Sindh

Maalik vs Democracy

Mixed responses coming in from different school of thoughts on recently banned controversial political-thriller Maalik. Those in support of ban have an issue with deliberate ethnic profiling of Sindhis and Baloch people depicted as oppressors while Punjabis and Pakhtoons shown as saviors. The other objectionable issue is killing of Minister by his own guard who in the movie is portrayed as Hero reminds the Mumtaz Qadri episode and occurrence of violent incidents afterwards.

On April 26, 18 days after releasing the film was banned by Sindh Board of Film Censor, Government of Sindh. However, the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah intervened and asked the ministry not to issue it as it would be ‘against the freedom of expression but very next day, The Federal Government has banned Maalik nationwide in a notification.

Just like any other controversy Pakistani media got an issue for a couple of weeks and they are inviting politicians, actors, journalists and civil society to discuss ban on Maalik, the movie.

Apparently Journalists, politicians and civil society seems to be on same page and agreed that the movie contains controversial and sensitive nature of subject but actors and a handful of journalists (claim to be patriots) defying the ban under the garb of freedom of speech. Completely ignoring the fact that the same journalists cannot touch “Holy Cows” corruption in their very programs.

To ban Maalik or not is another issue but in larger perspective recent curb by Government of Pakistan exposed their vague and confused policy on freedom of speech. Seems just like other state of affairs they simply have no clear strategy on what to allow on media and what not.

Sometimes Pakistani Government set bench marks allowing freedom of speech to an extent that prisoners from the death cell come on media and record confessional statements and that too without bringing into the knowledge of interior minister and sometimes the same Pakistani Government blacks out MQM supremo Altaf Hussain from coming or issuing any kind of statement on media at all.

In my opinion movies on controversial subjects should be screened in Pakistani cinemas but the policy should be for all.

Selective censorship in cinemas, Tv programs or even on over all media appearances would push Government into more trouble since toeing policy on freedom of speech from “Power houses” of the country would ultimately bring down the so called democracy and its genuine custodians.

Advertisements

Divided We Stand United We Fall

Instead of waging war on the ones who have brutally murdered our Pakistani brothers, slaughtered our soldiers, bombed girls schools, blasted barber and CD shops, shot innocent women, our nation is proudly engaged in fighting a war against MQM on various fronts.

Be it parliament, media or internet our patriotic nation has again proved themselves united against the “Racist-Indian-Pro American-Party of infidels MQM”

Recently Maulana Fazl ur Rehman blamed MQM chief for inciting sectarianism in Pakistan. PML N, ANP, Jamat e Islami and PTI have unanimously opposed MQM for rejecting Taliban-Parliament deal.

To obey their racial thirst, followers of said political parties have started a massive campaign against MQM. Their obnoxious statements like incitement of sectarianism and following foreign agenda have exposed their mentality.

After the failure of deal and refusal of Taliban for laying arms, now situation has become quite clear but interestingly a new suggestion is being heard on various forums. Our patriotic Pakistanis instead of appreciating MQM for their bold and honorable stance are demanding MQM to quit coalition for being “ignored and humiliated”.

For me this demand is not only shocking but disturbing as well however I appreciate MQM for sounding so logical and principled on their stance against terrorist Talebans who right after the deal called parliament (the same parliament with whom they made a deal) “un Islamic” and captured “Bunair”.  Both the post-deal events have endorsed MQM’s decision of refusing Taleban deal.

International community, civil society, Pakistan’s judiciary, human rights organization and other non governmental organization have actually supported MQM’s stance but unfortunately our  mainstream political parties and their followers despite knowing ills of Taleban preferred to side with them, their racism and blind hate against MQM made them to join Anti Pakistan forces and they kept picking and cursing MQM during the whole episode.

All political parties including senate members, intellectuals, writers who initially supported the deal have started giving second thought to the Taleban-Government deal but they are still shying to say even a single supportive word for MQM.

Some days back Nawaz Sharif of PML N who supported the deal with Talibans in parliament found saying something entirely different in his interview to USA Today [April 21, 2009], according to Mr. Sharif

“Militants there are trying to export their particularly harsh version of sharia, in which the hands of thieves are amputated, women are forbidden from going outside, and adulterers are stoned to death”.

This statement clearly states who stands where. Who is double faced and who is fooling Pakistanis. Sharif has taken U turn on Shariah deal for Europe and America but in Pakistan his stance is  completely different, just because he wants to remain popular among the religious groups of Pakistan.

During his interview he came up as a different person.  Nawaz said he had had a good relationship with President Clinton — and is a fan of President Obama.

“I have never met Obama, but I have a good impression of him,” he said. “I think he’s a good guy.” [Daily Times Wednesday, April 22, 2009].

The man who is responsible for drone attacks in Pakistan and is being heavily criticised by Nawaz Sharif et al has suddenly become the favorite person of Mr. Sharif.

I have never seen such hypocritical behavior in any country’s political scenario. What worries me is the ultimate rise of hatred against MQM on every front despite MQM’s professional and highly responsible attitude in talk shows, press statements and  parliament.

MQM might have done numerous mistakes in past but at this point they have taken a remarkable stand against the non democratic forces of Pakistan. They preferred to embrace majority’s hate for the sake of Pakistan.

Just like PML N, ANP, PPP, JUIF, JI, PTI — Altaf Hussain could have gone for the majority opinion to capitalize vote bank in NWFP and Punjab for which MQM has been struggling but he never compromised on principles and in return what he got?

“Sheer hatred!”

In such circumstances where racism is literally fuming up against one segment of the society,  I might have to re-examine the word “provincial harmony”.

————————————————————————————————————————————

References:
Mufti Munib and Aitezaz Ahsan question Sufi’s statement about apex courts
[Daily Times Monday, April 20, 2009]
Sherry questions implementation of Nizam-e-Adl
[Daily Times Wednesday, April 15, 2009]