Victim card | BY Dr Abdus Sattar Abbasi

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Victim card

I was bit curious while going through a case study in a report titled “Suffocation of the faithful” featuring a murder attempt in Karachi on Ummad Farooq, an adherent of Ahmediyya community, on October 19, 2012.

There are a few other purposely selected incidents described in the report which clearly indicate the bias of the authors.

In the same year according to the crime report by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics the country witnessed 13846 murders and 15338 murder attempts and the trend of thousands of murders in the country continues with 8490 murders and 11797 murder attempts during 2020.

If these thousands of people were assaulted by the criminals, then how can we pick and choose an incidence portraying as a persecution of a certain community.

Numbers above are indicative of alarming crime rate in the country and the person may be the subject of a criminal incidence.

There is no substantive evidence in the report that the person was specifically targeted due to his religious affiliations.

It is always easy to portray oneself as an innocent victim to get sympathies and attention to control the majority of Muslims through manipulations and joining hands with global communities and international organizations by narrating the half-truth.

Islam is an established religion for more than 1400 years with almost 1.8 billion followers today around the globe. Pakistan is a country of more than 200 million Muslims.

According to the Constitution of Pakistan Ahmediyya community has been declared as non-Muslim minority, while same document protects rights of all minorities living in the country.

This declaration was the result of a democratic process through legislation in a democratically elected Assembly of Pakistan after thorough debate by all relevant stakeholders including representatives from Ahmediyya community.

Today we live in a civilised mostly democratic society on this planet. If we transformed some fundamental values of human societies in some countries through a democratic process, why we are sceptical for a declaration which evolved through constitutional amendment in the National Assembly of Pakistan.

Today we value the collective wisdom of people of any country concerning their beliefs and options to practice their lives within the domain of their constitutions, the same should be the spirit relating to the constitutional declaration of Pakistan about Ahmediyya community.

Burning mosques and religious sites, bomb blasts and fatal attacks are not unknown to Pakistan due to extremely difficult history of war against terrorism through one dimension or another for more than five decades now.

Audience of such reports should always keep in the mind the fact that those who develop and propagate such reports have vested interests and personal agendas for political and financial gains exploiting sensitivities of today’s civilized world.

The same report features an attack on a cardiologist on the 26th of May 2014 but forgot to mention several other doctors who lost their lives in the same kind of instances in the length and the breadth of the country.

Mukhtar Alam reported in 2012, “According to the Karachi Chapter of the PMA (Pakistan Medical Association), the killing of doctors has continued with intervals since the 1990s.

Eight doctors lost their lives to hostilities on a yearly average. ” Either we need to consider this incidence as of other dozens of occurrences of same kind or we should investigate all those to determine that they were also subject to religious oppression to validate the hypothesis, if not then why the report links this particular incidence as a persecution against Ahmadiyya community.

The most disappointing part of the report is the detail about Mumtaz Qadri who assassinated the Governor of Punjab on supporting Asia Bibi, conclusion of whose case has also been reported with artfully designed angle.

The report did not appreciate that despite popular support, as it has been specifically projected in the document, the State decreed the death penalty to the assassin who is considered as a martyr by the vast majority of the country.

Report should have recognized that the Government of Pakistan doesn’t allow anyone to take law in his/her hand and remains committed to ensuring rule of law in the country.

The subject report also says, “Asia was finally released on 7 November 2018 after serving eight years in prison.

” Asia was arrested after the FIR followed by court proceedings leading to her conviction according to the law of the land but eventually the Supreme Court of Pakistan gave verdict on her appeal which states, “A conclusion is inescapable and irresistible that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

This appeal is, therefore, allowed the conviction and sentence of the appellant recorded and upheld by the courts … and she is acquitted of the charge by extending the benefit of doubt to her.She shall be released from the jail forthwith.”

Handling of above cases at the state level suggests that Pakistan is committed to the declaration of Partition Council on 22 July 1947 stating, “Both the Congress and the Muslim League have given assurances of fair and equitable treatment to the minorities after the transfer of power.

The two future governments re-affirm these assurances. It is their intention to safeguard the legitimate interests of all citizens irrespective of religion, caste or sex.

In the exercise of their normal civic rights all citizens will be regarded as equal and both the Governments will assure to all people within their territories the exercise of liberties such as freedom of speech, the right to form associations, the right to worship in their own way and the protection of their language and culture. ”

Now it is the responsibility of all creeds living in the country to respect the Constitution of Pakistan and laws of the land to ensure peaceful coexistence to inculcate prosperity for our future generations without being exploited by such initiatives as the subject report aimed at cultivating divides in the society.

None of the countries on this planet is free from crimes, we all have to work together to eliminate every kind of injustice, discrimination and lawlessness from Pakistan for our happy and thriving life.

—The writer is Associate Professor Management Sciences, Head, Centre of Islamic Finance, COMSATS University (CUI) Lahore Campus.

 

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