Pakistan has recently seen a surge in sectarianism, specifically after Muharram. The result of these sentiments that were initially propagated online led to several anti-Shia protests across the country.
A few incidents, where Shias were targetted and gunned down, were also recorded. The Focal Person to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr. Arsalan Khalid, recently addressed the issue in the presence of representatives of multiple digital media organizations and said that majority of these trends were operating from outside Pakistan.
He said that since 2018, there is a huge increase in Indian accounts tweeting about Pakistan, and sparking chaos. Dr. Arsalan further said that the offline world is not disconnected from the online world, and hence, a sudden increase in anti-Shia sentiment was witnessed on the streets as well.
Anti-Shia Hashtag Mapping:
Dr. Khalid further alleged that certain anti-Pakistan journalists, who are based outside the country, also ignited the issue. He explained that the leaders of political parties, whose workers are also purposefully adding the fuel to the atmosphere of extremism, should act responsibly, or else the government will have to take action against them as well.