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The Extremist and The State

‘The enemy should listen that my work is for the Sunni cause and I will make the Sunnis so strong that no Sunni is willing to shake the hand of a Shia. They will die their own death, we will not need to kill them. In the name and glory of the companions, we will make sure that even taking a breath for Shias will be difficult, and the Shia will be forced to think how he can live in this city.’ Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, who also heads a very influential political enterprise, Sipah-E-Sahaba, said these words.

One would imagine the state of a man who engages in spreading sectarian hatred and violence as his full time profession. One would also imagine the state of the State in which this kind of speech is not only tolerated but openly propagated. The extremist and the state are not that far apart in matters of reality and if one looks closely enough, one finds the obvious truth which is unfolding for the whole world to see. Doesn’t it seem odd that the people who spew sectarian hatred do it while being protected by police personnel in state provided bulletproof cars funded by the average Pakistani taxpayers, regardless of his sect? Sometimes the depth of the relationship enjoyed by these extremist elements with the State is astounding. Just a few days after the horrible blast in Shikarpur, which resulted in the death of many of our brothers, Sipah-E-Sahaba held a rally condemning the victims whilst enjoying the security of the state authorities.

Just a day earlier, the adviser to Chief Minister Sindh, Sharmeela Farooqi reiterated the fact that SSP was a banned organization and would not be allowed to operate in Karachi. The man who led the campaign against this extremist outfit, Jibran Nasir, should have been applauded and supported by the Sindh government found himself becoming a victim of the very state he aimed to protect. He was jailed for trying to raise a voice against extremism and terrorism while the extremist was allowed as well as supported to do what he did best. Some claim that he and his supporters were held under police custody for their own safety as the SSP had sent some attackers to fire bullets on the peaceful crowd. Either way, it emphasizes the fact that law and order is in the hands of men who do not think twice before taking a life.

The situation in Punjab is in no way encouraging. While our former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was fond of holding political rallies with the leader of another sectarian organization, many other stalwarts of the ruling party who sought their own alliances supported him and soon the PMLN found itself to be very cozy with the people who are responsible for sectarian violence. The Hafiz Saeeds and the Ludhianvis alike found themselves seated in state provided Land Cruisers and in the protection of state provided armed personnel. When we ask a particular institution to reconsider its stance on so called strategic assets, one should look both externally and internally.

The KP government has worked hard to ensure that more and more extremist ideologies are taught to children and the ally in the north, the Jamaat-e-Islami has pushed for further implementation on their educational policy. Balochistan is also a den of sectarian as well as terrorist organizations since the state seems to hardly be bothered about what goes on there.

Islamabad too finds its own difficulties, such, which cannot be wished away by engaging reliable friends like Maulana Fazlur Rahman. In some cases, even the reliable friends won’t serve as reliable, especially when the State expresses its wish for all Madrassas to be registered. This certainly will not be allowed in the Land of the pure and the brokers of institutionalized faith will make sure of it, even if it is proven that a large number of fighters are housed and trained in many madrassas.

For a moment, lets analyze the events, which unfolded after 16 December 2014. All party conferences are called and the military leadership is taken on board. There seems to be a political consensus about the formation of military courts yet there are reservations about which cases will be heard in such courts. Schools are closed for a few weeks and the security situation in the country is unpredictable to say the least. A few days later, everyone seems to forget that a massacre of children in Peshawar even happened. The citizens of this very city hold a rally in favour of the Charlie Hebdo attackers. A veteran politician of ANP, Bashir Bilour, who has lost his brother to religious extremism himself, has called for a bounty for the owner of the magazine.

While people in Pakistan ignore these political stunts, people abroad take notice of this which results in a bad reputation for Pakistan, if only somebody cared about that. When this controversy has also died down, the enemy strikes again, this time at the worship place of one of our religious minorities who are systematically being wiped out. The Prime Minister or even the Interior Minister did not find it wise to at least visit the Shikarpur victims, perhaps they were too busy arranging the security of the organization which might be responsible for this horrific event.

It is time that the Pakistan is brought into confidence and the links between these extremist, sectarian with the government should be exposed. No longer are people willing to hear false promises of government ministers about eradicating extremism, the least we expect from our government is to not support such organizations.

Perhaps the next time you wonder where the murderers responsible for killing minorities in Pakistan are hiding, you should look no further on the street where the murderers will not only be hiding, but they will be hiding behind a bullet proof car bought by your own tax rupees whilst being protected by the police which is supposed to be arresting them.

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