In post-Peshawar Pakistan, we have to believe that the darkest hour is just before the dawn
By REEMA ABBASI
Remembering murders and massacres past to demand justice was a sad challenge this week.
On January 4 – a date that should be declared ‘Salmaan Taseer Day’ – a peaceful vigil in central Lahore was held to honour the fourth anniversary of the province’s assassinated governor.
However, the memorial was attacked by Mumtaz Qadri’s supporters, who reportedly belonged to a banned terror outfit.
The scene was as tragic as it was violent. Placards such as “ST hum sharminda hain, tumhara qaatil zinda hai” were set ablaze as baton-wielding villains pounded participants, including campaigners of renown.
Though crazed with hate, their rampage was not without the blessings of the Punjab government and the police.
However, post-Peshawar Pakistan is another country. Hence, where such an incident would previously have sent mourners home, this time the miscreants defeated their own purpose.
Their assault sent the crowd to procure an FIR against the mob. So far, over 40 suspects have been arrested.
The atrocity, along with the ongoing saga of the Lal Masjid cleric, Abdul Aziz, is yet another testament to Punjab being the hotbed of fanaticism. It shows that the malaise has infiltrated the law enforcement apparatus and thrives in state espousal.
Punjab has witnessed the mushrooming of groups such as the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatme-Nabuwat, and the nation is keen to see the outcome of current civil-society-led movements geared to bring militants to book.
At this stage, we can only believe in the adage that the darkest hour is before dawn.
But if Sharif does not seize the moment to channelise public rage towards a new horizon, Pakistan may be doomed to see history repeat itself.
— The writer is a Karachi-based author and journalist
Courtesy: Daily Maily