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February 19, 2013 / subramanyam

Fresh Trouble in Pakistan


          They say,  “a stitch in time saves nine” looks like our neighbor is learning it the hard way.  The extremism in Pakistan is today consuming the lives of Pakistanis like never before.  The governments which should have not at all interfered in the affairs of religions to begin with, are now putting up a sorry face, thanks to the misguided adventures in the past. The religious extremism which must have been nipped off when it was still in the budding stages was encouraged/dealt with soft hands (at least it’s widely believed so !!) and the State is now facing the repercussions of it. 


          On Saturday there was this massive explosion in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta and it took the lives of 90 people

Protests against the violence

Protests against the violence

mostly Shi’a Muslims.   This attack, that has also left 200+ people injured and sent shock waves across the country happens to be the second massive attack one in less than a month’s time . The one in January also took about 86 lives.   The perpetrators of the crime happen to be the extremist groups that subscribe to the Sunni sect of  Islam and they believe that Shiite’s have got the interpretation wrong and hence they are not real Muslims. The sad irony of the fact remains that the victims and perpetrators of the crime both happen to be Muslims in a country that was carved out in the name of Islam .


          I think this problem is due to the State’s association with a religion.  The idea of the State associating with a religion would always be romantic to begin with,  it is a very rosy picture that’s presented and you always believe that it’s happening for the good.  However, as the years pass by, purists emerge out of the state propagated religion and it would put the State in a spot on whom it wishes to support. Now, if you oppose the purists you are in problem as the popular base of yours might get wiped out and on the other hand if you support them, you run the risk of fostering extremism that would rise it ugly head at one point of time or the other and might risk the lives of religious minorities.


          Coming to Pakistan, it was Ahmedi’s who were attacked in the early days.  Thanks to Zia’s laws and the favoring of Sunni’s . Shi’a community is under threat now. It’s better not to speak about the travails of other religious communities as we know the dwindling figures of the Hindus and the draconian blasphemy laws in the country. Hope the rulers of the nation realize the ground realities and put the house in order. With a hope that the things would change for  better in Pakistan in the days to come.  Lets hope peace prevails in the long run .


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