Daily Times
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Nineteen ulema from seven major cities of the country met Interior Adviser Rehman Malik on Thursday and endorsed a policy of “live and let live” during the month of Muharram. This is the month when sectarian passions flare and can be exploited by the terrorists. Sunni and Shia militants attack one another and intra-Sunni violence occurs against moderate Sunnis. The government has imposed a pro-forma ban on “selling literature, cassettes and videos that can hurt the sentiments of followers of any sect or religion”.The ulema always get together before Muharram and issue friendly statements about one another, but it has never worked. If someone fears that this time too it may not work, he couldn’t be far wrong, given the ongoing sectarian war in Kurram Agency in the Tribal Areas and in DI Khan in the NWFP. Adviser Rehman Malik has himself eaten some words in this connection. Over a month ago, he warned Kurram that he was going to bring action there “within seventy four hours” unless the two sects returned to their senses and stopped violence. He has taken no action so far. Given Pakistan’s terror map, the Shia are sitting ducks, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. *

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