Recently, Zainab’s father was in the news where he demanded justice for his daughter’s immensely horrifying tragedy. However, he happened to ask for the Ahmadi Head of the JIT to be changed because – well – of his faith.
Here’s a video of Zainab’s father asking for a “Muslim” JIT head:
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) January 11, 2018
Now, given how sensitive the entire matter is, there’s some level of subdued anger over this. Minorities have it hard, to begin with, in Pakistan. A father – in the face of this overwhelming tragedy – focusing on a man’s faith has not gone down well with many.
People sympathized with him, undoubtedly. However, they couldn’t deny that this was a case of bigotry.
What a shameful state of affairs. I sympathize fully with Zainab's father over her loss but would speak against this bigotry. Did he inquire about the abductor, rapist and murderer of his child. We cant judge honesty of our officers based on their faith. https://t.co/00uRKVchzy
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) January 11, 2018
Some people had a more controlled, balanced reaction to the statement.
All I can say is govt should ensure Ahmedi Head JIT stays on n grants Zainab's family justice, if it's just a bigotry issue. If it's a competency issue, considering reports tht same head was from Kasur 2014, family's demands are obviously genuine
— Khansaab (@GumbyAKhan) January 12, 2018
Others seemed to be at a loss for words.
Zainab´s father demands JIT head be changed because the named officer is a non-Muslim, an Ahmadi, according to him. What can one say to the bereaved parent.
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) January 11, 2018
Some outlined how we should care more about humanity than religion.
Zainab’s father is saying that head of the JIT should be a Muslim and not an Ahmadi.
It’s hight time we start caring more about humanity than religion.
— Anas Tipu (@teepusahab) January 11, 2018
Others talked about how this was blatant discrimination against Ahmadis.
Not to Judge someone by their religion or beliefs, Zainab's father have no right to say "change JIT head just because he is Ahmadi".#JusticeForZainab
— sauman saeed (@SaeedSauman) January 12, 2018
Some even called it “shocking.”
Shocking. Father of murdered 7-yr-old #Zainab demands head of investigation be fired because the official is an Ahmadiya Muslim. Someone tell him please, the rapists were ‘real’ Muslims. https://t.co/hz6jYXQ6hA
— ਤਾਰੇਕ ਫਤਹ (@TarekFatah) January 11, 2018
For some, the request to have an Ahmadi officer removed was “deeply painful.” They even spelled out the entire situation, highlighting why that was so.
This is painful at so many levels; the girl child was most likely raped by some Muslim man but the father, still in his profound grief, castigates the inquiry committee chief for being an Ahmadi#Pakistan #JusticeForZainab https://t.co/e8E20EQzaB
— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) January 11, 2018
Others speculated over what would happen next, given how things had played out.
Religion is like opium for the masses. #Zainab’s father wants the head of the JIT to be a Muslim & not an #Ahmadi. If the culprit turns out to be a #Muslim,will the father not even press charges?Height of insanity @mazdaki @MJibranNasir @teepusahab @odysseuslahori @omarchakarzai
— Vishal Sehgal (@VishalSehgal4U) January 12, 2018
Regardless, Shehbaz Sharif changed the head of JIT as per Zainab’s father’s demands. The news broke earlier today.
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) January 12, 2018
And it hasn’t gone down well.
#PunjabGovernment has replaced the head of the JIT probing #ZainabCase on the request of #Zainab's father just because he was an #Ahmadi. This is the level of hatred in #Pak that at a time of pain & grief, all people care is religion. Human values are deeply eroded in #Pakistan pic.twitter.com/DvzaccgCph
— timesofpakistan (@timesofpak123) January 12, 2018
But there’s something we must all keep in mind:
Zainab's father's personal prejudices, abhorrent as they are, do not lessen the enormity of his tragedy. Let's not lose our heads.
— CeciN'estPasUneTweet (@monadarling) January 11, 2018
For Pakistanis, this is an extremely sensitive and tricky situation to be in. On one hand, there’s a grieving father putting forward certain demands. On the other hand, the issue of discrimination against minorities has been raised alongside. There are many layers to this entire ordeal. What can definitely be said is that all of it is downright unfortunate.
Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.