Most Pakistanis, even today, are not what you would call religious. In the rural areas of the country, particularly in Sindh, Baluchistan and South Punjab, they think Islam means regular visits to shrines, growing long beards, and forcing women to stay inside their houses.  They think there's nothing wrong in stripping women naked and parading them on the streets if their male relatives have been seen speaking to unrelated women. This kind of thing is very common in Muzaffargarh and other areas of Punjab, where the other day a woman was made to walk naked after her brother was caught talking to a girl of another tribe (or caste). Why do women have to suffer for the sins or crimes of their male relatives? Perhaps it's because most men in rural areas are morons. It's because they are the products of centuries of inbreeding, or marrying first cousins. And over the years I've seen it happening in city-dwellers also. 

About twenty years ago, two female relatives of mine suddenly decided to become fundamentalists, after listening to the fiery lectures of that woman Dr. Farhat Hashmi. They started wearing the all-enveloping burqa. Over the years, more and more women have become like that, which has further encouraged illiterate Pakistani males to advise other unveiled women to dress conservatively. Yesterday, in Lahore Cantonment, a woman wearing a sleeveless dress was told by a bearded security guard to wear what are in his view "decent" clothes. 

So it had to happen. I won't be surprised if one of these days, all clean-shaven men in Pakistan are told to grow knee-length beards. This is what Zia did to Pakistan, even though he was clean-shaven. His constant talk of Islam made most Pakistani men experts on the subject, even though their knowledge of Islam is limited to taking second wives and killing their female relatives for choosing their own life partners. It's very depressing, knowing that my children and grandchildren will be forced to live in a country dominated by illiterate people who think they're the guardians of Islam.