It’s heartening to see Army Chief to take part in a Christmas gathering in Lahore. After many years of hardships that Pakistani minorities have faced at the hands of Pakistani state, it seems, finally, that the state has realized that Pakistani society is a mix of Pakistanis and not Muslims alone. Pakistani state took a deep plunge into dark waters of extremism in late 70s.

The policy of making an intolerant, extremist society, gained momentum during so called “Afghan Jehad”. The entire fabric of society got disturbed. What was once a tolerant and inclusive society till mid-70s, got transformed with the aid and support of the west and powerful oil rich, corrupt regimes in the middle East. Monsters were created by using a narrative of faith and Nationalism. Since then It has been a nose dive. There was hardly any weaker section of society against whom state had not used unfair, cruel tactics of suppression. Hundreds and thousands of minority members left Pakistan in search of respectable life.

State used the tool of faith to cow minorities down. Vision of Jinnah on minorities and state, was totally forgotten. All the above was done in the name of “supreme national interest” No one however knows that in whose interest is “national interest “in. Churches were attacked by state backed hooligans. The debate went to the extent that some extremists questioned whether it was ok for Muslims to wish Christian community “Merry Christmas”. It seems now after today’s visit of Army Chief to a church to celebrate Christmas that debate would hopefully die down. Looks like state is now in a process of correcting itself. Pakistanis are likely to being treated as was envisioned by Jinnah after 70 years of his death.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, December 25.