Monday, August 26, 2019
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Imran Khan Pontificates - Physician heal thyself

B L Saraf

In an attempt to paint India as an anti minority state , Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has latched on to the Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah’s remark that “ death of a cow was being given importance over killing of a policeman in India ”. Imran’s complaint is that minorities are not treated well in India . Speaking at an event to highlight the 100 day achievements of Pak Punjab government in Lahore , Imran said “ he would show Narrandra Modi government how to treat minorities .” He added that even in India people are saying that minorities are not being treated as equal citizens .

For brevity , following facts are reflected here to have a feel of how Imran and Pakistan State “ treat their minorities as equal citizens and care for them.”

1 : After assuming charge as the Pak PM , Imran Khan constituted Economic Advisory Council under the charge of Atif Mian - a noted scholar in the field of finance and micro economics . However , within three days of appointment he was shown the door . Imran buckled under the pressure of Islamic fundamentalists because Atif belonged to the Ahmadiya community, a declared minority in Pakistan , whose presence at the top ‘ the faithful’ wouldn’t bear .

2 : Asia Bibi –a Christian lady was acquitted by the Pak Supreme Court of the notorious blasphemy charge and ordered to be set free . It happened soon after Imran took over as become PM. Terekeh e Labbaik - a religious extremist organization went in rampage against the order of Supreme Court and engineered mass rioting . Initially , PM Imran stood the ground and promised to bring “ might of the state to bear on those questioning the judgment .” But within days he caved in and negotiated an agreement with the fundamentalists , ensuring continued detention of Asia Bibi , placing her in exit control list so that she doesn’t leave the country and vowed not to oppose the review petition , to be filed by the rioters against the order of acquittal of the poor lady . It is travesty of law and justice that Asia Bibi continues to be in ‘custody ‘ despite her acquittal from the highest court in Pakistan .

3 : Punjab Governor Salman Taseer , while in office , wanted to change the draconian Blasphemy law . In the process , he was killed by Mumtaz Qadri – a security personal on duty to guard him . Qadri was subsequently convicted by the court and sentenced to death . A Shrine came upon his grave where people regularly pay visits and offer flowers . Recently , a minister of Pak Punjab government visited the Shrine and paid respects to the murderer of , once , a Governor of his Province .

It is like ‘ Devil quoting Scriptures ‘ when Pakistan boasts of teaching lessons of tolerance to India , while as the country has institutionalized intolerance against the minorities . Sample of which is given by none other than a Pakistani author . Farahnaz Isphani writes in her book- Purifying The land of Pure -Pakistan’s Religious Minorities ;

“ Pakistan government is internationally accused of abetting religious intolerance through legal formalities and requirements that encouraged private citizens to engage in intolerant or discriminatory acts in order to receive a government benefit . One example was the government requirements that Muslims sign an oath denouncing Ahmadis in order to get a passport or obtain government employment ….. .” P 158 .

Pakistan’s Constitution is based on Objective Resolution of 1949 whose pith and substance conveys the message , as stated by Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani in Pakistan Constituent Assembly , “ People who do not subscribe to these ideas ( based on Sharaiat ) may have a place in the administrative machinery of the state but they cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of framing the general policy of the State or dealing with matters vital to its safety and integrity . ,,” p 43 ibid

This Objective Resolutions forms the basis on which Pakistan State is expected to rule . Article 2 of The constitution of Pakistan provides Islam as religion of the State .

It is not the Mullah alone who is against the secularism . Pakistan Supreme Court once boastfully remarked that it will not allow anyone to deviate from the path of Shariat and denounced any attempt to secularize the Pakistan society . No wonder all the members of Bar Association Lahore stood in line to welcome the killer of Punjab Governor Salman Tasser when he was brought to the court to face trial . Lawyers showered rose petal on the Governor’s killer . POK High court made it compulsory for the staff members to follow Shariat strictly if they have to ask for a raise in their salary .

We wish Imran Khan sees the plight of Uighur Muslims in China and teaches Chinese supremo X1 Jingping “ how to treat minorities .” Chinese communist regime has confined millions of Uighur Muslims in Central Region of Xinxiang for “ re-education ” . These camps aim to “cure “ them and other Muslims of the religion .Uighurs are incarcerated along with Kazaks and others in the ‘ facilities ‘ which are officially labeled as “ centers of concentrated transformation through education ” where breakfast is withheld unless the inmates know all words to hymns such as Without the Communist Party There Would Be No New China . Mahir Ali a columnist, writes in Dawn Karachi “ Behavior that can lead to involuntary enrolment in “ Concentrated Transformation “ program ranges from Sprouting suspiciously long beards and inappropriate attire ,particularly veils , to offering prayers anywhere other than mosques . Devotion to halal food can also arouse concern , but the alarm bells clang even louder if someone stops consuming alcohol , tobacco and ham . “

No : Imran can’t dare ask his master / benefactor . Why ? Mahir Ali has an answer “ China is playing a long game -which in part seems to involve increasing the indebtedness of certain Third World countries as a means of rendering them beholden to Beijing .” Given the near bankruptcy of Pakistan , Imran is permanently beholden to X1 Jing ping who has provided succor to the ailing Pakistan .

Anyway , let us leave Pakistan and Chinna to their fate and concentrate on what is going on in the country . It may be not be a fact , but a perception is developing- thick and fast- that the graph of cow and sectarian violence has been up in the last four years . That doesn’t give a good impression of a country like India which is on the way to higher peaks in the world stage and aspires for a permanent place in the Security Council of the U N body . It is better to listen those who have something to say in this regard and assuage their feelings - howsoever perception based it is . For PM Modi there are better things to do and address so many pressing issues of bread and butter of the populace . They call for an unhindered attention . Time is running out fast for him and the NDA Government

PS . We heard Naseeuddin Shah telling Imran to mind his business . He lives well in India . Bravo , Mr Shah !

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

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