During the last few months, we have observed a significant shift in violence in Pakistan. There has been a tactical change in the strategy adopted by perpetrators. Instead of targeting security forces and innocent civilian they have now focused on a well-thought-out plan to incite a violent sectarian strife in Pakistan.

After the bloody month of September 2013, there has been little respite in the country as no major incident occurred. But, at the same time, we have witnessed a rise in sectarian violence. On the day of Ashura, there was an unfortunate incident in Rawalpindi where 11 precious lives were lost in the sectarian clashes. Since this incident, an unending series of sectarian violence has rapidly gripped the country.

In a recorded broadcast, the TTP spokesperson was seen openly threatening to take revenge of Rawalpindi killings last month. Afterwards, TTP claimed the responsibility of the recent Ancholi twin blasts in Karachi where many precious lives were lost. At present, there is a general perception that all these violent incidents only aim at inciting a sectarian hatred in Pakistan. The apparent two tit-for-tat sectarian assassinations in Karachi last month, the target killing of the ASWJ leader Shams-ur-Rehman Muawiya and Shia Scholar Allama Nasir Abbas in Lahore this month, strongly substantiate this very fact. The systematic killing of the religious leaders belonging to the opposite sects are seemingly all intended for flaring up the sentiments of the followers of these sects.

Following the US invasion in Afghanistan in 2001, sectarian violence has gained momentum in Pakistan. At present, the tribal areas of Pakistan and its adjoining region of Afghanistan are serving as sanctuaries for the terrorists who are involved in disruptive activities including the sectarian violence in our country. After the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack, the government appears to have no clear or effective counter-terrorism strategy. Its present ‘stuck-in-the-mud’ attitude and dialogue would lead the country nowhere. Now, it’s time that government must evolve a proactive security policy to curb this menace for good. We have to take this violent bull by the horn before it damages us beyond redemption.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, January 2.