Another voice is silenced with jihadi guns
Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated on Wednesday, March 2, a short distance from his home in Islamabad. His killers, three men armed with Kalashnikovs, riddled his body with bullets. One report said the autopsy showed he had been shot 35 times, another put the figure at 25.
That number is really irrelevant. What is relevant is that his assassins are members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Pakistan’s largest daily, Dawn, in a report attributed to ‘Agencies’ and not a staff writer or reporter, says:
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying the minister had been “punished” for being a blasphemer.Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, was assassinated by his bodyguard, an elite force personnel, Malik Mumtaz Hussain. The killer was showered with rose petals by lawyers when he was produced in court.
Witnesses said the attackers scattered leaflets signed by “The Qaeda and the Taliban of Punjab” at the attack scene, which read: “This is the punishment of this cursed man.”
Taliban militants had called for Bhatti’s death because of his attempts to amend the blasphemy law.
“He was a blasphemer like Salman Taseer,” spokesman Sajjad Mohmand said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (said) “Such acts will not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism,” adding that the killers would not go unpunished.
The attacks on those seeking amendments to Pakistan’s inhuman and harsh anti-blasphemy law began ever since voices of protest were raised against a poor and illiterate Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, being sentenced to death for blasphemy.
As after Taseer’s assassination, the Left-liberal commentariat in India has been vociferous in denouncing the murder of Bhatti and shedding copious crocodile tears.
The libbers’ grief would have been touching but for the fact it is so much bunk.
Here’s why. The Left-liberal commentariat remained stunningly silent when Bangladeshi dissident writer Taslima Nasreen was being hounded by mullahs and their storm-troopers. There were no voices of protest when Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen goons assaulted her in Hyderabad. There was undisguised glee when the CPI(M) used manufactured mullah rage against Taslima Nasreen to chase her out of Kolkata.
I know it for a fact that many of those who are waxing eloquent on the “assault on freedom of expression and liberalism” in Pakistan had ‘advised’ the Government of India not to extend Taslima Nasreen’s residence permit.
The Left-lib commentariat has been vicious while lashing out at those who have dared criticise the abuse of sharia’h and Muslim Personal Law in India, or sought a uniform civil code to protect the rights of Muslim women. They pitilessly mock at those who denounce the burqa, insisting it’s a matter of “individual choice” which is of course not true. They gloss over the most regressive actions and utterances of the mullahs and accuse their critics of indulging in Islamophobia.
Their hearts bleed for Pakistan’s assassinated Minister for Religious Minorities yet they cold-heartedly denounce those who seek the protection of rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. They are frauds and charlatans.
To see them ‘mourning’ over the killing of Taseer and Bhatti is laughable.
The point is simple. Left-liberal intellectuals who preach tolerance are the most intolerant lot when confronted with contrarian views. For them tolerance means to meekly accept their bunkum.
As for Pakistan, it’s a state that continues to crumble, bit by bit. Jinnah’s dream has turned into a frightening nightmare. But, and tragically so, Pakistanis refuse to acknowledge this simple fact.
Blinded by their hate-India agenda, Pakistan and its citizenry can’t see the terrible reality. The monster they have lovingly nurtured and nourished has turned on them. This is the 21st century version of Frankenstein’s Monster. As in the story, both monster and its master shall die in the end.
Not all the nuclear bombs in Pakistan’s arsenal can save it from its fate. If at all anything can yet rescue the country, it’s the people if they take a stand. But that seems unlikely. Why else would Jamaat-e-Islami blame the CIA for Bhatti’s murder and mainstream newspapers offer space for this amazing allegation? (This question has been dealt with in a post Pak Journalists: Conspiracy Theories and Willful Ignorance on Pakistan Media Watch, to which my attention was drawn by Raza Rumi.)
Pakistan’s enemy is within. Not without.