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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Drift to Fundamentalism in Pakistan

Pakistan was carved out of the erstwhile British India as a separate state for the Moslems of the subcontinent. The genesis of the creation of Pakistan was the two nation theory propounded by Jinnah. Though Jinnah was himself a secularist, but for expediency of politics he propounded the theory of a separate homeland for the Moslems. Jinnah had started his career as a member of the Congress party. Creation of Pakistan The creation of Pakistan was thus on the basis of Islam which became the state religion. The protagonists of Islam forgot the liberal aspect of Islam as is evidenced in Egypt and Turkey and passed harsh laws to make Pakistan a hard line Islamic state. Thus the blasphemy laws were enacted, that made punishment mandatory for anyone who even vaguely went against Islam. These laws are the strictest compared to other Moslem nations. The hard liners of Islam soon went step further and joined hands with militant Islamic fighters who dreamt of setting up an Islamic state with the Shariat as the main law. They also wished for society to accept their interpretation of Islam. This has resulted in a volatile mixture of violence, intolerance and Jihad being amalgamated in one stream.
The Assassination and its Repercussions The recent assassination of the Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseem by a member of his elite body guard is thus a sickening aspect of the above mentioned concotion. The Governor, a liberal who had been campaigning against the Blasphemy law had also met a Christian lady who has been sent to death under the act. This act was found sacrilegious by the hardliners and the Islamic main stream parties had all joined hands against him. The killer, a member of the elite body guard force of the police shot the Governor while he had just left a restaurant in Islamabad. The killer showed no remorse and worse a few people felt he was hero and showered him with rose petals when he appeared in court. This is a dangerous omen for Pakistan. If men in uniform are so indoctrinated in the ethos that killing a person who is a liberal as per their interpretation, then there appears little hope for Pakistan. One wonders what could happen to important personages of Pakistan, like the President and Prime Minister if they are to be guarded by men who are themselves so influenced by the righteousness of their cause, that they feel killing is justified. The Future I will go a step further and say that the Pakistan army may also be heavily influenced by such thoughts and that cannot be a happy thought for the USA and other powers fighting in Afghanistan. Pakistan is thus sitting on a tinder box that could explode anytime. But, still there is hope as a many people do feel, that what happened was not good and Pakistan must shed its hard-line policies. They are aware that a Taliban state will sound the death knell of Pakistan