Three people were burnt and nine injured in Gujranwala on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr; they belonged to the Ahmedi community. All this in the disguise of blasphemy; the controversial law enacted on September 7, 1974. Pakistan became the first ever Muslim majority country in the world where an elected parliament declared a minority Muslim sect (Ahmadiyya Muslims) as infidels (or Kafir). Of late this Act has been abused and misused through the hands of half-baked mullahs of different schools of thought, venting out their frustration. Taking law into their hands and dispensation of ‘on-the-spot’ justice has further aggravated the society.
Pakistan was founded with the idea of a Muslim majority in a political, but not a religious sense, where people of other faiths would live in harmony. Quaid-e-Azam preached equality and emphasized equal citizenship to all and sundry regardless of their religious adherence. We moan death and destruction in Palestine, the occupation of Kashmir, extermination of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar Burma, unveiling of veils in France, but we forget what is happening to the minorities in our own backyard . The conundrum is that we take out processions and demonstrations to sympathise with those who face foreign occupation and aggression but are unwilling to give breathing space to minorities –isn’t this but a blatant display of hypocrisy?
It is time to revisit these drawbacks and commit to make Pakistan an ideal Islamic welfare state, where everyone has equal rights and state laws are framed free of biases and prejudices, implemented through impartial hands, in letter and spirit, to protect the dignity and interest of other faiths.
ABDUL ALI,
Gilgit, July 29.