of the cross in karachi)” You must be kidding me! How about take for example the twin attack on Ahmadi mosques, or the regular attacks on imambargahs, or regular genocide of Hazaras, or burning Christians alive! But hey, as long as its not in the MILLIONS, who cares. Utterly shameful and disgraceful attitude towards human life. Haven’t you read killing one innocent life is like killing the whole mankind! And God was not being philosophical here. Each and every life is sacred.Recommend

  • Aftab Riaz

    I am a Shia and I agree with the blogger that Pakistan should not forget the national issues and minorities of Pakistan, but at the same time I will stand by the Abbasi, the only celebrity who seems to be practically concerned about whatsoever happening in Pakistan. Maybe the blogger didnt have proper research while submitting the article. If he has been following Hamza, then he must be aware of his stance on minorities rights. Where did Hamza say that He is worried about Rohingyan and dont care about minorities of Pakistan?

    When Aamir khan talks about national issues, no one calls him Right or Left wing, no one calls passes sarcastic comments to him being a celebrity like the way Hamza is always in the news.At least we should learn to appreciate and respect others rather then tagging them as Left or Right Wing parties. Learn to accept and appreciate. Talk about Pakistan for national interest intead of dividing on the basis of ideologies.

    I and my family being Shia, never faced any difference around till date. Happily living here since centuries..Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    “(take for example the building of the cross in karachi)” You must be kidding me! How about take for example the twin attacks on Ahmadi mosques and regular target killings, or the regular attacks on imambargahs, or regular genocide of Hazaras, or burning Christians alive! But hey, as long as its not in the MILLIONS, who cares. Utterly shameful and disgraceful attitude towards human life. Haven’t you read killing one innocent life is like killing the whole mankind! Are you saying that God Almighty is downright illogical there??Recommend

  • thriftysmurf

    You are completely missing out his point, he does not support the killing of minorities in Pakistan. He is trying to imply that “if someone was to speak for the minorities of Burma, someone else would bring up the minorities of Pakistan, just to shut them up”. Then he goes on to say that the killing of minorities in Pakistan is the work of a few fanatical terrorists and does not represent the government or people of Pakistan. What he said was beautiful and you reinterpreted it to feed your own agenda.Recommend

  • Maverick_NZ

    You can’t shame the shameless, and our shameless liberals are right in the lead along with the taliban.Recommend

  • Sami

    Your comment started with disparaging the author and then it ensued with more justifications. You mentioned that millions of Rohingyas got killed. But do You know that infact Rohingya population never decreased in The past 20 years. Infact Rohingia have one of the highest growth rate in their respective regions . So stating millions is infact the gross exaggeration in its own.
    Also i would suggest you to read the article again to comprehend it in a real Manner.Recommend

  • Fateen

    You’re missing the point again. The writer is only implying the fact that The way People on the social media are talking about the Rohingya Muslims, did they ever talked about the Minorities Genocide in the same way. No they Did Not. So I’m not comparing both these situations, they can’t be compared, but if you are going to talk about persecution then start from your Home. If you fail to eliminate persecution from your own Home then you’ve got no right to raise your voice against somewhere else. Recommend

  • Fateen

    Stop persecution of Minorities from your own Home first then you have the right to raise your voice against persecution elsewhere. We talk about Rohingya Muslims when Shia Hazaras are Killed mercilessly in our own country. Recommend

  • kaamAdmi

    No body is holding people in pakistan by force. Those who feel ashamed in pakistan are free to leave. It is stupid logic that since minorities are facing killings in pakistan therefore killing of muslims is justified in mymar. As far as ahmadiyas are concerned first they need to accept pakistan from heart and stpp conspiring then cri foul on others. Good article by Humza. WeldoneRecommend

  • kaamAdmi

    Its stupid logic that since minorities in pakistan have faced killings therefore killing of muslims in mynamar is Ok. All those feeling ashamed in pakistan are free(to leaves) Good piece writyen by Humza. Recommend

  • Dallasite man

    And as a typical mentality, Kashif Chaudhry fails to mention the brutality being meted out on Baloch people. You criticize Abbasi but what about yourself? A Penny for your thoughts?Recommend

  • http://kashifmd.com/ Kashif Chaudhry

    //please do not exaggerate the current situation, you can look at your own statistics where you said that 1500 Hazaras have been killed in a span of 17 YEARS! while comparing this to the Rohingya who have been killed in MILLIONS over the past couple of years is downright illogical. //

    Did you accuse me of exaggerating? Well, give me the reference for this statistic you quoted. As far as I know, the number isn’t much different than the Hazara Shias in Pakistan. Certianly not in the millions. That is not even their total number in Burma. But I am open to change. Provide the reference. And no, the official Facebook page of Jamaat-e-Islami is not the reference I seek.

    Thanks and keep speaking for both the Rohingyas and our own minorities Emad.Recommend

  • dr afeefa bilal

    Total crap!… thts NOT the only angle which hamza is talking about… very sad to see this tht some ppl dnt hav the sense of right n wrong themselves but they dnt waste a second criticising voices like hamzas. Very sad!Recommend

  • bishoo

    the killing of the minority is not by the government of the pakistan. there are many non-muslims in pakistan are in government jobs like in army,judiciary etc and also pakistan government not ban the citizenship and traveling of the non-muslimsRecommend

  • Lalit

    ahem…MILLIONS …i hope you know what does a million stand for ?its 10 lakh.by a latest estimate total population of Rohingiyas in Myanmar is 7 to eight lakh.Recommend

  • Usman

    When people have nothing to write any useful thing, they start attacking other people to get attention. I feel pity for the author, the poor attention seeker. Hamza has all the rights whatever he thinks in a free society.Recommend

  • kaamAdmi

    The Indian media is better than Paki (mediocre) because they will even print those comments which might be in disagreement with their view. Got guts print itRecommend

  • kaamAdmi

    Its a stupid argument that if minorities in Pakistan are facing killing so killing of Muslims in Myanmar is OK. We condemn killing in Pakistan and also in other countries. No people need to be ashamed in Pakistan either stand up and fight for the rights or you are free to leaveRecommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi

    He wanted to say that in Burma the persecution is from the nation and the Burma’s military junta – while attacks and persecution of minorities in Pakistan mostly comes from terrorists hiding in mountains.

    You are not gonna say that persecution of minorities in Pakistan is state-sponsored from government and military; like that in Burma? Because that willll be the most silly thing to believe and say…

    Always analyze someone thoroughly before dragging them to a portal like this –Recommend

  • AlChemist

    May be Hamza made the statement because :
    His family have not always felt threatened because of their religion.
    Has not always felt religious discrimination at job.
    Never had to live in fear and hide his true religious identity.
    Never had to face circumstances when his own neighbors would get together and set his home to alight. That too only because of his religion.
    Never had to see his place of worship being destroyed by a mob.
    Never had to get arrested in police “protective custody” when others were attacking.
    Never had to see his loved ones being killed only because of their religion.
    Was never stopped from saying Assalam-o-Alaikum to others or reciting Quran only because of his religion.
    …………
    An advice: Hamza, please spend 2 weeks with an Ahmedi, Shia, Hindu or Christian family in Pakistan and then re-tweet.Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    To all the people who are saying that killings of minorities are not backed by state, the law of Pakistan clearly discriminates against Ahmedis. If it is not state-backed then please redefine it for us.Recommend

  • AlChemist

    Emad, based upon your logic our leaders should shame the masses for asking to enforce law, justice, equality, safety, provision of utilities and employment, drinking water, food and eradication of hunger and others by saying:

    Please feel a little ashamed and go compare yourself to citizens of Mali, Sudan, Chad and Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Hammurabi

    Rohingayas are just like Baluchi separists.They
    tried to create separate state in 1947.Thus the tensions started to grow.This is why there is little support for them in the world.Recommend

  • MM

    Media personalities want/need lime light, so I don’t blame him for this confused, baseless and conflicting statements/arguments. It is actually the followers who are to be blamed.Recommend

  • Harris

    It’s useless to discuss charlatans like Hamza on ET. However, he makes a point that Rohingya Muslims are persecuted by the state of Myanmar. Must learn to articulate his ideas in a better way. I don’t know why he gets so much attention though.Recommend

  • MM

    No Emad. Honestly, you got to check your “basic skills to interpret the English language” ;) I have followed the whole thread on Hamza’s page. “rant about” makes very clear what he meant. By the way, to the best of my understanding, it is just an attention seeking trick of Hamza. His posts clearly show that.Recommend

  • Fahimuddin

    Minorities are so much persecuted that you get admission in top medical university of Pakistan. Don’t even try to compare minorities in Pakistan with Rohingyas who don’t have basic rights to food, health, education and jobs. While Ahmedis has taken a lot of undue favors here and abroad by taking visas in name of persecution. For example Ahmedis bought 1034 Acres of land were leased originally from the government for PKR 12,000. Twelve rupees per acre :)Recommend

  • Bahlool

    Don’t tell this to any Shia Mr. Hamza. We have lost friends family members to this genocide. some days you get a spike in the killings and some days its too few to make it to the news. unfortunately the fact is the killings continues. Speak up for the Rohingyas but don’t try to make this a minor problem for the minorities in PakistanRecommend

  • FarazAbdullah

    How can millions be killed when the population of Rohingyan Muslims is around 1.2 million in total. I agree with your point though.Recommend

  • Headstrong

    You missed the part where I was addressing Abbasi and not the author?Recommend

  • A.

    Hamza Ali Abbassi …. Rant … UN … Muslim … State … Shia … Sunni … Ahmediya … Media … Govt … Armed Forces … Minority … Genocide … Terror …. massacre … Ya Allah! all this at 2:28 am…need I say moreRecommend

  • Shahgul Sohaik

    Guys this ia sickness and pathetic journalism at its peak. Or just plain stupidity on the part of the person who wrote this article.. edited it. Allowed it to be published.. dun think i am an abbasi fan.. dun think when hazaran, shias, Christians or anyone for that matters suffers a part of me doesn’t die. I m a muslim but i m a Pakistani too and not to mention a HUMAN as well. Mr. Abbasi DIDNT mean that the death of Shia community isnt a big deal he meant we cant compare tge situation because we refuse to believe any Muslim can actually hurt a fellow HUMAN being like that who could be from any sect or religion. He meant in Burma buddisht didnt it to get rid of Muslim in Pakistan its being done to weaken the state. FOR Gods sake get a life.. people read this kind of crap and actually buy it. Most of us wouldnt even bother giving the status an unbaised chance before passing the verdict.
    if we as a nation want to come out of the miserable situation we r in we all need to stop passing judgements ALL the damn time and cut people some slack. N Journalists NÈED to stop misusing the power. Recommend

  • sid

    There about a million Rohingya muslims in total, so how can millions be killed. Also if somebody claims them as shia or ahmedi. I bet in a day everyone change there dp on facebook. Indeed muslims of pakistan have a good number of hypocrates. So where are the so called muslims of pakistan when shia hazaras are protesting on road with dead bodies in 3 cold winter days . Where are they when shias are protesting in karachi for days. Where are they when shias of shikarpur march all over sindh to karachi?
    HypocratesRecommend

  • L.

    “We love to talk about Universal humanity , but our humanity is then bounded by religious believes (sic) as well”……..please explain? Recommend

  • Religious Rights

    For Hamza Ali Abbasi here http://goo.gl/nwFDti is the news on Ahmadis in a Chakwal village suffering at the hands of Rohingya Muslim sympathizers….what a hypocrisy! http://goo.gl/nwFDtiRecommend

  • MatthewKemp

    Well said Kashif. Nationalism blinds people – whether that nation is “Australia” or “the Ummah”. This is why the Rasul prohibited asabiyyah. We come to bigotry when we rejoice in identity and divide ourselves into a groups when humanity is one nation.Recommend

  • Humanoids

    Kashif great article- when selective morality mars you then you abide by religious nationalism and hence who gives a hoot about minorities….
    Hamza is no one he is just an actor turned Evangelist using religious spices to make is message aromatic and most buy it!
    All religious minorities should have equal civil rights to any muslim since they are all Muslim! Free will and sovereignty the moment you will bring God into the debate free will is gone and your left with self righteousness…
    Having said that both Muslim (Sunni and Shias sects) declare Ahmadis non-muslims (like me since its a concept of organized religion- Ahmadis think they are muslims most dont so they stand in the same boat but on the opposite end- we are not debating religious context here) but to deny ahmadis equal rights as a Pakistani is totally obnoxious (includes religious) and racist and that is where I feel the guys who wanted to declare them as non muslims had much deeper nefarious intentions than just dissociating with them as they did not stop even after 1973 (constitutional) and asked the Marde Momin Hudood-ul-Haq a 1984 ordinance…
    Never seen any religious bigot come on TV and say killing ahmadis is wrong, you know why cause they think they woudl be killed- rememebr IK announcing Atif Mian his finance minister and later clarifying? He did not have balls to say “What if Atif is Ahmadi, he is Pakistani and all the right to become a Finance minster” but he didnt but explained he considers Ahmadis non muslims…..Today an ahmadi mosque was attacked imagine if that had happened in US or UK all hell would have broken loose and Hamza would have set a status for Western racism and zionism and what not !Recommend

  • Logic

    Hi blogger, I think you misread Hamza’a post or may be misunderstood. What he is referring to is that Govt of Pakistan and Army are not behind these cold killings of our minorities, whereas Rohingyas are killed by govt backed extremists. I hope you read something carefully before blogging on it.Recommend

  • SuccumbingToSanity

    “millions of Rohingya killed”? you having a laugh, mate?Recommend

  • Mashood Ahmed

    Please can someone post this article to Hamza Ali Abbasi’s Facebook pageRecommend

  • Syeda Ali

    If you really think building of a cross is the best achievement you can mention as an improvement to the current situation, I salute you. Just few days back Ismailis were brutally murdered in a bus which is another example of how sick the situation really is! Kudos to you for living in a fool’s paradise by thinking this is all exaggeration. Open your newspapers in a week’s time & you’ll know how many more Hazaras have been killed.
    The thing is the writer is criticizing what is happening to Rohingyas & repeatedly saying we should help them. But if you have your eyes open you’ll see Rohingyas at your own home where you’re denying that situation is getting worst every day! Accept that innocents killed anywhere deserve sympathy & criticism & efforts to eliminate it. Now if you try your best to help innocents anywhere in the world in whatever way you can, you’ll end up doing the most for your own countrymen. Better do whatever you can to stop these killings than to make others feel ashamed of criticizing injustice.Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    The state of Burma and its government is backing the genocide of rohingya Muslims , the government of Pakistan is not backing genocide of shias and ahmedis. That is the difference.

    You are insulting the rohingya state sponsored ethnocide by comparing it with terrorist attacks against minorities. In Pakistan at least there are some elements in government and society that are fighting for minority rights, in Burma on the other hand it is illegal to even talk about protecting the rohingya .

    Shame on Express Tribune for publishing such discriminatory articles.Recommend

  • RFD

    Unfortunately you fail to see any logic. Doubtful you will ever see any.
    Minorities, whether Shias, Hindus, Sikhs, Zikris, Ahmadis, Shia Hazaras
    or Parsees are considered “They” versus “Us” by the majority 180 million
    Khawariji Sunni Muslims living in the Land of the Pure, Citadel of Islam.
    Who supposedly, do not support the genocide, and are appalled by it.
    However, they will not do anything to stop it either, copy and paste some
    words of condemnation, then, back to watching Hamza Abbasi Show.
    With a wide, all knowing, head nodding, altruistic smile.
    The last time a governor stood up against this LOST society, he was
    shot dead. The graveyards are full of these heroes. Fresh land needed,
    People like you are quick to parlay the national anthem, into a patriotic
    beat of their own mantras.Recommend

  • Hamza Khan

    @Kashifmd charity begins from home, currently you r are in US to start writing human rights in US. Seriously I have no idea from where you twisted the issue from rohingya to pakistan. This is called jumping into someone else fight to get attention.Recommend

  • hereatpsu

    Imagine that 1 out of those 1500 (God forbid) was a close family member of yours, then make this same comment.Recommend

  • Harris

    I don’t know why Mr. Abbasi’s statement is given so much importance, but I agree with the statement about state-led persecution in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims. However, one must also consider the realities of minorities in Pakistan. I agree that it is not state led persecution in Pakistan, but the state of Pakistan has the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of its minorities. Maybe, Mr. Abbasi should articulate his statements in a better way to avoid ambiguities.Recommend

  • Haris Yameen Khan

    Well staying in US can make you think more about minorities than the Country itself. We need to understand that what’s happening in Pakistan is not state sponsored, as its being done in Burma, whereas, what’s happening in Pakistan is being done by certain extremist organizations and same is not been endorsed by majority of us or the state. Each and every segment of our society is facing terrorism and people are losing their lives every day but no one cares rather people like you can only see minorities getting killed. Come On…we all are Pakistanies please don’t promote such stuff which further divides us. We all know that supporting minorities and writing or protesting for them, is more of a fashion these days rather than a belief but we should realize that it will do no good either to the minorities or to the Country. If you have such a crying heart for minorities, I advise you to do some constructive, come back home, arrange some medical camps for them.Recommend

  • Syd

    Considering you are doubting other peoples ability to comprehend English language it is ironic you did not understand what the critique was about.

    Hamza Ali Abbasi could have said that please do not rant about Shia genocide, both are equally bad and deserving of attention.

    What he did say however, was there is no such thing as Shia, Ahmedi or other persecution in Pakistan. Some incidents have happened but there is no genocide, state-backed or otherwise.

    He denies the on-going systematic and widespread killing of Shias, Ahmedis and other minorities by elements which have strong support within state institutions at all levels. As for the figures conservative figures put Shias, Barelvis, Christians, Ahmedis and others targeted over past 30 years to well above hundred thousand. In addition to this are terrorist attacks that are done on general public regardless of any specific religio-ethinic background.

    Lastly, 1.5 million is the ENTIRE population of Rohingya, generous estimates of the massacres by the community leaders themselves do not put it over thousand.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    I’m a Burmese Buddhist named Mumza Ali Abassi, and I’m very concerned about the plight of the Hazara and Ahmadi minorities in Pakistan. It breaks my heart. I hope the international community pays attention.

    Oh, what, those Muslims in Rohingya? No, that’s just the work of few hellbound terrorists here and there (it’s not like Muslims haven’t done anything in return), and the media is blowing it way out of proportion. It’s a conspiracy to malign Buddhism and the great state of Myanmar.Recommend

  • Khalid Shaikh

    Google tells us that Rohingya population is Max 3 million, and Emad has already killed Millions!!Recommend

  • Jamor

    In addition to ostrich like behavior,one can also add exaggeration like Mr Emad who claims that Millions of Rohigyas have been killed.The author is an exception as he belongs to one of the persecuted faiths-AhmadisRecommend

  • نائلہ

    “the government of Pakistan is not backing genocide of shias and ahmedis” ahemm. Yes it is. Atleast for Ahmadis. Read the article again.Recommend

  • Hsana

    Actually persecution in Pakistan is state sponsors. There are Ahmadiyya specific laws in Pakistan. Shia killers are supported by a major party which everyone knows same with killers of Christians were killed in Gojra and elsewhere.Recommend

  • ZKhan

    The Matter of Rohingyas Muslims are Completely different from Minorities in Pakistan…At least Minorities are not Forced to live in camps or forced to board in Mediterranean sea….Please mess this issue as it Completely different….Shame should be on Bangladeshi PM even she is not accepting them as she is so secular..Recommend

  • Syeda Ali

    Read the article again. He refers to the “Constitution” which restricts Ahmedis to even live like MUslims. Their Mosques are demolished just because they have a dome & Minaret like Muslim Mosque & this is done ” legally”! If tribune can publish your discriminatory comment, it can v.well publish this article which is quite rational. Read http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2015/06/countries/pakistan/ahmedis-in-a-chakwal-village-fear-for-their-livesRecommend

  • Sami

    Have you read his previous articles. ?. Mr Kashif have to go there because he belongs from a Minority in Pakistan. It is easy to disparage anyone living abroad. But kindly study some history why this is so. Why Ahmedis flee Pakistan from 1970 onwards and why Hazaras are fleeing to Australia and Europe right now.
    Also Pakistani constitution is extremist as well. So stop blaming some organizations for it. The “”ordinance XX”” of Pakistan is the most draconian law of modern times. According to that ordinance A non Muslim cannot even say Asslam Allaaiqum. Ahmedi person is not even allowed to touch a quran. And if some person would be found imitating a Muslim ( I am not kidding as it is written in Pakistani Constitution) then he will be tried under blasphemy.
    One thing more. The color of the vote of the Non Muslim is different than the Muslim in Pakistan. It is like a Nazi styled segregation method where you are pointed out at every way of life.Recommend

  • Opinionless Spirit

    well rohingyas in burma are around 8 lacs
    if we add their diaspora around the world, I am quite sure it wont exceed 2 millionsRecommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    Ordinance XXX denies ahmedis the right to identify as Muslims , that is not the same thing as state sponsored persecution .

    In Burma, the rohingya are denied citizenship, they are not permitted to travel without official permission from the government , their land has been confiscated , they are forced to not have more than two children and they are forced into manual labor.

    Are you telling me the Ahmedis, a group with one of the highest visible wealth in Pakistan , possibly one of the highest per capita incomes in the country ,as well as some of the most educated people in Pakistan ,are being treated by the state of Pakistan the same way rohingya are in Burma ??
    Recommend

  • seismann

    “Millions of Rohingiya killed”.What a stupid exaggeration.exaggeration. Rohingia killed are much Less than 1500 Hazaras killed in Pakistan..And believe me,the Buddhist all over the world are ashamed of this(it is the military Junta anyway,not Buddhism per se).This is not to lessen te plight of Rohingias,but to expose your lack of humanity.Recommend

  • seismann

    So when you do discrimination by constitutional decrees,it is not state-sponsored?!!!!Recommend

  • seismann

    That cliche has lived its life,and none will believe in it.Recommend

  • seismann

    he is sayinfg exactly the opposite.Shows your Humzaite snese of blindness.Recommend

  • seismann

    AT least Burma doesn’t have dicrimination based on constitution.Recommend

  • seismann

    It is people like you who are dividing Pakistan,by not acknowledging the blatant genocide of Shias and ahmadis and other minorities.And it is state-sponsored when state doesn’t provide protection,or selective protection.Recommend

  • seismann

    What history?The white-washed history of Mullah-inspired and mullah-manufactured history?!!Recommend

  • seismann

    That is what Pakistan does.Jumping into another’s fight from Myanamar to Palestine,and ignore the killing spree at home Recommend

  • seismann

    What these (mr. cheema’s ilk)are the very people who fan sectarianism in Pakistan.And Burma is a military Junta,and Pakistan considers itself democracy.Who is the hypocrite?!!Recommend

  • seismann

    What a stupid argument!!!Recommend

  • seismann

    So you kill selectively,so Pakistan is better than Myanamar.And at least mynamar is doing to a different religion,.In Pakistan it is Muslim killing Muslims.Recommend

  • seismann

    How is military Junta a nation?Recommend

  • seismann

    It is actually the opposirte.Humza is saying it is ok that shias are killed in Pakistan,becuase Myanamar is doing the same.Recommend

  • seismann

    So humza has rtights to preach hatred,the author doesn’t to counter it?!!Recommend

  • seismann

    Still there are 10 times more minorities killed in PakistanRecommend

  • seismann

    Nobody is holding Rohinya in Myanamar either.In fact,they would like them to leave.Recommend

  • seismann

    Sharm mujh ko magar aati nahin
    so wrote Ghalib for Pakistan much earlier.Recommend

  • seismann

    It would be better for Humza to raise his voice for minorities in Pakisatn first than people in a foreign countryRecommend

  • seismann

    This is height of self-hatred,if indeed you are a Shia. Tryliving in Quetta for a month,and see what your Sunni brothers are going to do to your family.Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    I have learnt that there is a shia, ahmeddiya and christian genocide happening in Pakistan

    does that mean that the tens of thousands of sunnis that have died in terrorist attacks are just collateral damage?

    while you have educated me on using the word “genocide” when reffering to shia,ahmeddiya and christian victims of terrorism, can you also tell me what word should i use for the sunni victims of terrorism? Because i dont want to offend the minorities by using the word “genocide” for sunnisRecommend

  • ZKhan

    If You understand then don’t speak about discrimination….Recommend

  • http://kashifmd.com/ Kashif Chaudhry

    There are people in Pakistan who’s response to ‪#‎MinorityPersecution‬ is “Oh! majority is also suffering. Don’t defame Pakistan.” Indeed, Sunni Muslims have also died in terror attacks. There is no denying this fact. And the killing of a Sunni is as condemnable as the killing of a member of a minority community. But I am yet to see an attack in Pakistan that targeted a group merely for identifying as Sunni Muslims. Most of such attacks were targeted at State institutions, especially the army. To the contrary, we have thousands of attacks that have specifically been directed at Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Sufis etc merely for their choice of faith. If you are part of the majority and find it hard to speak for our minority communities, it is better to stay silent and not mock their pain and suffering by obfuscating the issue. ‪#‎Pakistan‬Recommend

  • http://kashifmd.com/ Kashif Chaudhry

    Good reminder. Thanks.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    “Ahmedis, a group with one of the highest visible wealth in Pakistan , possibly one of the highest per capita incomes in the country ,as well as some of the most educated people in Pakistan” What’s wrong with all this btw????

    It’s called honesty, hard work, and trust in God Almighty alone. What if they were not the minority anymore, according to your analysis, everyone will be educated, high per capita income, no more poverty.
    Naya Pakistan ;) ;)Recommend

  • seismann

    this is a analysis by a rational Muslim

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asXCfHhDfwoRecommend

  • Hameedullah

    We are not talking about sunnah. We are talking about state backed persecution which is a reality in pakistan.Recommend

  • Hameedullah

    “Just as the Rohingyas, this institutionalised discrimination created a fertile environment for violence against Pakistan’s Ahmadi community. Hundreds have since been killed, and thousands imprisoned for “crimes” such as saying the Salam, reading the Quran, identifying as Muslim, referring to place of worship as a mosque etcetera.”

    Is this not state backed persecution? Its even worse, the persecution is constitutionally allowed.Recommend

  • L.

    …..and you have the receipt of this purchase, WHERE exactly? Anyone can come up with numbers, hence you need to provide proof. Or you can choose not to and remain a lair.

    UNDUE FAVOURS? give me a break. You want Rohingas safe from the Buddhists who wont allow them to follow their religion, correct? Thats exactly what the Ahmadis ask for. And the reason the international community is more open to supporting us is because we face injustice and inequality in the -country of Pakistan. if this is not persecution, I dont know what is.Recommend

  • L.

    Firstly, provide proof of your invalid accusations of “conspiring” against pak.

    ” As far as ahmadiyas are concerned first they need to accept pakistan from heart ” Ahmadis will always be standing at the forefront, defending their country Pakistan, which their forefathers fought for. The citizens of Pakistan, on the other hand can choose to accept us or reject us. The love of our nation cannot, and I repeat cannot be taken out of our hearts. After all, love of country is a part of our faith of Islam.Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    State backed persecution?
    Nawaz Sharif and Zardari ordered the killings of hazaras and christians?
    or was it general Raheel Sharif?

    Please clarify because i thought it was wahhabi terrorists groups that were killing minoritiesRecommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    so this is just about constitutionally allowed persecution against Ahmeddiya religious expression. Not about the hazara,shia and christians massacres then?

    Because last time i checked the constitution does not allow persecution against shias and christians.Recommend

  • Omar K Cheema

    The fact that ahmedis in pakistan enjoy a higher standard of living that the rest of pakistanis just goes to show you that their plight is nowhere near the plight of the rohingya.

    The rohingya cannot even imagine in their wildest dreams to even attain middle class status, let alone upper class status, like the ahmedis have in Pakistan.

    Rohingya are banned from education, land ownership, rights to have children, ALL of them are in extreme poverty.Recommend

  • neat

    LeJ is India’s proxy. Full stop!Recommend