The Path Once Take – part III

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The women in Iran are required by law to cover their heads. So accordingly we women prepared ourselves for the summer under long chaddars and scarves. My aunt borrowed some from another relative who had been to Iran earlier in the year, while my mum dug deep into her closet to find scarves and burqas from her trip to Saudia many years before.

Right on the border of Iran and Pakistan, the women each were handed a scarf or a chaddar, about to become our second skin for the entire month. And with our heads, forbidden to see the light of the day for a while, we entered Iran.

Reading this blog, some might think wow these people are religious. The truth I am ashamed to add is not quite so clear cut. It was the end of June when we set out on our journey. We kids saw it as a vacation ‘out of Pakistan’. The adults saw it as a way of bringing us, their hopelessly lost children a little towards the right path. And it was just that. A vacation ‘abroad’ with a little faith revival thrown in on a short budget.

What compelled me to share my story with you was the recent killings of Shias in Quetta who were on the same journey as I once was. Barely a week passed when another such incident occurred. Another group of people on their way through the same route were brutally massacred in Turbat. It is said that the notable humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi passed out after viewing the bodies of the deceased. Imagine the time for their families.

I made my journey sometime in 2003. I now wonder, what stopped these animals from this brutality then. Why now do they have such a free hand that they don’t hesitate killing dozens of people instantly? Who are these people and where are they hiding? What is making them kill another human being so mercilessly?

The saddest thing I have experienced while talking about the Shia Genocide is the generalization of the issue. Every time I talk about it, people tell me it is not just Shias who are being killed. No one is safe in Pakistan, everyone is being killed. I agree, but who is specifically being targeted? Who is being made to get down from a bus and shot point blank? And again who is being singled out for having slightly different beliefs. I agree no one is safe, but shoving the continuous ongoing massascre under the rug, will that help? The killers don’t generalize. They specifically target Shias, why cannot other people accept the fact that being a Shia in Pakistan is now almost a crime.

With absolutely no sense of accountability in Pakistan you get easily get away taking someone’s life. In fact it is now easier to kill someone and run away than getting your passport renewed. Dear reader, I ask nothing of you today. But if one day you hear of me being killed, at least have a heart and ask my killers what was my crime? Please do not think of it as just another loss of life in the deadliest countries of the world. And grant me the favor of recognizing the fact that I was killed because of my beliefs.

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2 responses »

  1. True that. People do not even want to hear any arguments that are raised against Shia killings. To be honest, there is a deep rooted hatred for minorities in the hearts of the majority. No matter how liberal they tend to present themselves, almost all of them have accused us of having committed the most heinous of sins on the night of 9th Muharram (what do you guys do when you turn all the lights off? We have heard you people commit incest). Since, to the majority we are kaffars, our lives are of no importance to them. I remember how people lamented on the shops being set ablaze and how everyone was condemning the loss of property when a bomb blast occurred in Saddar some years back on the day of Ashura.
    No matter what happens, mothers would keep telling their children “beta un ke ghar ka khana nahi khana, woh thook mila ke khiladeinge” lol. It all breeds from the cradle. I tell you!

  2. Honestly, I totally agree with you on the point tht Shias are being killed and our countrymen are silent about it…. but somehow every time this topic is brought at the forefront, it just makes me feel a little guilty as a Shia myself. Whether it is as retaliation to the persecution, I am not sure, but we Shias are preventing people from other sects from coming closer to us. We put across an image of being superior -its the same attitude that we complain about from others- and are not willing to hear what other people have to say. Just to make it clear, here I am talking about common man, not the scholars. This divide, this tension, is not a one sided creation…. things are not black and white, never were, never will be…. we, and I mean all Muslims, are simply not ready to accept a different view to things… be it in sectarian matters of about other religions…. A Shia eventually finding the Sunni side as a better option of faith, or a Sunni later on in life deciding to go by Shia school of thought… should not be a matter of life and death…and should not be termed as utter damnation…. I believe when we can get rid of this mindset , on both sides, only then we can perhaps move towards a better, peaceful society…..

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