While Pakistan is besieged by unprecedented internal and external challenges, the sudden revelation of a 17 year old young girl being flogged by the Taliban in Swat has added a bombshell on the prevailing scenario, stunning not only the conscious of the people of Pakistan, but the entire world. Whether this savage act took place yesterday or three months back is irrelevant. What is relevant is that this has come to light through various TV channels and has instantly shaken the whole nation. Pakistan has been put to shame as a civilised state. Islam has been painted something quite opposite of what it stands for namely 'justice, peace, human dignity' and particularly 'respect for women'. It is on record how females were maltreated during the pre-Islamic period and how the Holy Prophet (PBUH) brought revolutionary changes, restoring the honour of women as a mother, wife, sister and daughter. The flogging of a young girl, by the so-called champions of Islam in Swat has totally negated the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). I have no quarrel with any individual's personal interpretation of Islam and the manner in which he/she wishes to practice it. This includes the interpretation of Islam by any sect, or school of thought, which are numerous all over the world. However a large number of Muslim scholars hold different opinions based on their respective research regarding interpretations of the fundamental cannons of Islam spread over the past fifteen centuries since the advent of Islam. Allama Iqbal actively advocated the philosophy of Ijtehad i.e. a rethinking of the Islamic laws and way of life with the consensus of the majority of the Muslim scholars to pave the way for a modern code of life for the Muslims in line with the fast changing requirements of the global society. The founder of Pakistan fulfilled Iqbal's dream in establishing a modern Islamic, democratic welfare state. Although Quaid-i-Azam spelt out the outlines of such a Pakistan in his famous presidential address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, but did not live long enough to implement his vision of Pakistan. However Liaquat Ali Khan introduced the Objective Resolution which has now been incorporated in the constitution. Furthermore, in Iran, Imam Khomeni introduced through his successful revolution, his Shiite vision of Islam. Later after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the late eighties, the Taliban introduced another version of their interpretation of Islam. But, unfortunately, the extremists have adopted violence to achieve their goals. Many facets of these have appeared in different forms in FATA and some settled districts in Pakistan but the Swat outrage of flogging a young girl - if proved genuine - far exceeds any of the challenges that the federation of Pakistan has faced so far. It therefore needs immediate investigation by the CJ, in whose jurisdiction this challenge to the very survival of Pakistan as a state to be respected, has become a stigma and a big question mark. It is not only a challenge to our judicial system, but also to the other organs of the state. It in not only a challenge to Islam but it is a greater challenge to democracy and rule of law in Pakistan, where terrorism and extremism is at large. This one act of barbarity depicting the law of the jungle has stunned the female population of the country. Yet it is bewildering that various religious groups have preferred to remain silent and are reluctant to condemn the Swat outrage. The provincial government has taken cover under the lame excuse that the shameful act took place three months ago and is a result of political motives. A federal minister has taken refuge under the plea that the Swat outrage is a provincial subject. No, Sir, it is not a provincial subject, it is a Human Right's issue that has brought Pakistan to shame before the comity of nations. In short, it is a test for the whole nation and the Government of Pakistan. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum