“If you want to build up yourself into a Nation, for God’s sake give up this provincialism. Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is Sectionalism-Shia, Sunni, etc”– Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Dacca, 1948.
Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan have been present for a long time. The father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhamad Ali Jinnah was well cognizant of the fact that Pakistan consists of diverse sects and ethnicities. Mr. Jinnah was emphatic on many occasions over this issue and warned the people of Pakistan to be one nation.
Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan and Muharram
Ever since, the Muharram 2020 (1441 AH) started, we have witnessed the increased hostility as a result of Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan. This is not for the first time since we have noticed the increased acrimony among the speakers of the communities. The acrimony in the speeches shifted from religious gathering and rallies into social media platform making trends with inappropriate words. The acrimony in the speeches resulted in many other incidents and increased hostility towards the Shiite community in Pakistan.
Pakistan holds the second largest majority of the Muslim population in the world after Indonesia but was the first country to be established in the name of religion on the world’s map. Although there are many Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan, it is also home to more than 200 million people of which 95% are Muslims. Almost 95% of Muslims are divided into different sects of which the Sunni community dominates 70-75% followed by 15-20% Shiites community.
Although, there was some confrontation among the two dominated sects after independence both the communities somehow managed to live together in peace and harmony for decades till the 1980s, but for the last three decades, we have witnessed that Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan and sectarianism which were not major issues in Pakistan are now threatening to the stability of Pakistan not only politically, economically, socially but psychologically also.
A Political Issue rather than Religious
The Shia Sunni issues in Pakistan are again a matter of contention. Accusing their opponents, increasing hostility has turned this issue more into political than religious. The analysts, scholars, writers, everyone writing about the incidents happening across the country, but the intriguing question is that what is this quarrel all about if they are really quarreling for the cause of religion Islam. The acrimony in the speeches and considering their opponents as infidels have increased hostility and turned the soft image of Islam into extremist religion. These are the elements that are only turning Pakistan into the worst sectarian battlefield and serving the interests of Pakistan’s enemy.
Ostensibly, foreign intervention is the main cause of internal sectarianism in Pakistan. Pakistan proudly is the only Islamic country that possesses a “Nuclear Arsenal” and is considered to be a big threat to the infidels of Islam. Pakistan is also known to be “the fort of Islam”.
In the wake of hybrid warfare, infidels are seeking an opportunity to make its institutions weaker and add fuel to the fire by promoting sectarianism. This makes the particular group more powerful than the government by gaining the support of innocent masses and playing religious cards. The situation is alarming, we must open our eyes, we must subjugate such elements to become one nation which our founding father emphasized on and make Pakistan prosper.