By Dr Shahid Qureshi, : —
There was no justification of attack on Pakistan embassy in Tehran and burning of Pakistani flag by some Iranian thugs and enemies of friendship between the two countries in front of police? There is no doubt that Shia-Sunni clashes in tribal areas of Pakistan are work of enemies of Pakistan . It is an internal matter no one should take sides and get into the trap of Iranian Shia Left and Pakistani stooges. Unfortunately if Iran has foreign agents in hundreds current numbers in Pakistan might be in thousands? Pakistan has its own problems and so is Iran ? Pakistanis have always been tolerant and had inclusive approach never put religious beliefs in choosing its politicians.
According to news reports on 18th February 2009, “protesting against Shia-Sunni clashes of Parachinar, hundred or so Iranians attacked Pakistan Embassy in front of the security services and police. They held placards saying “Death to Wahabies”, “Death to Taliban”, “Death to Yazidyaat”, “Death to America ” “Death to American allies”, etc.
This development is rattling some Sunni Arab governments, but for Washington , it could be a chance to build bridges with the region’s Shiites, especially in Iran ”.
Those who have been shouting anti-Taliban slogans in Iran and burning Pakistan flag must know that it was half Iranian Shia, Benzair Bhutto who supported, nurtured and created Taliban with the support of her foreign masters. Benazir’s minister Nasser Ullah Babur use to call Taliban ‘my boys’. She apologized for creating and supporting Taliban at London School of Economics in front of large a gathering in May 2007. Religion in politics does not matter in Pakistan ? Iran should be careful with its Shia Left and Right!
Pakistan’s Shias are very well integrated with full liberty to practice their faith in harmony with the majority Sunni population. There are approximately 14000 registered Sunni and 380 Shia madrassas in Pakistan , which are functioning peacefully according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
ZA Bhutto was Shia introduced in politics by Skandar Mirz (who was from the line of traitor Mir Jafar) a staunch Shia currently buried in Mashhad – Iran. His Iranian wife Naheed Skindar Mirza was wife of Iranian Military Attaché in Pakistan whom SM started an affair before her divorce. She was instrumental in 2nd Marriage of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto with Nusrat Isphani mother of Benazir Bhutto.
Benazir Bhutto was married by a Shia Imam to Asif Zardari but people of Pakistan elected Ms Bhutto and her father prime minister of Pakistan twice and her husband President. Third re-launching of Benazir Bhutto (and now Zardari) had a Shia dimension too? The Americanized Shia President Zardari is behaving and dressing like Iranian leaders? Benazir and Zardari’s links with Zionist lobby and complete reliance on foreign actors, Benazir Bhutto’s murder investigation by UN is a clear sign of mistrust on Pakistani institutions?
PPP was formed in the house of a Shia, Dr Mubshar Hassan, Bhutto’s finance minister according to reports. MQM also formed and overly represented in leadership by the mostly leftist Shias like John Elia, Raees Emrovhee, Shanshaha Hussain, Abbas Kumeli, Haider Abbas Rizivi and many others. Both the above parties are in complete patronage of India and US! Senator Mushahid Husain the brain of former ruling party PMLQ, Faisal Salah Hayat former interior minister, SM Zafar former law minister, lawyer Naeem Bukhari (reportedly used by Gen Mushraf to sack CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry), Dr Shireen Mazari, spokesperson of Imran Khan’s PTI, Prof Mehdi Hassan, Naseem Zahra, Hasan Askri Rizvi also come from Shia background.
Does Sunnis in Iran have same high positions, liberties, and freedoms as Shias in Pakistan ? For example many known and reported Shias of Pakistan are in high political and government positions doing their jobs without any problems. President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Information Minster Sherry Rehman, Governor State Bank Saleem Raza, Secretary Defence Athar Ali, DG ISPR Maj Gen Athar Abbas brother of renowned journalists Azhar Abbas (Former GEO TV- DAWN TV), Mazhar Abbas (AFP), and Zafar Abbas (BBC). Former Pakistan ’s ambassador to US Abida Hussain her daughter newly elected Senator Kalsum Imam, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, Faisal Sabzwari, Sind Chief Minister, deputy speaker Sind Assembly Shela Raza PPP and many others. So when, ‘Khurshid Kasuri former Foreign Minister said to the Iranian Foreign Minister, “Pakistani Shias are not like Sunnis in Iran”. He meant the above?
Since 2001, US policy is quite focused on Shias and Sunnis. On the one hand US siding with Shias in Iraq and Afghanistan against Sunnis but on the other hand supporting Sunnis in Middle East against Shia Hezbollah and Syria ? Interestingly the wizard of the US policy on Shias and Sunnis is Vali Nasar son of Husain Nasr who was close to Shah of Iran. He is Professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He tells people what they want to hear not what they should know!
Vali Nasr wrote in Foreign Affairs, July/August 2006, ‘When the Shiites Rise’, “By toppling Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration has liberated and empowered Iraq’s Shiite majority and has helped launch a broad Shiite revival that will upset the sectarian balance in Iraq and the Middle East for years to come. This development is rattling some Sunni Arab governments, but for Washington , it could be a chance to build bridges with the region’s Shiites, especially in Iran ”.
The great game of weakening Pakistan was going on for few years but now it has taken pace and no one seems to be bothered? Main features of the game are (1) Humiliation of Pakistan armed forces, (2) Taking over nuclear assets (3) Installing minority group people in powerful positions, which Zardari is already doing. (4) Use minority groups as collaborators? It did not fully work in Iraq but did bring chaos and destruction?
Zafar Hashmi in an article published on 11th January 2005 titled, ‘The Shia Strategy in Iraq and Pakistan ’ wrote, “The two most repressive governments from the Shia point of view i.e. the government of Taleban and the regime of Saddam Hussein have disappeared. He wrote, ‘The only way to prevent suicide bombings is through intelligence gathering of the enemy or in other words we have to infiltrate SSP and keep an eye on their activities. If some of our brothers join and infiltrated SSP or LJ then we can keep track of their activities and plans. Any intelligence that we gather on SSP or LJ can be simply passed to the Pakistani security agencies who are closely working with the Americans. In this way we neither have to kill, attack, injure, or hurt anybody. All we are doing is passing the information and the rest is done by the agencies themselves.
Its about time we drop the slogan of ‘Death to America ‘ once and for all. We haven’t achieved anything through such hollow slogans. We should stop living in this Utopia and face the reality. Its time we close the foreign front against America and concentrate on the local enemy whose sole aim is the destruction of the Shias in Pakistan . MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “www.iranian.com” claiming to be “http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2005/January/Shia/index.html”
Professor Vali Nasr, while addressing at a program on ‘America and Islam after Bush’, organised by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life on December 8, 2008 said, ‘ Post-Saddam Iraq is the first Shia Arab state in history. That represents a major turning of the tide. What the U.S. did in Iraq was to showed a path to empowerment for the Shia, first through regime change and secondly through elections”.
The News reported on 28th July 2008, that (mostly Shia), “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?
The use of Shias as collaborators is nothing new in the history. Both Mir Sadaiq who betrayed Tipu Sultan and Mir Jafar, who betrayed Sirajudullah in the Battle of Plassy in Bengal , supported and collaborated with British invaders were Shias. Fall of Bengal was the key to the 200 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, 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 April 25, 2005 in The New Yorker.
“ 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.”
No country should take sides on the basis of religious beliefs because Shias and Sunnis co-existed for hundred of years all required is to save themselves from abuse and keep their house in order ? No doubt there would be minor religious tensions but internationalising them is like asking for trouble? What is happening in Kuram Agency now or in the past, Iranians have no control over it and they have their own big problems too. When tensions between Catholics and Protestants were at the height in Northern Ireland , Britain did not ask Italian Catholic Pope to intervene or sign an international Catholic – Protestant peace deal? We never saw any protest outside British Embassy in Vatican ( Rome ) when Catholics and Protestant riots broke out in Northern Ireland ?
Dr Shahid Qureshi is award wining journalist and writer on foreign policy & security based in London . He has written his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Khomeini and visited Tehran University ).