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The Herald live blog

Published Apr 15, 2012 04:10pm


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On April 16, Monday, the Herald has invited Malik Mohammad Iqbal and Muhammad Amir Rana to conduct a live blog about sectarian violence, its causes, effects and the groups and individuals involved in it. We invite you to pose your questions to our experts in either of the two time-slots.

April 16, 7 pm to 8 pm (PST) Muhammad Amir Rana is a security analyst and the director of the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, an independent Islamabad-based think tank. He has worked extensively on issues related to counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, and internal and regional security and politics.  He has also worked as a journalist with various Urdu and English daily newspapers between 1996 and 2004. He is the editor of Pakistan Annual Security Report, English research journal Conflict and Peace Studies and Urdu monthly magazine Tajziat.

April 16, 9 pm to 10 pm (PST) Malik Mohammad Iqbal joined the Police Service of Pakistan in 1976. During his career, he held important positions at the hotspots of sectarian violence across Pakistan; as Capital City Police Officer in Lahore and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in Gujranwala, Multan and Karachi. He also headed the Punjab Police’s special branch before becoming the Inspector General of Balochistan Police and then the Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency. His last assignment has been as the head of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority.

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Comments (21) Closed

mubashar ahmad jan Apr 16, 2012 05:05pm
is there any law which prevents sectarian violence in Pakistan ? if no why ? when we know that we are Islamic jhamuria Pakistan and all sects are found in our country with rigidity and bigotry . issuing fatwas against each other openly and police not stopping banners and posters of such kind in every city . Even police show brutality in such cases .
Monty... Apr 16, 2012 11:44pm
Secularism is an answer..I don expect u to be secular towards hindus...thats out of question...atleast have some tolerance to ur own muslim brothers...
Imran Apr 16, 2012 06:51pm
Dear Mr Dar, The focus of this discussion is from a security point of view not theological. Sects have always existed and Will until qiyamat. issue is how we can ensure they are free to exist peacefully while practicing their religion or sect. as said ' there is no compulsion in religion'
TAK Apr 17, 2012 03:59pm
My question is, what it takes for the law enforcement agencis to dare to vitalize and improve their public image so that they can ensure swift and transparent implementation of state and legal framework?
Mohammad A Dar Apr 16, 2012 05:13am
Secularism, self center ism is way of hindered, deniers of truth absolute in life, Our loved one's did not spill their blood for us to be hindu. No thanks.Eliminate sects, product of hindered soul, misguided desire in denial of spirit, truth, peace, Islam.
Shoaib Mirza Apr 15, 2012 07:54pm
Sectarian violence in Pakistan has increased after Independence. Looking at it only at the macro level, how much did the increased population and subsequent competition for the limited livelihood options contribute to the increase?
I W Khan Apr 15, 2012 07:03pm
Today's news is that around 400 Prisoners from Banu Jail were helped by Teherik-e- Taliban to escape. They were fighting there for 2 hours. Where was the security force? where was military? and where were security helicopters? Pakistan security forces has failed so many times. These around 400 escapees will be source in additional violence.
Nighat Apr 15, 2012 11:28pm
Sorry that I can’t provide the statistics required, but you’re making a good point about population increase and the subsequent increase in competition for jobs. In India the government made massive investments in IT and educating Indians which brought jobs and wealth to the country. In Pakistan high investments in its army doesn’t provide any security for anyone! Where were they all when the 400 Prisoners escaped from Banu Jail?
Mohammad A Dar Apr 15, 2012 11:21pm
First of all why do sects exist, Where are the sources of sectarian ism ,. If one can tell true history of it, As Allah the merciful commanded to Syadana Mohammad, Pbh,, THEY ARE DIVIDED IN TO SECTS IN DENIAL OF THEEN ALLAH CONSTITUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE 360*, AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. Has any one strength of knowledge to correct path of Ummah, misguided by so called, self appointed scholars in following of religion or Mazhib, Word religion did not exist in language of Israelite Hebrew's, not Jew's, nor made part of Quran or Hidth on purpose. Sectarian ism is handy work of crooks to divide humanity and rule over them. It is old age conflict, Soul, desire verses truth absolute 360* or Secularism, self center ism verses obedience to truth absolute 360* Can you elaborate please for good of humanity to stop mayhem.
Agha Ata Apr 15, 2012 06:20pm
There is only one valid reason for such sectarian violence. WE have sects. Solution? Bring all of them under one umbrella, SECULARISM. (Period) Just remember, belonging to a sect means I am better, you are not. Therefore …. !
Safdar Sial Apr 15, 2012 02:17pm
What hinders the state to effectively respond to violent sectarianism?
Imran Apr 15, 2012 06:08pm
My question is how complicit do you think the security apparatus is in the current sectarian violence gripping the country, both directly and implicitly ( by turning a blind eye to such incidents or not apprehending the culprits)? Also what are your thoughts on arrested criminals being released by the judiciary for lacking evidence or weak prosecution. This is especially TRUE since on one hand political/corruption cases are taken up by by he court despite lack of interest or evidence from the prosecutors while the same is not applied in terrorism cases.
Cyrus Howell Apr 15, 2012 05:12pm
During the past year, no politician has dared raise the issue of reforming the blasphemy law. Intolerance by extremists against both Muslims and non-Muslims has increased enormously and there has been a dramatic rise in the number of sectarian attacks, which are usually perpetrated by Sunni extremists against Shia citizens. (BBC)
Cyrus Howell Apr 15, 2012 04:49pm
Mumtaz Qadri, an elite police force member, pumped 27 bullets into the politician (Taseer) as he was walking back to his car after lunch at an Islamabad restaurant. Qadri had informed his police colleagues standing nearby that he would commit murder and throw down his weapon, so there would be no need to kill him. The police obliged by giving no warning to Taseer or shooting Qadri dead. Qadri, who belonged to a small Islamic group called Dawat-e-Islam, said he killed Taseer because of his attempts to change the controversial blasphemy law. He was showered with roses when he made his first appearance in court. Hundreds of lawyers pledged to defend him and he was treated as a celebrity by many. (BBC)
Naveed Apr 15, 2012 09:11pm
Do you think that state and religion are two seprate domain. Is pakistan trapped in sectarian violoence issue basically due to intermingling of these two domains ?
HAZARA TIGERS Apr 15, 2012 04:18pm
My Question is from Amir Rana, whether agencies are involved in killing of Hazara tribesmen in order to weaken the independence movement of Baloch nationalists and show the world that there are sectarian issue not the independent one.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Apr 15, 2012 01:01pm
I think it2s a good initiative taken by DAWN. This blog indeed is going to play its role in having a better understanding of what is happening in Pakistan today.
Shoaib Mirza Apr 21, 2012 01:10am
Guess Monty was saying that it is tough for Pakistan to turn secular. You Nighat, are rational and very unbiased bro. Your parallel with 'different DNA being a security measure' is excellent. I would be surprised if your peers subscribe to the same ideas as you.
Nighat Apr 20, 2012 01:57pm
Why shouldn’t tolerance be necessary towards Hindus or any religion for that matter? In other words you are saying that Muslims in India shouldn’t expect tolerance from Hindus?! This very intolerance is carried on towards anyone who is different from oneself; in fact evolution creates each and every person with a different DNA as a security measure; and we (against nature) expect everyone to be the same as ourselves.
Nighat Apr 20, 2012 11:13pm
Cold murder in broad daylight plus a passive attitude Pakistani citizens take towards murder taking place regularly amongst them, is a horrendous fact! Perhaps one could understand politicians, for not having risked their lives by raising the blasphemy laws reform issue ever since. What makes their life and the incident even more unbearable is that there isn’t any security to protect anyone’s life in the country; an agonizing fact, which each and everyone has to live with in Pakistan. Educating the masses would be a long term solution and replacing the security forces a shorter one.
Nighat May 10, 2012 07:43pm
War was fought in Europe for thirty years 1618–1648 with a personal belief that every individual possesed the absolute 360° truth. After brutally slaughtering each other, finally a consensus was found by the religions: that everybody’s truth would apply for them and only themselves; just as the 360° truth: ice is abundant on the North Pole, however the same truth does not apply to the Sahara desert.