The writer is a lawyer
Until early this year, Imran Ali Chishti’s fame was limited to a small quarter of Nankana Sahib, and 79 followers on his YouTube channel.
Chishti, whose channel features a collection of naat performances with haphazard doses of echoes and reverbs, also doubles as a self-proclaimed kidney stone and arthritis. Like many unintentional internet influencers, he probably didn’t anticipate his first video going viral.
When Chishti and a mob of several hundred followers surrounded Gurdwara from Guru Nanak, a respected eponym in the city, he roared threats against the Sikh community, vowing to drive them out of the city. The city, in turn, will change its name to Ghulaman-e-Mustafa, he stated. All this while some Sikh pilgrims were in the gurdwara.
The police finally evicted the protesters, announcing that everything was fine; but at that time, the video had occupied pixels across the border. Indian media houses that have spent the past few weeks bent backwards to drill Pakistan into the chaos created by CAA and NRC are manic. Amit Shah slapped his lips with tears. This is why India needs CAA: “Where should Pakistani Sikhs go?”
As a sprout of war, and newer generations exchange bombs for bytes and thorns, so that India can fend off their violence with Gurdwara ruins will be a heavy blow to the #PositiveImage ™ Project.
India also understands this. He has, for many years, played the same game – only, at GMT +5: 30. (See, for example, the Reformed Gujarat butcher clip sniffing elephant dung with Bear Grylls. In a PR move that would make OJ Simpson blush, man who was responsible for more than a thousand deaths during the month reluctantly agreed to hold an emergency spear – but only to hold it back – because his care did not allow him to hurt anyone.)
Pakistan’s frantic Foreign Ministry issued an unbelievably unbelievable statement about the effect that the Gurdwara incident was little more than a storm in a teacup – ‘a small incident in a teahouse’. “Efforts to paint this incident as a communal problem are motivated by being motivated”, it convinced the world.
Details later revealed that the incident really began with a cup of tea (Chishti’s uncle found a fly in his cup), but nothing made the hymn singing less tangible to fearful worshipers at Gurdwara. At the end of the day, the incident was the same about tea as Rosa Parks protested about her seat.
In the end, domestic and global outrage seemed to leave an impression, and Chishti was ordered under Part 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act which was not available. Gurdwara remains intact, as is the # PositiveImage ™ Project Pak Franchise.
Fast forward a few months. In Delhi, saffron flags were hoisted on a charred tower. Modi and Shah continue their patented volte-face actions. Donald-Modi’s bromance is not affected: Modi beamed when The Donald continued to mispronounce words in one city after the next. A little blood just makes your hands shake more easily when your pockets are empty.
Upon returning to Pakistan, Imran Khan visited Twitter in a prime minister’s speech. “As I predicted at my address to the GA GA last year, once the genie comes out of the bloodbath bottle it will get worse,” he tweeted.
“I want to warn our people that anyone in Pakistan targeting our non-Muslim citizens or their places of worship will be strictly dealt with. Our minority are citizens who are equals of this country. “
Fawning usually happens later. This is a welcome item from the prime minister. There is safety, there is safety. But there are also those who catch. In between two sets of tweets, assisted by the police, ‘Ahmadiyya places of worship’ were attacked in Kasur and handed over to Sunni gangs.
Cut to date. Viruses have emerged from nowhere, quickly entering the lungs and minds of the world. Complaints of pedestrians in the past have been postponed, for the time being. But the prime minister has not forgotten his minority. He congratulated Easter on them, before asking them to pray at home. This is politeness which he does not even mention to the majority.
As the curve ticks up, the minority stays in his mind. It is time to finally give them the Commission. It’s been limbo for years – the Supreme Court raised his eyebrows six years ago – but suddenly, there was no time to wait. Formality can be released by: forget parliament; The Cabinet will do it. Everyone’s favorite minority / non-minority is added to the shopping cart, and deleted before checkout.
Even with everything that happened, the prime minister remembered to tweet the “fascist Hindutva Supremacist RSS-driven ideology” across the border.
It’s nice to see a prime minister with a moral compass. It’s nice to see it work when, globally, all navigation instruments seem to lose their calibration. It is unfortunate that this particular compass only leads out.
When Nankana Sahib happened, the prime minister tweeted: “The main difference between the condemned Nankana incident and the ongoing attacks in India on Muslims and other minorities is this: the first goes against my vision and will find zero tolerance and protection from the government, including the police and justice. “
But what, exactly, ‘My vision’? More often than not, it is Riyasat-e-Madina. Ahead of PTI’s 25th anniversary, it was “Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan as a modern Islamic welfare state.”
More than seventy years passed, Pakistan’s sepia-colored Jinnah remained the northern star in Pakistan’s night sky. But Pakistan’s ‘what-if’, often looks like less than a star and more than a constellation – a heavenly Rorcharch test where some people see suits and others sherwani; some shields and others swords. (Time Magazine, in its cover story in 1946 saw Humans with Angora Hats and Humans with monocle).
For all the elaboration from Pakistan that has a sepia nuance, Jinnah, at some point we have to ask how important that is. Imran Khan may inherit Pakistan Jinnah, but the past is a foreign country.
Well then, this is a cruel joke that he shares a flag.
Nowadays, when people see green and white, time seems to have shed parts of the whole. To see today’s ‘parcham-e-sitara-o-hilal’ is to see a scar that once cut green from white – a reminder of using the wrong theory of two states to build one.
Looking at the Attock bridge is seeing both Indus and Kabul, but the boundary between them.
Yes, Indians who once decided that all the colors of the tricolor are the same must now ask themselves why the only color that gives birth to neologism is not green or white.
We also have questions to answer. If Pakistani Jinnah is a constellation, Imran Khan often looks like an entire galaxy – ideas and promises appear and disappear like a billion exploding stars. He also has questions to answer.
But more importantly, if his dream is more than imaginary, he will also need a plan. Tomorrow’s piece will suggest a few things he might want to consider.
Because, although Nankana Sahib might not be engulfed in flames, this is not a race to the bottom. And while Imran may not be Modi, the Pakistani Naya that we promised deserves to be measured with the ceiling, not the floor.
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