A Message to Social Media Activists on World Tolerance Day

A Message to Social Media Activists on World Tolerance Day

As the media’s romance with Imran Khan is starting to subside (at least relatively) one must take a step back and analyse if we are any better now than we were before.


Pakistani politicians have begun to look into social media platforms in order to put themselves out there in hopes of garnering support from the youth. In this age of Twitter and Facebook, there is a huge upside to having a virtual presence as it makes the leaders somewhat accessible and gives the common man an opportunity to relate to them.


A growing trend in social media these days is to bifurcate people who wish to participate in a discussion about the future of politics in our country. People are branded as either supporting or belonging to the status quo or as those that aspire to surf the ‘tsunami’ and sweep everything clean. Without naming names, one of the groups consists of a faction who are ‘oh so willing’ to defend their position. So much so that they refuse to take no for an answer or accept any divergence of opinion. While all of this makes for an entertaining showdown between two sides, it also outlines a disturbing phenomenon that plagues our society; Intolerance.


In the world outside of Pakistan, perception is everything. The notion of disregarding what others think of us is very unwise. We need to portray a positive image of our country to be able to compete on the worlds’ stage, both socially and economically. At present, it is anything but positive. Never mind foreigners, it is hard to convince many expatriates to visit their own country.


This should come as no surprise to us as we are always in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. We are the same nation that witnessed the killings of Hindu doctors on the eve of Eid. So, in effect we are taking the lives of those that are trained to save lives just because of their religious beliefs. We have done nothing more than just condemn the brazen killing of many Hazara’s in Quetta. Target killings and sectarian violence have become synonymous with Pakistan, which only leads me to question:


is parchum ke sayay talle hum aik hein, hum aik hein? (Under the shade of our flag we are united. Are we united?)


One way of alleviating our troubles is education, as it is easier to reason with a person who is not blinded by ignorance. Education not only helps us broaden our horizons, it also aids us in understanding why people might be different than us. In effect, it helps us tolerate these differences, and ultimately respect them.


On the political front, I am all for the ‘tsunami’ of change, but what is important is that it should be permissible to let people decide on their own who they wish to support. It is imperative that we understand that people will make decisions based on their respective vision and position on policies of interest. Instead of taking swipes at one another, we should disseminate information to others and let them decide, because only an informed person can make an informed choice.


Let us engage in healthy dialogue, challenge ourselves to consider all facets of an argument and learn to question for the sake of clarity and a better understanding. At the end of it all, at the absolute worst, it should be nothing more than two people agreeing to disagree.

Asim Khan

A chartered accountant by day and a political enthusiast and social reformist by night.

  • Malik Mushtaq Hussain Awan

    I am totally agreed with Mr. Asim Khan that we have to go for discussions/arguments to learn more about or leaders and the critical situation of our country.We have to set aside the term of caste and personality.We should not think only about our party and leader but be broad minded to think about the country and prevailing situations. We must be serious on commitment, honesty and trustworthiness of our leaders. We should not think about one bet consider and discuss on all available to reach at decision level. If no one is of the caliber work hard to search the new one. Never think of the wealth, personality, caste and charming lectures. Remember 100 sheep can be successful if they are lead by a lion but 100 lines can be failed if they are lead by a sheep.

  • Mmalik2

    very sensible post!

  • Kashif

    I have to say all PTI supporters aren’t like that. We do need tolerance in our lives. When it comes to political views, religion, caste, creed.

  • Malik Mushtaq Hussain Awan

    I am sorry to say Mr. Faheem Khan bk you have given your opinion as an opponent as not a justifier. Look brother talaq is allowed in Islam, Islam also tells us to separate from the wives in an honourable way and do not bound us to meet them again under the provisions of Islam. As regards Khudnamai it is your idea only. As regards will he be able to bring change in Pakistan or not. I will only say that he is the man who has backed his saying in past as like provision of Cancer Hospital after lot of efforts and an University. So for there is no blame of corruption on this leader only. Let us not be the blind followers be watchful, think again and again as it is the matter of future of a nation which is hanging in between the fuedalism and imperalism. Frankly say that are you satisfied with the performances of the previous Governments. Remember previous Governments were thrown away not only by The Generals but also by their own elected Civil Presidents on the blames of corruption. I am not asking you to favour Imran Khan but asking you to think again and again as an independant citizen and be able to guide us towards the betterment of the nation. (NATION AND COUNTRY BEE FIRST AND THEN PARTIES).