A Day of Rage in Pakistan

Karachi Protests Anti Islam Film

September 2012 will be remembered as a bloody month in the history of Karachi and Pakistan. Hundreds have lost their lives in floods, fire, target killings and accidents. Properties and vehicles worth billions of rupees have been razed and ransacked during this month alone.

Friday, September 21st, was observed as Ishq-Rasool Day (Love Prophet Day). A national holiday was announced by Federal and Provincial governments. The day was observed to show unity and solidarity against the blasphemous video made by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a US based Coptic Christian.

However, it turned out to be a day of rage – leaving two dozen people dead and hundreds injured. Many banks, cinema, restaurants and shops were gutted and looted, vehicles burned and public property damaged by violent mobs in most of the major cities of Pakistan.

The blame of this mayhem and misery, inflicted upon people of Pakistan, primarily goes to the government. They assumed that by announcing a day off, and jamming cell phone signals, they can curb the violence. The ruling elite let the dogs out and went into hiding behind their heavily manned fortresses, further protected by double containers. Public and private properties were left on the mercy of enraged and provoked mob, that showed no mercy at all. Only barrier between the mob and total destruction was contingents of Police, which was as unprepared and clueless as the Ministry that manages it.

Not a single leader from the government, or its allies, led a procession to defend the honor of Prophet (saw).

Government of Pakistan has tackled this issue like any other, in its typical fire-fighting style. Youtube was blocked in Pakistan after Supreme Court ordered for it, US Ambassador (acting) was called in to record official protest when the country started to burn. Ambassador of Pakistan in US recorded no protest. Even Foreign Minister Khar said nothing more than a passing comment over the issue, while meeting her American counterpart.

The scholars and so-called leaders of religious parties also share the blame. While leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami led its protesters, in comparatively peaceful protests, most of the mob was without any guidance. Flags of banned organizations were prominent in protest processions, and government did nothing to stop or arrest them.

Rather than assigning a route, and making sure its followed, the protesters were left on their own. They were allowed to burn buildings, torch vehicles, ransack and loot banks etc. In one instance residents of a building, that had a bank at ground floor, pleaded the protesters not to torch it fearing the fire may reach upstairs.

The incidents of September 21st resembles May 12 and December 27, 2007. On December 27, Karachi was handed over to a mob that was supposedly enraged on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Similarly, yesterday Karachi was open for all who came to defend the honor of Prophet (saw). The mob and its leaders never gave a thought what Prophet (saw) will think about them.

The government of Pakistan Peoples’ Party and its coalition has again failed to protect the lives and properties of Pakistanis. It has lost all the moral and logical reasoning to rule further. It is now the duty of Pakistanis to stand up against this docile government and start civil disobedience. The government has no right to rule, if it can not fulfill its basic duty.

Image: Dawn.com

About Kashif Aziz

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