Real Issues, Hard Questions

Ever since the video of Taliban’s brutal flogging of a 17-year old girl appeared on youtube and media, the spin doctors of fundos in their hallmark way are out to divert attention from the key issue. Some were saying it’s wrong because it was not the State which authorized this punishment, others were questioning the conduct of the trial, and then came the biggest diversion that the video is fabricated and some US-conspiracy to malign Islamists. And in this spinning what has lost is the real issues and real questions. The questions are that even if we agree that the conduct of trial was wrong or the people were not authorized to sentence the accused or this particular video is American conspiracy, does under the proper trial through Mullah-described laws can this punishment be granted to any accused for any cause? And if so, is such punishment acceptable to the people of Pakistan?

The answer to the first question is yes. Imran Khan or Jamat-i-Islami or Hamid Mir or heaven knows who will never answer this question directly for they know that this barbaric treatment no matter how much quoted in the sugar of religion or spirituality or fear of God is not acceptable to the Pakistani society.

My countrymen, it is time to ask ourselves each and every individual, this question. Do we believe in such barbaric punishments? Are we ready for a society with such barbaric treatments? What we have is far from perfect. We need to improve it. We need to be more human. We need to be more compassionate. We need to change this. We need to listen to the have-nots, we need to lift them. We need to change but we all know in our hearts that this is not the change we want. For all our weaknesses, for all our ills, for all our evils, we are more compassionate, more civilized than this.

So the question my countrymen is, should we let it continue or should we stand up and stop it? We have been indoctrinated not to question these barbaric behaviors for the fear of God. This ideology has penetrated into our media and our Govt. machinery. We will have to be the watchdogs of the system now. In their detest for enfranchising of the poor, the educated urban classes of Central Punjab and Karachi, have harbored the monster of Islamization. The whip of UnIslamic conduct has been used brutally to silence any opposition to their hegemony. You, my countrymen, have been asked to get certificate of your patriotism from Majeed Nizamis and your Islam from Jamat-i-Islami and the monster kept growing. And for every barbaric act of these beasts, they have used the excuse of some foreign-hand. Sectarian violence is caused by RAW. Acts of ransom by terrorists is done by Afghanistan Govt. And any evidence of these beasts barbarianism is a US-conspiracy to malign Islam.

And now, post-Nizam-e-Adal, these monsters are expanding even further. It seems the State machinery is coy to confront them because of their sympathizers in the state apparatus. I have no doubt in President Zardari’s willingness to fight the monster but what can Zardari alone do. And that too when again through spin-doctors non-issues get turned into the issues. Whether we fail or we succeed, the historian of future will write that when confronted with a severe threat to the very existence of not only the state but the society, the people of Pakistan (or should I say central Punjab) were focused on restoration of judiciary (which by the way termed the video of flogging of a girl as an attempt to malign Islam and as a demonstration of its objectivity and impartiality reminded IG Islamabad that he is only good for arresting judges). Can we be any more miserable when Hilary Clintons needs to beg to us to rise and put pressure on our Govt. not to put pressure on Taliban to save what is our State and more importantly our Society and way of living from the monsters who have no State and no principles?

We need to stand up now and put pressure on the government to revoke the Swat deal and deal with this menace head on and denounce these barbaric laws and punishments. It’s a beast we are facing and the beast needs to be killed. We will have to come out of psychological trap of killing our “Muslim brothers” who are barbaric enough to kill our innocent children in their schools and our men and women in their places of worship. We will have to stop this or else Taliban will keep working the way they are. Make a gain, in the euphoria of a gain create a fuss and expand, calm down, consolidate, and then reemerge. This is how they spread from FATA to Swat. This is how they have moved to Buner. And this is how if not stopped they will move to the shores of Arabian Sea. We need to pressurize the state to act and act sternly against them. We need to make life miserable for these killers and their sympathizers in the media, in the government, in the society. It shouldn’t be our children, our men, our women who die – if someone has to die why not these monsters? The state has to protect us and not our killers.

Our urban elite never got it and is missing it this time too. May be they are right. Being the haves, they will compromise with the new balance under Taliban and continue. With time they will start getting used to these demeaning treatments as well. With time whatever is left of the thought process in them will be erased from their minds. With time they will get used to their daughters being treated as a lower being. With time they will get used to a 70 year old man being beaten by an 18 year old brain-washed Talib. With time they will forget the compassion that was the message of mystics in our land. With time they will forget the songs of Chenab and poetry of Bulleh Shah. With time in a barbaric world, they will get used to the life that will be. Nothing will change. Only two things will die – humanity and life.

In the world of James Bonds who believe they have solutions to every problem, such monsters keep emerging and they go with decayed and deceased societies. We still have our time to tame it before the society we live in is decayed and deceased. It some how has become a battle between the fear of God and the compassion of human – a battle that has to be fought in our minds and hearts.

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