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Monday, December 7, 2009

SINGLE ISSUE WARRIORS



BLACK FRIDAY, 4 December 2009


As Pakistan lurches from one crisis to another there is a tendency for Pakistani newspapers and websites to concentrate mainly on single issues of immediate importance. Self-styled pundits become obsessed with the symptoms of various ills that beset Pakistan today while the root causes are left untouched. Following the massacre in a Rawalpindi mosque during the Friday prayers on 4 December, one Pakistani website lamented “Why, one asks, why? Why do they hate us so?” (“they” in this context is supposed to refer to fellow Pakistanis generally referred to as ‘Taliban’ while “us” refers to the privileged Pakistani middle class!). Sounds familiar? Yes! This rhetorical question was coined by the "crusader" George Bush, and his gang of Neocons, in relation to the Muslims!

Let us turn the question around and ask ourselves: what has the class of privileged Pakistanis done to make others love itself? If we were honest with ourselves we would have to say: very little. To put it bluntly, we have a system in Pakistan which is unable to provide justice and equality for all and it is universally reviled for its pervasive corruption, moral and financial. The irony is that we have given our country the title "Islamic Republic of Pakistan" while the social system we have is the very antithesis of Islamic teachings. Worse, we are a people devoid of self-esteem, ignorant of our history and traditions, and ever willing to learn parrot-fashion what foreigners choose to teach us in their language! Little wonder that we despise our own people and we cling to the language and culture of those who had ruled over us once.

In my opinion our “Taliban” problem is essentially a social problem, which has taken on a religious hue. The genie of Taliban was spawned by the stark contrast between widespread poverty of ordinary people and the brazen acquisition of wealth by those who found themselves in positions of power - the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the senior commanders of our armed forces. It is unthinkable that the madrassahs, dispensing a degraded form of Islamic teachings which defy common sense, would have flourished but for rampant injustice and poverty in the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan.

Since we specialise in hating the Jews, let us take a quick look at their performance. In the diaspora they were lost souls, detested and loathed by all. Then they somehow got hold of a piece of land they called Israel and they never looked back. They revived a dead language, Hebrew, created a strong sense of identity and grew exponentially, culminating in the establishment of a feared nuclear power that can treat the only acknowledged superpower in the world with contempt.

We Pakistanis, on the other hand, never tire of blaming others for our misfortunes. True, our weaknesses have been exploited and taken advantage of by others but the root cause of our ills remains our many flaws and imperfections.  We get what we deserve, no more and no less. That is how Allah addresses mankind in the Qur'an but we have shut our eyes to its Message and we have turned our Deen into a weird religion which is little more than a form of worship, the rites and rituals for which differ from sect to sect.    

Today we find ourselves in a position where the Americans and the Indians have got a stranglehold over our country by bringing in sophisticated weapons through the porous Pakistan-Afghan border and training/brainwashing the poor, dispossessed Taliban into a fearful fighting force. Pakistan at the moment is teeming with American mercenaries- the contractors supplied by the infamous corporation Blackwater/Xe Worldwide -apparently reporting to the USA embassy and to CIA agents operating in the country. 

We have no option left except to fight on two fronts: on the one hand, we have to confront the monster of Pakistani Taliban, created by the neglect of our corrupt middle class and the machinations of successive USA administrations (with Indians in tow); on the other hand, we have to destroy the network of Americans/Indians/Pakistani traitors within the country. If the latest atrocity of Black Friday does not open up our eyes, nothing will: six senior Pak Army officers and three Javaans killed, a retired Lt General wounded and the army officers’ children murdered in cold blood while praying.

Please click the link below to learn how desperate things have become. No less a personality than the American Ambassador in Pakistan is suspected of having bribed Pakistani officials to issue licenses for the import of illegal weapons for the use of Blackwater/Xe Worldwide contractors who are being used by the Americans in a wide range of defensive and offensive duties all over Pakistan.

http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/latest_col.php?id=112

While we follow a short-term strategy to control the Taliban menace and the in-house intrigues of foreigners and home-grown traitors, we also need to put into effect a long term strategy to remove the conditions which enable religious demagogues to influence impressionable young minds and push them in a direction that leads to a dead end. In between, we need a middle-term strategy of bringing to justice those who have destroyed Pakistan – financially, and in other ways. Starting with the NRO robbers, we need to work back and dispense justice to the great and the good who have ruled Pakistan in the past. Some, such as the American stooge Musharraf and his sidekick Shaukat Aziz, probably enjoy the protection and patronage of foreign powers but we need to assert our independence just as Israel has managed to do. If we fail to get rid of our terrible inferiority complex in relation to the Americans and the British, we will for ever be chided and cajoled by them to “do more” even though what we have done so far is far more than anybody else has been able to achieve.  Pakistan’s destruction in the cause of those countries’ interests means nothing to them.

For a long-term strategy to bring justice and equality of opportunity to ALL Pakistanis, please see my blog archive for October (“Pakistan’s colonial set-up” and “Islam spin”).


TAILPIECE:


Websites run by effete members of Pakistan's westernised middle class are calling the Taliban "cowardly" while maintaining a respectable silence in relation to the mayhem unleashed by the Americans on Pakistan and Afghanistan. I left a comment at one of these websites today (8 December), which you can read below.

"Cowardly attacks"?!! What is cowardly about offering up your own life in pursuit of whatever rubbish you believe in? Please have the honesty to see things as they really are.

The Taliban are stupid, brainwashed, ignorant and utterly merciless BUT they are fearless and courageous beyond description.

The real cowards in all this are the hypocritical Americans who think nothing of stabbing a so-called friend in the back. The sooner we sever all links with the USA the better it will be for us.

Do you know that in all the years the Americans have been in Afghanistan fewer than one thousand USA soldiers have died? In the last few years alone Pakistan has lost more than 20,000 of our javaans and officers while the death toll for Afghans and Pakistani citizens runs into hundreds of thousands (possibly, a million). The cowardly Americans sit comfortably in their remote military bases in the USA and play vile video games with human lives, raining down drones on Pakistanis and Afghans, which mostly kill innocent citizens - which the heartless Americans dismiss contemptuously as "collateral damage".

Wake up Paki middle class before the inferno of Civil War that the duplicitous Americans have gifted us destroys you and your families. No more drones: we'll fight our fellow Pakistani rebels in our own way. Get the American marines, the CIA agents, the mercenaries, "trainers" and an army of "diplomats" out of the country. And ask them just one simple question:

WHY ARE YOU IN AFGHANISTAN? (and brace yourself for a torrent of lies and abuse)

16 comments:

Sakib Ahmad said...
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Anonymous said...
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Sakib Ahmad said...
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anoop said...

You are a moron to suggest US wants to destabalize Pakistan. Why on earth would it want that?
This is the result of ISI/Army support to armed Islamic groups in the past. Example: Jaish e Mohammad which fought in Kashmir. Now, it is believed to be supplying suicide bombers to "Indian-backed" TTP.
Is Jaish Pro-indian to do that? Or,is it brainwashed by us Hindu Indians? What a moronic charge. No motive, No evidence but lots false belief.

Sakib Ahmad said...

I warned my fellow Pakistanis: “brace yourself for a torrent of lies and abuse”. I hadn’t realised that the first salvo of abuse would come not from the Americans but from their Indian foot soldiers in Afghanistan.

The words “destabilise Pakistan” are your words, not mine. It shows you really understand what is happening in Pakistan. Why feign innocence when you already know the truth? There is a simple word to describe such playacting: HYPOCRISY.

The BBC has already made the “mistake” of showing on television great piles of American and Indian manufactured weapons captured by Pakistan Army in South Waziristan. That part of Pakistan is surrounded on three sides by Pakistan Army, leaving open only the Pakistan-Afghan border for the supply of arms to rebels. Get it?

There is more: as soon as the Pak Army action in South Waziristan began the USA/NATO check points on the Afghan side were removed to allow free movement of men and weapons across the border into Pakistan. What does that tell you?

The great tragedy is that the world believes the loud propaganda of the USA and Indian governments and the facts on the ground are ignored. Not for nothing is the name of my blog “Reality and Illusion”.

Gabban said...

Sakib Bhai,

The USA and NATO are in Afghanistan to take Osama and destroy the Al Quaida.

There, they find that Osama is protected by groups supported and supplied by the GHQ, Army of Pakistan and the ISI on their own, that is without taking the elected Government of Pakistan into confidence !

Can the Army of Pakistan and the ISI answer why they continue to do so inspite of causing refugees, misery and death to the civilians and soldiers ?

Pakistan is doing its best, nay, has certainly done more; however, the culprits are the GHQ, Army of Pakistan and the ISI.

Why are they (GHQ, Army of Pakistan and ISI ) hosting Osama through their proxies ?

The USA and NATO will go away the day Osama falls to them.

Sakib Ahmad said...

Antidote for anoop’s rudeness?! Bhai, tell me a little about your background.

Certainly, the Pak Army has made mistakes, especially under the dictator Musharraf, BUT it remains our last hope when we are surrounded by enemies and nothing makes sense, reality mixing with illusion and that hellish mix changing form again.

You are obviously unaware of the political situation in Pakistan. The so-called “elected government” came about as a result of a secret deal among the duplicitous Americans, the traitor Musharraf and the corrupt Benazir Bhutto. If it weren’t for our armed forces our totally corrupt “elected government” would have sold out the nation to the Americans long ago.

The Americans can’t agree among themselves where the jinn Osama is and no one has produced a shred of evidence about his whereabouts. In any case, that jinn is only a distraction to cover up the evil designs of successive American administrations.

Just answer the following questions:

1. Why did the USA have to invade Iraq on the pretext of that country possessing “weapons of mass destruction”?
2. Why did the USA stage the farce of 9/11 and invade Afghanistan? The USA government has destroyed all evidence of the “attack on the USA” by “men living in remote Afghanistan”: the aircraft remains, the black boxes, the collapsed buildings and their contents, etc. Why destroy evidence of a criminal act if you have nothing to hide? No wonder there hasn’t been a single case of anyone ever having been found guilty of participation in the 9/11 atrocity. I am told even the FBI website does not accuse Osama bin Laden of involvement in the 9/11 farce.

Have you never heard of the book “9/11 Revealed” by the investigative journalists Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, or of other more heavyweight books by many others? Or of such websites as www.911truth.org ?

As for Pakistan, we did not have a Taliban problem until the Americans-in-Afghanistan exported it to Pakistan in 2004/05 – some 3 years after they defeated the Taliban government of Afghanistan and occupied that country for selfish economic reasons (oil, gas and natural resources of Central Asia).

A general perception is that, having allowed some 3,000 of their own people to be sacrificed on 9/11, the Americans’ subsequent actions have resulted in the destruction of almost 3 million lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The convoluted, incredible conspiracy theory that the discredited Bush government gave the world for the 9/11 atrocity simply does not fit the facts.

karachi khatmal said...

sakib

i came to your blog from a comment on five rupees, and the above article is very well thought out, and intelligent. i guess i am from the opposite spectrum in terms of political beliefs, but i find your thinking quite intelligent - especially as to how you managed to analyse israel without demonizing it.

however, i think there are some things you need to think about more for yourself, and your own political thought. i noticed you are an overseas pakistani. i don't see why you choose to blame the pakistani middle class. i bring up the link because it seems you are finding an "other" to blame here. which makes little sense in an article calling for pakistanis to stop blaming others. i don't think the poor people of pakistan are much different than the rich - we tend to think of the poor as helpless, powerless people who can't do anything. well they can, they live, think, act, breath, see, hear, feel and as such while they have maybe next to nothing that they can do in major way, they can bring about little changes in their own lives. lets stop treating the poor as a collective mass which can only be acted upon and can't act itself.

secondly, i notice that you wrote that the army was the only reason the country wasn't sold to americans. i beg to differ in a sense. i agree the army works harder than civilians to not sell out the country, although i think the control afghans and saudis have in the country is just as bad as americans, and for that you have the army to blame. but more importantly, the reason the army doesn't want to sell pakistan is because it owns the country. thats why it takes up all the money needed for books and medicinces and buys weapons and land with it. thats why it takes up all the decisions of what to do with the policies without giving a damn who thinks what about it. thats why they can commit genocide in balochistan and bangladesh without worrying about consequences.

as the famous saying goes, all countries have an army, but in pakistan the army has a country.

finally, i don't think you need to put in links for your blog and comments on them to spread the word. i think a good idea is to go to many blogs, post your comments and if they are insightful like minded people would click on your name and arrive at your blog. uphold your credibility - i disagree with most of what you say, but i think you are nevertheless intelligent and people will appreciate that.

best of luck

Sakib Ahmad said...

Karachi Khatmal,

Your comments are impressive at first sight. I'll reply later when I have more time. I'll just say that I found your comments on the poor of Pakistan insensitive - a trait which is typical of Pakistan's middle class and its "elite". Below is a link to an editorial in the The Nation today:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/10-Dec-2009/A-shameless-elite

karachikhatmal said...

sakib

i await your comments. however, i urge you to stop thinking of the poor in a 'politically correct' way. because if you think they are people who deserve our pity, then you are on the wrong path. and to empathize with someone requires equating the both of you, which would mean seeing them in your own light. i base my experiences on working for the orangi pilot project, as a relief worker during the kashmir earthquake, and as a journalist in karachi. i may not know much, but im not just throwing shit in the air. so while it is easy to dismiss what i am saying, read it again.

what i mean is that the poor are not people who we need to feel sorry for. just like the elite and middle class need to address their own issues, so do the poor. if we think that we are the only ones whose actions can save them then we are no better than colonizers.

Sakib Ahmad said...

Dear Karachi Khatmal,

Your original comments on the dispossessed poor people of Pakistan were bad enough, your new comments are in rank bad taste. Unless the poor have the same access to education and employment opportunities that the ruling class has, they are forever doomed. This is realism, not pity. Among those who settled in the West, there are numerous examples of the children of these downtrodden people having achieved great success in their lives.

Pakistan’s ruling class, and the middle class supporting it, seem to have taken leave of their senses. Do you realise that people in Pakistan are openly talking about a bloody revolution to sweep away the mess? Having been pushed into a corner, their next move may be to hit out violently. Here is an extract from comments I left at another blog where a bloody revolution or ‘benevolent dictatorship’ was being suggested:

“Benevolent dictator? How and where would you find one? You are more likely to burn your fingers, as happened with the American stooge Musharraf. Remember, absolute power corrupts absolutely - such is human nature.
Our best bet is to get rid of the opium of religion we are addicted to and to resurrect the dead body of Islam as a living, breathing Deen. Our corrupt and limp middle class, educated under a system designed by foreigners, has lost touch with its Islamic roots and has little conception of moral values that ought to govern society. These vultures think nothing of legalising corruption to enrich themselves. It is time the dispossessed Pakistanis, some 95% of our population, are awakened and their suppressed genius is allowed to flower.”

I feel uncomfortable with your emphasis on intelligence. Intelligence unaccompanied by nobility of character can be extremely harmful. Examples: Z Bhutto, B Bhutto, the Pakistani “intelligentsia” controlled by the Americans (you can hear them chattering away in that ghastly newspaper, Dawn).

Khirad vaaqif nahee.n hai nek o bad se
BaRhi jaati hai zaalim apni had se

You have followed your American mentors so far out into the wilderness that there appears to be no way back. Your thinking, the very words you use in your blog, are so heavily Americanised that your ‘Pakistaniat’ is hard to detect. May I suggest that you read the four books listed in my profile? The authors are, respectively, Qudratullah Shahab, Ghulam Ahmad Parwaiz, Dr Shabbir Ahmed, Mumtaz Mufti. Also, at the risk of sounding immodest, may I ask that you read the first two posts that I set up in my blog last October (“Islam: back to basics” and “Islam spin”)?

Final thought: The Americans entered Iraq and turned it into a living hell; in Afghanistan the Americans are still stoking the fires of hell and the flames will climb higher; they have now turned their attention to Pakistan which has started to burn fiercely. Are we looking into another hellish scenario similar to Iraq and Afghanistan?

karachi khatmal said...

i fear the politeness has run out...

i find it intriguing how those who have left pakistan always rush to accuse others of lacking patriotism. first up bro, live in pakistan, actually live there, and then acquire the right to tell others whether you think they are patriotic or not.

you seem to think that someone who writes in a certain style can not be pakistani. i don't have any feedback on what the content of my blog was, just its form. which is lazy on your part.

moreover, you seem to think that quoting pakistani authors of great repute from the past is some sort of marker for national identity. which makes sense because those are the vestiges of identity you dearly hold on to having forsaken the actual experience of living in your country. in the post by yourself which you have quoted, you advocate that all affairs of the state should be conducted in urdu, since 95% of the country grew up with that language. allow me to alert you that pakistan has seven major languages, and urdu is spoken by a minority of people like us. for most pakistanis, it is a second even third language. so maybe you should start opening your eyes and ears to a world beyond the one you seem to know. again, its harder to do that from the cold glare of your screen, so you might need to hhop over to pakistan and visit a few places outside your relatives houses.

and your simplistic ideas extend to how you think things should change. you quote that education and employment would bring change. how wonderful. have you ever been involved in public education efforts in pakistan. its ok to spout lyrical dreams about what should be done, but try actually doing it and you will confront the challenges facing pakistan - the corruption, lack of consensus on social and eucational concerns, and most importantly, the reluctance of parents to ensure that gender parity is ensured are all huge problems.

yes its great to harken back to islam as a living Deen, but to do that one has to do a little more than a blog comment.

i apologize for my anger, and i don't wish you to think that i don't respect any of your opinions. i believe you have some good insights but you hold far too high an opinion of yourself and your own knowledge - evidenced by the fact that you are constantly in conversation with yourself and about yourself - you comment on your own blogs, you follow every comment with a quote from yourself, and you have pretty much the same core ideas you pass off everywhere.

if you think you already have the answers i suppose there is not much point in us having a debate.

and finally, next time you accuse people of not being patriotic or pakistani enough, remind yourself to look out the window and guess which country it is that your eyes see...

Sakib Ahmad said...

Oh dear! Things seem to be moving in the wrong direction.

Thank you for your critical comments. I have deleted the first comment and moved its contents into the post itself as a tailpiece. This made the next two comments redundant, which I have also deleted.

Most of the questions you ask, direct and rhetorical, I have already answered. Forgive me for not repeating them here – there is no point in wasting time to re-invent the wheel and to make a comment longer than it need be. Please read the comments at the end of a post I put up last October, entitled “Pakistan’s colonial set-up.”

Your jibe about me not being in Pakistan, my racial origin, etc. are all dealt with there in my replies to Ghazal and Rookker.

I do apologise for any offence I have caused. The authors I mentioned – one Kashmiri, three Punjabi – are, I think, more controversial than ‘great’ (they certainly are ‘great’ to me). Although three of them are now dead, Dr Shabbir Ahmed is still going strong in his Florida haunt.

You are wrong if you think my home is in Karachi. Those of us who speak Pakistan’s regional languages – ‘dialect’ would be a more appropriate word, I think – also understand their limitations, which you do not appear to. Our love affair with Urdu is legendary.

You are quite right, my ideas are quite simple – NOT simplistic, KK - and, I flatter myself, easily implementable. Certainly, they fall far short of the sophisticated standards of Pakistan’s westernised class. The villain of the piece is the sub-class of bureaucrats who hog senior civil service jobs. I think you will benefit from reading “Shahab Nama” (Qudratullah Shahab was Ayub Khan’s personal secretary and Pakistan’s top civil servant) and Akbar Ahmed’s “Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic identity”.

fii amaan Allah.

Waqar Akram said...

Hello to all,

I am yet to read a blog and experience such a range of emotions:

Outrage: at Anoop. Sakib has gone to the effort of sharing his thoughts on a regular basis with the world. I quite like his colourful writing style and I do believe it gets a reaction, which is important. I was particularly annoyed that Anoop would start with such a low quality insult and that in 2009 Pakistani's and Indian's can still find reasons to draw lines of distinctions as opposed to appreciate how much of a shared heritage we have. After all, if the British Raj had been better managed we could still be one country, yet 60 years on the Brits are out and we bicker like children. Come on Anoop, there really is no need for a post like that and after the first line, most people may discount your thoughts given your tone.

Intellectual intrigue: The subtle but important distinction of Pakistan and the Islamic republic of Pakistan is a key theme highlighted by Sakib, in my humble opinion. Whilst generating intrigue, I am not sure I agree with all of the article but I am still learning and I thought there were some valid data points to aid my education.

Confusion/internal debate: At the discussion regarding the poor, i.e. was Sakib being politically correct, was Khatmal insightful in his comments about the poor. I don't believe either to be 100% corrrect, but when can you be 100% correct in politics?!

Disappointment: in that the initially constructive discussion between Sakib and Khatmal ended in such a manner. I was enjoying it, but towards the end it seemed egos had overpowered the discussions. In the subcontinent I think we are too used to religious leaders, ageism and hierarchical caste systems. In all of the above a mulla, an elder or one of a superior caste has by definition the correct and undebatable opinion. I wonder whether this is the root cause of why we are unable to discuss opinions and more importantly to adapt opinions. A born shia will be a shia, a born Pakistani a Pakistani (despite the fact that multi-generational heritage may lie in India) and the political/religious views we inherit become immovable dogmas. I do worry, if two clearly intelligent individuals as yourselves can not find common ground or interact in a civil manner, what hope does Pakistan have? I also disagree with Khatmal's points about Sakib posting and replying too often, such energy and diligence can only be a positive and the thought and content that goes into Sakib's posts is rare.

Enlightenment: I was not aware of the history of the great Urdu authors.

Shock: the article regaring Blackwater/Xe was a real eye opener for me. I am shocked such activity and corporations can exist and operate in the manner they do.

Opinionated: I didn't completely agree with Khatmal querying Sakib's ability to comment on Pakistan due to proximity. In the eye of the storm, one has the worst view of the storm. I would also like to point out that Jinnah and Gandhi spent large proportions of their lives abroad but went on to play significant roles in their respective homelands. I do concede that there is a benefit to experiencing Pakistan first hand, but I don't think you have to live there full-time to have a valid opinion.

Fear: Given the hostile tone in some of the discussions, I am a little fearful of a torrent of abuse for the opinions I have just expressed!

Regards,

Waqar

Sakib Ahmad said...

Mai.n hoo.n sadaf to teray haath meray guhar ki aabroo
Mai.n hoo.n khazaf to tu mujhay gohar-e-aabdaaar kar!

Thanks, Waqar, for your wide ranging comments. I am grateful for your initiative to smoothe ruffled feathers. We all have traits of ‘sadaf’ and ‘khazaf’ within ourselves, though some of us are more aware of those contradictory elements than others.

Only the One, the Everlasting, the Creator and the Sustainer, knows the objective truth and reality - we fallible human beings merely dabble in our own subjective truths derived from personal experience and limited knowledge. We do have His Guidance among us though, misunderstood and misapplied, ignored by the false guardians of what is referred to as “religion”.

Regarding your guarded comments on poverty, I would say that our attitude towards the poor ought to be influenced more by what we find in the Guidance and not by what is considered to be politically correct or incorrect at any given time. Abject poverty is an evil which leads to corrosion of the human character – it is the duty of those who find themselves in more fortunate circumstances to work towards a fairer social system. This is to do with implementation of Islam as Deen – I am not interested in spouting pious sentiments based on an emotional attachment to “religion”.

Your wise words have been greatly appreciated – who on earth would want to hurl abuse?

All good wishes for the new year.

Lost-in-cyberspace said...

In your latest blog you have given a link to this post. Though it is exactly 5 months after the event, thought I would point out a slight error in the second line of Iqbal's couplet. The words "gohar-e-aabdaar" should be "gohar-e-shaahvaar".

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