A letter to the leaders of my country
I write this letter out of great concern for the future of my country; great concern for the agents of future of my country.
I would like to begin by asking all the leaders of my country what freedom means to them. Because I, a 25-year-old male who belongs to the Muslim faith, have been longing to hear a debate, a dialogue on freedom. Does freedom in their terminology restrict itself only to freedom to hate? Because from what I see, freedom to avail rights, freedom of expression, and freedom of love have all disappeared in thin air around their rigid, arrogant and hostile personalities. Donít misunderstand that I ask all these questions out of fear, for fear tends to only weaken you, but I ask only out of concern. Concern that started from the moment two Christians were burnt for being a minority, and continues with the barbaric murder of my young male Muslim brother Mashal Khan.
I ask them, is this the present you want to leave for your future? Is this the freedom that 70 years ago our ancestors sacrificed their own lives for, to bring you up in? Is this the freedom that Islam, a religion of peace that advocates the freedom of women, slaves and the oppressed, has taught you?
Why has freedom to express our opinion become so objectionable? Why havenít we understood that freedom of choice and opportunity is the literal meaning of modernity? Have you instilled hatred so deeply into our roots that today a young boy is killed in a space/area that is or was defined as the Institution of Peace? I ask the political leaders of this country, why havenít you highlighted the importance of freedom when you claim yourselves to be the champions of democracy and criticize the same individuals who once looted your right of freedom?
Isnít freedom the basis of our democratic evolution? If so, then why havenít important notions like freedom been indoctrinated in the development agenda? Why have we narrowed down our vision of development only in economic terms and not in a social context?
I ask all these questions out of concern and not fear, to the leaders of the present and the past, on behalf of the leaders of the future.
Islamabad Khayyam Jaffri
Itís an opportunityLet the candles glow