Of Bangladesh and what’s really important

(Written in response to the Quader Mulla execution and our inane,and overtly obsessive reaction towards the incident)

Ask me for my personal opinion about the Quader Molla execution and I’ll tell you this: It doesn’t seem right, morally or ethically to hang a 65 year old man. Why? Because it doesn’t look humane that a man who can’t even walk himself and has to use a wheelchair for the purpose is executed. A simple life sentence (along with a 15-year sentence to be served in addition to the time he has been imprisoned since his arrest; as per the original verdict) would have served the purpose. It looks as if the Awami League is more interested in vengeance, revenge, settling scores and personal vendetta than in its already feeble democracy and the country’s stability.

However, I also feel that we in Pakistan are making a hoopla out of this whole incident.

Yes, his execution and our history have a connection; but the thread joining the two is far too weak and almost invisible. This thread is like those wounded organs which if not amputated in time, intoxicate the whole body. On similar grounds its better for us to mind our own business. When we in 1971 couldn’t help safeguard the Bengalis’ rights, we have no right to interfere in their personal affairs now. Yes, the international community has time and again expressed their reservations regarding the transparency of the trial procedure. Everyone’s giving their analyses on the situation in Bangladesh. What we need to understand right now, however, is that there’s a difference between the relationship of the international community and Bangladesh and ‘our’ relationship with Bangladesh. Ours is not a shared history of sunshine, rainbows and flowers. Instead it is a mutual history marred by mistrust, deceit and bloodshed.

Its funny how we have been taught in our history books that it was our neighboring country who was the major architect of what happened in ’71. There are some ‘other’ factors duly mentioned in our books too, but really who bothers paying attention to them when we can all just forget our mistakes and point our fingers towards someone else, right? I do believe that there were some ‘foreign’ hands which assisted in the disintegration of our country back then but I also believe that we now only remember that one contributing factor and have forgotten the rest. And perhaps this is the reason we’re so aptly pointing out with alacrity that what happened with Molla shouldn’t have taken place.

What we basically need to understand is the difference between what’s important and what’s not.

What is not important is us condemning Molla’s hanging and taking out processions against it. Why? Because given our past, we really don’t have a say in whatever’s happening in the country and even if we do say something, you really think the Bengalis would care? We should accept the fact that Bangladesh is now a separate country and we have never given the Benaglis a chance to rebuild their trust on us.

What is important and what we really need to worry about is Baluchistan. The level of intolerance and ignorance among our people towards the plight of the Balochis is disturbing and aggravating on so many levels. It should be our prime reason to worry about; instead we are fretting over something which happened some 1119.61 miles away. Any nation would want to evaluate where it went wrong (again) if they had a Balochistan-like situation at hand. But us? Oh no we’re the special lot. We only repent over things when they are gone; just like our dear Bangladesh here.

My target here is not to impose fences over someone’s thoughts or ideas about one particular incident. My objective is to make the reader understand that what’s done is done and how serious our reservations regarding the executions may be, the officials in Bangladesh won’t pay heed to our requests and our demands. They have their own people to listen to and own decisions to make. Whatever decision they make in their country, whether right or wrong, is their headache- not ours. No matter how hard it is to digest this bitter fact, it’s merely the truth and it’ll be better if we all accept it.

What we should pay attention to, is our own country for once. For how can we expect other nations to take us seriously when we aren’t ourselves strong and keen in resolving our own issues? Our own land is burning and we’re still paying attention to issues which we can’t resolve. We’ve all heard about the mistrust piling up in the people of Balochistan against their fellow countrymen, we’ve all heard about the Missing Persons case, we’ve all heard about how important a province it is for the country and lastly we’ve all heard time and again how ‘hidden’ forces are trying to snatch it away from us.

So if we’ve all heard about it, what did we ‘do’ about it? That my friend is the point you need to ponder upon. Not some hanging taking place in another country whose residents don’t really appreciate your concerns or reservations about how fairly the trials went. If you don’t want ’71 to happen again (and I’m sure you don’t) then each one of us in our capacity should promote this notion among our Baloch brothers and sisters that we are one.

It’s time to decide what’s really important; the past which is long gone or the future which is in our hands?

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