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Posts tagged “Pervez Hoodbhoy

Liberal Fanaticism in Pakistan

Destroying Pakistan in the name of liberalism

By Havi Zayed

It is the duty of every Pakistani to point out the wrongs and issues in Pakistani society and accept them because only by accepting our problems we can address them. It is also our duty to address these wrongs and ensure that these issues in our society are eliminated for a bright future for our Nation. Unfortunately several people in Pakistan have started using this as a tool to bring the Nation to its knees. They hide under the guise of intellectuals, thinkers, scholars or social workers in order to fling dirt on Pakistan. There is no solution being pointed out. Just mud slinging aimed at Pakistan without proof. Such elements were the most active during the Mumbai Attacks. Article after Anti Pakistani article went up as Nationalists watched in horror how their country and people were blamed even while the attacks were taking place. The versions of news varied so much and were filled with so many discrepancies that it seemed almost foolish to admit the attackers were from Pakistan.

It is understandable that the Indian terrorist elements, propaganda artists, American Neo Cons and other fifth columnists and their fellow Pakistan hating class often find the time to fling dirt at Pakistan and blame the country for all their ills and issues but it is absolutely another when certain Pakistanis themselves display hatred for their own Nation and try to dismember it.

Unfortunately certain individuals who eat and sleep in Pakistan have a false assumption that whatever case it is taking an Anti Pakistani stance will make them seem progressive and enlightened. These people pride themselves over tarnishing the image of the country and taking an Anti Pakistani stand thinking that they will be seen as liberal and knowledgeable as a result.

Where on one hand we are cursed with the presence of gun totting terrorists who want to impose their version of Islam at the cost of much human life we are also cursed with the presence of such people. These people instead of using the gun use filth from their mouth as their gun and the filth from their pens as daggers to spread dirt internationally which costs Pakistan dearly in the International Arena.

The propaganda that certain people living within the borders of Pakistan and calling themselves Pakistani can engage in is surprising.

Has our media become infested with such individuals?

Where we would imagine the media would ignore such elements it has become a hub for these people. Dawn News and GEO have given themselves up to such elements completely.

Nadeem F Paracha for instance has become the mouthpiece of Dawn. He is known as a cultural critic but is more famous for his Pakistan bashing lately and his writing style uses a mix of satire and mock journalism to bash individuals who he disagrees with. It is surprising that this immature individual has been provided a voice in one of our largest newspapers but this is not the only case where a few individuals acting as highly educated professionals can attack National Interest.

Ayesha Siddiqa the controversial writer of Military Inc has gone a step further and calls the founding father of the country and the National poet a “homosexual” in a conversation with Subroto Roy on Facebook. The woman is known to be very critical of the founding fathers of the Nation. Unfortunately this same “intellectual” is a teacher in the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad one of the largest institutions in Islamabad but is not the only such “intellectual” who is found in Pakistan today.

The message this gives the younger generation is increasingly worrying. When our elders have no hope in Pakistan and have no respect for our founders what is the chance that we the coming generation are expected to maintain faith in our country and do anything good for it?

The Problem: Are liberals really liberals?

Terrorism has divided Pakistan into two different groups. Either we see people who completely support the Pakistani Taliban, other terrorist fronts or are unwilling to condemn terrorists the way they are supposed to be condemned while on the other hand we have people who think of themselves as liberals and activists but are actually simply flinging dirt at their own Nation believing it would make them appear broad minded and liberal.

Today it amounts to taking a stand at the cost of forgetting one’s own identity. Anyone willing to take a path that is against their own mindset is an ignorant person according to them.

This fanaticism on both sides has turned into a worrisome issue. Anything that takes up a principle that is out of line from the mainstream media or questions aspects of American or Indian behaviour is basically rubbished by them as a conspiracy theory. On the other hand they play a hand in the reports of ISI being a dangerous rogue intelligence agency while the nuclear weapons of Pakistan are at risk. They are in fact in the frontline when it comes to such baseless reports. The military is their other enemy which is now the focus of much speculation.

It is unfortunate that many Pakistanis still have to understand that calling every other person who does not agree with them and seeks to refute the International media’s claims a conspiracy theorist or an illusionist does not make them modern or progressive. They don’t realise that it makes them seem as ignorant as the Taliban. That is the Taliban without the drive of any ideology. These people seem to believe in nothing. They bash Pakistan because the World does so. They believe Pakistan’s nuclear weapons may fall into terrorist hands because certain media outlets seek sensationalism and say so. They believe the ISI and Military are dangerous organizations on the verge of destroying Pakistan because that is what some media outlets portray. The fact is these individuals are incapable of thinking for themselves and of questioning why?

Personally I have lived outside Pakistan my entire life with only some of my time spent in Pakistan but I simply find the behaviour and claims of these individuals worrying at best rather than to be a representation of an evolved mindset. If they cannot stand to defend the interests of their own Nation then what will they stand for? When such learned individuals have no belief in Pakistan and miss no opportunity at bashing their country hiding under the cloak of “modernism” then what are we the coming generation expected to do?

Can we ever put our own interests first?

No doubt the terrorists are a major threat to Pakistan but is it not our duty to verify who is supporting them? They can continue calling us propaganda artists or conspiracy theorists but the fact remains there are major issues on which our theories are based. There are huge question marks over the way USA has waged this war and has released terrorist commanders. There are major question marks over the constant blame we have heard from India.

When on one hand we cannot have terrorists telling us what we should do we can also not have the Americans who sponsored them in the first place and killed Millions of people across the World for their own petty goals dictating our future as their toy soldiers.

The response of these people will always be “ISI and Pakistan’s military sponsored terrorism all along” but they should be reminded that when Zia did not want to join this war it was an American team that came and convinced him to wage war in Afghanistan. It was the USA that armed these same terrorists and sent billions of dollars to Pakistan for them to be armed. Estimates over the amount of money transferred by the USA to the terrorist organizations vary from 15 Billion to 25 Billion. We cannot continue taking the blame on ourselves and stifling every voice that thinks differently. It is clear that Pakistan was used at that time and when the war was over we were abandoned.

This is analogous to the situation we are faced with today. If we call the actions of the 1980’s a mistake then is it not a mistake to bow before Americans again knowing that they have abandoned us in the past? We cannot be hypocrites and take only one side of the story.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda are no doubt sworn enemies of Pakistan and hatred for them only increases with every bombing and every bullet they fire. So much so that if Pakistanis had a choice they would be lynched and their bodies hung across a huge picket line all the way from Chitral in the north to Karachi in the south.

However we must also remember the crimes of USA against the Pakistani state. If we could not trust them in the past the last thing we can do is trust them now or we will simply be repeating mistakes. We must also understand that a Nation that we have fought 3 wars with is definitely not a well wisher. No doubt there is a thirst for both peace and an end to hostilities on both sides but this should not blind us to such an extent that we forget that our National Interest is what comes first.

Every nation looks after its interests and its people display a semblance of patriotism in difficult times instead of trying to focus on bashing their country for their own interests.

So the question is why are Pakistanis sacrificing their National Interest and why are the so called intellectuals trying to misdirect us and trying to ensure that we lose faith in Pakistan? Why do such “intellectuals” even hold a sway on Pakistani society and why is legal action not taken against them when they insult the very founding fathers of the country and the principles we hold dear?

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