Death, hypocrisy, corruption, theft and lies seem to have become norm of the day at least in Pakistan. Not a single day passes without seeing or hearing something terrible happening in some part of this Pak sar zameen. If this write up makes you cringe or if it compels you to say that I am only looking at the bad and not the good, well you are right. I am only looking at the bad for this write up, because the bad seems to be growing. We must be optimistic, but not so optimistic that it makes us forget that the world is inhabited by both good and bad, the yin and yang, light and dark. Why should we only focus on the good if the bad is destroying us and breaking us apart? If you detect a cancer cell in its early stage, you dont wait for it to mature instead you go after it and root it out so that it doesnt do any harm to the body. This is the approach I have decided to take for this write up. So feel free to disagree and comment.
This happened a few weeks ago in Karachi, the biggest metropolis in Pakistan, the revenue generating hub, the city which contributes over 60% of the total revenue to the GDP. The sun rose upon this city to witness an act of utter shame, disgust and inhumane behavior. Hayat, a young boy aged around 15 years stabbed his sister to death just because she talked to someone. He himself confessed with pride and honor that his father and elder brothers all supported him to carry out this act as his sister had brought about shame and dishonor to the family.
He described his actions like this:
I took a knife and stabbed her, she was crying and pleading for help so I dragged her outside the home and left her there. She was asking for help. I dont care, someone should have taken her to the hospital, but I dont care, I did what I had to do.
The neighbors also appreciated this act, the criminal can be seen using his own cell phone after stabbing his sister, as she took her dying breaths no one came to help her. Everyone was busy in capturing the “breath taking moment of bravery by a teenager” on their cell phones, to probably upload on YouTube and other platforms later on. This is what humanity has come to, we watch a tragedy unfolding, we get entertained by the drama and we move on.
In another news, a man burned his daughter and nephews alive over a property dispute. Really nothing to say here, these incidents don`t even make it to the headlines now because a sick disease has gripped this nation for some reason, the other day a medical student set himself on fire because he reached late for an exam and the invigilators did not allow him to appear for the exam. The invigilators were totally right, as the student reached the examination hall just before the exam was about to end, but the student instead of realizing his own mistake, set himself alight and died a few hours later. Everyday there are multiple reports of people being set on fire, suicides, honor killings and the rate of such incidents is getting higher as time passes. The root cause of this sickness is illiteracy and poverty, which are increasing day by day as the government continues to pile on IMF loans and external debt to run the economy. It wont be wrong to say that the moral fabric of Pakistani society has been totally ripped apart. Moral, social, religious and cultural values just don`t exist anymore in this country which was not given to us on a golden platter, no no! Over a million people sacrificed their lives for this homeland, years of British oppression drove the Muslims of sub continent to struggle for their own homeland where they could live and die with dignity and honor. But it seems that all the effort, the sacrifice and the blood was in vain.
Pakistani`s live in a constant state of denial, years of bloodshed have desensitized us to everything that is humane. We have lost over 70000 people in this war against terrorism, but we have never had a single unified protest against terrorism across the country. The day when 130+ children were massacred in APS, hotels and wedding halls were packed with party goers, no one had time to mourn those unfortunate children, not even for a single evening.
Last week Khurram Zaki, a very active social worker was shot dead in Karachi. What was his crime? Speaking up against extremist organizations who have been known to carry out killings of a minority sect. Khurram Zaki actively protested against the radical Lal Masjid(Red Mosque) cleric Molvi Abdul Aziz after the December 2014 APS massacre. Khurram Zaki was targetted because he dared to break the silence of hypocrisy. Zaki wasn`t the first one and unfortunately won`t be the last one to get killed. Last year Sabeen Mahmud was also targetted in Karachi, before her Professor Shaqeel Auj, Professor Taqi Hadi Naqvi, Professor Sibt e Jaffar and many others had met a similar fate, but we as a society, as a nation have not learned a single lesson from their sacrifices. Instead right after Zaki`s death, people sent out congratulatory messages on Twitter because in their opinion, Khurram Zaki who belonged to the Ahle Tashi sect, was a Kafir(Infidel). This however isn`t surprising, I mean we did`t even flinch when we heard about a 15 year old girl who was burned alive, only because she helped her friend marry someone she liked. We didn`t even flinch! This news made headlines on CNN, but in Pakistan it was brushed under the carpet. Why? I fail to understand. Some people say that honor killing isn`t such a big issue, Sharmeen Obaid who won an Oscar for making a documentary upon honor killing, probably projected this issue out of proportion. Fine, I agree in a nation of over 180 million a few cases of girls being killed for honor are just fine. It is wrong, but as long as the figure stays low it is just fine right? So basically these girls are just another statistic?
However when a person named “Mufti Naeem” sat in front of TV cameras and used such colorful language for a woman which cannot even be quoted here, the people praised him. Why? Because apparently that man calls himself a “Religious scholar”, it doesnt matter if he has been “allegedly” involved in running extortion rings in Karachi, it doesn`t matter if he illegally occupied a large area in Karachi and constructed a seminary to legitimize it. Really it doesn`t matter. We love delusions and hypocrisy. We love religious scholars, who can sing to the tune of our own wants and desires and we hate absolutely anyone who dares to call a spade, a spade!
Trend teams on Pakistani social media regularly highlight the human right abuses in India, it is true that India has a rape culture which Indian politicians have also endorsed, but again what on earth is wrong with us. Fine highlight it, but in the end this is India`s problem and in order to highlight it you have to be on a moral high ground. Pakistan doesn`t have a rape culture, but this doesn`t mean the problem doesn`t exist. Our duty is to put our own house in order, but instead of even thinking about going on a course of correction we turn a blind eye and go into denial mode. Well it might not affect us personally, but this denial has surely ruined the lives of thousands of women.
We were recently rated as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the way we treat women. More than 60 years after independence, 80 per cent of Pakistani women are still subjected to domestic violence. Our country is ranked 82 out of 93 countries on the Gender Development Index and 152 out of 156 countries on the Gender Empowerment Measure. We are also among a handful of countries where there is a negative sex ratio of 100 women to 108 men. Though women have potential to play a multidimensional role from societal to organizational, yet they have been neglected. Our country’s backwardness can directly be attributed to the denied role of women in country’s development.
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners”.
Patriarchal men say no to education for women. Not only this, many women are also denied the opportunity for job and earn livelihood. Their occupational choices are limited due to social and cultural constraints and inherent gender bias in the labour market. They also lack supportive facilities such as childcare, transport and accommodation in the formal sector of the labour market. Women’s labour power is considered inferior because of employer’s predetermined notion of women’s primary role as homemakers. As a result of discrimination, their role is low paid and leads to lack of potential upward mobility.
However, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) strongly emphasized on education by saying that, “It is the prime duty of men and women to acquire education”.
In the last few years social mobility in Pakistan has seen a downward trend, as state health and education services have generally been non existent in the last 20 years, a major portion of the population is concentrated just around the poverty line. As a result, while rest of the world progressed, Pakistani society has fallen back into pits of darkness. Our society is a dominantly patriarchal society where women are only seen as objects, while Islam stresses upon the respect for women and their social, religious and spiritual status, our society has for the major part forsaken those teachings. Recently, a series of events happened where women were abused and molested in the political gatherings of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf. PTI responded by alleging that the government had sent thugs to defame their political gatherings and to instill fear within the female supporters of PTI. Fine, it doesn`t matter if the thugs were sent by the government or if it was an organizational failure of PTI. The root of the problem is that why did this even happen? This indicates that there exists a diseased mindset which sees women as an object, as a opportunity to exhibit their mental degeneration which has reached advanced stages of instability. The issue of female harassment in political gatherings is however not specific to Pakistan. The video below highlights how bad the situation for women is in Egypt, specially those who dare to protest against the government.
A lot of other countries are eligible to join the list, there is something terribly wrong with us if we see this happening on our society and still chose to stay quiet. Yet again, this only shows our hypocrisy. Hush it down, sweep it under the carpet because the world must not know the dark side of our society. Well we can`t avoid the reality for ever, if we don`t confront our own demons, sooner or later those demons will possess us and then the world will see.
Sadiq Khan, became the first ever Muslim mayor for London, Congrats to him! Good for Londoners, but why are Pakistani`s celebrating? For us, this was apparently a major war upon which the fate of all Muslims rested, because Sadiq Khan was up against Zac Goldsmith, who is a Jew! Yes a Jew! People here distributed sweets and exchanged greetings of joy and relief as London had last fallen. But what the naive and delusional Pakistani`s don`t know is that Sadiq Khan is a supporter for Gay marriage and Israel. Oh no, the Pakistanis must never know this for Sadiq Khan, who was born in UK, is apparently more Pakistani than everyone else, he probably deserves the highest civilian award for defeating the Jews and taking control of a very important city. However Dr. Tahir ul Qadri, just an ordinary man who was born in Pakistan, grew up and studied here, became a professor and taught law at the University of Punjab. Just another ordinary man who created an organization called Minhaj ul Quran international (branches in over 90 countries) and gave this country a chartered university, over 100 schools, orphan care shelters, free medical camps, a charity organization called MWF, wrote over 1000 books on Islam and various subjects, became a member of parliament and resigned on principle, led a movement against corruption and terrorism, became the first Muslim cleric to prove that Islam had nothing to do with extremism and terrorism, he didnt just prove it, in fact he wrote books on it and gave a working model on how to deradicalise Muslim youth . Yeah just an ordinary man who did all this for Pakistan and the global community, but most of the Pakistani`s refuse to call him as Pakistani and instead believe him to be…yes you guessed it right, an agent working for CIA. Why? The answer should be clear by now.
Imran Khan is more or less in the same category, yes one can differ with his political moves but he gave this country a Cricket World Cup, NUML university, which is affiliated with the University of Bradford and situated in a rural area. He gave this country, her first ever Cancer hospital SKMH, which has state of the art cancer treatment facility. But we don`t remember him as a man who gave this country so much, no instead he too is an agent of CIA, a friend of Jews, a rapist and what not.
We condemn our own movie industry for vulgarity, but flock to the cinemas to watch Indian and Hollywood movies. Our marriage ceremonies are incomplete without a mandatory session of singing and dancing upon Indian songs. Our channels air Indian content 24/7, Indian movie makers make sure to release movies esp on Islamic holidays because they know Pakistanis will flock to the cinemas on “religious holidays” to watch Indian movies. But we hate India, oh yes, absolutely. Don`t let anyone tell you otherwise. We hate India and we have fought them multiple times in last 60 years and Kashmir remains a very dangerous flash point for the peace and stability for the whole South Asia, but when it comes to entertainment we prefer Indian content over our own. As Muslims, we don`t want to be anywhere near idols, which are symbols of paganism, but we are fine when our children watch Indian content day and night and learn all of the Hindu litanies and prayers, that is totally fine in fact this shows how quick learners our children are.
We don`t celebrate “Mothers day” because it is a Western concept, no way, we respect and love our mothers. Oh wait, but do we? Then why is the number of nursing homes rising every year? This man Sarim Burney runs a trust, where oppressed members of this society are given shelter, they also have a nursing home for the abandoned parents and he says that their trust doesn`t have the resources to cope up with the requirements, luckily there are other similar shelters being run by Edhi foundation.
We campaign each year against “Valentines day”, we declare it as haram and vulgar, but the number of children born out of wedlock in this country is increasing exponentially and the worst part is that people dump their newly born “unwanted” children into garbage heaps, leaving them to be eaten by stray cats and dogs. If lucky, these babies get picked up by Edhi foundation, if not, well their cries are surely heard by The Almighty.
This list can go on and on, really what is wrong with us. Identity crisis? Have we forgotten who we are, or are we trying to be someone we are not destined to be? This strain of hypocrisy runs within me as well, which is why I fail to understand our situation today. Are we corrupt? hypocrites? thieves? murderers of our own future? If not, then why is there so a great contradiction between what we are and what we should be! If you think that I have over simplified it all and focused only on the bad aspects, then please tell me, where are the good ones? Where are those who still have their moral values intact? Why dont they speak up? Why don`t they get up and do their duty, to this nation, to this Pak sar zameen, to their conscience and to their Lord and Creator! ?
I made this video 2 years ago, when Dr. Qadri and his supporters were carrying out an intensive campaign for the Green revolution, he gave his call in 2014 and went to Islamabad, Imran Khan also took his supporters to Islamabad. But the total turnout of people, the good ones probably was disappointing. Except a few from the 180 million, no one came out. People weren`t bothered, of course because both of these leaders are agents of CIA for most of the Pakistani`s. 2 years on and this video still hits the mark. The real question still is that where are the good ones?