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Published online 8 August 2008

Journal of Islamic Studies 20:1 (2009) pp. 55–85

doi:10.1093/jis/etn057

CONTEXTUALIZING SECTARIAN
MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN: A CASE
STUDY OF JHANG1
TA H I R K AM R A N
University of Southampton

Given the scale and kind of chaos in Iraq after the end of the rule
of Saddam Hussein, the issue of sectarianism has assumed a new
significance, as a possible ‘Clash within Muslim Civilization’ seems
imminent. The issue is one that merits serious scholarly investigation that
goes beyond understanding it as a side-effect of so-called fundamentalism or as a response to national or international political developments.
In most of the studies done so far on the issue of sectarianism in Pakistan
the local context has not been fully explored. This article examines
sectarianism in the district of Jhang, which became the epicentre of
violence against the Shi6a in the 1980s and 1990s. From Jhang it spread
to Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Bahawalpur and thence, beyond
Punjab, to Karachi, and also the Tribal and Northern Areas.
If sectarian murders in Jhang could be linked to a single event, it would
be the assassination of the radical Deobandi2 cleric and leader of the
1

The names of persons, places and groups have been spelled out in the
characters of the Latin alphabet as they are most commonly found in the
established usage in Pakistan—formal transliteration would not be helpful to
anyone following up references containing these names. In those instances where
it seemed appropriate, formal transliteration is provided in parentheses at first
occurrence of the name.—Ed.
2
‘In the case of the Deobandis, devotion to the Prophet himself, to his
teaching, and to those who, as his heirs, offered guidance, served as the basis for
new bonds and for cultural and psychological resources in a period of considerable socio-political change [. . .] an acceptance of the period of the life of the
Prophet and the first decades of Islam as providing the fundamental examples of
behaviour and belief; all seek self consciously, by a wide variety of means,
ß The Author (2008). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Islamic
Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org

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INTRODUCTION

56

t ah ir k am r an

to relive that pristine time. A cluster of terms describes these movements, of
which two particularly recur. One is tajd;d which suggests the process of renewal
and specifically commitment to the way of the Prophet. A second is jih:d, which
points to the effort or the action required in conforming to the way of God.’
Barbara D. Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860–1900
(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002), 4. See also: Syed Mehbub Rizvi, Ta8r;kh 
ka sab say ba_ra k:rn:ma
D:r al-6Ul<m Deoband: Bar-i Bagh;r kay musalm:non
(Lahore: Id:ra-i Isl:miyy:t, 2005).
3
Haqq Nawaz belonged to Mauza (maw@i6) Chela Thana Massan Tehsil
(taAB;l) and District Jhang. He was born in 1952 and hailed from the Sipra clan
which has a very small landholding. His father Wal; MuAammad was a known 
of the area. Haqq Nawaz did not go beyond fourth grade in school. He
Khojj;
was then sent to E:fiC J:n MuAammad to learn the Qur8:n by heart, which he
did in two years. E:fiC J:n MuAammad persuaded him to go to Masjid Sheikhan
Wali (Shaykhan Wal;) in Abdul Hakim (presently in District Khanewal). There he
learnt the art of recitation from Q:r; T:j MuAammad and also grammar. Then
he spent five years at D:r al-6Ul<m Kabirwala and was greatly influenced by
Mawl:n: Manzur Ahmed (ManC<r AAmad), a famous Deobandi scholar of the
area. Lastly he went to Khayr al-Mad:ris, Multan to learn Aad;th. He remained
there for seven years. He served briefly as im:m at Toba Tek Singh. He came to
Jhang in 1973 as a khat;b of the Masjid Mohalla (maAalla) Piplianwala.
(Interview with Haqq Nawaz’s older brother Mehr Sher MuAammad and his
cousin E:fiC MuAammad Naw:z, in Mauza Chela, Jhang, August 2006.)
4
See for further reference, the daily Jang (Lahore), 23 February 1990; the
daily Naw:-i waqt (Lahore), 23 February 1990; the editorial in the monthly
Khil:fat-i R:shida, 1/4 (June 1990); the fortnightly, Khad:m al-D;n, 35/34–5
(Lahore; 9–22 March 1990). See also: Azmat Abbas, Sectarianism: The Players
and the Game (Lahore: South Asia Partnership, 2002), 11–12.

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militant Sunni organization Sipah-i Sahaba (Sip:h-i 4aA:ba), Haqq
Nawaz Jhangvi (Eaqq Naw:z Jhangv;),3 on 22 February 1990. He had
just set foot out of his house around 8 p.m. to attend the wedding of
Shaykh Shawkat 6Al;’s son in nearby Ahrar Park, when two motorcyclists emerged from the corner of the street, approached Haqq
Nawaz, sprayed him with bullets and melted away into the darkness
of the wintry night.4 The victim’s diminutive, blood-splattered body was
rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital, Jhang, where he was
pronounced clinically dead. However the legacy of death and hatred that
the incident bequeathed survives to this day. Soon after that incident,
Jhang witnessed greater mass protests than ever before. An eyewitness
account recalls that it was ‘as if the whole city of Jhang had thronged
outside the main building of the hospital; everyone visibly sad and
sombre; many of them were genuinely hateful, seething with anger
and indignation, accusing the Shi6a elite of the Jhang district of the

SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN

57

5

Interview with E:j; 6Abd al-6Az;z, a resident of Jhang, a Sipah-i Sahaba
activist and eyewitness, Jhang, 12 August 2006.
6
Shi6a here denote the ithna-i 6ashar; or Twelvers. They believe in the
institution of Im:mat whereby the twelve Imams are considered as the true
representatives of Islam as against Khil:fat or Khulaf:8-i R:shid;n. See John L.
Esposito, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2002), 45–7.
7
The contention of the International Crisis Group’s report (April 2005). This 

view has been contested by the claim of Mawl:n: Ilyas Balakoti (Ily:s B:l:ko#;),
an ideologue of the SSP, that ‘More than 300 Shi6a were killed in sectarian
violence between 1985 and 1989 in Jhang district before Jhangvi was murdered
in January 1990.’ In fact, Jhangvi was killed in February 1990. (Interview with
Ilyas Balakoti at J:mi6a-i 6Uthm:niya, Satellite Town, Jhang, 11 August 2006.)
See also: Muhammad Ilyas Balakoti, Firqa w:riyyat j:riAiyyat (Jhang: n. p.
1996), 1–9.

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ghastly act’.5 The cry K:fir K:fir, Sh; 6a6 K:fir (Infidel, Infidel Shi6a
Infidel) reverberated around Jhang. Thereafter, sectarian militancy
became synonymous with Jhang, displacing the long-standing cultural
eclecticism, sectarian mutuality and compassion amply symbolized in
the romantic tales of H;r and Ranj:, Mirz: 4aAiban and the poetry of
Sul3:n B:h<. Love and romance were replaced with hatred, and peace
with ‘tit-for-tat killing’.7 Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi’s death precipitated
murders, which spread from Jhang to other parts of Punjab and Pakistan.
There have been a number of general studies of sectarian militancy in
Pakistan, which notably attribute its rise to the changes brought about
during the Zia period following the Iranian revolution. This paper is an
attempt to provide a localized study focused on Jhang, the epicentre of
sectarian violence in 1990s Punjab (see Map 1). It seeks to understand
how sectarian mobilization intersected with and competed with bir:dar;
(kinship group) politics. It also situates sectarian militancy within the
context of a rising urban commercial class in Jhang City, drawn largely
from local shaykhs and East Punjab artisan migrants, who were locked
out of political power by the Shi6a landowners who traditionally
dominated district politics. Local traders and bazaar merchants, who had
wealth but no political clout, extended unequivocal support and funding
to sectarian Sunni organizations like the Sipah-i Sahaba (SSP) and its
offshoot Lashkar-i Jhangvi (LJ). In addition to reflecting on this political
economy of sectarianism and the extent to which it was permanently
able to displace bir:dar; influences, this paper attempts to uncover the
impact of violence on voting patterns. Finally, the paper is concerned
with a series of events that were turning-points in the rise of militancy in
Jhang. While much of the analysis reveals situations unique to Jhang,
this case study is important in revealing the complex interplay between

groupings in Jhang are the Syeds (Sayyid) and the Sials (Siy:l). more-or-less journalistic.58 t ah ir k am r an different sources of political identity and mobilization in Pakistan. The leading bir:dar. So too are the Sials. system in Jhang. and to review some of the existing literature on the rise of sectarian militancy in Pakistan. The Syeds are all Shi6a. The Sials with Shi6a adherence are concentrated in the tehsils of Shorkot and Ahmedpur Downloaded from jis.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. it is important to make some remarks about the bir:dar. accounts of Islamic militancy tend to overlook these complex realities. with the exception of the Bharw:nas of Tehsil Jhang. Generalized. Before turning to an analysis of those realities. Pakistan . 2011 Map 1: Punjab province. which will begin with a description of Jhang district.oxfordjournals.

Qasim Zaman and Mohammad Waseem. 2011 Sial respectively. they locate sectarianism in terms of regional and national political developments. They acted as mediators between the populace and the British rulers. formed in 1923. the bir:dar.9 After 1857 bir:dar. The question that needs to be asked is: Are rural bir:dar. 1988). whom the British called ‘natural leaders’. Punjab and the Raj (New Delhi: Manohar. Hence many of them were granted much coveted ranks like zaildars (dhayld:r)  and safaydposh.s vied for more patronage from the British—for example. see Siddique Sadiq. The interests of these landed magnates were safeguarded against the fast-encroaching urban bourgeoisie through legislation like the Land Alienation Act (1900) and Court of Wards Act (1902). 341 (2000): 139–80. there have been instances of intra-kinship rivalry when one faction within the same kinship worked to the detriment of the other by stoking sectarian issues. 1988). The main works are by such scholars as Vali Nasr.8 As elsewhere in the Punjab. heads.10 They link increased . the Syeds and Sials were competing factions. Therefore intra-kinship as well as inter-kinship rivalries figured quite prominently in precipitating sectarian tensions in Jhang.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 59 8 For details. Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan (Berkeley. patronage through acts of investiture. received. British rule consolidated the authority of these mediator groups. Instead. These kinships later on provided an institutional base for the Unionist Party. politics and urban religious mobilization totally autonomous? This paper attempts to explore the connections between them. 2002). These are then seen as encouraging the growth of sectarian militant groupings which are themselves the offspring of sectarian parties and organizations. The bir:dar. CA: University of California Press. and Ian Talbot. ‘Sectarianism in Pakistan: the Downloaded from jis. Political rivalry continued unabated in independent Pakistan.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Jhang: The Land of Two Rivers (Jhang: Lahore: Ahmad Sajjad Art Press. politics could reinforce as well as compete with sectarian mobilization. Existing studies of sectarian militancy do not go into this subject. The latter provide ideological inspiration for the violence carried out by the paramilitary organizations. Qasim Zaman. 108–45. 10 Vali Reza Nasr. the Tiw:nas and Aw:ns in Shahpur district.oxfordjournals. As happened all over Punjab. A number of general studies of sectarianism in Pakistan refer only in passing to Jhang. Consideration thus needs to be given to the way in which bir:dar. Similarly in the case of Jhang. During the 1980s and 1990s. Modern Asian Studies.s were subsumed into a system of governance of the Raj. 9 See David Gilmartin. ‘The Rise of Sunni Militancy in Pakistan: The Changing Role of Islamism and the Ulema in Society and Politics’. interestingly. in lieu of the services they provided to the Raj. 209–27.

2011 Jhang12 is located in the south-west of the Pakistani Punjab. 2007).6%) live in 1083 registered villages and around 2735 unregistered :b:d. in which the Sufi saint is sacralized as the intermediary between man and God. 323 (1998): 689–716. The Deadly Embrace: Religion. 2000). to which the British gave the name of Jhang Sadar and to which they shifted the District Courts and offices for fear of floods. Violence and Politics in India and Pakistan 1947–2002 (Karachi: Oxford University Press. Jhang Meghiana. Modern Asian Studies. One of the few studies to reflect specifically on Jhang by Mukhtar Ahmed Ali11 is written more as a report than an in-depth scholarly study: the historical. 95 on The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan adopts a similar approach.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. JHANG DISTRICT Radicalization of Shii and Sunni Identities’. 13. namely Jhang City which is the old historical site and the ruling seat of the Sials.n Sh:h Surkh Bukh:r. 12 Urban Jhang consists of three distinct parts.d Ganj Shakar of Pakpattan have a fairly large following in Jhang. Satellite Town. founded during the 1960s. Bah:8 al-Eaqq of Multan. ‘Political Sources of Islamic Militancy in Pakistan’ in Ian Talbot (ed. The Shi6a form a minority but have traditionally wielded landed power. social and geographical context is underdeveloped. See: Government of Pakistan. the saint and shrine are central in the religious expression of the people of Jhang. Jal:l al-D. the proliferation of Deobandi madrasas and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Crisis Group Asia Report No. once its divisional headquarters (see Map 2). 11 Mukhtar Ahmed Ali. . but one devoted to an intercessional version of Islam.13 Jhang historically has possessed an overwhelmingly Sunni population. Therefore. 13 Ibid.60 t ah ir k am r an sectarianism with Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization. 2000). Downloaded from jis.). It is to these contexts that we will now turn. 210 kilometres from the provincial capital Lahore and 76 kilometres from Faisalabad. 145–63. the Afghan War. Most of its economy is agriculture based and a large proportion of its population (constituting 76. 92–3. and. Mohammad Waseem.oxfordjournals. of Uch and Far. District Census Report of Jhang (Islamabad: Statistical Division. a relatively later addition.s. Sectarian Problems of Pakistan: A Case Study of Jhang (Colombo: Regional Centre for Strategic Studies.

Downloaded from jis. 2011 Map 2: Jhang District 61 SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN .oxfordjournals.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.

and has proved helpful in spreading Shi6aism. 257. That movement forced UP Government to put a ban on tabarra. of his right to succession. 50.17 14 Gazetteer of Jhang District 1883–84 (Lahore: Sang-i M. one thousand Shi6a went to Lucknow from Jhang and courted arrest in support of the Tabarra Agitation. Drawing on the Census of 1881. 17 The Shi6a activists were sent to Lucknow at the behest of Mub:rak 6Al. Therefore the Shi6a resort to tabarra. 6Umar and 6Uthm:n. which stirred the Shi6a up a great deal. a fact due to the influence of the Shi6ah Kuraishis of Shorkot and Hassu Balel. and allow neither Hindu nor Muhammadan to approach the Taziah without baring his head and removing his shoes.e. 2006).org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Bil:l Zubayr. and the Sayads of Uch who are connected with the famous Sayad family of Belot in Dera Ismael Khan District and Shah Jiwana and Rajoa in the Jhang District. 16 Tabarra: i.oxfordjournals. it states that the total number of Muslims in the district was 326. Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India. They throw dust on their heads and beat their breasts with extreme violence. cursing the first three caliphs. Shi6a identity was considerably crystallized by the 1930s. 2000). among whom 11.. a leading member of the Shah Jiwana clan. Sh:h. abstaining from all luxuries for the first ten days of the month. Dietrich Reetz. Downloaded from jis. one can nevertheless infer the progressive rise in the Shi6a population in the decades that followed. To counter that agitation Majlis-i AAr:r started the practice of madh-i BaA:ba. the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin.835 were Shi6a and only 8 Wahhabis. Ab< Bakr.919. T:8rikh-i Jhang (Jhang. In 1939.. 1973). This rise was aided by the landed power of the Syeds and the Sials. 1900–1947 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2011 Shi6aism is on the increase in the district. who according to the Shi6a deceitfully deprived 6Al.14 This was repeated verbatim in the District Gazetteer of 1929 with the comment: The absence of documentary sources precludes precise information of the sectarian demography of the Jhang District. They are the most bigoted type.62 t ah ir k am r an The colonial Gazetteer of Jhang District reported in 1883–4 that: Shi6ahs are unusually numerous in Jhang. The influx of wealth on account of canal irrigation has invested some Sayyid families with added importance. 15 Gazetteer of Jhang District 1929. 371. 237–8. 69. They observe the Muharram most strictly. Jhang.l Publications. for example. wherein the Sunnis recited verses praising the four rightly-guided caliphs. and on the 10th they accompany the Taziahs [ta6ziya] bareheaded and bare-footed.16 which had been disallowed by the Government of UP. Siddiq Sadiq.15 .

see Siddiq Sadiq. the adage ‘the history of Jhang is the history of the Sial’20 has a substantial element of truth in it. 23. 19 Downloaded from jis.s inhabit rural Jhang. Sials being the most influential because of their numbers. Therefore. Some old material collected from Shorkot mound in Jhang District. For the reference.19 Despite Jhang’s ancient past. Despite their wealth these communities were traditionally marginalized in the realm of power politics by the dominant local landholders. Nevertheless.000 years old. However. until the reign of Wal. when the region had its first taste of marauders at the hands of Alexander in 327 bc. the Sial chief Ism:6. 1503) assumption of leadership ushered in an era of Sial supremacy in Jhang. 20 Gazetteer of the Jhang District 1883–84.d:d Kh:n Siy:l (d. They are drawn from the trading and weaving communities. which had been devastated in the battle. M:l Kh:n’s (d. migrants from East Punjab form an important group in Jhang City. 27. is supposed to be 10. despite the fact that the Sial chief In:yatull:h Kh:n had opposed the idea of Pakistan in 1947. 40. Jhang. AAmad Kh:n. Sials continued to be influential after independence. and rebuilt the city of Jhang in 1462.000 to 15. At the . spanning over three decades.oxfordjournals.d:d Kh:n (1717–47). and Sial suzerainty over Jhang was ended. the last Sial chieftain. and duly rewarded for the services he discharged during 1857. Thus the political importance of the tribe remained throughout the colonial period as its chiefs fitted very well into the client–patron network set up by the British. Sial rule reached its zenith during the reign of Wal. after offering stiff resistance to the Sikh army was eventually cowed in 1810. Jhang’s history. He meted out a crushing defeat to the ruling Nawls. affluence and political clout.l Kh:n was co-opted by the British. the histories of Jhang and the Sial tribe are inextricably enmeshed.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 63 BIR2DAR>S 18 Ibid. Consequently. is shrouded in ‘darkness’.18 The Syeds are also politically powerful and wealthy. namely an agate seal in pictographic language. After annexation of the Punjab in 1849.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. 67. In population terms Jhang is overwhelmingly a rural district. 2011 Almost eighteen bir:dar. Gazetteer of the Jhang District 1883–84. 1747) in the early eighteenth century. the accounts of the Greek historians Arrian and Curtius along with the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang allude to its very remote history that certainly goes as far back as fourth century bc. His legacy was sustained by his successors until Ranjit Singh’s rise to power in the Punjab. the documented sources with some ‘validity claim’ do not go back beyond the eighteenth century when Sial rule was firmly in place.

Sayyid Chir:gh Sh:h. particularly in the period from the run-up to the creation of Pakistan up to the 1970 elections..oxfordjournals. In the political arena Sials had no leader who could match Abid Hussain in terms of political insight and stature. Siddiq Sadiq. he presented a welcome address to Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Lahore. . 217–18.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.21 They own large tracts of land in Jhang and Chiniot.22 Indeed. he joined the Republican Party and became its secretarygeneral. At the present time  Syeds. District Board Jhang (1937–54). The last election he contested was in 1970. Both Syed families enjoyed the full patronage of the British as a reward for the ‘good service’ that they rendered as and when it was needed. 2000).n Surkh Bukh:r. 22 Abid Hussain entered the political limelight in 1936 when. so that many political analysts looked askance at them for manoeuvring sectarian loyalties for political gain. Most of them trace their descent to Sher Sh:h. He died in 1971. Sard:rz:da Gafar 6Abb:s is the leading figure among the Rajoa Similarly. who was there to preside over a meeting of the Muslim Students Federation. Jhang. and Sayyid R:ja Sh:h’s son Abid Hussain (62bid Eusayn) rapidly achieved a political fame that still resonates in his daughter and heir Abida Hussain (62bida Eusayn) and her cousin and political rival FayBal 4:liA Eay:t. Downloaded from jis. Tadhkira-i awliy:8-i Jhang (Jhang: Jhang 2d:b. In 1954 he joined the cabinet of Muhammad Ali Bogra as Minister of Agriculture. Abid Hussain was a close associate of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the 1940s and used his influence quite sagaciously to earn ministerial positions in the 1950s. His younger brother Mub:rak Sh:h. Am:null:h Kh:n is one of many claimants to the Sial leadership but the internecine conflicts among the Sials have weakened their power relative to the Syeds in local politics. Later on he was elected Chairman. the leading Sials are all Shi6a.64 t ah ir k am r an 21 Bil:l Zubayr. Sayyid Khizar Hayat (Kha@ir Eay:t) from the Sh:h Jiw:na Syeds who ‘have always been of importance’ was virtually reared by the British through the Court of Wards. which he lost to the J:mi6atu l-6Ulam:8-i Isl:m candidate Ghul:m Eaydar Bharw:na. However. Sayyid MuAammad Ghawth. the Syeds have a marked presence in Shorkot and Uch. 2011 present time. Academy. He became MLA (Member. Apart from the Bharw:na Sials of Tehsil Jhang and the Janji:na Sials of Shorkot. Both of these Syed families are Shi6a.. Ayub Khan put him under an Elected Bodies Disqualification Order and so he could not contest the 1962 and 1965 elections. Sard:r  Syeds held Eusayn Sh:h and Sayyid Ghul:m 6Abb:s among the Rajoa positions of pre-eminence during British rule. Later on. Sayyid Jal:l al-D. the emergence of Abid Hussain on the political scene consigned the Sials to insignificance. Legislative Assembly) in 1946 and member of the Punjab Assembly in 1951. 213. as a student leader.  in Tehsil Chaniot and The prominent Syed families are that of Rajoa Sh:h Jiw:na in Tehsil Jhang.

Violence and Political Mobilization in South Asia (New Delhi: Sage Publications.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. bir:dar. The latter. the two Syed families. predominantly weavers. the politics of sectarian differentiation first emerged during the 1951 Punjab election.6a-Sunn. Similarly.r of Sial Sharif into throwing in his lot with Mawl:n: MuAammad Zakir (Dh:kir) who  candidate Sard:r Ghul:m MuAammad pulled off a victory against Rajoa  Syeds went all out Sh:h from the Chiniot constituency. Jhang. Abid Hussain successfully lured the p. 2005). Sh:h. Religion. in the 1970s and 1980s it witnessed urban growth along with remittances from the Middle East. Hence the Syed in-fight gave way to a Sial–Syed contest for power. from . Ironically. Kaur (ed. Rajoa in support of Mawl:n: Ghul:m Eusayn against Mub:rak 6Al.24 Since 1947.r AAmad Sal.).23 Sectarianism was thus used as a ploy by Shi6a Syed families as part of their factional rivalries. ‘Jhang mayn Sh.m.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 65 23 NaB. was more a market centre than an industrial area. but in this period was beginning to show signs of discontent. Sh:h Jiw:na and  Rajoa—close relatives yet political adversaries—in order to undermine each other politically lent unswerving support to non-Syed and Sunni candidates. This can be understood as a major turning-point in the rise of sectarianism in Jhang. Rohtak and Hissar. As we shall see below. Affluence engendered among the urban bourgeoisie a desire to break free of the political stranglehold of the largely feudal Shi6a elite. The migrants. In Jhang. alienated from Nawab Ansari. nevertheless secured a comfortable victory. constantly playing second fiddle to Shi6a landlords. Downloaded from jis. who settled in Jhang City after Partition. The power politics articulated in intraclan divergence was transformed into inter-clan rivalry in the span of two decades. Mub:rak 6Al. 19–21. 24 Ian Talbot. coalesced behind the SSP leadership and. the migrant community had traditionally supported Nawab Iftikhar Ahmed Ansari (Naw:b Iftikh:r AAmad AnB:r. like other cities of the Punjab. tan:zu6a: :gh:z say anj:m tak’ in Zindag. 14–20 December 1991).oxfordjournals. (Lahore. a candidate of the Sh:h Jiw:na group from Jhang constituency.). Despite Shi6a–Sunni differences being considerably whipped up in the run-up to the electoral contest.. 157. rivalries intersected with sectarianism not just in electoral contests but in outbreaks of violence such as the B:b-i 6Umar episode. are mostly migrants from Gurgaon. Another local political factor was the role of the local merchants and traders (shaykhs) and the artisan class. 2011 Syed–Sial factional rivalries have contributed to sectarianism. Ansari’s unequivocal support to the Shah Jiwana Syeds was ostensibly the prime factor in eventually easing him out of the political reckoning during the 1970s. ‘Understanding Religious Violence in Contemporary Pakistan: Themes and Theories’ in R.

Ta8r.kh-i Jhang. 371.html. they were a crucial element of the SSP’s electoral strength in Jhang City. Mauza Chela. vol.. It drew its leadership from a similar lower middle class background. i. The Majlis-i AAr:r-i Isl:m (founded in 1929) established its roots in Jhang City through the efforts of Chir:gh 6Al. Shah. August 2006. older brother of Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi. the Sipah-i Sahaba shared many common characteristics with Majlis-i Ahrar. A Caller to the Unity of the Umma. 1975). J:nb:z was a committed Ahrari and instilled the same fervour in his son.000 supporters of SSP from Jhang City. 1900–1947 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 257. 8 vols. Ab< l-Kal:m 2z:d and Eusayn AAmad Madan.25 THE AER2R INFLUENCE 25 They have formed a voter bank of around 14.27 It had in its ranks firebrand orators like MaChar 6Al.29 Haqq Nawaz used to hold a wooden hatchet in his hand. and 6A3:8ull:h Sh:h Bukh:r.28 The latter’s father MuAammad 6Al. K:rw:n-i aAr:r (Lahore: Maktaba-i TabBira. (AafiCa-hu All:h). particularly at the outset of his career as khat. literalist Islam and also the tactics employed by both were much the same. Karw:n-i :Ar:r. later an inspiration to the SSP leadership particularly Haqq Nawaz and Ziau-r-Rehman Farooqi (Diy:8 al-RaAm:n F:r<q. For further references on the Ahrar see J:nb:z Mirz:.b.26 The Ahrar had an avowedly antagonistic stance against Ahmadis and the Shi6a. accessed 3 March 2007. Jhang experienced religious mobilization in the 1930s that took on sectarian as well as communal characteristics.31 They both used agitational and . Azhar. while delivering the Friday sermon in the mosque. are known to be the eminences grises behind the Ahrar. but whose overarching ideology was embedded in Deobandi Islam.. 28 Balakoti in the course of his interview used the phrase muqarrir-i bebadal (peerless orator) for Haqq Nawaz. Ha@rat Mawl:n: Diy:8 al-RaAm:n F:r<q. like Mazhar Ali Azhar who was a Shi6a. 2006). 26 Bil:l Zubayr.d (raAima-hu All:h).30 Interestingly.. and Mawl:n: MuAkam D. D:8<d Ghaznav. Chisht. 30 Interview with Mehr Sher Muhammad. Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India.oxfordjournals.b al-Rahm: Inqil:b. www. Jhang.). 27 Dietrich Reetz.com/dailyislam/zia_farooqi.n.66 t ah ir k am r an the 1980s onwards.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. 2011 Like other Punjab towns. Downloaded from jis. which had been the Ahrar symbol.pitas. Both movements reposed unflinching faith in the Deobandi version of scriptural. 29 Mawl:n: Muj. 31 Ahrar has among its leaders men from different sectarian persuasions. Mirz:.

too came to prominence during the anti-Qadiyani movement in 1974.32 Haqq Nawaz. They could enthrall audiences for hours by appealing to their religious sentiments. Chinioti gave instruction at the Banuri Mosque. a Shi6a landlord was the chief organizer of the episode which profoundly impacted on the future course of local politics. both targeted minority groups. besides the local perspective.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. some national and international dynamics—the Iranian Revolution and the sharpening of sectarian identities in Pakistan. Haqq Nawaz’s public agitational career owed much to its more parochial Ahrari inspiration. We have seen earlier how this was partly rooted in the factional rivalries of elite Shi6a families.nio#. . However. That development worked as a shot in the arm for puritanical clerics like Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi and Manzur Ahmed Chinioti. Karachi ‘in his speciality of condemning the Ahmadi community as apostates’. the first of which took place in Hassu Balail. Friday Times (Lahore). Lastly. Despite these wider regional influences. That formed the main theme of his speeches in the 1980s.. Manzoor Ahmed  Chinioti (ManC<r AAmad Ch. The anti-Qadiyani movement served as a prototype for the anti-Shi6a movement launched and fomented by Haqq Nawaz. The commotion emanating from the episode led to the formation of a Sunni organization. He wanted the Shi6a to be pronounced apostates through constitutional means exactly like the Qadiyanis. a village at Bhakkar Road in Shorkot Tehsil in October 1957. It also owed much to a series of incidents. ‘Maulana Chinioti the Great Apostatiser (1931–2004)’. received instruction at the Multan-based antiAhmadi seminary of Ataullah Shah Bukhari in 1951. the second caliph of the Muslims was desecrated and subsequently burnt. the SSP also issued its party magazine Khil:fat-i R:shida quite regularly from Faisalabad. See Khaled Ahmed. spearheaded by Mawl:n: Ghul:m 32 Later on.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 67 THE GROWTH OF SECTARIANISM IN JHANG The SSP’s ability to institutionalize sectarianism in Jhang occurred against the backdrop of increasing Sunni–Shi6a tension. 13–19 August 2004. which culminated in Ahmadis being designated as non-Muslims as a result of a constitutional amendment on 30 June 1974. Majlis-i TaAaffuC-i N:m<s-i 4aA:ba. His call to declare the Shi6a as k:fir had. 2011 militant methods for political gain and in particular they relied on fiery speakers to seek popular attention. one of the founding members of the SSP. An effigy of 6Umar.)(1931–2004). NaCar Eusayn Quraysh. Downloaded from jis.oxfordjournals.

terminated at Im:mbargah-i Qad. August 2006. Khud: Bakhsh Gill was gunned down by MuAammad Naw:z Kathia in 1964. of Shi6a persuasion.oxfordjournals. August 2006.) and Jami6atu l-6Ulama-i Islam activist was brutally murdered in 1967.35 He was known for his oratory condemning Shi6a landlords. August 2006.68 t ah ir k am r an 33 Interview with Mawl:n: Ilyas Balakoti.36 This again must be understood not merely as a straightforward sectarian conflict. The cumulative effect of these episodes was to increase sectarian tensions. ayk ta8r.kh. however.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.33 The establishment of that organization was a decisive step forward in making sectarian difference a rallying point for the Sunnis. Jhang. ayk 3<f:n (Faisalabad: Maktaba-i Q:simiyya. Dujji Road.. a huge billboard was seen installed exactly on the route. assigned by the district administration. The procession originated from the Im:mbargah Muh:jir. was the 1969 B:b-i 6Umar incident. Mawlaw.37 There were two Deobandi mosques on the procession route.. 34 Downloaded from jis. We thus have here an immensely important intersection between sectarian and bir:dar. However.34 Despite the protests against this episode. Masjid-i Taqwa and Masjid-i Ahl-i Eadith.m.b of Jami6a Mosque. 1991).). Ziau l-Qasimi (Diy:8 al-Q:sim. A day prior to the procession. S:w:nih Aay:t am.r-i 6aCmat n:m<s-i 4aA:ba. Shi6as were prepared to stir up sectarian rivalries in order to do down their fellow Shi6a from rival bir:dar.d: Ayk shawBiyyat. The dust had hardly settled when in Rodo Sultan. 36 Ibid. a Deobandi ‘maulvi’ (mawlaw. just when he was delivering his khutba in the course of which he eulogized the Companions of the Prophet. a renowned advocate in Jhang. Jhang. 44. which eventually cost him his life. a small town in Tehsil Jhang. after taking quite a labyrinthine route. the perpetrator of the crime could not be apprehended. the then khat.  Mawl:n: Dost MuAammad. An even more crucial turning-point. very close to Masjid-i Taqwa.s. Similarly in Mauza Kaki Nau also in Tehsil Shorkot. MuAammad Diy:8 al-Q:sim. Khewa Gate and Mamna Gate. 37 Interview with Sayyid Than:8 al-Eaqq Tirmidh.38 This worried the district administration. 45. 2011 Eusayn. The B:b-i 6Umar incident occurred on the eve of a mourning procession on 7 MuAarram in Jhang City. but as an episode that was also rooted in factional rivalries between Shi6a groupings. Jhang. Jhang. Interview with Mehr Afzal Sial (Af@ul Siy:l). a compromise was reached on the condition that the procession would go its usual route without objecting to the billboard . 38 Jhang City has three gates: Nur Shah Gate. The Khewa gate was given the second name of B:b-i 6Umar during MuAarram of 1969. 47–9.n right after fajr prayer and. politics. 35 Ibid. Mawl:n: Eaqq Naw:z Shah.

The anti-Syed group capitalized on the Sunnis’ charged sentiments. Mawl:n: Yas. This stage-managing of violence for political purposes has been written about by Paul Brass in the different context of the . put forward by the Shi6a organizers of the procession.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. six people had lost their lives including Mawl:n: Sh. 12 August 2006.n was an Urdu speaking Muh:jir. 2006. 2 September 2006. the procession started off. and Gafar 6Abb:s  went down to Mawl:n: MuAammad Zakir of Muhammadi from Rajoa Sharif. This was an act of utter desecration for the Sunnis. someone unveiled the board.. By the time the fury had subsided. resident of Jhang city.b and prayer leader of Masjid-i Taqwa. Interview with MuAammad F:r<q.n. Afterwards the Masjid-i Taqwa was named after him. Sunni clerics like Mawl:n: 6Abd al-Hal. After the compromise was reached. a local trader on a provincial Assembly seat because of his political allegiance to Abid Hussain. Even a Sunni candidate like Iftikhar Ansari lost against Shaykh Iqb:l. August. The B:b-i 6Umar incident caused a turn-around in the socio-political complexion of Jhang. was that the inscription on the board should be shrouded. This fanned sectarian emotions and overturned the political chessboard. 41 Interview with Eajj. Downloaded from jis.oxfordjournals. Jhang Sadar.n. 62rif Kh:n Siy:l tasted defeat at the hands of N:Cir Sul3:n. 6Abd al-6Az.m.39 Tumult ensued. Asadull:h Q:sim.  a processionist by the name of Ashraf Baloch.r. an eyewitness to the episode. as it reached close to the two mosques.r. Subsequently. It was nothing short of a pitched battle between the rival sects.40 That was the first instance of the two sects colliding head on. However. and Sayyid Ghul:m MuB3af: Sh:h infused a new lease of life in a dysfunctional Majlis-i TaAaffuC-i N:m<s-i 4aA:ba and launched a campaign in the condemnation of the Shi6a that had a telling impact on the general public and more so on the electoral outcome. The only condition.41 Abid Hussain from Shah Jiwana lost to his old time friend Ghul:m Eayd:r Bharw:na. a khat. After coursing through the narrow streets of Jhang City. an underling of the Sials from Jhang City soaked his shirt in the nearby drain. 40 Mawl:n: Sh.bull:h Kh:n Siy:l). It emerged later that the billboard had been unveiled to precipitate a riot at the behest of Nawab Habibullah Khan Sial (Naw:b Eab. 2011 put up on the way. In all three National Assembly constituencies it paraded the widows of those killed in the incident in black mourning dress in the Sunni congested areas of the city. General Yahya Khan’s coup d’e´tat and emergency on the very day of the B:b-i 6Umar incident prevented further loss of life.z. then hurled it on to where the name 6Umar was written.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 69 39 The whole event was narrated by Sayyid Than:8 al-Eaqq Tirmidh.

It is important. The Production of Hindu–Muslim Violence in Contemporary India (Seattle: University of Washington Press. Habibullah Khan’s grandson was quite categorical when asked about his grandfather’s alleged involvement in the B:b-i 6Umar incident: ‘My grandfather did all that to avenge the defeat that he suffered at the hands of Colonel Abid Hussain in the 1946 elections. 2003). the Afghan Jih:d and General Zia’s 42 Paul Brass.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. however. helped pave the way for the institutionalization of sectarianism in the SSP. MuAammad Arshad43 was in the pay of  Habibullah Khan. in the particular case. Interview with Than:8 al-Eaqq Tirmidh.. Jhang city. 10 August 2006. we will return to the impact of sectarianism in Jhang following the creation of the SSP.based politics in Jhang. rivalries. The three key wider developments are the Iranian Revolution. However. when his own son was killed in cross-fire between rival sectarian groups in a Sabzi Mandi (vegetable market) area of Jhang in 1993.42 Interestingly. Jhang City. they were used as a ploy to scuttle the political influence of a rival bir:dar. 2011 institutionalized Hindu–Muslim riot systems of such UP cities as Aligarh. factional clan and kinship rivalry took precedence over sectarian affinities. 43 Muhammad Arshad divulged the secret to Than:8 al-Eaqq Tirmidh. Habibullah Khan Sial himself was Shi6a like the Syeds of Shah Jiwana. arising out of bir:dar.70 t ah ir k am r an NATIONAL AND REGIONAL INFLUENCES ON SECTARIANISM Thus far we have been uncovering the local roots of sectarianism in Jhang. This threatened for a time to eclipse bir:dar. and that is the focus of this section. . The two main characters in that episode were... and Ashraf Baloch was his personal attendant. After examining this broader perspective. according to Sayyid Than:8 al-Eaqq Tirmidh. August 2006.’44 This episode. and Baloch who perpetrated the act of desecration by throwing filth at the name of 6Umar. It was Arshad who uncovered the board exactly when the MuAarram procession reached the corner of the street from which B:b-i 6Umar was merely a few yards  away. 44 Interview with Eusnayn Siy:l. a local Shi6a  notable.oxfordjournals. confessing his role as an accomplice in a heinous crime carried out at the behest of Habibullah Sial. 32–3. He then repented. MuAammad Arshad and Ashraf Baloch. to set these in a wider national and regional context. The ploy worked very well to serve the ambitions of Habibullah though it would wreak havoc in the days ahead. Downloaded from jis.

trusting in Khomeini’s support. ‘Weeding out the Heretics: Sectarianism in Pakistan’. August 2006. 138. Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan.C. telling him that if he mistreated the Shi6a. as Nasr puts it. 689–716.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. 49 Hussain Haqqani.45 Sipah-i Sahabah spokesmen are quite strident in pointing out the huge amount of Shi6a literature being produced in Urdu and freely distributed through the consistently widening network of the Iranian Cultural Centres. ‘the years of sectarian tolerance were over. finds ‘considerable evidence of Shii proselytization especially in rural and small town Punjab’. 47 Vali Nasr. 48 Sayyid 62rif Eusayn Naqv.. evoking as a consequence a sharp Sunni counter to re-balance the situation. which encouraged a ‘Sunnification’ of Pakistan. Jhang. What followed was a Sunni-versus-Shi6a contest for dominance. Tadhkira-i 6Ulam:8-i Im:miyya-i P:kist:n (Islamabad: Markaz-i TaAqiqat-i F:rs.asp Downloaded from jis. he [Khomeini] would do to him what he had done to the Shah’. which he quite lavishly extended to them.46 So. 46 Interview with Maulana Ilyas Balakoti. The 1979 Iranian Revolution emboldened Pakistan’s Shi6a so that they ‘abandoned the Shi6a tradition of political quietism’. Agha Shahi.k-i Nif:dh-i Fiqh-i Ja6fariyya P:kist:n (TNFJ) was one such organization with monetary and political ties with Tehran. November 2006) at www.49 With the Shi6a revival in Iran. In that literature ‘[the] 4aA:ba [the Companions] were denigrated in [an] utterly brazen way’.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 71 45 ‘Political quietism’ here means taqiyya or dissimulation of Shi6i adherence.-i I¯r:n wa P:kist:n.47 This favourable international environment encouraged membership of avowedly Shi6a political movements sponsored both financially and politically by Tehran. 154. revealed an interesting fact: ‘Khomeini once sent a message to the Pakistani military ruler Zia ul Haq. the Shi6a were public and vociferous in putting forward demands for ‘rights and representation’. not only ‘awakened’ but ‘emboldened’ in the wake of the Revolution’s success in Iran. while drawing on the claim made by Sayyid Arif Husayn Naqvi. 1984) quoted in Qasim Zaman. See Ian Talbot. ‘Understanding Religious Violence’. W. Proselytization was yet another impact of a vigorous ‘Shi6a revivalism’. Many non-practising Sunnis converted to Shi6ism just to avoid having zak:h deducted from their annual savings.. ‘Sectarianism in Pakistan’.futureofmuslimworld. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future (New York: W. Tahr. 2011 state-sponsored Islamization.58/pub_ detail. 2006).com/research/pubID.48 The compulsory deduction of zak:h from bank accounts also became a reason for defections from Sunni ranks. . 4 (Hudson Institute.oxfordjournals. Zaman. Washington D. Norton & Company. Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.

oxfordjournals. Global Jihad. The total number of madrasas in Pakistan in 1947 was 245.52 These institutions were avowedly sectarian in their outlook as well as committed to a jih:dcentric interpretation of Islam.’s book.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. 2011 and it grew intense.53 Thus state patronage and foreign funding provided a favourable environment for the expansion of such organizations as the SSP and LJ. Karachi and NWFP. ‘Shi6a Revivalism’. training along with ideological instruction to the young students. awr Shi 6iyyat with its preface written by Ab< l-Easan Nadw. represents a concerted response to the mounting Iranian influence in Pakistan. Inqil:b: Im:m Khumayn. Deobandi madrasas and Sunni sectarian organizations like Sipah-e Sahaba. for example. 52 Ali Riaz. The rise of the Taliban in the 1990s further deepened the ties among Pakistan’s various Jihadi groups. 2005). ‘Weeding out the Heretics’. which managed official Pakistani support of Jihadi operations in Afghanistan and Indian controlled Kashmir. the SSP held Haqq Nawaz International 50 Vali Nasr. 8. That book was later to become ‘the gospel of Deobandi militant organizations that in 1980s mushroomed across Pakistan to press the fight against the Shi6a’.51 The Afghan Jih:d against the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan was crucial in strengthening existing Deobandi influence in Pakistan and directing it in favour of militancy. Soon covert links had been established between SSP and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). 53 Hussain Haqani.000. The flow of foreign funds into Pakistan during the 1980s saw a proliferation of Deobandi madrasas in the Punjab.54 When in 1991.72 t ah ir k am r an The Zia ul Haq regime saw the SSP as a check on the rise of Shi6a influence and gave it a free hand. 165. He therefore maintains . Ir:n. Nevertheless the Iranian revolution and the impact it had on the Pakistani Shi6a spurred Deobandi reaction.’50 Nasr’s assertion of course seems quite sweeping as the phenomenon of sectarian differentiation was inextricably complex. Ibid. emanating from the interplay of myriad currents and cross-currents. Sectarianism and the Madrassahs in Pakistan (Singapore: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. Some of these worked as a prime source of imparting jih:d. 54 Encouragement from successive regimes and unremitting flow of foreign funds (especially from Saudi Arabia) combining with absence of governmental 51 Downloaded from jis. 148. by 2003 the figure had risen to an astounding 7. Hussain Haqqani explores the role of the Zia regime in sponsoring such organizations like the SSP as a counterweight to the Shi6a ascendancy. SSP cadres attended Afghan Mujahideen training camps and returned to kill Shi6a leaders within Pakistan. which had so far been sporadic. ManC<r Nu6m:n.

This formed a crucial element in the state-sponsored Islamization process. The need to counter a ‘Shi6a threat’ in Pakistan had been brought home to the Zia regime by the Shi6a protests at the time of the Zakat and 6Ushr Ordinance promulgated in 1979. Sectarianism. Global Jihad.’60 The parliament house in Islamabad remained under siege for two days. Mosque. However. Similarly. The convergence of such a huge number of Shi6a at the federal capital was made possible largely because of the ISO’s unflinching endeavours.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.C Makk.b of the B:dsh:h. in Christophe Jaffrelot (ed. The parliament in Islamabad was besieged by more than 50. was one of the speakers.oxfordjournals. 9. They came together under the banner of Wif:q-i 6Ulama8-i Sh. 87–90. 61 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr. 7.55 Mawl:n: 6Abd al-Eaf. Ri@: Dr. 58 Ibid. 2011 Conference in Islamabad. the State. was the chief guest—a clear illustration of the extraneous sources of support furnished to the SSP.6 al-Eaqq’s participation in the conference points to the state’s favourable disposition toward SSP. Senator Sam.) Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation (London: Zed Books. See Azmat Abbas. Immediately afterwards the Shi6a clergy thought of constituting an organization with the express objective of averting the danger of the blatant ‘Sunnification’61 of Pakistan and . Vali Nasr (‘The Shi6a Revival’. 5. Downloaded from jis.56 a scholar from Saudi Arabia. forcing Zia to amend the Ordinance. The numerical strength and organizational capability of ISO leaders became evident during the 1979–80 agitation of the Shi6a against Zia’s Zakat and 6Ushr Ordinance. Thus it was brought home to the government that ‘the mode of zakat collection enumerated in the Ordinance was not in conformity with their beliefs and demanded that Shi6as should be treated in accordance with their personal law. persons like Mawl:n: 6Abd al-Q:dir 2z:d. 57 See Azmat Abbas.. an employee of the Government of the Punjab and khat. 2002). 2001). Lahore. (Lahore.58 Imamia Student Organization (ISO)59 played a pivotal role in making the whole episode in Islamabad a remarkable success. ‘Islam.) were among the founders of the organization. quoted in Ali Riazi. and the Rise of Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan’. Majid Noroze Abidi (M:jid Nawroz Naqv. 8–14 June 1991). 56 Ibid.  62bid. 7. 59 A group of students from Lahore University of Engineering and Technology founded ISO on 22 May 1972 to provide an All-Pakistan Shi6a platform.00057 Shi6a from all over Pakistan in July 1980. It brought Shi6a out in protest in unprecedented numbers. 55 Zindag.000. 60 Ibid.6a P:kist:n. Sectarianism. 161) puts the figure of Shi6a activists who gathered in Islamabad at 25.) and Ali Reza Naqvi (6Al.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 73 oversight have been cited as principal factors in the dramatic rise in the numbers of mad:ris (European Commission.

65 Dast<r. according to his official biography.63 It became palpably more assertive in its political stance when 62rif al-Eusayn. He had received instruction from Najaf and Qum and was sent to Pakistan by the Iranian government in 1978.65 Then Haqq Nawaz was n:8ib am.oxfordjournals. 694–5. Haqq Nawaz took on the . 39. Jhang. It was under his leadership that sectarianism was institutionalized with the formation of Anjuman-i Sip:h-i 4aA:ba on 6 September 1985. ‘Sectarianism in Pakistan’. The association came into being in the J:mi6a Masjid Piplianwali.64 In 1993 there emerged its armed offshoot by the name of Sip:h-i MuAammad (SMP) under the leadership of Ghul:m Ri@: Naqv. Soon afterwards.. Sectarianism. SMP established its headquarters at Thokar Niaz Beg. Punjab. By the end of 1994. where Haqq Nawaz had been a prayer leader (im:m) and given sermons since 1973. S:w:nih Aay:t. see the Certificate of Registration. Sectarianism. educated in Lucknow. was a Turi Pushtun from the Shi6a stronghold of Parachinar in northern Pakistan. Anjuman-i Sip:h-i 4aA:ba (Jhang: Markaz.74 t ah ir k am r an safeguarding the interests of their community. 8. in southern Iraq. 64 6All:m: 2rif Eusayn al-Eusayn. Interestingly. XXI of 1860. its name was changed into Sipah-i 4aA:ba P:kist:n (SSP). India and Najaf. the then district President of Tahr. Daftar Anjuman-i Sip:h-i 4aA:ba P:kist:n. The SSP’s central executive comprised 28 founding members. succeeded him as leader in 1984. Ja6far Eusayn. Downloaded from jis. 2011 Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi was influenced by all these national and international currents as well as by the earlier model of sectarian mobilization provided by Ahrar. It was registered on 21 January 1986 under the Societies Registration Act.d) and also see Ziau l-Qasimi.k-i Ja6fariyya P:kist:n in a convention held in March 1993 at Faisalabad. 63 Ja6far Eusayn (1916–83) was born in Gujranwala. Azmat Abbas. However. under the leadership of Muft. he was expelled from Iran before the Revolution. Sectarianism was institutionalized when the SSP was formed with radd-i r:fi@iyy:t (refutation of the Shi6as) as its core objective. THE FORMATION OF THE SSP AND ITS ACTIVITIES IN JHANG 62 The TNFJ was renamed as Tahr. Hence TNFJ62 came into being in 1979 in Bhakkar. no.r (deputy leader) of J:mi6at al-6Ulam:-i Isl:m. See Azmat Abbas.k-i Ja6fariyya. 8. J:mi6a Masjid Pipliawali.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. He served on various government committees including the Council of Islamic Ideology. a suburb of Lahore which possessed a sizable Shi6a population. Qasim Zaman. RP/799–F/S/86/352. n. He then taught at a Shi6a seminary in his native city.

Soon afterwards Haqq Nawaz realized that the Barelvi–Deobandi confrontation was counterproductive. Ilyas Balakoti and MuAammad Sal. changed course and started working to forge a Sunni alliance against the Shi6a. They think that Shi6as hold their twelve Im:ms in much higher esteem than even Prophets.68 .’ See further.67 Similarly the criteria of eligibility for membership of the organization particularly the first and the last of the four mentioned in the Dast<r (the party constitution) were very explicit about its sectarian exclusivism. in Jhang. 462–9. advocate. 67 Downloaded from jis. Out of the eight aims spelled out by its founding members. Afk:r-i Shi 6a (Lahore: n. They attach most significance to the B:b-i 6Umar incident which took place in 1969.m Butt. particularly ManC<r Nu6m:n. between him and Mawl:n: Ashraf Siy:lv. The mun:Cara (religious debate) held at Kot Lakhnana. Assuring the sovereignty of God and the finality of the Prophet. See also these comments from an interview with Sal. this obscures the larger context for the rise of sectarianism provided by Zia’s policy of ‘Shariatization’. August 2006: ‘The very first clause warrants some explanation as Shi6a religious scholars affirm the ending of Prophethood. the 1979 Iranian Revolution.d al-RaAm:n 6Alaw. through his journal al-Furq:n claims that the notion of Im:mat in Shi6ism is in sheer contradiction to the Islamic tenet of khatam-i nabuwwa [the sealing of Prophethood].SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 75 66 Interview with Mehr Af@al Kh:n Siy:l. for the implementation of Khil:fat-i r:shida. This allowed Sunnis to be members. Haqq Nawaz lost that mun:zara. 1991). Barelvi–Deobandi tension grew into physical confrontation in 1987 when two Barelvis were murdered by an SSP supporter in Purani Eidgah. Kaki Nau and Rodu Sultan at the behest of Shi6a landlords against the Companions of the Prophet. It led as a consequence to a fatwa issued by many Deobandi clerics declaring Shi6as non-Muslims. Sa6. madrasas. However the exponents of the Deobandi version.66 SSP ideologues like Ziau l-Qasimi. 1. Anjuman-i Sip:h-i 4aA:ba.p.. strained relations between the Barelvis and Deobandis. as we have seen.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.n. the Afghan Jih:d and proliferation of d. Jhang.oxfordjournals. accepting MuAammad as the last Prophet. 68 Ibid. Sectarianism lay at the heart of the SSP’s goals. striving for the legitimate status of the Companions of the Prophet. Jhang.m Butt link the emergence of their organization with such events as the Tabarra campaign conducted in Hassu Balail. August 2006. doing their best to condemn Shi6ism. The Dast<r was promulgated from the 1st January 1986. 2011 Barelvis at the outset of his political career. Dast<r. five aimed at circumscribing Shi6ism in Pakistan if not completely extirpating it. and making sincere efforts to bring together all Sunni schools of thought—were all tendentious clauses in the list of objectives put together by the SSP leadership. However. but explicitly excluded the Shi6a.

Zia-ul Qasimi 69 Muhammad Qasim Zaman while quoting Omer Noman dates the process of the proliferation of the middle class in the Punjab to the 1970s and 1980s.m Butt. The outflow of labour overseas brought about remarkable changes in status and expectations.r AAmad Shah.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14.m 4idd. The Ulema in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change (Karachi: Oxford University Press. These sought political opportunities to reflect their newly acquired wealth.69 The profile of the founding leadership of SSP affords ample testimony of the potential base and constituency it was destined to have in the years to come.. initiated by the SSP’s Patron-in-Chief with great verve and gusto. 2002). They had also brought back a redefined religious identity that was militantly Sunni and regarded Shi6is as ‘the other’. was Nas. The first Secretary-General. ‘My Companions are like stars. ‘Sectarianism in Pakistan’. follow them and you will be led to salvation’. See: Zaman.m 4idd. 126. there was no local influential SSP leader.76 t ah ir k am r an Eaqq Naw:z Diy:8 al-Q:sim. Sal. Diy:8 al-RaAm:n Far<q. according to Sal.m 6Al. Mukhtar Ahmed Ali has worked out the ethnic identity of the Senior SSP leadership in Jhang as follows:70 .q Shaykh Ashf:q Mun. on a crescent. 70 Mukhtar Ahmed Ali. My thanks to Sal.th. Isr:r al-Eaqq Q:sim. Its other support there came firstly from local traders and shopkeepers (mostly shaykhs by caste) from Jhang Sadar. Both these factors encouraged their support for SSP. of the Aad. As already referred to.q and not Y<suf Muj:hid. secondly from returned workers from the Gulf. Most of its leadership cadre was drawn from the Partition migrants’ community. the migrant East Punjab community mostly from Gurgaon.m Butt Founder and first Sarparast-i a6l: Chairman Supreme Council N:8ib Sarparast-i a6l: Sarparast-i a6l: (killed 1998) N:8ib-Sarapast-i a6l: (killed 2003) President Secretary-General Finance Secretary Chairman Municipal Committee Legal Advisor and member Majlis-i Sh<r: Local Muh:jir Muh:jir Muh:jir Muh:jir Local Muh:jir Local Muh:jir Muh:jir Barring Haqq Nawaz himself and to a far lesser extant Shaykh Hakim Ali. Downloaded from jis. Hissar and Karnal provided a key base of support for the SSP in its Jhang heartland. That was the core theme of the campaign.m Butt for pointing out an error in the table prepared by Mukhtar Ahmed Ali.oxfordjournals. 6Umar. 6Al. M. Nas. 2011 The official flag of the SSP reflected an unequivocal devotion to the Companions: Ab< Bakr. There was an encouragement to radical sectarianism in Pakistan. 6Uthm:n. and Mu6:wiya were represented as stars with the inscription. A6zam F:riq Shaykh Eak.d M.

).’ Mehr Zafarullah Khan Bharwana Sial has declared.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 77 71 Haqq Nawaz. 2011 (Diy:8 al-Q:sim. as he was of fiery disposition. Election Commission). See Mr. 10 August 2006. This was reflected in the 1988 elections in which Haqq Nawaz bagged 38.72 Besides. Khutba-i istaqbaliyya. the SSP adopted an aggressive posture. 72 Ziau l-Qasimi. 1990. The real motive of Haqq Nawaz in the text of the address mentioned was to rally the Sunni ulema around him in order to launch a nationwide movement against the Shi6a. such as Mawl:n: Kh:n MuAammad and Mawl:n: 2mir Eusayn Sh:h Gil:n. whereas Azam Tariq (A6zam F:riq) hailed from Chichawantani.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. General Elections Report. Interview with Sal. on numerous occasions. From the outset. Because of the incendiary. Justice Hamid Ali Mirza (Member. . 73 Another interesting fact is that Haqq Nawaz contested the election on the JUI ticket. Election Commission).995 votes from the constituency NA–68 Jhang III. Mr. deploying his oratory to best effect. district Sahiwal. Kull Pakistan Dif:h-i-4aA:ba Conference. Chichawatni. That Khutba-i istaqbaliyya (welcome address) for the invitees of the conference was the only thing ever written by Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi himself.71 He managed to secure support from some of those present. debarred from entering the cities where his visits had been scheduled—Okara. sectarian content of his speeches he was. Jhang Sadar. he devoted considerable time in helping poor litigants in Jhang District Courts and in the process. Justice Rashid Aziz Khan (Member Election Commission). 1993 and 1997 (Islamabad: Government of Pakistan). Jhang. This was seen at Kull P:kist:n Dif:h-i 4aA:ba Conference (All Pakistan Conference for the Defence of the Prophet’s Companions) held on 7th February 1986 at Chandan Wala Mohalla.oxfordjournals. He lost to Abida Hussain by a relatively narrow margin as she obtained 47. Vol. 57.. held on 7th February 1986 in Jhang. S:w:nih Aay:t. Thus the popularity of the SSP and its founder grew rapidly. Downloaded from jis. Yet his extremist message was too aggressive for the majority. Justice (Retd.) and Zia-ur Rehman Farooqi (Diy:8 al-RaAm:n F:r<qi) were East Punjab migrants who had originally settled in Faisalabad. Abida Hussain was the favourite who was expected to win hands down.) Sardar Fakhre Alam (Chairman. His assertive style nevertheless won him numerous personal admirers and increased the support for his organization. Esar-ul Haq Qasimi (Asr:r al-Eaqq Q:sim. Ahmadpur East and Muzzafargarh. 123–36.m Butt. With the launch of the SSP. fell out with the district administration on numerous occasions. to name a few. Mr.374 votes. 2: Comparative Statistics for General Elections 1988. Haqq Nawaz busied himself in stormy tours of various districts and cities. Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi presented a welcome address which amounted to an indictment against the Shi6a community at large.73 ‘A leader of a national stature.

oxfordjournals. sectarian killing had already begun with the murders of AAsan All:h. Haqq Nawaz himself had not many more days to live. Militancy not only intimidated Shi6is. allegiances continued to be a key factor. Zah. ‘Jhang: The Land of Two Rivers’. Jhang. Muhammad Arif Khan Sial.78 t ah ir k am r an 74 Interview with Mehr Zafarullah Khan Bharwana Sial. After the assassination of Haqq Nawaz. Before that he was im:m and khat. Downloaded from jis. Deobandi clerics took on an increasingly important political role as the SSP assumed centre stage in urban political activity. politics and especially the influence of the Sial faction. From the time of Haqq Nawaz. nevertheless. (Lahore. The chair of the Jhang District Board/District Council since Partition has been either a Syed or a Sial. Ruling it out completely was an error of judgement on the part of the Government and Jhang district administration. Eventually in 1996 Lashkar-i Jhangvi was to emerge as an armed off-shoot of the SSP. 403. As a preemptive measure. the government called together urban notables and . former Chairman District Council Jhang. except a khat. 2011 ‘Everyone. particularly on the eve of MuAarram 1990. Abida Hussain (two tenures). Sughra Imam: Siddiq Sadiq. Bir:dar. August 2006. but now deeds matched words. became the Chief Patron of SSP after Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi’s assassination.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. but increased SSP’s electoral support. After that defeat all was auguring well for Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi.b of a local mosque. anticipated a far more convincing victory for her. 14–20 March 1991). influence in the National Assembly was sought in order to amend the Constitution so that there could be a ‘Sunnification’ of the Pakistani state. by that time.b of a mosque run by the Awqaf Dept. in 1988. This was demonstrated by the continued monopoly of the Sials and Syeds of the Jhang District Council.76 Even in urban Jhang militant sectarianism never completely replaced bir:dar. his tumultuous life and career came to an end. politics as the dominant form of mobilization in the Jhang region. Faisalabad: Zindag.’74 However. at Sumundri District. On 22 February 1990. 76 The chairpersons have been: Abid Hussain. sectarianism vied with bir:dar. Mehr Muhammad Zafarullah Bharwana.75 SSP’s rhetoric had always been aggressive. an ex-member of the Provincial Assembly Punjab. On that occasion the government of the Punjab was visibly perplexed about the law and order situation during the period of mourning as this followed hard on the heels of the murder of Haqq Nawaz. 75 Mawl:n: Diy:8 al-Rahm:n F:r<q. in the politics of rural Jhang. Mehr Akhter Bharwana.r in 1987 and TNFJ leader 6All:ma 62rif al-Eusyn.

Jhang City) and Maulana Esar ul Qasimi. the SSP did expand beyond its roots in sectarian rivalries and bir:dar.ya wa membr:n-i Committee Anjuman-i Sip:h-i 4:A:ba wa mu6aziz. killing 3 Sunnis and injuring 28. Bangladesh. 1990). 2011 leaders of the SSP for negotiation. Anjuman-i Tajran Jhang City). Malik Saleem Iqbal. Arshad Lodhi. Deputy Commissioner. Muhammad Zahur Chuhan Advocate. those who took part in the negotiations were: Maulana Rashid Ahmad Madni.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Although SSP attempted to distance itself from the activities of the armed offshoot 77 Along with Malik Saleem Iqbal. It additionally ran 17 branches in foreign countries including Saudi Arabia. the SSP had 74 district and 225 tehsil level units before it was proscribed on 12 January 2002. the SSP leadership and other important persons were made part of the negotiations and taken into confidence. South Asia Terrorism Portal. at www. The very site of the bomb explosion was not far away from Amanullah Khan Sial’s Aavayl. Anjuman-i Tajran). This is highly suggestive of the fact that the efforts to bring peace to the conflict ridden city were stymied because bir:dar. presided over the proceedings on 16 July 1990. District administration. accessed 23 February 2007. Mohalla Chandanwalla.satp. Muhammad Aslam (Joint Secretary. they spread to other areas of Punjab and beyond. It organized itself remarkably well at district and tehsil level. This effectively sabotaged the peace efforts.000 trained and professional cadres and 100. While Jhang was the scene of many sectarian killings.oxfordjournals.s had been counted out as stakeholders from the whole process. Anjuman-i Tajran). politics in Jhang. Municipal Committee. . in Jhang City. With its 6. Muhammad Farooq (President. and Superintendent of Police.n-i Jhang (Jhang: hand-written document. 78 Ibid. a bomb exploded at Chowk Bab-i 6Umar in Jhang City. An amn mu6:hada (peace treaty) was concluded to the satisfaction of the government. the Health Minister of the Punjab. Canada and the UK. Anjuman-i Tajran. intiC:m. Downloaded from jis. Jhang). MuAammad Rafique Saqi (General Secretary.Terrorist Group of Pakistan. Jhang City).SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 79 SSP AND THE SPREAD OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN THE PUNJAB SSP’s growing influence was accompanied by an association with violence. Dildar Ali (Secretary. According to one estimate.htm. Haji Muhammad Ali (President. Mian Iqbal Hussain. See: Amn mu6ah:da (ManC<r Sh<da) Dil:6. 21 June 2004’.org/satporgtp/countries/ Pakistan/terroristoutfits/ssp. Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal (Chairman. Anjuman-i Tajran.77 But only a few days after the treaty.000 registered workers78 it was the best-knit and organized Islamic party in Pakistan after Jama6at-i Isl:m.. See also: ‘Sipah-i Sahaba Pakistan. However.

this was never done convincingly. accessed 3 March 2007. 80 Downloaded from jis.htm.dull:h. which culminated in the banning of both organizations by President Musharraf in response to the post 9/11 situation. SSP was a cash-rich organization because of its indirect funding from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. who sought to replicate their policies in Pakistan.cdi. which has its head office in Multan. When Masud Azhar (Mas6<d AChar) founded Jaysh-i MuAammad in the aftermath of his release in Kandahar.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. October 2003 at www.80 The Taliban had been a great source of inspiration for the SSP leaders.. near Kabul run by the Taliban Minister Mawlaw.80 t ah ir k am r an 79 International Crisis Group. much of which came from Deobandi sources.org/ satporgtp/countries/Pakistan/terroristoutfits/ssp.79 Young zealots mostly recruited from the seminaries were sent for training in the arts of violence in Afghanistan.htm 81 ‘Sipah-i Sahaba Pakistan. Therefore sectarian militancy escalated to a considerable extent.pk/newsoct2003/ stopoct1. as in Life. openly supported the SSP.com. Terrorist Group of Pakistan’ at www.newsline. at http:// www.’81 Azam Tariq was an ardent supporter of the jih:d in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Wif:q al-mad:ris. The end of the Afghan War resulted in the existence of a large number of well-trained militants. Some of these were attracted to organizations like SSP.oxfordjournals. They went to Afghanistan for training in a camp in Sirobi. LJ had links with ‘international terrorist’ movements. A number . namely targeted killings and indiscriminate shootings at places of worship. following the hijacking of an Indian aircraft in December 1999. Under the leadership of Riaz Basra (Riy:@ BaBra). the national centre for Deobandi instruction. along with Khayr al-mad:ris seminary. the LJ comprised those militants well instructed in the use of explosives and guerrilla tactics.s to Jammu and Kashmir to fight Indian security forces.82 SSP extremists had two major styles of operation.org/program/document. 9 July 2004. Azam Tariq pledged to send 500. Support for the SSP and LJ has as a result been driven underground. Eam. Azam Tariq. ‘An Eye for an Eye. in Death. Owais Tohid.satp.cfm. 82 ‘In the Spotlight: Sipah-i Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)’. accessed 3 March 2007.cfm?documentid=2308&programID=39&from_ page=. 15.000 jih:d. Interview: Qari Shafiqur Rehman’. The Deobandi madrasa union. ‘The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan’. 2011 Lashkar-i Jhangvi./friendlyversion/printversion. Popular philanthropy. which was created in 1996. also swelled its coffers. cinema and music would be banned. which were able to employ them. while speaking at an International Dif6a-i 4aA:ba Conference in Karachi in October 2000 said: ‘the SSP aims to transform 28 large Pakistani cities into model Islamic cities’ where television.

accessed 3 March 2007 88 Animosh Roul. 84 Downloaded from jis. Zainul Abideen (Zayn al-62bid. Jhang. 86 V. is yet another example. Ali Reza. MuAammad Eudhayfa. Sectarian Violence in Pakistan (New Delhi: Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Publications. Suba Chandran.87 The attempted assassination of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in January 1999. Mawl:n: Rash. 87 ‘Sip:h-i 4ahaba Pakistan.d AAmad Madan. www. By 1992. Naqvi. the Commissioner Sargodha.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 81 83 Rana Jawad.z al-RaAm:n and Q:r. 48 Sunnis were killed in Multan while offering prayers in the mosque. 85 The clerics killed on 7 September 1991 were Sayyid 4:diq Eusayn Sh:h.org/terrorism/ news/article. Concurrently the five-day long battle between Shi6is and Sunnis in Parachinar with the death toll at 20086 from both sides aggravated the situation beyond repair. 6Az. The Momenpura incident on 11 January 1998 was a case in point with 27 Shi6is massacred. ‘Al Farooq’ and ‘Al Badr Foundation’. Jail Superintendent Jhang. 2011 of leading Shi6is were assassinated. and ISO’s Dr. Nasr.htm.84 However. Deputy Commissioner Khanewal. E:j. He was lucky that the bomb planted beneath the bridge on the Raiwind Road on the route to his residence exploded prematurely. All of them belonged to Jami6at al-6Ulam:8-i Isl:m and were SSP sympathizers. Jhang: The Land of Two Rivers.satp. In June of that year they used a rocket launcher in an attack.83 and 57 in two separate incidents in Quetta on 9 June and 4 July 2003.. to name a few instances. Within a month five Sunni clerics were gunned down near Malhuana Mor. Indiscriminate firing on worshippers in mosque/im:mb:ra was the other method that resulted in numerous killings. ‘Rise of Sunni Militancy in Pakistan’. 141. (Lahore) 19 January 1999. Animosh Roul mentions six other splinter groups of SSP besides the LJ. E:fiC Eabib al-RaAm:n.org/ satporgtp/countries/Pakistan/terroristoutfits/ssp. namely ‘Jhangvi Tigers’. Terrorist Group of Pakistan’. it was not a one-sided affair. See Siddique Sadiq. to say the least.php?articleid¼2369166.85 In September and October of 1996. They included Tajamal Abbass (Tajamm al-6Abb:s). but it was a clear testimony of how lethal the sectarian terrorists had become.88 . which killed five police personnel.n). 250. ‘Al Haq Tigers’. On 13 August 1991 Mian Muhammad Iqbal of Sufi Group of Industries and SSP nominee for Provincial assembly seat PP–65 was killed in Jhang. the SSP activists had gained access to sophisticated weapons systems.oxfordjournals.jamestown. ‘Sipah-i 4aA:ba: Fomenting Sectarian Violence in Pakistan’ Terrorism Monitor’. August 2003).org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. They were not only growing in fighting power but multiplying in numbers. 17 were killed in Muzaffargarh in January 1999. Countless Sunnis also lost their lives in retribution. The News International Pakistan. ‘Tanzeem ul Haq’. 3/2 (27 January 2005) at www.

Shi6a influence implicitly permeated into the SSP’s overall schema as the Shi6a theological discourse is structured around the cult of the martyr. was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi. there was no tenable evidence of 4:diq Ganj. He also stood as an independent candidate for a Provincial Assembly seat and defeated IJI ticket holder . ‘An Eye for an Eye’. Sectarianism. 90 Owais Tohid.htm. the anti-Shi6a campaign of SSP thrived on the spilling of human blood. See also: Azmat Abbas. (Lahore). ironically.486 votes.org/ satporgtp/countries/Pakistan/terroristoutfits/ssp. accessed 3 March 2007.’s involvement other than his presence in Jhang on the day of the murder. 377. Thus. an Iranian diplomat was another victim of a targeted killing in Multan in 1997. he obtained 62. sparking off a serious diplomatic row between Islamabad and Tehran. 2011 During the 1990s.satp.. The Iranian Cultural Centre at Lahore was set ablaze the same year in January. Most prominent among them was 2gha 4:diq Ganj. Iranian Consul-General who was gunned down on 19 December 1990 by a young lad from Jhang.89 Ganji is widely believed by SSP supporters to have masterminded Haqq Nawaz Jhangvi’s murder. RaA.m.oxfordjournals. Five members of the Iranian armed forces were fatally ambushed in September. In the central Jhang constituency in the 1990 election.82 t ah ir k am r an 89 Zindag. 14–20 December 1991. Haqq Nawaz’s successor and Vice Patron. MuAammad 6Al. K:ka Ball.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Downloaded from jis. As Isl:m. Jumh<r. The way sectarian polarization enabled SSP to increase its vote bank has similarities with the way that communal violence in a number of UP towns has strengthened the hold of the BJP. 13. Shaykh Eaqq Naw:z. It was in retribution for the assassination of Ziau r-Rehman Farooqi along with 26 others at the Lahore Session Court. Scores of martyrs and the ongoing sectarian strife gave the SSP a ‘functional utility’91 that contributed immensely to perpetuating its hold over Jhang. 91 Brass. However. secured election with a considerable majority. ‘The targeting of Iranians was apparently meant to convey the message to Shi6a militants that not even their ‘patrons’ were safe. kin of Amanullah Sial. ‘Production of Hindu–Muslim Violence’. The cult of the martyr was very effectively deployed by the successors of Haqq Nawaz. Mawl:n: Esar al-Qasimi. ‘Sipah-i Sahaba Pakistan. which enhanced not only SSP’s electoral standing but also its renown.’90 Like all revolutions.. Shaykh Eaqq Naw:z was later hanged in Mianwali jail on 28th February 2001. Ittih:d’s (IJI) candidate for the National Assembly. Iranian officials functioning in various capacities in Pakistan became the target of SSP militants. Terrorist Group of Pakistan’ at www..

r (Karachi).m Fawj. influence to Jhang politics.’s 25. It also indicated that the people of Jhang had grown weary of violence and militancy. Sunnis as well as Shi6is left the troubled city. 242.m! Run away or else you’ll die the death of a human. Shaykh Iqbal. Ab< l-Easan AnB:r. He contested that election from JUI (Sami al-Haq Group) quota. Amanullah Sial and Shaykh Iqbal. despite Azam Tariq’s denial that there were any connections between LJ and SSP.501 votes against Dr Ab< l-AnB:r. 93 See for reference. See Zindag. ii. He convincingly won elections in 1993 against his close rivals. Downloaded from jis. Jhang.14–20 March 1991. Akram Lahori and Asif Ramzi in its ranks brought notoriety to SSP. kuttay say kah:: Sal. from the Syed family. A dog said to his dog companion: Sal. ii.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 83 Ayk kuttay ney apnay s:th. General Elections Report. Ironically. Esar al-Qasimi’s assassination was not orchestrated by any Shi6a machination. ‘Proclaimed offenders like Sal. Takb.. and retained by just seven votes his Provincial Assembly seat of PP–65 against Dr.93 Esar al-Qasimi was succeeded by Mawl:n: Azam Tariq (1962–2003) as SSP nominee for the National Assembly seat NA 68. took up an ambassadorial post in USA in 1990–93 as Pakistan was no longer safe for her. However. he lost to PML(N) candidate Amanullah Sial. together with the general disapproval of violence and militancy. He was the victim of a political assassination in January 1991 while returning from the polling station on the southern corner of Jhang Sadar.000 votes. and F:lib Qiy:mat had unleashed a reign of terror in urban Jhang. An< Gadh. His son was the principal accused and Shaykh Iqbal had to pay the huge sum of Rs. mawt mar j:8i g:. 243. (Lahore). 6Ij:z alias Jajj. His murder took place on the very day of the by-election for the Provincial Assembly seat PP–65 Jhang V.oxfordjournals. k. 3. Nevertheless sectarian killings continued unabated.94 This result signalled the return of bir:dar. 94 Azam Tariq got 25. whose economy had been ruined’.95 The situation obtaining in the 1990s has been well depicted by 4afdar Sal.m Siy:l. Nawaz Sharif’s crackdown on militancy during 1997–99. it is said. 2011 and favourite Shaykh Iqbal with a margin of almost 10..92 Esar al-Qasimi did not live long after winning the election.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. He was allegedly killed at the behest of the local Sunni power broker. The situation became so bad that. in 1997..494 votes. Lashkar-i Jhangvi with Riaz Basra. August 2006.m Siy:l in this verse: .m! bh:gh j: warna :dm. 95 Interview with 4afdar Sal.5 million as blood-money to Esar al-Qasimi’s family to settle the issue. saw a 92 General Elections Report. an important political figure like Abida Hussain. 5 December 1991.

sectarianism secured a political space in urban Jhang where it 96 See for further detail Ch Akhter Ali. Its immediate future seems bleak. not a single incident of sectarian violence was reported. the death most foretold in the history of Pakistan. instead of siding with the opposition alliance of religious parties MMA. Downloaded from jis. Leading militants such as Riaz Basra and Asif Ramzi died in police ‘encounters’ while Akram Lahori is held in prison. However after 9/11.84 t ah ir k am r an CONCLUSION This article argues that it is crucial to understand sectarianism in terms of its politicization. In October 2003. This decision evoked sharp reaction from many quarters. Azam Tariq was killed in Islamabad. Peace returned to the district. . Lahore. 2011 considerable decline in sectarian killing in Jhang. ‘Reference under 6(2) of the Political Parties Act (as amended)’. Both the LJ and SSP along with their Shi6a rivals SMP and TJ had been banned by Pervaiz Musharaf on 14 August 2001 and 2002 respectively. Azam Tariq was allowed to contest the elections as an independent candidate. in which representatives of militant religious outfits tend to do well in the conditions of ‘guided democracy’ because of the marginalization of mainstream parties. It has revealed that in the case of Jhang the bir:dar. it fits a pattern in Pakistan. Tariq went along with the pro-Musharraf Muslim League (Quaid-i Azam) and managed to secure the release of the imprisoned SSP activists.96 Nevertheless. The resulting leadership vacuum has rendered the organization rudderless.oxfordjournals. However. according to the Daily Times. Islamabad. the next elections held in 2002 under military rule reversed the process. in due course of time. 29 January 2002. There had been 20 attempts on his life prior to it.s used sectarianism as an instrument for political gain. The military takeover on 12 October 1999 may be one of the reasons that militant groups had assumed a low profile. allegiances have resumed their traditional political influence. From January 1999 to December 2000. Nevertheless. Azam Tariq won the election even though he was in jail. However. Supreme Court of Pakistan.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Azam Tariq’s victory was quite unexpected. The stage managing of the B:b-i 6Umar incident is a case in point. such figures as Azam Tariq have had to act circumspectly. Azam Tariq’s murder was a death knell to SSP or ‘Millat-i Isl:miyya’ (the name given to the organization after the SSP was proscribed in 2002). After securing election victory. Long awaited peace has returned to Jhang where bir:dar.

which had been directed against the Qadiyanis.SECTARIAN MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN 85 afforded opportunities for previously marginalized local and refugee communities.org at University Of Illinois Library on July 14. Increasingly. Shi6is were the target of sectarian militancy in the wake of the Afghan Jih:d and the Iranian Revolution. The proliferation of madrasas with foreign funding provided much needed cadres for such organizations as the SSP.com Downloaded from jis. sectarianism never totally replaced bir:dar. This offers an approach that may better explain sectarianism. politics. 2011 . It thrived on existing patterns of religious sectarian mobilization. E-mail: tahirkamran_gcu@yahoo. and perhaps also evolve to counter it. However. While the conditions in Jhang were especially propitious for the rise of sectarianism.oxfordjournals. the key to understanding its spread elsewhere in Pakistan also lies in seeing it as a vehicle for the politics of identity for marginalized social groups.