(Atif R. Mazari)
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam) undertaken the two nation theory to awaken the Muslims of subcontinent that Hindus and Muslims constitute two distinct, and frequently antagonistic ways of life, therefore they cannot coexist as one nation. Soon after the independence the challenges begin on economic, governance, political and cultural front, which is increasing every day especially after the 9/11 attacks. Hundreds of INGOs and media teams entered in Pakistan with their malicious agenda of destruction of Pakistani youth through cultural invasion.
All countries in South Asia have a shared culture; and it is beyond the generic. For instance, India and Pakistan share not only a lot of cultural affinity; Punjabis and Sindhis are present in both countries in significant numbers. Bangladesh’s counterpart is West Bengal (significant that the appellation ‘West’ is still kept), Tamil Nadu shares a lot with northern Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkwa practically mean the same thing! These connections, despite official attempts by several governments to break them, still apply and in some cases, thrive. It can be digested but we are forgetting the fact the Pakistan become on the name of Islam and it should be accordingly whether cultural similarity but religiously different from each others.
Another cultural foe affecting our society is NGOs they are proponents of western interest, they receive funds from overseas governments, openly collaborate with governmental agencies at home or overseas. These NGOs are not accountable to local people in terms of financial resource, dress code, religiously, morally and policy formation/execution but to overseas donors who “review” and “oversee” their performance according to their own fabricated criteria. Islamic way of life is not diverse one these NGOs in the name of human rights/women rights/children rights advocating. There is a dire need to realize own values.
This is high time of cultural invasion of Pakistan with Indian & Turkish soap operas finding broad acceptance across the country. All most all the Pakistani channels are airing these soap operas for the high TRPs. Registered TV channels in Pakistan or more than 120 and most of them are airing the Indian and Turkish TV contents instead of developing own traditional and cultural contents to enlighten the positive side of Pakistan and Islam which is only know as extremist/ support of terrorism.
Despite the ideological clash with the state owned Pakistan Electronics and Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) policies, they took a positive step to safeguard the Islamic tradition and discouraged the media to air foreign contents over Pakistani productions. Now all Pakistani channels are bound to air only 6% foreign content in 24 hour transmission and banned the crime based enactment which is diverting the minds of youth from real world to the world of illusions.
This battle for Pakistanis’ hearts and minds is as tough as the one for sovereignty and territory. But the message is spread best when it’s free from political manipulation or overt assertions of national or civic pride. The youth of the Pakistan must be given choice to how this cultural war unfolds to shape Pakistan’s future between extremism and moderate Islam. If our youth is encouraged to flourish on the strength of unifying, not divisive, narratives and values, we will definitely win the cultural wars in Pakistan.