In the latest attack on a diminishing tribe fighting to keep its identity alive, conservative Muslims in Pakistan’s northwest are blaming the Kalash for the powerful earthquake that flattened entire villages in October, claiming their “immoral” ways provoked Allah’s wrath. Until 2015, the Kalash religion was not even recognized as a religion under the National Database and Registration Authority, making it clear that their vibrant and peaceful community had no place in Pakistan. These claims of “Allah’s Warth” will only make the community more insecure and open to hate.

Another incident has also thrown the national problem into sharp relief. The opposition walked out from the Senate expressing solidarity with a Christian girl who was allegedly beaten by her school headmistress for a school bathroom meant only for Muslims.

In sixty-eight years the Pakistani society has grown up to become full of hate and intolerance. Notwithstanding the red-handed arrest of many culprits at the crime scene, no official account has ever been given about the perpetrators, backers, financers or masterminds of these heinous crimes. Despite setting up military courts, none of the murderers involved in the killings of minority communities have been brought to justice. Pakistan is a state without any respect for pluralism, without any space for an individual to live an autonomous life. The youth of minority communities live a life of cynicism and despair, hopeless about their future and the ability of the state to protect them from the bigoted monster the majority has become.

We appeal for the freedom of Indian held Kashmir on every international forum and urge the international community to take action against gross human rights violations, but do we have any right or moral ground to criticize others? Imagine a Pakistan with Kashmir as a part of it? Will we not treat them as another persecuted minority? Our rhetoric is just that- rhetoric, hollow and full of hot air. The state may well have failed its charges by not protecting them with adequate laws and procedures, but our society is much worse; intolerant, irresponsible and extremist.