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May 12, 2018

Zero tolerance


May 12, 2018

‘Nach gana’ – these two words had never bothered me till I realised that these two words are actually part of a wilful smear campaign against the PTI. The more than 200 social media propaganda tools used by political social media cells have been busy putting out fabricated stories.

This is quite understandable as the very survival of some of our opponents depends on this ludicrous web of lies. PTI jalsas scare the living daylights out of the status quo, which can see their crumbling empires that had been built on the blood and sweat of the toiling masses.

Who brought women and the youth into mainstream politics? Who raised awareness regarding corruption during a 126-day dharna? Who made this nation stand up and fight for their fundamental rights? All of this can be attributed to a daunting third force in a two-party stagnated system of sham democracy.

Of course, this set the parties of the status quo aflame, and they saw their very foundations being shaken. So political figures of all hues descended on their common enemy – the Kaptaan.

Kaptaan’s integrity was beyond reproach, though, as his credentials were bolstered by the existence of Shaukat Khanum Hospital and Namal. This is when the ‘Jewish lobby’ card was used. It worked – but not according to their plan since Kaptaan stood resolute. No matter how hard they punched him publicly through personal attacks, his incorruptible reputation knocked them out cold.

They got thinking again. How was it that no women or children attended their jalsas, but flocked to listen to Imran Khan? They couldn’t fathom how each jalsa of the PTI became a family event with women of all ages present in large numbers. Here entered the ‘nach gana’ card – exploit people by playing with their religious and cultural sentiments.

When there is nothing else to fall back on, the easiest route taken is slander of women. Women are labelled as loose characters, shamelessly dancing publicly in full view of cameras.

Shame on all those who slander and vilify in the name of Islam. The likes of such people have no respect for women. And the women of Pakistan have had enough of their gutter mentality. We have had enough of the kind of hypocrisy in which rape and child abuse are met with silence, and in which women are brutalised and murdered in the name of honour, but not a word of protest is heard.

We are being targeted because we are demanding our rights – the rights of every citizen of Pakistan as enshrined in the constitution. Imran Khan has empowered us and made us fearless in the face of injustice.

Our founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah had also clearly defined the role of women in Pakistan:

“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless women are side by side with you. No nation can even be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with men.” The Quaid stated in categorical terms that in the achievement and struggle for Pakistan, Muslim women were to participate as equal partners. That he practised what he preached was demonstrated by the presence of his sister by his side in almost all public activities. Women were involved in the freedom movement to an unprecedented degree.

Islamic history is replete with instances of Muslim women having fought in battles right next to men. So for those with misogynistic mentalities, we say: there is no place for the likes of you in the Pakistan of the Quaid. Seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty before it’s too late. We are wide awake now. Take your ‘nach gana’ card and atone for slandering respectable women who have sacrificed their all in the quest for justice and rule of law.

We are passionate about a corruption-free Pakistan where there is equal opportunity for all. We want one Pakistan, not two.

So when we raise our hands to the tune of Allama Iqbal’s verses or the kalaam of Bulleh Shah or our party’s anthems, we demand some respect. And vile propaganda only strengthens our resolve further. This movement is jihad for us. We know our limits and we know our norms. And we have zero tolerance for hypocrites and sell-outs who sell their souls to the highest bidder at the drop of a hat.

This ‘nach gana’ nonsense does not fool anyone – least of all, the women of Pakistan.

The writer is a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

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