Stories about Shias

Will Muhammad Shoaib Adil be convicted for blasphemy or will the state save him?

“The clerics tried to attack me at my office and later at the race course police station. The police were very supportive and didn’t let them touch me. Later, they surrounded the race course police station and tried to pressurise the police. Luckily, some of my friends came to my aid and they did whatever they could to make sure I get out of police station safely.” He was freed from the police station in the wee hours of night, when the angry mob had dispersed. That day his life changed and he went into hiding along with his family. ...

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Will TTP back the ISIS?

Reports from various sources and news agencies are claiming that Pakistan is all geared up to tackle terrorism on a large scale. The question however is: how much can Pakistan really do, with the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, protection of its eastern borders and dealing with internal security affairs? On the other hand, the United States has once again embarked upon a full scale procedure to eradicate the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq. The US has confirmed that it is now flying armed drones over Baghdad. Pentagon has claimed that this act is for the protection of ...

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I fought terrorism last weekend, what did you do?

I promise this blog will not bash Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). My stance on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is extremely straightforward. I strongly feel there is no room for negotiations because there is simply no middle ground. There is nowhere that the TTP can be met halfway. They have two very clear demands – Pakistan must break off all relations with the United States and Pakistan must accept their version of Shariah law. The first demand might be a matter of foreign policy, but the second is a matter of lunacy. How would these negotiations even go about? What we can do is ban ...

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A social pariah even in Maryland – all because I am Shia

After almost two years, I returned to my old home town in Maryland. It was a small town and when I had lived there, nearly 40 Pakistani families resided in the area; most of them were from Punjab and a few were from Karachi. Many of these Pakistanis were physicians, pharmacists and businessmen. My husband was also a physician; hence we had anticipated many similarities within the neighbourhood. However, soon after we moved in, I realised how wrong we were. Even though I made a few good friends, I never felt wanted in the neighbourhood. The reason I left Maryland in the first place was the ...

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Lest we forget: Remembering the victims of the 2013 Hazara massacre

When Aslam Raisani, the then chief minister of Balochistan, was asked about the Mastung massacre in September 2011, he replied, “The population of Balochistan is in millions, 40 dead in Mastung is no big deal.” When asked about what he would do for the grieving families of the victims, he replied, “I can send a truckload of tissue papers for them to wipe away their tears.” Horrific as this may sound, the Mastung massacre was not the bloodiest day in the long history of Shia killings in the Hazara community. That ‘honour’ goes to the massacre on January 10, 2013 in Quetta where over 100 people were killed ...

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I remember a Muharram in Quetta when we lived peacefully…

Gone are the days when Muharram was observed by nearly all Muslims belonging to different sects of Islam. Now it is observed strictly under security from law enforcement agencies. In Quetta, my neighbourhood used to be an example of religious harmony; non-Shiite Baloch, Brahvi and Pashtoon, all honoured the religious sentiments attached to the month of Muharram. Playing football, flying kites and sharing our lunches with our friends, regardless of what sect they came from, was a part of my everyday life as a child. There was no objection from my elders regarding my routine as they used to socialise with our ...

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Shooting Malala – again

Though Malala survived the Taliban’s bullets last year, she is now again under attack in Pakistan by the very same ideology. They attacked her physically then, and now they are out to get her soul. Right-wing anchors and self-proclaimed intellectuals have taken to disrepute her book by claiming that it reeks of a ‘Western agenda’. If a young Pakistani girl in dupatta, standing up for education and speaking against radicalisation, demanding an end to the drone war, advocating peaceful resolution to the terrorist menace which Pakistan is plagued with and speaking of hope in a progressive Pakistan, is what constitutes ...

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#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 ...

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Pakistan bleeds with Hazara blood, do you even care?

“My heart cries tears of blood for the Hazaras… #ShiaGenocide, when will we wake up?… What has Pakistan come to?! Oh God!!… This country does not deserve to be called “PAK-istan”…” These statements are clichés. They mean nothing. They have no purpose. They’re just uttered to make ourselves feel good about atrocities which we mostly can’t, and usually won’t do anything about. At least 46 people died yesterday. How many of us cared? 18 people died in Peshawar yesterday. How many of us bothered to find out three kids died in that attack? How many of us had the apathy to find out that the doctors ...

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Can’t Shias and Sunnis co-exist?

An eerie feeling of terror began to linger as we observed the changes all around. Containers placed as road blocks, more black and brown uniforms visible and sudden emergence of hatred filled graffiti by banned militant outfits. All of this heralded that the month of Muharram was here. The moon was sighted, and the congregations began. Check-posts, metal detectors and guns filled the city. An explosion occurred in one of the congregations, and things became even darker. There is fear and anxiety; someone is out there to get us, someone from the ‘others’. The news coverage talks about more ammunition and suicide attackers being caught ...

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