The specter of sectarianism


This letter is with regards to the ignominious killings of four shias in Quetta. While Pakistan is facing many threats, one of the biggest threats it faces is from within: sectarianism. Some elements of society would want to fan sectarian hatred to destabilise and demoralise Pakistan.

It is very troubling that a country whose sole purpose of creation was to provide a safe haven for a persecuted minority, it has itself become a country which is not safe for minorities and their rights are not guaranteed. Not only Shias, but Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus face very troubling issues in this country not least of them is state-sponsored hate and elements of society that would impose a monolithic and rigid ideology in the name of religion in the country.

We do not realise how deep the roots of sectarian hatred run in this country and how much debt we are paying in blood to deal with its effects. It will only get worse if we are not able to deal with the underlying issues of intolerance that afflict our society. We do not only need to take care of the manifestations and symptoms of the issue but address the functional aspects of our society that make such sorry acts possible.

Art and culture play a very important part in this and they have been slowly decaying along with our education system. I hope somebody will realise that we need to sit up and take notice. Otherwise, we will be taken over by this dark shadow.