July 22, 2010

Let’s Talk About the Majority

Last night I was told by a very special person that I am indeed obsessed with minorities, and that most people can’t relate to their dilemma. Fair enough. So today, with a cup of coffee in my hand, let me talk about the issues people CAN relate too. I’m sure you all watch the news. But in case you don’t, I’m still going to repeat a few incidents here.

Mukhtaran Mai, the 2002 rape victim, is still pleading with the Justice department and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to resolve her case. The people nominated in the FIR are roaming free at large and are threatening her. So much for the international support she garnered. Not only that but the infamous Jamshed Dasti, the person who couldn’t tell what 2 + 2 is equal to in court, is also threatening her. He has already had his stooges pick up her Mamoo and he has ordered him to control his niece. And let’s not forget that Pervez Musharraf said Mukhtaran Mai is only trying to show herself as a pitiful woman to get money and citizenship of Western countries.

Moving on, a four year old girl was raped, and then strangled in Karachi. Local area people became so furious when the police refused to register an FIR that they blocked the main road in Lyari, and burnt tyres. Finally the police had to step in and catch the culprit who turned out to be a cousin of the poor, hapless girl. Another, 8 year old girl was found murdered and dead in a dump yard, which was formerly a football field, near her house. The autopsy confirmed she had been assaulted too before being killed.

Hafeezan Bhutto from Larkana was kidnapped by her husband and brother and was being taken to her village to be murdered because she had brought “disrepute” to the family honor. She pleaded with the men to stop, but they refused to listen and were dragging her by her hair when the locals intervened. Then the men tried to throw her in the canal passing by the place of incidence but the police arrived just in time to save her, and arrest those barbarians. Hafeezan Bhutto asked them to take her to the Darul Aman because she feared for her life, and that is when President Zardari took cognizance of the issue and ordered an inquiry. Four days later, Hafeezan Bhutto changed her statement and said no such incident, as had been shown on TV to global audiences where she was being dragged by her hair and was trying to be thrown into the canal, had occurred and she has no complaints vis-à-vis her brother or husband. God knows who they threatened in her family to extract this false confessional out of her. Benazir Bhutto would be turning in her grave knowing that such incidents occur with impunity within her tribe.

And the incidence of crime still doesn’t end. A trainee nurse in Karachi was raped by her supervisor doctor (Dr. Jamshed) with the assistance of his driver and another trainee nurse. The second trainee nurse and the doctor’s driver took her to the doctor’s apartment where he, under the influence of alcohol, raped her. While she tried to escape, they threw her out of the apartment’s window to kill her. When she gained consciousness, the only thing that I could understand from her statement to the media was she wanted to commit suicide now. Meanwhile the doctor was arrested and it has come to the fore that he has had misdemeanor, assault, negligence and other charges brought against him before this incident as well. I wonder what sort of doctors’ supervisory body is responsible for allowing such vicious animals to work in civilized environments when they should instead be locked up for life.

So there you have it. People want me to talk about the majority, and so I did. Doesn’t it just give you a sick feeling in the gut? What have we done to our society? Our mothers and sisters cannot even go to the park to take a stroll in their leisure time. They have been house-bound, not unlike slaves, for their lives. And we are collectively responsible for this atrocity. We have Jirgas which in their infinite wisdom decide that giving young girls in exchange for settling disputes i.e. letting the murderers and rapists off the hook, is the right way to go and in accordance with Islamic principles, and also truly represents Pakistan’s culture. No doubt if they used their brain gifted to them by Allah, they would realize they are condoning such acts of horror while making a mockery of the lives of girls and women. Also, such decisions are making these zealous hooligans even bolder and determined in pursuing their own form of perverted justice. The women in this country are pressurized to unbearable extents. They are forced to become non-ambitious and they are sidelined. The only thing inculcated in their minds from the beginning is to get married and produce babies. They are treated as personal properties and when some woman does crack under the strain, she is labeled as a woman of loose morals and consequently she is murdered, or if she lucky enough to be left to live, she has to live with the shame of being known to the world as the dishonorable woman.

People often tell me to write about the positive stuff about Pakistan. I would gladly love to do so, but the thing is there is hardly anything to boast about. We have the largest canal network in the world, yay! No wait, that has been left to rot and has become unusable. We have Shahid Afridi! No wait, he says he’s not capable of playing the purest form of cricket. Our hockey Olympians are playing dumb charades with the PHF, our tennis federation refuses to recognize Aisam-ul-Haq, our squash players (Mansoor Khan) say that old squash players are used cartridges; our snooker champions have long been forgotten. The auto industry is minting money of our backs by charging 200% more on cars than their actual market value. Just an example, a Toyota Fortuner costs 1.8 million INR in India. In Pakistan it costs 7.5 million PKR. German automakers build, assemble and sell BMWs, Audis, Volkswagens and Skodas in India, whereas in the land of the pure, we are forced to buy the same 1984 model Suzuki Mehran even today just because the government is too weak to do what’s good for the nation. Our mental caliber is at its lowest ebb, our sense of unity doesn’t exist. Our love for Pakistan is left to mere words, and our morality has gone south. Google Trends rate us as the leader in searches of words that are too perverted to be mentioned here. And before someone says Google issued a clarification and denied it, please go to www.google.com/trends to see for yourself what is what. So honestly, if there is anything that you love about Pakistan, please post it in the comments below. God knows I need to hear good stuff about my country because I, for the life of it, can think of nothing that I would like to boast about.