They would not get you as many Facebook likes and retweets, though
Every time there is Israeli aggression in Gaza Pakistani activists make it a point to clamour left, right and centre to feel good about themselves and also to boost their PR. Even though there are few issues that bolster PRs more than the good old Isreal-Palestinian conflict, which has the largest hype per casualty ratio, we find it important to mention a few issues that are more pertinent for Pakistanis than the suffering of their Arab ‘brothers’ in Gaza.
Here are the top ten:
10. LGBTQ persecution
There is a group of Pakistanis that is constantly persecuted by Pakistanis owing to the way nature made them. One would think we would be more concerned about the constant suffering of our compatriots than that of the Arabs. Especially since this group’s suffering is because of something that they have no control over.
9. Crimes against women
With forced marriages, ‘honour killings’ and the ubiquitous and blatant gender discrimination, Pakistan proudly sits second from bottom in PEW’s gender gap global rankings – second only to Yemen. We kill, throw acid at and burn our own women for making their life choices and we are more concerned about those dying in another part of the world.
So military operation in North Waziristan is right, but the one in Gaza is wrong? The IDPs of the military operation are now about to touch the million mark. But somehow their predicament is less significant than that of the Palestinians.
7. Hatred for Hindus
We are oh-so-proud of Mahmud Ghaznavi massacring Hindus and their temples. And Mohammed bin Qasim and Tipu Sultan forcibly converting them. The hatred for Hindus that formed our state’s raison d’etre is now at the forefront of the suffering of our fellow citizens who just happen to belong to another religion.
6. Islamist terrorism
There is a fair chance that if Israel said that it was attacking Gaza in the name of Islam, the condemnations might plummet. You can bomb in the name of Islam, and that’s okay. You can kill prodigiously more Pakistanis in the last decade than Palestinians since 1948, and that’s okay.
5. Karachi target killings
People are killed in Karachi every single day. Yes, every single day. No candle vigils for the daily targeted killings.
4. Anti-Pashtun racism
If there were a poll on whether or not the Taliban should take over FATA if they left the rest of the Pakistan alone, it would be resoundingly agreed upon. Apparently, what the Taliban are doing has got nothing to do with their ideology. It’s just the way Pashtuns are. Yup, and Zionism is racism.
3. Ahmadi apartheid
From bakeries and juice boxes to graves, anything with the ‘Qadiani’ stamp is stamped under the foot. It is simply one of the worst ongoing apartheids in the world. A person can be jailed for reading religious scriptures or ‘pretending to be a Muslim’. But it is just the discrimination against the Palestinians that is worthy of outrage.
2. Baloch cleansing
Those Arabs in the Middle East are our people. But the Baloch in Pakistan aren’t. It is selective condemnations of usurping states; selective clamour against forced settlements; selective outrage against systematic cleansing.
1. Shia genocide
Over 20,000 Shia killed since Pakistan’s inception. ASWJ, formely Sipah-e-Sahaba, is both the ruling party’s ally and that of LeJ which has Shia genocide in its manifesto. Only half of the Sunni Muslims in Pakistan consider the Shia to be Muslims, according to a PEW survey. Tell me more about what’s happening in Palestine, please…
The writer has been deleted by 124 of his Facebook friends for his ‘pro-Israel’ stance in the last seven days. All aftereffects of reading The Horizontal Column are the readers’ headache.