A battle for survival... By Atif
16 January, 2013
More than 100 people lost their lives in Quetta in the recent attacks on ethnic Hazaras. The killing of innocent people is an everyday occurrence in Pakistan. It seems people have become so insensitive that no mass protest is witnessed anywhere in Pakistan except for a few small demonstrations in some parts of the country by human rights activists.
It is heartbreaking that the so-called 'vibrant' media has generally turned a deaf ear to this carnage of innocent Pakistanis. This exposes the internal divisions in Pakistani society, which has been radicalised to its core in the last three decades. State propagation and full support to armed groups belonging to the ultra-right militant version of Islam have torn apart Pakistani society to an irreparable extent. Institutional indoctrination of the young through a web of religious seminaries across Pakistan has given this divide a permanent and long lasting shape. Since the clash is between violent and non-violent ideological interpretations, the situation is bound to create reactions that will further complicate matters. The role of our state institutions has been ineffective and it looks as if the elements inside the state's security apparatus are in a state of absolute denial.
The geographical location of each city is such that any effective, serious government can easily monitor all entry and exit points in order to keep rogue elements in check. The historical and traditional political powers in the city have been of a left-leaning nature. Sectarian violence, which originated from ultra-right ideology, seems alien to the tolerant cultural/political traditions of the nation. Conservative religious interpretations have also enjoyed some influence in Balochistan since the days of the British Raj but have always operated within the traditional cultural values. Violence, as a tool to gain control over the country, appears anarchist in nature and absolutist in objective.
It looks like there is no de facto state authority inside Balochistan and, therefore, the forces of absolutism, anarchism and extremism are ruling the roost. The solution lies in a strong political will to cleanse the city of the ultra-right, violent debauchery of imposing their version of religion through the barrel of a gun. The state's apathy towards tackling this situation is also tarnishing the image of the country abroad. These incidents must be a wakeup call for the authorities to take necessary measures to safeguard the life and property of ordinary Pakistanis.
MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA