Sectarian Hatred

(Farwa Sajjad, KARACHI)

Sectarian violence in Pakistan refers to attacks against individuals and places in Pakistan inspired by hostility toward the objective's organization, generally a religious group or sects. In Pakistan victims includes the Sunni, Shia, Sufi, and the small Ahmadi, Hindu and Christian religious groups. We are living in a country where over 2,000 people have been killed and 3,500 injured in sectarian attacks in the past five years. Sectarian hatred in Pakistan is rapidly increasing by each passing day. There has been a lot of sectarian violence among the citizens of Pakistan. Generally, people are incited by the sentiments of antagonism towards the general population of other religious groups. In the past year’s minorities, have endured serious form of discrimination which made their lives difficult in Pakistan.

Effects of sectarianism includes; Social disorder, the politicization of religion, impact on religious activities, law & order situation, political instability and widens hatred among different sects. While sectarianism also effects individual. The individual effects include; frustration, brain drain, feeling of fear, inferiority complex, feelings of hatred and terrorism too. A research has been conducted by Institute of Social Research Karachi, in which a survey was conducted back in 2001 about the effects of shia sunni conflicts on workplace and intimate relationing. According to the report 73% of the people say that they don’t have any issue while working with the opposite sects. 62% people reported to hide their inner dislikes in front of people of opposite sects and 81% reported not to prefer any sort of intimate relationing with opposite sects.

Various accidents of sectarian violence have been recorded in our country. On 3 March 2013, a powerful bomb blast in Karachi in the area of Abbas Town which killed 45 people and wounded 150 others. The Bomb exploded outside a Shia Mosque as people were leaving from prayers. The blast destroyed the building while other buildings were on fire. Similarly, on May 13 2015, more than 40 people were killed and at least 13 injured in a gun attack on a bus carrying members of the minority Ismaili sect in Karachi.

To stop all this for government needs to start taking measures that reflect the country’s religious diversity. Religious leaders need to play their due role in creating harmony amongst the people of different sects and faiths. The young blood has the potential to promote positive messages for peace and harmony through art. Youngsters should come forward and take actively part in this cause. The new generation, children and the youth should adapt to values and principles of peace and tolerance. The government and educational institutions should work to arrange more cultural exchange programs to promote harmony.

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