Tolerance, Frustration & Newton’s Law

Okay. It is little unconventional, or rather more than little. But I guess it will make sense to all those like me; crazy, many would call. Actually I don’t even know who else here is like me, but I am sure who ever likes me will read this and agree to me is the one who is like me.

So here it goes. People sound so frustrated in Pakistan that they have lost their entire set of brain-cell that makes them decide whether the thing they are doing is something a person would normally do when he is right in his head or that something is something a person should only do rather when he is frustrated; or perhaps frustrated-est.

I have kept myself to thinking a lot lately. I have observed and I have felt. There is something a lot of the people do. So, let’s just say they do it on Facebook mostly; or say they do it only on Facebook; because in real most of the people would just not pay that Joe Average any sort of heed that he indefatigably tries to obtain from people around: their attention; that for him is the most precious gift he can get from the world that lives around him in which he couldn’t step in. But what actually do they do? They do nothing! I am sorry if my incompetence offends their idea of self-reliance over the web, or not just over the web alone, but self-reliance from everything that exists; however, while they could win this self-reliance from anywhere, they couldn’t unfortunately win it from their inherent lunacy.

Let’s just cut to the chase. I am getting bored myself. But I haven’t lost my sincerity yet. So hold on. What do you call a person who is so defeated from inside, frustrated, and do something which, in his version of civilised and western world, a western even wouldn’t: blaming F for stealing alone when A, B, C, D and E were simultaneously also the equal collaborators. Maybe it is easier to explain in this way: A to F say that negotiations with the Taliban should be held, promoting the idea of “let’s give peace [another] chance; but in the outside world, F alone is being bashed, cursed, abused and held guilty for promoting the idea to negotiate with the terrorists Taliban. How is this even making sense?

I don’t want to write down any further; I am lethargic and I don’t know why I am even writing this all and what I am writing at all. But I am writing, or trying to write, to make a strong point that Imran Khan is an idiot who backs the notion that the War on Terror is not our war but it is America’s war. But then, struggling to validate the notion that he is an idiot is just not the thing that can rescue Pakistan from the horrors of terrorism. Unfortunately, as despicable as the PTI’s idea is about the disowning of war, there is nothing that the entire leadership of Pakistan has done which is worth writing in copper, let alone gold or silver. Copper is cheap today.

So I was saying, Imran Khan and his PTI are stupid; PTI has laid down the marker for stupidity. Sadly, this has caused a grim reaction in Pakistan: while stupidity of others makes people frustrated, it makes them look just as stupid as the one who causes frustration in the stupid. But here is the reason of frustration: you get frustrated and go on a bickering-contest with antagonist not because that antagonist is really harmful and his views are incurable, but because your frustration is the reason you have found a space in a certain group that accommodates every idea of breaking all hell loose on antagonists, using strong words; that group belongs to self-elated so-called intellectuals; we often like to call them faux-liberals of Pakistan. It is the manifestation of their failure to live in a society that is wished by people like me to be tolerant, but tolerance cannot be practiced by them equally along with those who initially cause the intolerance. Newton was a scientist, but a political scientist, and for that matter even a social scientist, would agree that: every action has equal but opposite reaction.

Of Shahzeb’s Killers Getting Pardoned

As the nation is embroiled in a debate on whether or not the pardoning was a right choice, the most ignored fact is that victim’s family may not have any choice. Either they did it because they were too much on the spiritual side, or they did it to keep their existence intact in the society dominated by the feudal and influential. As the news suggests, it is the latter.

And the Judge may have followed the Islamic principle of “Qisas” while adjudicating the case, that has upset the “liberal” lot for it relates to Islam. So, again the ignored fact is that the same principle of Qisas — regardless of right or wrong, as it remains a debate in modern times — has served as a blessing in disguise for the aggrieved family. Had they not pardoned Jatois and Talpurs, they would most certainly have been haunted throughout their lives by the feudal and influential families of the murderers. With that, would the “liberal” lot — I am addressing them primarily because I am sick of being learning that Islam has to be invited in ever social phenomenon — have successfully saved the family of Shahzeb from the wrath of Talpurs and Jatois? Simple answer is: No!

This is perhaps the best we could have as a verdict today. It truly reflects the culture and norms of our society; it is compatible with it eventually. Break the dominant feudal power in the society and then abolishing the concept of Qisas from the justice system might actually work in favor of poor as well for there would be no agent of fear left to be worried about for the aggrieved and not-so-influential victim(s).

A Straight “No” To Army’s Intervention In Politics

Often I contemplate why we, as civilians, assume that we cannot govern the country? Haven’t we — the “bloody civilians” as the army thinks — recognized our worth in all these 63 years of Independence?

A few days back during a debate with a friend he said to me:

“Civilians like you are worth nothing in the political system of this country”

Now I don’t understand one thing: why underestimating yourself as a civilian? Will we always remain “bloody civilians” in the eyes of uniformed ones?

Army is an institution, not a contractual leadership icon. It is we, the civilians, who are going to make any difference. If not, we will always keep on hanging between the 10 years military rule and couple of years civilian rule — the epitome of Pakistan’s political history. And If the things will keep going on in such a way, we will yet remain confused forever which ideology to follow — military or civilian. Army “may” change things to good for a short period of time, but it won’t and it can’t change things the way we need it for a long-term progression.

PS: I, in any case, am not endorsing the “democracy”. I don’t believe in this “ism” or that “ism”, and which is a different debate. I only intend to say that the “bloody civilians” are worthy of ruling too. Besides, the army’s influence in the politics of Pakistan should be subdued.

Clash Of Ideologies

While we’ve good examples of other countries to follow, we’re stick to our self-nurtured habits of creating our own unparalleled examples in the world. And so, no wonder if we fall each time to the lowest of regression because Pakistan remain to date a testing laboratory where each day and in each regime we experiment new lamentable things

While we’ve good examples of other countries to follow, we’re stick to our self-nurtured habits of creating our own unparalleled examples in the world. And so, no wonder if we fall each time to the lowest regression because Pakistan remain to date a testing laboratory where each day and in each regime we experiment new lamentable things

Since the time Pakistan has gained independence, it’s sometimes with the bottom part on top and sometimes the top part on bottom. The clash of ideologies is a chief ingredient in country’s social and political structure. The usual debates in the country, pointing mainly towards the major tier of clash of ideologies, are that of secularism, conservatism, democracy and dictatorship.

Despite that Pakistan is said to be an “Islamic” country having the official name “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan, the current and major lot of national and ethnical political parties along with the ruling party are left-wingers.

Pakistan was meant to be a democratic Islamic state. As the Jinnah said before the Sibi Darbar in 1948:

“Let us lay the foundations of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic ideals and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that our decisions in the affairs of the state shall be guided by discussion and consultations.”

Moreover, in a press statement on 31 July, 1947, Jinnah addressed to the Tribal Areas. He said:

“The Government of Pakistan has no desire whatsoever to interfere in any way with the traditional independence of the Tribal Areas. On the contrary, we feel as a Muslim State, we can always rely on the active support and sympathy of the tribes.”

At the conclusion of this statement, Jinnah chose to use the term ‘Islamic State’:

“In the end, I would appeal to all the different elements in the Frontier Province and in the Tribal Areas to forget past disputes and differences and join hands with the Government of Pakistan in setting up a truly democratic Islamic State.”

Since the first Martial Law by Ayub Khan, many rulers came and became a history – all with their unique set of incoherent ideologies. Mixture of civilian and military rule continued. However, Pakistan remained a testing laboratory for every ruler or dictator who would play with its original ideology and would manipulate it according to the so-called needs – mostly based on the de facto “doctrine of necessity” and the de facto “national interest”. The people of Pakistan, at the same time, have always paved a way for those new ideologies to get emerge each time they get bored or tired with the previous one.

The last one to come up with a new ideology was veteran president General Pervez Musharraf. He introduced “Enlightened Moderation” and attempted to promote it in Pakistan during his 9 years tenure of dictatorship. Musharraf has always quoted the example of Turkey and the Turkish revolutionary statesman Kemal Ataturk who gave Turkey a new ideology of secularism after the Ottoman Empire, which was said to be an Islamic Caliphate, was abolished.

Let’s come back to the favorite country of Musharraf as if in examples, the Turkey, where he once lived as a boy. The idea of military’s unaccountable power, in other words the sense of dictatorship while making decisions on his own, was once again swept up by Turkey. In Turkey, the military and establishment is said to be secular. Four times since 1960, the military, which views itself as the guardian of Turkey’s secular tradition, has overthrown civilian governments. And none of the plotter of the coup was punished until the AK party came into power. The military influence in politics was then diminished because of the strong civilian government lead by Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This goes for Musharraf – as well for those striving hard to keep country democratic and for those who endorse coup – again:

Few months back, that is in February, the court of Islamic-oriented government of Turkey has jailed seven senior military officers – including four admirals, an army general and two staff colonels. The officers, some of them are now retired, are charged with plotting in 2003 to topple the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Having said that Musharraf can follow the examples of Turkey in order to adopt secularism, the current government of Pakistan should now take a literal serious step in trying Musharraf just as the Turkey prosecuted and punished the servicemen who plotted to overthrow the Turkish government. Unfortunately, what we have seen so far is that the present civilian government of Pakistan has never took any step to try any of those servicemen  who even executed the coup, most recent Pervez Musharraf, and gave country the worst times it has ever seen.

What is the constitution of Pakistan for military dictators? Aren’t they the one who take oath on the name of Allah for they shall abide by the constitution? If oath-taking and fulfilling it has become so marginal and unholy, why do we still continue with the tradition of oath-taking ceremonies and the likes of it? Should not Pakistan cut the Gordian knot instead of making mockery of a constitution and oath by appending a new fresh clause to the constitution, which should state: “any breaching of the constitution under the pretext of ‘national interest’ and ‘doctrine of necessity’ shall not be considered treason. Military shall be allowed to practice the coup when needed.”

Who was Jinnah? Anyone remember him? To the armed forces, this man’s message was quite clear and well-defined briefly. On August 14th 1947, he addressed the armed forces of nascent Pakistan, saying:

“Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people and you do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.”

Jinnah left this message not only to the armed forces but also to the people of Pakistan. With this literacy rate and that poverty rate it is difficult for Pakistan to be democratic are the crippled rhetoric we have been listening for ages now. Not too far to go to seek an example. A country that lies on the east of Pakistan, truly our archenemy likewise, has the poverty rate bigger than Pakistan and literacy rate not as good that it cannot afford a single Martial Law.

Most recently, the MQM has vehemently announced that it will welcome the Martial Law by the “Patriotic Generals.” Well, endorsing to put Pakistan again under a new militarily based ideological test will really help Pakistan? When will this civilian-military ideological game show going to end? When will the civilians – including the political parties – are going to understand the fact that they are also worthy of ruling Pakistan? Only if they do it – ruling – with sincerity, keeping the principled politics its aim, and understand that we civilians do matter to the country, then Pakistan can avert the unwarranted and uncalled for military interventions, besides its influence, in the politics.

While we have good examples of other countries – like Turkey – to follow, and political guidelines and principles of Jinnah likewise, we are stick to our self-nurtured habits of creating our own unparalleled examples. And so, no wonder if we fall each time to the lowest regression because Pakistan remains to date a testing laboratory where each day and in each regime we experiment new lamentable things.

Conspiracy Theories And The Bilateral Process

The government is compelled to see people getting more infuriated, hawkish and extremist against countries like India, America or Israel.... Photo Courtesy: Express Tribune

The government is compelled to see people getting more infuriated, hawkish and extremist against countries like India, America or Israel.... Photo Courtesy: Express Tribune

Published at Express Tribune blog

Conspiracy theories in current times are adjusting to our youth. Have you ever wondered about the reasons that make conspiracy theories easily impact the minds of people? There are quite a number of reasons, the foremost being that many of us love fiction and mysteries, and another being a simple lack of education. But in Pakistan, perhaps the most important is the trust deficit between the people and the respective governmental institutions or the whole government machinery.

Conspiracy theories proliferating in society or a country reflect a bilateral connection between the respective government and its people – both hermetically connected to each other. How? Let’s take into account the case of Zaid Hamid. I’d not blame the stalwarts of Zaid Hamid who’re in these times following the hawkish ideologies of the man because, as I said, it’s a bilateral process. One needs to understand that the people of Pakistan are frustrated and provoked over the stalemate on most serious long-standing issues between India and Pakistan; for instance: water issue, Kashmir issue, unprovoked border forces fire from Indian side, the involvement of Indian security agencies in the affairs of Pakistan and so forth.

I’m not a supporter of Zaid Hamid, neither do I like his hawkish rhetoric and cliches. But then, I think Zaid Hamid doesn’t reflect both sides of the coin. One side of the coin is Zaid Hamid. The other side of the coin is the failed government. The government has failed to satisfy the needs of the people. And that government’s failure of not dealing with serious problems of Pakistan is leading to the ire in the youth against India.

In the same way, there are conspiracy theories regarding United States of America: the usage of Pakistani bases to perform the drone attacks assignment, which is killing many innocent Pakistanis; the role of American Intelligence Agencies in Pakistan including the abduction of Pakistanis by CIA and FBI; the Blackwater issue; the dubious role of America on Kashmir issue, the failure of American-led Nato forces in Afghanistan and so forth. Again, this all is leading to the ire in the people of Pakistan against United States of America. The reasons are quite valid given that 9 years of war has brought no convincing result until the present time.

In either case, conspiracy theories are evolved and adopted by the people because of the failure of the respective government which cannot grapple the issues. Or to state the matter differently, there’s a huge trust deficit between the people and the government because their voices and judgement and opinion are perennially overlooked by government.

I’m nowhere near to asserting the idea that the above mentioned reason is the “only” ingredient that helps in accommodating conspiracy theories in our judgments and opinions. But give me one reason why people shouldn’t fall prey to these conspiracy theories — the rhetoric and cliches of some media analysts, as it’s called — when government has critically failed to comply with the demands of the people, and as mentioned above too: like the water issue with India, Kashmir issue, illegal abduction of Pakistanis and so on.

People have the right to make choices too and they will make the choices “automatically” – and maybe at times the wrong choices – when the government feebly gives this impression that it’s reluctant to solve the problems people are facing perpetually. According to the previously mentioned scenario on the bilateral process with regards to conspiracy theories, there is only one solution:

government should pay careful attention to the sentiments and needs of the people. If not, the government will be witness to people getting more infuriated, hawkish and extremist against countries like India, America or Israel, when their voices are not given a careful consideration. Those people who strictly denounce the conspiracy theorists should also not blame the youths who fall prey to conspiracy theories, because the coin is always bi-facial — both faces different.