We do not deserve Shahbaz Bhatti

Can we ensure the next leader who dares to raise a voice will not be next? Sherry Rehman, please leave.

Ayesha Azhar March 02, 2011

Minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has been brutally gunned down today -  joining the list of many to have been killed.Voices of sanity do not do well here in Pakistan.

Just when you start thinking things will be okay, that now the maniacs have safely put away Aasia Bibi and they’ve killed Salmaan Taseer so maybe that's enough to make their point - you are jolted into the reality that is Pakistan. You understand completely and fully, even if you did not that morning when reading the opinions page of The Express Tribune, why George Fulton is leaving.

Today's breaking news has brought a new understanding to the line I was editing in the article yesterday:
“You do not chart your own destiny in Pakistan; Pakistan charts it for you. It’s emigration by a thousand news stories.”

Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination has become another one of those ‘stories’. And we can do nothing about it. If a governor and a minister aren’t safe in this country, who is?

Of course there is the broader question of why the minister was killed. This is no random killing and is unlikely to be inspired by personal enmity. Bhatti was killed for what and whom he stood for.

There is a certain futility, hopelessness to it all. When our own are killed simply for asking for justice and fairness and change, how can we actually bring about that change? How can we ensure that our minorities are treated equally and kept safe, when all those championing for them are gunned down? And in response we are silent.

Salmaan Taseer was killed and we decided to abandon his cause. Can we ensure that the next leader who dares to raise his voice will not be the next target?

So where do we go from here? Or is this it?

Maybe this intolerance and fear is inherent. Maybe Pakistan was made not so much because some Muslims felt Hindus in India would not treat them equally, but rather because they knew of their inherent intolerance, that they would not be able to live with an other.

So please, Sherry Rehman, leave the country. We do not deserve sanity.

Ayesha Azhar The writer is a senior sub-editor on the editorial pages of The Express Tribune ayesha.azhar@tribune.com.pk
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Usama Zafar | 13 years ago | Reply @Rehan: Exactly!!
Humanity | 13 years ago | Reply du’aa - Faiz Ahmed Faiz 14th August 1967 aaiye haath uThaayeN ham bhii ham jinheN rasm-e-du’aa yaad nahiiN ham jinheN soz-e-muhabbat ke sivaa ko’ii but, ko’ii Khudaa yaad nahiiN aaiye arz guzaareN ke nigaar-e-hastii zehr-e-imroz meN shiiriini-e-fardaa bhar de voh jinheN taab-garaaN-baarii-e-ayyaam nahiiN un ki palkoN pe shab-o-roz ko halkaa kar de jin kii aaNkhoN ko rukh-e-subh ka yaaraa bhii nahiiN un kii raatoN meN ko’ii shamaa munavvar kar de jin ke qadmoN ko kisii rah ka sahaara bhii nahiiN un kii nazroN pe ko’ii raah ujaagar kar de jinkaa diiN pairavi-e-kazbo-riyaa hai un ko himmat-e-kufr mile, jurrat-e-tehqiiq mile jin ke sar muntazir-e-tegh-e-jafaa haiN un ko dast-e-qaatil ko jhaTak dene ki taufiiq mile ishq ka sarr-e-nihaaN jaan tapaaN hai jis se aaj iqraar kareN aur tapish miT jaaye harf-e-haq dil meiN khaTakta hai jo kaNTe kii tarah aaj izhaar kareN aur khalish miT jaaye Rough draft by Sundeep Dougal (tweaked d by Humanity) Prayer Come, let us too raise our hands We, who do not remember the ritual of prayers We, who other than the fire of love (for self) Do not recall any idol, any god Come, let us humbly pray that the adornments of life Suffuse tomorrow's sweetness into today's poison Those who do not have the strength to carry the burdens of the passing days May the weight of the day and night sit lightly on their eyelashes Those, whose eyes are hopeless of witnessing a dawn May a candle brighten up their nights Those, who walk direction less, not knowing a path May a way ahead be illumined to their eyes Those, who arrogantly believe in nothing but deceit and hypocrisy May they get the courage of infidelity, the audacity to seek May those whose heads await the sword of tyranny Get the strength to snap away the hand of the murderer The hidden secret of love which has inflamed the soul Today own up to it and let the fever abate The word of truth that pricks the heart like a thorn Declare it today, and only then shall anguish dissolve
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