The victimization of Pakistan

Pakistan is a victim and it has been one since its inception.  Its politicians are victims, its people are victims, the establishment is a victim – everyone here is a victim. How do I know this? Because that’s what they say.

They are victims of anyone who speaks against the hyper-nationalist and Islamist narrative – one that has gained momentum lately – that has been cultivated here for decades. People like Malala Yousafzai blatantly victimize us by getting shot in the head and speaking for education. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy victimized us by making a documentary on honour killings and getting an award for it.

Pervaiz Hoodbhoy victimizes us by constantly showing us reality and Hussain Haqqani has victimized the country by asking us to become friends with India. Asma Jehangir victimizes us by calling out anti-democratic and anti-human rights policies. The liberals, the seculars and the progressives, have made it a habit of victimizing us for years.

Thankfully, political parties, the common people and the establishment have decided to counter this growing venom. It wasn't easy, but hard work has resulted in ensuring that time-tested methods of misogyny and harassment are used against these people to stop them. And stop them we must because as we all know Pakistan is nothing like what these people make it out to be. All is rainbows and candy here.

It warms the cockles of my heart to hear the statements of political leaders against women of opposing parties, or any woman who speak against them, for that matter.  It is also terribly thrilling to watch those who dare to voice anything but the set narrative on faith and country, being harassed.

By the grace of Allah, we have also mastered the use of technology to take this cause forward. And this is a forte of the establishment and of PTI (I hope both share their resources to get stronger).

It is fascinating to see how we are targeting our real enemies (and I don't mean the terrorists) by hacking their various accounts, through misogyny and by harassing them on social media. Because this is the only way to silence such people. Do they actually think we want progress and liberty? Of course not! We happen to like being intellectually repressed and ideologically outdated. What right do they have to tell us to progress? They must be made to shut up.

I am also impressed at how adept we have become at raising a huge hue and cry when our abuse and harassment sometimes results in protests against us. Because this is when our freedom of speech is curtailed. Never mind the freedom of speech of those who we are trying to silence because they are wrong!

The problem is that while such tactics are working on some people, they are not working on all. More and more people are coming forward to discuss things that must be talked about. Every day I see ridiculous articles promoting offensive things such as secularism, liberalism, education; anti-Islamic articles are also on the rise. There are even articles, such as this one, that promote peace with India and to look beyond Kashmir. And those that suggest that we should resolve our internal problems first.

I am shocked at this. My prayers are with the hardworking people who are trying night and day to stop such atrocities. May Allah give you the strength to achieve your goals and to take your misogyny and harassment to the highest level. This is the only way to get rid of the people who are victimizing us and this great land of ours.

Heaven forbid that we ever join the rest of the world in promoting peace, harmony and freedom of expression. That would be the end of us.

Saima Baig is a Karachi-based environmental economist, climate change consultant and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter

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