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.
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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…!!!!
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.
"Every year, the government promises foolproof security for Muharram and, without fail, every year its efforts aren’t sufficient to prevent bloodshed." Fools! There can be no foolproof security until this scourge of sectarianism is eliminated.
It's not just the government that is reluctant to admit it...the majority population is in denial of the inherent bigotry, prejudice and discriminatory bias that's been ideologically nurtured in their majority sectarian hegemonic society.
Some try not to discuss it at all, or try not to call it sectarian at all. Perhaps it's the feeling of culpability and how their beliefs may reflect on them. Some deflect, claiming such and such place is worse, like it makes it better, or we're 'all suffering' and downplay it, even though the statistics prove it's worse for some minorities, such as religious minorities.
Some in their derangement throw in 'conspiracy theories', though deep down they probably know it's not so and too contradict themselves by displaying significant prejudices with made up 'facts'. Some flat out put the blame and onus on the minority in regards to 'knowing the security and situation', or shouldn't have violently protested but will not hypocritically mention the killings or environment that's triggered it.
Some try to quell discussion by speaking of 'brotherhood' and 'unity' which has become somewhat cynical, but apparently believe they're being peace-makers when they're just deflecting blame. And some just come out with it, justifying anti-minority violence and hate, justifying that they're either not 'real Pakistanis' or because their loyalty lies elsewhere with the most absurd global and religious views, or because there were sectarian tables turned elsewhere, etc.
With unable to being able to admit a problem, most are simply unapologetic and barely contribute to a solution.