Why Has PPP Abandoned Its Greatest Martyr?
A party, which is known for the blood of it’s martyrs should have owned their greatest martyr to date but how can the blood of a non-Bhutto compare with that of a Bhutto, even if Bhutto is only the middle name.
Since the inception of our beloved nation many politicians have laid their lives for various political causes. Liaqat Ali Khan was assassinated in Rawalpindi. Decades later, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s execution was carried out in Pindi’s most notorious jail, Adiala Jail. Three out of four of Bhutto’s children were assassinated, the eldest and the apparent political heir was shot in the same city of Pindi.
Much can be speculated regarding the mysterious circumstances of these deaths. There are as many conspiracy theories as there are influential lobbies affected by this event. I would think that it would still be fair to say that the truth behind these killings are purposely or without a purpose, shrouded in a maze only a handful can comprehend. There is however one assassination, one sacrifice of which there is no need for speculation. The event is unlike any other we have witnessed before.
With the Ashes of logic, reason, love, brotherhood and loyalty a more sinister idea is formed allegedly basing itself on faith. But it does not consist of merely faith for faith is only the start. Perhaps it is envy, jealousy and the disparate change in lifestyle but no, that still does not explain it. Perhaps it is the apprehensions of a superior and distinct morality, a worldview in which the blood of your enemy is the most efficient way to paradise. This worldview is merrily fueled and used in the Land of the pure where thousands of so called ‘Jihadis’ are desperate to kill so called ‘infidels’ or ‘enemies of Islam’ or ‘blasphemers’ or ‘friends/helpers of blasphemers’ or ‘apostates’ or ‘religious minorities’ or ‘liberal fascists’ or ‘citizens burning candles’ or school going children. Blood is blood and for this ideology, the more the merrier.
So for what cause was the greatest hero of the PPP martyred?
A poor, middle-aged woman belonging to the Christian faith in the land of the pure had an argument with her neighbors involving a drink of water. It is alleged that the neighbors did not want the Christian woman to touch the water with her disbelieving hands. They were not aware that the filth was not in the woman’s hands but in their own hearts. The quarrel ended up in an allegation of blasphemy and the ever so efficient Punjab Police took no time before arresting the helpless woman. Many claim to be guardians of the poor, bestowing themselves with titles such as ‘Khadim-e-Aala’ or ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ but only one was above these trivial worldly titles. Yes he was a Governor but he was not just that. He was a Chartered Accountant, a businessman, a father, a husband but we do not know him for what he was, we know him for what he was not. And he was not a hypocrite.
It is hard to analyze how one man could muster up so much courage and determination for a woman he did not even know. How could he sacrifice monetary wealth, political power and government office just for principle? This enigma is truly perplexing to say the least since making sense out of this stance is next to impossible but wait, the story is not finished yet. His very own security guard fires over twenty bullets in his body, in front of his security entourage. He is gone in a matter of seconds. In that moment, Pakistan did not even realize what it lost, instead the assassin, the murderer, is bestowed the title of ‘Ghazi’ (Living Martyr) another trivial, worldly title.
I do not want to go into the depths of this horrendous tale. The dead is gone and the living must answer. Fast forward this event four years and see where Pakistan is post-Salman Taseer. A few people gather in Liberty Chowk, Lahore to remember this unsung hero whilst lighting candles in his memory. Not very astonishingly, several men armed with guns and long sticks disrupt the peaceful crowd and harass everyone present. They destroy the posters as well as the cameras. They do not fail to intimidate and they succeed in terrorizing all the people present. No Police was present throughout this whole ordeal while eye witness accounts state that two Police cars were parked at Liberty Castle (a few meters away) probably providing security to an ‘important’ man visiting the venue. So much for the ‘National Action Plan’.
I ask one question. Where is PPP? Lahore was once the city where Benazir held the biggest political gatherings. The jiyalas from Lahore had their own standing in the party, today they cannot even commemorate their greatest martyr. Step by step, little by little, PPP is being dragged out of the political scene. This is not the party of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto or Benazir or even Zardari. This is merely a group of rich politicians fighting with each other over what little resources this country has left.
On the other hand, this political vacuum is being filled by other, braver souls, which have vowed to fight this enemy. Jibran Nasir, merely in his late 20s is almost the same age as PPP’s chairman, yet has achieved more political space in the last 20 days than Bilawal has attained in his entire political career and note that the former did not have the political legacy of the latter.
The citizens of this country who wish to fight this menace are siding with people from the civil society who are not afraid to say what our politicians cannot even imagine. What I’ve learnt from Salman Taseer and presently from Jibran is that one man’s life is not worth anything unless one fights for those weaker than him. So what if one has to pay the price with his life, for this is the only way to achieve immortality.
Rest in peace Salman Taseer Shaheed, we will make sure that your blood never dries.