India-Pakistan: July 8, 2003

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Pakistan is offering a $40,000 reward for information on who was behind the attack on the Shia mosque, and killing of 48 people, last week. While Shia form 20 percent of Pakistan's population, the growth of Saudi Arabian supported religious schools since the 1980s has produced a generation of militant Sunni Pakistanis who see Shia as heretics. This has poisoned relations with Iran, which is majority Shia and sees itself as protector of Shia minorities worldwide. More importantly, the growth of Shia/Sunni violence has increased tensions between tribal and ethnic groups that have grievances, and also are divided by religious differences (Shia and Sunni).

 

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