#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend
Another sectarian attack in Parachinar. The infamous hashtag Shia Genocide, however, only lasts momentarily on Twitter before being taken over by more worthy trends like #replaceMovieNameWithSharamnak.
A thoughtless comment by a random person inspired this post.
“Why isn’t it called #SunniGenocide when people die in Parachinar?”
Firstly, let me explain that genocide isn’t claimed by the Shias because it’s the fab trend these days, just in case someone was confused between gadget hype and reality.
Second, genocide isn’t an award or laureate we’d all like to place in a glass showcase. It is the epitome of inhumanity which rages on caused by the efficient inaction by governments (both past and present) fuelled by the desire to not intervene because it is ‘somebody else’s war’, or because it is exactly what they secretly sanctioned.
The United Nations defined genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as:
“Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part […]”.
Shia genocide isn’t just a term. It means that for decades, you watch your friends and family watch those they love be sprayed with bullets, butchered, set fire to and be slain. It means that a singer’s death will get an immediate response from the president, his son, and the prime minister; their family will be offered condolences but yours won’t. It means that your dead are unworthy of even that gesture unless you refuse to bury your dead for over four days. It means that a little girl gets to sit in the sleet with her father. It means that a mother will die at the grave of her son, when he is finally buried and she is consumed whole by grief. It means that when whatever shreds of family that is left gathers to commemorate their martyrs on the fortieth day, they too must die.
It means orphans further orphaning their children. It means there will be screams, crying, nightmares and hugging. It means having the audacity to reign the youth that wants to take some action; that wants permission to reply to the enemy in the same manner and reasoning with them. It is about silencing the last window of hope left; it means there will be no justice now or ever. Lastly, it means that it is okay because we have to learn to let it go.
It means taking one life away and leaving a few hundred near death.
But despite this explanation, you might just be a numbers man. So I’ve compiled in a concise and easy to read form of data from 2012 -2013 of Shia deaths, from target killings to horrific acts like Chilas.
Please note: names, ages and relationships which may be inconvenient and cumbersome for your scornful eyes to read through have been omitted.
I hope you have the stamina to read the answer to why it is a #ShiaGenocide. And if you do have the courage, try to remember every date you just casually glanced over; that particular date is a death anniversary for a family. Many of whom may not have even reached that first anniversary mark yet.
January in Pakistan:
Punjab: 5th, 15th and 16th January
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 7th, 31 January
Sindh: 12th, 13th, 19th,23rd ,25th 30th and 31st January
Balochistan: 17th,18th and 25th January
February in Pakistan:
Sindh: 9th, 15th and 16th February
Punjab: 11th and 19th February
Gilgit Baltistan: 28th and February 29th
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 13th and 17 February
March in Pakistan:
Sindh: 5th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 24th, 26th and 28th March
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 10th, 12th (Parachinar), 12th (Kohat), 18th and 23rd March
Gilgit and Baltistan: 4th, 7th March and 27th March
Balochistan: 18th, 26th, 28th and 29th March
Punjab: 3rd and 17th March
April in Pakistan:
Gilgit Baltistan: 3rd April
August in Pakistan:
Gilgit Baltistan: 17th August
September in Pakistan:
Balochistan: 20th September
November in Pakistan:
Sindh: 6th ,7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 21st, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 30th November
Balochistan: 10th, 12th, 17th, 18th and 28th November
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 7th and 29th November
Punjab: 21st, 22nd and 24th November
Islamabad: 12th November
December in Pakistan:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 3rd December
Sindh: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 11th, 12th,13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 29th and 30th December
Balochistan: 4th,13th, 14th,17th,20th ,26th and 30th December
Gilgit Baltistan: 23rd December
Punjab: 8th, 22nd, 30th and 31st December
January 2013 in Pakistan:
Balochistan: 7th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 8th January
Sindh: 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 30th, 31st January
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 19th, 22nd 29th January
Punjab: 5th January.
February in Pakistan:
Balochistan: 16th February
Sindh: 3rd, 18th March
July in Pakistan:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 27th July
Gilgit Baltistan: 29th July
So you see, #ShiaGenocide is not just a ‘trend’ on Twitter; it is a reality.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.