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HomeUncategorizedShrine of Salman Taseer’s murderer Mumtaz Qadri exposes two faces of Pakistan

Shrine of Salman Taseer’s murderer Mumtaz Qadri exposes two faces of Pakistan

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A shrine setup in the memory of the Qadri, the assassin of former governor of Pakistan`s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, mirrors the two-faced reality of Pakistan — one face meant for the world and the second and more realistic one, meant for militants like Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri and his associates.

Mumtaz Qadri-av

Thousands of Pakistanis continue to flock to Qadri`s grave, located in the sleepy village of Athaal, about three miles from Islamabad, to salute his commitment of standing up and dying for his religion.Since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan has faced a historical dichotomy.

At the time of independence, its founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, wanted Pakistan to be a land of liberal values, but over the nearly seven decades since, the country has slipped and slid towards a more Islamic fundamentalist train of thought, action and administration, backed by an all-powerful military that separately nurtures jihadi groups to serve its geo-strategic interests in Afghanistan and India.

Today, Jinnah`s brand of liberalism literally stands buried by fundamentalist dominant movements, such as those espoused by the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, with which Qadri was associated well before his eventual execution. Qadri today is seen a hero of the Muslim world, because of what he did on January 4, 2011.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s attempts at turning the clock back towards having a less conservative and a more liberal Pakistan is also being challenged by fundamentalist elements. Sharif`s own son-in-law has backed Qadri`s action of assassinating Governor Taseer as `religious duty`, and has joined the chorus that has put his father-in-law`s liberal initiatives under the scanner.

Newspapers in Pakistan, such as the Dawn and The Nation, have said that Sharif`s liberal rhetoric is aimed at keeping Washington satisfied and happy, but at the same highlight the dichotomy of the longevity of liberalism in a region where militant groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) or the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) are nurtured by the military establishment.

JeM – led by Maulana Masood Azhar, and LeT of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed are based in Punjab, Sharif`s home province; and both are not bothered by the American sanctions against them.According to Cyril Almedia, who works for the Dawn, there is an unwritten survival mantra for political parties in Pakistan.

Asha’ar Rehman, a columnist, says, “All parties practicing popular politics in Pakistan seek to maintain the same horses-for-courses profile. They must have variety so that they have a specialist for every situation, not the least among them the Ulema (religious scholars)”.

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