11 May, 2017

Challenging hate in Pakistan

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Category: News from the activists
Campaign Activist
4 pm

Pakistan has been plagued by intolerance and hate since a long time. We’ve seen people being killed because of their beliefs and political ideas. The latest case was of the lynching of a university student in the North Western province of Pakistan, The journalism student was lynched because his say on political and religious issues was different from that of others.

I am a resident of the southern port city of Karachi. The city is home to more than 27 million people. It consists of many different religious and ethnic communities and because of that keeping Karachi hate free is very difficult.

I as a resident of the city am trying to play my part in removing hate from the minds of the locals through debate and discussion, the problem is that these debates get emotional and that defeats its purpose. One time I almost created a mob but the good thing was that they were listening to what I have to say rather than being angry or offended. I have even challenged hardcore extremists and on some occasions they did admit that their prejudice against other communities is wrong. The thing is if I tried doing the same in other parts of Pakistan particularly in the rural areas (where hate crimes are high) I would probably be accused of blasphemy. The literacy rate of Karachi is relatively higher as compared to other parts of Pakistan and because of that it is easier to make people question their beliefs. However this does not mean that the city is hate free, in fact Karachi has seen some of the most violent crimes targeting minority religious and ethnic groups. The literacy rate among the youth is very high and I strongly believe that the youth of Karachi can play a significant role in changing the mindset of the city.

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