Shahbaz Taseer kidnapped, and a scream that never ends

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This is my country – a place where governors are murdered for fighting for minority rights by bearded men claiming higher moral ground in the name of religion.

This country – where entire families are targeted for the alleged sins of a single individual. A place where justice is a joke, and every good deed can be counter-argued with ten evil deeds making us all, indeed, rotten to the core.

I am talking about the abduction of the late Governor Salmaan Taseer’s son, Shahbaz Taseer today. I wake up to yet another morning of screams inside my head; visions of death, torture, pain and unending questions mostly centered around –- why?

What did Shahbaz Taseer do that was so bad?

Was it the photos of his family that were circulated online in an attempt to malign the Taseers?

Was it the fact that he was born into money?

Was it the fact that his father was in a position of power, and in a moment of clarity, decided to stand up for the right of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman being persecuted by her village?

Was it the fact that the Taseers maintained a courageous face after the murder of their father, stepping forward into the media light and trying to make a difference, rather than cowing down as the men in beards would want? A refusal to submit to the whims of terrorists merits murder and abduction?

What a sad state of affairs – the screams in my head will not stop today, or for many more days.

I go online hoping beyond hope to find some meaning in this madness – to connect to some of my fellow people.

There are already comments welling up under articles being shared on Shahbaz Taseer’s abduction. This is what I read pock-marked among messages of shock and dismay:

Wajahat Ali Khan Wow! 1 Secular abducted (Updated on Media) 10,000+ Faithful Muslims abducted (No Update on Media) ET; You are failed. (22 people like this)

Azhar Haleem Raja its realy bad bt 1 thing there are 100′s of people kidnaped daily alas never heard of those poor felows bt a rich kidnaped n media z barking (13 people like this)

Shahiq Ali What do we know he was probably kidnapped by his girlfriend 😉 (11 people like this)

Xalvi Xalviz All media now following this. Media is biased. Normal citizen insaan nahi hotay? Tab koi Ku nahi headlines deta (1 person likes this)

Bushra Zia Rehman Agreed. Why special news for him? Is he some kind of celeb? I dont even no hiim. (2 people like this)

This is my country and these are my countrymen…more does not need to be said, and some of the more atrocious comments that have been deleted should never be shared again.

To answer one question though – yes, Shahbaz Taseer is special for me. All the Taseers are special for me, because in the struggle for a poor Christian woman in a village, they did what no one in Pakistan is ready to do. They took risks, they made sacrifices and they are a symbol for justice above and beyond our flawed Constitution, our pathetic (often dangerous) clerics, our weak-willed, cowardly politicians.

It’s called walking the walk, rather than talking the talk and for that alone, I am humbled by their strength. I hope to show some of that same courage some day – to stand up for what is right, and make a difference, despite the risks and consequences.

That is the only way the screams in my head will ever be silenced.

Thank you for showing me the way Salmaan Taseer, may your family remain safe from harm.

Published in Tribune Blogs.

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