A group of students compiled from different sources though mainly from the factual report “The actual story of Parachinar Pakistan”.I have to share this factual report with you.
The Parachinar Report
This report is a summary of the situation in Parachinar, and Kurram Agency in general, as reported by the relatives of Parachinari students currently studying here. We would like to make clear that this report should not be misinterpreted as having a sectarian bias because we believe that the real roots of the humanitarian tragedy in Parachinar are not sectarian but part of a larger agenda designed by the neo-colonial powers and orchestrated on their behalf by their surrogates in the Pakistani establishment. Even the sectarian conflict in this area is artificial in nature, and as any unprejudiced analysis quickly reveals, is linked with the current international strategy of sparking sectarian tensions in Muslim countries worldwide.
2. History and background:
In 1947 the British Government granted independent status to the northern areas of Pakistan and they were henceforth called agencies. There are a total of 7 agencies and most of them border Afghanistan. Kurram Agency that is landlocked by Afghanistan on three sides is 250 kilometers from Peshawar. The central city of this agency is Parachinar with a population of 500,000 people with Shias being a clear majority.
According to the locals, attempts to create settlements of extremists Taliban elements in this area have been a part of Government policy since the time of General Zia ul Haq. At first the idea was to purchase land from the indigenous population but when this land acquisition drive was resisted the picture quickly turned much uglier.
A crucial turning point was when, after the Iranian revolution of 1979, the local population under the leadership of Allama Arif al Hussaini (himself a Parachinari) displayed a clear leaning towards the newly established Islamic Government in Iran. This was obviously perceived as a threat by the American backed military junta in power at that time. Especially when it was seen that the figure of Allama Arif Hussaini was becoming a rallying point for Shias and this became even clearer when the Shia population rose up against the draconian and discriminatory so-called Islamic Laws of the Zia regime. It was not long after that Allama Arif Hussaini was murdered and thus an active campaign against Shias was started with Parachinar being the primary target because of its strategic location and its demographic concentration of Shias unparalleled in Pakistan. It must be noted that if the Agencies were ever to become a province it will be the country’s first Shia-majority province, reminding us that sectarianism is the most self-destructive factor in the state of Pakistan.
Thus, systematic attempts at ethnic cleansing have continued periodically in this area since 1970.
3. Current situation
According to people on the ground, American forces in Afghanistan and their allies within the Pakistani government have recently sought to resettle 6000 Taliban combatants from Afghanistan into sensitive areas such as Alizai (where Shias are a majority) , the city of Sadda and in Parachinar. The purpose of these resettlements is to create an excuse for the deployment of NATO forces in these areas, once the violent situation created by this deliberate and well thought out policy becomes sufficiently “uncontrollable” that it “forces” the government to request NATO intervention.
On the 17th Rabi ul Awwal (April 2007) government forces attacked a Shia Procession in order to spark a sectarian conflict, knowing well the psyche of the tribal population. Four people were killed and from that day war started in a radius of 90 km of Parachinar. Army helicopters targeted Shia areas were and this continued for several days.
The Government in some areas also provided arms to the Talibans, for example in Boshehare. It is important to note, that in recent times the local administration has allowed and given permits to the Taliban to build madrassas and mosques along strategic roads and on elevated positions, these are used in their military campaign against the Shia population (for example snipers are housed in extra-ordinarily tall minarets providing a panoramic view of the area and we have video evidence of these structures). Recent evidence of the Taliban hold upon all roads feeding into the area was the burning of ten government aid trucks, and the brutal decapitation of the drivers, at one of such bottlenecks controlled by the Taliban . Apparently a Pakistani Army Colonel and a few soldiers were also killed in this incident and this was obviously allowed so as to create the impression that the government was itself helpless against these terrorist elements. Several videos of Pakistani Army soldiers, belonging to the Shia sect, have been released (Al Qaeda style) showing them being slaughtered, with their throats being slit by children on tape. (Note the similarities in propaganda strategies between the CIA backed terrorist cells operating in Iraq and their counterparts here).
A timeline of battles in this continuous war is as follows:
1970: From 1970 this region has witnessed sectarian wars every two years.
1986: General Zia allowed a “purge” of the Turi Shias in the divided city of Parachinar. The First major war with the help of Afghan Refugees, Gulbadin Hikmatyar and leaders of other Afghan factions began, with the support of Government of Pakistan. In this War some of the villages were burnt.
1988: 40 Days war in these areas.
1996: 72 people killed and numerous casualties in the War with Taliban and Afghan refugees.
2007-08: In this war over a 100 people were killed and over 500 people were injured. Other than Parachinar, Tirah (Aurakzai) and Bangash have also been trapped in war in throughout these years.
4. Economic embargo
Parachinaris are basically agrarian people and have some family members, working in UAE and other Arab states, sending back money to their families in these poverty stricken areas.
The Taliban an their, behind the scenes, allies have employed a strategy of starving out the local population and, as we said before, have cut off the area from the rest of Pakistan by occupying crucial points on all incoming roads and declaring all people buying from or selling to Shias as “infidels” deserving death.
Due to the current embargo the prices of all commodities have inflated three folds. An 11 kilo gas cylinder costs 600 rupees. A wheat sack, which had previously been priced at 1500 rupees, now costs 4000 rupees. Cooking oil is selling at 2000 rupees and all other items are at least 3 times costlier than the rest of the country. There is no electricity for months now, and also no medical facilities and communication, reminding us of apartheid strategies used by the current regime in Israel. Almost 70% of all income has to be spent in buying weapons by a population paralyzed and trapped within this war zone. If anyone seeks to come from Parachinar to Pakistan (this is not a typing error, Parachinar has been rendered completely cut off from the rest of the country) he must pay an afghan agent 5000 rupees and travel via Kabul so as to access his own country, and that too at the pain of being discovered and beheaded by Taliban militia on various stopping points.
5. Government Bias
A clear government bias exists towards the indigenous Shia population. The local Federal Agent administrating the area has always favored the Talibans, who hold even the sunni population hostage to their terror. The government has systematically allowed the Taliban to gain access to and control strategic locations in the area, and have allowed them to arm themselves with sophistication and heavy weaponry. No objection was ever raised, even after complaints being filed by the local residents, about unusually high and fortified minarets (which provide a huge tactical advantage to the Taliban forces) and thoroughly fortified mosques and madrassa which are in reality weapons dumps and barracks.
The government has not even flinched from offering its own personnel as sacrificial lambs so as to further the conflict and strengthen the writ of the Taliban over the local population. This is all too evident when we see CDs being “leaked” showing innocent soldiers being slaughtered like lambs because they allegedly were carrying books written by Shia Scholars.
6. Media silence
No major news network has paid even an ounce of attention to the plight of these forgotten people and all information available is only from independent foreign sources or from personal accounts by people who have relatives in the area. This silence is shameful beyond measure.
It would be a dire mistake to think that the situation in Parachinar is an isolated event. Recent occurrences in Pakistan have shown that elements within the establishment have it as their plan to allow Taliban related individuals to penetrate mainland Pakistan and create sectarian disruption strife with the logistic support of secretive government agencies. The Lal Masjid debacle, which occurred right under the noses of the ISI and the Government, was an indication of this strategy. Parachinar is, therefore, an incubator and a launching pad for sectarian violence all over Pakistan. It is also important to note that the Lower Kurram Valley has beeng controlled completely by the anti-Shia organisation earlier called Sipah Sahaba (SSP). Azam Tariq, the Punjabi chief of SSP, became a leader of these Pushtuns and the Kurram Valley factor was clearly the cause of his strength. Therefore, if this situation is not dealt with properly the fate of the country, where 20% of the population is Shia, could soon be turned by conspiratorial forces into another Iraq.