An open letter to murderers of minorities

Published: August 8, 2014
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Attacks against minorities have spiked in recent months to degrees that are callous and merciless. PHOTO: FILE

Dear ruthless, relentless and barbaric attackers of the minorities in my country,

I‘d like to start by asking you about what happened day before yesterday?

With what conscience did you think that it was acceptable to brutally gun down a Sikh teenager and open fire at two other Sikh businessmen in Peshawar? Were you just having a bad day at the Hashtnagri Bazaar, as sources confirm that there was no enmity between them and you? Was the heat too much to bear that Jagmohan Singh, the teenager you shot, had to take the brunt of your barbarism? You critically injured Parimjit and Manmit Singh in the process also, who were mere traders in Peshawar. So what did you exactly gain out of this horrific display of inhumanity?

I am outraged as a Pakistani citizen. You have made a mockery out of my national flag by attacking our minorities. Had it been your way, you’d paint the ‘white’ part of the flag, the part that represents them, to ‘red’. That’s the colour that’s on your hands and in your bloodied eyes as we speak. You are the ruthless and relentless murderers who have slain our minorities in the name of our glorified religion. Save the religious debate on this letter and this post because, you hooligans, your religion does not permit killing of innocent people, no matter what creed they belong too.

This isn’t the first time that you’ve been hostile with the Sikh community in Peshawar. In recent years, several Sikhs have been victims of your strikes. Did you know that thousands of Sikhs have inhabited Peshawar and various parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) for generations? Many Sikhs have homes and businesses in the old-walled city in Peshawar. Of course you knew, but you just don’t care. The chief minister has announced a sum of Rs500,000 as compensation for Singh’s family, as though it will repair the immeasurable loss and pain they’re going through.

Day before yesterday, one of the hundreds of headlines read out loud about the killings and tortures that you have put our minorities through. Your attacks against minorities have spiked in recent months to degrees that are callous and merciless.

In September 2013, you assaulted a historic church in the same city, which killed nearly 78 people, that too on a Sunday―the day of their mass prayer. I’d like to know how it felt when your mosque in Rawalpindi was attacked in 2009, which took away the lives of countless Muslims during Friday prayers.

Did these minorities carry that attack? No, but how did it feel?

Wait, am I asking those with no conscience? Yes.

In April 2014, you barged into a Hindu ashram and even stole a ‘trishul’ (trident) in Tharparkar, Sindh. You have been targeting the Hindus in Sindh by breaking their temples, murdering them and raping their women. Did you not send two of your policemen along with their sidekicks on July 22, 2014, and gang raped a 20-year-old married girl after inflicting her with grave torture? What sort of sick beasts are you?

Five days later, on July 28, 2014, you went absolutely haywire in Gujranwala. Your barbarism and brutalisation stooped to a new form of low―killing Ahmadis while burning down homes. For heaven’s sake, even pregnant women were battered in the gruesome attack. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) condemned the episode and labelled it as ‘shocking and disgusting’. But I wonder why our police failed in preventing the mob attack which resulted in the Gujranwala attack. This event is considered to be the worst form of violence that the Ahmadis in Pakistan have endured since the concurrent extremist raid in their place of worship nearly four years ago that cold-bloodedly killed of 94 Ahmadis.

As a nation, black-marking or red-painting the ‘white’ part of our prestigious flag is just not acceptable. You think you’re waging a war under the name of religion? Well news flash to you, innocents aren’t to be killed or even hurt in any way as stated by your religion. Since you are completely ruining my flag, I see the moon and star in the flag, (which is primarily for ‘progress’ and ‘knowledge’ or religion as the five pinnacles of the ‘star’ suggest the five pillars of Islam), as ‘innocent children’. Are they next on your hit list? Do you really want to play Gaza, because let me tell you, if you carry on with this, you will be plucked out one by one by our honourable forces just as those militants are being squashed now in North Waziristan.

Shame on you for not standing by Jinnah’s advocacy for minorities. He clearly specified in his maiden address that the minorities living in Pakistan would have equal rights, obligations as well as privileges. He stated,

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

As I end this, I hope that you stop with this barbarism, or come out in the open and show us your real face, because you are beasts and beasts aren’t afraid of coming out in the open. But you, you are mere cowards. You are among those who are more afraid of what the literate Pakistani citizens will do to you rather than the wrath of God.

With apathy for your barbaric attacks,

Patriotic Pakistani Citizen

Zara Hafeez

Zara Hafeez

A digital marketer, writer, a history buff, volunteer for humanitarian causes for The James Caan Foundation, UNICEF Promise for Children, among others and a tea-aholic. She tweets as @zara_hafeez (twitter.com/zara_hafeez)

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

  • WB

    Good letter. But only 65 years too late.
    Recommend

  • James

    Why is that this kind of news only appear in print media, especially the English newspapers. I didn’t see any of the news channels discussing this in their talk shows or any other programs. ……People are busy discussing “Azadi march” and Mr. Qadri……….may be according to them this is not worth discussing…….Minorities of Pakistan are on a verge of becoming dinosaurs………..and please for God sake don’t tell that………”this is not…….?Recommend

  • AKA

    Dear Pakistani Guys, it’s time to use some other dialogue rather than the same old ranting……..“”You are free; you are free to go to your temples, bla, bla, bla, bla.”

    You got any other statement of Mr. Jinnha besides the one mentioned above assuring the rights of minorities……..may be the answer is no……..I wonder what would have happened if Mr. Jinnah had not said the above statements……..Recommend

  • Feroz

    These murderers must be running really scared after reading your letter. One, two, three and Knock Out !Recommend

  • Prashant

    ” For heaven’s sake, even pregnant women were battered in the gruesome attack. ”

    Whether it is Gujarat or Gujaranwala, what kind of human beings are those who would not shy away from killing a child in a women’s womb?

    As far as the topic is concerned, Is not it a bit too late for the Pakistanis to talk about the minorities when the Shias who happen to be Muslims are running for cover.Recommend

  • SAIF

    I don’t understand killings at all. is it because “god” (whichever “it” may be) instructs them or people get to play “god” by seeing someone helpless. killing is killing no matter what you kill for. for a nation to progress and a habitat suitable for our young ones, law and order has to be a prime focus along with education and employment. killings must be condemned and the killers must be rehabilitated. a deep understanding is required to sort out this issue. a lot of patience is required in the society to end this menace. A WISHFUL THOUGHT FROM A HUMAN BEING.Recommend

  • Critical

    Dear Patriotic Pakistani Citizen

    I would like you to stop shedding crocodile tears…

    When muslims in Gaza,Myanmar,India etc are attacked,you people will flood the streets and shout hoarse…Even for a small youtube video or newspaper cartoon

    But when non-muslims are attacked,write a column in an English newspaper and bring up the old rant of “You are free to go to temples…” or “Islam is a religion of peace….”

    When you are minority,you keep telling how its the duty of the majority to take care of you,even if it means giving reservation or hogging social security benefits

    But when you are in majority,where do you all disappear when the rabid elements of your community go on a rampagr against non-muslims?

    You seem to fight for burkha ban in France but want all non-muslims to wear burkha in Saudi Arabia as its law of the land….

    In short,I would take those extremists over your ilk because atleast they are honest in their opinion about others unlike the ones like you who have two faces..

    Regards
    Confused World CitizenRecommend

  • Hammad Mian

    First take care of your home where Minorities are being brutally killed by Hindu Zealots. You can not hide your issues just by commenting on our pages.Recommend

  • Nomad1412

    As an Indian and as a minority in India though not a Sikh, I can feel that the author is contrite and has begun the process of questioning against the norm. So I would like her to get a second chance.

    PS: @Author: Jinnah’s one and only minority speech has been reprinted ad nauseum. It is a very thin straw you are holding on to because actions belie words.Recommend

  • Tanvir

    just remember than ahmadis are not minorities. Recommend

  • genesis

    Jinnah had to repetedly say the“”You are free; you are free to go to your temples, bla, bla, bla, bla.” because he foresaw that even he will be targeted becasuse he was a shiaRecommend

  • K

    Hard hitting, crisp & a master piece by Zara Hafeez. The fact that she covered all major headlines in one blog is great. Thank you to the publishers & the author. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Someone had to say this………..thank you for saying it.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Pakistan was a country made where everyone could freely practice their faith, or lack of faith (Atheism) as long as it did not physically hurt anybody. But some of our leaders, and these murderers have sadly made Pakistan a place where prosecution based on which religious ideals you follow is common.Recommend

  • TheDharma

    Nobody is killing anybody in india . our muslim brothers and sisters are quite happy here and wouldnt want to move to pakistan even if they were promised the highest comforts. As far as violence goes.. its the people that r at fault not the religion. there are as many bad apples in hinduism as there are in islam. Recommend