No place for Ahmadis in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan
Imran Khan’s latest video sums up everything that is wrong with our politicians. He has long been bandied about as a saviour and messiah, come to rescue this country and build towards a ‘Naya Pakistan’.
On paper, he is educated, courageous and relentless in pursuit of success. His cricket days endeared him to millions in this country and his charity work is exemplary. I do not doubt his honesty and I do not doubt his intentions. Just like any other political candidate, I seek to judge him based on what he says and what he does.
His video, however, where he emphatically rejected notions of repealing the second amendment to the Pakistani constitution which declares the Ahmadi community to be non-Muslims does him no good. He stated yesterday,
“PTI totally subscribes to the article in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the Ahmadis. It is not part of the PTI agenda to seek amendment of the said article in the Constitution.”
This country has been ravaged by sectarian and ethnic conflicts- we do not value life anymore. We are impervious to the plight of the Hazaras yet we continue to ask potential election candidates whether they can recite the kalma?
We let elected members without educational degrees become our ministers but we do nothing about the brazen manner of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and its violent operations?
We complain about Israel every opportunity we get but light entire neighbourhoods of the Christian community on fire?
Blasphemy law, rape law, treatment of the Ahmadi community, the list goes on forever.
Have you read the MQM manifesto? It talks about human rights.
I would be laughed at if I walked around with it trying to convince people that the MQM deserves our vote because of what their manifesto says. MQM offices get attacked and, shamelessly, we joke about how what goes around comes around. Yet it was the MQM which pointed out the threat of the Taliban back in 2007 and nobody paid any heed to it and today, a city is paying for the warnings it ignored.
What if I was to do the same but with Imran Khan and his manifesto?
I would, in all likelihood, be applauded for making an educated choice in putting my support behind a man who will change the country. No one will say the Imran Khan has never uttered a word against the on-going sectarian conflicts or the rising Taliban power in southern Pakistan. No one will point to the fact that Imran Khan denounced the Ahmadi community’s desire to be included in Islam in less than two minutes using his personal religious belief as a basis.
What bothers me is the hypocritical ease with which we, the people, look such things over and pretend they never happened.
Today, a political candidate is denying a group a basic right to identify based on a fundamentally wrong constitutional law. Tomorrow, someone will go a step further and deny some other group another basic right. Such inherent and open discriminations end up in a vicious cycle.
Just ask the Germans.
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The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.