Things came to a head, not a few weeks ago in Rawalpindi -- and since then, the entire country has been holding its breath to see what may happen as a consequence. The worst fears of peace-loving people are about to be confirmed, as the nation stands on the brink of sectarian clashes. The blood has already started to flow, as was clear with the Ancholi blast, in a Shia dominated neighborhood, and the various acts committed against the same community in Karachi. The murder of Shamsur Rehman Muavia yesterday in Lahore, means that things have taken a turn for the worse in Punjab as well. Given the PML-N government’s stake in this province in particular, they must be made to realize that the ‘wait and see’ approach is only going to be detrimental for them. Action seems unavoidable and there are certain steps that the regime must take to stem the flow of the violence before it spreads further. The first step in this must be to first admit openly and publicly about the problem that faces us.

One of the main reasons for such clash gaining momentum, is hate speech finding easy platforms through seminaries. The state, and Punjab government must give up it's policy of denial, and ban those madrasahs where targeted hate is taught as a religious obligation. By sticking its head in the sand, the government is not only failing to protect its people, but is also complicit in the crime which is committed far too often in the country. Turning a blind eye has led us where we are today, while hate-mongers have been allowed to propagate their biases to move others to violence against a particular group. Any individual or a set of people looking to disrupt the unsteady balance of the country should be apprehended and constrained, before history repeats itself, and we find ourselves in a country where peaceful coexistence is just a dream.