Identity, Equality, Unity
Karachi’s sectarian dimension
The drive-by shooting of prominent religious (Deobandi) scholar Aslam Sheikhupuri, 54, in Karachi is probably part of a larger plot to add a sectarian hue to the ongoing ethnic mayhem in Pakistan’s financial capital. The murder of two Deobandis earlier in Karachi adds gravity to Sheikhupuri’s killing. The nature of Sheikhupuri’s murder demands that the authorities, instead of constituting an investigation team with the mandate to submit a report within three days, employ all available resources to track down the killers before they disappear completely, as the incident could spark off sectarian tensions in the troubled city. The murder of a religious scholar, of whatever ideological persuasion, in the highly charged ambience of Karachi today demands expeditious nabbing and prosecution of the culprits before it generates yet another round of a tit-for-tat cycle of violence. The angry slogans the rival groups had raised at the hospital where Sheikhupuri was rushed underlines the need for expeditious action by the provincial government to track down and prosecute the killers at the earliest.
Viewed in the wider context, Sheikhupuri’s murder in a way represents the (token) reversal of the late 1990s tide (which is still ongoing) of anti-Shia mayhem, in which Deobandis and adherents of other sects had freely killed hundreds of Shias across Pakistan, and had then crossed the Pak-Afghan border to enjoy the hospitality of the Taliban regime. Thus countless murderers had escaped the punishment they richly deserved. Ethnicity and sectarianism are the blights that have eaten away at Karachi’s social fabric. The city has become a house divided against itself for far too long. While religious seminaries do serve as free boarding and lodging centres of learning for the have-nots, these must never be allowed to be exploited by those funding or running them to achieve their ulterior motives and divisive agendas. Ironically, the roots of sectarianism in Pakistan lie outside the country, with foreign funding of seminaries being a major mode of creeping indoctrination. There is, therefore, a need for stricter, but absolutely transparent, oversight of all such foreign-funded institutions.
Source: Daily Times
Video: Deobandi Mullah Aslam ASheikhpuri talks about Lal Masjid and the sacrifices terrorist Mullahs did to up hold the flag of Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba