The attack on Raza Rumi, resulting in the loss of his driver Mustafa’s life, is reprehensible to say the least. They tried to murder hope but they failed. Raza was targeted for one reason and one reason alone: he spoke for a progressive and liberal Pakistan free of violence and bigotry.
What Raza stands for is increasingly the voice of Pakistan’s youth, youth who will not be silenced by your threats of violence anymore. Granted, you may prevail in the short run by shedding our blood. You may kill some of us or drive some of us out for the time being or silence us temporarily but, ultimately, finally, all said and done, we will win and, when we do, we will make horrible examples out of you.
We want a Pakistan that does not discriminate against people who believe differently from the mainstream. Is that so terrible and so unacceptable to the enemies of reason and progress? Is the idea of a Pakistan that is at peace with itself an international conspiracy? If so, I am proud to be part of a conspiracy that seeks to make Pakistan a better place for its citizens.
There can never be any compromise with those who live in caves and act like cavemen. Pakistan is a modern state and it must be run in accordance with the principles that are germane to the 21st century. We are not wedded — we have never been wedded — to the orthodoxy that wants to take us back to the Stone Age. Let us find then the moral courage to say no to dialogue and no to the tyranny that the purveyors of morality and contractors of faith want to impose on us. The time has come for all sane and reasonable people in this country, whatever your political views or ideas may be, to come together and stand by this fundamental principle: we will not be frightened by the enemies of reason, sanity and humanity any more. Do your worst and then we shall do our best.
Published in The Daily Times