The fall of interfaith harmony and the rise of extremism and violence against minorities in Pakistan dates back to the 70s. Certain events played a major role in the rise of prejudice against Non-Muslim religious minorities, Muslim minority sects and Ex-Muslims.
Declaring Ahmadi Muslims as Non-Muslims in the second amendment to the constitution which resulted in killings of hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims and marginalising them in the society.
The infamous Anti-Blasphemy law, which is questionable in itself, further facilitated the misuse of the law against the Muslim and Christian minorities and facilitated the abuse of law on false bases.
The huge support that the Pakistani establishment provided to Jihadi groups in Kashmir and radical Taliban and establishing their bases in Pakistani soil facilitated the growth of extremism and radicalism in Pakistan and resulted in the establishment of Tahrik Taliban Pakistan and its sympathizers in banned groups such as Sipah-e-Sahaba and popular political parties such as the Jama’at Islami. As a result, the public was infiltrated with extremist ideas and the hatred towards minorities reached a peak level.
The failed attempts of Musharraf and People’s Party government to control the rise of militant groups further strengthened these groups and helped in increased popularity of the groups among religious public of the Deobandi and Salafi(Wahabi) sects of Islam.
The rise of Deobandi extremists resulted in targeting the majority of Barelvi Sunni Muslims in addition to Shia Muslims.