Before 1947, Muslims were a minority in India. They were mostly among the less educated and poor, a burden on the economy. As the weaker lot, they required help and support which India was unable to provide. A strong ambassador of the Hindu-Muslim unity ended up as the father of the sovereign Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was convinced that India would not be able to do justice to all religious groups in the long run and began his struggle for a land free from this problem. The new country was born to eradicate the issue of inequality faced by India. Jinnah did not survive for too long after Pakistan’s birth and the country was hijacked and dragged into an ideological mess.
The color proportions on Pakistan’s flag were not set with respect to importance. They were the symbolic acceptance of all minorities and a promise to them of equal rights. The notion that the Muslim Pakistanis are somehow more Pakistani than others has been created by opportunistic politicians and the military.
Fast-forward to 2011: The Muslim majority has proved to be extremely insensitive towards the minorities of Pakistan. The victims of pre-partitioned India are the oppressors of post-partition Pakistan. Some minorities have left the country while others are terrified and are considering moving out. The only Catholic in the federal cabinet, who was struggling for minority rights in the light of the constitution of the country, was riddled with bullets. Shahbaz Bhatti dared to raise voice against the misuse of the Blasphemy Laws against the minorities in Pakistan. Recently, Salmaan Taseer, a Muslim governor of Pakistan’s biggest province, tried to challenge the use of the same laws and was injected with two dozen bullets from head to toe.
Bhatti and Taseer could have simply backed off and lived their lives. They didn’t. Both these gentlemen could have left the country whenever they wanted. They didn’t. Their families could have turned anti-Pakistan after the incidents. They didn’t. They chose to die for what they believed in. Both predicted their assassinations beforehand and refused to succumb to death threats. The air of pessimism in Pakistan’s liberal minds is understandable. The world’s concern over minority rights is legitimate. The government’s reaction after the two episodes has been nonexistent. The politicians, lawyers, human right activists, military personnel and journalists, who are usually extremely vocal, decide to take the backseat. The liberal Pakistan Peoples Party died with Benazir Bhutto. The fear is such that political leaders avoid even condemning the killings. With every passing day, it seems that the roots of intolerance are growing stronger.
However, the recent wave of disowning the country by the liberals and minorities is flawed. Those who want to leave Pakistan have the right to do so. But using the assassinations as an excuse and justification for leaving Pakistan is hypocrisy. Bhatti and Taseer stood for exactly the opposite. They stood for a united, tolerant Pakistan.
You are right, but, when people are openly deceived by the so called care takers of Islam on national television AND no one challenges them, what can you expect from that nation?
This is what I am talking about:
Read this: http://dinopak.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-art-of-deception/
then See this:
There were some shows conducted by Naseem Zehra on Dunya TV. You should check them out too.
Great write up. The thing that keeps a lot of us still here isn’t the lack of resources to leave its because we don’t want to run away.
“However, the recent wave of disowning the country by the liberals and minorities is flawed. Those who want to leave Pakistan have the right to do so. But using the assassinations as an excuse and justification for leaving Pakistan is hypocrisy. Bhatti and Taseer stood for exactly the opposite. They stood for a united, tolerant Pakistan”
You are right Samir, I agree oppression should be battled against, rather than fled from, Bhatti and Taseer have set excellent examples. However, I think you got it the other way around when you say minorities are disowning the country. As I see it, it is Pakistan that disowns its minorities. It is a nation where you are a muslim before you are a Pakistani, where people would willing kill their brothers in the name of Islam; never mind Pakistani or not. Don’t you think you are being a bit biased when demanding ethnic and religious minorities to love a country whose mass majority and its leaders cannot even tolerate their existence, a long way off from having the slightest affection for them.
I find it a contradiction when you admiringly credit Jinnah for disintegrating one of the biggest nations in the world into two and later three parts (and still fighting over the fourth)because he thought Hindu’s and Muslims would never be able to dwell together in unity. Yet you demand unity and peace between Muslims, Hindus and Christians in Pakistan, with the base assumption that perhaps the Muslim majority of today’s Pakistan is somehow more accomodating than the Hindu majority of pre-partion India. So much for hypocrisy! I think we ought to appreciate the liberals and the minorities, even the ones that have left the country, at least they didn’t band together to demand a seperate homeland out of an already much divided country.
No David, I did not suggest that the minorities are disowning the country. I was referring to only the “liberals and minorities” that are disowning the country. The minorities of Pakistan are very patriotic and patient, even though they are subject to unfair treatment in many cases.
And, I do not mind people leaving the country. However, using Bhatti and Taseer’s name to do so is wrong because those people were fighting for exactly the opposite. Therefore, my line was not to be taken literally. Rather, it was a tribute to those who gave up their lives.