Sectarian Violence Escalates in Pakistan

By Yuvin Manadeniya for Al Jazeera

The United Nations Security Council will meet this week in an attempt to address the growing issue of sectarian violence in the nation of Pakistan and its surrounding regions. The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the levels of violence that have troubled Pakistan for much of its history. This can be attributed largely to the long-standing religious divides that exist between segments of the population worsening and failure on the part of the Pakistani government to act effectively against these groups.

Growing tensions between the Sunni and the Shi’a, the two major denominations of Islam, have seen these acts of sectarian violence escalate significantly in scale and pose a substantial threat not only for Pakistan where much of these acts are localised, but also for the world at large where the consequences of Islamic conflict in this region are much greater in scope.

There has been little effort from the Pakistani government to restrain these acts, due primarily to the entrenchment of individual ethnic and religious prejudices in the political leaders. As a result, the influence of these extremist groups has grown largely unchecked and extends to significant control over areas such as government and education, ultimately increasing the proportion of those who are sympathetic to the causes of these groups.

As such, the deeply held prejudices within the general population and the existing connections between Pakistani officials and terrorist groups has significantly reduced the ability for the government to address this issue, should it even wish to do so.

The Security Council will attempt to address this growing threat to global security, but whether it will be able to provide a diplomatic resolution to this complex issue remains to be seen.

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