By Umer Fairoz Pirzada
Sep 6th, 2012
Pakistan a country that is stuck between rock and hard place. As a matter of fact I always got confused in which century we Pakistanis are living in. One part of the country has so contemporary look and the other side is just contrary indulging in all sorts of medieval and barbaric customs. This is very profound enigma for my thought process and I wonder what exactly is the national identity and character of Pakistan or its founding Father Mr. Jinnah? Alas! Few days back I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Altaf Hussain’s thought provoking statements with regard to credible, historical and eyewitness account. It has been learned that Mr. Jinnah in 1901 changed his religion from Ismaili to Muslim (Asna-e-Ashri Shia sect), thus any attack on Shias is to be considered an attack on Pakistan and Jinnah. That is fine I do not dispute those assertions unless proven otherwise.
However the latter part of his speech and statements impressed me that Pakistan was never to be an Islamic state where a holier than thou person would rule with an iron fist. Rather Pakistan was meant to be a welfare state where all persons irrespective of race, color, creed, gender and religion could live free without any kind of religious persecution. That is what impressed me, my fundamental, religious and personal belief is that God made human equal and split them into different races and area. However there is no religious or scientific dogma to assert religious or racial superiority at all. All men are created equal by the God and we as human being have no right to condemn thy neighbor on the basis of skin color, religion or ethnicity. These are all matters that men cannot help nor change easily. Thus the extortion and insane murders that are occurring in Pakistan due to blasphemy, honor killings, sunni-shia feud and religious extremism must be curtailed if not totally eliminated if we want to move forward as a unite nation. In my opinion as I observed many civilized states have realized that religion should be made a personal matter and the state should not sponsor, promote or even endorse a certain sect or religion. If that is to happen civil war or anarchy could prevail and the nations could disintegrate.
If we are to follow logic and common sense then Pakistan should be a democratic and pluralistic state where all are equal and there are no ridiculous clauses in the constitution barring minorities from holding offices of President and Premier. Furthermore, I do not understand how can one state that cannot assure safety and protection to its citizens protect a religion or the holy scriptures of any religion. This is all too much for me to chew on. A corrupt and inept state like Pakistan cannot feed and clothe most of its population. It cannot provide standard education or clean drinking water to most of the population. A state where there are more maddrasahs as compared to schools and universities, where the religious clerics can spread all the hatred and malice through the loudspeaker without sanction. A state where banned organizations are allowed to openly collect funds for their personal, suspicious and prohibited purposes. A state where a poor man or woman is killed or molested and the police do not go after the rich felons because they and their seniors are politically appointed. A state where the bureaucracy runs the shows and the ministers and the politicians have the IQ of a squirrel. That country my friends is the road which will ultimately lead to Pakistan being declared a failed state.
Therefore if logic and common sense prevail and I hope so, Pakistan would become a secular and liberal state otherwise if Pakistanis continues to live in the fool’s paradise that they are at the moments, then God forbid I think that Pakistan will implode into pieces like the USSR in 1991. This is a reality and we Pakistanis must wake up sooner or else we should be ready to face the reality through the hard way. The ball is now in the nation of Pakistani’s court as to where they wants their future to lie in the stone ages with their Taliban buddies or the modern century, in the ranks of the civilized nations and embrace the ideals of tolerance, freedom, justice, democracy and rule of law for all under the law. The choice is for the people of Pakistan to make and not by anyone else. On a pragmatic note, Pakistan has only a handful of secular parties (PPP, MQM and ANP) that are level headed. These parties must unite and form an association in order to fight the menace and scourge of terrorism, sectarianism, poverty and corruption on a joint basis. In my opinion the only factor that can save Pakistan is the unity of the progressive, liberal and secular parties. That is my take on the matter and my proposed solution for saving Pakistan.