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September 13, 2018

Kulsoom Nawaz's death and the insanity that followed


Thu, Sep 13, 2018

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death has once again shone a  light on the ugly fact about how easily we are enticed to stooping to the level of hating those whom we happen to have some political differences with.

The former First Lady died in London after losing battle to cancer without knowing that her life partner along with their daughter was jailed thousands of miles away in Pakistan.

We could have sheathed  our swords for a while and waited for the deceased to be laid to rest after offering our condolences. But, perhaps it was a bit  too much to ask for.

While the breaking news of the death was still flashing  across TV screens, we gave in to our instincts shedding masks of decency and humanity.

We may dislike the politicians as much as we like, but most of them reacted to the tragic death in a manner any civilized society expect them to react.  

What was unfortunate was the battle that began on social media between the supporters of political parties and journalists known for their sympathies with the ruling and opposition parties.

With the fight still going on, the biggest victim of this battle is turning out to be the basic human values.

Warring sides are using every weapon in their arsenal to exterminate their opponents on social media. 

We saw the first charge being led against the politicians who have wrongly cast their doubts about the illness of Mrs Sharif.

Imran Khan, Asif Zardari, Aitzaz Ahsan and a number of journalists were among those who had condemned Sharifs and accused them of using Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s illness to avoid legal proceedings against them.

While all of them were hit squarely, we saw the most fierce attack  being led against eminent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan who had gone as far as to suggest that the hospital where the former First Lady was admitted for cancer treatment was owned by Sharifs.

The only one who seemed to show remorse later was Aitzaz who was earlier adamant not to take back his words.

Since we know apologies are a sign of strength, Aitzaz words should have sufficed.

But all we saw on social media was mantra of “it is too late”.

Forgetting that “it’s never too late”, most of us continued our unrelenting attacks against the PPP politician.

We failed to suggest what he was supposed to do if not seek forgiveness for the words that he should have never uttered. Does he deserve to be guillotined for his sin?

Perhaps we know the answer but it eludes us for we are blinded by our obsession with “wrongs” our opponents have done us by thinking differently.

It was also unfortunate to read the condolence message from actor Hamza Ali Abbasi who seems to have honed the art of shooting himself in the foot. 

It is said that brevity is the soul of wit. Had he known that, he would have restricted his condolence message to the first two sentences. Everything else he said was unnecessary.

It was also unfortunate to see an organized social media campaign being launched against the bereaved family as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were temporary released from jail to attend the funeral of a woman who with her brief political stint put fear of God in a military strongman after her husband was eased out of power in 1999 Coup d'état. 

One can only hope that someday we will learn to respect the dead.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The News.