It is disturbing to see all the rallies that are being carried out against the blasphemy law, where this has been converted into a political issue by the extremists. The extremists are trying to assert their ideology by a show of force. Ironically these rallies are mostly being led by those people, who have been infamous for their dual stances, courtesy to Wikileaks. For how long will these people continue to exploit our nation? It depends on our public, that how much they are willing to be manipulated by these people, even after the truth is staring them in their faces.
The boycott of female MPAs in Punjab assembly this week, as a protest for gender bias being carried out against them, is an eye opener. These MPAs alleged that they were being singled out for the denial of development fund and also alleged the male colleagues for having prejudices. The legislature should present themselves as shining examples, being the representatives of the nation. The assembly and legislative machinery should act in a manner which, would assist in achieving greater social values. If gender based discrimination is practiced in these corridors of democracy, then how will the rest of the nation be expected to leave behind its conservative thinking.
Karachi was once known to be the â€œcity of lightsâ€, but as events progress further, the future appears to be bleak for this once grand city. The death toll in Karachi due to violence related incidents, for the last 72 hours has reached up to 24. The presence of intolerance and extremism has affected this city, on every level. Karachi represents multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities, due to which the city was known for its acceptance and tolerance. Today, Karachi is represented as the hub of violence and chaos. The spree of target killings based on ethnic, political and religious affiliations has destroyed this once beautiful city.
The target killing of a journalist, in the recent spree of firing incidents in Karachi, has been condemned by all quarters of the society. Wali Khan Babar was a 29 year old journalist working for a private TV channel. This appears to be a part of the tactics adopted by menacing elements, to stifle the voice of the free media. The disturbing trend of targeting the media has been on a rise, in the recent years. According to IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) 94 journalists were killed in violence related incidents in Pakistan, during 2010. The journalists nowadays are facing grave threats to their safety. This is mostly due to their efforts to protect freedom of speech. The abduction of Umar Cheema, a senior reporter, in September 2010 is a recent case of how the media is being intimidated.
The fatwa issued by Mufti Muhammad Idris Usmani against Mumtaz Qadri, declaring him of committing a great sin, is a bold and encouraging step. He issued this fatwa after consultations with many scholars, not only in Pakistan but also abroad. He has also gone further by condemning the scholars, journalists and politicians who are supporting the murderer and justifying his reasons. It is heartening to know that there are still some reasonable people left in our society, who understand the teachings of Islam. Who do not use religion for their personal benefits and do not give in to fear.
The assassination of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer by his own guard on 4th January, 2011, was a shocking event. The start of the New Year has already been marred by such a gruesome event. The extremist elements in our society have been provoking the sentiments of the people, through the debate on the blasphemy law. The extremists have been busy scoring points for themselves, while the result is clearly evident. There is a general environment of fear and panic, as everyone is questioning the degrading condition of our social structure. This horrific event only gives one the idea that anyone with a weapon has been given the right to carry out their own law.