The local police told the inhabitants of Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh, to evacuate their houses as they were going to be attacked the next day. This is shocking incompetence or perhaps complicity, even by our standards. However, if one absorbs the full implication of this warning, it seems to point to the major crisis we face. There is no “State” in Pakistan. It has withered away, and not in the Marxist sense but in the Weberian one. The monopoly over violence has been lost; violence has been privatised and has been sold cheap. The failure to honour Salmaan Taseer, the forgetting of Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti, the intent to surrender to the TTP, the failure to crackdown on sectarian murderous outfits and now this. To be told officially that you are on your own.
Joseph Colony was not in Pakistan to begin with. A “Christian” housing society, separate housing communities, fenced and isolated, like Hazara town in Quetta, ghettos, perhaps in some way also like DHA on the other side of town. The Christians in Joseph Colony still love Pakistan. Why they do beats me, because this country surely does not love them back. It is not enough that they live in abject poverty in separate settlements. The faithful citizens of Pakistan proper have also the liberty to set fire to their houses and lives when fragile sentiments are hurt. The sentiments in front of which no other or no one else’s sentiments have any value — churches, crosses and Bibles will be burnt. How arrogant a person or a group has to be to believe that their sentiments triumph everyone else’s, also law and common decency. The minorities in Pakistan are guilty unless proven innocent, and then guilty still.
There will be multiple inquiries and findings, just like Shantinagar, like Gojra and then we will wait for the next incident and then another round of inquiries. It will happen again, because the Blasphemy Law provisions will remain on the books and we will keep on talking gibberish about correct interpretations and applications, silent peace-loving majority, etc. Does no one realise that all religions stand naturally and unequivocally in blasphemy to all other religions? There can hardly be sacrilege to a thing that you, in the first place, do not believe exists or is true. When the Ahmadi places of worship were attacked in Lahore, condemnation was hard to find; everyone in power wanted to change the topic. If the Muslims were required to sign a statement similar to the Ahmadi declaration on the passport in any part of the world, what do you think the reaction would be? Thermonuclear war, perhaps. Similar to this is the case of the members of the Tableeghi Jamaat. They attempt to save the infidels by inviting them to the truth but at the same time believe that once in if you want out, you are to be killed. They just do not notice the minor contradiction in their sales pitch.