Need for sectarian harmony


WHILE condemning the killing of prominent scholar Maulana Adil Khan in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that for the last three months, India has been attempting to target religious scholars from both Sunni and Shia sects to create sectarian conflict across the country. Maulana Adil Khan, along with his driver, was gunned down in Shah Faisal Colony. The slain scholar was associated with Jamia Farooqia, a university of Islamic studies.
          Apart from the Prime Minister, people from all walks of life including politicians, religious scholars, celebrities and others condemned the killing, terming it an attempt to disrupt law and order of the city, which has a bloody history of sectarian conflicts. There is no doubt that the Prime Minister and other senior officials of the Government have long been warning about the conspiracy being hatched by India to fan sectarian confrontation in Pakistan but the question arises what we have done on the intelligence front to foil designs of the enemy. India’s involvement in stirring trouble in Karachi and Balochistan is documented and Pakistan provided dossiers to the United Nations and influential capitals but there is need to take counter-measures both on administrative and ideological fronts. Hate speech is already banned but there is evidence that some unscrupulous elements are making the job of the enemy easy by dividing the society on sectarian lines as they continue to spread venom against other sects. It is also a fact that intelligence agencies and law enforcing agencies can only succeed if they are fully backed and supported by people in their professional responsibilities. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on real issues of the country, we are wasting our energies on political issues as is evident from the extreme level of tension between the Government and the Opposition. The authorities concerned should contact prominent and influential scholars belonging to different schools of thought and bring them to one table in all parts and regions of the country to discuss the situation and build consensus on the need to promote harmony. Efforts to strengthen sectarian harmony should begin from grassroots in view of dangerous polarization in the society. Similarly, all sectarian-related incidents should be thoroughly investigated and foreign hand exposed before the international community.