The general election fever has gripped Pakistan. Just before the voting one of the biggest coups was carried out by opponents of Nawaz Sharif. The aim was to sideline him from the election due on July 26. This was important news but four suicide attacks with heavy casualties have brought home to Pakistan that corruption of Sharif is not the only issue but a bigger issue is controlling the extremist groups.

Global security has reported that over 133 people have been killed in suicide bombing attacks and in the latest carnage in Balochistan, the local leader of the Awami party standing for Baluchistan assembly, Siraj Raisani was killed.

Terror attack

BBC has quoted local officials who say the attacker detonated a bomb inside in a crowded compound where the campaign rally was being held. All this is disconcerting news. Add to this the arrest of Nawaz Sharif the former Prime minister of Pakistan on charges of corruption show that Pakistan is on the edge of great trouble.

Pakistan was a part of British India till 1947 and followed the secular policy of the Raj. After 1947 the clock began to turn back and slowly, but surely Pakistan began to slide towards a theocratic state.

This was not so bad, but after General Zia-ul Haq seized power in a Military coup the concept of Wahabbism or extreme Islam was introduced. Zia took away many crimes like rape and adultery from the purview of the Pakistan Penal Code and ushered in the Sharia or Islamic law.

He thought that as he had no political base, this was the best way to strengthen his rule.

General Zia

Zia was assassinated in 1989, but his laws remained, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalism was a corollary. Terror groups like the Pakistan Taliban now beset Pakistan and now the ISI which are hell-bent on creating a "pure" Muslim state.

The result is suicide bombings and attacks on moderate leaders. One can recollect that his own bodyguard killed the Punjab Governor as he was against the present blasphemy law which mandates the death sentence for anyone insulting Islam or Prophet Mohammed. The word " insulting" has not been defined, and its open to interpretation and in many cases the minorities like Christians are targeted.

India and Pak army

The Pakistan army right from the time of Zia has favored a form of Jihadism. They have set up training camps and overall have been soft on terror groups. They aimed to use these terror group against India and Afghanistan, but the best of intentions fail. The terror groups have turned on the Pak state, and though the army is fighting them, it appears a half heart effort as the ISI the intelligence arm of the Pak army still thinks it can control these groups and channel them against India.