In the most recent of his famously staggering claims, theories and demands, self-proclaimed ‘defence analyst’ and TV personality Zaid Hamid has expressed his desire to see the white strip symbolizing minorities removed from the national flag of Pakistan.
Making his wishes known through social media platform twitter, Hamid tweeted what appears to be a pre-partition picture of young Muslim League workers hoisting a party flag. The picture is accompanied by the words “Have you noticed that original Muslim league flag was pure Green under which we fought for Pakistan & gained our freedom. Should bring back.”
The implication of the tweet that the white strip in the national flag, which is famously representative of the country’s minorities, should be removed are dark and dangerous. With minorities already under threat and regular victims of ostracization, violence, and exploitation, in the country, such propagation serve only to create and solidify extremists and intolerant opinions that have taken root in the minds of Hamid’s target audience: the young and impressionable.
Despite the clearly threatening message being sent out by Zaid Hamid, another alarming feature was any lack of apology, which although nothing new, is still equally worrying. When questioned by a number of people, Hamid made a follow-up tweet with a picture of Quaid e Azam, writing “We are NOT going to be apologetic here. Quaid & Iqbal fought for the survival of Islamic identity. Minorities are protected part under Islam..”
In saying these things, Hamid is apparently forgetting that the Quaid had himself insisted not only on minorities being represented in the national flag but also asked on more than one occasion for the total ratio of green to white to be increased. His tweets also undermine the efforts of all the non-Muslim pre-partition workers of the league and the many contributions made by minority Pakistanis since the nation’s inception.
However, as all good modern day Pakistani ‘analysts,’ Hamid seems to have an answer for everything. Answering the many queries made to him, he said about the Quaid e Azam’s role in the flag “he did…but he did many things under the doctrine of necessity at that time. like accepting Dominion status temporarily, British officers etc.” As to the services of non-Muslims to Pakistan, Hamid added that “Does not mean we keep allocating part of our flag to them. In our glorious history, we have always protected minorities under OUR banner.”
Once again one is made to question Hamid given that the Quaid had no reason to compromise on the flag, and also why Hamid insists on snatching the one solid piece of identity left to minorities in favor of “protecting them under Islam.” It also seems necessary to remind Hamid that both Jinnah and Gandhi at the time of World War Two expressed their solidarity with the British (with the exception of the Quit India Movement), and affirmed that the subcontinent would have dominion status post-independence.
With his boisterous claims and inexplicable demands, anyone would question Hamid’s grasp on history. And even more, his credibility as a ‘defence analyst,’ given he is giving rise to the exact opposite of defence by instigating hate.