Not Enough

Author: Daily Times

Only a superhero with nerves of steel could handle an extremely precarious situation that had unrolled in Lahore’s Ichra Bazaar a few days ago. Therefore, no heaps of praise are enough to credit ASP Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi for doing all that was deemed necessary to save a life.

Between rescuing the said victim of a heart-wrenching instance of blasphemy and cooling down the raging sentiments of a mob determined to make an example of her, inspiring video clips have become a social media sensation. But while the masses and the state have hit the bull’s eye with their accolades, recommending the policewoman for a gallantry award, the outright ugliness of the episode cannot be denied. That an innocent woman was forced to go through hell and even apologise for the crime she had not committed speaks volumes about the religious hypocrisy.

The situation is nowhere near ideal because a faction of religious elders has decided to launch an investigation into the contents of the garment that had allegedly been inscribed with sacrilegious content. Had Ms Naqvi not been cool-headed in her approach and knocked sense into a sea of zealots, there’s no telling how the sage would have unfolded.

The international media has very rightly used the episode to paint the entire society as a desert devoid of rationality. Why else would the original designer based in Kuwait request to not be dragged through the mud as it had “nothing to do with the..incident involving the innocent girl?”

As a local brand focused on Urdu calligraphy warned its customers to prioritise their safety, one can’t help but wonder about the direness of our straits. It is, indeed, a welcoming sign that both civilian and military leadership of the country are celebrating the official’s act of bravery in unison but is anyone sitting in avenues that matter willing to realise that we have moved well past the point where doing bare minimum could fit the bill. *

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