Muharram: living under fear of the known
Every year, the occasion of Ashura brings mourning and remembrance for the shuhada of Karbala across the Muslim world. But sadly, in our country, it is almost synonymous with further killing of the innocent souls that marks the end of first ten days of first month of the Islamic New Year. History of sectarian violence in Pakistan is old, and everyone knows what non-state actors or agencies incited hatred between two communities of the faithful to further their own interests in the battlefield called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
However, the fear of such incidents happening obviously compounds when our country and society is literally at war with extremism and radicalism. The killers did not think how many Shias would be there when Moon Market blast happened in Lahore. Nor did they consider sectarian association of thousands of innocent civilians and security forces killed in our cities, towns and the tribal agencies across the country. In such a state of war, it was a treat for terrorists to get an opportunity of inciting violence, hatred and killing amongst the very people who they have lost support from. It was their good chance of taking revenge against the common Pakistanis for defying their version of beliefs. There are no versions of this religion; Islam is only peace!
And it happened. Two incidents one after another, significant and deadly, in Muzaffarabad and Karachi, caused havoc by killing more than 50 mourners while injuring more than a hundred. Arson attacks in Karachi after yesterday’s suicide attack has led to burning of more than 2,500 shops damaging goods worth 2-3 billion rupees while crippling the country’s economic hub.
Who’s partying and raising toasts as we bleed in heart and soul? Who’s celebrating new year with resolutions to kill as many innocent Pakistanis as possible? Who is making claims of defending a religion that they themselves have drifted so far away from? We know them, don’t we? And we also know, it’s not only them as only the blind could not see who’s benefiting from this war and anarchy in our backyard.
Prayers for the martyred in Karachi and Muzaffarabad… People of Lahore and rest of the country stand by you as you are not alone; we are also bleeding from your loss!