The humanity competition: Pakistani first, Muslim later

If you were to follow just the news coming out of Pakistan about the outrage over Israel’s attack on Gaza, you would mistake us for the most humane people on earth. Yes, it would be a mistake as this very alarming story clearly demonstrates.

In Sindh, Pakistanis belonging to leftist, “progressive” parties held a protest against the influx of people from North Waziristan who have been displaced by the military operation Zarb-e-Azb in the area. Their complaint? The IDPs might, God forbid, settle in Sindh to provide a better lives for their families and choose not to return to North Waziristan even after the operation has ended.

Wah, what humanity. And we decry Israeli aggression in occupied Palestine territory day and night. Where is the talk of the “Muslim Ummah” mirage? Where are the analogies of the arbitrary Muslim Ummah being like a body, where if one part is in pain the entire body is in pain? Where are the self-righteous human rights crusaders now? Has the CAPS lock key on their computer keyboard finally died under the pressure of their vicious fingers typing out their outrage over the inhuman Israelis?

This is not to say that what Israel is doing is justified in any which way. It is a human rights violation of the highest order and the West – and other powerful states – should be ashamed of their silence. It is complicity in the genocide of a nation, its women and children, and for the most immoral reason of all – economic strength.

But what about our own people? Aren’t they caught in a conflict not of their own making? Are there no women and children affected? What moral reason do we have to protest against the inhuman treatment of people in a country thousands of miles away from us when we cannot be bothered about the well-being or guarantee our unequivocal support for those displaced within our own motherland? The Palestinians are dying for their motherland, yes. The IDPs – our very own people – are suffering for theirs (and ours) too. Why are the Palestinians more worthy of our support and emotion than the North Waziristanis?

If there is anything that Pakistanis’ loud pro-Palestine/anti-Israel protests show, it is our hypocrisy. I have heard the word “proportionality” being thrown around when criticizing Western leaders’ comments on “Israel has a right to defend itself”. Let’s apply that concept right here. Just look at the proportionality of the vigor with which we see support for Palestine and that with which we see support for Pakistanis.

It is time for us to put our house in order before extending our support to other suffering populations in the world. We are not a powerful enough country, we can barely provide for our own people. And that perverse resource competition, which is forcing the struggling Sindh province to complain about the influx of a huge number of underserved people, is killing our humanity as a nation little by little. These “anti-IDP” protests are just a glaring example of that.

More headlines on the issue that should break your heart:

[In Urdu]


7 thoughts on “The humanity competition: Pakistani first, Muslim later

  1. I think you’re right. I, too, have been pretty vocal on facebook and the like about Palestine and somehow in all the commotion about Palestine I have lost sight of what is happening back home. Thanks for writing this piece.

    • Thanks for your comment Sarah. I’m humbled and I hope that you are able to convince others to raise their voice for our own people as well. If we won’t, no one else will.

  2. You’ve hit the bull’s eye. I’m seeing passionate protests against Israeli aggression all over social media but it just doesn’t make any sense. I was shattered to know yesterday that just the no. of ‘registered’ IDPs has amounted to 1 million! If that’s the no. of people the govt. has managed to register, think of the others who went straight to their relatives or elsewhere… THIS is a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions, and we need to fix this, before we even look towards that…

  3. thank u for putting my thoughts into words! what is more, we never hear of protests when Hazara-ites,Shiahs,christians,are ruthlessly killed and their homes and places of worship burn down. where does our humanity go then? the phrase “sweep before your own door” applies here. we are not able to protect Muslims in our own country, and we are raising voices to protect muslims miles away?

    • Exactly Amber. And it’s not even about Muslims, it’s about humans. We are first and foremost responsible for all of us – Pakistanis. Palestinians need our support as part of the Muslim community, but our survival depends primarily on fellow Pakistanis! If we won’t survive, how will we even be able to help/support/defend Palestinians?

  4. You are absolutely right Zainab… charity indeed begins at home …and it is about time that we as a nation realize that and help our displaced and bereaved sisters and brothers.

  5. Pingback: Dear Sindh, your wariness is understandable but the migrants need you | The Gulaab Jamun Blog

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