Speak now or there will never be peace
In Pakistan it takes a great deal of commitment and training to not have a black or white opinion on any given issue – on any given day.
Some call me naive but I have always believed in the millions of shades of grey in the world and the people around us.
As a journalist, I always felt the need to keep my perspective on situations, and personal opinion about people, guarded and especially never allow them to influence my work. In doing so over the years, the practice became a habit, allowing me to avoid many unpleasant situations. But it is also true that there are exceptions to every rule and, therefore, in certain cases a left-or right-wing judgement is the need of the hour.
The reason I am speaking about this now is because I see a great number of people trying to shove their opinion and biases on others.
Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were not those people. They were speaking for society against those elements who wish to wrongfully oppress others who are unable to defend themselves. They were killed because some elements in our society did not agree with their agenda.
No one says everyone should think in the same manner, but no one should have to pay with their life just because another does not agree with them. Taseer and Bhatti forfeited their lives. The rest of us are paying with our freedom.
Sometimes we need to not be so vigilant with our opinions, simply because we fear the repercussions. We need to speak up.
I realise it is tough. Especially while we are living in times when killing someone over a Rs3,000 cell phone seems nothing out of the ordinary. Speaking out against some blind ideology is more like pinning the bull’s eye on one self. Still, I urge the liberal, the moderate and the sane of this country to speak up now or, I fear, there will be no peace.
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