By Armughan Ahmad Daud
Pakistan is a strange country and a palpable source of research on behavioural hypocrisy at national and individual levels for Phd scholars. We see our heroes as traitors and our enemies as heroes, and we do not tolerate any opinion that goes against ours, you dare you are a traitor as well.
We live in a delusional world of impeccable self-righteousness and anybody having different thinking pattern, albeit more logical and having more evidence power, is either termed as ‘non-Muslim’, or an enemy of Islam and / or Pakistan. This unswerving indignation has led us to the destruction we are seeing on day-to-day basis.
Tolerance, which defines the respect level of any nation, is alien to us. We do not respect non-Muslims, even Muslims belonging to minority sects in Islam. To add salt on their wounds, we do not respect the holy personalities of other religions and minority sects in Islam, however in the same breath we are willing to behead anyone who we term as a blasphemer – for being allegedly disrespectful to our holy personalities / places / things (Note: We do not need evidences for such accusations).
Aasia bibi, Christians of Gojra and Joseph colony, Ahmadi women and girls of Gujranwala were blasphemers and were left at the mercy of the self-righteous mob, but when a right-wing wanna-be preacher of Islam commits blasphemy, accepts it openly and then apologizes, we are so willing to grant pardon, the compassion denied to the wrongfully accused minorities.
Religion is a personal matter of every individual. However we use it to judge people and their worthiness. We have denied the rights of many to profess their faith openly and we have tried hard and are still trying to give same treatment to others, God Willing.
In the political arena, our sentiments are no different than the religion. Anyone belonging to other political party is either a tout of establishment (does not matter if we were the one also) or RAW agent.
We love the Taliban but we also love the Pak Army. When Taliban kill our innocents then they are our misguided brothers and we should negotiate with them, but when Army starts operation despite our mantra of negotiations then we chant ‘Pak Army Zindabad’.
When US drones kill terrorists in our territory then US is not respecting our sovereignty, but when we infiltrate militants in occupied Kashmir then we are helping their independence struggle. When US drones kill innocents then we cry our lungs out over the US atrocities but when our own fighter jets carpet bomb FATA then we do not even spare them a thought.
We love Afghan Talibans but we hate ISIS. No matter both were the brain-child of US and now both are fighting against US. Afghan Taliban claim to implement their version of Shariah in Afghanistan and we love them for this and we write columns in leading newspapers to support them, but ISIS doing same is not acceptable to us. We do not care that ‘innocent girls’ of Lal mosque have pledged allegiance to ‘mujahideens’ – brothers in Islam of ISIS which Maulana Abdul Aziz aka Maulana Burqa has endorsed on TV, and they are Taliban lovers as well (both, bad and good Taliban), but still we do not like ISIS. It seems like it is only a matter of a time until we start liking ISIS as we would love to have such version of Shariah implemented in Pakistan.
We venerate some people so much so that we forget they are also humans and they can also commit mistakes. We are going in a direction where having an honest difference of opinion with such venerated people will also soon be termed as ‘blasphemy’. Our lack of scruples leads us to make God out of some humans.
Our frowsy history books are an utter example of prevarication. We have killed the truth with our own hands, at times Government sponsored and sometimes religiously motivated. By the way, we do not need history, do we?
The precarious future of Pakistan is in our hands. And it’s time to decide if we need Jinnah’s Pakistan of 11 August speech or we want Pakistan as seen from the eyes of a surly Pakistani described above.