Pakistan's government in order to expand its own political objectives, is willing to join hands with radical elements without any due regard to the fate of the minorities, who are often at the receiving end of these extreme elements.
Pakistan's sectarian violence demonstrates the growing hold of extremists as sectarianism is seeping through the sections of society previously untouched by religious fundamentalism, reported Global Strat View.
The increasing trend to incite sectarian violence is also subtly fuelled by the state. The government and various law enforcement authorities are very close to the radical elements, often protecting and capitulating to them, whereas they should be the ones playing an active role in protecting minorities.
Ahmadis, one of the minority communities in Pakistan, were declared as 'non-Muslims' in the parliament of Pakistan way back in 1974. They are often denied constitutional rights and made to suffer by the mainstream society in Pakistan, and the state machinery is an important actor witnessing this.
During the previous Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the state was accused of not just suppressing but inciting religious violence, reported Global Strat View.
People threatened to execute those who undermined or disrespected the teachings and supreme moral authority of the Prophet Muhammad.
One of the PTI ministers, Ali Muhammad Khan, allegedly encouraged the radical elements to kill those who commit blasphemy according to their definition of the law.
In 2020, several incidents of people getting killed in sectarian conflicts were reported. But the state supported the radical elements by ignoring the oppression of minorities.
Looking at the history of Pakistan, sectarian violence has been a part of the Pakistani state since its independence. During the 1980s and 90s, the Deobandi Sunni groups primarily triggered the violence. Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and its branch Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) were the prominent actors during that time.
However, the rise of the Salafi Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan has posed a new challenge since these two organizations' adherents come from the more fundamentalist Barelvi Sunni community, reported Global Strat View.
In the past few months, two incidents rang the alarm bells vis-a-vis the emerging and rapidly growing threat of sectarian violence in the country.
The first incident occurred when a mob lynched a Sri Lankan factory manager as he was allegedly accused of blasphemy in Pakistan's Sialkot district in December 2021. The second incident is gruesome as it involved the bombing of a Shia mosque in March 2022, in which more than 60 citizens lost their lives.
The Pakistani state has been unable to find a long-term solution for the sectarian violence and the organizations which provoke it, reported Global Strat View. (ANI)