Originators of Sectarian Violence
Sajjad Shaukat


Although various sorts of violence-related terrorist acts continue in Pakistan and these have intensified in Karachi, yet sectarian violence which is part of the same game also needs our focus.

In this regard, on August 20 this year, more than 50 people, belonging to the Shia community were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Jamrud. In another violent attack, on July 30, 12 persons were shot dead in Quetta when unidentified armed men opened fire at Suzuki van. During the months of June and July, in four separate incidents, around 40 Shia Muslims were gunned down in Quetta. However, after the August 20 incident, the enraged people went on a rampage and set tyres on fire to block the road. They also opened fire and one man was killed. In these terms, the originators of sectarian violence need particular analysis.

It is of particular attention that faced with an unending resistance in Iraq, the US had planned to spark a civil war between the Sunnis and Shias. In this context, a study of the Rand Corporation, titled ‘US Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11’ was conducted on behalf of the then US Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force.

The report of the Rand Corporation-a leading think tank, released on December 27, 2004 advocated that Sunni-Shia sectarian division should be exploited to promote the US objectives in the Muslim World. The study indicated that a majority of the world’s Muslims are Sunni, but a significant minority, about 15 percent of the global population is Shias.

The report of the Rand Corporation was first implemented in Iraq. In this context, American CIA also got the services of Israeli secret agency Mossad and Indian RAW in order to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq. In 2004, major terror-attacks were conducted against the Shias in Karbala and Baghdad, while US-led some countries accused Iran and Al-Qaeda for the incidents to divert the attention from the said secret agencies.

Arab leaders said that they feared the bombings were meant to sow discord between Iraqi Shias and Sunni Muslims. Likewise both the Sunni and Shia leaders of Iraq have found it difficult to believe that Al-Qeada were behind the bombings. In that respect, the prayer leader, Syed Ahmed Bukhari at the Jama Masjid of India stated, “America is fully involved in sectarian violence” in Iraq.

Nevertheless, afterwards, a chain of Shia-Sunni clashes started between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis, targeting each other’s mosques through bomb blasts, suicide attacks, and killings of their religious leaders. The general masses of both the sects, which could not grasp the reality, began to blame each other’s group for the subversive activities.

After experiment in Iraq, more deadly pattern of sectarian violence and clashes was conducted in Pakistan.

In this connection, the year of 2011 witnessed a number of sectarian events. For instance, on January 25, a suicide bomber struck in the Urdu Bazaar area of Lahore, killing 10 people including a woman and three Policemen. On February 22, a prominent leader of the Shia community was shot dead by the unidentified attackers in the vicinity of Peshawar. On April 3, 51 persons were killed when two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the shrine of Sufi saint Ahmed Sultan in Dera Ghazi Khan. On July 16, the militants ambushed a bus carrying Sunni Muslims and massacred 10 passengers in Parachinar. On July 28, a prayer leader of Jamia Albadar mosque, Abdul Karim Mengal, was shot dead by unknown activists in Quetta.

In 2010, terror-related sectarian incidents continued. For example, on September 2, triple blasts killed more than 35 persons in Lahore when miscreants targeted the procession of Shias who were celebrating Hazrat Ali’s day of martyrdom. On the same day, seven people including a police constable were injured in Karachi when terrorists opened fire at the Youm-e-Ali rally. Next day, a deadly suicide attack in Quetta killed more than 55 people who participated in the rally of the Al-Quds Day. On May 28, armed assaults on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore killed more than 70 people. On July 1, in Lahore, more than 45 persons were killed by the two suicide bombers at the Data Darbar.

Besides these subversive acts, similar pattern of attacks have kept on going in 2009. On December 4, suicide assaulters stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi, killing 40 people. On December 28, a blast in the middle of the Muharram procession killed more than 25 persons in Karachi as the Shias across the country were celebrating the key holy day of Ashoura. On June 12, a suicide bomber killed five people including anti-Taliban cleric Dr. Sarfraz Naeemi in Lahore.
Notably, in some cases, hand grenades were also used by the culprits and exchange of firing took place between the insurgents and security forces.
It is mentionable that some banned religious organisations have claimed responsibility for various sectarian attacks, but it is the game of RAW and CIA which arrange a message for media from an unidentified place in order to divert the attention of people towards these groups, and sometimes towards the Taliban. Otherwise, particularly RAW is well-known for carrying out sectarian terror attacks against minority Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs in Pakistan.

Especially, RAW has hired the services of the Indian Muslims who are on its payroll, and these agents have joined the ranks and files of the Taliban and other sectarian groups of Pakistan. Posing themselves as staunch believers, these agents target religious leaders and places of worship in Pakistan with a view to inciting the sentiments of the people of the opponent sect. The main aim behind is to continue sectarian disturbance in Pakistan.

In this respect, sinister role of Indian RAW could also be judged from some other events of sectarian violence. In 2008, in Khyber Agency, intermittent fighting between Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansar-ul-Islam had claimed as many as 1500 lives. Lashkar Islami is led by fanatic cleric Mangal Bagh who follows the puritanical Deobandi form of Sunni Islam and has close connections with the extremist Taliban of Afghanistan. Besides other areas of Pakistan, more than 2000 people died in sectarian riots in Kurram Agency, bordering Afghanistan. Its areas have been hit by fierce clashes, pitching Sunni Muslims against the minority Shias. A number of ceasefires was concluded between the warring sects with the help of government officials and the tribal Maliks, but the same proved fruitless owing to the support from Afghanistan where more than hundred training centers covertly established by RAW are supervising anti-Pakistan activities with the tactical help CIA and Mossad.

Although the whole Islamic world is target of Indo-Israeli plot, yet the same has intensified in case of Pakistan and Iran. It is due to the fact that Pakistan is a declared atomic country, while Iran is determined to continue its nuclear programme. In this regard, US-led some countries, especially India have been sabotaging Pak-Iranian ties covertly, while sectarian unrest is also part of their game. Notably, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and a Sunni militant group Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which get arms from RAW and CIA are responsible for many sectarian assaults on Sunnis and Shias. In the past few years, their militants with the cooperation of foreign agents also kidnapped and killed Iranian nationals in Pakistan. In this respect, on October 18, 2009, a suicide attack had killed several officers in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. On December 15, 2010, two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in Iran, killing 39 people. Jundullah claimed responsibility for these incidents. Regarding all these attacks, Tehran had directly accused CIA for funding of that type of terrorist attacks, while diverting the attention of Iran towards Islamabad through secret propaganda.

In this context, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei disclosed, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”

No doubt, CIA, RAW and Mossad are the real originators of sectarian violence in Iraq and now in Pakistan as part of other subversive acts which keep on going.