By Farman Nawaz
I believe in religious tolerance, I am open-minded and I am democrat but when I see that Hindu majority India enjoys co-existence of faiths, religious liberalism and active social responsiveness of its common people then I feel jealous of India.
How can I satisfy myself when I see that common Indians stood for a girl Jyoti Singh Pandey who was raped in a bus while here in Pakistan the victim of gang rape Mukhtara Mai, when instead of committing suicide preferred to speak against the injustice , is still awaiting to see the justice. Jyoti Singh Pandey was a wakeup call for young Indians but former president Pervez Musharraf placed restrictions on Mukhtara Mai movement in 2005. He was afraid of her publicity which might hurt the international image of Pakistan. Who can forget his controversial remark “rape is a money-making concern”.
How can I say that all is well when I see that Indians are united against terrorism and here in Pakistan on one side we are hung up between good and bad Taliban and on other side we could not so far decide how to eliminate extremism? It was astonishing that few years back we blamed black water for all terrorist activities in Pakistan but surprisingly peace talks were started with Taliban.
Innocent Malala was shot in the head but we were busy on social media to find the conspiracy and to prove her an agent of the West. As the Bouazizi of Tunisia sparked the Tunisian rising similarly attack on Malala could help Pakistan to unite against the menace of extremism. But we were divided on the issue. Would Malala meet the same fate if she would belong to Punjab? I fear she might also meet the fate of Dr. Abdus Salam.
Bollywood Muslim actor Amir Khan’s recent controversial Film ‘PK’, which basically attacked the Hindu religion in Hindus majority India, is the highest –grossing film of all times and an Indian politician Nitish Kumar (former Chief minister of Bihar) has recommended that this film should be made available in the remote villages of India. But here in Pakistan the Pakistani ‘PK’, Muhmmad Jibran Nasir, a civil rights activist who started a movement against the Mollana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid, is targeted and threatened. In India a Muslim actor is welcomed to raise questions against those aspects of religion which divide humanity but here in Pakistan a religious decree is declared against a Muslim Muhammad Jibran Nasir who wants to raise his voice against the extremism.
How can I assert that we are peace loving nation when I see that Indian cricket players are playing IPL inside India while my favorite Pakistani team plays on the cricket grounds of UAE? What kind of peace is this that made us close the schools for almost a month because of Taliban attack on army school in Peshawar? Indian children observed two minutes silence as a mark of solidarity with Pakistani children while we could not even speak against the massacre of our own country fellow Christians, Shias and Ahmadis.
Our motto is “Unity, discipline and faith” but the truth is that neither we are united in one faith nor we have disciplined ourselves to get united. Indian motto is “truth alone triumph” the truth about which the Holy Quran says “do not conceal the truth while you know it”, and “the rejecters of truth may realize that they had indeed surrendered to falsehood”. We could not realize so far that we have surrendered to falsehood.
When it comes to education then we see that India is the single largest provider of global talent with at least a 100 of Indian universities competing with the global best. In the last 20 years alone, 6 or 7 Indian intellectuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize across categories while we have made controversial our two noble prize winners. The truth about our education is that in the last six decades we are dreaming about the introduction of uniform educational system in Pakistan and what type of uniformity we want to bring that is still not defined. In the last six decades we are trying to produce ‘eagles of Iqbal’ through education system but instead of eagles of Iqbal we have produced fanatics so far which are now becoming a headache for us.
I know that my remarks will annoy my fellow countrymen in a situation when on one side our army is engaged in border skirmishes with India and on the other side Pervez Musharraf sees Indian involvement in the Taliban’s attack on army school in Peshawar. But the fact is that isn’t it better to change ourselves instead of blaming others for our failures.