Politics of dirt and blood

Posted by Admin On Wednesday, 27 February 2013 0 comments
Friday, 22 February 2013, chief of LeJ Malik Ishaq was arrested for the third time. Ishaq prior to this arrest had spent 14 years behind bars till July 2011 when...

Friday, 22 February 2013, chief of LeJ Malik Ishaq was arrested for the third time. Ishaq prior to this arrest had spent 14 years behind bars till July 2011 when he was released due to lack of evidence. He was also briefly detained last year for the Shia killings that have heightened since 2010. Interestingly on both occasions the legal system has been unable to charge this man who heads a militant group bent upon the Sunnification of Pakistan: taking Shia lives in the process, if they must. Over 1000 Shias have been slaughtered, bombed, gunned down in 3 years, while LeJ claims responsibility without fail: all count for lack of evidence.
This time Malik’s arrest was triggered by the recent Quetta market bombing that claimed more than 80 Hazara lives. With the Hazara Shia community protesting outside the Governor’s House (Lahore), blocking traffic, refusing to bury their dead till justice was delivered, Canada and Australia offering asylum (false alarm perhaps), and the demand for an army operation; Pakistan’s establishment’s passivity is mostly to blame. As the Hazara community of Pakistan continues to face persecution, let’s not forget that this second grade treatment of these people is not a recent phenomenon, and not one peculiar to Pakistan. But the dysfunctionality of the system at large, politics premised on hate, sect and lawlessness is beginning to take a toll on us.
It is no secret that external ‘Sunnification’, and ‘Wahabification’ in Pakistan were an attempt to neutralize the Shia influence pouring in from the West. The Khomeini Revolution in Iran (1979) after toppling US puppet government, accompanied by Zia’s Islamization left room for Saudi Arabia: on a perpetual quest to tone down Iran’s power in economic and political terms. In an attempt to combat with their Iranian adversaries, Saudis were able to build organizations like Sipah-e-Sahaba on fertile Pakistan. LeJ specifically was created in 1996, when Riaz Basra, along with Akram Lahori and Malik Ishaq left SSP due to differences with seniors. Even though only a year after the organization’s formation the operational head (Ishaq) was arrested for 14 year, their outreach, influence and level of violence has only escalated.
The LeJ has specifically targeted Iran and Shias. Strong in Punjab and having enjoyed support from Punjab’s strongest and most popular political party PML-N, this connection between the terrorists and N League has become the root of much debate in Pakistan after Malik Ishaq’s arrest. Firstly, it is no secret that the funding that nurtures such groups has a major political impact. While feudalism has dominated our politics since before partition, for the PML-N to use these religion-oriented, popular among the masses, militias to step up the ladder was not entirely baseless. Realistically speaking, the concept of having a militant group to serve your interests is not a new one. In 1980 the CIA and Pakistan Army together created the Taliban to fight Communist influence from the North. The creation of militant groups by Saudis to safeguard their interests in foreign, relevant soil is principally no different.
Arguing the ethics of propping up such armies is futile. Realistically speaking, it happens. For these groups to openly conduct genocide of the Shias in Pakistan is wrong. For political parties to be party to such groups and their crimes must be condemned. But in the larger picture, the PML-N has denied any such alliance. These statements are immaterial: Until the PML-N openly condemns this massacre they little chance to divorce themselves from the association. However, even our Holy Supreme Court has been unable to convict these terrorists? While LeJ continued to take responsibility for the attacks, Malik Ishaq comfortably sat in his house in Rahimyar Khan, probably smoking a Hookah, watching the larger agenda being executed by faceless minions spread in tens of thousands all over Pakistan. Ishaq was released after 14 years because the courts were unable to find evidence on him. Even this arrest is a pre-emptive, for a month, after which the trial will begin. Behind bars or not, Malik Ishaq is a dangerous man. Who will have the courage to stand on the witness stand against him?
For 14 years while behind bars he was certain he will get out unscathed. Because Ishaq seems to know the trick to win the game: “Dead men don’t talk”. It is so telling that while Shias continued to massacred, we knew the mastermind lay at ease, fearless. It is a sad indicator of how weak our state has become, or how hypocritical. A terrorist organization continues to function in full momentum, continues to execute KSA’s agenda in the region. And fingers only pointed at the weakest link, because the men with guns can take our lives, and those with oil own us. Not to forget, the Saudi alliance with the United States keeps us silent, and turns us into a doormat.
This arrest is more of a political move than a genuine attempt to safeguard the Shia community of Pakistan. These gestures of lip service to a ‘free and fair’ Pakistan tend to worsen the ground reality. They ignore the real problems we are confronted with because even the establishment is weak in front of these militias that have grown invincible under the protection of a blind eye: Another drama, another defeat.
Tacstrat Analysis

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