In an event that surprises no one, 84 Pakistani nationals who have been held at Moscow airport since early morning on Thursday are most likely to be deported after being detained for hours. The detainees were part of a group that was held after landing in the country for a business trip, all of which had valid passports and travel visas. The Russian government did not clarify the reason of their deportation and the PM has expressed an interest to find out. But will any inquiry bear fruit when all this incident screams is racism by denying entry due to the colour of the passport?

While Pakistan has experienced terrorism and horrifying acts of violence for almost a decade, it was unimaginable till a year ago that such aggression will trickle into the most peaceful parts of the world. The attacks on Paris and now Brussels, just goes to show that no where is safe and that the aggressors are none other than Muslims who carry out this violence in the name of their God. To say that the deportation from Moscow was in no way related to the attack would be a complete farce. Muslims are the target of this hate, racism and bigotry and this is how the world is changing.

Recently a report circulated that the Pakistani passport is one of the worst travel documents in the world. Legitimate visa requests are being rejected; Pakistanis are detained upon arrival without reason almost everywhere they travel, for hours on end. In light of the changing discourse against Muslims and specifically Pakistanis, this behaviour is most likely to continue getting worse. The government could try and intervene on behalf of those who experience this racism and social exclusion, but it would be useless until we present Pakistan as a progressive state that has eliminated extremism from its very roots.