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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Diwali in Pakistan: Muslim League ministers celebrate the festival with Hindus [Communal Harmony Project-2]

Pakistan Muslim League leaders seek  'ashirwad' from 'Bhagwans'
It is now slightly late to post the picture but I really liked this photograph and thought that it must be shared with you.

The ministers of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) celebrating Diwali at the party headquarters in Islamabad.

The person who is seen third from the left in the photo is Ejazul Haq, the son of former Pakistan president Ziaul Haq.

The PML leaders are seen with 'tilak' on foreheads and seeking 'ashirwad' blessings from a couple that is posing as Hindu gods. They have been garlanded and offered the customary sweets.

We don't get to see such pictures about our neighbouring country in Indian media. Even if it is just a gesture, it is important. Religious minorities must get the feeling that they belong to the place. Their culture must be respected fully.

When different communities come together to celebrate a particular festival, it shows a society in positive light. Just like 'iftaars' are organised in India during Ramzan, despite the politics, such gatherings and events sends a message to the minority and generates goodwill.

It is easy to be cynical but believe me these gestures signify a lot and go a great way towards sending the right message to the minorities. When we see it happening in Pakistan, it has an even greater impact. Let's hope that such goodwill extends in all spheres.

For the FIRST PART on Hindus in Pakistan, you can CLICK HERE

[Photo courtesy Mr Adil Najam's website Pakistaniat.com]

UPDATE 2013: For more photographs showing Diwali celebrations in Karachi go to this LINK.


sharique said...

This reminds me of vajpayee praying the magrib salaat before aftaar..ah these hypocrite politicians!! i am sure that person above was trying to appease the minorities there

Hiren said...

Diwali in Pakistan is inded a revealation. Never thought such a thing was possible.

indscribe said...

Sharique, one of them is Ijazul Haq, son of Late General Zia, whatever may be, I won't comment on niyat but gestures surely help micro minorities like in Pakistan.

Hiren, ya, actually we don't get the correct picture about Pak and so is true about India there...will write some more.

Raza Rumi said...

Thanks for the post. Whilst this might be a political gimmick, your point is most relevant - both the countries misunderstand each other. There is a need for more exchanges and blogosphere is emerging as a great borderless arena for such stories and comments to be posted.

urdudaaN said...

I tend to agree with you.

But, here is how I see Adnan bhai's point, in my own way:
Assuming that Pakistan has something like 5% Non-muslims, the rest 95% being Muslims. Further assuming that the 95% is intolerant going by the Media feedback. Will I as a politician do such a thing to anger those 95%? Will it be politically wise??
So, I guess the 95% are as much tolerant as hypocrite a politician can be.

Fargham said...

Changes on its way!

Khyber Khan said...

UrduDaan Sahib: Apna ta'assub siyasat daanon ki had tak mehdood rakhain to accha rahay gay. Aik hi laatthi say sab ko nahin hunkaartay hain.

Indiscribe Sb: Mujhay bhi kaafi hansi aaee aur accha bhi laga kay dunyadaari kay liyay bhi yay kaam hojaai to kiya mazaaiqa hay?

gourav said...

this particular gesture seems to me too little too late. come on what would it do to improve the day by day worsening condition of ever dropping hindu population in pakistan.

Anonymous said...

A real change indeed! Finally there is some acknowledgment that we ('kafirs') in pakistan are human beings too.
Not sure if you guys believe the same about us here in India. But we are not so stone-hearted. We will continue to pray alongside you as long as you don't kill us.

K said...

Minorities in Pakistan are safer than India. A realistic look will show you how Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are doing good in an Islamic Republic than is usually thought.

The picture is indeed a PR show but tolerance is a lot more in Pakistan than we would want to believe. Some Kashmiris told me how when they would sometimes introduce themselves as Indians to Pakistanis, they would be surprised to see the warmth in the Pakistanis response; something I think would be hard to find in India, since Pakistan does not blame everything on RAW as India does on ISI.

Being a Kashmiri does not mean I want merger with Pakistan automatically.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that Muslims are all that bad.If Hindus did not have the hidious Caste System,there may never have been a Pakistan-India would have been one strong powerful nation.
Jai Hind!!!

shafi said...

its good that a country which is almost labelled as a container of Islamic Extremist allows to celebrate diwali to its minorities.

shafi said...


sunny said...

If both of us can exchange culture like this then why we get divided.
Lets form a community to raise voice for unifying India-Pakisthan-Bangladesh

Anonymous said...

If both of us can exchange culture like this then why we get divided.
Lets form a community to raise voice for unifying india-pakisthan-bangladesh

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

The Pakistanis are very good in PR than Indians. No doubt they continue to fool the world.
From my experience of Pakistanis I can say that they ooze honey when you meet them but the reality is something else. They consider Indians (especially Hindus)as inferior and fair game.

Anonymous said...

If minorities are treated better in Pakistan than in India, they how would you explain the gradual homogenization of Pakistani society? I am still to see a minority being elected as a PM or president of the country. Correct me if I am wrong. Surely, I don't see many minorities playing in cricket either, unless somehow minorities 'lack' the skill to play cricket there, if that's possible, lolls. As for Pakistan's stand on Kashmir issue, its nothing but politics. Maybe India should start interfering, at an official level, about Balochistan's independence too then !! How about Tibet in China? Do Kashmiris think its ok to violate the rights of Tibetans. Mind you (and this is not to underplay the atrocities faced by people of J and K), but human rights violations in Kashmir pale in comparison to what goes on in Tibet, a largely peaceful place!! So, why is it that Pakistan have any say in Kashmir, when Pakistan, doesn't grant independence to Balochs and 2) doesn't stand up for the people of Tibet. Something to ponder about. Cheers !!

ISM said...

^^I'm sure anonymous you know nothing about the Balochistan movement.
The people of balochistan were forced to take part in the free balochistan movement by it's tribal leader Bughti, when Pakistan government started the operation them and asked people to lay down there arms whoever wanted to, many came and said we are being forced to do so otherwise our parents, wife and children heads are shaved and are humiliated in front of everyone and killed by the tribal leader. He didn't even let anyone build schools by balochi's.

He always complained Balochistan people are not treated equally, are not given resources and when in an interview the anchor interrupted him and said 'you are given crores by government' he replied 'that is for ME'. His wives picture used to come in newspaper and one of them was pictures wearing a "13 crore" ring. Now you can predict how much he has in store.

The minorities in Pakistan are very less so I don't think the political parties really have to do such so called public stints thing for there support. As for what they are doing in Pakistan I've written here - http://www.anindianmuslim.com/2006/05/hindu-majority-district-in-pakistan.html


Anonymous said...

He that makes a good war makes a good peace.


Anonymous said...

Surely, I don't see many minorities playing in cricket either, unless somehow minorities 'lack' the skill to play cricket there, if that's possible, lolls...Thanks

Zagam2 said...

Surely, I don't see many minorities playing in cricket either, unless somehow minorities 'lack' the skill to play cricket there, if that's possible, lolls...Thanks

NAIR said...

we cannot and never trust pokris they are cheaters and will attach from back so guys please take care if u stay in pak