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PAKISTAN: Is Musharref's Regime Behind Sectarian Attacks?
Diversion from Musharref's Offensive Against Islamic Refugees/Taliban

By Buut Shikan (Idol Breaker)

Pakistani coup leader Pervez Musharraf faces a dilemma. The people are united against him. He is not welcome anywhere in the country and has not spoken to a public meeting in a year. Three major forces are at work against him:

1. The Islamic coalition led by Jamaate Islami, JUI, JUP, etc which wants to remove the Washington-backed general by peaceful means. Shias and Sunnis are united in this movement which launched million-man marches throughout Pakistan.

2. The Jihad movement led by Jamat ad-Da'wa [organized by Hafiz Saeed] which helps the struggle in Kashmir and sympathizes with the Taliban.

3. Secularized and semi-secularized political parties like Muslim League, led by Nawaz Sharif, and the PPP led by Benazir Bhutto. [Nawaz Sharif is Pakstan's elected Prime Minister. Musharref forcibly removed him.]

Musharref is kept in power by the top military generals. These generals are funded by the U.S. and live in luxury in cantonments cut off from the dust and toil of the masses of people.

Musharref, after two visits to the U.S., has been coordinating military operations against the Taliban with American troops in Afghanistan. He referred to this coordination as the "pincer movement against the Taliban." In recent days, Pakistani military forces under Musharref's orders have launched a military offensive against Islamic refugees and Taliban who had been given security by Pakistani tribesmen living very near the Afghan border. At least 12 Muslims were martyred by Musharref's mercenaries in this attack. Across the border, the U.S. launched an attack and killed another 12 Taliban including a Taliban commander.

These attacks led to widespread revulsion in Pakistan and an upsurge of hatred against Musharref. [In the meantime, Egyptian Islamist Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a statement probably smuggled out of Afghanistan which named Musharref as a traitor and called on Pakistanis to overthrow the CIA agent living in Islamabad.]

IN THAT BACKGROUND, THE SECTARIAN ATTACKS WERE LAUNCHED TO DESTROY THE UNITY OF THE PAKISTANI PEOPLE. Both attacks were carried out with military precision and showed careful planning. The assailants got away in broad daylight.

In Karachi, the scenario was as follows: A minibus owned by an organization called SUPARCO takes Sunni and Shia employees to prayers on Friday (juma'). The bus dropped off the Sunnis to a masjid and then took the Shias to their imambargah. Just when the Shias were getting down, they were attacked and gunned down. It was obviously an inside job organized by someone who knew the exact operation of the SUPARCO bus. The killers were crack shots and did not miss.

In ISLAMABAD, the attack was even more blatant. A SUNNI member of Parliament, from a group known for its hatred of Shias, was gunned down along with his bodyguards in broad daylight in Pakistan's capital city. He had taken the precaution of putting a government number plate on his jeep but this did not fool the assassins. It was very obviously an inside job.

Sectarian Sunnis went on the rampage in Islamabad to attack businesses, cars and Shia places of worship. It appears that the regime's security forces made NO ATTEMPT TO STOP the rioting.

At this time, India and Pakistan are at peace. As NEW TREND had pointed out long ago, Musharref, Vajpayee and Bush are working together. It has become a quartet now with the open collusion between Sharon and Vajpayee and Musharref calling for recognition of Israel.

The SECTARIAN violence seems to be a last desperate attempt by Musharref to disrupt the people's unity. Sectarian slogans are very hurtful for the people. Most Shias and Sunnis have no problems with each other. A fringe group among Shias, backed by Iran, insults the Sahaba and provokes the Sunni backlash. A similar fringe group among Sunnis, known as sipah-e-sahaba extols the "virtues" of Muawiya and Yazeed. These tactics are condemned by the Islamic coalition (MMA) and the Jihad movement (ad-Da'wa), both of which encourage unity with Shias.

We urge the Pakistani people to institute an independent inquiry into the murders. The only gainer from fratricidal attacks is General Musharref and Pakistani generals [backed and funded by the U.S.]

2003-10-12 Sun 05:47ct