By Dr Amjad Ayub MirzaIt was a normal morning in the industrial town of smog-ridden Sialkot in eastern Pakistan.Priyantha Diyawadana was getting ready to go to RAJCO, a sportswear manufacturing factory, where he was a manager.
He had been working there since 2010 and was known to the local community as a decent, hard working and pious man, until Friday.
As he left home and approached the factory, he could not help but notice that a poster had been pasted on the factory wall.
Since it was prohibited to paste posters or wall chalk, Priyantha took it down.What he did not know is that it was an Islamic poster with religious text on it.He simply binned it.
Within minutes, Priyantha was facing a crowd of his factory workers who he felt had a strange gaze.They hurled abuses towards him and accused him of committing blasphemy.Priyantha did not stand a chance.
Probably he smelled death and tried to talk some sense into the now very angry crowd.
Workers, whom he had served with love and admiration for 10 years, were now bent upon teaching him a lesson.
The news spread throughout the factory and workers rushed to the factory compound where he was being slapped and kicked.
In no time, an organised industrial working class had turned into a fanatic Islamic mob.Hundreds of people descended upon him with sticks and stones and struck him on the head.Priyantha fell to the ground.
He was beaten to death in no time, his corpse was dragged around before the mob set the body alight.As flames billowed from Priyantha’s corpse, the mob cheered with shouts of ‘Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar’.
Priyantha paid the price for living in a fanatic Islamic country with his life.Fanaticism has been nurtured by the military establishment in the name of Jihadi Islam.
The recent release of Saad Rizvi, the leader of fanatic Islamic organisation called Tehreek-e-Lebaik Pakistan (TLP), and lifting of the ban on his organisation has emboldened Pakistani Islamic intensity beyond imagination.
As Priyantha’s body turned into charcoal and the news spread via social media, statements of condemnation began to pour in from all quarters of society, including the government.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Prime Minister Imran Khan and a whole barrage of military establishment cronies were issuing tweets, promising a swift and speedy enquiry and to bring the culprits to justice.
The fact, however, is that it is not the people but those who have turned 220 million human beings into killing machines who are the real culprits.
The Jihadi narrative spewed out by the Prime Minter himself from Pakistan Television (PTV) right on to the floor of the United Nations General Assembly, the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the judiciary which has been an accomplice in freeing terrorists by issuing bails and the clergy, all are responsible for the murder of Priyantha.
The roots of communal hatred and violence go way back to the politics of the separatist and segregationist Muslim leaders, starting right from the British crony Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Mohammedan Oriental College, to the so-called founder of Pakistan, Muhammed Ali Jinnah.
A country carved out of the living body of Hindustan that was supposed or was promised to be the land of the pure has being purifying itself by committing the genocide of Hindus and Sikhs and other religious minority groups in Pakistan.
From Sindh to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, attacks on minority religious sites, temples and gurdawars have been an almost weekly occurrence in Pakistan.
Churches are demolished in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.Young Hindu, Sikh and Christian women of 12 or 15 years of age are kidnapped and forcefully married to their Muslim abductors, who then force them to convert to Islam.
And there is no end to this genocide in sight.
Condemnation of such acts of barbarism are not going to bring an end to the jihadist war against minority religious groups in Pakistan.
The world community has to start calling a spade a spade and put economic sanctions on a country that is a fascist state in the true sense of the word.
Pakistan eliminates dissent at home and abroad, it sends mercenary jihadists to India and Afghanistan and Pakistan uses the minority religious groups as escape goats and as a safety valve against public anger geared towards the government itself.
Priyantha is dead, but the smoke that rose from his burning corpse ascended his ‘Atma’ (soul) which now rides on the clouds of heaven, but there are thousands who are still stranded in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan who require our attention.
(Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK.
He currently lives in exile in the UK.The views expressed are personal)
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