I will not celebrate August 14

Published: August 5, 2014

Considering how our minorities are counting their dead every day, why are we celebrating anything?

August 14, 2009

I decided not to celebrate August 14th this year to show my personal grief, shame and solidarity with the nine innocent Christian citizens of Gojra, who were killed and their homes lit on fire. On this day, I will hang the Pakistani flag at half mast, will switch off my television, have none of those ‘milli naghmay’ and sing no national anthem.

I am sad, ashamed and deeply distressed.

I will call up all my Christian friends to apologise and express my grief, pain and sorrow.

August 14, 2010

94 people were killed and more than 120 injured when the places of worship of the Ahmadi community in Lahore were simultaneously attacked

August 14, 2011

42 Shias were killed in five different terrorist attacks in different parts of Balochistan.

August 14, 2012

91 Shias were killed in ChilasMustangQuetta and Parachinar in different months of 2012.

August 14, 2013

As many as 182 Hazara shias were killed and 121 injured in three different suicide blasts in Quetta.

At least 48 people, mostly women and children, were killed and over 135 injured in a massive bombing in Karachi’s Shia-dominated neighbourhood of Abbas Town.

A twin suicide bombing killed at least 78 people at a church service in Peshawar in what is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.

August 14, 2014

Four members of the Ahmadi community were killed and four others were severely injured in Gujranwala on July 27, when an angry mob attacked and burnt five houses belonging to the deceased over alleged blasphemy. Those who died in the attack include a 55-year-old woman Bashiran, five-year-old girl Kainat, eight-month-old girl Hira and an unborn child who died due to suffocation.

In a country where the minority citizens are forever counting their dead, one would have to be dreadfully insensitive and callous to be celebrating August 14th.


Naeem Sadiq

Works in the area of occupational health, environment and safety. He tweets @saynotoweapons

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hind

    Yes, sad this is happening to the Christians, Ahmadis and Shias. Well, at least the Hindus and Parsis live life safe and unaffected. That is a relief.Recommend

  • indianmuslim

    Sir,In protest you should celebrate 15th august..true secular day…..I hope u get through my comment since there is nothing offensiveRecommend

  • Prashant

    Celebrate your Independence day for those who still believe in the idea of a Pakistan which believes in peace with itself and its neighbours. Ask the Palestinians how it feels not to have a homeland and be grateful to the almighty that you have a country to come back to when you have no where to go.Recommend

  • Noman

    Totally agree with you. Now you must wait for all the hate mail you receive from these bloody holier than thou moulvi types.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    and the latest attack on Ahmadi muslim community in which a 55 year old woman and her two grand-daughters were killed by a mob in Gujranwala. The mob also caused a 7 month pregnant girl to miscarry.
    Tbh most countries have extremism in their society, KKK in USA , IRA in Ireland etc etc. BUT the difference is that they worked hard and tirelessly to root out the bad and their efforts payed out in the end. May God Have MercyRecommend

  • Mir

    Congratulations on your 15 seconds of fame. Now lets move on.

  • Human

    well said

    i will do the same .
    we should respect allRecommend

  • Ahmad, Zubaid

    I bet you don’t even care about minorities away from your computer. Have your 15 minutes of fame : )Recommend

  • Queen

    At least celebrate the Independence Day for those brave Pakistan Army soldiers who are fighting on the borders and in the tribal areas for the protection of our homeland.Recommend

  • Sane

    Mr. Writer you are towing the agenda of anti Pakistan. Not only minorities are killed in Pakistan, but non minoritties are killed in many folds than minorities. All these killings are the acts of foreign elements who have infiltrated in this country.Recommend

  • Sane

    The incidents you are referring to first needs to be known in depth as who instigated the violence. Find facts and then comment. Be unbiased.Recommend

  • Parvez

    A man with a conscience and an enlightened understanding of religion, politics and more……….I salute you.Recommend

  • Me

    Yes, minorities are not safe here and same goes for the majority. But we should point out the root cause rather than making it a Muslim-Kafir issue.
    angry mobs in majority do the same in every country but the real point is whether their law enforcement agencies take any action or not.
    you should also write blogs about the corruption in law enforcements and judiciary and how we can improve it rather than symbolizing Pakistan a hell for the minorities.Recommend

  • Syed Arbab Ahmed

    Well what about the condition of Majority which is Muslims in Pakistan? Are they not on the receiving end? are the not dieing of suicide bombings, sectarian violence? If someone say that only minority is suffering in Pakistan, then this is a big LIE, everyone unfortunately is suffering in Pakistan due to bad governance.Recommend

  • nadia adnan

    what about all those sunni whose is dying every single day stop this discrimination kindly…… we r muslim no shia no sunni only muslimRecommend

  • saima

    and sir what abt those who were slaughtered on 10th muharram in rawalpindi….obviously in this regard u would believe on ptv news;)….biased….all the 40 thousand pakis killed in last ten years are surely not shias,ahmids, Christians…Recommend

  • Feroz

    This celebration of Independence day in every country has become an exercise in jingoism. It would be wonderful if on that day the “haves” took time to feed and heal the “have nots”.Recommend

  • Sane

    Mr. Writer: It does not matter if you do not celebrate 14th August. There are 18 crores who will celebrate.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    I despair for the deaths of my fellow Pakistanis whatever their faith, but to not celebrate our Independence Day solely for this reason is very wrong.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    “Find facts and then comment.”- follow your own advice.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    “we r muslim no shia no sunni only muslim”- not what the majority sayRecommend

  • pseudo-true believer

    atleast he wrote a blog.. thats a contribution. what did you do other than judging him !Recommend

  • wiserneighbour

    Pakistan is an idea mooted for Muslims.Everyone knows that.But at the time of creation Jinnah promised to take everyone along.But radicalisation through madrassahs created a generation of fanatics who interpreted religion to suit their fancies.Now many say here even sunnies are killed in Pakistan.Why this is happening and what preventive measures are you taking.Any one recording Friday sermons of maulvis and advising them ? Is there an effective way of monitoring madrassa?If u don’t take corrective steps now , you are headed to doom.Recommend

  • WB

    Even if the majority says what you say, they will never say what you have in your mind. That is to accept an Ahmadi as a Muslim.Recommend

  • Faisal

    Even I didn’t celebrate Eid ………… Claps plz :-)Recommend

  • UzairH

    Sorry, as Pakistanis our concerns are principally for Pakistan. Our country is dying every day, we need to sort our own house and affairs before worrying about others.

    Incidents such as murder of people just because they have a different belief system or killing of a pregnant woman in brought daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, BY BEING STONED BY HER OWN FAMILY, and so many more incidents that indicate our people are walking corpses, mindless zombies, incapable of thought, and we should be thankful? I’d say ours is a fate worse than any oppressed nation, for we have managed to oppress ourselves into oblivion.Recommend

  • UzairH

    It must be the martians! We Pakistanis are blameless angels! The best among all nations!Recommend

  • UzairH

    Mr Sadiq,

    I agree with your stance and I too see little reason to celebrate when our country officially (constitutionally) and socially persecutes minorities. The “aam aadmi”, whether educated or not, considers them unclean and unworthy of being considered full humans. Worse, now we are seeing racism manifesting in the worst possible way, lynchings and killings in brought daylight, and the conscience of the nation is not bothered.

    The irony is of course that Pakistan was created to protect a minority from potential persecution from a majority. By the same logic that was used for the creation of Pakistan the minorities of Pakistan have the right to demand a separate homeland be carved out for them.

  • Prashant

    Rinkle Kumari would beg to differ with you though.Recommend

  • Prashant

    That is the problem, ” It does not matter” for some as long as they are in majority and have no time to entertain the thoughts which are in minority.Recommend

  • Prashant

    It is fine if you do not want to accept it but to say this is bad governance would be inappropriate. Bad governance results in anger against the Govt and not hatred for fellow citizens.Recommend

  • Mir

    Tbh countries like the USA and Ireland needed a couple of decades to root out extremism and intolerance. The KKK sprang up in the 1920s-1930s, and it took nearly 30 years for them to actually accept dark-skinned people into their society. Interestingly enough, dark-skinned people continue to suffer problems regarding education and finance.
    But of course, Rologus Itolarnace needs to end today! Today! Today! Today!Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Naeem don’t lose hope … you must celebrate with a passion to change the nation and put it back on the track …Recommend

  • baig

    the common people of Pakistan are very tolerant. these are not the madrassa which is the west propoganda but are the foreign elements who don’t want stable Pakistan and our leaders and their ‘cheelas’ are playing in their hands. Stable Pakistan will mean powerful Pakistan who will look them in their eyes and that they don’t want that. And ‘truly’ adding Islamic Republic with Pakistan mean Allah help that will convert our beloved homeland to the status of super power Insha Allah one day.

    So starting with our own self promising our self that we will be our best self and let work for stable Pakistan where minorities are safe and celebrate 14th August.Recommend

  • Sane

    I know the facts, so advising. Instead of having rhetoric about minorities, also find as how minorities instigate to have incidents occurred. Specially in the case under discussion.Recommend

  • Sane

    Stop cross border trolling.Recommend

  • Alam

    Whatever the case is, you cannot justified the unlawful killing of any one irrespective of the religion, cast and creed. If you think its was their fault that they got perish and because they deserve that, then you better think again.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Equal rights as Pakistanis would be a good startRecommend

  • نائلہ

    So tell me, who “instigated the violence”?Recommend

  • Mehdi

    Why don’t you find something constructive to do and move away from preaching bigotry.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    Are you trying to shed tears for the extremist ? Who instigated the violenceRecommend

  • Mehdi

    You have to accept your Pakistan is in pretty bad shape compare to International standard that measures a countries development progress.Recommend

  • Mir

    Preaching Bigotry?
    I’m just laughing at spineless lib’ruls and how they cry about religious intolerance when most of the nation is steeped in poverty and violence. Of course, they don’t care about them. They’re pretty happy living in their nice homes enjoying a nice life with good wages and a good family. We shouldn’t remind them of the problems of the poor, right? It’ll make them feel bad and all.
    But, by all means, keep crying. Your tears are delicious.Recommend

  • OnBehalfOfPkMinorities

    Oh really? No wonder everytime an investigation is launched it is reported as a muslim who is apparently also a Pakistani,once again you are trying to be biased and not accept the filth within your country…Recommend

  • Sarah

    I don’t hate India and Indians at all, but this rant about India being a secular country is not true. Only yesterday I was watching a video on Gujrat riots, where a Muslim woman was shown crying and retelling her misery how she cannot go back to the area where she was living before the Hindu mobs attacked. The women told they killed their own children with their own hands fearing they too would be set on fire like other families who had lost their loved ones. There are endless stories, there are stories I have heard first hand from Muslim florists in New Delhi how they have been tortured countless times by some Hindus to convert to Hinudism or leave for Pakistan. Neither Narendra Modi is held accountable for that carnage, neither there has been any improvement in the lives of the victims.

    The problem is you people see and believe everything, every propaganda aired by media without trying to inquire the real picture. Come, visit here first and then form an opinion on how rude, idiots and stupid and indiscriminate we are. Please realize there are such problems on both sides, lets help each other rather than blaming each other as the worst.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    there is no correlation between poverty and intolerance. Poverty is due to lack of resources and intolerance is a mindset. An ideology of hate that one seems to apply as a form of violence should be condemned. It has nothing to do with liberal inclination.Recommend

  • Sane

    A young man named Tauqeer. Find who is he.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Ok let me google tauqeer….doesn’t help much. So you tell me, what did he do, and why were these ppl killed? Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Mr. Sadiq, I agree with your message but you need to check your facts. The Lahore attacks on Ahmadi places of worship was not on 14th August 2010 but on 28th May 2010. I lost a family member that day and the date is seared into my brain.Recommend

  • ss

    Me too :-(Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    the religious extremism in our part of world started in 1914 during the first world war When Pakistan was won these religious leaders came here and spread the disease of extremism in our country. So we have had this virus for 100 now and its high time we rooted it out.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    “instigated the violence” please explain this
    1000 people surround 25 innocent people including children and murder young kids and cause miscarriages , and still you say that the ones who were killed instigated the violence.
    you know what? I just realized that THE SAME thing is being done to Palestinians bu Israel. The Israeli military says the exact same words that the Palestinians “INSTIGATED the violence”, Recommend

  • Prashant

    You have just lost the right to cite the Gujarat riots as that was also started by people from a community who eventually ended up being at the receiving end.Recommend

  • nayeem

    The sanest article ever! We need people like you, sir! :)Recommend