Shia-Sunni rift on rise in Pakistan, but Imran Khan govt’s silence may be strategic

Source: The Print

Claims that the conflict is an Indian conspiracy or a distraction from the Bajwa corruption scam don’t explain why Deobandi & militant groups are harassing Shias.

Imran Khan
File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan | Photo: @ImranKhanOfficial | Facebook.  The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles to overcome sectarian divide among the Muslims

Pakistan’s mainstream media may have hid it well, but sectarian tension between Sunnis and Shias seems to be back, especially in the commercial capital of Karachi and some urban centres of Punjab. Although Pakistan’s state authorities and its supporters on social media have tried to project this conflict as an Indian conspiracy, the accusation does not explain the fact that a number of Deobandi parties, extremist, and militant groups have come together to harass the Shia population right in the eyesight of the country’s security apparatus. Violence has not begun, but its likelihood looms large. The fear generated through sloganeering is in itself harmful for the Shias.

The real question, however, is why has such tension returned? Why is it that all major Deobandi militant groups are back to knocking at the doors of Pakistan’s Shias? And why are non-militant Sunni religious groups, such as the Deobandis and Barelvis, trying to scare the life out of Shias, or anyone who is supporting Iran?

Many people I spoke with are linking the recent development with the Pakistani government and military’s desire to divert attention from retired Lt General Asim Bajwa’s scam of his large personal business empire in the United States. Some tend to see it in the context of pushing back the political opposition.Such explanations are worth thinking about but don’t sufficiently explain the reemergence of the Shia-Sunni discord or why the State would take such a major risk of unleashing danger that is tantamount to walking on a landmine.

Saving Asim Bajwa’s reputation may be necessary, but it doesn’t deserve such a risk. The missing piece of the puzzle is probably Iran, and perhaps Tehran’s links with China.

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan, Sectarianism

1 reply

  1. Not only Shias but also Ahmadis, Pashtun people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Sindh who are freedom loving are tortured by Pakistan’s Army because they are not supporting the Pakistan’ s policy of supporting & Funding terrorist organizations. They also faces genocide by local Islamists who have full support of Imran Khan Government. They want peace & development not the blood shed. Pakistan’s Imran government is misleading whole world on human rights violations happening in its country.

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