Ismailis are peaceful and patriotic people who have worked for Pakistan's wellbeing: PM

Published: May 13, 2015
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PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

As the country came to a standstill following the brutal attack on the Ismaili community passenger bus, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed sadness over the attack, saying the attack is an attempt to spread divisions in the country.

“Ismailis are a very patriotic and peaceful people who have always worked for the wellbeing of Pakistan,” the premier said.

At least six gunmen on motorcycles boarded a bus and opened fire on commuters belonging to the Ismaili community in Karachi’s Safoore Chowk area, killing at least 43 people.

Read: 43 dead, 24 injured in bus attack on Karachi’s Ismaili community

Following the attack, Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrived in Karachi, cancelling a pre-scheduled three-day trip to Sri Lanka.

“COAS cancelled his pre schedule three day visit to Sri Lanka due to Karachi terrorist bus attack,” Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa.

The prime minister is also scheduled to travel to Karachi Wednesday evening where he will be visiting the victims of the attack.

The army chief, along with corps commander and DG Rangers, is likely to visit the injured at Aga Khan University (AKU) hospital. Security has been beefed up at the hospital’s vicinity following General Raheel’s visit.

Militant group Jundullah, which has attacked Muslim minorities before, claimed responsibility. The group has links with the Pakistani Taliban and pledged allegiance to Islamic State in November.

The United Nations also strongly condemned the attack carried out in Karachi. In a statement, Resident UN Coordinator in Pakistan Dr Jacqui Badcock said they were horrified by this act of brutality.

High level security meeting

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is chairing a high level meeting at Governor House in Karachi to assess the security situation following the grisly attack on Ismaili community earlier in the day, Radio Pakistan reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a high level security meeting at Governor House in Karachi. PHOTO: PID

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, Corps Commander Karachi and secretary interior are present at the meeting.

During the meeting DG Rangers and IG Sindh briefed the premier on the situation.

Expressing his grief and sorrow over the firing incident, the prime minister said innocent people including women were targeted in the attack.

While issuing directions for the apprehension of the culprits involved in Wednesday incident, the premier directed the law enforcement agencies to keep a close eye on anti-state and anti-social elements.

MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Rasheed Godel are also present at the meeting, Express News reported.

After the meeting, the prime minister accompanied by the Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Farooq Sattar visited the residence of Ismaili community leader Sultan Ali Allana and offered their condolences.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • oBSERVER
    May 13, 2015 - 5:43PM

    Thank you Mr Prime Minister for the information. But your job is to ensure safety of peaceful people. You fail every time. What do you intend doing about it. I know you won’t resign.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 13, 2015 - 6:04PM

    Not just them, Mr Shareef, most of us are peaceful and peace loving, patriotic people. Just like the Ismailies we all work together for a prosperous and progressive Pakistan. The defect lies with the deficient and corrupt political class who in connivance with the other power groups such as the feudalism of every hue, landed and both civil and military, have taken this whole nation hostage. If the pretenders of leadership are corrected, you can be sure that all will be as any other country on the world map.Recommend

  • Asim Ali
    May 13, 2015 - 6:04PM

    Please do not publish statements of PM or Zardari or CM Sindh. These statements are useless. Its what the COAS does and decides is what needs to be reported. For the sake of the people of Pakistan, the media needs to get its act together and work with people who matter. The rest need to be jailed for life if not hangedRecommend

  • Naseer
    May 13, 2015 - 8:53PM

    After watching these tragic stories, I don’t get numb anymore. I have no more tears left in my eyes. I don’t even know if there is a cure for this Islamic extremism. We are dying fast of this cancer and all hopes for survival are diminishing fast.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    May 13, 2015 - 9:34PM

    4 versus 43. Just last week 2 ambassadors and 2 wives of other ambassadors were killed when their helicopter was destroyed at the time of cash landing and our PM Mian Nawaz Sharif declared 1 day national mourning whereby our national flag flew at half mast which I also commended and my comments were flashed here. Today as many as 43 and that too our own Pakistanis have been killed in Karachi but PM did not announce even local mourning is at least not understood me. Which constitution clause empowered PM to declare one day national mourning, or for that matter, which constitution clause stops PM to declare local mourning if not national mourning is my vey innocent question which be answered at least to enlighten me if not others? I did MA in 1966 from Pol Sc Dept, PU, Lahore where Pakistan constitution was very much taught to me and though many decades have passed since then but still I can remember that there was nothing like that in the constitution and I very much doubt that the present constitution despite so many amendments in the constitution has empowered PM alike. May be it is PM inborn prerogative to declare mourning and if it is so then had sky fallen apart if PM has shown same gesture towards Ismailis who were our own? Who opposes or supports me? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi4merdiplomat@hotmail.comRecommend

  • Ahmediya
    May 13, 2015 - 9:35PM

    Ahmedis stand with Ismailis we need to unite and fight extremism in Pakistan.
    We are true Muslims and nobody can deny us this right.Recommend

  • lkhan
    May 13, 2015 - 10:00PM

    It was shocking to see the PM did not postpone a non urgent meeting to explain the corridor to China to the opposition. Not only that, he and his cronies laughed and ate with gusto filmed by TV stations. It was good to see Mr. Zardari and PTI people refrain from eating. At least some felt for the suffering in Karachi. The army chief who has his boots well placed on planet earth, cancelled his trip abroad and rushed to Karachi. What a difference between one and the other. Too, Gen Raheel was the first person to call HRH the Agha Khan to convey his deep sorrow. Everything the PM does seems to be an after thought. How very sad for Pakistan to have such halfwits as leaders… It is time important decisions be taken, preferably by the military. We see the calibre of our politicians, how very shameful and sad for Pakistan. That Punjab gives free reign to certain terrorist groups, that the barbarian Lakhvi be freed from jail, each time CM Sindh makes statements, what embarrassment, that the red mosque of Islamabad be run by criminals and terrorists, shame shame and more shame on all those responsible. That Saudi Arabia freely exports hatred, intolerance, finance of extremist madressahs to Pakistan should be discontinued sooner rather than later – enough of playing with the lives of innocent people – now close to 60,000 dead. PM put your business interests in KSA aside, Pakistan comes first.Recommend

  • Ismaili Muslim
    May 13, 2015 - 10:00PM

    As an Ismaili Muslim I stand with other Muslim brothers like Ahmedis, Hazaras and non Muslim brother like Christians, Hindus, etc.
    We need to unite and fight extremism.Recommend

  • lkhan
    May 13, 2015 - 10:54PM

    @Ismaili Muslim: I wrote elsewhere and am grateful to ET for not censoring my comment as in Dawn, that no longer do I consider myself sunni. I am Ismaili, Shiite, Ahmedi, Christian, Sufi, Bohra – totally identify with minorities and their suffering. We need to unite to pressure the political class peacefully, we are not barbarians, to put an end to this horrific suffering. My heartfelt sorrow and sympathy for the tragic loss of lives today, yesterday. If only there was a genuine will to fight these mad people, shut down their schools and training camps, arrest all without exception responsible for killing, and those who protect them. The cost to the country is immeasurable, out with vested interests and business as usual. Time to bring change….Recommend

  • observer
    May 14, 2015 - 12:32AM

    @lkhan:

    “no longer do I consider myself sunni. I am Ismaili, Shiite, Ahmedi, Christian, Sufi, Bohra – totally identify with minorities and their suffering.”

    That is a very noble and truly humanistic statement. But, I wonder why you left out Hindus and Sikhs from your list. Recommend

  • Zaheer
    May 14, 2015 - 12:33AM

    First of all my heartfelt sorrow and sympathy for the tragic loss of precious lives in a sad incident of firing on a Ismaili Community bus in which atleast 44 people died near Safoora Goth. Every time when such incident occured the government claim it will leave no stone unturned to nab the culprit of the tragic incident. But neither chief minister nor governor or the Interior minister taking responsibility of brutal killings of innocent people and resign, specially CM sindh should take responsibility and immediately resign as he is completely failed to protect the lives of people across the province. These so-called leaders travel under the security of 20-30 mobiles convoy and the people are dying on roads helplessly. Today’s tragic incident stunned the whole nation which already fighting against extremism & terrorism. Interestingly seriousness of the sindh ministers can be easily guage by the fact that the sindh govt has announced mourning day on thursday but Education minister announced all educational institutions will be open normally, this is what really happening in sindh, when sindh government cannot control its own minister than how can it successfully control the law & order situation in the province? Last but not least its the responsibility of the government to protect the lives of innocent people specially the minorities of Pakistan as they are also the law abiding citizens of the country and have the same rights like others.Recommend

  • Shukla
    May 14, 2015 - 1:02AM

    Mr. Prime Minister we dont need your photo sessions and sympathy words. We just need actions and stern actions. Sack the Sindh government and impose governor’s rule. Ask the agencies to search the notorious areas such as sohrab goth, pehlewan goth, quid abad etc. and destroy the hideouts of the terrorists. Please do actions rather doing lip services.Recommend

  • salman
    May 14, 2015 - 1:38AM

    @lkhan:

    You are just being paranoid. That corridor significance is equally important and calling it as non urgent issue just depicts the lack of understanding of the matter. People like you won’t give a hoot when such project may well turn into another KalaBagh Dam if not addressed now.Recommend

  • TAHIR
    May 14, 2015 - 2:07AM

    Only way you can save Pakistan is to elliminate Mullaism and declare Pakistan a secular state that Jinnah envisioned.
    Jinnah created Pakistan,not Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
    Like all Shias, if Jinnah was alive today,he will also be declared Wajab ul qatl by the Mullah,just like they called him Kafir in his life time.Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    May 14, 2015 - 3:09AM

    In all the hustle and bustle in the aftetmath of this gruesome tragedy, one strains to see the representation of Karachi. The Sindh government represents Karachi as much as Israel represents Palestininan interests. The governor has no constitutional powers and a few mqm MNAs are added to meetings as an attempt at being inclusive. In all the deliberations being held, it is Karachi’s representatives who should have been leading the discussion as one woyld expect Sh Sharif to in Lahore. If Karachi had its own strong local govetnment with its own local police, things would have not come to this pass to start with. As it is the dregs of the country have been pushed to Karachi as Lahore and Islamabad sit pretty. It is this biased attitude which has brought Karachi to this state and unless the powers that are dont let Karachi have a natural governance, things are only going to get worse. Law and order is just a flip side of good governance which Karachi is being articificially and prejudicially denied.Recommend

  • unbelievable
    May 14, 2015 - 4:44AM

    Even after this outrageous slaughter the govt hasn’t taken any meaningful steps to protect minorities or capture the terrorist. That says much about Pakistan … business as usual. Go figure.Recommend

  • karma
    May 14, 2015 - 6:17AM

    Mr. PM: Ismailis are peaceful/Patriotic.

    So, whom else do you suggest IS blow up? Who are the non-peaceful, non-patriotic people you’d offer as Bakra instead?

    Secure all citizens, instead of giving certificates.Recommend

  • G Indian
    May 14, 2015 - 8:53AM

    Hello Ismailis, Escape from Pakistan if you can afford. You can get asylum in countries like Canada, Sweden or Australia. Pakistani public has don’t care attitude. You have only one precious life and just don’t waste it by staying in a dysfunctional islamic state called Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aysha M
    May 14, 2015 - 11:05AM

    @Napier Mole:
    excellent comments
    Talking Karachi without Karachi can never heal Karachi. They just dont seem to get it. You are absolutely right MQM should lead the course of action.They know the place&people, but unfortunately the real bosses, their boots&brains, dont make an effective combination, they seem to be averse to the idea of having MQM in the equationRecommend

  • Ayesha
    May 14, 2015 - 11:33AM

    If every Pakistani behaves like Ismailis; living, working, social interaction, caring etc. then Pakistan can become heaven. They are great example living within us with dicipline and patrioticism. I would like them to be known as the best Pakistanis!.Recommend

  • lkhan
    May 14, 2015 - 12:43PM

    @salman:
    @observer: Observer, you are right, I should have included “And all Sects persecuted in Pakistan”. Apologies for the exclusion. Too, I am a woman, refuse to bow my head or cover it for that matter. It is time for equality, tolerance, education, social welfare to be given a chance in a country where with the exception of an elite class that has lost touch with reality and empathy; has great people, who if given half a chance would build its economy to new heights.

    As for @slaman, I do not want to waste my breath on idiotic arguments, especially when they are based on personal petty small matter comments.. Suffice it to say, the massacre of Ismailis in my mind is no small matter. As the killings of close to 60,000 people violently, with the government continuing to live in a fool’s callous paradise. Unless the rule of law is implemented, the barbarians brought to courts and given sentences well deserved, development will not prosper. Civil society has had enough of such madness…Recommend

  • Immi
    May 14, 2015 - 2:10PM

    Overemotional comments over this tragedy aside, the fact that ismailis were targeted and the fact that gilgit baltistan is ismaili majority and the fact that the china-pakistan economic corridor runs through the region…this is not an attack on minorities…this is an attack on the future of pakistan….

    A well wisher Kashmiri.Recommend

  • disgusted
    May 14, 2015 - 2:48PM

    @lkhan:
    You perhaps did not notice Zardari did not hasitate and with his typical sneaky streak was seen filling his plate.Recommend

  • observer
    May 15, 2015 - 5:19PM

    @lkhan:
    Totally agreed and well said. Ours is a sick society. This is a very rude shock to all normal sensible, peaceful people, if you can leave this country, please do so. Recommend

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