A strange news story last month got me thinking about Pakistan. A Pakistan TV personality, Maya Khan, gained notoriety for catching unmarried couples dating live at breakfast time. She was nick-named ‘vigil aunty’.
This whole episode tells us that even though Pakistan is a country with Islamic sentiments, there is a strong liberal voice in the country that will react publicly and in an organised manner to being lectured and told what to do. This is a lesson for those interested in how to save Pakistan and it means that efforts must be made not just to dominate public opinion on Islamic issues but to persuade these people that aping the West badly isn’t going to save Pakistan. The case for Islamic change in Pakistan can’t be on slogans and on emotion. It requires sophistication or we may witness a backlash far bigger than the one the vigil aunty got.