On this Independence Day

Published: August 13, 2012
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This Independence Day can only be celebrated with sincere effort to highlight the flaws that Pakistan has succumbed to. PHOTO: FILE

This Independence Day can only be celebrated with sincere effort to highlight the flaws that Pakistan has succumbed to. PHOTO: FILE

A peaceful demonstration named ‘Stop Persecution of Religious Minorities in Pakistan’ took place at the Lahore Press Club in connection with Minority Day on August 11, to express citizens’ concern over the growing religious discrimination, hatred and violence and to declare that it was against the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The demonstrators condemned the trend of hate, discrimination and violence threatening the lives, property, business, worship places, jobs and education of the Hindus, Ahmadis, Christians and even Muslims belonging to the Shia community. They pointed to the closure of Ahmadi places of worship and the demolition of their graves, the demolition of Gosha-e-Aman in Lahore, the attack on a church in Karachi, the abduction and forced conversion of Hindus and girls belonging to religious minorities and the constant killing of members of the Shia and Ahmadi communities.

On August 10, 2012, Interior Minister Rehman Malik came on TV and said Pakistani Hindus were leaving Pakistan to settle in India and that he would have none of it. After that, the police stopped nearly 250 Hindus from crossing over to India at the Lahore railway station and at the Wagah Border. This happened because of Mr Malik’s police background and a total lack of sympathy for what was happening to Hindus in the country. There was a wicked satisfaction drawn from keeping them back in the hell that Pakistan has become for them. There was a total lack of knowledge of Indian policy in the matter. The Hindus going to India were asked to furnish a clearance letter from Mr Malik’s ministry. This was the ultimate harassment for which the minister should be questioned by the Supreme Court through a suo-motu summon.

The media was told that Hindu pilgrims going for yatra of holy places in India were stopped in the wake of a rumour that they were migrating due to fears for their lives and property in Pakistan. The stranded Hindus in Lahore swore that they loved Pakistan — a total lie after the way they have been savaged for long years — and would return to their beloved land. Any humane person would go down on his knees and beg India to keep these luckless Hindus to prevent them from further persecution in Pakistan.

Mr Malik termed the  ‘migration’ of Hindus from Jacobabad a conspiracy against Pakistan. What the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said was different. It anticipated that Pakistan was probably trying through ‘forced migration’ to get rid of Hindu communities in Sindh and Balochistan, where they are being targeted through kidnappings and forced marriages. Its statement said: ‘Religious minorities migrating from Sindh and Balochistan is a reflection of the state’s failure to save these citizens from violence, discrimination and disgusting excesses such as forced conversion of young women’.

Pakistan’s economy continues to be in the doldrums. The state of Pakistan is virtually without a writ on most of its territory but it insists that this has not happened because of the wrong policies followed by those who dominate governance in Islamabad. It accuses the world outside — which is potentially the only source of an economic bailout if ever it comes — of killing people in Pakistan. Foreign intelligence agencies are indiscriminately named without a shred of evidence while ‘friendly’ terrorists, who attack inside Afghanistan say they will impose sharia in Pakistan because democracy is against Islam. Politicians, blind to where the state is going, communicate with one another through defamations.

This Independence Day can only be celebrated with extreme sorrow and a sincere effort to highlight the flaws that Pakistan has succumbed to. It defies the world through self-righteous isolationism. It has recently taken a step back from its self-destructive doctrine of strategic depth after it became convinced that its current policy might push the world into declaring it a rogue state. Pakistan has a long way to go — not forwards but backwards — in retracing its steps to the way it was when it was created by the Quaid-e-Azam and his worthy companions.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • ali
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:22PM

    ET good one!!!!!!!

    But u will be branded anti-national,Zionist,Raw agent etc………by many ignorant persons……but just keep up the good work…..

    Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Mr. Jinnah asked “What was it that kept the Muslims united as one man, and what was the bedrock and sheet-anchor of the community? “Islam”, he said, and added: “It is the Great Book Quran that is the Sheet-anchor of Muslim India. I am sure that, as we go on and on, there will be more and more of oneness – one God, one Book, one Prophet and one Nation” . Like a true Muslim the Quaid-i-Azam put heart in his people by reminding them of the lessons of Islam.
    The Quaid-i-Azam interpreted Islam for people of Pakistan. In his speech to the Bar Association, Karachi, in January 25, 1948, he said, “No doubt there are many people who do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam. Some of our non-Muslim friends do not quite appreciate when we talk of Islam, Islam is not only a set of rituals, traditions and spiritual doctrines, Islam is a code of every Muslim which regulates his life and his conduct in all aspects, social, political, economic etc. it is based on the highest principles of honor, integrity, fairplay and justice for all” . In reply to the civil Address of the Karachi Corporation, on 25th August, 1947, he again remarked: “it should be our aim not only to remove fear of all types, but also secure liberty, fraternity and equality as enjoined upon us by Islam”.

    What equality is enjoined upon a Kafir in Islam? We chose to first call the hindus kafirs. Then we chose to call the Ahmedis kafirs. After that came the turn of the Shias who the SSP call Kafirs openly in public jalsas.

    The Quaid was absolutely correct: I am sure that, as we go on and on, there will be more and more of oneness – one God, one Book, one Prophet and one Nation” .Recommend

  • Adil
    Aug 14, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Just one of those people, the editor, who tries to be different than everyone else. This is a day of joy and freedom. If you start thinking like this never can we celebrate an Independence day. What i am today and what you are today is because of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad !

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  • Aug 14, 2012 - 12:48AM

    Happy Independence Day Pakistan.

    We Love Pakistan.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 14, 2012 - 2:14AM

    A great editorial on the most imp day of the year, thanks ET. It says “(HRCP) said was different. It anticipated that Pakistan was probably trying through ‘forced migration’ to get rid of Hindu communities in Sind and Baluchistan”
    There have not been too many religious riots in Sind since partition. Sindhis are peace loving people and very proud of their culture. The rightwing fanatics have not been able to capture the hearts and minds of Sindhi population. That is why Sind never elected any rightwing leaders or parties. With this population shift and minorities forced to leave Sindhis would become even a smaller force and easy to control. It is a sad situation and must be condemned by all freedom loving and liberal democrats. It would be a shame to see interior Sind turning into Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Sanjeev
    Aug 14, 2012 - 2:41AM

    Happy Independence Day to the Pakistanis here. But I have a couple of questions for our Pakistani friends. Firstly, imagine a Pakistani Hindu boy, aged 5 or 6, watching your 14 August “Pakistan Day” parade, etc. Imagine him telling his mother “One day I’ll be the President or Prime Minister of Pakistan”. And imagine her having to tell him that he can’t, because Hindus aren’t qualified — by definition — to aspire to that post. Where’s the humanity in that? Secondly, while Jinnah was indeed a very successful and influential man in world history, can Jinnah and Iqbal’s core ideas really be the basis for any modern, progressive country in 2012? By definition, the idea of Pakistan conflicts with much of what most people over the world believe in today: multiculturalism, the fact that we all have to live together, pluralism, secularism and celebrating diversity. What is the basic message to a Pakistani Hindu kid? Isn’t it, basically this — “We” (Pakistani Muslims) created a country — that is also yours — because “we” (again only Pakistani Muslims) didn’t want to live with people like “you”… Is that idea, the basis of the two-nation theory, really something any humane person can believe in or support, today, in 2012?

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  • Omar Omar
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Actions speak louder than words. Should we then listen to Jinnah’s words or his actions? Given the precedent that he set on Direct Action Day, is it any surprise that this nation finds its minorities under violence and constant threat of elimination? That they face continious violence, rape, forced conversions and murder?

    Long live, Pakistan.

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  • Aug 14, 2012 - 6:14AM

    [we thanks google web who arrange a beautiful background for pakistani day of independence……..GOOGLE I really proud of you on the occaion.][1]

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  • Aug 14, 2012 - 6:18AM

    googl web thanks more for a beautiful background for Independence Day of Pakistan

    ireally proud of you…………..,,,,,,,

    Recommend

  • karma
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:08AM

    And the very same Pakistanis with straight face ask for Kashmir to be part of Pakistan or be Independent. State of J&K has approximately 33% Non-Muslims. Should they suffer the same fate as that of Pakistani Non-Muslims?

    Why would India and World even entertain such a religious succession?? We have had one cruel partition already. Let us learn to live with what we have now.

    Recommend

  • adam
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:24AM

    The poor are the same everywhere in the world. The elites always live in the fear of real democracy and equal rights to all irrespective of their background. Ideology, religion, economics and media then just become tools to control the masses. The communists have failed in their experiment, religion has failed in bringing real equality. Human selfishness just seems to take different forms, rather than ever ending. What hope does humanity have for real ‘liberation’?Recommend

  • Feroz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:29AM

    Excellent editorial, keep up the good work.

    Recommend

  • Indian wisdom
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:58AM

    No Comments!!!!
    Happy Independence Day to Pakistan from India.

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  • Z.Khan
    Aug 14, 2012 - 12:20PM

    A thought provking editorial. ET is leading the print media in pointing out follies in Pakistan policies. However unfortunate aspect is that inspite of all these efforts you see no light at the end of the tunnel. Pakistani elite belonging to powerful segments of society seems to have turned deaf to such out cry. The priorities set by this poweful elite are entirely different to the burning problems this country is facing. Every day hopes are fading.

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  • Vijay
    Aug 14, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Brilliant piece, I sincerely hope Pakistan turns things around for its own sake.

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  • Kamran Choudhry
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:18PM

    The way we are going very soon the white portion of our national flag will be invisible. As we celebrate our birthday as a nation and rightly so, our minority neighbors are wiping from injustice and hate and I am sure our Quaid is wiping with them.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 14, 2012 - 6:32PM

    Excellent editorial. Very apt too. Keep it up ET.

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  • asim mehmood
    Aug 14, 2012 - 9:05PM

    whats A meaning for independent ????????????????????????? pta v hai kis ko kehtey ???

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  • John B
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:45AM

    Pakistan independence day is for what? independence from “Hindu” India or independence from British Raj?

    Pakistan was never under British raj, so then what does PAK independence day signify?

    Clarity on this matter will bring a clear direction to the Hindu minorities of PAK.

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  • Ahmad
    Aug 16, 2012 - 6:06AM

    It’s in human and un Islamic what is being done to minorities in Pakistan

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