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India-Pakistan
No silver lining
2012-12-27
[Dawn] THE celebrations that mark Christmas and the Quaid-e-Azam's birthday this time of year are also a reminder of Pakistain's failure to rein in the religious intolerance Mr Jinnah advocated against. In 2012 an extermination campaign targeting Hazaras and other Shias took hold from Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and Quetta to Kohistan
...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns....
, Mansehra
...a city and an eponymous district in eastern Khyber-Pakthunwa, nestled snug up against Pak Kashmir, with Kohistan and Diamir to the north and Abbottabad to the south...
and Gilgit-Baltistan. The peaceful Bohra community was targeted in attacks that were perhaps the first of their kind. Mobs egged on by irresponsible holy mans demanded that victims of indefensible blasphemy allegations be handed over to be murdered without trials. While stories of the mass migration of Hindus to India may have been exaggerated, the community complained of discrimination and forced conversions. Churches and Christian homes continued to be attacked and the Rimsha Masih blasphemy case turned out to be linked to a broader campaign to rid her area of Christian families. This month alone saw the razing of a Hindu temple in Bloody Karachi, the desecration of Ahmadi graves in Lahore and the lynching of a man accused of blasphemy in Dadu. Decades after being founded as a country in which each individual was meant to have the right to follow his or her chosen beliefs, Pakistain has failed to treat religious minorities as equal citizens of the state.

Nor is the intolerance limited to minorities. A broader divide has also taken root in Pakistain -- that between peaceful religiosity and an extremism that violently opposes any practice it doesn't believe in. Those behind the attacks on polio
...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set...
workers, Malala Yousafzai and Bashir Ahmed Bilour are out to annihilate anything and anyone standing in the way of their version of an 'Islamic' state. Moslems are more often than not the victims of violence related to blasphemy killings, carried out not by jacket wallahs but by ordinary Paks fed a steady diet of intolerance. Add to this the increasing brutalisation of Pak society, in which guns are plentiful, human rights
...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions...
unimportant and the legal system slow and ineffective, and intolerance translates even more easily into violence. More than six decades later the dawn we hoped for has not arrived, and any celebrations this time of year cannot escape that painful fact.
Posted by:Fred

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