Saturday, March 5, 2011

Liberal values and liberal politics

Two days ago, 2nd March 2011, an horrendous act of terrorism took place in the capital city of Pakistan. This time the target was the minister of minority affairs, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti. I have deep condolence for the decease and his culprits should be brought to justice as soon as possible.

But here we have a chance to discuss a very important question. This question is not about the recent murder but about the pro-activeness of all liberal states in this specific murder. In Pakistan, especially in Karachi, dozens of people are killed in the name of politics every week. In tense situations, this figure reaches abnormal heights. The blood of innocent people colors the city's landscape and the economic cycle of the country comes to an immediate halt. Where are all these liberal states when these innocent people are being killed? Why don't they speaks out in the same vehement way as they are speaking out for Mr. Bhatti's unjust murder. Yesterday MQM's leader, Mr. Altaf Hussian, said that the killing of Mr. Bhatti has badly damaged Pakistan's image abroad. Prime minister Yousuf Raza Galani in tandem with the president also repeated these words. Why is this single murder of such international importance in a country where hundred of people die in the name of politics everyday? Why doesn't the killing of these innocent Pakistanis affect our image abroad? Why is this single murder of such an importance that the whole international community has started speaking against it and is asking for speedy justice?

We are going to see these questions in a different paradigm. Is this a paradox that the killing of uncounted Pakistanis doesn't attract political and international attention, while a single murder causes an international fiasco for the state?

It has to be understood that Mr. Bhati was killed for one of most pinnacle value of the human right's framework. This is the right of the freedom of speech. Mr. Bhatti was an outspoken critic of a man made blasphemy law. He was also on the international scene because of his criticism. His killing, in liberal western states, was seen as an attack on this fundamental right of man, the freedom of speech. So indirectly it can be said his dead was synonymous to the killing of all liberal traditions. Although, it could be conjectured that the person who killed the minister might be a psychopath. Unfortunately, such a conjecture is ridiculed.

A few days ago, a female senator was killed in the United States. Her killing was taken in a completely different fashion. The killer was instantly called a psychopath by the locals and due judicial process started. A question may arise why doesn't the west considers this murder as an attack on liberal values?  The answer has to be sought from the society itself. The murder in Pakistan was seen as an attack on secular values in a religious state. This attack is psychologically considered an act of sheer terrorism in the west. Killing a secular value in a religious arena is literally an attack on a liberal man by a savage. The situation in the United States is totally different. The murder took place in a secular country. The person was declared a psychopath and not a terrorist by the commoners. No media person called the murderer a terrorist, although it was again an act of terror. This intrinsic societal difference results in two different outputs.

To conclude, it can be said that liberal politics is all about the protection of the liberal thought. The grief is not on the murder of an innocent man but the real grief is about the murder of liberal tradition in Pakistan. Whenever the human right framework is challenged, liberal force have no choice other to defend the framework.

What's the prime motto of the human right framework will be discussed later.