History has numerous records of civil wars, and the profound subjectivity of each war gives us good reason to think they cannot be grouped under a single empirical umbrella. With the respective contexts of their conditions in view, they defy being seen through one specific prism.
Nevertheless, a civil war could be defined as a war having the trait of “insurgency” occurring amid conflicting factors born from within a state. Most commonly, civil wars happen between state powers and citizen groups of a country. Civil wars have also been fought between two or more ethnic-nations inside a country. A civil war passes different phases of development and the weapons warring groups use are conventional ones, but there have been cases where home-made weapons like explosives were used to kill the opponent.
The history of civil wars is a long one, and can reasonably be traced to when the term “civilian” came into use. But older wars that were like these later wars have been around for as long as humans themselves. Some eminent civil wars are:
The American Civil War (where USA’s northern states represented by Washington stood on one side and 11 southern seceding states termed the “Confederacy” stood on the other).
In olden times there was the Roman civil war between 100 BC and 400 AD. Anarchy in the Byzantine Empire. The French wars of religion. The Marian Civil War. The thirty years of war between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire from 1618 to 1648. The Irish Confederate Wars. The English Civil War ( 1st, 2nd & 3rd). The French and American revolutions. The South American wars of independence. The Argentine civil wars. The Greek civil war. The Uruguayan civil war. The Thousand Days’ War. The Mexican revolution. The Finish civil war. The Chinese civil war. The Austrian Civil War. The Spanish Civil War and the Vietnam War in the 20th century, which were one of the bloodiest ever. The Colombian Conflict. The Bangladeshi Liberation War. The Lebanese civil war, Angolan civil war, Afghan civil war, Sri Lankan civil war, Tajikistani civil war, Yemeni civil war, the Iraqi-Kurdish civil war, Nepalese civil war, Congolese civil war and the civil war in Iraq after the dismantling of the Baath party are among the many examples a civil war.
When I look at the situation in my country, I feel a kind of helplessness to analyze what is actually happening. Should I think we’re closing in on conditions to shape a civil war among us? Or should I say what we’re caught in is conflicts that won’t really push us into a civil war? It is common knowledge that writers, doctors, lawyers, theologians, teachers and bankers of a certain Muslim sect have been targeted with the violence continuing. Although others too have been rung up, it’s no secret that the major brunt is the lot of the Shiites.
Besides sectarian tensions, there are insurgencies growing in Baluchistan, KPK province and the FATA. We can hear of a movement that proclaims a “free Baluchistan”, there is a nationalist movement in Gilgit and Baltistan regions and one may sniff a separatist temperament in areas of Sindh. Whereas the government is failing day by day to tackle issues like street crimes, bank robberies and corruption on different tiers.
At this very moment while I’m writing, 3 men have been shot dead. Yesterday a Scout Group Leader named Arshad Hussain Naqvi, belonging to the Karachi Open District (which is affiliated with the Sind Boy-Scout Association, the Pakistan Boy-Scout Association and the World Scouts’ Bureau), was assassinated. He was someone who never stepped back from his voluntary sense of duty and never turned his back on one in need. He was there in Kashmir when the earthquake hit and recently in areas of Sindh where floods turned everything upside down. He went all the way to Thar and Mitthi to help all he could in the rescue efforts there. A life lived in sacrifice, and one bullet to hush it up.
Recent news tells me two people were shot near Naagan chowrungi, top-notch journalist Hamid Mir sustained multiple shot wounds, and someone called Saleem Haider, leading the Muhajir Ittehad Tehreek, was targeted near Jauhar Chowrungi. The list of people being killed could go on and on but I must think of bringing my words to an end.
One incident that stopped me in my tracks was the killing of a primary level student who was rehearsing to play a brother in a tableau. No one knows who is responsible and his family is protesting against the government for their loss. I have been thinking of those other tableau-participants and what they must be discussing at an age when their discussions should be about such innocent aspects as their primary school-age guarantees. Instead of talking about things one talks about in childhood, they’re talking about death and terror.
Everyone these days expects opinions on a solution if you point to what’s wrong. I don’t think I have a suitable opinion or advice to offer. I just want to say that those running the institutions in our society must find a way out of the present mess. It isn’t a consolation that what we’re caught in won’t really push us into a civil war. If matters are not taken seriously, the conflict which we’re resting on today will break dam tomorrow. And then we will have a real treat at our hands, for that will be a civil war.
(This Article was Shaped and Structured by Tabisch Aliem)
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