By S Ahmad
It is very disconcerting to hear the hate speech by Captain Safdar who is the son-in-law of ex-Prime Minister. What is shocking is that this speech was addressed in the National Assembly of Pakistan a few weeks ago. It is an unfortunate reality that not only is hate speech freely allowed in Pakistan but it is delivered at the highest level of government.
This expression of hate is not something new for Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. Politicians in Pakistan have long been using the Ahmadi card for their selfish political gains without any regard to where it might lead the country and how seriously it violates and infringes upon the basic human rights of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.
It is pitiable that the ulema, who were against even the creation of Pakistan and who used to call the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam, an apostate are now being called for by Mr. Safdar to help in legislations against Ahmadi Muslims. Member of the Ahmadi community were at the forefront with Quaid-e-Azam and are now already living a marginalized life of persecution.
Today an ordinary person in Pakistan lives in such a state of fear and hate that they are unable to see the plain and clear facts with an unbiased eye. They fail to realize that it was the practical manifestation of trust of Quaid-e-Azam that he made Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan. They fail to recognize the sacrifices offered by Pakistani Ahmadis including General Akhtar Hussain, General Abdul Ali Malik and General Iftekhar Janjua, the only General who offered sacrifice for his country performing his duty.
Captain Safdar in his speech at the National Assembly has also raised objection as to why a university in Pakistan is honoring Dr. Mohammad Abdus Salam. However, many unbiased Pakistanis agree that it’s a positive step deserving nothing but appreciation
Every Pakistani should hope that students follow Dr Salam’s footsteps and come forward to change the future of Pakistan. Alas there are people in Pakistan who want to keep their future generations in ignorance. Nothing can negate the fact that the name of Pakistan would remain associated with his name. He loved Pakistan so much that he wore traditional Pakistani attire at the Nobel Prize ceremony and gave acceptance speech quoting verses from the Holy Qur’an. He maintained his Pakistani nationality till the last moment expressing his immense love for Pakistan. He desperately wanted to work for the advancement of higher education in the field of science in his country.
Captain Safdar and others who have joined him seem to be bothered if Ahmadi Muslims are allowed their basic rights as citizens of Pakistan. Despite the brilliant track record of Ahmadi Muslims, he seems to be making a failing effort to cast doubts on their loyalty to Pakistan.
No law or logic allows institutionalized discrimination by a state against its citizens in the name of the religion. It is sad that people in Pakistan are at the forefront for protesting unfortunate persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, but give a deaf ear to the slogans of hatred raised against Ahmadi Muslims, be it from their local mosques or National parliament.
Will there ever be any end to this hypocrisy? Will Pakistan ever recognize its true heroes and protect all its people as equal citizens? When will we revert to Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan?
Prayers and good wishes of Pakistani Ahmadis have always been with Pakistan regardless of the persecution and discrimination they face at the hands of both the State and its people. In the hope of a new and transformed Pakistan, every Ahmadi Muslim living there will continue to do the best they can and in whatever capacity they can, to serve Pakistan, remain loyal and law-abiding citizens and keep its flag high.