New Delhi’s Jahangirpuri recently became the centre point of violent communal tensions between the Hindu and Muslim populace of the Indian capital. The tensions flared on the holy Hindu occasion of Hanuman Jayanti when the Muslim residents claimed to have been offended by the mere chanting of the slogan “Jai Shri Ram” by a Hindu procession in the neighbourhood. The mere chanting triggered a violent reaction from the local Islamists and for several days, the area became a focal point of not just Indian media’s but also Pakistani media’s attention. The fact that it became an issue of importance for the Indian news outlets is understandable as it is the very country they operate from and exist in where the communal skirmish broke out but on the part of Pakistan’s proudly Indian phobic news outlets it seemed bizarre and amusing at the same time.
The Delhi neighbourhood received 24/7 attention from the eyes and ears of Pakistan but what a pity that the country’s cities suffer from such careful inspection. If the same amount of spotlight had been shined on the deteriorating law and order situation in the country’s very own financial hub and largest city Karachi, then a deadly suicide bomb blast by a Baloch separatist in the vicinity of a QS World ranked Pakistani university targeting Chinese nationals could have been averted.
In the same city in the same month of April, in a sheer display of sectarian hatred, a Shia Muslim father’s request to a local Sunni Muslim mosque to announce his daughter’s alleged kidnapping was straightway rejected. Similarly, if Pakistan’s second-largest city Lahore had received even half of the attention Jahangirpuri garnered in Pakistan then the city’s top medical institute the Allama Iqbal Medical College (named after the country’s national poet Muhammad Iqbal known commonly as “Mufakkir-e-Pakistan” which translates as “The Thinker of Pakistan”) wouldn’t have to witness the horrendous firing incident by a college worker against his co-workers which consequently led to heightened panic at the educational institute.
It is evident that the educational institutions housing the future of Pakistan are certainly under immense peril but who’s going to address and carry out an in-depth discussion on this peril? The Pakistani government or the Pakistani media, the answer here seems to be none as both are quite preoccupied with a mere brawl in a locality in the “azli dushman’s” (the Urdu term used often in Pakistan to describe India as an eternal enemy) capital. The mere brawl has become so significant to the “siyasatdans” (the Urdu word for politicians) and “siyasi mubasireen” (the Urdu term for political observers) of Pakistan alike in an outlandish manner primarily owing to it involving India’s Muslim community which Pakistani leadership has always seen as Pakistan’s other extension in South Asia while the first definitely being the former Islamic East Pakistan and now the Sheikh Hasina run secular Bangladesh.
In an official reaction to the bulldozing of a few properties purportedly belonging to Muslim residents of Jahangirpuri, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the statement which read: “The wanton destruction of houses belonging to the Muslim community, depriving the inhabitants of their fundamental right to shelter and leaving them at the mercy of the Hindutva-inspired state machinery, is highly deplorable,”. The reaction is humorous to the core of it as it seems senseless when the government of a different country has to drag itself into a municipal issue in a locality in a city that is not even its own, the situation would have been equally humorous if the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have deplored some anti-encroachment operation by Pakistani capital Islamabad’s beloved Capital Development Authority in Saidpur village ( home to 16th century Rama temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shri Ram ji) but he seems quite busy to even engage in such idiotic display of tu kaun main khamakha.
To poke a nose into the domestic affairs of another country while being unable to eliminate the food insecurity of gazillion households in one’s own country, is embroiled in a chronic political turmoil and being faced with worsening ties with some traditional allies such as the USA, doesn’t sound like a wise plan. Therefore, it is pivotal that the Pakistani leadership focuses on the alleviation of issues that hurt most their subjects which are the “awaam” (Pakistani public) then be perturbed by what goes on inside the alleys and on the streets of padosi mulk’s darul hukumat (Urdu for neighbouring country’s capital).