PAKISTAN now has Harmeet Singh, a turbaned Sikh, as a TV anchor. He was preceded by Manmeet Kaur, a Sikh woman, who anchors TV programmes, and earlier by a Sikh soldier. The turban is a visible symbol of the Sikhs granted to garner considerable attention. It is only in the recent past that Charanjit Singh, a prominent Pakistani Sikh, a human rights activist, and an outspoken critic of the Taliban, was killed. Yet, there has been a calculated and concerted attempt by Islamabad to highlight the handful of Sikhs who have achieved a measure of success. While Sikhs are a miniscule minority in Pakistan, Christians and Shia Muslims are the bigger minority groups which have faced the brunt of violence; losing several of their adherents in attacks on places of worship and in targeted killings. Indeed, Pakistan’s record in its treatment of minorities is dismal, which no amount of renovation of some places of worship of minority communities or tokenism like this can wash off. It is a systematic abuse which finds sponsorship across a wide swath of its political, legislative and social systems. In any society, even one that is militantly defined by a narrow vision of religion, there will always be some individuals who rise to prominence in spite of all the hurdles that they face. There will always be someone like Rana Bhagwandas who became an acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It is the manner in which the ordinary members of minorities are treated that defines a society. Pakistan as envisaged by its founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a democracy, even as there is debate whether he wanted a secular state or an Islamic one. However, showcasing minority success stories ironically only highlights the widespread abuse of minorities in the country. A turbaned Sikh would be a crowning glory of the state that welcomes all kinds of opinions and is open to adherents of all faiths. Sadly, Pakistan is not.