Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deciphering the attacks on Pakistani Nationals in Bahrain

Posted by Teeth Maestro (blog) March 18, 2011 here

CPR - A Bahrain ID Card which has the nationality clearly mentioned
After posting the two write-ups on the blog here & here about the threats on Pakistanis living in Bahrain, its important to share my own analysis over this issue that I have gained over the past two days thanks to a number of friends in Bahrain and around the world.

There is a large population of Pakistanis living in Bahrain, many settled for years, many knowing only the Kingdom of Bahrain as their birth place, are now suddenly feeling threatened and fear their own personal security. The population which has lived together as a community for many years has recently been divided drastically in terms of Shia and Sunni religious sects, predominantly the Arab rulers are Sunni while a large influx of expatriates have flowed into the country namely Pakistan & other south Asian regions [sunni] and a large section from Iran [shiite]. Mostly the ruling family has recruited Pakistanis [and other south Asians] into the police force because of their natural preference to having a “trusted” dominated force.
Over time many people in Bahrain eyed Pakistanis as the golden-eye favorites of the rulers and were seen with a certain degree of resentment. With the hub of the revolution starting from the GCC roundabout the issue initially was reported as a pro-democracy protest, but over the past few days the “pro-democracy” protesters have become Anti Government rioters taking a startling turn.

Peaceful Pakistanis being a blue-eyed favorite of the rulers have been blanket labeled as pro-government and have become fair game to protestors to identify and inhumanely brutalize them at will. Prime target has been the multi-national police force of who have been at the receiving end of the most inhumane, racial treatment by the protestors and abundant videos are circulating to support this.

The anger has spilled over to Pakistani civilians living in Bahrain, it is now every Pakistani is seen to be as a pro-government supporter and is being targeted under the context of a revolution. The Anti-Government protesters have been marking homes of “naturalized” Bahrainis’(of Asian decent), Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis to attack at any time they have an entry to do so.

My personal telephonic discussions in the past two days with a few Pakistanis settled in Bahrain have revealed some horrifying stories of their families under the threat of being targeted for merely walking on the street, many cases have emerged where mob has stopped people and asked them to show their CPR (Bahrain ID Card). If the card has Pakistani flag then immediately they are subjected to sever beating & nearby killing them. Some of them are no more with us.

Pakistanis are fearful of going to work or school for the fear they may come across a mob who might identify and target them. They are also not sure if the person stopping them is among the good guys or the bad guys.

My concern as a Pakistani is the sole protection of my brethren in Bahrain, I am not commenting on the pro-government or anti-government status of the revolution undergoing on in Bahrain, as I do not consider myself any expert to comment on the intricacies of their political associations or their sectarian problems but to only focus on the safety of Pakistanis living there and to support them in any which way possible.

We would like our powerful media who are covering every aspect of every (kind) of News, to cover the ground reality of this problem. They should be talking to people on the streets who are actually facing this problem rather than copying footage from other channels which in most cases is one side story.

The Pakistani Embassy is ill staffed to handle this emergency and drastic measures need to be employed for the safe extradition of any Pakistani who may be under threat.

The Pakistan Embassy has given safe harbor to 40 families in the Pakistan Club but that is insufficient. A major appeal across Pakistan media and government entities needs to be raised to launch an effort to help these expatriate Pakistanis in this crisis. Our simple goal is the safety of Pakistanis.

NOTE: I, would like to thank Abdulaziz Khattak, Fahd M. Akhtar and Reem, based in Bahrain in helping me verify the contents of this writeup helping me to present the true picture of current situation in Bahrain

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