The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is on the verge of sectarian unrest. Recently, extremist outfit ASWJ (Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat) along with religio-political party TLP (Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan) held a massive rally in Karachi against the Shia community. Given the recent situation of sectarian hate-mongering against the minority community Pakistani singer Asim Azhar also called out the Prime Minister of Pakistan on social media and raised his concern. He stated, “I’m scared not just for shias but for every person I know that belongs to a background that triggers the extremists”
Asim Azhar on Anti-Shia Wave in Pakistan
In his tweet Azhar expressed his fear that Pakistan was coming to a point where being from a particular sect may end someone’s life. He was afraid that even tweeting about this issue could make him a target as well but at least he wanted the Prime Minister to know. In his two tweets long threat he even mentioned Imran Khan.
Seeing a celebrity that is popular among youth speaking on such a crucial issue depicts how the problem is so grave and how it is triggering different segments of the society.. Asim Azhar’s relationship with Hania Amir was not the only thing worth talking about him but his daring stance regarding the persecution of a minority community in the country was also worth getting a lime-light since celebrities don’t always speak their minds on such issues.
Shia Persecution in Pakistan
While there might not be an apparent Shia genocide in Pakistan as Asim Azhar mentioned, the recent events show that the community is visibly being persecuted. According to media reports blasphemy, cases against the Shia community members have surged in recent weeks. Almost 40 cases of blasphemy were registered and most of them targeted religious minorities particularly the those from Shia sect.
Apart from facing blasphemy charges, reports have also emerged about Shia community members being forcefully converted into other sects, from different parts of country.
Forced conversion of Shia youth Mohd Zahid in Mansehra, Pakistan also being forced to recite kalma of majority sect, forced to curse and call all Shias infidels that too in presence of police officials. https://t.co/DwjQ2iMkU0 pic.twitter.com/NaiLJPIVV9— Syedda Shahid (@QueenOEuphrates) September 11, 2020
Citizens are worried that the recent ASWJ rally in Karachi may provoke hate and fan the extremist sentiments on sectarian basis. If any such thing happened, Pakistan will become India where minority communities like muslims face violence on the basis of religion.
The recent events including the ASWJ anti-Shia rally is an alarm for the overall stability of peace in Pakistan. No wonders, why young singer like Asim Azhar has expressed his sentiments on this issue. Now whether Prime Minister of Pakistan wants to take notice of the problem or not, depends upon how serious he is in preventing sectraian violence in the country and keeping it safe from the religious hatred.