Review on Sectarian War: Pakistan’s Sunni-Shia Violence & Its Links to the Middle East

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Title: Sectarian War: Pakistan’s Sunni-Shia Violence & Its Links to The Middle East. Author: Khaled Ahmed
ISBN: 978-0-19-90-6593-6
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 369
Price: PKR.550
By: Syed Haider Abbas
The author of this book is Khaled Ahmed. Khaled Ahmed was in the Pakistan Foreign Service from 1969 to 1978. He left it to become a journalist of distinction in The Pakistan Times. He is a former consulting editor of Daily Times; resident editor of The Frontier Post; joint editor of The Nation and assistant editor of The Pakistan Times. He is a founder-member of Track-two Neemrana Dialogue between India and Pakistan. He is currently Director, South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Lahore. He contributes regular articles to The Friday Times and The Express Tribune.

According to the author, the sectarian violence can be traced back since from the Mughal period and during the British Raj (by some extend) but was low in intensity as compare to sectarian violence that is been faced by today’s Pakistan since 1947. The British Raj was able to almost completely uproot the Sunni-Shia confrontation during the tenure from 1857 to 1947. During the movement for Pakistan, Shias & Sunnis struggled for a homeland with integration. After 1947, early government in Pakistan was in some way an extension of the secular state of the British Raj. But gradually, Pakistan became an “Islamic Republic” after Objective Resolution was passed and especially during Zia’s era.

The Pakistan Movement was not welcomed by the clergy (deobandi ulema) and decided to support Congress as they thought that Muslim League is also secular. After independence, however, these clergies came to Pakistan with their sectarian baggage.

Pakistan began to look for identity that All-India Muslim League had adopted to compete a secular party of All-India National Congress. Because of the early military conflict with India in 1947. Pakistani nationalism was revolving around...
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