Shia-Sunni Relations in Pakistan: Reconciliation is the Need of the Hour
Daily Times, February 22, 2009
After a suicide bomber killed at least 30 Shias and injured another 157 who were attending the funeral of an already murdered Shia leader in the southern district of Dera Ismail Khan in the NWFP, the victimised Shia community has staged protests in all the big and small cities of the country. The Shia youth organised under the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), and led by their local clerics, clearly manifested signs of disquiet that may give rise to more widespread sectarian violence.
For some years now, the ISO has been lying low after realising that avenging Sunni violence is counterproductive. It was formed in 1972, and in the 1980s it aimed to protect the Shia community against a freewheeling spree of Shia-killing on the part of the politico-sectarian militias created by the state to fight jihad in Kashmir against India. Today, that policy of low-profile reaction could be coming under pressure simply because the state is not capable of giving them the protection they deserve under the Constitution.
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Riots after Shia youth shot dead in Karachi - DT
Pakistan's evolving sectarian schism - BBC, Feb. 20
City tense after ISO-ST clash - The News