Just taking some sips of tea, my eyes spotted on a number of youths in multiple groups showing as if they were divided. These youths as ordinary as other Pashtun students had Imran Khan’s PTI like flag in one hand and the Pakistan’s national flag in their second.
Later when I focused on the flag, it was not PTI’s. Some thing in white had written on the flag with a monogram in the middle.
At last I understood, they were from Imamia Students Organization. I had earlier seen their posters around the Peshawar University campus in the days of Muhram ul Haram.
These youths from Pashtunkhwa’s Shia community living across Pashtunkhwa changed into a gathering in the Faqir Ipi lawn of Peshawar University.
It was strange for me seeing the Imamia Students Organization in a greater number, most of them Pashtuns, chanted slogans, Nara e Takbeer, Nara e Risalat and Nara e Haidari [as I live in Quetta and Chaman where very few Pashtuns are from Shia sects or you can say none]. And then, some young activists started their speech to the gathering, was composed of almost some 80 to 100 students.
I couldn’t come nearer to their gathering, as I am knowing the threat the Shia sect faces across Pakistan. By not telling them earlier, they would have felt fear by my sudden presence near them. And when, I was sitting on a distance, merely hearing their louder reply in chants. I could, at the same time, observe their faces crossed looking to the incomers, while they were attending this gathering.
According to some rough data more than 3000 people are killed in last five years around Parachinar and Kuram Agency. Some TTP commanders name circulated media while these bloody clashes took place. The same has happened to Shias particularly the Hazaras [easily targeted because of their change facial figures]. Even a thousand KG bomb blasted in Hazara Town of Quetta. And some 100 of the Hazara Shia community members were killed when a busy snooker club was attacked in a twin bombing attack in 2013. Karachi is no more better than Quetta and Parachinar, Kuram Agency.
Not only Shias are killed in sectarian attacks, some times, it gets Sunni clerics targeted. And this change of reactions don’t let peace come among these two sects.
History of sects in Islam is from the beginning. But, such violence and killing didn’t take place around Afghanistan and Pashtunkhwa, in history of sects [older people from Quetta tells in their gossips & discussions]. It [sectarian violence] boosted only after the 1980s era when Pakistan in the leadership of its Army ruler Gen Ziaulhaq supported anti USSR jihadist campaign while siding with United States of America led group.
As rest of other extreme folds, the fold of extremism among sects has evolved. For example,earlier we would hear that religious clergy members from both the Sunni and Shia sects were attacked in the attempts of target killing by unknown people. And some time the bullet spray would come on a congregation or holly mosques & imambargas. It definitely changed after 9/11 and first suicide attack took place in Quetta while Ashura rallies were in the middle of the city’s Liaquat Bazar [a business center] in 2003.
Pakistan is the country where among other minorities, the Shia minority gets most of their loved one killed in sectarian violence mostly across, Quetta, Parachinar, Peshawar and Karachi.
And same happens to Sunni clerics in the same cities. This conflict of sects is not new for Pakistan. But always get to peak when political ups and downs happen in Pakistan’s relations with Iran, or Iranian relations with the Arabian Gulf nations particularly the Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, heard Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s interview with Mashaal Radio Pashto service, when he was asked who kill people on the basis of sects in Pakistan and why Balochistan government is not taking steps to stop them.
Achakzai, the Pashtun nationalist leader and chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, referred to these clashes as proxy activities. Means, these clashes are having links to other nations [pointing to Saudi Arabia & Iran]. Because Pashtuns are never killing people on the basis of religious, sect, race, color and language et cetra basis. Nor such clashes have place in the history of Pashtun Afghans.
He straight forwardly stated that what are countries powerful spy agencies doing when plans are made for these clashes? They (spy agencies) are for the defense of the country and it is their job.