Sectarian terrorism repeats its familiar dance of death in Pakistan
The ‘production’ and killing of jihadi notable, Amjad Hussain Farooqi triggered of a series of tit-for-tat sectarian killings in Pakistan. Within two weeks of his killing at the hands of Pakistani security forces, sectarian attacks against Sialkot (against Shias), Multan (against Sunnis), Karachi (against Sunnis) and Lahore (against Shias). Last year, this dance of death was triggered by the killing of a jihadi notable, Azam Tariq by unknown assailants.
After the Multan attacks, the Pakistani government announced a ban on religious rallies. Since then, however, the government has ‘clarified’ that the ban is not universal after all.
The minister clarified that the government was not considering banning religious gatherings and said that it had banned only the activities of banned outfits which had reappeared under new names and were spreading sectarianism and inciting hatred. [Dawn]
A tacit acceptance of the fact that ‘banned’ organisations were previously allowed to organise gatherings despite Musharraf’s protestations about the need to tackle the sectarian monster within.
This attitude is a symptom of a much deeper, head buried in the sand policy of the Pakistani government. Each attack is blamed on ‘vested interests’ with deep insinuations of a foreign (read Indian or even Israeli) hand. Policemen are suspended, and countless additional measures to maintain law-and-order are announced, but the killers as a rule are never apprehended.
For attacks that kill so many people in so little time, and so very regularly at that, no one ever seems to be brought to justice. As long as the Pakistani army continues to retain the option of using jihadi terrorists as cheap cannon-fodder for its adventurist agenda in Kashmir, it will be impossible for Pakistan to put the sectarian genie back in the bottle.