Tradition of Sectarian Violence in Pakistan Continues


-Ajoy Roy 

Pakistan has a long tradition, history and culture of sectarian violence. Immediately after the creation of Jinnah’s Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistani communalists drove away non Muslim Sindhis from their homeland and Sikhs from Pakistan part of Punjub. The process involved bloody violence. Then following the suspected unnatural death of the founder of Pakistan Mr. M. A. Jinnah whom the Pakistanis called Quid e Azam and father of the nation, the first Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in a public meeting. The tradition of violence and killing began in Pakistan.


In mid fifties Sunni Muslims inspired by the Jamat Islami leader Moulana Moududi, started a violent anti Ahmadiaya riot in Punjub in which thousands of innocent Ahmediyas were assassinated. Thanks to ruthless military operation led by General Azam Khan that stopped anti Quadiyani riot in Punjab. Moulana Moududi was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, but later government released him. Violence and terrorism got encouraged. Jamat I Islam that opposed creation of Muslim League conceived Pakistan got back its life force. Since then this organization along with other Islamic organizations gradually becoming violent, militant and terrorist. The Jamatis believe that Islam could not be established in peaceful way, for it violent method is needed. During anti-taleban war by USA Pakistan saw how militant and violent the fundamentalists including Jamatis and other such Islamic Parties could be. Because of their pro-taleban militant and violent demonstration and armed rallies hundreds of common Pakistani met death.


Even we glance casually over the inter sectarian violence that occurred last year, the following picture emerges:


  • 15 died in a bomb attack inside a Shia Mosque in Karachi on 7th May, 2004
  • 6 Shia families were shot dead on 14th in Lahore.
  • A senior Sunni cleric Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai shot dead on 30th May, 2004
  •  Not less than 20 died in a bomb blast in a Shia mosque on 31st May, 2004
  • 30 Musullis were killed in a bomb blast in a Shia Mosque on 31st October, 2004
  • And latest in the series as many as 40 killed in a car bomb explosion. 



Day before yesterday (6th October, 2004) a severe car bomb blast followed by another bomb blast tied on a motorbike in a Sunni meeting at Multan took not less than 40 people. Whether this was suicidal bomb blast or bomb exploded by remote control, the police was not sure. But the police opinion was that it was perhaps not suicidal as no torn out dead bodies was found near the place of blasts.


The Sunnis, numbering 3 thousand assembled near a residential locality to observe the day of assassination of a militant fundamentalist leader Azim Tariq belonging to a militant Islamic organization named Sepoy I Sabah (a banned organization). The Sunnis doubt that he was killed by the Shia terrorists, which Shias vehemently denied. After observing the day almost all night, when the Sunnis were returning the violent bomb explosion took place one after another within two minutes. Hundreds were injured of which condition of 50 were very critical the hospital, source said.


The Multan police thought that this might be an outburst of communal attack. The PM of Pakistan, deplored the incident saying ‘this is an unfortunate event. The government will continue its anti terrorism move.’ The interior minister said he would instruct the provincial that mosques are not used for any other functions except for religious prayer.


The violent incident followed angry Sunni demonstration on for two consecutive days defying the police ban on rallies and mass protests. School, colleges and business centers in Multan remained closed. The Sunnis blame that this was an act of Shia terrorists.           

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