Religious Extremists Opposing Hindu Temple In Islamabad Creation Of Zia’s Dictatorial Rule
Democrats in Pakistan observe a black day every July 5th in this country. It was the day when Pakistan’s first elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was removed from power in a military coup. His Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) observes the day every year as a black day and organises rallies and public meetings but this year the party has rightly decided to avoid holding any such events due to Coronavirus.
General Zia ul-Haq not only staged a coup against a democratically elected government but also murdered the dream of a progressive and inclusive Pakistan. His dictatorial rule promoted religious bigotry and extremism in this country. Most Pakistanis want their country to be the embodiment of Jinnah’s vision but he created a class that still wants to turn Pakistan into a narrow-minded sectarian state. It’s the same people who protest the persecution of the Muslim community in India but also want the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad to be stopped. Is this the Pakistan of Jinnah’s dreams? Does this country not belong to the people of other religions?
Pakistan is a huge country and its non-Muslim subjects also have the same rights on its capital as their Muslim brethren. This step has the potential to project Pakistan’s positive image before the world but some elements are trying to create a religious divide using this decision as an opportunity to promote their sectarian agenda. We do not want Zia’s Pakistan. We want Jinnah’s Pakistan where people of all religions can practice their faith with complete liberty.
By observing July 5th as a black day, we want to send a message to Zia’s followers who are still working on their undemocratic agenda that the people of Pakistan will never support any unconstitutional and undemocratic step.
Today, we have a so-called democratic government in this country but its undemocratic decisions have proved that it does not believe in democracy. One example of its undemocratic mindset is the change of the Benazir Income Support Programme’s name to the Ehsaas Programme. This name could only be changed through a constitutional amendment but Imran Khan’s dictatorial government took an unconstitutional and undemocratic step by changing the name without amending the constitution. However, the people of Pakistan rejected this decision. They still call it the Benazir Income Support Programme.
Imran Khan talks of the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal but in reality, he is following in the footsteps of General Zia ul-Haq.