Thank you Nawaz Sharif for celebrating Diwali in Karachi
His words, 'I am the PM for all...' comes as a blessing.
- Total Shares
Amid celebration of the festival of lights, I scanned Twitter on Wednesday and saw Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif trending at the top of the microblogging site. The first thought that crossed my mind was that something wrong may have happened in the badlands of Pakistan.
Well, I was wrong. The Pakistan premier was trending in India for his one good gesture on Diwali. #Diwali was also trending in Pakistan because prime minister Sharif attended a Diwali function in Karachi. Speaking at the occasion, he also tried to allay the fears of Hindus and Sikhs - the religious minorities in the country. Moreover, he went on to say that he would love to be invited on Holi and be smeared with colours.
However, this might sound like a tokenism in a country where Hindus and Sikhs are subjected to oppression, which, as a result, has led to their numbers decreasing. Pakistan is a country where even the majority has to prove it is peaceful, so we can imagine how tough it is to be a religious minority in the hotbed of religious extremism. But, Sharif's words, "I am the PM for all, you all belong to me and I belong to you" may have given a healing touch to the extremely vulnerable religious minorities in the Islamic republic.
Sharif candidly said, "If a Hindu is oppressed and the oppressor is a Muslim, then I will take action against the Muslim. I will stand with you against the oppressor."
In nutshell, Sharif did what was expected of the prime minister of a country, but his words should be translated into actions on the ground. He needs to address the issues of forced conversion and human rights violation of the minorities. Moreover, they need to be brought into the mainstream by affirmative action by the state; they need to be appeased and be treated special. Reservation in government jobs could be a thing to begin with.
The day minorities feel safe in Pakistan, the country will be able to rid itself of all other sectarian violence.