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Protecting rights of minorities

December 07, 2012

THERE is an urgent need to protect the rights of minorities at all costs. It was promised by the Founder, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, in his speech on Aug 11, 1947, that political affairs shall be separate from religious matters.

It must be noted that Shia Muslims were at the forefront of the struggle for the creation of Pakistan. Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not from spiritual differences, but political ones.

Political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi finding a ‘growing trend of Islamic sectarianism’ predicts that with Pakistan’s rapid shift towards religious orthodoxy in Islam, ‘sectarian thinking’ is likely to dominate.

In the final analysis, it is incumbent upon the government to protect all its citizens regardless of their religious background.