The Shi'ites of Pakistan: A minority under siege

Article Highlights

  • The Pakistani government's fateful decision to join the sectarian fray in Syria is feared to exacerbate Shi'ite-Sunni tension in Pakistan.

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  • The emergence of dangerous Shi'ite militant outfits signals that Pakistan's younger generation is losing patience and at risk of being influenced by Iran.

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  • In 2013, sectarian attacks across Pakistan increased by 53 percent.

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Key points in this Outlook:

  • The Pakistani government has failed to protect the country’s Shi’ite minority from unremitting violence by Sunni sectarian militant organizations.
  • As American troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, sectarian conflict in Pakistan risks destabilizing the nuclear-armed country and engulfing the surrounding region.
  • Pakistani political and military leadership must devise a comprehensive plan that includes reforming the education system, closing religious seminaries that encourage militancy, curbing foreign funding for extremist groups, and promoting interfaith harmony.

While the world has understandably focused on al Qaeda-linked terrorism in Pakistan's tribal region, escalating sectarian violence against the country's Shi'ite minority has largely been overlooked. On June 8, in the latest episode of anti-Shi'ite violence, gunmen and suicide bombers belonging to a banned Sunni outfit called Jaish-ul-Islam, or the Army of Islam, killed at least two dozen Shi'ite pilgrims in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan Province. Over the past five years, radical Sunni groups have killed more than 2,000 Shi'ites across the country, forced hundreds of thousands more to leave their communities, and turned Shi'ite religious ceremonies into scenes of dreadful carnage.1 

So far, a great majority of the Shi'ite community have shown commendable restraint, resisted foreign interference, continued to associate themselves with mainstream political parties, and remained loyal to the Pakistani state. The emergence of small yet dangerous Shi'ite militant outfits, however, signals that the younger generation is losing patience and is at risk of radicalization and being influenced by Iran. Left unchecked, the rising tide of sectarianism could destabilize the nuclear-armed nation, with dangerous ramifications for regional stability and American national security.

For the first three decades of Pakistan's existence (1947-77), Shi'ite-Sunni differences were marginal: across the country, Shi'ites coexisted peacefully with the Sunni majority and practiced their faith freely and openly. In fact, the Pakistani Shi'ite community-the largest in the world except for Iran's-played a significant role in the creation of Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's founder, and many of his political aides were from the Shi'ite sect, although they pursued a secular and nonsectarian agenda to unite the Muslims of India under the banner of Pakistan.2  After Jinnah's death, the Shi'ites continued to remain influential in the political sphere, serving as presidents, prime ministers, and chiefs of the armed forces.

Constituting around one-fifth of Pakistan's population of 180 million, Shi'ites are spread across the country, with the largest concentra-tions in the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Jhang, Peshawar, Parachinar, Kohat, and Quetta.3 In the semiautonomous northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Shi'ites make up a majority of the population.4 Pakistani Shi'ites are also ethnically and linguistically diverse; they are represented in all of the country's largest ethnic groups, including Punjabis, Sindhis, and Pashtuns. The Persian-speaking Hazara ethnic minority in Baluchistan Province is predominantly Shi'ite.5

"Hussaini transformed Pakistan's predominantly quietist Shi'ite community into an assertive political force that challenged both the government and traditional Shi'ite clergy."In religious matters, most Pakistani Shi'ites adhere to the Twelver school of thought, but there are also smaller branches of Ismaili Shi'ites.6 In the political sphere, most Shi'ites are part of the mainstream nonsectarian political parties, a majority of which are members of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Indeed, the rule of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1971-77), a Shi'ite and PPP's founder, "marked the pinnacle of Shia power in Pakistan and the high point of the promise of inclusive Muslim nationalism."7

The Rise of Shi'ite-Sunni Hostilities

Since the late 1970s, however, three key developments inflamed Shi'ite-Sunni tensions in Pakistan: General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's ascension to power, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and Pakistan's proxy wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

After Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq deposed the elected Bhutto government in the summer of 1977, he implemented a radical "Islamization" agenda that strengthened Sunni extremist groups, alienated the Shi'ite minority, and harmed sectarian harmony in Pakistan forever. Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization efforts-often described by Shi'ites as "Sunnification"-encompassed all spheres of the Pakistani state and society: he imposed religious tax [zakat], abolished interest, introduced puritanical religious punishments such as flogging and death by stoning, incorporated Sharia law into schools' curricula, and courted religious scholars for political support and ideological inspiration.
He also invited foreign Sunni activists and preachers to come to Pakistan, turning the country into a headquarters for global Islamic activism and extremist ideology. While Zia-ul-Haq's policies drew support from Sunni religious groups, they aroused the ire of the Shi'ite community.8 

Empowered and politicized by the success of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Pakistani Shi'ites opposed Zia-ul-Haq's compulsory zakat decree, reasoning that Shi'ite jurisprudence dictated religious tax be given to the religious establishment [marja'iyya] rather than to the government. It was not a coincidence that within months of the Iranian revolution, more than 100,000 Shi'ites from across Pakistan gathered in Punjab, the country's most populous province, demanding the inclusion of Shi'ite laws into the legal system and uniting under a new organization called the Tehrik-e Nifaz-e Fiqh-e Jafari (TNFJ).

A year later, more than 200,000 Shi'ites held a protest rally in Islamabad and brought the capital under a virtual siege. The Shi'ites' projection of power and a stern warning to Zia-ul-Haq by Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ultimately forced the Pakistani leader to back down and exempt the Shi'ites from zakat.9 The triumph of Shi'ite protests with Iranian assistance, however, infuriated Pakistan's Sunni religious groups and set the stage for armed confrontation between the two sects.

Before Khomeini took power in Iran, Pakistani Shi'ites lacked a united political organization, and their leaders were predominantly involved in educational and religious activities.10 The new regime in Tehran, however, dispatched its revolutionary agents disguised as diplomats and cultural attachés across Pakistan to mobilize and unite the Shi'ite communities.

Tehran established cultural centers in Pakistan's largest cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta, from which Iranian agents not just distributed Khomeini's work among Pakistani Shi'ites but also offered as many as 4,000 Pakistani Shi'ites scholarships to study Khomeini's concept of Guardianship of the Jurisprudent [Vilayat-e-Faqih] in Iran. Upon returning to Pakistan, these students were ardent supporters of Khomeini's ideology and pursued a revolutionary goal of changing their societies through political activism and, at times, militant activity.11

The Iranian outreach had some success. While a great majority of Pakistani Shi'ites historically followed Iraq's Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei as marja'iyya, after 1979, many began to follow Iran's Khomeini in political and religious matters, and in the following years, Qom replaced Najaf as the main center of learning for Pakistani Shi'ites. The Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) was the first influential Shi'ite group to publicly accept Khomeini as marja'iyya.12 At present, between 50 and 70 percent of all Shi'ite students in Pakistan are members of the ISO, which operates in all four provinces.13 Although ISO leaders deny that the organization is politically affiliated with or accepts funding from Iran, they admit that the ISO receives "ideological inspiration" from Khamenei.14 

Not all Shi'ite groups embraced Iran, however. In fact, Tehran's overt interference split the Pakistani Shi'ite community into two camps: the Iranian-supported revolutionaries versus the traditionalists, who resisted Tehran's influence. The revolutionaries were young students from the ISO and a group of clerical leaders who had studied in theological centers in Iran. After the death of Mufti Jafar Hussain, the leader of TNFJ, Khomeini appointed Arif Hussain al-Hussaini as his representative to lead the Shi'ite community in Pakistan.

Hussaini, a Turi Pashtun from Kurram Agency, had cultivated close ties with Khomeini both in Najaf and Qom. Described as the "architect of Shia radicalism in Pakistan," Hussaini transformed Pakistan's predominantly quietist Shi'ite community into an assertive ­political force that challenged both the government and traditional Shi'ite clergy. He openly preached Khomeini's ideology among Pakistani Shi'ites and urged his ­followers to emulate the Iranian leader for political and religious guidance.15 

The Iranian influence was on open display in 1986 when Khamenei, then Iran's president, paid a historic visit to Pakistan. According to a leaked US diplomatic cable, both TNFJ and ISO, with funding from wealthy Pakistani Shi'ites and the Iranian government, mobilized thousands of their supporters to welcome the Iranian leader and erected pro-Iran posters in the country's major cities. The crowds chanted anti-American slogans, and some Shi'ites disrespected Zia-ul-Haq by barricading his car and making obscene gestures, prompting the Pakistani leader to order a probe into the funding and operations of the Shi'ite organizations.16

Despite ISO's and TNFJ's efforts, however, a majority of Pakistani Shi'ites preserved their political independence and South Asian religious and cultural heritage. For example, they ignored Islamic religious decrees [fatwas] by Khomeini and Khamenei on Muharram rituals.17 

Iran's growing power in Pakistan enraged both Pakistani Sunni religious groups and Persian Gulf Sunni monarchies. To counter Iranian influence, Saudi Arabia substantially increased financial support for the Pakistani Sunni religious organizations.18 Pakistani Sunni religious parties, too, saw the Shi'ite political mobilization as an Iranian project, and in 1985, hardliners created Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) in Punjab, which drew support from local Sunni peasants and the government, and launched a series of terrorist attacks against Shi'ite ­leaders and Iranian diplomats across the country. In retaliation, a group of radical Shi'ites defected from the ISO and created their own militant group, Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP), which engaged in a deadly cycle of tit-for-tat attacks against the SSP throughout the 1990s.19 

In addition to the Iranian interference and Zia-ul-Haq's policies, Islamabad's support for militant groups in Afghanistan and Kashmir during the 1980s and the 1990s also contributed to deepening Shi'ite-Sunni divisions in Pakistan. With massive financial aid from the United States and Saudi Arabia, Zia-ul-Haq built a ­network of training camps on Pakistani soil for the anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen and anti-Indian terrorist groups. Radical Sunni preachers and militants, including future al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, found sanctuary in Pakistan, and Islamic seminaries [madrassas] became incubators for sectarianism and terrorism. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, many of the Pakistani militant groups turned their attention to Shi'ites.

Post-2001 Violence against Shi'ites

The US-led war on terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks provided Pakistani Shi'ites a temporary reprieve from radical Sunni aggression. In January 2002, under pressure from Washington, then-president Pervez Musharraf banned most militant groups including sectarian parties such as SSP, SMP, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

However, Musharraf's crackdown appeared to be more a tactical gesture to ease external pressure than a strategic decision to clamp down on militancy at home. Soon, the government released most of the 2,000 militants associated with banned terrorist outfits; while some of these outfits were allowed to operate freely under pseudonyms, others relocated to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and strengthened ties with al Qaeda and other militant groups in the region.20 In October 2002, for example, SSP's leader, Azam Tariq, was permitted to contest the parliamentary elections from his jail cell; later that month, he was released.21 

"The Pakistani government's fateful decision to join the sectarian fray in Syria is feared to exacerbate Shi'ite-Sunni tension in Pakistan."Since Musharraf's ouster in 2008, sectarian attacks against the Shi'ites have risen rapidly. Although anti-Shi'ite violence has engulfed all corners of Pakistan, Shi'ite communities in four regions have borne the brunt of sectarian terrorism: Kurram Agency in the FATA; Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province; Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial hub; and the semiautonomous Gilgit Baltistan. In 2013, according to a report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, sectarian attacks across Pakistan increased by 53 percent, with more than 85 percent of them in the four previously mentioned regions.22

In the past decade, FATA has become a sanctuary for the most dangerous regional and international terrorist organizations including al Qaeda, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ), a splinter of the SSP and the most brutal anti-Shi'ite group in South Asia. According to unofficial ­estimates, more than 2,000 Shi'ites have been killed in Kurram Agency in recent years.

In Parachinar, the agency's capital city where Shi'ites make up half of the population, sectarian groups have launched a vicious campaign of killing, kidnapping, intimidation, and expulsion of Shi'ite residents.23  The strategic proximity of Parachinar to the Afghan capital city of Kabul also makes local Shi'ites prone to attacks by Taliban groups that use the area as a corridor to enter Afghanistan.

In 2007, after a spate of terrorist attacks that killed scores of Shi'ites, a small group of Parachinar Shi'ites responded to the Sunni violence by creating Kurram Hezbollah and Mahdi Militia, which are named after Shi'ite militant groups in Lebanon and Iraq, respectively. The two militant outfits-which, according to Sunni groups, received funding and weapons from Iran-reportedly voluntarily disbanded in 2010 after the government pledged to guarantee their community's security. However, after the killing of 60 Shi'ites in an attack there last summer, local Shi'ite leaders sought the government's permission to reactivate local militias to protect themselves. "We are under a siege, and we want our voluntarily armed people to provide security for us," said Ali Bangash, a Shi'ite leader in the region.24

Another particularly vulnerable Shi'ite community is the Hazara ethnic group in Quetta. While the city has gained notoriety for hosting the Afghan Taliban's leadership council, sectarian groups, primarily the LeJ, have also established bases there and are operating with impunity. The 0.5 million Hazara Shi'ites account for about a quarter of the city's population, hold senior ­positions in the local government, and own a quarter of businesses in the area.25 

In recent years, however, Hazaras have left en masse. Since 1999, Sunni sectarian groups have killed at least 1,000 Hazaras in Quetta and forced more than 200,000 to relocate to other Pakistani cities or migrate abroad. Hazara leaders allege that the government is either unwilling or unable to crack down on terrorist groups; others accuse the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of complicity: "Police fail to arrest them; the judiciary also refuses to punish them; legislation is not passed in the assemblies; and the secret agencies give them freedom," complained Sajad Changezi, a local Shi'ite leader.26 

Still others blame outsiders for the carnage. "Hazaras are paying the price for Iran-Saudi Arabia enmity," said Abdul Khaliq Hazara, the leader of the Hazara Democratic Party. Some also argue that without the government's complicity, Punjab-based LeJ would not have been able to become influential and effective in Baluchistan.27

Anti-Shi'ite groups in Baluchistan are also linked with al Qaeda and the TTP. Usman Kurd, the LeJ's operational commander in Baluchistan, and his deputy, Dawood Badini, both have close ties with al Qaeda; Badini is a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the architect of the 9/11 attacks.28

Sectarianism, however, is not confined to remote regions. Groups such as the SSP, LeJ, and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat have in recent years wreaked havoc on Karachi, home to 20 million people and responsible for half of Pakistan's government revenue. According to Amanullah Mehsud, a member of the Awami National Party, terrorist groups control about 20 percent of the city. Although Pakistani security authorities deny the claim, they acknowledge that local criminal groups have for mutual interests teamed up with the Taliban and sectarian groups.29 

"A 2012 survey by the Pew REsearch center showed that 41 percent of Pakistani Sunnis did not consider Shi'ites Muslims."Fearing murder, kidnapping, and discrimination, Shi'ites are increasingly relocating from Sunni-majority residential areas to Shi'ite neighborhoods. "The multiculturalism that once defined Karachi . . . has simply disappeared from the city," said one urban planner.30

The rise in anti-Shi'ite violence across Pakistan has also provided Iran an opportunity to exploit Shi'ite grievances for political ends. Recently and with alleged Iranian support, the rapid growth of SMP has exacerbated the situation in Karachi. On January 26, Karachi's Criminal Investigation Department arrested two serial killers who had received "sectarian terrorism training in Iran."31  The Iranian media and religious leaders frequently deplore the plight of Shi'ites in Quetta and Parachinar, calling the latter the "Shi'ite Gaza" or ­"second Gaza" in Pakistan.32

  Rhetoric aside, the Iranian government's response has been reserved, and Tehran has done little to alleviate Shi'ite suffering next door. As a result, the Pakistani Shi'ite community largely distrusts Iran and do not consider the Iranian regime as their benefactor and protector.33  One reason Iran does not aggressively inflame sectarianism in Pakistan is perhaps that, as history shows, the Shi'ite minority will most likely end up ­losing. Moreover, suffering international isolation and a Sunni militancy in its eastern borders, Tehran does not want to antagonize Islamabad by getting heavily involved in Pakistan's domestic affairs.

What Should Be Done?

The return of democracy has not helped tackle sectarianism and terrorism in Pakistan over the past six years. The government of former president Asif Ali Zardari (2008-13) almost entirely delegated counterterrorism policies to the Pakistani military establishment, and his successor, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has performed equally feebly so far. As a result, terrorist safe havens in FATA remain intact, sectarian groups operate with impunity throughout the country, and the military establishment still supports terrorist groups fighting in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

For the Shi'ites, most worrisome of all is the deep-rooted nexus between the government and sectarian groups. It is not just the ISI that nurtures anti-Shi'ite outfits but also the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party, which openly courts sectarian groups for political support. In February 2010, for example, Rana Sanaullah Khan, the PML-N's law minister in Punjab, campaigned for by-election in the Jhang District with SSP leader Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi.

Punjab's chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, who is Nawaz Sharif's brother, once pleaded with the Taliban to "spare Punjab" because his party shared the Taliban's anti-Western agenda. In the past, the Punjab government has also come under scrutiny for allocating large sums of money for Lashkar-e Taiba, a group responsible for many deadly attacks in India, and for LeJ's leader, Malik Ishaq.34 

Barring a firm government action against militant groups, sectarian violence is likely to increase and destabilize Pakistan. The resurgence of Shi'ite militant organizations, with alleged Iranian assistance, is an alarming indication that some Shi'ites have lost confidence in the government's ability and will to curb violence and are therefore resorting to militancy and to looking for patrons abroad.

In addition, the Pakistani government's fateful decision to join the sectarian fray in Syria is feared to exacerbate Shi'ite-Sunni tension in Pakistan. Riyadh has reportedly bought small Pakistani weapons and recruited retired Pakistani army personnel to train rebels in Syria and assist the Bahraini government in suppressing a largely Shi'ite opposition. These measures have already strained relations between Islama-bad and Tehran and angered the Pakistani Shi'ite community.35

To combat sectarianism, the Pakistani political and military leadership must devise a comprehensive plan that includes reforming the education system, closing pro-militancy madrassas, curbing foreign funding for extremist groups, and implementing deradicalization ­programs to promote interfaith harmony. According to a leaked US diplomatic cable, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provide about $100 million annually to extremist networks in southern Punjab, where young children are recruited and "indoctrinated into jihadi philosophy."36 

The government should also take firm action against hate speech by sectarian groups, which describes Shi'ites as infidels and publicly calls for making Pakistan a graveyard for all Shi'ites.37 In a clear departure from past Shi'ite-Sunni harmony in Pakistan, a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center showed that 41 percent of Pakistani Sunnis did not consider Shi'ites Muslims.38  Other religious minorities in Pakistan-such as Ahmadiyyas, Hindus, Christians, and Barelvi Sunnis-are victims of similar propaganda and violence.

The United States, too, must not ignore the growing Sunni-Shi'ite violence in Pakistan. Sunni sectarian groups are not just massacring the Shi'ites but they are also closely linking with al Qaeda and other regional terrorist groups and have been involved in terrorist attacks in India and Afghanistan. Continued sectarian strife undermines Pakistan's stability and allows Saudi Arabia and Iran to support both Sunni and Shi'ite radicals, and as American troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by year's end, the sectarian conflict could engulf Afghanistan and the broader region.


1. Irfan Ghauri, “Sectarian Violence: Over 2,000 People Killed in 5 Years, Interior Ministry Tells Senate,” The Express Tribune (Pakistan), April 23, 2014, /699421/sectarian-violence-over-2000-people-killed-in-5-years-says-interior-ministry/; and Syed Ali Shah, “PM Orders Action as Taftan Bombing Death Toll Reaches 24,” (Pakistan), June 8, 2014,
2. “Karachi Mein Shia Beradari Ka Qatel Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Ki Qatel Ki Motaradef Hein:
Altaf Hussein” [Killing Shi’ite Brothers in Karachi Is Tantamount to Killing Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Atlaf Hussein], Daily Pakistan (Pakistan), August 23, 2012,; and
Hassan Abbas, “Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan,” Combating Terrorism Center, May 2, 2011, /posts/shiism-and-sectarian-conflict-in-pakistan.
3. “Shi’yan Pakistan Va Inghelab-e Islami Iran” [Pakistani Shi’ites and Iran’s Islamic Revolution], Aftab News (Iran), March 4, 2007, /c1c1173002 147_pakestan_p1.php/%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3% D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%A7%D9%86% D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D8%B3% D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB% 8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86.
4. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Shias in Pakistan (December 18, 2003), /media/publications/pdf/dfat-tir-pakistan.pdf
5. “Negah-e Ba Tauze Jamiat Shi’yan Dar Keshvar-e ‘Parcham-e Setara Va Hilal’” [A Look at the Distribution of Shi’ites in the Country of ‘Flag of Crescent and Star’], Mashregh News (Iran), March 11, 2013, /%D9%86%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C-%D8% A8%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B2%DB%8C% D8%B9-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%AA-% D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-% D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-% D9%BE%D8%B1%DA%86%D9%85%D9%90-%D8%B3% D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D9%88-%D9%87% D9%84%D8%A7%D9%84.
6. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Shias in Pakistan.
7. Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2007), 89.
8. Husain Haqqani, ‘Weeding Out the Heretics’: Sectarianism in Pakistan (Washington, DC: Hudson Institute, November 1, 2006),
9. Haqqani, ‘Weeding Out the Heretics’; and “Shi’yan Pakistan Va Inghelab-e Islami Iran.”
10. “Taseer Inghelab-e Islami Bar Shi’yan Pakistan” [The Impact of the Islamic Revolution on Pakistani Shi’ites], Fars News (Iran), May 11, 2013, 13920216000217.
11. “Taseer Inghelab-e Islami Bar Shi’yan Pakistan”; Eamon Murphy, The Making of Terrorism in Pakistan: Historical and Social Roots of Extremism (Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2013), 97; and Abbas, “Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan.”
12. “Shi’yan Pakistan Va Inghelab-e Islami Iran.”
13. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Shias in Pakistan.
14. Amir Rana and Waqar Gillani, “Iran Not Funding ISO: Shirazi,” Daily Times, November 24, 2003, /ab3QO#selection-831.0-875.108.
15. Abbas, “Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan.”
16. “Khamenei’s Visit: Resurge of Shia Extremism?” WikiLeaks, January 23, 1986, /86ISLAMABAD1587_a.html.
17. Abbas, “Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan.” 
18. Ibid. 
19. “Shi’yan Pakistan Va Inghelab-e Islami Iran.”
20. Imtiaz Gul, The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Lawless Frontier (New York: Penguin Group, 2009).
21. Mobarik Virk, “Azam Tariq Released,” Daily Times, October 31, 2002,
22. Razeshta Senthna and Zia Ur Rehman, “Karcahi’s Sectarian Backyard,” (Pakistan), January 14, 2014,
23. Alex Vatanka, “The Guardian of Pakistan Shia,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 1, 2012,
24. “Tasmeem Shi’yan Pakistan Ba Ehya-e Groh-hai Mosaleh” [Pakistani Shi’ites’ Decision to Reestablish Armed Groups], Deutsche Welle, July 28, 2013, D9%85%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%B9% DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9% D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AD%DB%8C%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA% AF%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%AD/a-16981035.
25. “Dar Mosaheba Baa Imam Jumma Quetta: Vaziyat-e Shi’yan Baluchistan Pakistan” [Interview with Quetta’s Friday Prayer: Condition of Shi’ites in Pakistan’s Baluchistan], Ahlul Bayt News Agency (Iran), July 5, 2010, ?lang=1&Id=194437; and “Hazara Shedat Pesandon Ke Neshana Par Kyun?” [Why Are Hazaras the Target of Extremists?], BBC Urdu, June 30, 2012, /120630_hazar_hanif_disco_ra.shtml.
26. “Ek Hazar Se Zayed Shia Halak, Do Lakh Naql Makane Par Majbor” [More Than 1,000 Hazara Shi’ites Killed, 200,000 Forced to Migrate], BBC Urdu, February 22, 2013, /urdu/pakistan/2013/02/130222_shia_hazara_killings_special_zs.shtml; and “Hazara Shedat Pesandon Ke Neshana Par Kyun?”
27. Ahmed Wali Mujib, “Quetta Ki Hazara ‘Proxy War’ Ka Shekaar?” [Quetta’s Hazaras: Victims of ‘Proxy War’?], BBC Urdu, December 17, 2012, /121217_hazara_killing_zs.shtml.
28. Amir Mir, “Usman Kurd, the Man Who Caused the Fall of the Raisani Government,” The News (Pakistan), January 15, 2013,
29. Khurrum Anis, Augustine Anthony, and Faseeh Mangi, “In Karachi, the Taliban Digs In for the Long Haul,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 15, 2014, 2014-05-15/in-karachi-pakistans-taliban-digs-in-for-the-long-haul.
30. Ammar Shahbazi, “In Karachi, Shia Families Look for Safety in Numbers,” The News (Pakistan), January 6, 2014,,-Shia-families-look-for-safety-in-numbers.
31. “Karachi Police Ne Iran Ke Tarbiat-yafta Du Target Killer Gereftar Kerlyi” [Karachi Police Arrested Iran-Trained Target Killers], Central Asia Online Urdu, January 27, 2014, /01/27/newsbrief-13.
32. “Ghaza Shia-yi Dar Pakistan” [Shi’ite Ghaza in Pakistan], Vali al-Nasr Research Center (Iran), April 21, 2008, www.valiasr-aj. com/fa/page.php?bank=khabar&id=187; and “Parachinar-e Pakistan Ghaza Dovum” [Pakistan’s Parachinar, Second Ghaza], Tabnak News (Iran), February 1, 2009, cid=35061.
33. Abbas, “Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan.”
34. “Pakistan ‘Gave Funds’ to Group on UN Terror List,” BBC News, June 16, 2010, /south_asia/10334914.stm; Asad Kharal, “LeJ’s Malik Received Monthly Stipend from Punjab Govt,” The Express Tribune
(Pakistan), July 16, 2011,
35. Ahmed Rashid, “The Saudis and Pakistan’s Strategic Shift on Syria,” Financial Times, March 5, 2014,
36. Consulate General of the United States in Lahore, “Extremist Recruitment on the Rise in Southern Punjab,”
WikiLeaks, November 13, 2008.
37. “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s Open Letter against Hazaras,” Hazara News (Pakistan), April 13, 2012,
38. Pew Research Center, “The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity,” August 9, 2012,

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No events scheduled this day.