The Independence Day of Pakistan and the minorities. By S.P.John

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11 August is a landmark in the History of Pakistan as the founding father, Quaid -e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on this day in 1947 gave a robust speech that was to be a guiding light for erecting the very foundation of Pakistan. A vision that was later distorted by people having vested interest and could never be brought into reality over these past decades, which has disheartened and is resented by democratic, progressive and peace loving people of Pakistan.
This year 2011 the government celebrated this day as a minority day. We indeed appreciate their good intention to at least highlight the sacrifices of religious minorities in making of Pakistan and rendering of commendable services for its development and prosperity.
Unfortunately, instead of commemorating Heroes this year, 11 August was marred with incidents that opened the wounds of minorities and sufferings meted out on them over these past years since the inception of Pakistan. Blasphemy laws and other discriminatory laws played havoc inflicting excruciating pain and blow to the minority’s existence itself.
Lot has been said and written on the oppression and victimization of minorities; worth praising is the response of people from all sections to condemn it. Where we lament over draconian laws, growing terrorism, and the criminal negligence of local authorities, we must also have the heart to commend people from Muslim community who lend their hands to rescue Christian victims and raised the plight of minorities including the criminal nature of some of the laws that are being misused to settle personal scores.
Now once the confronting issues and the plight of minorities have been highlighted and all sections of society admit severity of its nature, lacunas in some laws and flaws in the system; efforts need to be made as not to high jack such issues only for political gains but to seriously think over them and repeal or amend them. Laws are only good if they serve the purpose of protecting the life and property of citizens of the land. If they start being misused to harm the well being of the citizens then they are of no use then to be rejected in the strongest terms and repealed to achieve the basic purpose for which the laws are made in any state. Indeed, the perpetrators needs to be brought to book and awarded exemplary punishment so they may never misuse the laws of the land.
On the day of 11 & 14 August, it is also a time to revisit the very ideology and philosophy of creating Pakistan in light of the vision propounded by Quaid –e- Azam, which is clearly stated in his historical speech to the first constitution Assembly. It is time to stop being played in the hands of notorious elements that want disintegration of Pakistan through their philosophy of hate, intolerance, violence and terror. They have already eroded the very mind set of our people and the fabric of our society. We need to bring these misguided elements to light and reject them all together.
Mere pointing out fingers will lead us nowhere. It is the responsibility of every citizen and believer to exercise the philosophy of forgiveness, tolerance, peace, brotherhood and interfaith harmony taught by every religion. Religion should be a tool to unite not to divide. Thus we need to emphasis the true teaching of religion and its understanding inculcating the sense to differentiate between rights and wrong.
Violence only breeds violence and bloodshed leads to more bloodshed.
Today more than ever the three basic guiding principles of Quaid – e – Azam are required to be instilled in its true spirit that are Unity, Faith and Disciple. Goodness of every religion as basis for commonality among us and reason to unite, faith to enrich this goodness that is taught by every religion and disciple to inculcate tolerance and peace and use the knowledge for the battement of mankind.

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