Religious tolerance in Sindh

By Javed Qazi, Karachi, Sindh

Surely there is a reasonable religious tolerance that exists in Sindh and in southern Punjab ( Balochs also have more historical and cultural links to the people living here). We know these are the areas where Sufi moment has deep roots. But also these are the areas that are living under same old feudal and clan norms and are highly primitive. Why has sufi moment been a failure in order to bring down the feudalism as it was also a part of its struggle, apart from bringing religious tolerance (where it had been a tremendous success)? 


 
Not only that but the whole sufi moment went hijacked also by the Ghadi Nasheens of such sufi saints. Now the governance is at the lowest ebb here if compared it with the past. Human resource are highly unskilled as well, poor health and education system, sanitation etc makes people to live like animals and still the locus of power is wasted with feudal and gadi nasheens here.  
 
Comparatively in the rest of parts of Pakistan Sufi moment has insignificant historical role. One may argue therefore that today when the wave of religious extremism came down here,had  Sindh and southern Punjab for that matter Baluchistan had inherent immunity that was cultivated by the Sufi moment which saved it from being victim of this cancer.
 
 Also talibinization/mujahideen etc was deliberately organized and engineered; first by the US in the backdrop of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and later it was our defense strategy, which revolved around the doctrine of strategic depth, has been a source to encourage fundamentalism. But at least one thing has happened that locus of power has shifted to mosques from the deras of khans.
 
 
However the decadence is common across. In those above areas, which are spacious and tolerance religious wise, this decadence is manifesting in other ways. 
 
Talibinization has a aspect of class struggle or so called empowerment to common men, as is argued here in the debate, but its other aspects are highly dangerous and anti development, which outweigh manifold to its class struggle aspect.
 
Here in our parts it indeed is very healthy that religious extremism hasn’t made its roots yet feudalism, jirgaas have made its roots deep and strong perhaps this was not so in eighties.

The writer can be reached at: javedqazi68@yahoo.com

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