LAHORE: This is with reference to the violent uprising in Bahrain. It is sad to see that the people of Bahrain are targeting Pakistanis, taking them to be collaborators of the unpopular regime. The fact is that most of them are low-wage workers and labourers who have no connection of any kind with the security or police forces that are clamping down on the uprising.
My question is that what is the Pakistan embassy in Manama doing in this regard? The federal government should be directing its embassy to do all that it can to protect the Pakistanis who are in Bahrain, and to repatriate all those who want to return to Pakistan. A few hundred, of the thousands of Pakistanis resident in Bahrain, have been provided shelter inside the embassy — what about the rest? What are they to do?
As for the protesters, they might have a somewhat genuine grudge against Pakistan, in that many Pakistanis serve in Bahrain’s police force. In that regard, blame for the backlash lies on the shoulders of the Pakistani government, since it could have stopped this recruitment from taking place. At the very least, it could freeze all such recruitments to the Bahraini security services for now.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011