This week has been something out of a nightmare. Nations all over the world celebrate new years with a gusto, with an eye towards the horizon and the wind in their sails. We here In Pakistan start 2011 with a government so paralyzed in politics it cannot see beyond its own doorstep & a nation teetering at the brink of self annihilation but still in complete denial.
Consider this, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer Â is executed by his own security guard (Mumtaz Qadri) who pumps 27 bullets into him and faces the cameras with a smile when handing himself over to the law because he was offended by the fact that Salman Taseer spoke out against the blasphemy law. This happened in broad day light and results in our whole society separating as neatly as a line had been drawn in the sand.
To the right are people celebrating in the streets like the manager of my bank who handed out sweets today and ulemas ( religious scholars) about 500 in number who claim 40 days of religious celebration as well as support the assailant in what he did. Add to this the people who showered the assailant with rose petals in court today and those who are silently nodding as they justify this act in quiet whispers.
To the left are the misfits of Pakistani society, the bleeding heart liberals who are all in an uproar over this terrible tragedy, some of whom think its quite alright for anyone to say what they want as long as everyone is having a good time and the air of moderation remains. They’re campaigning on face book, they are screaming on my time line on twitter, very conscious of their growing follower count as they accuse the mainstream media of jingoism for the sake of a few TRP’s.
In the middle are people Â like me who do not have a clue as to what they are doing here these days. Who are going about their daily rat like existence because that’s all that is left for them to live for! The wretched routine and at the end of it switching off the tv because they cannot take it anymore. To bury their face in the pillow and pray to god to make it stop, to make this country whole again, to stop the bloodshed, to forgive those who have strayed, to find some modicum of peace and tranquility from the constant scream of negativity that can be heard from the heart of the nation they love.
This is how we stand, divided & full of accusation and hate for one another, but none of this matters because in the end whatever happens we will all come to realize maybe too late that this nation is all we had to call our own. This land is all we had to love and live for and we destroyed it with our own bare hands. The hands of children whose forefathers bled for this place, who came here on buses and trains half slaughtered with a dream in their minds.
We are the generation which is killing the dream that was Pakistan and until we decide to save it no one else will do it for us. Until we decide to treat our fellow Pakistani’s as humans and not poor wretches to be exploited, until we come to the conclusion that whatever our belief’s and aims may be they are second to the existence of this country, until we become one.
One or none……what will it be?