First they came... Rise of sectarian violence against Shia community

Pakistan a country brutally dangerous for all its citizen alike due to growing terrorism and high crime rate due to emerging unemployed youth, but lately perhaps minorities have become an easy prey for extremist organizations working under umbrella of extreme right wing religo-political organizations.

In the recent wave of terror attacks the heat has shifted from a more natural prey of Ahmadies to Shia living in Pakistan. Here, I prefer using 'natural' for Ahmadies as the state already endorses limited constitutional discrimination and wouldn't mind if someone like to take it one step further. However, Shia Muslims belive to be part of main stream Islam in interpretation of majority of Muslims as well as the Pakistani constitution but still they have become the target of recent  assassinations and bombings which are the part of over 3 decade sectarian violence rooted under Zia regime. While, looking over it in a historical perspective the systematic attacks started during the end of 80's when anti-Shia organizations like Sipah-e-Sahaba emerged over voilent political scene.

In a post-sectarian violent Pakistan, all collaborated enmity was focused towards Ahmadies whose religious views have an interpretative difference from the believes of mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims. This partnership of main stream Muslims lead to the most darkest time for human rights of one fraction of society, when state indulged in people personal matter by defining 'Muslim' which paved the way for future discriminating laws in the name of religion. Here, this main stream Muslim brotherhood between Shia and Sunni Muslims proved far from sustainable.  As in statement of famous German theologian Martin-Niemöller 'First they came...', here Shia Muslims remained a part of the ant-Ahmadi constitutional amendments including Ordinance XX, until there were no religious freedom was left for minority Ahmadies living in Pakistan. After these constitutional amendments Ahmadies were became the target of legal hunting in courts as well and they became more distant from mixing in main stream Muslim social circles. The fact that Shia community never anticipated was, next in line were they themselves. Once Zia initiated Islamization of the country, we saw the emergence of political movement of Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafari against the application of Sunni interpretation of Islam in Pakistan constitution. For centuries Shia-Sunni Muslim enjoyed a relative peace in sub-continental community due to presence of a major counter force of Hinduism. The society saw the worst ever sectarian-polarization with the Zia Islamization of the country. However it would be irrational to ignore the geopolitical scenario of the region where at one side religions fanaticism was much needed to keep up with the emotional support to the men at wars in Afghanistan, while on the other side, after Iranian revolution, country has emerged as conservative republic representing the Shia Muslims.

Pakistan a historical anti-sectarian society became a favorable place to start proxy wars of global powers. The foundation of anti-sectarianism was already laid with the definition of Muslims, all it needed was some resources, man power and exploitations of emotions. Pakistani law makers while restricting the life of minorities and dreaming to become a global player, taught us, how to hate ourselves.





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