• 7 August 2022
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Pluralism in Pakistan

Pluralism in Pakistan

Pakistan came into being on 14th August 1947 after all the hardships that Muslims faced in the subcontinent by majority groups of that time. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, envisioned a Muslim dominant state in addition to a secular democratic entity that benefits not only Muslims but also other presiding religious, cultural, and sectarian groups.

Undoubtedly Pakistan is a diversified country; it is a home for people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. However, the minorities of Pakistan have been treated as subservient and inferior to the majority. A state that embraced pluralism so openheartedly, a state which all minorities should proudly call their home, a state in Jinnah is dying, bit by bit. Be it the gruesome killing of a priest, William Siraj in Peshawar, the killings of Shiites from the Hazara community, in Lahore, or the forced conversions of Hindu girls in interior Sindh – all of these incidents are reflecting a violation of Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan.

Pakistan is called as Riyasat-e-Madina by ex-prime minister Imran Khan and one of the core values of Riyasat-e-Madina is unity among the people living in a single state. Many will second the thought that for creating peaceful societies and promoting pluralism, unity is a necessary ingredient. Unity does not only mean helping others in their time of need by feeling the pain of one’s suffering. It also pertains to pluralism, which refers to accepting people as they are, maintaining religious harmony, and celebrating differences.

Today each country on earth encounters the challenges of peace; one of the main reasons is technology and globalization. Every individual has access to social media and can easily share his thoughts with just a single click; their thoughts are unfiltered and can offend other religious or ethnic groups which in turn creates chaos and disruption in a country’s peace. We cannot deny the fact that cultural encounters, at times, can harm a state’s peace and can lead the public to harbor hate towards other ethnic and religious groups leading to the formation of a hate chain in the whole state. It initially increases violence at the community level and soon becomes the reason for demolishing peace in the whole state. The minor issue which is raised in a small muhalla soon infiltrates the political and economic aspects of the state and is later used by politicians for their gains.

Conceivably to communicate with the contemporary challenges of peace, the approach of pluralism can be a panacea for all ills, and the influence of pluralism can discard all the threats for both minority and majority groups.

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