The atmosphere has been, as if we have won the Cricket World Cup 2011, rather than just winning the quarter final. There were widespread jubilations and celebrations, while people were out on the streets expressing their joy. It was a fantastic experience to see Pakistanis throughout the country, cheering for their well performing team. The Pakistani people after a long time have heard some good news and they have been relishing every moment of it. No matter what religion, sect, ethnicity or political party they belonged to, in a rare show of unity everyone rejoiced as one nation. Perhaps this rare show of unity can be transformed and adopted into our lives. If our team can do it, so can we and become champions for peace and prosperity in the world.
Archive for March, 2011
A couple of days ago Qadaffi was being termed as the worst dictator in history by our people and the media. He was being compared to Hitler, for subverting the rights of his people and massacring them to prolong his rule. But as soon as the west stepped in to aid the rebellion, on the request of Arab League, the tyrant is now being termed as a hero and a warrior. One TV channel has been running the strip, “Qadaffi versus Global Powers”, while the newspapers have also changed their tone. Why do we despise everything which represents the west? While, we use every western technology to our benefit and look forward for their financial assistance, we still hate them. Just to show our displeasure we will turn any figure, no matter how menacing (Taliban or Qadaffi), who stand against the west, into heroes.
The saga of Raymond Davis might be over but the right wing religious parties are still holding on to it. They have exploited this issue as their trump card and seem to be quite disappointed at its abrupt ending. The parties have called for countrywide protests and rallies on Friday, creating an environment of fear. These mullahs and their apologists are calling out for blood, creating a situation which might go out of control. It will be now seen, who else will finally share the limelight with Raymond, with a depicted noose around his/her neck.
While the blood spilled on 2nd March, of Shahbaz Bhatti is still fresh, our country and its progressive forces have again opted for silence. The terrorists have struck in Faisalabad and Peshawar, but we have still remained quiet. Instead of vocal protests against these killings, posters and banners have been placed across the federal capital, calling for “Khilafat” by Hizb ut-Tahrir. The international community watches us and analyses our efforts against extremism and terrorism, given they have a lot at stake. It is for certain that the success in the war on terror now depends solely, on how future events shape in Pakistan. Whereas no official has even made a simple effort to remove these inciting materials from the streets, the question obviously comes to the mind that if we can be trusted, to curb the rising trend of radicalism in the country.
With Shahbaz Bhatti laid to rest, another blasphemer was gunned down in the outskirts of Rawalpindi, who was released one year ago. Credit goes to the right wing, hypocrite political parties of Pakistan, for finally bringing anarchy into the country. Our society has been brought a long way down the road by these parties, by incitement of religious sentiments for their own political benefits. While the Taliban silence every voice of dissent, against their brutal ideology, our media and public find it much safer and convincing to blame “hidden hands”, “foreign agencies” or “Blackwater” for all these ills. It is unfortunate that we still haven’t learned anything and live in a make-believe world.
Hussain Haqqani stated during a memorial conducted for Shahbaz Bhatti in Washington, “If we are silent, we allow evil to win… It is unacceptable, it is un-Islamic, it is not what Pakistan was founded for… if I may use a term that has been abused in Pakistan — it is blasphemy.” The term “blasphemy” has clearly been misused to the extent, that it can correctly be termed as abused. The Mullah-Taliban nexus of Pakistan has been using this issue to gain electoral support, subvert human rights and harass minorities. These monsters who have misled people and abused this term for their own benefits, have certainly committed blasphemy themselves.
Another advocating voice for justice and human rights has been silenced by the cancer, which has now taken deep roots in our beloved Pakistan. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities, who had taken heat along with Late Salman Taseer by calling for reforms in , was assassinated today by unidentified gunmen. This should be no more a shockBlasphemy Law to the Pakistani people, that sitting ministers and governors are being targeted openly. Pakistan seems to be running out of sane voices and all of us are contributing to it by staying quite and embracing fear. Who would believe us, when we claim to be a peace loving nation? We are openly endorsing these killings by keeping our silence.
The inclusion of Article 19-A into the Constitution recognized public to access the information held by public departments, as a basic right of the masses. A series of five public service messages (PSM) and a short documentary had been developed by Individualland-Pakistan (IL) in order to sensitize the various sections of the society about RTI. These PSMs and documentary were supposed to be run on leading terrestrial and satellite channels. But after initial airing, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has categorized these as being anti-government in nature. The question that comes to the mind is what in these messages was so controversial that the higher-ups in PBA thought it to be non-beneficial for the government? Are they afraid that by having knowledge of their rights the people will demand more? Are they suffering from some kind of revolution phobia, where they think the people will be instigated by these PSMs? IL-Pakistan has decided to launch a protest against this unfair clampdown. You find out for yourself if these are anti-government or not.
A recent win of a world cup match by Pakistan, was followed by the usual slogan raising event at numerous public places. At one such event, the slogans which followed after “Pakistan Zindabad” were somehow both surprising and unrelated. The usual slogans of nationalism fervor were accompanied by “Raymond Davis Murdabad” and various modified anti-West and even anti-government rhetoric. A casual observer might even find this funny, but the people voicing these feelings are well trained in exploiting nationalist sentiments. Unfortunately, these negative slogans only go on to prove how volatile, intolerant and militarized our society has become in these years.