Not Punjab’s culture

Haleem Adil Shaikh

The writer is PTI Sindh Vice-President.

I once heard Maryam Nawaz say that when a man is frustrated, he uses a harsh tongue. She probably said this to appease her supporters. The result of her political upbringing was witnessed when one of her party MNA Shaikh Rohail Asghar, when asked about using foul language in Parliament, replied that hurling expletives was part of Punjab’s culture. I am still boggled over what Punjabi culture he is representing. Do people like him represent Punjab? They are just defaming the culture and politics of the whole province by not being able to control themselves.

The chaos that we witnessed in the National Assembly has happened before as well. Lawmakers have uttered the more bizarre statements in parliament. This time around, however, the presence of PML-N seemed as if they have come prepared. No government wants unruly behaviour in the House and their efforts go down the drain. Neither can one claim that the PTI did not respond to the PML-N’s antics as we gave them a befitting reply. We cannot allow violation of the sanctity of parliament where holy verses are inscribed on both sides. Neither has any government representative justified the hurling of abuses.

Rohail Asghar has insulted the whole of Punjab by attributing expletives as its culture. Every Punjabi has the right to say that it may his culture, not the tradition of Punjab.

His actions have disrespected Punjab and entire Pakistan. Punjab has a rich, vibrant culture comprising of the ancient and modern. Each area has its own customs and traditions. But nowhere is using foul language the norm. You may end up using some expletives or slang words but this can happen anywhere. Rohail Asghar’s remarks must be strongly condemned for attributing indecent language to the entire province.

It is unfortunate that PML-N has tarnished the politics of Punjab. The people of Punjab voted for them for thirty years, rewarded them with the posts of MNA, MPA, Chief Minister and Prime Minister. But they still not realised the respect and honour of Punjab. The Land of Five Rivers is rapidly developing with a network of industries and vast fields of agricultural production. Punjab has the highest representation in the army and government departments. It is like the elder brother of all the provinces. Baba Farid, Waris Shah, Bulleh Shah, Sultan Bahoo, Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and similar poets and writers of the subcontinent also belonged to Punjab. It is rich in literature, cultural dance, and has historical importance.

The PML-N ruled for decades but looted and filled their own coffers and also ended up playing with the future of millions of people. Time waits for nobody and today Punjab has changed after being free from the clutches of Zardari and Sharifs. Even those who opposed Imran Khan becoming the prime minister and advised him to learn politics have changed their opinion. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has for the first time officially announced to celebrate Punjab Culture Day on March 14. It is now evident that swearing, abusing and using foul language is not Punjab’s culture but a habit of  PML-N leaders. Their atrocious, derogatory, and obscene talk constitute slander. These allegations have been hurled against 110 million Punjabis, one of the largest community and most widely spoken language in the world.

Pakistan is emerging as a great nation under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The country’s reputation has improved at the external level and resolution to the Kashmir issue seems certain. Public awareness is also increasing whether there is a power crisis, police excesses, or worker’s demands, the people take to the streets to express their anger. They cannot remain silent and tolerate abuse and it has become difficult for the elites to ignore them. Pakistan is heading in the right direction and the future is bright. The day is not far when Pakistan will be one of the leading countries in the world and the most important role in this development will be played by Punjab.

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