A field trip to a festival of hate

Students need to learn to waste time and money if they’re going to become upstanding citizens like Sharif and co.

Vaqas December 05, 2011
"The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool."

Stephen King

Teachers are entrusted by parents to help mould children into ‘good’, responsible, people. They are also trusted to tell their parents the truth about what their kids are being made to do in school. That trust is one of the most important things in the student-teacher-parent relationship. Breaching it makes one an embarrassment to the profession, and threatens the welfare of the child.

In the last fortnight, there was the Gujranwala incident, where, according to this newspaper, “the local administration ordered the heads of all government schools to send students of grades eight, nine and ten to the rally, but not dressed in their uniforms. However, the plan was accidentally exposed when a number of students reached the rally in uniforms.”


No action was taken. School is a waste of time. Students need to learn to waste time and money if they’re going to become upstanding citizens like messrs Sharif and co.

An education might teach them there are better things to do than listen to strings of misinformation about how everyone but the speakers and their party are the only ones who aren’t American-Zionist-Indian-Confucian agents.

Then there was the LHC’s dismissal of a petition seeking action against the head of a public school and other government officers for taking students to Faisalabad to participate in a PML-N rally. The petition was dismissed because the petitioner had no locus standi as he was not an aggrieved party.

Misuse of taxpayer money is apparently supposed to be of no concern to taxpayers. Neither is the welfare of a child if it’s not your own. Next time you see someone thrashing a child, do NOT, and I repeat, for the love of God, do NOT intervene, because in this country, you might be found guilty of giving a damn.

The icing on the cake though was the Jamaatud Dawa protest.
“Activists as well as school children as young as ten from various districts were brought to the Lahore Press Club in buses and vans for the Jamaatud Dawa protest against the Nato attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers."

“Students aged ten to 15…thought they were going to a science exhibition and that’s what they told their parents.”

Drone strikes— bad. America— bad. India— bad.

Lying to a child’s parents to create the illusion that even children back the JuD, their convoluted interpretation of jihad, and the violence encouraged at the rally— good.

This was a virtual kidnapping. Parents were lied to and had no idea where their kids were. I’m quite sure a number of them would not have wanted their kids at the rally, and for those who argue “no harm no foul”,  what if a bomb blew up there?

Just because the kids got home safe doesn’t excuse the enormous breach of trust. Every teacher deserves to be suspended, and every principal and senior government official involved should be in jail. “Upar se order” (order from above) is no excuse. This was an injustice, and it is every person’s duty to defy orders that make them agents of injustice. Telling the police or media could have easily prevented this scenario.

During the rally, “JD leader Abdul Rehman Makki said Allah wanted them to get revenge from Christians and Americans.”

Does he have a direct line to God? And why exactly is God anti-Christian?

JD leader Saifullah Mansoor said they would kill 100 Americans for every Muslim killed.
“Thousands of fighters are ready and waiting for a call from our leader Hafiz Saeed”.

Keeping in mind that this is a ‘charity’, according to the Government of Pakistan, I wonder how many millions of fighters the largest real charity in the country, run by a ‘suspicious’ bearded man named Abdul Sattar Edhi, has at its disposal.

But most threatening of all, “JuD leader Ameer Hamza said the army chief should know he has the full support of JD” and that “ ‘JD will make all its fighters into Taliban. There will be Taliban in Punjab University, Government College, and Agriculture University Faisalabad,’ he said.”
“Hamza demanded that the government kick Americans out of not just Shamsi Airbase, but Shahbaz Airbase as well, or the JuD would do so itself.”

Politics at universities— banned.

Recruitment for a “charity” that is promoting terrorism and vigilantism— approved.

Finally, there was Abdullah Gul, son of former ISI chief, enemy of democracy and terrorist sympathiser General Hameed Gul, who said:
“the people of Pakistan aspire to wage jihad and it is time to take up the sword.”

Apparently he didn’t realise that the children were actually already engaging in jihad. They were going to school to better themselves (Jihad bil Nafs/ Jihad of the heart). JuD just stopped children from performing the most necessary form of Jihad— seeking knowledge and self-improvement.

By the way, in all this anti-BBC nonsense, why is no action being taken against the two retired military officers who feature in, and admitted to the premise of Secret Pakistan being true?

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. Anon
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.