Terrorists target Shia procession in Karachi

Terrorists target Shia procession in Karachi

Dawn.com invites its readers to share eye-witness accounts and photographs from the incident.

 An explosion occurred on Karachi’s M.A. Jinnah road on Monday during a Shia procession commemorating Ashura.

For the city of lights, it’s the third blast in three days and the latest in a series of blasts that have taken place during the holy month of Muharram.

Photographs can be sent at photos@dawn.com

*In response to Dawn.com’s forum, an eyewitness, Waheed Zuberi, shares his photographs from the explosion during the Ashura procession on M.A. Jinnah Road on Monday afternoon.



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264 Responses to “Terrorists target Shia procession in Karachi”

  1. Appealing answers.

  2. Thanks for this post.

  3. apurva says:

    This is so sad. Shia, Sunni etc. have discomfort with each other.
    Why can’t each group let each one breathe and live at ease?
    Let each one communicate & reach to Allah in their own manner.

    In all this disunity, it is the arm merchants that win, not the common people.

  4. amar says:

    Religion, Beliefs, Faiths are Personal choices nobody has the right to force his viewpoint on others.

  5. Mullah_balls says:

    The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation. Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet’s companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and the Prophet Muhammad’s close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. The word “Sunni” in Arabic comes from a word meaning “one who follows the traditions of the Prophet.”

    On the other hand, some Muslims share the belief that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet’s own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself.

    The Shia Muslims believe that following the Prophet Muhammad’s death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. Throughout history, Shia Muslims have not recognized the authority of elected Muslim leaders, choosing instead to follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God Himself. The word “Shia” in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical “Shia-t-Ali,” or “the Party of Ali.” They are also known as followers of “Ahl-al-Bayt” or “People of the Household” (of the Prophet)

    • Haider says:

      The summarized description of Sunni and Shia faiths is accurate except for the matter of election. The first Caliph was elected by a small group of Muslims outside the city of Madina shortly after the death of Prophet (P.B.U.H). The second Caliph was appointed in writing by the first Caliph at the time of his death. The third Caliph was selected by the committee of 6 members. The committee was formed by the second Caliph at the time of his death. The fourth Caliph came into power when people of Madina came to him requesting for the leadership after the death of third Caliph.

      The fifth Caliph came into power through war when his Syrian army came to Madina. After that the leadership of the Muslim nation remained in the family of the fifth Caliph for the next 90 years and this period is known in the history as Umayyad Caliphate. The Abbasid defeated the Umayyads and the Caliphate remained in the Abbasid family for the next few hundred years.

      Therefore, to say that the Shia Muslims do not recognized the authority of ‘elected’ Muslim leaders is not correct since there was never an ‘elected’ leadership in Muslim nation.

  6. Peter Stanley says:

    capTain rizzZZ… says: December 30th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Who else is doing these sort of activities these people aren’t Muslims, cause we are not allowed to kill any single human on planet, so how could any Muslim can kill any person…….

    Sorry my friend, I did not agree with your comments.

  7. Khalid Khan says:

    It appears there is a consensus among readers that it was an unfortunate incident and the responsible should be dealt with firmly. While I could not agree more on that, I have noticed a tendency that some of us are getting bogged down on whether the tragedy was orchestrated by foreign elements, or whether the arson was carried out by the people from within the procession.

    Can we please, and I say again, please, demonstrate some common sense and unity on this national tragedy, and stay focused) building a consensus on identifying the root cause) what can we, as individuals, do to take care of the root cause. Any takers!

    Best Regards.

  8. A says:

    Mate, it’s not about allowing or disallowing. The problem is the difficult times we as a nation are facing. Many a times Muhammad (PBUH) made amendments according to the situation and the fact today is that we need to be careful and should see what is written on the wall. No one here is pointing towards the rituals or any worship but towards one thing and that is “allocation of a certain area where these rituals and worships should take place”, and I believe there is no harm in that if people and their property could be protected by following and implementing certain rules.

  9. Naved Haider says:

    In a terrorist attach, the ultimate result is the loss of innocent lives no matter whether it is done in prade-lane mosque Rawalpindi, in the moon market Lahore, in a volleyball match in NWFP or on a the ashura procession in Karachi. If people can be killed in many guarded mosques (allocated area), then how come someone guarantee that nothing will happen if religious processions are organized in an allocated / secluded area. Were many shia’s imambarghahs / majalis not attacked in recent past, which are of course allocated areas?

    Until we don’t get rid of religious extremism / terrorism we are not safe, no matter where ever we are and which sect we belong to. As a society we need to respect each other’s belief and let everybody perform his / her rituals without any hindrance.

    If countries like USA, UK, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran etc. can allow majalis / processions without any problem then why a few of us are so concerned about them in Pakistan

  10. Muhammad Umar Farooq says:

    To all Writers,

    I would add one thing that on such kinds of occasion people for other religion who are against the Islam get benefit.

    They spread riots and arson. According to my point of view that was all planed before the procession start.

  11. azhar says:

    When processions moves many miles on different roads all over the country, with thousands of people in it, then under present circumstances it becomes difficult to provide foolproof security.

    Here we see one mishap led to another and in this situation anti state elements come into play and made situation bad to worse which result in huge loss of life and property
    For the safety of community as a whole (life + property) it will be much better if processions are held at allotted places. It will surely reduce chances of mishap and reduce chances of loss of life and property.

  12. aLi says:

    @ Abdullah,

    I don’t know how you are inferring that I mean that. I guess we are talking the same but in a different context though. Surely, vandalism and arson is a condemnable act and the perpetrators should be brought to justice, BUT attributing that to moharram procession is totally wrong. I fully second your views on condemning deplorable acts of bombing and arson.

    I would like to state that people who have been caught for their involvement in blast are from amongst us. They have not come from Mars. And have carried out the attack with support and logistics provided by the people in the locality. So please keep vigil on these anti social elements.

    All the very best.

  13. L Ahmad says:

    Marching in the streets to commemorate any religious day I don’t get it.

  14. abdullah says:

    I support A’s point. Responsible should be arrested. This is utterly illogical point of ALI that if we don’t catch the responsible of bomb blast then we should close our eyes on others mishaps responsibilities. Bomb blast is condemnable act but ignore the culprits who fired the shops is also condemnable act.

  15. A says:

    Mate Ali,

    I made my point here and people have understood. I guess people need to watch the footage with open eyes (if they want too) not closed.

  16. Mab Turan says:

    Pakistan should prohibit all sectarian literature and propaganda on the ground that it leads eventually to public disorder and moreover distracts the public attention from the “divine message” enshrined in the Holy Quran.

  17. aLi says:

    For A and like minded!

    I think you guys are focusing too much on the aftermath, but are really not concerned about how and why that blast has happened! The blast was not suicidal, as per news somebody had planted it in the box containing sacred papers. How he had got access and was able to plant it without even being captured by the CCTV, or people from the locality, and why it had not been detected is a big question mark. I think we should first address this, then start discussing about the arson, which only had started after the blast. As the procession was passing peacefully before it all happened, and I am sure that most of the perpetrators had nothing to do with the procession.

    Dude, get out of your prejudice thoughts. Really its time for you & like minded to wake up and see who is at fault. Since, you also appreciate ritual, history and culture.

  18. A says:

    For Ali

    If you and others are still not convinced (I guess many people will never be whatever evidence you provide them they will come up with some kind of reply) then why not capture those who are seen in the CCTV footage? What is the problem? Mate, wake up think only like a human, put your-self in their shoes, you will find people in the CCTV who were holding alams and knives and wearing black cloths too!

  19. Mohammad says:

    I support Ahmed in the below message. We need to answer the world in this modern times in the straight methods.

    Pakistan is un-democratic and theocratic.

    How can we justify this nature to the common men in the world?

    The answer is a big zero. So we have to bear all these barbaric activities of terrorism until we properly solve it…!!!

  20. salman says:

    @ A

    Could not agree less. Me and the entire family watched the carnage from one of our
    Friend’s flat. Indeed some of the looters and arsonists were from the procession even some of the Scouts were helping them.

    People who say how did they get inflammable materials, they looted the plastic cans from shops and plastic buckets, poured petrol from motorbikes and cars from the nearby lanes, you could ask any residence of the nearby locality. Everyone saw this so why denying the fact?

  21. ali says:


    Why can’t the CCTV captured those who planted the bomb or have carried out the attack? I also have seen the footage but unable to see that any person holding alam was doing it, even some of the perpetrators were wearing red shirts, azadars do not wear red on ashura day. Let’s hope to have some thoughts out of prejudice.

  22. A says:

    It’s time to compensate the innocent people who had nothing to do with the procession and with the incident. After seeing CCTV footage it is obvious who is behind the destructions. Wake up law enforcement agencies, be brave, point clearly to those who were involved. You can clearly see that they were people who were involved in the procession having “alams”, “knives” and other destructive instruments. If you don’t take action now just based on the fact that you might face a opposition from Ulema then I am sorry to say this thing will not stop and will go on. Take action!

  23. Awaz says:

    Let’s wake up to the rude awakening that this was not about religion, this was an attack on Pakistan to destabilize it like all other attacks and carnage that goes on daily. From what we hear, sounds like a preplanned attack. The burning and then the looting within minutes, and nobody, no law enforcement to stop them.

  24. KC says:

    Shia procession targeted by terrorists resulted in loss of innocent lives and property. The suicide bomber started with bomb explosion but I hear that the procession participants and standby public went on destroying properties of those innocents who have nothing to do with bombing or killings. What are our teachings and upbringings that we do not hesitate to kill and burn?

    It is duty of government to provide safety and security to its people and their property. What kind of governing bodies we have that have failed in the past and now in providing services to its citizens. It appears that we can not find dedicated and capable people who can provide basic services of keeping the public and their properties safe from terrorists.

    I condemn the act of terrorism and associated acts of vandalism that resulted in loss of lives and properties of innocent citizens.

  25. zehra says:

    Check out the pictures of that day, Bolten market traders would have been in trauma for that night. But families of the martyrs would be in trauma for the rest of their life!

    Think for a while, what if I or you were there?

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