Let us make a difference – by Imran Qadir Butt

Yet another person, Aasia Bibi, convicted of blasphemy and condemned to death by hanging.

While reading this news piece I was looking for a surprise. Something unusual, extraordinary and thought provoking debate followed by concerted efforts from all sections of Pakistani society to make a difference.

To stand up and say good bye to old ways, shun the past bigotries and march in a new and refreshing direction. But as usual there is not a single voice of change. Not even a feeble one. Pakistani media particularly television anchors who claim ad nauseum to be the harbinger of change could not muster courage to ask right probing questions.

Some days back when ‘true Muslims’- according to Minister of Tourism- Taliban butchered Ahmadi Muslims in Lahore in the middle of their Friday prayer in their mosque no one bothered to question the validity and usefulness of the concept of an Islamic state. You will not be able to get to any where if you are keep on asking wrong questions. It does not matter how many times or in how much louder tone. It would only generate more confusion and chaos.

If we want to develop a society based on the concept of equality then how on earth you can achieve such a lofty goal if your underlying principle discriminates people in ‘us’ and ‘them’. This is as simple as I said.

For the last sixty and so years we have been treading on beaten path. Repeating mistake after another mistake and find ourselves surprised to have same dreadful outcome.

How many more years do we need to know that in order to develop a peaceful society we need to have a concept that in inclusive not exclusive. A concept that can bring people together. A principle that does not divide people in ‘us’ and ‘them’ but says ‘we the people’. This can only be achieved if we decide to change our direction. if we make a resolve that we are not going to repeat that same mistake. We are committed to select a different road.

Let us say once and for all that survival of Pakistan is in secularism as it is the only concept that is inclusive. It treats everyone equally and without any discrimination. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law and honour is for those who contribute towards the economic well being of his/her fellow citizens. If we managed to do this we can get our rightful place among humanity and that decision will make all the difference.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

(The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost, 1915)



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  1. JA