Hollow words and real blood in Pakistan
The cold-blooded killing of a Saudi engineering student Mohammad Al-Othman in Karachi has added one more bloody page to Pakistan's present crisis. Not that the killing was politically motivated. However, it reflected the deep malaise affecting the country. It also is an indication that there is no political will to clamp down on the worsening law and order situation in Karachi and other parts of the country.
Human life has become very cheap in Pakistan. And as I watched closely the sadistic smile on the face of a local gunman in Karachi as he fired on his own countrymen, I could not help but feel sad. Sad, because so much was sacrificed for the creation of this country. Decades of toil and perseverance were needed, and were gladly given, for the independence of this country which was supposed to be a land of the "Paak", or pure.
Today, impure hands manipulated by polluted and sick minds are shedding blood - not in defense of the country, but for their own vicious and hidden agendas.
And who then is to blame? Is it the government or is it the opposition - or is it a foreign power. Unfortunately theories of "foreign conspiracies, hidden hands and enemies" abound.
Everyone is being blamed. Yet no one has even bothered to evaluate the performance of the team that is running Pakistan nor of those who sit away in London and elsewhere preaching hell, fire and brimstone.
Vitriol is spewed out freely to be met by counter blasts, measure for measure. The result is further bloodshed and destruction. Inflammatory speeches are only counterproductive, especially since the majority of the people are illiterate. It is bitter to acknowledge this, but that is the truth. In countries such as Taiwan and Malaysia which became independent after Pakistan, the literacy rate is over 95%. What is more disheartening is that irresponsible words are being uttered by responsible personalities. I think people in power should be more careful in the choice of words since they are responsible for the whole nation.
The Prime Minister's recent remarks about the situation in Sindh has upset the Mohajirs. In fact, they are perceived by many as an insult to the Mohajir nation. First of all, let us clarify there is no such thing as a "Mohajir nation" even if somebody in London says that there is a Pakistan nation.
That is a nation in the formation of which the forefathers of those who migrated and came to settle in the Sindh area after partition had played a very crucial role. These people have suddenly woken up to the "fact" that they have no "rights". Self-appointed leaders living ten thousand miles away, using remote control methods, are urging them to fight for their rights. In the ensuing battle, compounded by the fact that there are "Haqeeqis" and "non-Haqeeqis", the blood of the innocent is being shed. Women and children are being gunned down - and, to the eternal shame of all those principle in the name of which Pakistan was created, there are people who applaud the marksmanship.
Words, words and more hollow words are being uttered. But only the words are hollow. The blood that flows and flows, morning after morning, evening after evening, in Central District, in North Nazimabad, in Ghulshan-E-Iqbal and other townships, is real. And the human beings who, caught in the crossfire, end upon the sidewalks as statistics of death too are real. Nothing hollow about them.
The tragedy of Pakistan today is that it has no real leadership. Added to that, the moral fabric of the nation has been torn to shreds. While countries elsewhere are inspired by the vision of the twenty-first century, Pakistan does not have a vision even of tomorrow.
Is it the fault of the people? Or is it the system? Or are there forces beyond Pakistan's control pushing the nation down the slippery path of internecine bloodshed?
All these are weighty questions, but all asked by those anxious to find the wrong answer. They all may have some truth in them, but none of them is the primary reason why this "national home for Muslims" is drowning in Muslim blood.
Pakistan's is the unique tragedy of a people who, inheriting a nation created by an ideal transcending ethnic and linguistic boundaries, are determined to destroy it in a passion of ethnic and linguistic hate. No one serves the nation; all serve their own selves. Personal animosities become political rivalries. These political "leaders" urge their ignorant followers to fight for emotive causes by killing and looting. It pains all those who had rejoiced at the birth of this new nation half-a-century ago that after all these years, Pakistan has yet to find its identity - an identity which remains clouded by the political chicanery and greed for power by the self-appointed "saviors" of Pakistan.
The country is, economically, on a down spiral. Socially it has become "hell", to quote a Pakistani friend. Peace of mind is a memory. Parents worry whether their children will make it back from school. Wives worry if they will get a call to pick up the bullet-riddled bodies of their husbands from the morgue. Shopkeepers wonder when car bombs will explode.
Pakistan is a ship that is still looking for its port. And the way to find the port is not to shout more slogans. Screaming "real democracy" and "people's government" will be of no help.
Pakistan has both of them: "a" democracy and a People's Party government.
Apart from that it does not have much. That is Pakistan's misfortune.
Topics: Karachi, Pakistan