By Naeem Tahir
Mr Prime Minister, the nation supports you, do not fall prey to seasoned and the self-serving ‘opposition’, who want you to fail. People have rejected them and supported you. Pakistanis want you to succeed, so have the courage to stand by what is right
The opposition parties, led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and joined by the likes of Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman’s group and ‘Hamnaw’ protested and threatened to launch a campaign against the inclusion of Professor Atif Mian in the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) nominated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). EAC was to find ways to improve and stabilise the Pakistani economy which is on the rocks. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), sensibly, refrained from joining the so-called opposition. The protesting ‘opposition’ exposed itself in many ways. Most important, for its lack of respect for the Constitution and the spirit of Nationhood as described by Quaid-e-Azam. Are equal rights to all Pakistanis not guaranteed by our Constitution? This protesting group opposition has also violated the basic Islamic principle of care and regard for its minorities.
This protesting group disregarded the sacrifices given by the valiant members of the minority community in our armed forces who laid their lives defending national freedom. This protesting group also forgot the support that members of the Ahmadi Sect gave to Pakistan in the international field of science and foreign relations.
The matter of religious belief and conflict has been an issue for a long time. It was settled by declaring the members of Ahmadi sect as a ‘minority’ in Pakistan. This decision should have settled the matter once and for all and the society should have moved on.
Nobody has the right to deny the Ahmadis the right to be and to live. For PML-N the motivation must have been to cleanse itself of earlier accusations of trying to change constitutional provisions. The motivation for other ‘protesters’ may be to try and embarrass Imran Khan and PTI. These are short-term objectives, experienced politicians of these groups should focus on long-term national objectives. What are their plans to improve the water situation? How do they propose to improve the economy? So far the conduct of ‘protesters’ is of irresponsibility.
On the other hand, I also feel disappointed by PTI’s conduct, its spokesperson, and even Imran Khan. Is this a U-TURN? Is it a strategic compromise to serve economic priority? Is it lack of clarity of belief within PTI? Or is it just the usual political trick of not meaning what you say during political campaigns?
If Imran Khan can take a stand against corruption during his campaign then he can also stick to his principles in this case. He committed to supporting minorities in his opening speech. If he has already forgotten this then he is liable to forget other issues which got him elected in the first place. This ‘back off’ has revealed a weakness to commitment. Have the people of Pakistan, once again, been fooled by the election rhetoric? I hope not.
Nobody has the right to deny the Ahmadis their fundamental human rights. For PML-N, the motivation must have been to cleanse itself of earlier accusations of trying to change constitutional provisions. The motivation for other ‘protesters’ may be to try and embarrass Imran Khan and PTI
I want to ask the Prime Minister and cabinet why did they fail their oath? Only if PTI had found credible evidence against Dr Mian involved in anti-state activities, only then would the withdrawal be justified, however, this was not the case. Opposition parties namely PML-N and Muttahida Majlis-e- Amal, demanded to remove a member of the minority community from the Economic Council, which was an unconstitutional demand! Why did PTI cave in?
Internationally PTI has also sent the wrong message. Two experts have lost faith and already resigned, others might be thinking to do so as well.
PTI should forge ahead with courage and determination, and do what is best for the country.
If someone tells the government on social media to keep Pakistan economic secrets from an ‘Ahmadi’ then please have the sense to ignore it. There are no secrets in the world anymore. We open our belly to IMF and other agencies for loans, don’t they have a complete insight into our economy. Such social media rhetoric only highlights only small-minded prejudice against minorities.
Mr Prime Minister, the nation supports you, do not fall prey to seasoned and the self-serving ‘opposition’, who want you to fail. People have rejected them and supported you. Pakistanis want you to succeed, so have the courage to stand by what is right!