Who is taking a pounding from whom: Ahmedi from Muslim, Shia from Sunni, Barelvi from Wahabi, secular Sunni from rabid Barelvi and so on…
Maniza Naqvi at 3QuarksDaily:
…Pakistan where matters are so far gone that if the father of the Nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah were alive today he would not be able to go about freely for fear of being shot to death for being a Shi’a. Or the men who bank rolled the fledgling state of Pakistan with their wealth, M.M. Isphahani and Habib Ishmael, would if they were alive would be in danger. Or Mohammad Zafurallah Khan, who represented the Muslim League, upon the request of Jinnah, at in the Boundaries Commission which decided the borders of India and Pakistan at Partition and was the first foreign minister of Pakistan, if he had been alive today he would have been threatened with death for having the name Mohammad as his first name. Or Jogendra Nath Mundal the first law minister of Pakistan who would have also been threatened. Or the first finance Secretary Sir Victor Turner, the Christian, English Pakistani in the first cabinet. I fear that if any of them were alive today, they would surely have been in danger of being killed. Or the great poet Iqbal had he been alive he would have been targeted for his poetry in praise of Ali and views on Islam; the poet for whom the myth has been created by the State of Pakistan, that he dreamt of a state of Pakistan.[Link]
Cyril Almeida actually puts it more bluntly:
It began with the founding theory.
A country created for Muslims but not in the name of Islam. Try selling that distinction to your average Pakistani in 2012. 1947 was another country and it still found few takers.
Pakistan’s dirty little secret isn’t its treatment of non-Muslims or Shias or the sundry other groups who find themselves in the cross-hairs of the rabid and the religious. Pakistan’s dirty little secret is that everyone is a minority.
It begins with Muslim and non-Muslim: 97 per cent and the hapless and helpless three. But soon enough, the sectarian divide kicks in: Shia and Sunni. There’s another 20 per cent erased from the majority.
Next, the intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafi and the Ahl-e-Hadith. Seventy per cent of Pakistan may be Hanafi, five per cent Ahl-e-Hadith.
Then the intra-intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafis split between the growing Deobandis and the more static Barelvis.
And finally, within the 40 per cent or so that comprise Barelvis in Pakistan, there’s the different orders: the numerous Chishtis, the more conservative Naqshbandis and the microscopic Qadris.
In Pakistan, there is no majority.
There’s the terror that every minority lives in: non-Muslim from Muslim, Shia from Sunni, Barelvi from Wahabi, secular Sunni from rabid Barelvi — the future is now and it is bleak.[Dawn]
How ironic is that, considering the very quest that supposedly sustained Pakistan’s statehood was self-identification as Muslims in lieu of persecution under Hindu India.
MJ Akbar explains it rather well:
What is the difference between Indians and Pakistanis? The answer is uncomplicated: There is no difference. We are the same people, with similar personality strengths, and parallel collective weaknesses. Why then have the two nations moved along such dramatically different arcs in the six decades of their existence?
India and Pakistan are not separated by a mere boundary. They are defined by radically opposed ideas. India believes in a secular state where all faiths are equal; Pakistan in the notion that a state can be founded on the basis of religion.
The two-nation theory, which was the basis of Pakistan, did not separate all Muslims of the subcontinent from Hindus; nearly as many Muslims live in India at this moment, without any hindrance to the exercise of their faith, as live in Pakistan. Pakistan was created on an assumption, which had no basis in either the political or social history of Indian Muslims, that they could not live as equals in a united, Hindu majority India. It was a concept that flourished in the wasteland of an inferiority complex.[India Today]
In other words, beware of the mistake made by our dear candle-wallas. The similarities between Indians and Pakistanis shouldn’t blind us to the radical differences between India and Pakistan.