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Tuesday 11th of May 2021
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Pakistani Shia leaders endure hunger strike for 20 days now/ Allameh Jafari in critical condition

Allameh Raje Nasir Abbas Jafari, leader of Majlise Wahdate Muslimeen of Pakistan, along with a group of Shia Muslims have gone on hunger strike since Friday as an act of political protest to the continue
Pakistani Shia leaders endure hunger strike for 20 days now/ Allameh Jafari in critical condition

Allameh Raje Nasir Abbas Jafari, leader of Majlise Wahdate Muslimeen of Pakistan, along with a group of Shia Muslims have gone on hunger strike since Friday as an act of political protest to the continued injustices and ill-treatments of followers (Shias) of Ahlulbayt (a).

The hunger strikers started fasting on May 13, 2016 in Islam Abad. Later, people from other cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Parachinar joined this move even in hot weather. It has resonated throughout London and New York too.

To understand the reasons for the protest, ABNA has spoken to Hujjat al-Islam Ghulam Hurr Shabbiri one of the founders of Majlise Wahdate Muslimeen of Pakistan who is now a Muslim congressional prayer leader in the town of Luton, England.

ABNA- For the first question, would you tell us why has Mr. Raje Nasir Abbas Jafari basically started this protest?

The reason is the murdering of Shia Muslims. From 1962 terrorist organizations have killed as many as twenty seven thousand Shias- especially the elites. And they keep targeting them after all these years. Government has not been successful in protecting Shias and has no plans to stop this ongoing issue. It even defends the perpetrators!

The current government led by Nawaz Sharif seizes lands which belonged to shias and passes discriminatory laws against them. It shows obviously that it has deep rooted hostilities towards the community of Shias. Many radical Salafi clerics also help it in a coordinated way.

ABNA-Would you explain the actions of government in seizing the lands of Muslims in a little bit more depth?

Gilgit and Baltistan are among the cities where there are many Shias. The followers of Ahluhbayt possess many lands there. So the government tries to undermine the population of shias there by using its force to take over their lands.

ABNA- What about other confrontations? How does it take it?

It has not become any less lethal. Just a few days ago in Parachinar, this city is entirely filled by shias, the security forces and not the terrorists attacked the people who were celebrating Imam Hussein’s birthday anniversary and therefore martyred bodies of them. In another deadly incident, in a place called Dera Ismail Khan the government remained silent when they killed four people in a day.

ABNA- As you said before, the bloody suppression of Shia Muslims in Pakistan has been going on for decades. Do you think the protest would be any helpful?

The Majlise Wahdate Muslimeen and specially Mr. Raje Nasir Abbas Jafari himself think that they should keep pushing and keep fighting till the government concedes to their legal demands. Their primary goal is to raise the awareness of the masses by putting a protest like this on display for everyone.

ABNA- Could you tell us exactly what their demands are?

Very specially, they want:

1-      Appropriate action to prevent the killing of Shias in all parts of Pakistan.

2-      Sending all the cases of massacre against Shias to be met in military tribunals.

3-      The government to unban mourning sessions in Punjab province.

4-      Ban all the activities of Takfiri groups

5-      Serious action to be taken in response to the killing of Shias in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

6-      An investigative committee for the recent killings of Shias in Parachinar by the police forces.

7-      The government to stop the takeover of lands and hand over all the lands it has aggressively occupied to the owners.

ABNA- For example, ISI, one of the centers of power in Pakistan, will they give in to the protesters’ demands?

As we know by now people across Pakistan have joined in solidarity with this protest and in some northern and southern areas they have started the same fasting as we did. But the news in the government is still unnoticed. The hunger strikers are firm and strong in their purpose, which is to force the government to respond to the legitimate demands of millions of people or at least defend the forgotten rights of Shias. It is not so out of reach once people wake up.

ABNA- How long is it since the sit-in began?

It was launched on Friday May 13, 2016 and it is 19 days passed since then.

ABNA- Did it start by participants fasting from day one?

ABNA- How many others started this protest with him?

The primary figure that went on hunger strike was Hujjat al-Islam Raje Nasir Abbas Jafari. Now all the leaders in Majlise Wahdate Muslimeen are in it. As I mentioned before, when the news was out and it became public, people from inside and outside of Pakistan contributed to this protest and helped it spread worldwide.

 

There are camps are now in Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Parachinar and Baltistan and also in New York in which some have started hunger strikes. A few days ago in front of the Embassy of Pakistan in London, to sympathize with the Shia community in Pakistan and Raja Nasir Abbas, a rally was held in support of the action. And so far all non-governmental organizations in Pakistan have approved of this. This shows that Alhamdulillah this action has been very powerful and effective.

ABNA-Where is the sit-in camp located?

It’s in front of Press Club, the media center of the city "Islamabad" Pakistan's capital.

ABNA- How is the general condition of the hunger strikers?

Clearly they are not in good condition. Allameh Jafari was hospitalized yesterday. After two hours, he came back to resume the strike.

ABNA-For my last question, what do you want the Shias outside of Pakistan to do about this?

We expect them to recognize the problems related to Muslims and Shias in Pakistan and show their support for them at all levels.

At this point, I would also like to ask all the scholars, intellectuals, journalists and thinkers to immediately express their support for the protesters. This is a very important issue these days.

ABNA- Thank you for taking time to talk about this.

 

 

The official announcement of hunger strike made by Allameh Jafari

 

Shia and Sunni clerics identifying with the protesters.

Congressional prayers at the site of the protest.

 

Pakistani Shias who are mostly targets of terrorist groups, in a rare incident, were massacred by security forces. In that incident, which was triggered off because security forces blocked Shia scholars from participating in the feast of the Shabaniyah, at least 4 protesters were killed, 10 others were wounded and many were arrested by the security forces.


source : abna24
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