EOPM reiterates that the real threat to the Pakistan’s social fabric comes from the ideology of hate propagated freely by religious extremists. Pakistan is a weak state; sectarianism makes it weaker still. After successfully banishing Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis from mainstream society, it is now the turn of the Shias.
Sectarian clashes have killed thousands of Pakistanis since 1979, as the theological differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims have been transformed into a fullblown war. Pakistan’s first encounter with sectarianism occurred in 1950 in Hyderabad during Muharram. The first organised agitation that engulfed the country was the movement against the Ahmadi community in 1953 led by the Jamaat Islami and Majlis Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, a Sunni vigilante group. In the 1980s, an impotent Pakistani state has essentially allowed the Wahabbi Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran to fight a shadow war in its territory. But from 1990 onwards, the tide has turned against the Shias, as Sunni radical thugs wage jihad outside and sectarian battles inside.
In the last 15 years or so, it looked as if a religious cleansing in slow motion — of ridding the country of Shias — is in progress. But then, “HATE IDEOLOGY” has been pretty obvious in Pakistan’s history, and inventing “ENEMIES OF THE FAITH” is but another excuse for secterian killing.