As a Shia Muslim from Pakistan I am deeply concerned about Pakistani Shia and Sunni targeted by a lunatic fringe of Deobandi Takfiri terrorists. This violence has taken thousands of lives. It threatens to destroy the fabric of Pakistani society, the economy and what remains of the writ of the State. It is alarming that the society has also become desensitized to violence and sometimes shows a lack of morals. Case in point is garlanding of the murderer of Salman Taseer. Therefore it is important to look at the reasons behind this problem and offer solutions and vision for a new Pakistan.
I have known Sunnis in Pakistan and in the Arab world. I have spent time with them and shared their thoughts and values. I can tell you without any doubt that the Ahle Sunnat in Pakistan (South Asia) are very tolerant and as far as their aqeeda is concerned, very close to Shia. The Sunni Muslims in the Arab world are very different. The proof is of course they (South Asian Sunnis and Shias) have lived together in relative harmony for hundreds of years. They have shared religious values and rituals. For example Sunni Muslims participate in Moharrum while Shia participate in 12th of Rabiul awal Jaloos, sincerely and enthusiastically out of respect for each other. Many inter marry, even in my immediate family. Another important fact to note is the world’s largest population of both Shia and Sunni Muslims live in South Asia.
Why is there an effort to disturb this traditional harmony?
The Iranian revolution in 1979 has posed a direct challenge to the Arab Israeli alliance and continues to be a thorn in the side of the Western Empire. It is a challenge not only to the oil interests but also an ideological challenge. So the Western Empire and the Arab Israeli allies have taken a series of steps to contain the influence of the Iranian revolution. Propping up Iraq to fight a decade long was which cased immense loss of life particularly on the side of Iranians. The Western Empire had calculated that Iran would be crushed and supplied Sadam with weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons) which Sadam used to kill more than a million Iranian and Iraqi citizens. To their dismay the revolution in Iran has survived and grown stronger.
The developing of Takfiri groups with the backing of the Deep state in Pakistan is a part of this containment plan. The plan is to paint the Islamic revolution in Iran as a Shia only revolution and create or demonstrate deep divisions between the otherwise harmonious Shia and Sunni community. To achieve this the Arab monarchies have funded billions of dollars to create Jihadi Madrassas in Pakistan. The excuse of Afghan Jihad and later the argument of strategic depth was used to gain support from the Deepstate. These may have been valid arguments but the underlying monster was to create a rift between Shia and Sunni. Increase violence if Pakistan nudged closed to neighboring Iran.
Do we need reformation in Islam?
Do we need to rationalize things like women’s rights or other issues in Islam. Well maybe we do but this should not have any bearing on the politics so political parties should be just that political parties and religious scholars should be just that religious scholars.
What is in the interest and future of Pakistan?
Pakistan’s future lies in having better relations with immediate neighbors. This means India, Afghanistan, Iran, China , Russia and Central Asian states. Why should Pakistan have closer ties with Arab Monarchies and Western Empire? Clearly Pakistan has much more to gain by trading and making friends with immediate neighbors. Pakistan can become a conduit country for China and India to fulfill their energy needs from a network of Pipelines from through Iran and Afghanistan. Further Motorway type road networks can be built connected Russia, Central Asia , China and India ; again Pakistan will have a central role here.
Demographic and Economic Shifts
Post world war II 80 percent of the world’s wealth was held by the Western empire and 20 percent with the poor countries. This equation has been shifting and will completely reverse itself in 2-3 decades where the countries that were the 20 percent will become the 80 percent of world’s wealth and the Western empire will only hold 20 percent of the world’s wealth. Additionally the Middle east will become a net importer of oil even more quickly, which makes the Central Asian untapped reserves even more important.
What Should Pakistanis do?
Pakistanis need to go back to the beginning of Pakistan. Pakistan needs to be a country where Islam is respected but religion is a private matter. Pakistan should not allow the Arabisation of our tolerant culture just because they have the petro dollar.
Promote shia sunni harmony as a basis for harmoney between all faith’s and ethnicities.
Pakistanis need to rediscover the coalition of Jinnah which included Sunnis and Shias; Christian and Ahmedia and others. A diverse country like Pakistan cannot sustain an ideological or religious government like Saudi Arabia or Iran.
Need to rebuild the Coalition of Jinnah.
This is the mission of JPJ – to motivate young people to build a coalition for Jinnah’s Pakistan.
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