PAKISTAN has been in the forefront of efforts to call global attention to the matter of Islamophobia in the West. And that is absolutely the right thing to do. We, the members of Pakistani diaspora, also complain about racism, about how hard-working Pakistanis living abroad are subjected to discrimination and abuse, and how they are considered retrogressive and backward. We keep trying to project a soft image of Pakistan and of Islam. We keep telling people that Islam is a religion of peace and love, that Pakistan is basically a liberal society, that there is no discrimination against foreigners and minorities, and that people should visit the country and see it for themselves.

But then happen some event, like what took place in Sialkot recently, that wipes out our words and we struggle to bridge the gap between our words and the actions of our people back home.

A huge crowd stood by while a Sri Lankan manager was murdered by a wild mob. Hardly anyone intervened. Many took snaps and made videos on their cellphones and circulated them in a frenzy.

So what impression do we expect people in the West to form about Pakistan and Pakistanis? After the Sialkot murder and previous incidents, do we still expect the foreigners to invest in Pakistan? Do we expect skilled managers and technicians to come to work in Pakistan? Do we expect sports teams to tour the country?

And how long will it take for companies and consumers in the West to stop buying products from us because we mistreat those of other religions, and murder our women in the name of honour? If they can use their leverage in the name of, say, child labour, will they not want to use it over a matter of much more serious nature? These are critical questions, and one wonders if anyone in a position of authority is thinking about them.

Daud Khan
Rome, Italy

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021



16 Jan, 2022

Omicron threat

AS Pakistan grapples with the fifth coronavirus wave fuelled by the Omicron variant, the state must take timely...
Updated 16 Jan, 2022

Grim picture

There is much the govt can do to create an environment free of repression and coercion so that democracy is strengthened.
16 Jan, 2022

Larkana jail unrest

THAT Larkana Central Prison authorities had to resort to the excuse of “cleaning the jail” to shift 13 dangerous...
‘Mini-budget’ comes into force
Updated 15 Jan, 2022

‘Mini-budget’ comes into force

MANY in the PTI government must have swallowed their pride to get the two controversial bills — one withdrawing ...
15 Jan, 2022

CNG relief

THE Peshawar High Court has granted partial relief to CNG stations against a ban on their operations by the district...
15 Jan, 2022

Street crime in Karachi

WEDNESDAY once again brought home the dangers that lurk on the streets of Karachi. Armed men waylaid a car in which ...