So, who are our heroes? I wondered, if these young men were laid to rest with such anonymity and forgotten so quickly, there must be people in this country who could be remembered for the things they had done. Surely there should be some people who could draw respect, admiration and deference to be remembered long after their bones were interred. Its why I decided to look for these heroes – our national protagonists. The movers and shakers of Pakistan. But the names that came up were of strange people; controversial, contentious and provocative with a damning history. Either they were convicts, convicted of some petty crime, or they were absconders who had fled the consequences of their omissions and commissions. The dead were idolized for the crimes that they did such as Qadri for killing the Governor of Punjab yet others were claiming that Osama Bin Laden was a legend. We have Asma Jehangir, the Joan of Arc of Pakistan and now Khadim Rizvi suddenly the voice of millions. Justice Seth who wanted to drag Musharaff in the streets and hang him publically as the public at large cheered him on, admiring him for his courage - courage in the face of what, is still a moot question. In this vein I await the passing of Mullah Aziz Burqa in anticipation of being entertained by the spectacle of the unholy worship he shall draw to his person. Then there are the living marvels, Marvi Sarmad, another popular figure who sticks to her slogan my-body my- business while outspoken Jibran plays out his liberal rhetoric. His concern is the missing people, who are occasionally discovered terrorizing the armed forces. Then of course there are the Hamid Mirs, who always have a cause and as long as it's against the government it would do and if it does not exist then it is invented. My question is, that does Pakistan really have no good people to emulate, quote or stand up as examples? Is this all what we have? If this be true then I take that famous argument against Islamophobia, 'that we are not all bad, its just a few that give us all a bad name', with a pinch of salt. We are all guilty. We stand for pedophiles, we suppress women, we mistreat children and as a society our heroes and heroines are those who we able to abuse power, or exploit ideology for their own purposes. This is who we are.
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