New Age Islam
Sun Oct 01 2023, 12:43 AM

Interfaith Dialogue ( 15 Dec 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Peace as a Last Priority

By Arshad Mahmood

“Peace cannot be achieved in this region until and unless the Kashmir issue is resolved.” In other words we imply that we are more interested in Kashmir than peace and development in the region

We were told that a united India would lead to a perpetual state of unrest among the Hindus and the Muslims due to their inherent differences. Hence it was imperative for Muslims to have their own homeland where they could lead a rewarding and peaceful life. The question thus arises, that to what extent this objective was achieved. The stark reality remains that Pakistan could neither tread on the path to peace nor a peaceful atmosphere could ever see the light of the day in this region.

The creation of Pakistan was a consequence of a political struggle as well as negotiations with the other stakeholders. Hence the birth of Pakistan should have been a completely peaceful event. However, on the contrary, the entire region went into flames with mass killings. It is another big lie like many others in our official narrative that tens of thousands of people offered their sacrifices for the liberation of Pakistan. Nobody in fact sacrificed anything. The “killings” were direct fallout of riots which were sparked to loot and establish ownership over properties belonging to other communities. Neither any of the parties behaved humanely in that pursuit, nor the political establishment of the newly created states could stop bloodshed. The birth of Pakistan was a peaceful event yet the desire to acquire assets through force transformed the process into a game of blood, loot and arson. Hence the very purpose for which the state came into existence died down at the very beginning.

Feelings of hate among Hindu-Muslim communities were deliberately intensified and perpetuated. And if we take the stance that the riots occurred spontaneously, the question arises as to why our state and political leadership took a keen interest in perpetuating hate and animosity among the Hindus and Muslims. Instead of making efforts to mitigate antagonism among the followers of the two religions, promotion of hate against Hindus was made a policy of the state by including hate material in the text books to inject the venom of malevolence into the blood of our coming generations, right from the beginning. Our children had no previous knowledge of the gory incidents which took place during the Partition. Had Pakistani state been interested in peace after the creation of the state which comprised almost 95% of land mass that was demanded, it would have concentrated on its development.

However, the state focused on that 5% which could not be acquired i.e. Kashmir, whose annexure was set as the state’s top priority. The resultant was that this region lost peace for all times to come. Even to- date we boast with pride by stating, “Peace cannot be achieved in this region until and unless the Kashmir issue is resolved.” In other words we imply that we are more interested in Kashmir than peace and development in the region. In the process we lost half the country and presently Pakistan is facing a critical situation on all fronts yet we continue to sing the same tune.

Hatred on the basis of religion is the cornerstone of the state of Pakistan. The hate industry now also includes yahud-o-nasara. In a population of 180 million, hardly a few had ever seen the face of a Jew in real life, but most Pakistanis hate Jews like anything. The Pakistan passport contains the clause that the document is valid for all countries except Israel. This is a stark example of hatred being promoted at the state level. Today, indiscriminate and across the board hatred against followers of other religions has become a characteristic feature of Pakistanis. Although conflicts are an integral part of man’s existence; however, during the evolution of human civilization, man has learned that perpetuation of antagonism over generations is an uncivilized act and ultimately damages the interests of the one who nurtures the negative emotions.

Civilized living on the other hand, has taught man that it is always judicious to show generosity and forgiveness while looking towards the future. Beating the drums of bygone days are norms of a primitive society. What appears is that our state considered Hindu-Muslim animosity as a precious possession where hatred against India and the Hindus embodies a patriot and a good Muslim. All those who do not display the antagonistic stance and stress upon normalization of relations between India and Pakistan are labeled as “not good Muslims/Pakistanis” even traitors. But we reap, what we sow. Today the society, the state of Pakistan, and Pakistanis as a nation are completely infested with hate and bias. We have nothing to offer to this world except hate. All Hindus, Jews and Christians have become hate objects for us. They are all engaged in conspiracies against us and the policies of US and the developed West and the lifestyle of Westerners are disgusting to “We Pakistanis.”

Whenever an upheaval takes place in Indian Kashmir, of course involving our underhand, we feel elated. Our state has policy always focused on “keeping the Kashmir issue alive and to see India bleeding.”As we kept playing the dirty politics to the disadvantage of the Kashmiris, Kashmir was not liberated nor will it ever be in this fashion. However, the dirty game transformed Pakistan’s security establishment into the most powerful and the most prosperous institution of the country. Pakistan kept bleeding as a result of thoughtless military adventurism against India. The economy, the society and all dreams of a progressive state died down and institutions devastated. Preparing militarily and providing equipment to religious fanatics to be used against neighboring countries proved suicidal. During the past 30 years, our state remained an active partner in the destruction of Afghanistan, after obtaining dollars from the US. Our establishment got finances to create Taliban and is now asking for money to destroy them. Presently we are viewed as mercenaries in the whole world. Our state is still caught in the rigmarole of good and bad Taliban.

On the other hand the militants and their supporters have become so powerful that the state has surrendered before them. All sects have taken up arms against each other and all minorities are living in fear, while the state is but a silent spectator and the political leadership follows a policy of opportunism. The government is only interested in affairs of the state on a daily basis. It does not have the will and the capacity to take critical decisions, while the deep state obstructs them to function effectively.

Since the creation of Pakistan, Islam and Pakistan have been in a constant state of jeopardy and are passing through a critical phase. And how can a country focus on peace process where there is nothing except impending dangers and crises. Pakistani state loves hate and conflict and derives its strength from these sources. Anyone talking of peace in the holy land is considered imbecile and loses the honor of being labeled “a patriotic Pakistani.”

Arshad Mahmood is a columnist, freelance writer and a social activist.

Source: The View Point