28 C
Lahore
Friday, September 30, 2022
Search
Generic filters
EditorialEnd to mob violence

End to mob violence

The civil and military leadership’s decision to work towards devising a comprehensive strategy to deal with mob justice following the brutal killing of a Sri Lankan manager, Priyantha Diyawadana, in Sialkot the past week is much appreciated. There is a worrying surge in mob violence, often carried in the name of religion, in the country. Before Diyawadana, it was the Christian couple – Shahzad Masih and Shama Shahzad – who were burnt alive on blasphemy allegations in 2014. And three years later Mashal Khan. This year too, an enraged mob vandalized Hindu deities and temple in Bhong after a local court granted bail to a minor Hindu boy on blasphemy accusations. The names and places kept adding but it took a life of a foreign national for the state to wake up to the brewing extremism at home.

Humans Rights Minister Shireen Mazari is right when she said that “it’s now time to take definitive action”, adding that the counter-terrorism strategy also needs to be reviewed. Mob lynching is after all an act of terror that has cost many precious lives in Pakistan. It is thus commendable for the civil and military leadership to work towards putting a stop to this menace. But while at it, the state must also understand the complex ground realities that the society today has been pushed into. And it is for them to take the blame.

In April 2017 when Mashal was lynched for allegedly posting blasphemous content online, the then premier had supported a crackdown on questionable material posted on social media. The ruling party too has used the religion card to rile up supporters for politicking. And when the state is not involved, its apathy towards mob violence has led to the decay in the society. Defence Minister Pervez Khattak’s statement on the Sialkot lynching case being a result of youngsters ‘high emotions’ exposes how a federal minister is removed from the reality of the people he is elected to govern. If the government is serious about not “tolerating violence in the name of religion”, as the premier categorically asserted during the condolence reference for Diyawadana on Tuesday, it must start from calling out Khattak’s ignorant statement in a manner similar to the way it criticized JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s statement following the incident. The country is no longer at a stage where ‘errors’ can be overlooked. We already have a lot of blood on our hands.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Top News

More articles