The state of our affairs

Salma Batool has sent this exclusive post for PTH. Readers’ comments will be appreciated.

I recently came across a news report on a TV channel showing members of national assembly. The report revealed that the members took more care of their wardrobe and accessories before coming to the assembly than preparation for the session itself. It was shocking and appalling to see these MNAs and MPs openly and shamelessly brag on about how much money their dresses cost which they wore during the assembly sessions. There were others who informed the public proudly that whenever they go abroad they are on a look out for the latest accessories. It is indeed sad that we voted for such pathetic representatives. The amount spent frivolously by them can easily provide the basic necessities to a poor, ordinary man and his family in Pakistan. The ordinary man in Pakistan is struggling for basic needs yet our leaders do not care. Our leaders are too busy in blaming each other or past governments for the economic, social and political downfall of the country.

Then there is excessive load-shedding, scarce clean water, inflation and corruption. There is no day that really ends on a happy note in Pakistan. Day in and day out, we see sectarian violence, endless target killings in Karachi, hate campaigns against minorities, poor families committing suicide, deplorable government officials with fake degrees and our Justices’ failure in taking notice of really critical incidents who might instead be busy putting ban on websites.

Every day the media outlets propagate their agenda to the muted public who blindly believe everything they see on their TV screens. Last May a tragedy struck Lahore’s Ahmadiyya community, this month it was the turn of devotees at Data Darbar.  We see our news channels in a race to covering these events live and competing furiously with each other in providing ‘better’ coverage. With ethics going down the drain in the electronic media, every channel proudly shows its exclusive footage to the awam (public). While their coverage was indeed efficient, at a critical incident like the attack on Ahmadis, these TV anchors choose injudicious words like ‘Ibadat gah’ and ‘Halak’ instead of ‘Masjid’ and ‘Shaheed’. Thus our media carefully choose legally correct but morally abominable words for the killed Ahmadis. As for the victims of the brutal Data Darbar, the TV channels used the better terminology of ‘Shaheed’ but trivialized the tragedy by showing attack footage with music.  Furthermore, the business sense at the TV channels got them so carried away that they did not refrain from telecasting advertisements while reporting death of the innocent and mayhem. Last time I checked, we had an enlightened and responsible media!
Moving on to our advertising sector which is busy doing its business very religiously. Even at a time when people are committing suicide, we see a plethora of Telecom companies boasting about free minutes, lowest call rates and amazing prizes for the ones with the maximum phone usage. If they have so much money then why don’t they just distribute some money to the really poor and needy instead of profiting from people’s misery?

Then we have a brigade of Mullahs who are adamant that they are the patent-holders of Islam just like Coca Cola possesses its own brand. They grow long unruly beards, wear ‘Onchi shalwars’, impose their version of Islam on others and make decisions on who is worthy of being called a Muslim. They then pick on their favorite choice of Kafirs: Ahmadis or Shias or the visitors to shrines like Data Darbar.  Taking out rallies and protests, they burn tires and blame the world for Pakistan’s problems where in reality they are the main culprits contributing to the country’s downfall.

Followed closely by the bigoted clergy are our government officials and public who meekly accept these mullahs’s propaganda which is based on half truths or full lies. The mullahs have always been a strong lobby in political circles and to date they are exploiting the political leaders and the public at large for their own vested interests. The kind of attention given by government officials after the demands of religious parties is very ironic. It took a heinous attack on the Data Darbar to get the government into some sort of action against perpetrators – at least in name – by banning already proscribed religious outfits. That our government is so easily influenced by mullahs is deplorable. They fear the wrath of mullahs more than the wrath of the Creator of this world.

It is high time that the government and people of Pakistan rise above petty differences and stop paying heed to those whose sole purpose in life is to incite intolerance and hatred. Religion is between God and His creation. And politics must be for the betterment of humanity and not for self-aggrandizement and electioneering. All our energy and resources that are so easily wasted in futile efforts can be utilized in making Pakistan an enlightened and prosperous nation. Wake up Pakistan!

10 Comments

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10 responses to “The state of our affairs

  1. Bin Ismail

    Dear Salma Batool

    A touching article with straight and simple logic. Very well said indeed. In my opinion your following words are the zenith of your article:

    “…..They fear the wrath of mullahs more than the wrath of the Creator of this world…..”

    How profoundly true and how ultimately tragic. I have a feeling that soon, very soon, God will show them who really is God.

  2. Talha

    I was recently conversing with an older lady, she is the daughter of a man who was part of the Pakistan’s movement.

    She said that her father procliamed once, ‘Jinnah ne Pakistan bana to diya, lekin kya Pakistani Pakistan banayen ge’.

    Translate: ‘Jinnah made Pakistan but will Pakistanis continue to make Pakistan.’

    To me so far, it seems like the answer is no.

  3. Bin Ismail

    “…….IF you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with EQUAL rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be on end to the progress you will make.

    I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we MUST learn a lesson from this.

    You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has NOTHING to do with the business of the State.

    As you know, history shows that in England, conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days.

    We are starting in the days where there is NO discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and EQUAL citizens of one State.

    The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of their country and they went through that fire step by step. Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation.

    Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State…….”

    (M. A. Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11th August 1947)

    These words were uttered by the Founder of Pakistan, merely three days before the birth of this country.

  4. Ayesha

    Thank you for such an enlightening article Salma. The truth of the matter is that Pakistan is falling behind in every field of life, except for corruption of course. The only way out of this mess is to get rid of clergy culture and reform Pakistan on pure secular terms where religion is between God and his people. Clean up the constitution from all the unjust laws. Let the army stay in their barracks and Mullahs in the mosques. Reform Pakistan now or it is too late.

  5. Nusrat Pasha

    THE WAY FORWARD:

    #1: Replace the Objectives Resolution, which presently serves as the Preamble of the Constituion, with the text [entire text verbatim] of Quaid-e- Azam’s historical 11th August 1947 presidential address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

    #2: Remove the undeserved prefix of “Islamic” before Republic of Pakistan. The name “Republic of Pakistan” is perfect.

    #3: Repeal Article 2 of the Constitution, which states that “Islam shall be the State Religion”, for the simple reason that it tilts the balance of justice in favour of the already privileged and secure majority. Thus, by making a robust departure from the fundamental Islamic principle of “Musawaat” or equality, the state, in any case violates the spirit of Islam.

    #4: Remove “all” religious content from the Constitution, whether included or endorsed by Acts of Parliament.

  6. mullah sami

    Hello my name is Mullah sami ul Haq (pyaar say log muhjee sami the sandwhich katay hai) – i was hoping someone could direct me to a good quality brothel (i have a couple of days off from spreading hate and thought would spread some mullah love )

  7. Amaar

    Good article that sheds light on the fact that we are in dire straits. It is necessary to check reality instead of believing in self-delusional myths that have brought Pakistan to this sorry state.

  8. Salma: thanks for writing this bold piece. Keep writing for PTH.

  9. “Then we have a brigade of Mullahs who are adamant that they are the patent-holders of Islam just like Coca Cola possesses its own brand.”

    Islam has been around for 1400 years, even patents expire after a couple of decades. We seem to be getting more and more “patent-holders”

  10. sarah

    very good article batool…inspite of the fact pakistan is at this time facing one calamity after another yet this nation has failed to understand what it is that has taken them down the drain……corruption,injustice,persecution and what not…….just watch the news for ten minutes and you dont see one positive piece of news………..May Allah save this country of ours…Ameen