Wednesday, 16 March 2011

On Pakistani Origin Security Forces in Bahrain

Saudi and other GCC troops are in Bahrain and the impasse continues. Many of the riot police and other Bahraini security forces keeping the Shia demonstrators in check are non-Bahraini Sunnis recruited from places like Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen and Syria and some of them have been given Bahraini citizenship.

I came across a very interesting point of view regarding Pakistanis in the Bahraini security outfit put forth by Rafia Zakaria, a Pakistani origin American based in the USA. Zakaria is a Director of Amnesty International, USA and is currently pursuing a PhD at Indiana University. Zakaria says, rightly in my view, that the Pakistanis serving the Bahraini security apparatus are as much victims as the Shias of Bahrain. Very few of the migrant Pakistanis gain citizenship and many of them are abused or tortured by their Bahraini employees, though they do jobs which the Bahrainis can’t or won’t do. Zakaria assumes (is this a correct assumption?) that Bahrainis Shias oppose the grant of citizenship to Pakistanis and other emigrants who have lived there for most of their working lives and says that “the idea of ethnically constructed citizenship, where only those who are Arab are considered deserving of Bahraini citizenship, is an inherently unjust one.”

I fully agree, but at this moment, it is difficult to feel any sympathy for the Bahraini security forces.

1 comment:

Winnowed said...

This is an update. Apparently 4 Pakistanis in Bahrain have been beaten to death. Read all about it here: