Phone call inferred as begging?

Shiban Khaibri
“In this avaricious world , even a beggar
needs money in his bowl to be heard, begging is much
more difficult than it looks , and beggars cannot be choosers …..”
Now that the new government is in office in Pakistan since early April this year or in other words for nearly six months but instead of bringing in some changes , the position of the 23rd ”Prime Minister” of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif and his uneasy coalition government is increasingly precarious in handling the affairs of that country especially on extremely sagging, depressing and sinking economic front not to speak of at different international diplomatic fronts . It is quite interesting that it was this very economic failure which was attributed to mismanagement of Pakistan’s affairs by Imran Khan that became the cause of his stepping down preceded by series of “combined opposition” protesting on streets and heaping calumny to the hilt on Khan. Facing acute economic crisis and double digit highest ever inflation of 27.5% and devastating floods , Pakistan not only is heavily under debt but even is on the verge of gross economic default and, therefore , no international institution is lending any money to it to tide over the economic crisis over there. As is evident, Pakistan has frantically been trying to borrow from various countries but even its ”trusted” friend China has not obliged it . Imran Khan , former Prime Minister of Pakistan has , as such, slammed the present dispensation in Pakistan for “running around like a headless chicken with the economy in the tailspin”.
Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif , therefore, feeling quite undone and frustrated is openly admitting the extent of economic chaos and refusal of world community to lend money to it that he recently admitted that “even friendly countries have started looking at Pakistan as a nation that is always asking for money”. He further added , ” Today when we go to any friendly country or make even a phone call , they think that they have come to beg for money.” He was candid in admitting “Where does Pakistan stand today after 75 years, even smaller countries have surpassed Pakistan and we have been wandering for the past 75 years carrying a begging bowl .” Devastating floods , the fury of which has rattled the government as how to manage and address the horrible devastation it has brought in its wake , has brought the entire nation to a standstill.
On the other hand while all the blame of economic ills plaguing Pakistan is put on ex- Prime Minister Imran Khan by the present dispensation, on the other hand, Imran keeps on lauding India as a ”Khuddar Qaum” or very self respecting people and that ”no super power can dictate terms to India” and is lavishing praises on Narendra Modi , the Prime Minister of India and an important world leader. This is precisely for the reason for what “he has been doing all for his country” as against the “present PM Shehbaz Sharif who is concerned about the properties he owns outside Pakistan” . Imran goes on to say further, “No other leader except Sharif in the world has properties worth billions”. Earlier during his “difficult days” he was showering praises on the foreign policy of India but much to the discomfiture of many ”highly secular” leaders of opposition Parties in India. Earlier, Nawaz Sharif the PM of Pakistan was removed from office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding revelations from the Panama Paper case disqualifying him from holding public office and he had to quit the office in July 2017.
We in India , cherishing ages old civilization(al) heights of tolerance, peace , compassion, sympathy and the spirit of helping the one in distress feel bad about the devastation, floods have brought in Pakistan . India as a regional super power wants to replicate in Pakistan what it did in economic crisis ravaged Sri-Lanka by giving it an aid of $4 billion. India , therefore, wants to bail out and help Pakistan despite its avowed and sworn policy of hatred against India but as the saying goes that one should not beg while mounted on an elephant or beggars cannot be choosers , Pakistan has not formally requested this country for help. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto has bragged that Pakistan has not sought help from India while “many have come forward to help Pakistan”.
Those ravaged by floods in Pakistan are Pakistani Hindus also who in 1948 from 22.07 % of their population have been decimated to less than 2% and otherwise who are living a miserable life and always being under fear and being worst victims of hatred and state repression. They have been denied humanitarian aid and any type of relief or help by the local administration even being worst sufferers of the fury of floods. Discrimination with destitute Pakistani Hindus in matters of providing relief was so much that those who had taken refuge in relief camps were forcibly expelled from there once the local authorities knew about their faith. They were denied shelter, food and water just for their faith. A few conscientious Pakistani journalists reported about it. Instead of doing away with such a blatant discrimination and helping the Hindu flood sufferers out, one journalist was arrested by Pakistani authorities for reporting on open discrimination against Hindu flood victims of the Sindh province. A video of the discrimination against the Pakistani Hindus went viral on social media , the provincial government there acted swiftly not in providing humanitarian aid to poor Hindus sufferers but by deleting the video and arresting the Pakistani journalist .
Not only that, during floods of 2010 too, Pakistani Hindus were openly refused any aid and driven out of the relief camps making them starve and suffer with no one to listen to their vows though the country being their birth place with hundreds of thousands of years of roots . The then President Asif Zardari had to intervene , such were the levels of discrimination against Hindus and he had to pass on necessary instructions to the Sindh government . Again, nearly two years back during COVID pandemic , discrimination against Hindus was galore . Driven by faith based and ethnic discrimination , Hindus were refused aid. Pakistan’s top NGOs, the Saylani Welfare Trust refused to give ration to Hindus after ascertaining their faith from the official identity cards.
How unashamedly , flagrantly and brazenly is Pakistan crying foul over manufactured excesses committed on minorities (Muslims) in India and how it impudently talks about human rights violations in Kashmir while its hands are soaked with blood of those innocents, security forces, civilians, young and old whose blood got spilled and their families devastated in Jammu and Kashmir due to proxy war of terrorism unleashed by it against India . How its armed agents, terrorists and indoctrinated saboteurs drove out an entire original and indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir – the Kashmiri Pandits – numbering over 5 lakh only because of their faith, yet it talks about minorities in India, the ones it refers to are luckiest in the world by being citizens of India enjoying unprecedented liberty, freedom , equality and opportunities and being partakers of the economic development and beneficiaries of all schemes and programmes without a single instance of any discrimination which is in fact never in anyone’s mind even. Pakistan born on hate and prejudice against Hindus and other non Muslims should not gather cheeks to even remotely refer to minorities in India . We may be having problems, we may have differences and even may quarrel for that but we resolve them too like members in a family do. Constitution of the country, the law of the land, the independent judiciary and highly tolerant accommodative, peaceful and truly secular Hindu majority community play a tremendous role in order to guarantee no discrimination with anyone on any ground . That is the greatness of this country.
Pakistan has to learn and learn and yet again learn from India rather than giving sermons on minorities or on Kashmir. A suggestion and an advice to Pakistan – “treat your religious minorities fairly and do not subject them to discrimination , repression and forced conversion , your days will change and your problems will be over to a larger extent” . Converse of it can result in what hardly needs to be told to that country.