Late last week, a group of people in Ghotki, a town in Northern Sindh, attacked members of a minority community by promoting a story of alleged “blasphemy.”

The bedlam eventually led to attacks on some Hindu temples. Attempts were also made to burn and loot the homes and shops owned by the minority community.

As usual, the local law enforcers felt paralyzed and took time to confront the mob rage. Some conscience officers of the police force finally took over the command. With full support of the provincial government, they restored calm by firm handling of the chaos.

Social activists, meanwhile, motivated an impressive number of ordinary citizens to furnish backup support for riot-controlling administration.

They have been firmly staying put with the minority community, almost around the clock since Sunday night. It certainly scuttled the frightening sense of insecurity that had gripped the Hindu community in Ghotki.

For the first time in our recent history, Ghotki’s residents have rather set a perfect precedent to teach the rest of us about how to ensure communal harmony with social activism and don’t rely on the police and district administration, exclusively, to maintain it.

Their initiative deserved praise and wide media projection. Our journalists and most politicians, however, preferred ignoring the Ghotki incident as you do with the bad smell in a crowded room.

At the outset of the ongoing National Assembly session Monday evening, “our representatives” should have enforced an exhaustive discussion on the bad, ugly and eventually the good sides of the Ghotki incident. The government and the opposition parties had their own priorities, though.

Cutting across the party divide, almost each representative of the Hindu community in this assembly still wanted to discuss the said incident to assuage feelings of insecurity gripping their people. For the fear of sounding “communal,” they felt shy of taking the initiative.

Hats off to Khawaja Muhammad Asif of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). As a very experienced parliamentarian he forced the National Assembly to ponder over the Ghotki incident Tuesday and let representatives of the Hindu community express their feelings.

Speaker after speaker from Hindu members of the National Assembly of Pakistan kept revealing details that helped us to imagine the big picture.

Hindus of Sindh, no doubt, passionately love their motherland. An impressively large number of them refused to migrate to India and opted to stay put in Pakistan after 1947.

It was time for the National Assembly to unanimously demand quick arrest of persons named in the police report and clearly convey to a definite “spiritual leader” of Ghotki that we have had enough of him.

We needed to convey the said message far more vigorously, also to look entirely different from Modi’s India, increasingly associating itself with mob lynching of Muslims living there and the stifling blockade that had been enforced upon 80 million Kashmiri Muslims since August 5, 2019.

In the context of recent developments on Indo-Pak front, we must also not rule out the possibility that insidious manipulation of mobs in Ghotki had the backing of “fifth columnists.”

While we seek global attention for the recent tragedy of Occupied Kashmir, agent provocateur might have been used to produce “visuals” flooding the social media. These visuals could project a story to spread the feeling as if Hindus, living in Northern Sindh for centuries, were forced to leave their ancestral homes and were desperately seeking refuge somewhere else.

The social activism of Ghotki’s residents is doubly praiseworthy in the given context. By erecting a human wall around their neighbours from the minority community, the citizen activists had brilliantly pre-empted the spread of a negative story by furnishing a positive and precedent-setting alternative.

Instead of focusing on projecting unanimous appreciation of Ghotki’s residents and ensuring the Hindus living there that they must not feel abandoned, the PTI preferred to settle scores with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

For no immediate reason, “the attack fast bowler” of the PTI government, Murad Saeed, took the floor. With delirious anger, he referred to some remarks passed by the PPP Chairman some days ago.

Living up to his reputation of an angry young man, the communication minister strained his lungs to sell the point that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had tried to “blackmail” the federal government by uttering these remarks.

With nefarious intent of protecting the corrupt and incompetent government of Sindh, Murad Saeed believed, the PPP Chairman had now begun to talk about “Sindhu Desh.”

Doing this, the minister went on, BBZ sounded like of “facilitator of Modi,” who keeps threatening to break up Pakistan.

Abdul Qadir Patel opted to speak for the PPP. And he too did not sound polite while defending his leader. He also passed scathing remarks to laugh at Murad Saeed and the Speaker had to expunge them from the record.

After Patel, another PTI minister known for relentless vigor and energy, Ali Haider Zaidi, stood up to get even. Of late, he had been making “good television” with his dedication to the cause of “cleaning Karachi.”

Zaidi and the rest of PTI leaders from Karachi keep projecting heaps of rubbish in the most populous city of Pakistan as solid and moving evidence to establish the incompetence of the PPP government in Sindh.

The nonstop flaunting of the “rubbish story,” eventually inspired the law minister to cunningly suggest that the Federal government might take direct control of Karachi by invoking clause (4) of Article 149 of our constitution. BBZ’s remarks surfaced as the preventive move.

Zaidi could not continue with PPP-bashing, however. The moment he took the floor, all opposition members walked out in protest and after they left, the house had to be adjourned for the lack of quorum.

The National Assembly stayed hopelessly polarized on a day when we seriously needed it to spin a positive and forceful message in the context of recent events in Ghotki.