Zulfiqar Mirza Controversy: Highlighting Our Reluctance to Engage

Zulfiqar MirzaDr. Zulfiqar Mirza’s comments may have been appalling. Undoubtedly, this has sparked anger and hatred in a society already amidst an ethnic conflict.

Beyond what was said, however, the societal reaction has laid bare a major element that perpetuates the problem and aggravates the situation: the ignorance and reluctance from both sides to engage in productive, enlightening dialogue.

While Dr. Mirza said many important things about being united against political affiliations that exploit their power to the detriment of our people, as well as being united towards a common goal, the betterment of our civil society, his single comment about the Urdu-speaking nation buried all those positive calls-to-action in violence across the city of Karachi.

But what is at stake here is more than just our ego. Any comments such as those made by Dr. Mirza are a clear opportunity for us to engage on a civic level about our individual, as well as our collective identities. It is an opportunity to engage in a dialogue about our common future and aspirations. This can only be done when the record is set straight about what our identities really are and what they mean to us. Neither ignorance, nor anger is an excuse.

Instead of the killing spree that a cohort of miscreants went on, a public debate addressing the realities and history of the Muhajir would have been more effective. While Mirza went on record to apologize (which I believe is a very admirable thing to do), the situation should not have been allowed to deteriorate the way it did. Our anger caused the loss of civilian lives, and our resistance has steeped us into a more despicable reality.

Isn’t this what our media is there for? A force for democracy? A platform for dialogue? Feverishly resembling yellow journalism, the Jang Group (Geo TV) used language that was highly partial against Dr. Mirza, discrediting its role in journalism proper.

Let us take a lesson from this incident. This is not the first time ethnic tongue-lashing has occurred. It won’t be the last. At the same time, let us find solace in the fact that we are equipped to engage in productive conversation about who we are to each other and what we can do. Indeed, as His Highness the Aga Khan puts, there is more that unites us than divides us. Let us build bridges.

Next time you find yourself at odds with someone, remember that your communication needs the following questions answered:

1. Whats really going on?
2. Who am I to you and who are you to me in this situation?
3. What happens next?

We ask these questions subconsciously all the time. Asking them at a conscious level will allow us to disengage our emotional hijack and allow us to come to a win-win situation.

What are your thoughts about how to use these situations as opportunities?


7 thoughts on “Zulfiqar Mirza Controversy: Highlighting Our Reluctance to Engage”

  1. Whatever salvos he has fired have to be taken with a pinch of salt. We know the state, the country is in, and the merciless killings and extortions have left everyone worried about Karachi; whereas it’s all very well to blame other politicians for the mess, but what about their own roles? He has served as the home minister in Sindh and things weren’t very well in Karachi. The good doctor has also served as the senior minister of the province. If he has suspicions against any political party why did he refrain from disclosing them? If the interior minister was interfering in his domain why did he not speak up then?

  2. Pakistan has run out of time. It’s over for pakistan…thanks to “pakistanis”.
    If anyone of these big mouth ppl had anyone in the family who had fought for Pk, they would be able to see the once blessed land, injured, in pain & agony. But what do they know what love of a country is.

  3. Hi friends,

    Thank you all for your comments. I want to highlight something here.

    We are all so upset with the deplorable conditions that we live in, steeped in pessimism, that we fail to engage in all that is good about our country. When we look at the small bursts of positive stories that take place in Pakistan, we may be able to use them as fodder to think of our circumstances and enact change on a very local level. By local level, I mean within our co-operative housing societies, within our neighbourhoods. This is important for us to make a change. Small acts, that are measurable and the impact is evident.

    Let’s not steep ourselves in pessimism. It does not help anyone. Not us, not anyone. Let us look to the future with hope and confidence by applying our skills and knowledge for the betterment of our socities.

  4. @sadaf if you want to understand politics just study and western politics and read the books from great philosopher like allama iqbal, plato, aristotle etc; but please dont look from pakistan politics. that is not politics it is just bander baant.

  5. At the moment, the current situation in Pakistan is in shambles. Politicians are not trying to improve the situation. They are busy gaining power and the economic and political situation is on a back foot. All the political parties should work together and strive for a better Pakistan.

  6. Big mouth Zulfiqar Mirza once again ignited riots has killed 7 innocens irresponsible minister need especial type of crazy glue seal his mouth with adhesive NO one take action against him crazy minister is above the law Its shame for PPP and the whole nation. Zulfiqar Mirza should be brought to justice immediately those innocent lives supreme court must take action for his resignation and arrest. as he know the situation in karachi already intense and worse but for political purpose PPP leader set afire and playing dirty game as they knew PPP Government on ventilation . MQM Rival Zulfiqar Mirza Godfather and brother of ASif ali zardari two head Snake has attack on GEO TV crews and siege the people of Sind and Karachi deliberately killing innocent people of karachi to spread fear among citizen. Hence our establishment must act these crazy sick minded with their few hundred killer has dominant on peace of karachi people’are trapped in hatred quagmire masses of karachi and sind are unsecured hub of our business is jammed foreigner has left karachi and this on going situation will in roll this nation in to Ethnic war and civil war will be imminet.
    our nation our patriotism must react and people of Pakistan must fight for right just like Egypt and SYria,
    our Media should be unite and begin the moment against this incompetent government ,
    I will demand my Chief of Staff Army and Chief Justice how long you will observe and come to an decision to conclude this dirty politics game.
    Pakistan running out time.

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