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Anti-Shia Wall Chalking Surfaces On Karachi Streets

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Days after a Shia cleric was booked for alleged blasphemous remarks, anti-Shia wall chalking — a practice common since the 80s — has reappeared in various neighbourhoods of Karachi.

According to a post shared on Facebook, the wall chalking also had flags of banned sectarian outfits next to it. “Today, Prime Minister and COAS are coming to Karachi and we can see how the decades-old wall chalkings of “Shia Kafir” started reappearing on the street walls of various neighborhoods in Karachi with the flags of the banned militant outfits.”

Since the start of Muharram, the Shia community has been facing a hate campaign, with multiple trends started on Twitter that targetted the community for its belief. In addition, at least 75 per cent of the recent blasphemy accused in the last 30 days belonged to the minority Shia group.

Pakistan Shias — that account for 20 per cent of the country’s population — have been at the receiving end of faith-based violence since the 1980s.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, the religious minority started facing the brunt of Sunni extremist groups, such as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) which are considered to be the same group with different names. All these groups claimed to target Shia over their ‘blasphemous practices’, especially the Ashura rituals.

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Naya Daur