In response to the targeted killing of Maulana Adil Khan of Jamia Farooqia, PM Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed concerns about Indian intentions to incite sectarian conflict to disharmonise stability in the country. Not only has their role in such killings been identified but the expression of blatant hatred for Pakistan has been littering most online platforms as well. If such a provocative environment continues to be perpetuated, we must immediately take a stand and deliver a message of solidarity—one that will render their attempts at disturbance futile.

The murder of the famous religious scholar is not an incident that stands alone. Throughout the course of the last few months, the government has been pre-emptively neutralising threats to various Aalims, as well as the Ulema generally. They have been systematically targeted in the hopes of fuelling violence amongst factions of society to weaken Pakistan internally. The fact that the need to take such measures arose in the first place warrants international Indian denouncement and accountability. Furthermore, when coupled with the aggressive hate speech spewed over the internet—officially and unofficially—the true extent to which the Indian government is seeking control of the narrative becomes apparent. It is important, now more than ever, that we remain vigilant and plan strategic counters to such backhanded attacks.

If India becomes successful in solidifying this perception of intolerance within the country, it would be to the detriment of Pakistan. If such is its intention, then the only solution for us to employ is the propagation of a cohesive society which values concepts like unity—reinforcing the idea that minute differences stand to be disregarded in the face of such unwarranted aggression. Timely, appropriate and proportional response by the Pakistani government is essential in the status quo.