If your freedom curbs the freedom of someone else, what good is your independence?

By venerating our independence as Muslims we achieve the paradoxical effect of trivializing the independence of the minorities in this country, every year.

To my surprise, the core minorities of this country are sidelined to such a degree that Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations are condescending for the state’s religious minorities.

My grandfather migrated from India to Pakistan like many others who left their homes with so little certainty and so much hope. There were times when I could not understand the situational providence. Why was there a need for a land with a religious identity of its own?

After much consideration, this is how I comprehend the Indo-Pak separation now: the phenomenon of religious discrimination, post British rule threatened the then Muslims of the united India and therefore a land apathetic to religious biasness was fought for.

Once the freedom of practicing the religion was achieved, we forgot the important lesson that came with it: freedom of practicing a religion (which can be any religion).

Ironically, we Muslims promoted ourselves to the starring role of the religious oppressor and continued in the footsteps of the ones who once we feared will walk all over us. The culture of religious biasness was not demolished but just replaced.

Almost 95% of the demographics of religion in Pakistan is dominated by Muslims. With such an unchallengeable religious supremacy it is about time we stopped feeling so insecure. Let’s end the irrational and instinctual disposition of ‘either you or I’.

A Christian Pakistani is as Pakistani as a Muslim Pakistani. This country belongs to all the minorities who call it their home, to all the Hindus and Sikhs with their ancient temple which stand as a testament of their bond to this land.

Baha'ís, Jain, Buddhist, Kalash, atheists and agnostics all of them belong to this country. It’s time Pakistan belonged to them too.

Out of all the nations, the Pakistani was supposed to understand the contribution of faith to an individual’s identity. The Pakistani was to respect all and every belief. The Pakistani was to save its land from religious antagonism and convert it to a mother land of credibility and equality.

The Pakistani was to be independent of all the biases. Pakistan was to be a safe haven for all.