Sectarianism in Pakistan

5487 WordsNov 14, 201222 Pages
Sectarianism in Pakistan INTRODUCTION The decade of the 1990s witnessed a frightening upsurge in the Shia-Sunni sectarian violence in Pakistan, both in terms of scope and intensity. Recently, sectarian strife has engulfed even those areas, which were previously unaffected, largely because of the emergence of organized terrorist groups along sectarian lines. Besides target killings, these groups hit even ordinary members of each other’s sects. The problem, therefore, is no more of an occasional nature, or limited to isolated localities. Rather, it has now become a national concern with serious implications for the state and society. The paper argues that though the Shia-Sunni conflict is not new to Pakistan or even to the Indo-Pakistan…show more content…
The Imam need not be just, virtuous, or irreproachable (Ma ‘sum) in his life, nor need he be the most excellent or eminent being of his time; so long as he is free, adult, sane, and possessed of the capacity to attend to the ordinary affairs of State, he is qualified for election."2 Later, both the Shia and Sunni schools further split into several sub-sects on different issues related to succession, interpretation of scriptures and political theory of Islam. Sectarian conflict in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent: Fearing persecution by Ummayeds and later Abbasides, some of the Shias had moved to the distant parts of the Muslim Empire. Sizeable Shia communities had been established in Punjab and Sindh after their conquest by Muhammad bin Qasim. Under the early Abbasides, the governor of Jhang, Umar bin Hafas, was a clandestine supporter of Fatimid’s movement and it was under him that the Batinya influence spread into the areas between Shorkot and Sindh. Later, one of the Shia branch, the Karamata, was able to set up its independent dynasty in Multan. The Karamata had established contacts with the Fatimides in Egypt and continued to rule Multan and 2 Syed Amir Ali, The Spirit of Islam (Karachi: Pakistan Publishing House, 1976), p103. surrounding areas, which included parts of Jhang, until Mahmud Ghaznavi
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