Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Pakistan Ameer, Senator Sirajul Haq, criticised the government of Pakistan for its “failure and criminal silence over extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh on the pretext of so-called war crimes.” Haq made this statement while speaking at a protest rally taken out by JI Karachi chapter against the Bangladeshi government. The protest makes one wonder why the party does not give such statements over other killings. Bangladeshi bloggers and writers have been hacked to death without anyone in Pakistan even lifting an eyebrow, and in our own country we have just seen an attack on a journalist and an activist in Karachi, and not the first. Are the lives of people who are outwardly religious more important than others? Or so the religious party fraternity would have us believe.

The JI chief claimed that the PML-N government was betraying those who supported the then united Pakistan and were now being executed through ‘the kangaroo courts’. Moreover he made it clear that several JI leaders had approached several government high-ups to discuss the issue with them, but the rulers were not ready to take any step in this regard. One can only ask where such fervor was when atrocities were being committed on our own soil. And secondly, the sitting government has so much on its plate that it would be ridiculous for it to go interfering into the problems of another country right now.

This is not to suggest that what is happening in Bangladeshi is right by any means. The trials are shambolic and the ruling party is trying to get rid of the opposition. But it would be silly for Pakistan to take actions against this. At the most the executions can be condemned by the Foreign Office (and last November they were). That is all that is needed, but will it satisfy those like the JI? Not in this lifetime. Not when JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed, globally declared a terrorist, is invited to universities, and ASWJ and the Lal Masjid group have it in for political activists.

These are trying times, and the JI must find better issues to allocate its resources to.