Dear governments and religious leaders in Pakistan and India.
I have through my contacts via Twitter and through other media learned of the horrendous atrocities that are going on in your countries. Horrible things happen all over the world, also in my country, and this is no attempt to point a specific blaming finger on you and your nations, but simply an attempt to plead for a peaceful and constructive development on the Indian subcontinent in this particular case. As independent nations you now have existed since 1947- 1948, even though your cultures have a far longer and richer history than that. To begin with Pakistan, Land of the Pure, today seems to be anything but pure, considering all the attacks and all the bloodshed. I know that the hatred between the different groups is sometimes intense because of the many killings on both sides in the different conflicts. In Pakistan you have about 65% Sunni muslims, 20% shi’ites, 2,3% Ahmadiya muslims, but also Sufi muslims, Bahai, Christians, Animists, Jews, Zoroastrians and Jains. There have always been strong tensions between the groups, but it’s deeply tragic that so many lifes are lost, simply because we can’t tolerate each others life style. I have learned that in Pakistan 800 shi’a muslims have been killed only this last year and that people who protest and want to live a life of their own chosing simply get harrassed, beaten and killed. Name after name appear on the list, but behind each name there is a real person, with thoughts, dignity, family and experiences that ought to be listened to and accepted, irrespective of that person happens to be shi’ite, a Jain, a Christian, which I know also are harrassed and maltreated, a Jew or belonging to any other group. Why must it be so difficult to accept the wondrous variety of human kind? I now ask, nay, plead the Pakistani People’s Party alongside the Majlis in the region to do your utmost to put an end to the killings at once. If your region is to thrive even more the killing has to stop. It’s common sense that when someone gets badly treated he or she will rebell sooner or later and create disturbance. Therefore it would be wiser to accept the variation of ideas and beliefs without killing each other off. If you want a more assembled loyalty I believe that you should try and be more benovelent and continue building the infrastructure for the benefit of everyone.
From India and Pakistan we have recently heard about forced marriages, gang rapes and other forms of abuse. The violations against women is a horrendous phenomenon, in your part of the world as well as in mine. We are no better than you are and we too must consider our atrocities and violations against women. The demonstrations and the judgement of the men who violated and killed the 23-year old student recently has awoken India and led to a furious wave of demonstrations. For my part as a man I believe it’s important that we who are men try to listen in the voices and experiences of women and draw important limits within ourselves to prevent further rapes and other forms of abuse. We must learn to love the women and accept them instead in a good way, just as the women have to listen in our voices in the same respectful way. Respectful love and admiration in both directions. Therefore I again plead to the governments in both India and Pakistan to do your utmost to contribute to this change in mentality. You have everything to win from it.
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Respectfully, Anders Moberg, Malmoe, Sweden, January the 11th 2013