Sectarianism in Pakistan: less visible, yet pretty evident

Yousaf, Farooq

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Are we Muslims and equal citizens of Pakistan? That is what Pakistani Shia identity has come down to. This question of their faith (or nonfaith) has led to a number of sectarian attacks on Shia mosques or busses loaded with pilgrims, with the state taking little or no notice of it. Adding to that, Pakistan’s current religio-political landscape is rife with intolerance aimed at increasing power at the cost of minority persecution. Things weren’t that bad at the time of inception of Pakistan. Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder, was an Ismailia Shia himself, whereas one of his cabinet ministers belonged to the Ahmadi faith - another at-risk minority community targeted by the militant organizations. Jinnah once tipped Pakistan to be a “laboratory of Islam”. This prophecy was taken quite literally by the militant outfits, whose experiments have precipitated a Sunni-dominated narrative in the country. Pakistan is in the midst of coming out of a deadly 13 year terror streak, with a successful operation against the militant factions in the FATA region. Yet, many Pakistani security experts underrate the importance or significance of countering the sectarian violence in the country that has haunted Pakistan for many decades now.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: SADF - South Asia Democratic Forum
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2015
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2016
Number of Pages: 3
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Controlled Keywords: Pakistan, Minderheit, Gewalt
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pakistan, Minderheiten, Shia, Ahmadiyyas / Pakistan, sectarian violence, Shia community, minority rights, Ahmadis
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: Pakistan
Series: Themen > SADF Comment
Volume: 12 [n.s.]
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