عنوان مقاله [English]
Extensive Abstract :
According to many scholars religion can be considered as the point of origin of many social capacities; however, if environmental requirements are not understood correctly, the same can turn into an agent in creating social divisions and finally political conflicts and internal chaos (Copeland, 2016: 5). The feeling of insecurity as well as partial deprivation combined with ethnical-religious feelings and orientations make a suitable context for turmoil and inclination of individuals toward extremist radical movements. In sectarian extremism which is a form of organized violence, it is an obligation to form identity and embark on spreading awareness and extending sectarian organization to develop the operational scope (Mori, 2016:18). The danger which factions propose to society is the spread of organized threat towards a group or some individuals (Abdo,2015 :17-18).
Meanwhile; religious and sectarian fidelity has created a suitable ground for an outbreak of a large wave of security events in southwestern Asia. As the result of these conflicts which have put nations into opposition with one another, the possibilities for coming into national agreement and explore opportunities to maximize the values have become narrowed down (Nasrollahi,2010:198). As such; the existence of a high potential for sectarian conflicts inside the security environment of Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most important components able to produce threats for internalization of unity and national solidarity. One of the reasons to believe so is instability in neighbor countries and interference by countries of the region with an intention of exacerbating sectarianism to achieve their goals. Amongst countries of the region Pakistan maintains a high potential for sectarianism as religious sectarianism constitutes the foundation of this country. In fact, the society of Pakistan holds an ethnic and sectarian nature with various ideas and ethnic-tribal bigotry and special religious and traditional perceptions suffering from ever-widening gaps between them (Masoudnia & ShahGhale, 2009;201). Today, Pakistan has turned into the center of gravity of sectarian extremism and home to foster fighting Salafi groups (Hill,2015:17).The said factor especially when regarding long borders between Iran and this country and settlement of Baloch minority along borders has brought about threats to the I.R of Iran. Terrorist groups split from sectarianism have become activated in Iran especially in southeastern parts of the country and conducted operations against the national security of the country. Due to the importance of this issue, the current study examines sectarianism in Pakistan, its causes, and contexts of growth and geopolitical effects it has on I.R of Iran’s national security.
2-Methodology of Research
The method of this research is descriptive-explanatory which explores the causes of extremism in Pakistan, its characteristics and its status regarding national security of Iran. Data gathering was carried out by library and document research.
The social and political environment of Pakistan has special complications the main reasons of it are ethnic and trial characteristic of the social structure of this country, military interference in political affairs, foreign powers interferences and most importantly, religious conflicts along with tribal rivalries. Such environment in combination with foreign powers ‘meddling with internal issues of Pakistan has created a favorable context for the growth of sectarianism. (Masoudnia & ShahGhale,2009:194). From 1947 when Pakistan first appeared as an independent country on maps, it has suffered from a myriad of problems due to a conductive background for sectarian extremism, religious fundamentalism, and interferences and unlimited power of the military. (Gerges,2014). Consequently, in recent two decades in Pakistan fundamentalism and religious sectarianism has been raising remarkably and leading into this country turning into the heart of fundamentalism and especially sectarianism. (Masoudnia & Najafi,2011:79). Thus, Pakistan depends on various schools of jurisprudence and thought with their specially formed political organizations. We should notice that although Pakistani religions are divided into two major Sunni religious groups of Hanafi and Shiite, neither Sunni or Shiites of this country follow a single sect (Cohen,2012). In fact, not only the society of Pakistan breaks into a multitude of major and minor political groups but each major Sunni and Shiite sects of it further divides into platitude of methods and trends. To make things even more complicated, we should bear it in mind that in case of tribal and language perspective a similar situation prevails (Masoudnia & ShahGhale,2009:202).
The country of Pakistan appeared on the political map of the world with Islam as its existential cause. Since its independence, it has tried to use Islamic thinking as an identity factor. Unfortunately, Pakistan was not successful in this regard. This country was engulfed by devastating sectarianism after its independence. Today it is notorious for being the center of fundamentalism and sectarianism. Nowadays, Pakistan is known as one of the most challenging and unstable countries in the world. For that reason, sectarianism with characteristics such as totalitarianism, austerity, bigotry, fundamentalism, separation from general society aggravates various social, cultural and economic contrasts and by dividing down various identities prevents from a general sense of identity and feeling of belonging to the national space to form. Accordingly, by disrupting the normal flow of social and political order, it provokes tensions and violence and plays a significant part in instability. A whole collection of factors are amongst contributors in sectarianism and its amplification in Pakistan, the most important ones include: how Pakistan was formed in first place, political, social and economic crises of it, its special cultural-social status, deprivation and lack of prosperity and economic development, the Kashmir dispute, invasion of Afghanistan by USSR, policies of colonial powers specially the US and support from these policies by Arab countries of Persian Gulf particularly the Saudi Arabia, victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, weakness of Pakistan in terms of nation building, Islamization policies followed by Zia-ul-Haq, religious schools, wide ethnic and linguistic varieties along with tribal culture, weakness of government in dealing with extremist groups and the military and ISI of country. The said factors have helped with prevailing sectarianism and worsened religious and sectarian challenges.
Concerning Iran’s neighborhood with Pakistan and imposed borders between two countries which have entailed the separation of Baloch people, sectarianism in Pakistan has proposed threats to Iran’s national security. It has led to terrorist attacks in southeastern parts of Iran and challenged the national security of it. In fact, it has increased terrorism and smuggling of goods, sectarian armed conflicts, number of the terrorist groups, suicide attacks and bombings plus hostage-taking. Meanwhile, aside from foreign countries interference which plays the main role in this regard, what has prepared the background for sectarianism and its expansion in a southeastern part of the country is unbalanced development. Therefore, the province of Sistan&Baluchestan despite its high potentials is the most deprived part of the country.
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