Yes, yes Gaza is hurt, but what about Pakistan?

Published: November 30, 2012
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How could righteous indignation abandon us so when it comes to our own people? DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

Much has been written and said on the Gaza situation. True to fact it is a terrible sequence of events that has cumulated in a collage of blood, shock and denouncement with an inexcusable casualty rate.

Truth to power- is it that we stand by our Palestinian brethren or are we just anti-Semitic?

For those of you who wonder what the difference is sadly you are the biggest part of the problem.

However, the purpose of this piece is not to dwell further into the analysis of what has now become a trending part time hobby. It is to illuminate the truly shocking fact that there are more people up to date on the death toll in Gaza than the bomb blasts that occurred concurrently in Karachi this past week.

It isn’t that we shouldn’t care but rather for the right reasons.

No one will harass you for writing about the civilians being murdered on the streets of Palestine. You won’t find threatening notes left at your door or an unmarked car with unknown assailants parked outside your house for organising protests on their behalf. How wonderful it is to be free of the fear of persecution and the stampede of bleeding heart liberals with their op-ed pieces, reporting in the news, Facebook statuses, twitter updates and yes-even blogs is testament to that.

Does anyone even know the last head count for murders in the country let alone each city that we currently reside in?

Not for the past year or even month, let’s just talk about this week. How is it that the rest of the world needs an intervention but when it comes time to discuss our own needs we feel that they will automatically right themselves? How can we call ourselves anything but cowards for being able to pass judgement on the battle for holy sites in Jerusalem and yet not utter a whimper when religious fundamentalism is used to settle personal grudges in our country every day?

“Oh no you can’t say that, God only knows what will happen or who will come for you if you say these things” – prevailing wisdom

Wherever sympathies may lie in this age old conflict and however we choose to express our uninformed displeasure make no mistake about it, they are better than us. One fought back from a genocide that sparked a world war, determined never again to suffer the scars of tyranny and oppression, whilst the other, an entity fighting for their right to call the land of their forefathers home.

The battle we face here in our backyard grows to be less of a war and more a massacre with every passing day. Our silence rings louder than the three explosions that recently rocked through the city streets. The hypocrisy of our outcry for Gaza is a deafening slap across the faces of those 260 plus souls and their families who have already paid so high a price at the altar of sacrifice just this month alone.

How could righteous indignation abandon us so when it comes to our own people? Where is the party specific condemnation and where are the cleverly conceived caricatures that illustrate our unwillingness to accept that which we have largely inflicted on ourselves? Perhaps we have more in common with Gaza than we think.

Truth be told, if nothing else, citizens of a nation that has hardly managed to find an eloquent and coherent solution for Kashmir that it can agree on, let alone present to the UN or India, are hardly qualified to speak on this topic.

Yet we do, to no positive or progressive effect until the body count somewhere in Pakistan hits a number that we find disturbing.

Until then

What do we want? 

“The free and independent nation of Palestine.”

When do we want it?

“Now.”

Why do we care?

“Woh tou hamaray bhai hain.”  (They are our brothers)

How can we as Pakistani’s help them achieve this? 

“Hmm… good point”

What’s going on in Pakistan?

“Yaar woh scene tou chor doh.”

(Man, leave that scene alone.)

Read more by Shehan here, or follow him on Twitter @ShehanRayer

Shehan Rayer

Shehan Rayer

Former writing enthusiast turned journalist turned Radio Jockey; still a writing enthusiast and a Radio Jockey. He tweets @ShehanRayer (twitter.com/ShehanRayer)

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