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Missing Persons Protest

Missing Persons Protest


A friend asked me: Hum itney na-shukrey kyun hain?


Why are we so unthankful?


At first, I thought it was a usual comment by him we often use in daily life. But soon I analyzed he was talking about “Pakistan” particularly. I retorted that we really are unthankful — an unthakful nation. Perhaps he daresaid, while making this comment, that I’m always cynical with my thoughts; that I’m critical and pessimistic. I wonder where have I ever been pessimistic. Being critical doesn’t necessarily imply that a person is pessimistic too.


Most of the time I’m vocal about the role of our army and politicians. While I criticize our Pakistan army — mind it that I don’t criticize the whole institution with more than 600,000 servicemen, but only the wrong policy makers — people usually think that I’m committing a blasphemy as I’m speaking against the sacred Pakistani institution which is meant to guard our nation. I always think and ask is the army above criticism? How many times this institution has erred and repeat it still; hence, speaking against it is wrong?


It pulls me back to the time of Jinnah. Jinnah was selected for the Central Legislative Council from Calcutta as a Muslim representative in 1910. Lord Minto supported Jinnah. Viceroy Minto’s pious hopes were soon shattered. Jinnah clashed with the viceroy the very first time when he rose to speak in the council, addressing him to a resolution that called for an immediate end to the export of indentured India labors to South Africa. Jinnah spoke out saying: “It is a most painful question — a question which has roused the feelings of all classes in the country to the highest pitch of indignation and horror at the harsh and cruel treatment that is meted out to the Indians in South Africa”. Minto reprimanded him for using the words “cruel treatment”. Jinnah spoke out saying: “It is a most painful question — a question which has roused the feelings of all classes in the country to the highest pitch of indignation and horror at the harsh and cruel treatment that is meted out to the Indians in South Africa”. Minto reprimanded him for using the words “cruel treatment”. Minto deemed Jinnah’s statement “too harsh to be used for a friendly part of the British Empire” within his council chambers. My Lord, Jinnah responded, “I should feel much inclined to use much stronger language. But I am fully aware of the constitution in the Council, and I do not wish to trespass for one single moment. But I do say that the treatment meted out to Indians is the harshest and the feeling in this country is unanimous.”


Jinnah was the only men who stood for such an act of unjust against the people of his country. By then, not even Gandhi raised this objection or anyone else from the Congress. Because Jinnah always stood for the human rights too, and he would never care if he’s speaking against the friendly British Empire or his Congressmen. Is speaking against the cruel policies of army/intelligence on the missing persons — and as I recall the death of one of my personal friend’s mother in Bajaur air strike and 100’s of innocent people like her — an amoral thing, I ask? Is speaking against the role of US in many things — for example the drone attacks that kill innocents daily — a wrong thing, I ask? Any missing person has a right to be prosecuted in the Pakistani courts — morally and constitutionally. But they just remain ‘missing’, let alone their prosecution. Simultaneously, I’m accused of being a traitor as I stand firm besides the families of those who suffer from the hands of some amoral uniformed and non-uniformed people.


Now with the latest update on the efforts of the families of missing persons: aggrieved families of missing persons few days back launched a long march from Faisalabad for the safe recovery of their dear ones with solemn pledge to enter Islamabad with five million registered followers for staging a sit-in.


According to the sources, only the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is supporting this long march. Why just PTI, why not the MQM, PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, ANP, JUI etc. etc.? I stress on the significance of the cause of “Missing Persons” and urge every political party’s activist to support this cause and participate in the long march. Raise your voice. Please, this doesn’t have anything to do with your political party’s affiliation. Anyone with a flesh heart is morally obliged to support this cause — before it gets too late. Support the 100’s of families of missing persons (788 cases registered with “Defence Human Rights Pakistan” alone, whereas the estimate according to International Human Rights group is not less than 10,000) by standing against the unjust and amoral acts of those who are accountable for adding miseries to the 100’s of families, simultaneously adding the miseries to already troubled and miserable Pakistan. It reminds me of the words of Martin Niemoller — a leader of one of the German group opposing Hitler and Nazis.


First they (Nazi) came for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then… they came for me… And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

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