For the longest time in my living memory, people around me, including me, have referred to Pakistan as the terrorist state, the country which perpetrates terror. But in my heart, call me naive, foolish or whatever you may, all Pakistanis weren’t terrorists, all elements related to Pakistan did not get synced with terrorism. Yes, Atif Aslam has a beautiful voice! Sana Munir is a budding author. Shahid Afridi never grows old. Fawad Khan is a looker. Oh, that blue-eyed tea seller! And so many others who have tried to establish a name for themselves but happened to have been born in Pakistan.
My heart says there are countless Pakistani citizens who condemn what the Army and Government are choosing to ignore. They condemn the nefarious terrorist activities being conducted in their country but are as helpless as we are in the face of uncontrolled elements in our own country of living. There is absolutely no excuse for all of those people who, irrespective of their caste, religion, country, gender, and colour, encourage activities which will consume lives and spread unprecedented, uncontrolled fear in the hearts of innocents. Be it a Hindu or a Muslim, an Indian or a Pakistani – if you support terrorism, you ought to be wiped out. No God has allowed us to take lives, you say. But no God allowed you either, we say. There isn’t much difference between the angel and the devil, wars have no rules – it’s the side that matters.
News of the threats to Karachi Bakery, a name that I have associated with the city of Hyderabad since I was old enough to pronounce it, really scared me. The elements of extremism are prevalent in India too and they’ve only just started showing up their painful rear. For a bakery that has for years been feeding people, has thrived on popularity and their ability to churn out the sweetest of biscuits shouldn’t have to prove their patriotism or their citizenship just because their founders happened to hail from a country in Pakistan. Similarly, no other person should be singled out to prove their loyalty to India, based on their religion, place of birth or pre-1947 place of living.
Pakistan and India have a shared history which either of us cannot deny or erase. People who’ve been to the other side of the border have professed of the hospitality and love they’ve received by the common man. There are common man counterparts there too who are sick of false promises, inflation, job insecurity, the daily drudgery of life. If a war broke out, it would not only cripple them, as already seen by the Karachi Stock Exchange crash, it would also hit India hard. In the bleak global economy, India is optimistic. Let us try and remain that way. Our war, as iterated numerous times by the Government and the Defence Forces is not against Pakistan. Our war is against terror, which happens to be an unwelcome guest in the neighbourhood.