A few days ago the mother of the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif passed away. She was the lady who gave birth to sons who dedicated their lives to Pakistan. One gave his life in the defence of the motherland and was awarded the highest gallantry award of Nishan-e-Haider for laying down his life; the other son is the COAS of the Pakistan Army, and leading from the front.

Even though the lady did not have a direct role in our lives, nor did she ever come in the lime light, yet, how did we respond? Why was there no mourning, not even the token one day of national standard at half-mast? Why were no events arranged in her memory?

Social media engines of Twitter and Facebook, and indeed the whole media was pretty much silent apart from carrying the news and pictures of the Army Chief carrying his mother on her last journey. And apart from the usual condolences no one bothered that the Chief’s mother had passed away.

However, like a true soldier her son, the COAS was visiting Karachi on her “soyem” to tackle things in the mega city, even before the Prime Minister was there to chair a meeting. Is this how we treat our heroes? Or was it because she was not the matriarch of a political family? Especially not of the leading political clans of PPP, ANP or MQM, who do not even need a reason to mourn for three days, unconcerned with the repercussions on the state.

And what about the regular attacks and killing of the minority or the sectarian related crimes? Almost every day one or the other commercial blares out the theme of the patriotic song “hum ek hain” (we are one), and I wonder who are “hum” and who is “ek?” because given the state of affairs to day it appears that we aren’t really “one” and if things continue to be as they are, we may never be.

The more I go through history the more it dawns upon me that we were a divided people right from the beginning. When Pakistan was in the making, a number of prominent people had an anti-Pakistan stance. They had their reasons and to this day their vision exists in small groups.

With the passage of time a trickledown effect of distrust started. Initially it was a tussle between democracy and the military; then minorities and government; and it evolved into the difference between the common man and the rulers. Due to these differences, we are no longer able to being “ek” especially under our flag, which claims its colors to represent the majority and the minority. Yes we can call ourselves “hum” in the typical Urdu speaking style, but it would only mean an individual and that we are now, without any inkling of togetherness.

I fail to understand how a human life cannot be important? Why does it have to belong to a particular sect, religion, ethnicity, family, political cult or such to command attention? For how long will we remain divided and keep singing “songs” and sway flags and chant slogans on 23rd March and 14th August?

How long will we take to realize what Jinnah’s speech of August 11 was based on “minorities” being equal as Pakistanis?

Have we actually lost all sense of humanity and compassion?