The portal nayadaur.tv has published an article ‘ Killed in dark alleys–remembering the victims of Shia genocide in Pakistan ‘.
This article states about the persecution of Shias in Pakistan, which though not as horrendous as the persecution of Ahmadiyas ( see my article ‘ Barbaric persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan ‘ published in rabwah.net ) is nevertheless reflective of the fundamental flaw of Pakistan as an Islamic state.
In my article ‘ The truth about Pakistan ‘ published some years back in The Nation I had mentioned how Pakistan was created by the machinations of the British who systematically spread the communal poison and promoted the divide and rule policy after suppressing the Great Mutiny of 1857 in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. The purpose of Partition was that Hindus and Muslims should be made to keep fighting each other so that they waste their scant resources in buying foreign arms, and united India does not emerge as a modern industrial giant, like present-day China.
In my article ‘ What is India ‘ ( see online ) I had mentioned that India is broadly a country of immigrants ( like North America ). About 92-93% of the people living in the Indian subcontinent ( India, Pakistan and Bangladesh ) are not descendants of the original inhabitants of India but came from abroad, mainly from the northwest. This explains the tremendous diversity in our subcontinent–numerous religions ( and sects within religions ), castes, languages, ethnic groups etc. Whichever group of immigrants came here brought their own culture, religion, language, etc. So the only policy which can work and keep us united and on the path of progress is the path of suleh-e-kul or giving equal respect to all religions and sects, shown by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar ( see my article ‘Emperor Akbar, the real Father of the Indian nation’ in my blog Satyam Bruyat ).
Pakistan was created as an Islamic state. But which Islam is the true one ? In theory there is only one Islam, but the reality is very different. In fact soon after the death of the great Prophet a schism arose between Sunnis and Shias, the latter regarding the first three Caliphs of the Sunnis as usurpers, and only recognising the fourth, Ali. Bigoted Sunnis regard Shias as heretics, and often attack them in Pakistan ( as it happened recently ).
Another schism is on the question whether a Muslim can ask for something only directly to Allah ( as deobandis contend ) or through some intermediary like Ali or a Sufi saint ( as barelvis contend)?
The majority of Muslims in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh go to Dargahs, which are shrines built on the graves of Sufi saints. But the Wahabis regard this as but parasti ( idol worship ) and in Pakistan dargahs are sometimes bombed.
I need not go into the plight of minorities ( Hindus, Christians and Sikhs ) about whom reports regularly come of forced conversions of minor girls, fake blasphemy charges and their horrid murders on these charges, etc.
But even if 100% Pakistanis were Muslims, what is to be done to the 20% Shias, the Ahmadiyas etc ? Do these ‘heretics’ deserve a ‘ final solution ‘ to create a pure Islamic state? And what is to be done to those Muslims who go to dargahs for some ‘minnat’ ? They are probably in the majority in Pakistan ( even Prime Minister Imran Khan goes there with his wife )..
Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given in America in June 1858 said that a country divided within itself cannot stand. I submit that in our subcontinent, with such tremendous diversity, a theocratic state is a country divided within itself, and cannot stand for long.
(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s own and do not reflect the opinions or views of The Rational Daily.)