Over the past few days, we have witnessed extreme media frenzy over the departure of President Asif Ali Zardari to Dubai owing to medical reasons. The president’s health has invited a plethora of responses, some of which are listed below:
After putting Pakistan in the ICU, Zardari gets himself admitted in the ICU
Just going to read Zardari conspiracy theories to cheer me up I guess. Oh I do wish him well in health btw.
If Zardari’s billions can’t buy him a stronger heart, coherence or respect why take revenge on democracy?
Well, we certainly got a day’s worth of hope, right?
Zardari went to Dubai because he had a minor heart attack? Don’t believe any of these rumours; everyone knows he has no heart.
Doctors give Zardari clean bill of health. Nation observes three days of mourning. Zardari has suffered a heart attack apparently. Must have seen our Transparency International rankings showing decrease in corruption.
Even air time was dominated by news of Zardari’s ailment.
Such are the death wishes for a person who, against all odds, has been serving as president of an almost ungovernable state for the last three years, a country that was on the verge of falling apart for all the wrong reasons.
Zardari is disliked by many; his morality has often been questioned and there have been numerous corruption charges levelled against him. But does this warrant the abuse he is facing at the hands of Pakistanis?
Can anyone justify hoping for the death of a person undergoing medical treatment?
People are actually praying for someone to die – what kind of people have we become?
This attitude brings to mind the mentality of the mob that came to the fore during the lynching of the two brothers in Sialkot. So blood crazed were they that they couldn’t control their rage. Similar to this is the brutality of the mob that set ablaze the homes of poor Christians in Gojra. Calling for Zardari’s blood when he might very well be seriously ill leads one to recollect the faces of Salmaan Taseer, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, and Shahbaz Bhatti.
It seems we have become a nation of animals that crave and pine for blood.
Educated Pakistanis have come down to the level of beasts. Many observers may think that this mentality that calls for blood, violence, and death for those we believe have wronged us is the custom of uneducated villagers. However, those who have been to villages in Pakistan know that even an enemy will pay you a visit if you are ill or facing a severe calamity.
Mian Muhammad Buksh, a Punjabi Sufi poet from the Potohar region, has beautifully described this tradition by saying:
“Dushman maray te khushi na kariye, sajnaa vee mar jana” (We must shy away from celebrating the death of our enemies as our own kin is not immortal).
If one compares this verse to the blood-thirsty lynch mob mentality prevalent among the urban middle-class, it’s not difficult to comprehend that our social fabric is declining. This mentality can bring down an entire nation – our desire for the death and destruction of others could be the death of us all.
Let’s remember to be human beings before we are bigoted patriots, and let’s pray for a man who has lost a wife and has three children that need their father.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.