The SCN press release echoes my sentiments at the disgusting act of vandalism in Peshawar. It is a befitting metaphor for the barbaric bigotry and the ineffectual state – a dangerous mix.

It is a matter of national shame for Pakistan to have sunk this low. Rahman Baba (1653 -1711 AD) commands a universal following for his mystic syncretism, has now fallen prey to the cannibalistic doctrine of bigotry and intolerance.

The desecration of his resting place is a desecration of humanity. Jens Enevoldsen in a preface of translated poetry “Selections from Rahman Baba” 1977, says, “Rahman Baba, son of Abdur Sattar, belonged to Khalil Mohmand tribe bordering Peshawar. Born in Bahadur Killi, Rahman Baba was the king of love, the guide to contemplation, master of virtue and piety, the walking stick of the blind, the leader of poets, the saint of Pukhtuns and the master of simple verse”.

Return the bad things done to you with good,

For trees are only stoned when they bear fruit;

The good man always suffers from the bad

The insects always seek the tender wood;

In every storm that heart shall stay afloat

Which carries people’s burden like a boat;

Though God may not let evil run its course,

RAHMAN must still the prayer for pardon quote”

(The Golden Rule)

Gandhara heritage which survived the Huns, Hindu Shahi, Moghal, Sikh and British periods is at mortal risk in the Islamic state of Pakistan. The buck does not stop here. The icons of sufi tradition, preaching peace and tranquility are now at the mercy of terrorists, which the Pakistani state refuses to eradicate.

The Pukhtuns need to make a national decision today as they are being systematically annihilated and their history wiped out by the salafi wahabi tradition and their bigoted gangs, to stand up and challenge the state sponsored anarchy. For the past one year, centuries old tombs and shrines have fallen victim to terrorism disguised as Taliban vigilantism.

The first victim was a 400 year old shrine of Abu Saeed Baba at Shaikan village, bordering Bara Tehsil, by L I vigilantes, besides killing many innocent civilians in March 2008. Later saboteurs bombed the revered shrine of Ashaab Baba at Mathra village. Besides, several historic shrines and worship places in the province have fallen prey to premeditated acts of terrorism. Renowned shrine of Pir Baba in Buner narrowly survived an attempted attack last December.

The ANP-PPP government prides itself on being secular, too has fallen victim to this organized annihilation of their constituencies. They stand helpless and speechless. It is time the UNESCO, UN and other world bodies come to the rescue of NWFP and investigate the organized genocide and destruction of their heritage landmarks as both the government and state, has failed to identify and take action against shady terrorist organizations.

SCN Press Release