Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association’s show cause notice to the Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Khurshid Khan asking him to explain why action shouldn’t be taken against him for “defaming” the country by performing voluntary service (seva) outside Hindu temples and gurdwaras in India is a sign of intolerance and extremism that has engulfed Pakistan. Khan has been visiting religious places for the past three years to polish shoes of devotees as repentance for the atrocities committed against minorities in Pakistan.
Abduction of three Sikhs in Peshawar and merciless killing of one of them by the Taliban in 2010 was the trigger. According to him, it pained him so much that he starting visiting gurdwaras and temples in Delhi during his visits to this country to “heal” the wounds of minorities in Pakistan. He is a rare Pakistani – liberal, humane and the one who respects all religions. He has demonstrated the spirit of tolerance and respect of all faiths that is the hallmark of Manav Dharma. Bar Association’s ridiculous charge is laughable and deserves to be condemned by all right thinking persons. Isn’t it a shame that the Association blamed the law officer instead of honouring him for his sense of justice and fair play He has projected a humane face of Pakistani society at a time when it is widely perceived to be a terrorist state. Radicalisation of the Supreme Court’s Bar Association is a measure of how illiberal Pakistani society is. One wonders if it is because of the values Islam inculcated amongst its followers, or the political developments created by the bogus slogan of “Islam in danger” that ultimately led to the vivisection of our motherland.
Khan’s response is profound and robust. He rubbished the allegation and asks, “What defames Pakistan – the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai where a Pakistani Ajmal Khan was caught or a Pakistani performing seva at gurdwaras and temples.” The Islamic state is guilty of persecuting not only Non-Muslim minorities but also people belonging to Muslim sects like Ahmedias and Qadianis. His statement underlines the need for the civil society to do some introspection. Aren’t Pakistan-based terror gangs that are causing havoc in India and parts of Pakistan bringing shame to the country and pushing it towards chaos and instability? Aren’t these jehadi groups a threat to peace in South Asia? Khan‘s liberal spirit and humane acts show that he has internalised Hindu Dharma which has been aptly described as a “Parliament of Religions”. While he may not be aware of our ancient maxim: Ekam sadvipraha Bahudha vadanti (Truth is one; wise men tell it in different ways), but is indeed putting into action this noble thought evolved by our ancient civilization. He may or may not like it but one comes to the conclusion that though a practicing Muslim, Khan is Hindu in spirit and thought. Hindu Dharma or Manav Dharma, as our rishies described it, firmly believes that God is one but has countless manifestations and that all paths lead to Him. This fundamental truth is a unique feature of our Dharma that differentiates it from religions born outside our sacred land. It inculcates the spirit of tolerance and respect for all irrespective of race, region, gender, language and religion. Khan has shown the courage of conviction to tell the truth.
The Islamist mindset of the association of legal luminaries in our immediate neighbourhood is a matter of great concern. This mindset dominates the Pakistan Army that has created gangs of jehadi terrorists to launch terror attacks on Bharat to bleed it with a million cuts. Having realised Pakistan can’t snatch J&K from Bharat (which is an integral part of the country); military dictatorship launched a proxy war against our country. This is now the state policy of Islamabad. The present dispensation is acquiescing with it for short-term gains without realising that in the long run Pakistan too would be destroyed by terror it has given birth to. It has already pushed the country into utter chaos and instability as is clear from Islamabad’s claim that it too was a victim of terror. However, it doesn’t admit the stark reality that Pakistan has emerged as a terror hub that poses a threat to peace and stability in South Asia. A prominent Pakistani journalist Shahid Javed Burki wrote in International Herald Tribune last week that there is a consensus both outside and inside Pakistan that most systems in the country were dysfunctional. Pakistan is now widely perceived to be a failed state. Radicals are pushing the country towards an Islamist dictatorship in which there will be no room for human rights and freedom of speech and expression. It should worry them that their country has emerged as a terror-hub. Taliban and other terror groups are tearing the society asunder. Radicals call the shots while the liberals are marginalised and silenced. Islamabad’s duplicity on war against terror stands exposed and the country is now on the verge of becoming an international pariah. The dithering leadership further weakened by a virtual war with the Supreme Court is in no position to focus on averting the disaster that appears to be imminent.
We too have reason to be worried. Islamabad is in no mood to handover the plotters and handlers of the 26/11 attack on India. The situation calls for a robust political and diplomatic offensive. The Congress-led Government is in no position to focus on war against terror because of vote-bank compulsions. It is confused as well. On the one hand they are insisting, and rightly so, that they have credible evidence that state actors were involved in the Mumbai attack and that Islamabad is shielding them, and on the other, they are planning to revive Cricket diplomacy knowing full well that it would shift the focus from bringing to justice the guilty of 26/11. Politically the ruling party is demoralised by defeats in recent civic polls in several states. It is in turmoil. They don’t know who should lead them in the next parliamentary elections – immature and reluctant Rahul or ailing and disheartened Sonia Gandhi, both exposed as visionless leaders.