Acknowledgement: Originally published in Urdu for this English version, my thanks to Kanwal Sahiba for linguistic revisions; she is on twitter as @Kanz_Ah.
In the second week of January more than 100 Hazara Shias were killed as a result of two consecutive bomb blasts in Quetta for which LeJ claimed responsibility. Relatives of the martyrs refused to bury their dear ones until the Government fulfilled their demands and in support of those Shias, nationwide and overseas protests started. Though the Government didn’t respond in the beginning, the Prime Minister had to visit Quetta at last, where he assured action against killers and announced Governor Rule in Quetta.
Following this declaration, protests subsided and the dead ones were buried. At that time it seemed like the imposition of Governor Rule was a great achievement and people were believing that because of Governor Rule the lives of Shias in Quetta would be completely safe. However, had this really been the solution, surely it would have established peace and nothing but peace. Sadly, reality tells a different picture: Exactly 5 weeks after the Alamdar Road blasts, the Hazara Shia community of Quetta was targeted once again and as a result nearly 100 people lost their lives while a further 100 and more were badly injured. This bomb blast mostly affected women and children and it was the biggest blast in the history of Pakistan with more than 1000kg of explosives used. LeJ has again claimed responsibility for this bomb blast without any fear; one point agenda of LeJ, SSP and other such banned outfits is to kill Shias. Once again, this triggered nationwide protests and Shias are again refusing to bury their dead ones. There are many demands made by people, one of which is that the Pakistan Army takes control of Quetta but fact of the matter is that FC has already failed to safeguard the lives of Shias in Quetta.
Now the question is, how long will this bloodbath take place and how can it be stopped? Neither Governor Rule nor army control are solutions for this problem. Instead, to solve this issue, we need to understand the reasons behind these killings. Shia genocide taking place in Quetta and other parts of the country is the result of the hate which is being spread by some religious fanatics through sermons, wall chalking, pamphlets and the media, and they are inciting people to socially boycott and kill specific religious groups. Not only Shias are the target of this hate campaign: Ahmadis too have been facing such hate and persecution for many decades. There was a time when Ahmadis were brutally murdered and everyone kept quiet, thinking that it will never happen to anyone else and now we see that Shias are on target. This criminal silence of the past is haunting the nation today. If this hell of hate is made hot for one sect, a time is bound to come when this fire of hate inhales other people too.
Now, if we want to stop Shia killings and safeguard other possible targets of this hate campaign, such as Brelvis and Sufis etc, then all Pakistanis who are sad and outraged at these killings need to unite against this hate and bigotry today. First of all we need to look into our hearts and remove any type of hate we have for other human beings based on their religion, ethnicity, colour or language or otherwise a time will come when we will drown in this hate. Secondly,we must take a look at our environment and use every possible mean to stop all groups who are spreading hate from doing so. We need to raise awareness of the dangerous results of this hate and thirdly we need to unitedly demand action from the government against such hate factories, instead of demanding Governor or Army Rule. Government must take action against LeJ and other outfits and government must also work to remove laws based on discrimination and hate from the constitution. Only if the production of these hate factories is terminated, killings of Shias and other religious groups can be stopped.
However, if we fail to recognize the dangers of hate today then the day is not far when our own relatives will be sitting in a Quetta with our dead bodies, protesting for justice. Your life, your country, Love or Hate , your choice.
You can read the original post in urdu here