When Gojra became Godhra

On February 27, 2002, 58 Hindus, including 25 women and 15 children were burnt alive in a railway coach by a Muslim mob in the town of Godhra, India — following an altercation between local Muslims and activists of the VHP returning by the Sabarmathi express train from Ayodhya. Initial media reports blamed the local Muslims for setting the coach on fire, in what Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and the VHP leader Giriraj Kishore alleged was a “pre-planned” attack.

A Pakistani city Gojra has witnessed similar kind of carnage on August 01, 2009 when announcements through mosques in the town urged the Muslims to gather and ‘make mincemeat of Christians’ — according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report.

Witnesses told the HRCP mission that when they informed the police about the announcements, the police officials also confirmed hearing them. The following day,
Aug 1, around 1,000 people gathered in the town and marched towards Christian Colony.

A police party present in the neighborhood did not try to stop the mob which included a number of masked men, the report said.

Witnesses said the attackers went about destroying Christians’ houses in a very professional manner and seemed to be trained for carrying out such activities.

They had brought along petrol and other inflammable substances and torched over 40 houses of Christian families in less than half an hour. There was loot and arson in which the adjacent houses of Muslims were spared, resulting around 12 deaths.

Be it India or Pakistan I don’t see any difference in above incidents. Both were preplanned massacres with the involvement of local administrations. In India it was Gujrat’s Minister Narendar Singh Modi who engineered one of the worst genocides of Muslims to please extremist elements and to satisfy his hate and in Pakistan it was Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shehbaz Shareef who has given free hand to extremists to disrupt peace and harmony of our country though Shareef was not directly involved in this barbaric act of terrorism but being the Chief Minister responsibility lies on him.

Where was Shareef’s Administration ?

Shehbaz Shareef’s administration despite intimation of severe terrorism had ignored the concerns of Christians and intelligence agencies and turned a blind eye towards the horrendous massacre. PML N’s administration has criminally neglected clear warnings from the locals who had been complaining about the possible upcoming wave of terrorism against Christians for quite sometime. Why local administration never paid heed on the open hateful sermons given from the mosques, Why Chief Minister of Punjab reached Gojra (his own constituency) after 3 days and what made local police to delay lodging FIR of this genocide. Answers to these question are pretty clear — motives behind this incident were to destabilize Government, portraying negative image of Pakistan across the world so that Int’l community especially ‘Masters of Pakistan’ reconsider their relationship with an already weak PPP Government and to make grounds for their next option i.e Mr. Shareef who is restless to see Mid term elections these days. International media as well as foreign powers don’t really know about the local administration of Gojra but what they view is PPP is the whole sole in charge of Pakistan.

I believe Attacks on Christian families in Gojra expose the PML N government’s inefficiency, as things in Gojra started heating up on July 20 and the government did not take action to control them. Further more, killings in Gojra proved that the government’s claim of good governance was false, the violence could have been averted if the government had taken timely action but the acts like delaying FIR, ignoring residents’ qualms about law and order situation and removing DCOs and DPOs for criminal negligence but not getting them arrested for inquiry speak volume.

On the other hand Pakistan’s Judiciary — The 7th most corrupt institution of Pakistan( according to the Transparency Int’l report – 09) which is busy in undoing former president Musharraf’s acts, playing up with courts and putting country into trouble has conveniently ignored the horrendous massacre of Christians in the history of Pakistan.

The chief justice of Pakistan who takes Suo Moto actions even on minor issues decided to stay away from Pakistan’s national tragedy. They instead developed just-another Inquiry tribunal of the Lahore High Court which will be faded by the passage of time.

In short Shehbaz Shareef’s Provincial Government as well as our political judiciary both have completely been failed to provide security and justice to common people, our nation has been hijacked by the politicians who have a vested interest in destabilization of country. Shehbaz Shareef’s Government has recently withdrawn petition filed by Federal govt in court and has decided to disassociate from Hafiz Saeed (renowned religious extremist and international terrorist) case and filed a plea for withdrawal of the case. Another blot on Pakistan’s face!

I believe religious extremism can never be curbed from Pakistan unless we strictly implement laws with justice. Right after this incident voices in support of setting up laws on blasphemy had come but again are we ready to execute those laws in case of any mishap ?



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