Opinion | Pakistani State Spewing Jihadi Narrative Responsible for Lankan National's Murder

Opinion | Pakistani State Spewing Jihadi Narrative Responsible for Lankan National’s Murder
© Provided by News18 Opinion | Pakistani State Spewing Jihadi Narrative Responsible for Lankan National’s Murder

It was a normal morning in the industrial town of smog-ridden Sialkot in eastern Pakistan. Priyantha Diyawadana was getting ready to go to RAJCO, a sportswear manufacturing factory, where he was a manager. He had been working there since 2010 and was known to the local community as a decent, hardworking and pious man until December 3, 2021.

As he left home and approached the factory he could not help but notice that a poster had been pasted on the factory wall. Since it was prohibited to paste posters, Priyantha took it down. What he did not know was that it was an Islamic poster with religious text on it. He simply binned it.

Within minutes, Priyantha was facing a crowd comprising his factory workers who, he felt, had a strange gaze. They hurled abuses at him and accused him of committing blasphemy. Priyantha did not stand a chance. Probably he smelled death and tried to talk some sense into the now very angry crowd.

Workers, whom he had served with love and admiration for 10 years, were now bent upon teaching him a lesson. The news spread though the factory and workers rushed to the factory compound where he was being slapped and kicked.

In no time, an organised industrial working class had turned into a fanatic Islamic mob. Hundreds of people descended upon him with sticks and stones and struck him on the head. Priyantha fell to the ground. He was beaten to death in no time, his corpse was dragged around before the mob set a dead man alight. As flames billowed from Priyantha’s corpse, the mob now cheered ‘Allah o Akbar, Allah o Akbar’.

Priyantha paid the price for living in a fanatic Islamic country with his life. Fanaticism has been nurtured by the military establishment in the name of Jihadi Islam. The recent release of Saad Rizvi, the leader of the fanatic Islamic organisation called Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), and lifting of the ban over his organisation have emboldened Pakistani Islamic fundamentalism beyond imagination.

As Priyantha’s body turned into charcoal and the news spread via social media, statements of condemnation began to pour in from all quarters of society, including the government. Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar, prime minister Imran Khan and a whole barrage of military establishment cronies were issuing tweets promising a swift and speedy inquiry.

It is not the mob but those who have turned 220 million people into killing machines who are the real culprits. The Jihadi narrative spewed by the prime minister—from the floor of the United Nations General Assembly—army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the judiciary, who has been an accomplice in freeing terrorists by issuing bails, and the clergy, is responsible for the murder of Priyantha Diyawadana.

The roots of communal hate and violence go way back to the politics of separatist and segregationist Muslim leaders, right from the British crony Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of Aligarh Muhammadan Oriental College, to the so-called founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

A country carved out of Hindustan, which was supposed or was promised to be the land of the pure, has been purifying itself by committing genocide of Hindus and Sikhs and other religious minority groups in Pakistan.

From Sindh to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, attacks on minority religious sites, temples and gurdwaras have been an almost weekly occurrence in Pakistan. Churches are demolished in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. Young Hindu, Sikh and Christian women aged 12-15 are kidnapped and forcefully married to their Muslim abductors, who then force them to convert to Islam. And, there is no end to this genocide in sight.

Condemnation of such acts of barbarism is not going to bring an end to jihadist war against minority religious groups in Pakistan. The global community has to start calling a spade a spade and put economic sanctions on a country that is fascist in the real sense of the term.

Pakistan eliminates dissent at home and abroad, it sends mercenary jihadists to India and Afghanistan, and it uses the minority religious groups as escape goats and a safety valve against public anger geared towards the government itself.

Priyantha Diyawadana is dead, but there are thousands who are stranded in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and require our immediate attention.

Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the stand of this publication.

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