By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
The recent brutal killing of young and promising journalist Bilal Khan in Islamabad on 16 June 2019 shocked all those who believes in freedom of speech as well as strongly oppose hate and abusive speech to all Islamic religious personalities specially those close to the Prophet of Islam and his companions of early days. Majority of Pakistanis are very tolerant and soft by nature and not sectarian at all. Bilal Khan was stabbed 17 times with vengeance and hate by some elements probably originating from Gilgat Balitistan as he told many times. It is time to have take concrete steps. The institutions have done excellent work in handling on RAW’s Kubhushan network but it is time to act visibly to reassure the largest community group.
As per war strategy various types of themes and ideas were floated as well as financially supported to paint a violent picture of Islam. There was no counter strategy adopted sadly and policy of appeasement continued so much that minority groups almost started black mailing majority, and took over all the relevant institutions by design from media, finance and security.
The government should introduce the anti abuse and hate speech bill against all the personalities of Islam and other religion. Abuse can not be allowed in the cover of freedom of speech. However, Persian and Arabs can solve their problems themselves like adults.
Few years ago, the extra judicial killings of a Sunni leader of a band outfit Malik Ishaq and his two sons and others may have pleased Shia circles but it has harmed the state of Pakistan. The stories in the media stating that: Pakistanis agencies received information from Syrian sources and acted on it. The fact of the matter is Syrians are very close to Indians and even more close to Iranians. The Iranians has sent reportedly thousands of Iranian fighters in Syria to fight the Sunni insurgents.
The forces supporting Shias fighting with Sunnis in Iraq are supporting Sunnis in Syria fighting with minority Shia dominated regime of Bashar Al-Asad. Many analysts believes that Iranian policy of supporting Shia sectarian elements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and Saudi Arabia is largely damaging the interests of Muslim countries. That has made former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbadin Hakamat Yar said: “Iranian policy of supporting Shia sect and sectarianism in Iraq and Afghanistan has damaged interests of Muslims over all the world”.
To counter these elements who are damaging the state of Pakistan by hate speech against the holy personalities of Islam, wives and caliphs of the Islam. The derogatory and abusive coded language and insinuations hurled toward 2nd Caliph Umar and wife of the Prophet of Islam leave no space to negotiate. One can say that in actual fact “BULB 365 Code” made and later killed Malik Ishaq. Does any know what this code is mean?
I spoke to Iranian scholar Ayataullah Al-Araqi in Astana, Kazakhstan 9th June 2015 on this issue and he understood what I am talking about. You know what I am talking about? People have seen Shia zakirs abusing Hazart Ayesha (RA), Caliph Umar (RA) and others openly. Is it acceptable? Obviously not. How would you feel if someone abuse your mother in public? It will be provocative and surely one will be upset?
Mujeeb Shami a senior journalist said: ‘in Pakistan a country we have laws for defamation for people but no law to protect the honors of the holy personalities of Islam i.e. companions of the prophet of Islam. If we had those laws there was no reason for Malik Ishaq to fight in the name of companions of the Prophet and end up being killed in fake police encounter’. He was in police custody and was not thereat to the state.
One security source said: “Malik Ishaq was not involved in any anti-Pakistan activity and also not taking money from foreign country or agency. He was true loyal Pakistani”. So why was he killed?
To understand this killing I will refer you to a news published in Indian media on 11th September 2014 titled “Indian Shi’ite Group Puts Bounty on Sunni Extremist Leaders” reported by Vasudevan Sridharan: –
“An Indian Shi’ite group has announced a huge bounty on leaders of Sunni Islamist organizations across the world including Isis (now known as Islamic State), which is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.
The All India Shia (Shi’ite) Hussaini Fund (AISHF) has said a reward of 10 million Indian Rupees (£100,000) will be given to anyone who kills one of five men; Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, Taliban chief Mullah Omar and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen chief Azhar Masood.
This Shia – Sunni sectarian policy has international approvals from so called friends and enemies of Pakistan. Pakistan is pre dominantly a Sunni country with its less than 3% Shia population enjoying religious harmony and strong bond. There are 380 Shia madrassas in Pakistan as compare to approximately over 30,000 Sunni Madrassas including 18500 registered with ‘Wafaq ul Madaras Pakistan’.
Shias of Pakistan dominates media especially, finance and all other areas which made Khurshid Kasuri foreign minister of Pakistan say to his Iranian counterpart: “Shias of Pakistan are not like Sunnis in Iran”. He pointed to a Pakistani official with him and said: ‘he is a Shia and very high officer’. Iranians has the liberty to infiltrate in Pakistani Shia clergy and officials, journalists, media anchors who religiously toe the Iranian lines and ignoring Pakistani national interests.
Pakistan economic and strategic interests:
More recently it is Sunni world countries Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and others who helped Pakistan in dealing with financial crisis as well as KSA gave us oil on deferred payments. On the other hand our brotherly Islamic Iran sending RAW agent Kubhushan Yadav and funding BLA terrorist Uzair Balooch. It is time that Pakistan bring out the findings of Uzair Balooch investigations. It is time Iran review its policy of exporting Shiaism and interference in Middle East from Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain and Pakistan. No one should take Pakistan’s kindness as weakness and continue back stabbing specially after the killings of 14 military personal in Baluchistan few months ago sponsored by the Iranian security elements.
Over 2.5 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia and about 3 million in Sunni countries in Gulf and UAE and only about 25000 in Iran mostly in Sistan. Pakistani economic and strategic interests lies predominantly in the Sunni world which cannot be ignored due to sectarian policies of Iran?
Over $30 billion India-Iran deal is obviously against Pakistan’s interests. Indian infiltration and sponsoring of terrorism from Iran and Afghanistan cannot be ignored. Iranians have contracted Indians to build “Port of Chabhar” and also provided access to Indians from Iran to build roads and other projects in Afghanistan. If Indians and other successfully sabotage the Pak-China corridor project Iranian port will be direct beneficiary. On the other hand Pakistan army chief has “warned all and sundry that Pak-China project will be completed at all cost”.
Well General must review and made his security policy of Zero Tolerance and no compromise on Pakistan’s national interests when it comes to the activities of the politicians and officials of Pakistan. Is it because of reasons below that Pakistan did not do meaningful oil and gas exploring in Baluchistan border areas with Iran since 1947?
It is seems a complete espionage story the ‘honey trapping’ of Colonel Iskander Mirza by Nahid Afghamy wife of Colonel Afghamy military attaché at Iranian Embassy in Pakistan. Iskander Mirza was great grandson of traitor Mir Jafar of Bengal who betrayed in the Battle of Plassey and laid foundations of 250 years of British Rule in India:
“Not much is known about Nahid’s background except that she was the wife of one Lieutenant Colonel Afghamy – the Military Attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan. Also not known are the time and the circumstances under which Colonel Iskander Mirza and Nahid Afghamy had first met. It is a matter of conjecture that perhaps as Military Attaché Colonel Afghamy had frequent dealings with the Pakistan Ministry of Defense and also with Secretary Iskander Mirza”.
Naheed Afghamy died in December 2018 at her apartment in London Knights Bridge. I spoke to her daughter and gave my condolences and Pakistan High Commission actively supported the daughter as she told me.
On March 6, 1956, Iskander Mirza was elected as President and the constitution was promulgated on March 23, 1956. Three days later on March 26, 1956 with Nahid on his side Iskander Mirza took the oath as President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.. Thus in a passage of two years, mostly through palace intrigues and backroom dealings, an ex-soldier and a career bureaucrat rose from the level of a department head to the position of the Head of the State. And the Iranian born Nahid Afghamy, the wife of a Military Attaché lifted by a government Secretary of the host country, became the First Lady of Pakistan. For the next two and half years Nahid Mirza as wife of the President will play significant role in the national and international affairs of Pakistan.
To further add insult to injury his son was not too bad. In the month of October 1954 brings some more dramatic developments for Iskander Mirza. His son Humayun is in the USA getting ready to marry the daughter of Horace A. Hildreth, American Ambassador to Pakistan.
The influence of Iranian (Shia) women on Pakistani politics did not stop as few years earlier another Iranian born Nusrat Isphani (Bhutto) become 2nd wife of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto who become President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and later his daughter Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari until 2015.
“The late Begum Nusrat Bhutto, hailing from Iran’s wealthy Ispahani family, was one of the two Iranian-born first ladies that Pakistan has had since 1947. The first one, of course, was Begum Nahid Mirza, the second wife of Pakistan’s first President and fourth Governor General, Iskander Mirza. Both Iranian-born first ladies of Pakistan were of Kurdish descent and became the second wives of their husbands, who had then gone on to become the country’s Presidents. Nusrat Bhutto was a cousin of Nahid Mirza. Although Nusrat was 15 years younger to Nahid, she got married a few years earlier than her elder relative in September 1951”.
“The use of Shias as collaborators is nothing new in the history. Both Mir Sadaiq who betrayed Tipu Sultan and Mir Jafar, who betrayed Nawab Sirajudullah in the Battle of Plassy in Bengal, supported and collaborated with British invaders were Shias. Fall of Bengal was the key to the 250 years British rule in India?
Historically, “Vengeful Shiites volunteered help to the Mongols in Mosul and other places along their march. The caliph’s vizier, or chief minister, was himself a Shiite of uncertain loyalty. Islamic opinion afterward held that the vizier, al-Alkamzi, vilely betrayed the caliph and conspired with the Mongols; an exhortation in Muslim school books used to say, “Let him be cursed of God who curses not al-Alkamzi.” As fighting began, Hulagu (Khan), acknowledging the importance of Shiite support, prudently posted guard detachments of a hundred Mongol horsemen at the most sacred Shiite shrines in Najef and Karbala” wrote Ian Frazier on 25th April, 2005 in The New Yorker.
The News reported on 28th July 2008, that, “The Hazaras in Quetta have been targeted repeatedly in the past. They suffered casualties which have been sectarian and ethnic biased”. It is reported that the Americans are using Shia Hazars as interpreters in Afghanistan against Taliban and that could have led to attacks on them?”
“Iran may be bombastic but Pakistan has the Bomb”, wrote Douglas Bloomfield in The Jerusalem Post on 3rd September 2008, “Iran may boast of great strides in its pursuit of nuclear, missile and satellite technology, but analysts say its progress is no match for its overblown rhetoric. But Pakistan doesn’t need to boast. It already has a stockpile estimated at 60 or more nuclear warheads and North Korean ballistic missiles and US-made F-16s to deliver them.”
To counter the sectarian plan against Pakistan it is time to eliminate all abusive materials books, audio and video against the holy personalities of Islam respecting views of Muslims and made hate speech criminal offence as well as legislate about the officials who have taken foreign spouses and become threat to national security.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China)
Views expressed are not of The London Post.