Proxy Wars Fan Sectarian Massacre in Balochistan

The proxy wars between Saudi and Iran backed militant groups in Pakistan – linked to the US battle against the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan – took an ugly turn this week in the lawless province of Balochistan.

On Sept 20, pilgrims traveling on a bus to Iran, were stopped by armed men near Mastung, some 30 km southeast of Quetta. Some 26 pilgrims were forced to disembark… and shot point blank after being identified as Shias. Two family members of the victims who rushed to the scene to help, were chased by gunmen and shot dead.

The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LEJ) a Sunni Deobandi group affiliated with the Taliban, claimed responsibility. In recent months, Mastung has become a strong hold for the LEJ – whence the sectarian group emerges to inflict lethal attacks on Shias and non Muslims.

The administration’s response was mild. In Balochistan, authorities hunkered down and advised tour buses not to move around without security.

Ten years after the US toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan, today their resurgence has given the LEJ an umbrella to inflict repeated pain on Shias in Pakistan. The Iran backed Tehrik-i-Jafria, sometimes engages against the LEJ, but is no match for the antagonists.

In the last few months, the LEJ and its parent organization – Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (formerly Anjuman Sipah Sahaba Pakistan) have found a soft target in the Hazara community in Balochistan. These Shias, originally from Afghanistan, have been repeatedly killed on sectarian grounds. This week’s massacre brought nationwide protests, including Hazara women to demonstrate against the lack of safety.

Sectarian strife has escalated since LEJ chief Malik Ishaq was released from Kot Lakhpat prison, Punjab in July 2011. Although wanted in the murders of some 70 Shias, the Supreme Court reportedly released him because of the absence of witnesses. Prima facie, this seemed logical in a country where witnesses in heinous crimes have little or no protection.

But the Punjab administration failed to act against the LEJ chief even after he moved around giving hate speeches on sectarian grounds.

Victims families found cold comfort in the fact that Malik Ishaq has been temporarily detained at home after the massacre in Mastung.

Interestingly, in recent months the paradigm of sectarian violence has moved out of the Punjab into Balochistan. That comes on the heels of a blooper by the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif… when he apparently spoke his mind in telling militants to “at least leave my province alone.”

Today, lawlessness and poor governance in Balochistan has turned it into ideal ground for sectarian outfits. Despite being declared terrorists, the organizations constantly rename themselves and avail of the type of protection they enjoyed since the days of Gen. Zia ul Haq.

The Shia massacres in Mastung mirror the brutal pattern in which Christians were killed nine years ago in Karachi. In September 2002, as the US invasion of Afghanistan dislodged the Taliban, their LEJ affiliates headed straight to the Institute for Peace and Justice in Karachi. Here, the activists – mostly Christians – were bound and gagged and shot point blank after being identified by their faith.

Today, while US presence in Afghanistan fuels national resistance, it also spawns violent extremists. As experience shows, the attempts to use militants for political gain invites more blow-back. With neighboring countries fighting their proxy wars in Pakistan, the ingredients in the cauldron turn the mix into a matter for global concern.

33 Replies to “Proxy Wars Fan Sectarian Massacre in Balochistan”

    1. Nov19 I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are genuinely awesome quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend.

  1. Hello there, i am Quintin Ogles and I must state that ” Proxy Wars Fan Sectarian Massacre in Balochistan | Aboard The Democracy Train ” is undoubtedly a superb piece of writing.

  2. Hello there, I discovered your web site by means of Google while searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up, it seems great. I’ve added to my favourites|added to bookmarks.

  3. Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  4. Effectively, that is my very first go to for your weblog! We’re a gaggle of volunteers and beginning a brand new initiative in a community within the same niche. Your weblog offered us helpful info to work on. You might have carried out a marvellous job! Anyway, in my language, there aren’t much good source like this.

  5. Awesome blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  6. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  7. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in caligraphy this website. I’m hoping the same elevated-degree website column from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative caligraphy skills has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings and your scribble up is a profitable example of it.

  8. “I was examining some of your blog posts on this site and I believe this internet site is rattling informative! Keep on putting up.”

  9. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I¡¦m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  10. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It truly useful; it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to offer one thing back and aid others like you helped me.

  11. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to seek out any person with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that’s wanted on the web, somebody with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  12. I was studying some of your content on this site and I believe this web site is very informative ! Continue putting up.

  13. Can I simply say what a aid to seek out somebody who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know the right way to deliver a problem to gentle and make it important. Extra individuals need to read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant imagine youre no more common because you undoubtedly have the gift.

  14. Hello there. I wished to drop you a simple note expressing my thanks. I’ve been following website for a month or so and get acquired a lot of good information along with enjoyed how you’ve organized your web blog. I will be wanting to run my web site but I believe its too general and I want to focus more on smaller subject areas.

  15. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  16. Pingback: Rochite Fetite
  17. Thank you for your blog post. ThomasVelupe and I are saving for our new ebook on this subject matter and your short article has made us all to save the article.

  18. I simply want to mention I am all new to blogs and absolutely liked your web blog. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with fantastic articles and reviews. Kudos for revealing your blog.

  19. Hey there! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.