In recent years, Pakistan has been continuously lived with the threats of commotion and violence from religious political parties. From the time of General Zia, these parties have grown significantly in strength. Based on its current trajectory, Pakistan is inevitably headed down into becoming a theocratic nation subjugated by Wahhabi rudiments. However, for Pakistan’s sake this needs to be stopped.
The Flow of Fundamentalism
Pakistan was shaped out of former British India as a separate country for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. The idea of the formation of Pakistan was due to the theory of two states promulgated by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Although Jinnah and his party, Muslim League were secularist and free from any millennial ideologies, but for the sake of pragmatism of political affairs, they put forward the hypothesis of a separate land for the Muslims.
In his crucial speech ahead of the introductory meeting of the Constituent Assembly, on August 11th 1947, Jinnah gave out the Pakistan thought, mainly the tolerant and secular vision of the new state. However, the speech brought rage among the Islamic ideologists, and in time the ‘Pakistan Ideology’ converted into ‘Islamic Ideology’.
Formation of Pakistan
Pakistan was created as a result on the foundation of Islam which immediately became the state’s religious conviction. The leading players of Islam however, deliberately forgot the liberal facets of Islam as is observed in Turkey and Egypt and passed stringent laws to make the new Islamic nation, a hard-hitting Islamic country. Consequently, the laws of blasphemy were ratified which made punishments compulsory for any person who even tried to go against Islam in a light note. These laws formed in Pakistan if compared with other Muslim states are very strict and stern.
And then the disciplinarian of Islam soon went a step ahead by joining hands with the rebellious Islamic battalions who in the name of jihad dreamed of introducing an altogether new Islamic state with the Shariat as the most important bylaw. In addition, these hard liners also desired that the society should acknowledge their elucidation of Islam, the religion. This is the sole cause that gave rise to an impulsive assortment of intolerance, violence and Jihad.
The Assassination of the Governor and its aftermath
Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination by a member of his elite body guard is an ill feature of the blasphemy law. Being a liberal while campaigning, the General had also met a Christian woman who had been sent to jail and sentenced to death under the same act. His meeting was found heretical by the Islamic parties and disciplinarian. Therefore, they joined hands against him.
The assassinator shot the Governor as soon as he left a restaurant in the capital city of Islamabad. The irony in the whole episode is that people showered him with rose petals and considered him a hero when he appeared in court for the trial. Moreover, he showed no regret for his act. Isn’t this a dangerous sign for Pakistan? Well, if the men in the green uniforms are so focused in murdering a person who is liberal and has secular values, then as a nation, it is vivid that the country has no hope. Makes me wonder, what can happen to VVIPs like the Prime Minister and President, with the same elite security guard who are so influenced by their cause that they feel killing is the best solution and worst, they believe it is justified.
What lies ahead?
If people in the army too have such perceptions then I would say it is not a good scene for the US and all other major powers that are laying their armed men in Afghanistan. Pakistan now seems to be seen sitting on a ticking time bomb. Still, there seems to be a ray of hope for Pakistan, as many felt what happened was not correct and Pakistan should drop its hard hitting policies. Looks like that they are aware a Taliban state will only signify Pakistan’s demise.
By Deepti Verma