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Emulate Jacinda for global peace

Zaheer Bhatti
THERE goes United States in a familiar spin again; weary and concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear capacity and arsenal ever since Pakistan carried out its first tests in May 1998 within a fortnight in response to the second series of Indian explosions to which the world supremo had conveniently looked away. Mike Pompeu parroting concern over Pakistani nukes getting to wrong hands is as unfounded as expressed by the State Department time and again, conveniently seeing no glitches or demons in the Indian or Israeli nukes, which says it all; more particularly when only Pakistan’s Nuclear Program and none others are considered a threat to American security. Surely this hallucinated itching emanates from its guilt over the manner it has been treating Pakistan despite its services.
Pakistan harbours no illusions any longer about the US to be its ally. The fact is that it never was, nor is it today of India which will discover sooner that US alignments are all geared to its own expediencies and self-interest. No matter what Pakistan does to discount and allay such apprehensions including certifications galore from the IAEA of the iron-clad safeguards observed by Pakistan, the fear bug will continue to bite not just the US but more lethally its Indian and Israeli surrogates; all three in concert singing the regular chant of safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan it must eliminate.
Successive US governments without providing an iota of evidence have brought persistent pressure upon Pakistan to do away with its alleged terrorist safe havens. Common sense beats all such assertions as Pakistan seriously questions as to what it would stand to gain by any such stupid indulgence except providing a handle to its adversaries to keep bashing it. But whether the US has learnt any lessons from its self-staged 9/11 or not, India certainly has in taking a hint to create its own 9/11 by way of the Mumbai attacks fashioned as 26/11, the Delhi Parliament attack, Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama; all blamed on Pakistan with the sole objective of diverting from its mayhem in Kashmir and running away from dialogue with Pakistan over the State.
New Zealand, known as the rare place for peace and compassion was deliberately chosen to stage a horrendous attack on Muslims to make news which indeed it did, but one has hope for humanity as long as personalities like the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are around who demonstrated instant solidarity and shared the pain with the next of kin of those who perished in the Christchurch massacre. It was clear from her body language that her hugs and tears shared with the bereaved, commencement of her address to her people and the world with Bismillah Al-Rehmanirrahim, and proceedings of her Parliament with recitation from the Holy Quran, her decision to observe one-minute silence, air the Muslim call to prayer over State Radio and Television last Friday, and the Islanders forming a human shield around mosques as a symbol of their resolve to protect their Muslim fellows during Friday prayers were no cosmetics but a true, honest and spontaneous reaction to the grave tragedy.
My head bows in gratitude to Jacinda and her great Nation, who in the valiant defiance and condemnation of terror saw their Pakistani Muslim co-habitant Professor Naeem Rashid laying his life in courageously grappling with the attacker to protect others despite having lost his 22 year old Engineer son Talha among the 42 martyred at the Al-Noor Mosque, and Abdul Waheed Wahabzadah, an Afghan Muslim youth, confronting and forcing the maniac to flee from the site of Linwood Islamic Centre where his victims were restricted to seven.
And our salutations to the epitomized poise and dignity in the wry smile of the widow of Naeem Rashid while responding to her interviewer saying that she could only pity the killer’s state of mind over what he may have considered his accomplishment; something that comes from the heart of a Pakistani mother who knows what it means to sacrifice in the name of Almighty. This unanimity for peace and humankind was in contrast to the war cries by the troika of US, Israel and India who did not have the decency much less urge to condemn the Muslim massacre; the three States responsible for unleashing State terrorism upon resource-rich nations of the world while maintaining a façade to be working to crush the menace but actually landing the world in never-ending discrimination fueled by maniacs like the one whom Jacinda refused to name; a gesture which would have gladdened the souls of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
One doubts if the nameless skunk got the subtle message, or did Donald Trump whose offer of help in the face of his rancor against Muslims was responded by the Kiwi PM chastening him to give respect and love to Muslims. One hopes that in this hour of reckoning Jacinda Ardern, the honourable Prime Minister of New Zealand who has won the hearts and minds of the Muslim world would take time out to reflect upon the genesis of the current wave of racial and religious discrimination and continue playing her role globally on the side of Justice before this apparent return to apartheid engulfs entire humanity. I wish her to remember that Pakistan is not only the Frontline State in the war against terrorism but its greatest victim having laid down over seventy thousand lives, and one which prides itself of martyrs like Farhan Ali Khan perishing while attempting to rescue another after saving 14 lives during devastating floods in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; teenage student Aitezaz Hasan saving 700 fellow students martyred while grappling with a suicide bomber at his school entrance in Pakistan, and now Prof. Naeem Rashid in NZ. They sacrificed their lives not for any recognition or reward but for sake of human dignity and value of life their faith dictates them, as do all other religions of peace.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.