I Have a Question: Are We Not Racially Profiling the Pushtuns?!

I Have a Question: Are We Not Racially Profiling the Pushtuns?!

racial profiling PASHTUN QUESTION

Continuing the sequence of my blog series, “I have a Question”, here I am standing baffled with a new set of questions to throw your way again. Last time I asked the readers to justify how hating men is viable in consolidating the case of the feminist movement in Pakistan. This sequel also revolves around a social issue that I and many of my fellows see looming over our society.

In face of the carnage brought upon by the upsurge in terrorist activities across the country, Pakistan Army launched another countrywide military operation to eradicate “residual/latent threat of terrorism” on the 22nd of February, 2017. “Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad” is a comprehensive effort entailing active participation of Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces (CAF) and other security and law enforcing agencies (LEAs). This reinvigorated determination to eliminate terrorists of all hues has been received with profound public, political and foreign support.

In the wake of the ongoing crackdown against terrorists, a public notification issued by Mandi Bahaudin police department has raised an outcry over the internet for the blatant display of racial discrimination against Pashtuns.

The circular calls for people to be vigilant of any suspicious looking person, especially that of Pashtun or Afghani descent selling tea, dry fruits, children’s toys or household items and report about such people to the authorities immediately. In this conscious effort of asking people to stay alert, the authorities unintentionally (hopefully) have set a wrong and frightening precedent for Pashtun profiling in the country.

This is no different than prevailing Islamophobia in the West where amidst growing fear and insecurity, right wing sentiments against Muslims have gained significant strength. Along with undermining human security and adding to the woes of the targeted group or ethnicity, such racist policies play right into the hands of the very radical militant groups who are subject of these policies by increasing their number of sympathizers.

But that’s not it! At the heart of such delusive approaches lies the amplification of hate rhetoric and reinforcement of stereotypes, which in result leads to a staggering hike in hate crimes across the society. According to “AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2016/17: THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS” published on the 21st of February, 2017, “…divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs.”  Ergo, policies devised (to counter violent extremism) on the basis of over generalization, singling out the whole community or ethnicity just because of few a bad people can be equated to that boomerang which is detrimental to the objectives of these policies themselves.

Now, in the context of all that has been said and without doubting the intentions or second guessing the capabilities of our institutions, all I want to ask is that why have we opted for such a self-annihilating plan which is so inconsiderate of the subsequent consequences it can bring to our Pushtun brethren and hence, the netire country as a whole? Even if we agree to buy this “notion” why is this path so oblivious of the catalysts, which form the genesis of extreme behavior?

In simpler words, do we not see that racial profiling of the Pushtun population will only create disunity, which is precisely the objective of the extremist forces?

If you have answers to these questions or you think I have missed out on something here then be a sport and write to me at bolojawanofficial@gmail.com