The latest terrorist attack on a place of worship took place at the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan in Pakistan through suicide bombing. For several years, jihadis/terrorist have attacked several Sufi shrines which are the major attraction for devotees all over Pakistan. These include the popular shrine of Hazrat Shah Noorani in Balochistan last November and Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore in 2010. Unfortunately, such extremists acts are still seen through a geo-strategic lens by the Pakistan s ruling elite.
violence against Sufi shrine are justified by jihadis as attacks against impure manifestations of the Islamic faith. Creating a pure Islamic state encompasses killing heretics , unbelievers, and deviants . Same belief has been a part of attacks against Shias and Ahmadis as well as Pakistan s Christians and Hindus. To these jihadis, Pakistan is also a religious battlefield as India or Afghanistan.
Despite making statements differentiating good and bad jihadis and the need to fight fundamentalism, Pakistan s establishment hasnt really done anything substantial in reality. For Pakistan ruling elite, its international image and its external relations remains its priority not confronting extremist ideology or elimination of terrorism . The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) doesn t see jihadi terrorists as enemies though they may be targeting its own people. The tolerance of Pakistan establishment for terror groups only undermines the country.