Why is the ruling party mum ?
Nawaz Sharif’s third term in office has been quite turbulent to say the least. However a redeeming factor about his latest failed attempt at completing a full term as prime minister was his party’s, the PML-N’s, relative shift towards the left, in particular a more liberal narrative towards minorities and women’s rights. But the highlight of this shift has to be the sending of Mumtaz Qadri to the gallows.
Some of the softening of his views and in turn the party’s can be attributed to the increasing involvement of Nawaz’s daughter Maryam in active party politics. The irony of Captain Safdar’s ignorant and vicious diatribe against the Ahmadiyya community on the floor of the National Assembly is therefore palpably ironic given that he is the the ex-PM’s son-in-law and Maryam’s husband.
What’s more, he chanted pro-Mumtaz Qadri slogans while exiting parliament, video evidence of which has gone viral. Captain Safdar is a pronounced ultra rightist and his latest speech is unacceptable, bigoted and an insult to the foundation upon which this country was actually founded upon.
Such speeches provide convenient ammo to countries like India who are constantly looking for ways to further isolate our country by portraying Pakistan as a breeding ground for extremist ideology. It also sends a very negative message to the west that is constantly reminding us of our negligence towards protection of minorities rights.
The newly appointed foreign minister Khwaja Asif suggests we “clean up our house” while interior minister Ahsan Iqbal reminds clerics and religious leaders that it is only the “state that can declare jihad”. All that talk falls flat on its face when a member of their own party is in blatant contradiction of that rhetoric.
PML-N has to come out and openly condemn Captain Safdar’s speech for what it is; an attempt to regain a lost voter bank by making darker an already prominent bulls-eye on the back of a minority.