Pakistani Shia Muslims shout slogans and carry banners as they march during a protest in Islamabad on March 2, 2012, against the killing of Shia travelers in Kohistan area.
The massacre of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, which has grown in quantity and become more focused, is aimed at ‘smashing the pillars of the Pakistani society to smithereens,’ a prominent analyst says.
“That the Shia mass murders have continued over the years with no legal and judiciary source or law enforcement agencies having sought to put an end to these brutalities indicates that these acts are but to be considered as part of a systematic and organized plot prodigiously funded and ingeniously engineered by internal and external forces with the express intention of making the pillars of Pakistani society fall to smithereens, shattering the very fabric of the Shia community and distorting the image of Pakistan and depicting it as a religiously intolerant nation,” Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on the Press TV website.
Salami said the killings, which had raged over the past few years but have intensified in recent months, “practically amounted to genocide, raising more-than-sectarian alarm bells not only in Pakistan but also across the Muslim world.”
“The targets which were basically focused on any ordinary person with Shia belief have now come to include those Shia Muslims who belong to the educated and elite class of the Pakistani society,” he added.
According to World Minority Rights Report (2011), Pakistan ranks as the 6th worst country in terms of violence against and persecution of the Shia Muslims and minorities.
At least six people including a Shia Muslim doctor were killed in separate attacks in different regions of militancy-ravaged Pakistan on Wednesday.
Last week, senior Shia judge Zulfiqar Naqvi was killed along with his driver and bodyguard in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province
Shia Doctor Syed Naimatullah s/o Syed Sarwar was also recently assassinated in Quetta in broad daylight at his clinic at Kirni Road, raising the tally of targeted killings since January this year to 419.
Salami said the history of violence against the Shia community in Pakistan goes back to the time of military dictator Zia ul-Haq who made it “a state policy to fund and arm Wahhabi groups” in the 1980s.
“It was during those years when he (Zia ul-Haq) technically institutionalized violence by unleashing Sipah-e Sahaba fundamentalists on Shia-populated regions, ushering in a new age of violence and mayhem,” he added.
Zia ul-Haq, the prominent author said, tasked Pakistan intelligence agency, ISI, with monitoring the activities of Shia organizations all over the country “lest the Shia Muslims would be empowered in the wake of the advent of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.”
“What is now happening to the Shia Muslims in Pakistani regions such as Gilgit, Baltistan, Parachinar, Kurram agency, Quetta and other areas is indeed the continued legacy of violence initiated by Zia ul-Haq and financed by Saudi Wahhabis in an effort to limit the influence of the Shia Muslims in the country.”