Lahore – a nightmare that is still not over

Updated: my quotes in Tehran Times

Today’s events in Lahore have shaken the entire country. The zealots and the bigots aside, an ordinary Pakistani is baffled at the scale and impunity of the violence. A terrorist has been captured – perhaps more as events unfold. But will they be punished or we will find more lame excuses that the Ahmedis by worshipping in their mosques were provoking the believers.

The Taliban want to eliminate all diversity and pluralism from Pakistan. The process alas started in the 1950s and Bhutto’s tragic actions and Zia years have planted bigotry and intolerance. Fundamentalism is now a cancer that has widely spread in the body politic. Yet, no one wants to tackle it. For the past two years, get Zardari debates have dominated Pakistan’s public discourse punctuated by the anti-Americanism of the Right.

I am even more surprised that Punjab’s officials named RAW: as if we had no problem here. I am sure tomorrow it will be Mossad and the day after the CIA. Indeed, there is an all out denial of the threat within.

We have perhaps gone too far and pessimists are now saying that the process of destroying Pakistani society is irreversible. But we think that this is not the case. There is still hope that we shall overcome this menace if Pakistani public opinion is fashioned to look a little deeper inside and not find all sources of evil in Washington or Delhi.

The death of innocent civilians engaged in worship is a wake up call. Today it is the Ahmedis and tomorrow it will be another sect.

Where will this end?

The nightmare is not over.

  • Daniyal

    My dear Raza….
    Is there anything left for proof that the Pakistan we once thought existed, is doomed?
    Mind you that sweet Pakistan only existed in our collective imaginations. We are all equally guilty for not recognizing where we were headed all along. The road was signposted so clearly.
    Say your prayers and get out while you can.

  • Daniyal

    Raza …this you have to see for yourself.
    Track the Islamic superwarrior Dizasta.

  • cubano

    The response to this tragedy in Pakistan has been very pathetic. I don’t see any protests or a large public outcry. There are many who are largely apathetic because the attacks were against Ahmadis who are considered to be infidels anyways. The Pakistani government is willing to impose bans over stupid cartoons of prophet Mohammad and condemn people to death over blasphemy yet only some superficial words are offered to Ahmadis by the authorities. I guarantee that not much is going to be done against those who committed this crime. Ahmadis have been suffering at the hands of an intolerant Muslim majority in Pakistan and other countries for decades and they will continue to suffer in the future. How can Pakistanis even sincerely claim that they feel bad about this while persecuting Ahmadis and other minorities on a continuous basis. No government whether democratically elected or not has never had the guts or will to repeal the bigoted laws against Ahmadis introduced under the government of Bhutto. Subsequent governments including the current have continued to persecute the community to this day. I know Ahmadis who have gone to jail simply for wearing a badge with kalima written on it! Other family friends have had relatives killed for practicing their religion. This latest attack was the worst but Ahmaids have been killed for many years.

    Sometimes I feel ashamed to be associated with Pakistan.