This is not surprising. The deplorable condition of minorities in Pakistan is known to everyone. What is shocking though that this happened in a place where people are expected to make the society more informed – a news agency’s office.
Sahib Khan Oad is a senior reporter with Pakistan’s state-run agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) in Karachi. Though his name sounds like a Muslim’s, he is actually a Hindu.
All was well till one day his son, Raj Kumar, visited him at his office. Until that point, no one knew he was a Hindu, perhaps because of his name.
Speaking to leading Pakistani daily The Express Tribune
, Sahib alleges that when his peers discovered his religious identity, their discriminatory attitude began.
He was asked to bring his own glass and utensils and not to share those of the Muslim staff.
He told the daily that the bureau chief asked him to separate his drinking water glass because “some colleagues had reservations”. That is not all. Sahib has not even been allowed to sit at the same dining table at the time of Iftar during the ongoing Ramzan period.
“I have now bought a separate glass and plate for the office,” he said.
When Tribune inquired, APP Karachi bureau chief Parvez Aslam accepted that he was indeed asked to bring his own utensils but it was because he was “suffering from flu”
“You can come to my office and see how he eats Iftar with us,” said Aslam.
But APP has started an inquiry into the matter and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) has written a letter to federal information minister Pervaiz Rashid complaining about the attitude shown towards Sahib. “We are really shocked to know that a bureau chief of a government news agency has pressurised a reporter to drink in a separate glass because he is Hindu,” wrote Piler executive director Karmat Ali.
Now look at Shaib’s qualifications. He holds a Master’s degree from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and is currently pursuing MPhil in Mass Communication from Sindh University.
If this is how a well-educated man in Pakistan is treated by, without a doubt, other well-educated staff in an agency of repute, only God can help the Pakistani minorities who are socially backward.