Muharram violence

The month of Muharram promises to be a tense one throughout the country.

Editorial November 28, 2011

Every year, the government promises foolproof security for Muharram and, without fail, every year its efforts aren’t sufficient to prevent bloodshed. This time the venue was Karachi, and the date, the very first day of Muharram, as two scouts were shot dead at Numaish Chowrangi on M A Jinnah Road, leading to hours of destructive protests. That law-enforcement officials were unable to prevent the initial attack is understandable; after all the area is crowded with rally participants and it is simply not possible to check each person for weapons. But, especially given how violence begets violence in Karachi, the scouts and other law-enforcement officials should have been prepared for the worst and wrested control of the area.

This attack is particularly galling for a number of reasons. Firstly, among the scouts’ duties was keeping the peace at the nearby Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat rally. The group was formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and only adopted this new moniker after being outlawed for its terrorist activities. That it was in connection with this rally that the scouts lost their lives is unacceptable. Equally troubling is the fact that this incident ends a couple of months of relative calm in Karachi. Unlike the earlier violence, which was political in nature, this has been spurred by sectarian tensions. In Karachi, however, that is a distinction without a difference. The major political parties line up neatly along ethnic lines and, far more ominously, are always quick to pounce on any opportunity to press an advantage by adding to the violence.

The month of Muharram promises to be a tense one throughout the country. There is no instant solution to be found to a problem that has been festering for decades. Sectarian tensions in the country are only growing. And no matter how reluctant the government is to admit this, it just isn’t capable of putting a stop to this violence. This is hardly the ideal way to begin Muharram but, regrettably, it is not something we should be surprised by anymore.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011.


SM | 11 years ago | Reply

Promises, promises and just promises. The government promises every year to ensure violence free environment during the month of Muharram. New security plan are devised but not implemented in a real spirit. Though the law enforcement agencies play a prominent role in maintaining law and order situation. Nevertheless, despite many efforts, unexpectedly various incidences and causalities are happening in some places of the country during the month of Muharram. Why…!!!!

SHM | 11 years ago | Reply

Since few decades there are certain other aspects that remain cause of a tense situation throughout the country, so its' not just the month of Muharram only that promises to be a tense one throughout the country.However, there is a need of foolproof security during the holy month of Muharram.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read