It was indeed a sad day in the history of Pakistan when our Federal Finance Munshi (or is it Minister?) Ishaq Dar claimed that his government will be able to bring down the dollar to Rs 98 mark, a level where it used to be available few months back. Since then, I have become hysterical with bouts of laughter not coming to an end. As most of the buying and selling at the highest level is conducted with the exchange of dollars, hence the news of bringing it down has shattered the peace of mind of the people at the top. But the real issue at hand is our people being labeled in the world as individuals who are ready to sell everything when it comes to their personal interests. How far this is true is debatable, but certainly our actions have given vent to this assertion.

American attorney, Robert F Horan who prosecuted Aimal Kansi wanted in the USA for killing two CIA officials in an interview to a local TV channel said “these people” (read Pakistani’s) could sell their mothers for $ 20,000, why were millions of dollars given to them to facilitate the arrest of Kansi?” He went on to say "Pakistanis will sell their mothers for a dollar”. According to The Los Angeles Times report, federal agents paid $ 3.5 million to informants (his friends who were protecting him during his fugitive period)  in Pakistan to help catch Kansi. Blaming Robert F Horan for the insensitive remarks was understandable, but ever thought about the "friends" who took money to betray him. May be $ 3.5 million was too high a price to let go. It is said that every human being has a price; just the buying price for each varies.

When it comes to selling human beings, the contributions of our Ex-President Musharraf were unmatched, as per his own claims. In his book "In the Line of Fire" he claimed that CIA paid for 369 Al-Qaeda suspects from a fund that was meant for individuals, not foreign governments, who helped apprehend terrorists. He writes “Many members of al-Qaeda fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan" and then added "We have played cat and mouse with them. …We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of ‘not doing enough’ in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the Government of Pakistan”. Were we not fighting for a just cause? Never realized, that "money" was the only driving force behind these captures.

General Pervez Musharraf in subsequent years went ahead with another "philosophy" suggesting that “crying rape” was an easy way to "be a millionaire" and to get to Canada. In his own words, "you must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped". This was a moral slap on the face of every Pakistani. With the exception of few NGO’s, silence was the answer from the majority of the lot.

As if our misfortunes pertaining to our reputation as a “sellable commodity” were not enough, the case of the killing of Shahzeb Khan by Shahrukh Jatoi surfaced. Shahzeb Khan was killed in Karachi DHA Phase-V by Shahrukh Jatoi on Dec 25, 2012. According to the reports, Shahzeb’s father forgave the killers by accepting more than Rs 350 million and by accepting properties in different countries of the world. In addition, the family got an Australian visa as a compensation for death to forgive Shahrukh Jatoi who was awarded death sentence in the case. Selling one's dead son is another dimension of the cruel face of our society.

Every day we sell our conscience in many pathetic ways. Selling of body parts is not new. There are gangs of organized institutionalized outfits which are involved in this heinous trade. We have gone to the lowest levels of human existence for we now also do not spare the dead. The moment a fresh body is buried in the graveyard, a price tag is set to grab whatever can be sold in the market. May it be bones or the hair of the dead used for artificial hair extensions, the buying and selling goes on with ferocious insensitivity. So why do we feel so insulted when someone tells us that we can sell our mothers for few dollars? The starting point is to look inwards and address the rot taking place within our shameful existence.

The writer is a PhD in Information Technology, alumni of King’s College London and a social activist. He has authored two books titled Understanding Telecommunications and Living in the Grave and several research papers.The writer prefers to avoid human interaction and finds peace & happiness being alone, in silence with his own self.

Email:drirfanzafar@gmail.com drirfanzafar.com 

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