Religion Now Appears to be Dominating Life in Pakistan

Returning to Karachi after many years abroad, Mohammed Hanif reflects on how religion now appears to be dominating life in the country.


Twelve years ago, just before I left Pakistan to work for the BBC in London, an old friend from school tried to recruit me into a militant anti-Shia organisation.

After dropping out from high school, Zulfikar Ahmad had started a motorcycle garage in my native city in central Punjab, and joined one of the sectarian organisations that were flourishing in the area.

Above: Badshai Mosque, Lahore.  By: Geert Vanden Wijngaert 

We had a heated discussion over his politics and I reminded him of a number of common friends who were Shias and were as good or bad Muslims as any of our other classmates.

Visibly unconvinced, Zulfikar gave up on me and wished me luck for my life in London.

His attempt at converting me was one of the many signs of religious intolerance creeping into our lives.

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