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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mere Jaan Pakistan

Whenever I read about Pakistan, a negative perception gets strong hold. Pakistan is becoming Denialistan whose citizens do not accept their faults- are either label it as conspiracy of other state and religions or quick to justify them by pointing out similar failings of other states.

Whether it is 'Talibanistaion' of society to 'Match fixing scandal' of the cricketers, the events unfolding are taking Pakistan towards downward spiral path. The liberal institutions of democracy, scientific thinking and secularism are failing while attack on Sufi Shrines has been destroying local belief system of tolerance and brotherhood. The terms “Hang the Traitor” and “Burn the corrupt” are becoming common in the public. With destruction of infrastructure in recent floods, this chaos is working in the favour of extremist who wants to impose their version of Sharia law.

Recently released, the Brookings Institute report claims that the real cause of militancy in Pakistan is the public education system, and not religious schools (madrssas) because the majority of Pakistani students attend public school whereas only ten per cent attend madrassas. It states that Pakistani public schools disseminate militancy, hatred, jihad and distort history.


Jahane Rume does analysis of this depressing situation :-

The recent attack on Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine is another reminder of the plain truth that the Pakistani state needs to focus on its domestic crises rather than remain obsessive about external threats. The unholy conglomerate comprising al Qaeda, sectarian outfits and elements within the state has targeted Karachi’s best-known public and cultural space. This is a continuation of Islamist battles against Pakistan.

Yet, apologists remain adamant. Butchering of civilians and annihilation of a plural Sufi culture is a reaction, we are told. First, it was the US occupation of Afghanistan, then the invasion of Iraq and now drone attacks in Pakistan. True, Muslims and Pakistanis are enraged at US policies and its sheer arrogance in dealing with the region. But using anti-Americanism as an excuse to overlook the growing cancer of bigotry at home is disingenuous and dangerous for our future.

Denial is etched in our memory and cultural ethos. Even today we are not willing to admit that the majority of Indian Muslims did not migrate to the Land of the Pure. And that we mistreated the Bengalis. We are also in denial about the ever-growing crop of suicide bombers and how sectarianism has penetrated our society over the last three years.

CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan commented on persecution of Ahamdis-

It is not surprising that conservative religious clerics and figures spew intolerance and prejudice, peddling the idea that Islam is under attack to further their own power agenda. But it is frankly despicable that we continue to cower to those voices. It happened in 1973, when the Ahmadis were declared “non-Muslims” by the state, and it happened again in 1984, when they were legally barred from proselytizing or identifying themselves as Muslims.

Born in 1948 in the Pakistan town of Rawalpindi, Ahmed Rashid experts on the Taliban, commented on Pakistan :-

In recent years there has been a strong increase in the "Talibanisation" of Pakistani society. Even in the big cities, like my hometown of Lahore. Young madrassa (i.e. Islamic school) graduates make the law in the streets, attacking representatives of other lifestyles and forcing young women to veil themselves. Naturally there is still a strong urban middle class, but it is suffering more and more from Pakistan's decline and pressure from the militants. I doubt that the militants are currently in a position to force their stone-age ideas on the urban centres, but the lack of resistance is certainly alarming.

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