No end to Sectarian violence: Shafaqna Exclusive

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SHAFAQNA- The suicide blast at an imambargah in Shikarpur, which has so far killed 60 persons and injured several more, is part of a concerted violent campaign against the Shia community of Pakistan but it remains to be openly recognized as such. Religious parties such as JUI-F and JI never have much to say about the routine killings of Shia Muslims and the persecution of other minorities across the country. In many cases, they ally themselves with overtly sectarian groups and rush to their defense to shield them from any possible action. Many elements within these parties in fact subscribe to the same hateful ideology that is behind the attack in Shikarpur. In several parts of the country, sectarian groups enjoy enviable freedom to run seminaries and conduct fundraisers right under the nose of the provincial governments. Following the Peshawar incident, the country’s political and military leadership had promised to implement the National Action Plan (NAP) to eradicate terrorism. The people are waiting. Half-measures cannot suffice which ought to be clear by now. The Sindh government can either blame the federal government or the establishment for rampant militancy, but that will not justify its own failure. A day of mourning for the victims will not prevent the nightmare from recurring if negligence and inaction persists.

Given that the National Action Plan (NAP) specifically speaks of addressing the issue of sectarian outfits that operate seemingly with impunity across the country, it has to be wondered just how hard the government is trying when it comes to tackling the issue of sectarian armed groups. The NAP is fast coming to resemble a visit to the doctor where a diagnosis is given and a prescription written, but the patient is then dismissed without the treatment beginning. The prime minister runs the length and breadth of the country attending ‘crisis meetings’ — most recently on January 30 in Karachi — and action plans are chalked out, only to fade away with the prime minister’s receding protocol. It seems that Government is only offering lip service, there are meetings after meetings but no implementation. A country with war does not behave like Pakistan as more than a month has passed but still legislator could not succeed to implement a plan.

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