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Target Killings: Rahman Baba, Data Ali Hajvery, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Baba Farid Ganjshakar

Posted on October 25, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
31 Comments
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Adil Najam

The Fajr attack in Pakpattan Sharif, on the shrine of Baba Fareeduddin Masud Ganjshakar was one more in a series of very targeted and very strategic attacks on shrines of Sufi saints across Pakistan: Rahman Baba, Data Sahib Hassan Ali Hajveri, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, many more, now Baba Fariduddin Masud Ganjshakar.

Once again, they left Pakistan numb in grief, distraught and shock. Shock, not because it was new or surprising. But shock because it has again exposed the systematic targeting of belief by religious bigots and extremists who are very consciously and very deliberately targeting and spreading fear amongst any and all whose belief, or even ritual, they disagree with.



This is not senseless violence. This violence is very deliberate, obviously thought-through and clearly targeted. It is violence that is designed to beget a polity of fear, of division, and of hatred. It is violence that stems from a history of religious bigotry that go deep into our history, but the systematic and conscious manner in which it is being implemented by the murderous purveyors of violence should not only numb us in grief, distraught and shock; it should alert and inspire us into action and response that is as strategic and as targeted as those of the killers.

Being ‘targeted’ does not mean being indiscriminate and impulsive. Indeed, it means the exact opposite.

Those who have orchestrated this violence are very clear about what they are doing: they are sending Pakistan a message about what they consider to be ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ Islam.

We need to be equally clear about what we do: send a message to them that we will neither succumb to their intolerance nor their tactics of fear.

In practice this means a strategy of messaging both by words and action. Our words have to condemn not only the acts of violence, but the core of religious intolerance that lies behind that act. We have already suffered much by succumbing to the thekedars of righteousness and allowed them to define who is and who is not a Muslim. We must not let this venom sink even deeper into society. It is not easy to confront intolerance when it is so pervasive around us. To name it for what it is and to shame it for what it does. But confront it we must.

The logic for action is also clear. As long as we hear more stories about ‘successful’ violence than we hear stories of culprits being apprehended, tried and punished for these acts, the violence will only multiply. We need to change that arithmetic. Protective police action is necessary, but not sufficient. The targets are too many, full protection is too difficult, and in-your-face security indirectly underscores the terrorist’s message of fear. More important is police action in apprehending culprits, unmasking terrorist cells and their plans, and judicial action in bringing those apprehended to quick – and fair – justice. The last is the most important of all.

Ultimately, words and actions must come together. Action must lead to a change in the stories that we see plastered on our TV screens. What we now see are stories of bigoted terrorists “succeeding” in their attacks. What we need to see are stories of our police and legal system bringing these terrorists to justice. Stories that signify the failure of their plans, not the success.

31 comments posted

Comment Pages: [4] 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. Adnan says:
    October 30th, 2010 2:11 am

    To all worshipers of “idols” in such shrines who believe their “Baba” or “Pir Saab” can even safe Karachi or other places from things like floods and other things. Can they please tell that why didn’t all such “Babas” stop suicide bombers to harm their devotees? Do they have any answer?

  2. Bangash says:
    October 29th, 2010 6:02 pm

    Taliban plus extremist groups only know mayhem and killing so unless they are eliminated these attacks will continue.

    Some Pakistanis continue to remain in denial but I think enough time and effort has been wasted on such Pakistanis and efforts to eradicate militancy should continue regardless.

  3. October 29th, 2010 2:48 pm

    Is it not encouraging to see more and more people realize who the merciless and who the innocent are? Taliban have not only attacked the sanctity of holy shrines but killed innocents without remorse during congregational prayers at mosques as well. Have we not seen that anyone who does not adhere to Taliban ideology/propaganda is open target? Even the devastating floods in Pakistan did not slow their resolve to kill innocents. Since the floods they have killed over 270 innocent Pakistani for Karachi to Khyber.
    As one of your commenter so eloquently said “What we need to see are stories of draining the swamp.” We are doing just that along with the Pakistani security forces and the sooner we get this done the sooner we make this a more peaceful tolerant world.

    LCDR Speaks,
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil

  4. October 29th, 2010 6:22 am

    There are strong indications and we have reason to believe that “others” are also taking advantages in a war between “good” and “evil”.
    Besides the bombing out side the shrine of Baba Fareed(reh.aleh) was not a suicide bombing rather a planted bombing.

  5. sultan says:
    October 27th, 2010 5:00 am

    As the author says:

    ”We have already suffered much by succumbing to the thekedars of righteousness and allowed them to define who is and who is not a Muslim.”

    My theory is that Pakistan entered a bizarro universe in 1974, in which up is down, down is up, fair is foul, and foul is fair.

    In the bizarro universe, the mullah who opposed the creation of Pakistan gets to define it. He can issue fatwas of kufr and wajubul qatl but these fatwas are implemented by Indian agents trying to defame Pakistan/Islam as if the behaviour of some Pakistanis wasn’t enough for that.

    Logic is inverted in the bizarro universe. The guilty Taliban are the victims of outside conspiracies and the situation in Pakistan makes people in the UK jealous, so they distribute pamphlets calling for the murder of apostates.

  6. Imtiaz says:
    October 27th, 2010 12:28 am

    Well written post. These killers are from within us and as you say they are out to kill and destroy everyone they differ with. They spread fear and that is their real weapon.

  7. zakoota says:
    October 26th, 2010 11:47 pm

    100% involvement of India without a doubt in every terrorist activity in Pakistan.

Comment Pages: [4] 3 2 1 » Show All



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