Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is Pakistan changing - A fillip in Pakistan's dark Atmosphere

When I say change in this post, I am not talking about a common Pakistani’s outlook; but about Pakistan government’s view. It’s not that overnight, Pakistan’s government become a white horse. No, that is not the case. But I believe that, there is a genuine desire for change at Islamabad; this desire may break if Rawalpindi resists.

Pakistan government’s willingness to act on certain occasions is an indication that, they are ready to change. First case in point is the hanging of Mumtaz Quadri. 

Hanging Quadri

Quadri was a police bodyguard for then Panjab governor Salman Taseer. However, Quadri turned out to be the assassin of Taseer rather than a protector. What irritated him and other hardliners is the fact that, Taseer pushed forward a presidential pardon to a Christian woman who was sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. This is an accusation for which producing proof will repeat the blasphemy.

Government could have sat on the decision to execute him for a very long time. Not taking any decision made sense, as hanging him may result in law and order problems. However, government went ahead with hanging (though administration had to order broadcasters to downplay the even and block news about his funeral).

Hindu Marriage Bill

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Monday passed the final draft of Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, where five Hindu lawmakers were specially invited...The Bill will now be tabled in the National Assembly where it has fair chances of being passed as the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party is supporting it. - The Hindu

Honor Killings

After the documentary – A Girl in the River - was nominated for Oscar’s in January “but before it being screened nationally, the film caught the attention of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who vowed to tackle a deeply rooted tradition in the country that sanctions killing women who disobey male elders in matters of love and marriage”. - WSJ

Criminalizing Violence against women

The new law criminalizes all forms of violence against women, whether domestic, psychological or sexual, and calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line and the establishment of shelters.

It might be the recent high profile extremist attacks in Pakistan’s own territory - including the one at school on December 2014 (killed more than 130 students) - made a major opinion change about extremism in civilian government (probably among top brass at Rawalpindi as well). Certainly this is not enough; Pakistan has to seriously act against extremists which regularly blew up minorities spiritual places and extremists focused and obsessed with the idea of destroying India.

Looks like government is willing for a change, will they take the first step and walk all the way to free South Asia from extremists? Or is it too big to ask from Current Pakistan government?



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