Organized Shia Killings in Pakistan & PML (N).
KARACHI, July 31: Condemning “the conspiracies to engineer sectarian riots” in the country, including Karachi, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has called upon the president and other authorities concerned to take stern action against elements fanning sectarian hatred and violence. According to a press release issued on Sunday, the MQM chief said some criminal elements wanted to inflame public sentiments and create a law and order problem in the country by targeting followers of different schools of thought. Terming those targeting followers of various sects “open enemies of the country”, Mr Hussain said they wanted to destabilise the country and derail democracy by disturbing the law and order situation by inciting sectarian violence. He appealed to religious scholars of all schools of thought to help maintain peace and harmony among the people and foil divisive plans. He also condoled with the bereaved family members of those killed in a terrorist attack in Quetta.He demanded that the government take immediate steps to prevent such incidents in future. REFERENCE: Altaf slams plot to fan sectarian hatred By Our Staff Reporter | From the Newspaper Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/01/altaf-slams-plot-to-fan-sectarian-hatred.html
Daily Jasarat 15 March 2010
Shahbaz attends US I-Day celebrations Published: July 02, 2010 Shahbaz attends US I-Day celebrations (THE NATION) LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Thursday attended a function in connection with the 234th Independence Day of the United States at the residence of American Consul General Carmella Conroy and cut a cake. Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal, provincial ministers, MNAs and MPAs, and a large number of people representing different walks of life were also present on the occasion, says a press release. Addressing the function, Shahbaz said the Independence Day was of great significance for any country as it promoted awareness about the history and achievements. Congratulating the American nation on the day on behalf of government and the people of Punjab, he said Americans could rightly feel proud of the fact that their country stood as the sole super power of the world and a global leader in every sense. He said Pakistan was facing a heavy loss of human lives and damage to property in the war against terrorism, adding that poverty, ignorance and deprivations bread terrorism. Shahbaz said Punjab offered excellent opportunities for economic cooperation and investment, and the provincial government looked forward to building stronger links with the United States in various sectors. The host, Carmella Conroy, also spoke on the occasion.
Punjab Govt & Rana Sanaullah Lie Exposed on Malik Ishaq received monthly stipend (GEO TV)
Wiki Leaks: Saudi Arabia, UAE financing extremism in south Punjab By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui | From the Newspaper May 22, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/22/saudi-arabia-uae-financing-extremism-in-south-punjab.html 2008: Extremist recruitment on the rise in south Punjab madrassahs http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/22/2008-extremist-recruitment-on-the-rise-in-south-punjab-madrassahs.html 178082: Extremist recruitment on the rise in southern Punjab May 22, 2011 http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/the-cables/article2038018.ece
LAHORE: Malik Ishaq enjoyed Punjab government’s financial assistance ever since the Sharif’s came to power in 2008, officials on condition of anonymity told The Express Tribune. The accused terror kingpin belonging to banned Sunni outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), nominated in 44 cases in which 70 people were killed, allegedly received a monthly stipend, during imprisonment, from the Punjab government. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed the disbursement but clarified that it was given to Ishaq’s family, not him, as per orders of the court. However, upon further investigation, it was revealed that nor was there any such disbursements during former president Musharraf’s tenure, nor was there any court order pertaining to the matter. REFERENCE: LeJ’s Malik received monthly stipend from Punjab govt By Asad Kharal Published: July 16, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/210827/lejs-malik-received-monthly-stipend-from-punjab-govt/
And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail – albeit as an independent candidate – won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent�despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. “It makes no sense that Benazir can’t run in the election,” says one Islamabad-based diplomat, “and this nasty guy can.”
References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/12/28/pakistani-neocons-and-un-sanctions/ For http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJan2003/cover1jan2003.htm – General’s Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,361788,00.html
Policy Matters – Part 1 (30th July 2011)
LAHORE, Dec 31: The current year proved to be the most violent in the 10-year-old history of sectarian strife in the Punjab. As many as 200 people were killed while over 175 sustained injuries in 97 incidents of sectarian violence in 1997. The number of people killed was the highest as compared to the number of victims in any given year since 1987. One senior superintendent of police, 14 doctors, eight advocates, one provincial secretary and two bank employees were among the victims. Eight mosques were attacked during prayers while two bomb explosions introduced a new mode of killing. The year saw a change in the pattern of sectarian violence. In the past years prominent leaders of Tehrik-i-Jafria Pakistan (TJP) and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) remained the target of terrorists. In 1997 it turned into a free-for-all and ordinary citizens with no party affiliations were killed. Doctors, lawyers and businessmen adhering to a particular sect but with no support for any religious party were killed with impunity.
The bloodiest incident of the year was the Lahore Sessions Court bombing on January 18. This incident not only made clear the extant to which militants can go but also introduced a new mode of sectarian terrorism in the country. The explosion resulted in fatal injuries to SSP chief Ziaur Rehman Farooqi and 25 others, including 22 policemen. The bombing accused, Mehram Ali, was arrested from the scene and was sentenced to death on 23 accounts by an STA court on September 15. The bombing incident was followed by the burning down of the Khana-i-Farhang Iran (Iranian Cultural Centre) on The Mall, Lahore, on January 19. Police were accused of making no attempt to prevent the mob from setting ablaze the centre which reportedly contained over 100 valuable manuscripts of the Holy Quran.
On February 20, several assailants stormed into the Iranian Cultural Centre at Multan, killing seven people, including an Iranian diplomat. The then Multan SSP, Ashraf Marth, after several days of hectic efforts managed to trace the killers. Police sources claim that due to Ashraf Marth’s efforts police were able to understand the network of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi resulting in the arrest of some of the most wanted militants. Ashraf Marth was transferred to Gujranwala, his home town. He was gunned down near his official residence on May 6. A senior police officer says the investigations conducted by the late SSP and reports compiled by him were still helping police in tracking down sectarian POs.
The killing of Implementation and Coordination Secretary Usama Maud on February 24 was termed a result of on-going sectarian strife by the police. The murder of a provincial secretary a few hundred yards away from the Lahore DIG office can serve as an example tounderline the inability of our police in preventing terrorism. Moreover, only sectarianism was taken as the motive and no efforts were made to identify any other possible reasons for the attack.
In Lahore 17 people were killed during prayers in mosques in four separate incidents. The Shahi Mosque, Gujjarpura, incident with 10 victims remained the worst followed by Al-Hilal Mosque, Chauburji, with four dead. Two mosques were attacked in Faisalabad/Jhang with four dead. Four people were killed when hand grenades were hurled into the Amir Muavia Mosque, Multan, during Isha prayers on August 6. An attack on a mosque in Rawalpindi resulted in one casualty on May 3.
Khairpur Tamewali, Bahawalpur, lived up to its reputation as the place where sectarianism was born. On April 24, as many as nine people were killed when three men opened indiscriminate fire in a busy market area. In a similar attack in Shorkot on August 4, eight people were gunned down by two terrorists riding on a motorcycle while four others were killed in Jhang. The killing of eight people in Warburton, Sheikhupura, and six in Khangarh on August 9, resulted in the transfer of Lahore DIG Tariq Parvaiz. Holding pillion riding responsible for increasing terrorism, a province-wide ban was imposed on pillion riding and Rangers
were called out in the Punjab.
The ban and adoption of an aggressive mode by police forced terrorists to go into hiding and for a month to follow no violence were reported. However, terrorists again made their presence felt on September 17, when they ambushed a van in Rawalpindi, killing five under-training Iranian cadets and their Pakistani driver. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi were quick to claim responsibility for the act. Police on their part registered some noteworthy achievements. They succeeded in arresting SMP leader Ghulam Raza Naqvi and establish the writ of law in the Thoker Niaz Beg area which had been turned a no-go area for police. Lashkar-i-Jhangvi leaders Malik Ishaq, Ghulam Rasool Shah, Masoodur Rehman, Amjad Ali alias Tali, Habibur Rehman and several others were also arrested, although without much effect on the working of the organization. Riaz Basra, the most wanted man in the country to date, still remains at large. REFERENCE: Punjab’s worst year of sectarian violence DAWN / NEWS International, Karachi 01 January 1998 Thursday 02 Ramazan 1418 http://www.karachipage.com/news/jan98/010198.txt
Policy Matters – Part 2 (30th July 2011)
QUETTA: At least 11 people, including a woman, were killed and three others injured in a sectarian attack targeting the Shia community in Quetta on Saturday morning, when gunmen opened fire on a passenger vehicle. “The vehicle was passing by a bus stand when gunmen riding in another car opened fire, killing at least 11 people and wounding three others,” Quetta’s police chief Hamid Shakeel said. Another police official said it appeared to be a sectarian attack as all those killed were Shias from the Hazara community. Outlawed militant organisation Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack. Ali Sher Haideri, who claimed to be the spokesperson for the banned outfit, called different newspaper offices and TV channels and claimed his organisation had carried out the attack and said that attacks on the Shia community would continue. Balochistan Inspector-General (IG) Police Rao Mohammad Amin Hashim told reporters that around 250 suspects had been taken into custody in connection with the killings since Friday evening.REFERENCE: Sectarian violence in Quetta claims 11 lives By Shehzad Baloch Published: July 31, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/220595/13-people-killed-in-firing-in-quetta/
Policy Matters – Part 3 (30th July 2011)
MULTAN, May 14: Riaz Basra, the alleged mastermind behind hundreds of sectarian killings, was killed with three of his accomplices in an ‘encounter’ in Mailsi. The ‘shootout’ took place at Dakota, which had been targeted twice in the past by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants. Riaz Basra headed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. Sources claimed that Basra was in the Faisalabad police custody for the last five months and was being interrogated for the activities of his network. According to the police, four heavily armed outlaws came to Chak Kot Chaudhry Sher Mohammad Ghalvi at about 3:15am in a Toyota Corolla and stopped near the house of Chaudhry Fida Hussain Ghalvi, the district chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Jaferia. Being on the hit-list of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants, villagers used to keep vigil round the clock and were helped by the police at night. Mr Ghalvi told Dawn that he was on guard on the rooftop of his house when the assailants arrived. He said when he questioned the purpose of their visit at the odd hours, they came out of the car and opened fire. Mr Ghalvi said that he and other villagers returned the fire and informed the police control. Police said that SP Syed Javed Shah of Vehari was patrolling the area with some police officials and “therefore, he arrived at the spot in no time.” Known in police circles as encounter- friendly, SP Javed has already to his credit scores of encounters. In a crossfire that lasted nearly an hour, the outlaws died. The bodies were taken to the Vehari DHQ hospital for a post-mortem examination. Police said they had recovered some fake number-plates from the car.
Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed, DIG of the Multan range, told Dawn that the police had also recovered a rocket-launcher, four rockets, four Kalashnikovs and a huge quantity of live rounds from the scene. Mr Ghalvi claimed that the assailants had come to kill him. He said that Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had killed his brother, Mukhtar, in 1997. It is suspected that Lashkar-i-Jhangvi was involved in two strikes in Dakota. On Aug 18, 1996, it killed 12 people at a Majlis and on July 23, 1997, it slew five people, including TJP leader Mukhtar Husain Ghalvi. On Feb 18, 1999, unknown assailants gunned down three more Shias near Pul (bridge) 14 in the vicinity of Dakota. Later, at a press conference in Vehari, SP Javed identified one of the dead as Riaz Basra. He said Riaz Basra’s identity was established by one of his accomplices, Kashif, who is under detention for his alleged involvement in the killing of Siddiq Kanju in Lodhran. SP Javed said that Basra carried a head money of Rs500,000. His body was identified earlier by a police officer who had met him some years ago in Afghanistan. Dawn Report Riaz Basra, 3 others die in ‘encounter’ DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 18 May 2002 Issue:08/20 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2002/may182002.html#riaz
PML Nawaz Patronizing Taliban Supporters Sipah-e-Sahaba a banned Sectarian Outfit
A VERY DARK AND DIRTY SECTARIAN PAST OF GENERAL RETD. PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
Gen. Zia chose Gen. Musharraf (then a Brigadier) in 1987 to command a newly-raised Special Services Group (SSG) base at Khapalu in the Siachen area. To please Gen. Zia, Gen. Musharraf with his SSG commandos launched an attack on an Indian post at Bilfond La in September, 1987,and was beaten back. Despite this, he continued to enjoy the confidence of Zia.
Gen. Musharraf has since then spent seven years in two tenures with the SSG and prides himself on being an SSG commando and projects himself as the greatest expert of the Pakistan Army in mountain warfare. When he recently received Gen. Anthony Zinni, the Commanding Officer of the US Central Command, he was dressed as an SSG Commando. In May,1988, the Shias, who are in a majority in Gilgit, rose in revolt against the Sunni-dominated administration. Zia put an SSG group commanded by Gen. Musharraf in charge of suppressing the revolt. Gen. Musharraf transported a large number of Wahabi Pakhtoon tribesmen from the NWFP and Afghanistan, commanded by bin Laden, to Gilgit to teach the Shias a lesson. These tribesmen under bin Laden massacred hundreds of Shias. In its issue of May,1990, “Herald”, the monthly journal of the “Dawn” group of publications of Karachi, wrote as follows: ” In May,1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys.” Gen. Musharraf started a policy of bringing in Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside and settling them down in Gilgit and Baltistan in order to reduce the Kashmiri Shias to a minority in their traditional land and this is continuing till today. The “Friday Times” of October 15-21, 1992, quoted Mr. Muhammad Yahya Shah, a local Shia leader, as saying: ” We were ruled by the Whites during the British days. We are now being ruled by the Browns from the plains. The rapid settling-in of Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside, particularly the trading classes, has created a sense of acute insecurity among the local Shias.” Zia became the first victim of the carnage unleashed by Gen. Musharraf on the Shias of Gilgit. Though the Pakistani authorities have not released the report of the committee, which enquired into the crash of Zia’s plane in August,1988, it is widely believed in Pakistan that a Shia airman from Gilgit, wanting to take revenge for the May,1988, carnage, was responsible for the crash. REFERENCE: Talibanisation of the heart — by Dr. Abbas Zaidi, The writer is a researcher and has a PhD in sociolinguistics DATED 24 August 2010 http://criticalppp.com/archives/21850 Biography of General Pervez Musharraf: His Past and Present http://www.angelfire.com/al4/terror/musharraf.htm
In 1988, there was a violent uprising of the Shias in Gilgit, which was ruthlessly suppressed by Musharraf, who was given the task of dealing with the revolt by Zia-ul-Haq. Musharraf had a large number of Sunni Pashtun tribesmen from the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) led by Osama bin Laden brought into Gilgit. They carried out a massacre of the Shias in the NA as well as the adjoining NWFP areas. It is believed by many in Pakistan that the crash of the aircraft in which Zia was travelling from Bahawalpur in August 1988 resulting in his death was caused by a Shia airman from Gilgit sympathetic to the TJP in retaliation for this massacre. To keep the Shias of Gilgit under control, Musharraf encouraged the the SSP, which had come into existence in the Punjab in the early 1980s at the instance of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to extend its activities amongst the Sunni population of Gilgit and to politically organise them against the the TJP. Since then, there have frequently been clashes between the TJP and the SSP followers in Gilgit, the latest outbreak of such violent incidents having taken place in June, 2001, before Musharraf’s visit to India for the summit talks with Mr.A.B.Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister. REFERENCE: Musharraf�s Ban: An Analysis Author: B.Raman Publication: South Asia Analysis Group Date: January 18, 2002 URL: http://www.saag.org/papers4/paper395.html http://www.hvk.org/articles/0102/71.html The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director,Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.
KARACHI, July 30: The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the murder of PSO managing director Shaukat Mirza and the defence ministry official, Syed Zafar Hussain. In a joint press statement, chief of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Riaz Basra and Lashkar’s divisional chief, Lal Mohammed have claimed responsibility for both the killings. They also warned that any government functionary resorting to abuseof power would face the same fate. “We had urged the President, General Pervez Musharraf, not to implement the death sentence awarded to Sheikh Haq Nawaz as it could prove harmful for the integrity of the country but the government went ahead with its plan to appease a neighbouring country,” said the statement. -NNI REFERENCE: Jhangvi group says it is responsible DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 4 August 2001 Issue : 07/31 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2001/aug0401.html#jhan
PMLN Punjab Government & Rana Sana Ullah Ties With Banned Militant Outfit Sipah Sahaba
ISLAMABAD, Oct 6: The reported statement of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, in which he had accused the Taliban of backing sectarian violence in Pakistan, has stunned the high authorities here. The Foreign Office has formally regretted what it termed “the baseless speculation and incorrect reporting in some sections of the media, claiming that the Taliban government of Afghanistan is allegedly involved in recent incidents of terrorist violence in the country.” Sources in the relevant agencies of the federal government have expressed complete ignorance about the availability of any intelligence report that could support what the Punjab CM was reported to have said in his talk with newsmen at Lahore on Tuesday. They said the Punjab delegation which had attended an inter-provincial meeting on Monday, a day before the CM’s reported statement, did not mention a word about the Taliban backing the sectarian violence in Pakistan.
“There was absolutely no mention of the Taliban in the meeting which was called merely to discuss sectarianism,” a source who attended the meeting said. The Punjab Chief Secretary, A.Z.K. Sherdil, however, told Dawn by telephone from his Lahore residence that some intelligence reports did suggest that religious extremists from Pakistan got training in Afghanistan and before joining sectarian violence in the country. He said these intelligence reports maintained that such elements received training in camps inside Afghanistan, had fought along with the Taliban against the Afghan opposition, and had infiltrated into Pakistan and were involved in sectarian violence. “We are quite concerned about this situation and want a comprehensive policy to check this movement across the Pakistan-Afghan border,” Mr Sherdil said. He, however, denied that there was any mention, in these intelligence reports, about Riaz Basra’s protection by the Taliban.
The chief secretary said there was massive gun-running from Afghanistan to the tribal areas in Pakistan from where the weapons came to the NWFP and then supplied to other provinces. He said since the Pakistan-Afghan border was not properly manned, this practice continues. However, official sources in the federal government totally deny having seen any such intelligence report. But some sources believe that the Punjab chief minister who has recently returned from an “important US trip” had taken an initiative to dissociate Pakistan from the Taliban and Afghanistan. Meanwhile the Foreign Office, in a press statement issued here on
Wednesday evening, regretted “the baseless speculation and incorrect reporting in some sections of the media, claiming that the Taliban government of Afghanistan is allegedly involved in recent incidents of terrorist violence in the country.” REFERENCE: Shahbaz Sharif talks of intelligence report; flat denial by FO Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 09 October 1999 Issue:05/41 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/1999/09oct99.html#shah
LAHORE: With the killing of Riaz Basra, a chapter in two-decade old secterian violence has come to an end, an official of an intelligence agency remarked. The name of Riaz Basra, convicted of assassinating the Director General of the Iranian Cultural Centre in Lahore on December 19, 1990, was on a US list of “terrorists that live in or have lived in, have trained in, are headquartered in or financed from Afghanistan.” He had also been described in the US list as the “would be assassin” of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Riaz Basra and his companions had launched Lashkar Jhangavi after the killing of their leader Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi on Feb 22, 1990. Basra was known as Abdul Rehman, Ashraf Butt, Sajjad, Shah Jee, Pir Sahib, Bawa Jee, Choudhry Sahib, Asif and Haji Sahib. Belonging to a poor family, Basra had also contested election for the seat of National Assembly from Lahore on JUI (F) ticket and was voted 7,000 votes against Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asghar Khan.
Soon “an-eye-for-an-eye” pattern of sectarian killing started and it was feared the number of killings might escalate. A doctror for a doctor; a lawyer for a lawyer; a hakeem for a hakeem; a trader for a trader; a bookseller for a bookseller; a leader for a leader; an officer for an officer was a new phenomenon in Punjab, introduced during the last one decade. Everyone was confused as to what was happening and why was happening, what the motive was, and where it would lead. Chronology: Riaz Basra, Salar-e-Azam (chief) of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a parallel group of Deobandi’s Sunni militant organisation, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, was convicted for assissinating Aqai Sadiq Ganji, Director General of the Iranian Cultural Centre in Lahore, in December 1990. The trial was held by a special judge Aslam Shami under the 1975 Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act and the judgement was announced on March 13, 1991. Basra escaped during the trial and was convicted in absentia. He had become a terror not only for Shias, but also for every police officer attempting to nab him or his companions. The murder of Gujranwala SSP Ashraf Marth was one among his other terroristic acts.
Born at village Jhawarian in Tehsil Khushab, Sargodha, Basra got his primary education at Khurshid Pind Government Primary School. Afterwards, his father sent him to Hafiz Atta Muhammad for religious education. At the age of 14, he was sent to Darul Uloom-e-Islamia, Kamran Block in Allama Iqbal Town by his brother-in-law late Maulana Muhammad Feroz. Here Basra memorised 15 chapters of the Holy Quran, under the guidance of Hafiz Din Muhammad. Later, his brother-in-law sent him to Jamia Usmania in Wahdat Colony from where he finished his memorisation of the Holy Quran at the age of 20. Later, he started teaching Quran to children at their houses. For quite sometime, he also went to New Campus Staff Colony mosque to teach Quran. Basra’s transofmation from a religious teacher to the most-dreaded militant occured when he heard Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi addressing a religious gathering near Kot Lakhpat in 1985. Fired by the speech, he contacted Muhtamim Madrassa Tajveedul Quran, Model Town More, Qari Khan Muhammad and joined SSP. On August 18, 1988, a Masjid-e-Shuhada meeting of SSP, chaired by Qari Khan Muhammad, elected an interim body. Basra was enlisted as a worker. Later, he became Lahore SSP secretary-general when the party was re-organised.
His name surfaced with a bang with Gunji’s murder. Basra’s subsequently was arrest and convicted, but later escaped from the police custody. He escalated sectarian violence. He was accused of killing senior governmnet officials. The then Lahore SSP had confessed that the sectarian outfits had established strong links with the under-world and police officers were reluctant to raid their hide-outs. Basra was accused of supervising training for activists of his outfit. He was believed to have fought in Afghanistan in the ’80s against Russians. Later, he joined the Sipah-e-Sahaba, but afterward set up his own organisation, the Laskar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) in 1994. Some sources claimed that Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and the Tehrik-e-Jafria Pakistan (TJP) created LJ and Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP) respectively, to have their millitant wings, independent of their political chapters.
Sources said the LJ always remained closely associated with the SSP, but the organisation always claimed that it had nothing to do with LJ. The TJP and the SSP became mainstream parties when they entered into an electoral alliance with PPP and PML-J and two ministers were taken from SSP when the PPP needed the SSP support to have the majority in the province. In return, it is believed, the then government freed the SSP detainees. The LJ is more anti-Iran than anti-Shia. In January 1999 only, 17 Shias were killed in Karam Dad Qureshi, a village situated some 60-km from Multan, and the LJ owned the killings. The responsibilty for killing Ashraf Marth was also claimed by the same band. The dead officer had apprehended the killers of Agha Muhammad Ali Rahimi, Iran’s cultural attache in Multan. During January 1999, a bridge on the Lahore-Raiwind Road close to Mian Nawaz Sharif’s residence was blown up shortly before his arrival. The LJ was reportedly involved in the incident. On April 05, 1999, police in Sargodha claimed to have killed Basra in an encounter. But, the testimony of the deadman and the forensic tests disapproved the police claim and the deceased was identified as someone else.
It may be mentioned that during the year 1997, the sectarian violence swept across the country, and the year was declared the bloodiest in the history of the country. Official figures put the death toll at 122, far greater than the previous year, while unofficial estimate claims that 170 people died in sectarian violnec in twelve months of the year 1997. Similarly, reports show that since the military takeover on October 12, 1999, as many as 114 incidents of sectarian violence hd taken place in 33 cities, claiming 277 lives while leaving more than 274 seriously wounded. From 1991 to the year 2000, the LJ had allegedly killed at least 480 people during carrying out sectarian crimes across the province and about 250 cases were lodged. During 1991,30 people were killed while 25 cases were registered. In the year 1992, at least 11 people were murdered and 10 cases were lodged.
In 1993 18 were killed and a dozen cases were registered, while during 1994, 39 were killed and 20 cases were registered by the police. At least 37 people were killed in 1995, while 22 cases were registered. In 1996 a horrible increase occurred in sectarian crimes as a result of which at least 361 people were killed and police lodged 32 cases. About 122 people were killed in 66 incidents across the province in 1997, while 83 people fell prey to the sectarianism in 1998 and police registered 38 FIRs. As many as 47 killings were recorded as the result of LJ activities in the year 1999, and the police registered 16 cases. About 31 killings were registered in year 2000 and seven cases were lodged. REFERENCE: A chapter of two-decade old sectarian killings closed By Sajjad Shafiq Butt http://jang.com.pk/thenews/may2002-d…main/main2.htm http://www.paklinks.com/gs/pakistan-affairs/23349-riaz-basra-killed.html
Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran – 1
Excerpts from a book: Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America’s War on Terror By Hassan Abbas published by An East Gate Book. M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York, London England. “The Khomeini revolution in Iran already bolstered the confidence of the Shias, and they were not about to take Sunni dictates in religious matters lying down. Hard-liners among Sunni, for their part, felt that such dictation was their right, and those on the extreme right of the Sunni spectrum simply cut the Gordian knot by taking a position that, correct or not, Pakistan had a Sunni majority and as such it should be declared a Sunni Muslim state in which Shia should be treated as a minority. Since achievement of this holy goal would likely to take some time, some of them decided that the interregnum ought not to be wasted. Thus in 1985 they formed Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASS) – an organization piously dedicated to ridding the country of the nettlesome presence of the Shias by eliminating them physically. Later, when they realized what the organization’s acronym meant in English, they changed the name to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).”
“The zealous emissaries of the Iranian Revolutionary Regime started financing their organization Tehreek-e-Nifza-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria (TNFJ – Movement for the Implementation of Jafaria Religious Law) and providing scholarships for Pakistani student to study in Iranian religious seminaries. For the Zia regime though, the problematic issue was Shia activism leading to a strong reaction to his attempts to impose Hanafi Islam (a branch of Sunni sect). For this he winked to the hard-liners among the Sunni religious groups in order to establish a front to squeeze the Shias. It was in this context that Jhangvi was selected by the intelligence community to do the needful. It is also believed that the JUI recommendation played the decisive part in this choice. The adherents of the Deobandi School were worried about Shia activism for religious reasons anyhow. State patronage came as an additional incentive. Consequently, in a well-designed effort, Shia assertiveness was projected as their disloyalty to Pakistan and its Islamic Ideology.” “In a few months, Saudi funds started pouring in, making the project feasible. For Saudi Arabia, the Iranian revolution was quite scary, for its ideals conflicted with that of a Wahabi monarchy. More so, with an approximately 10% Shia population, Saudi Arabia was concerned about the expansion of Shia activism in any Muslim country. Hence, it was more than willing to curb such trends in Pakistan by making a financial investment to bolster its Wahabi Agenda. According to Vali Raza Nasr, a leading expert on the sectarian groups of Pakistan, the flow of these funds was primarily routed through the Pakistan Military and the ISI. It is not known whether American support for this scheme was readily available, but the Zia regime knew well that the United States would be glad to acquiesce, given the rising US – Iran hostility. However, some analyst believe that CIA funds were involved in the venture.”
Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran – 2
Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran – 3
KARACHI: A US State Department official in a meeting urged President Asif Ali Zardari against accepting Iran’s offer of concessional oil for Pakistan and providing Iran with a foothold in Pakistan, a ‘Secret’ American diplomatic cable made available to Dawn reveals. The meeting between Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia during the Bush administration, and President Zardari took place on October 18, 2008 at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, during which Mr Zardari apprised the visiting official of the Iranian offer that the President “did not believe he could refuse.” “How could he go to the National Assembly and tell them Iran had offered the assistance and Pakistan had turned it down, he asked rhetorically,” the then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson wrote in the cable dated October 22, 2008, referring to President Zardari. She added that, “Boucher reminded him of Ambassador Haqqani’s recent conversation with Deputy Secretary Negroponte in which the Deputy cautioned against providing Iran with a toehold in Pakistan.” The cable illustrates how US officials tried influencing Pakistan’s policy not only with regard to Iran but also indicates how and with whom Pakistan had been dealing with at the time in order to meet its energy requirements. The American caution about Irani oil is consistent with the US government’s efforts to isolate Iran both militarily and economically. The oil offer was discussed months after Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved the revised gas purchase agreement between Islamabad and Tehran for the import of gas through the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline (formerly the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline). The US has continually expressed its reservations over the project from which India withdrew in 2008. REFERENCE: Don’t provide Iran with a foothold, US told Pak By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui | From the Newspaper (6 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/24/dont-provide-iran-with-a-foothold-us-told-pak.html
Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran – 4
Months after the talks with Mr Boucher, President Zardari, in a discussion with a Congressional delegation headed by US Senator Patrick Leahy, again referred to Iran’s offer to provide “oil, gas and electricity to Pakistan”, another cable dated May 26, 2009 by Ms Patterson detailing the meeting states. Mr Zardari told the delegation during the May 25, 2009 meeting that “Pakistan desperately needed energy resources” and that “no on else – especially the Saudis” was ready to help. However, in a possible attempt to please the delegation, he went on to say: “I need you more than anyone else, so I will take my cue from you. Perhaps now it will be possible to work with Iran on energy issues.” Interestingly, however, Ms Patterson noted in the cable that President Zardari asked for the “cue” a day after he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had signed an inter-governmental framework declaration to support the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement between the oil ministries of Pakistan and Iran. Moreover, around the time of the Boucher-Zardari meeting, along with pursuing the Iran gas pipeline project, Pakistan was in talks with the Chinese government over a deal to build two additional nuclear power plants for the country, once construction of the Chashma II reactor was completed. A contract to cooperate in building the two new nuclear reactors, commonly referred to as Chashma III and IV, at the Chashma atomic complex was eventually signed on June 8, 2010. The development occurred despite misgivings on part of the US and other governments which have every now and then stated that China should seek approval of the reactors from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to reduce nuclear proliferation and of which China is a member. On the other hand, the US government was almost simultaneously in touch with Saudi officials regarding Saudi-Pak negotiations to assist Pakistan “by deferring crude oil payments”, a previously published cable dated July 30, 2008 states. It further states that if the US government assessed that a “rapid implementation” of the Saudi offer was “critically important to the Pakistan government’s stability, it will likely take USG intervention at the highest levels with senior Saudi officials…to secure its rapid implementation.” REFERENCE: Cables referenced: WikiLeaks #174700, http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/24/2008-do-not-to-allow-iran-toehold-in-pakistan-us.html 208526, 164170 Don’t provide Iran with a foothold, US told Pak By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui | From the Newspaper (6 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/24/dont-provide-iran-with-a-foothold-us-told-pak.html
Seymour hersh and Scott Ritter on Iran 1-3
The arrest of Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi on Tuesday should have a positive impact on Iran-Pakistan relations. The terrorist leader and his deputy were arrested by Iranian security forces when a Bishkek-bound flight was diverted to Iran to catch a man whose organisation was responsible for a deadly terrorist attack last October that killed 35 civilians, besides seven revolutionary guards. While Tehran never really joined the ‘do more’ chorus to pressure Islamabad for action against the plethora of banned — and not banned — militant outfits in this country, the Iranian government had serious reservations about the efficacy of Pakistan’s policy, especially with regard to the anti-Iran terrorists operating close to its border in Pakistani Balochistan. On a visit to this country following last October’s crime, Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar reportedly provided Islamabad with proof of Jundallah’s activities here and its use of Pakistani soil for acts of terrorism against his country. For its part, Islamabad was vocal in denying that Rigi was ever based in Pakistan. But the ease with which militants of various nationalities have operated in this country for years has given a hollow ring to official protestations. Look at the most recent example Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the Afghan Taliban’s top commanders, was arrested earlier this month in Karachi. He reportedly lived in Pakistan for several years and seemingly enjoyed the freedom to direct Taliban operations inside Afghanistan. Many people have aired suspicions that the so-called Quetta Shura leadership has started moving to the port city now. Against this backdrop, Jundallah’s claim that Pakistani intelligence helped in Rigi’s arrest should serve to remove some misunderstandings between Tehran and Islamabad. Additionally, along with Mullah Baradar’s arrest it may also mark a dramatically different, and welcome, approach by the Pakistani security set-up. REFERENCE: Jundallah chief’s arrest February 25, 2010 http://archives.dawn.com/archives/32473 Iran’s Arrest of an Extremist Foe: Did Pakistan Help? By Ishaan Tharoor Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1968126,00.html
Seymour hersh and Scott Ritter on Iran 2-3
Annals of National Security – The Iran Plans Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? by Seymour M. Hersh April 17, 2006 The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium. American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred. There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. “That’s the name they’re using. They say, ‘Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?’ ” REFERENCE: Annals of National Security – The Iran Plans Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? by Seymour M. Hersh April 17, 2006 http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/04/17/060417fa_fact Target Iran: Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter and Investigative Journalist Seymour Hersh on White House Plans for Regime Change December 21, 2006 http://www.democracynow.org/2006/12/21/target_iran_former_un_weapons_inspector
Seymour hersh and Scott Ritter on Iran 3-3
Annals of National Security – The Coming Wars What the Pentagon can now do in secret. by Seymour M. Hersh January 24, 2005 George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way. Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East: the establishment of democracy throughout the region. Bush’s reëlection is regarded within the Administration as evidence of America’s support for his decision to go to war. It has reaffirmed the position of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon’s civilian leadership who advocated the invasion, including Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Douglas Feith, the Under-secretary for Policy. According to a former high-level intelligence official, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the election and told them, in essence, that the naysayers had been heard and the American people did not accept their message. Rumsfeld added that America was committed to staying in Iraq and that there would be no second-guessing. “This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.” Bush and Cheney may have set the policy, but it is Rumsfeld who has directed its implementation and has absorbed much of the public criticism when things went wrong—whether it was prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib or lack of sufficient armor plating for G.I.s’ vehicles in Iraq. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for Rumsfeld’s dismissal, and he is not widely admired inside the military. Nonetheless, his reappointment as Defense Secretary was never in doubt. REFERENCE: Annals of National Security – The Coming Wars What the Pentagon can now do in secret. by Seymour M. Hersh January 24, 2005 http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/01/24/050124fa_fact Target Iran: Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter and Investigative Journalist Seymour Hersh on White House Plans for Regime Change December 21, 2006 http://www.democracynow.org/2006/12/21/target_iran_former_un_weapons_inspector
Reporter – Best Of Reporter Part 2 – Ep 222 – Part 2 (29 JULY 2011)
2008: Do not to allow Iran toehold in Pakistan: USDAWN.COM
(7 hours ago) Today
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2008: Do not to allow Iran toehold in Pakistan: US