The twin incidents of ink-attack and hurling a shoe should serve as eye-opener for our politicians. Furthermore, these incidents should not be taken in isolation. These are the seeds of the intolerance which we have been sowing for quite some time. Our politicians use derogatory language against women on the floor of the national assembly. They sling baseless allegations against each other during public rallies. Our provincial assemblies present the picture of fish markets where, instead of solving the problems of the masses, personal acrimony and old grudges are settled. In the same way, during TV talk shows, our parliamentarians move heaven and earth to prove their leaders as icons of honesty and righteousness while that of their opponents’ as evil incarnate. 

The religious bigotry, hate speech and ethnic conflicts on educational campuses all lay bare the fact that we are leading towards a murky future. What goes around, comes around. In order to regain their lost prestige, our politicians will have to mend their ways. Before earning respect from the masses, they will have to learn respecting one another. Such untoward incidents are unacceptable to saner minds regardless of the fact that who was the victim and what were the motives of the assailants behind these attacks. In the same way, our religion holds us back from maltreating our fellow beings. Let us pledge to promote a culture of tolerance and respect in the society to make our homeland a worth-living place. 

MUHAMMAD FAYYAZ,  

Mianwali, March 18.