In defence of reason

By Nadeem F Paracha

Last week I was interviewed for a documentary on ‘Conspiracy Theorists,’ produced by DawnNews. The format of the program required two people talking about a chosen topic – a thesis/anti-thesis arrangement. The other person on the program was Mr. Zaid Hamid – the rock star among the many conspiracy theorists that are doing the rounds on mainstream television channels these days.

Unfortunately, both of us were interviewed separately, even though I did request the producer that it should be a face-to-face set-up. The young, energetic producer of the show explained that the format of the show did not allow for such an arrangement.

Well, in that case, Mr. Hamid continues dishing out his unchallenged monologues with only an elfin brunette seated in front of him or a former rock vocalist nodding in utter agreement (on a separate Hamid-led show on another channel).

Taking the documentary to be a general discourse on the ins and outs of conspiracy theories in Pakistan, and not knowing what Hamid would say, my 10-minute spiel was simply a defence of democracy and common sense that I think should prevail more than demagogic paranoia in matters of social and political upheavals.

True to form, Hamid lashed out at all the journalists and people who are calling him a conspiracy theorist. He thought such journalists are ignorant and misguided. He then rolled out the usual stuff on sinister ‘Zionist/Hindu/Western lobbies’ working against the political interests of Pakistan and Islam and referring to democracy as a violent system, etc.

Before I use this modest space to finally answer Mr. Hamid’s claims punch by punch, I would also like to share a fraction of the tons of hate mail I started receiving the evening after the show was first aired. I have selected portions of a few such emails (out of about – and so far – 197!).

Example one: ‘Dear Mr. Paracha, there is now no doubt that you are working for the CIA. You should be ashamed of defending Zionist lobbying and America. You should be kicked out of Pakistan and sent to Israel.’

Example two: ‘Paracha, how can you be a journalist and have such a big house? The answer is simple:You are CIA funded journalist.’

Example three: ‘Paracha, Zaid Hamid slapped you left, right and centre on the show, you pseudo-intellectual. There is no shortage of people like you in Pakistan. People like you have occupied important positions in our society and are given 90-95 per cent of media coverage. We are with Zaid Hamid and inshallah we will succeed.’

Example four: ‘NFP, you are a slave to the west and working against the interests of Pakistan by attacking patriots like Zaid Hamid. It is clear you and the newspaper you write for is being funded by Israeli and Indian agencies. Better shape up or we will ship you out.’

Example five: ‘Paracha Sahib, you have been trying to propagate your Yahoodi, Hindu and Christian masters’  rotten and obsolete ideas of ‘freedom’ and ‘secular liberalism’ and kafirana Socialism. But people like Zaid Hamid will never let Godless men like you succeed.’

Right. Absolutely nothing surprising here. But I write this piece in response to one email that I received yesterday, from a person who claimed to be in charge of running Hamid’s personal website: ‘I dare you to challenge any of the claims made by Zaid Hamid on the show,’ he asked. Well, there is no daring involved in what I am about to do, only simple common sense.

When Hamid says he is not anti-Hindu, he forgets that he may change the vitriol of his message for some television channels where he thinks he is more susceptible to counterargument, but the messages he has given out in the past remain in people’s minds and in cyberspace. In one of his August 14 specials he clearly labelled Hindus as a paleed nation unfit to govern. If that doesn’t make him anti-Hindu, then what does?

He says he admires the tolerance of Muslim Spain, but it doesn’t seem to have influenced him enough to follow the example. Simply go to Hamid’s website now and check out the article by Yousaf Alamgirian whose blurb says it all: ‘sheds light on the filthy Indian culture in which homosexuality is the ingredient of Hinduism.’

Hamid says that the western media discredits conspiracy theories because it implies it is the torchbearer of truth. But what Hamid fails to mention is that he has no original research of his own. All his work is derivative of the works of Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and other western dissidents who expose the hypocrisies in their own countries in a manner which on occasion stretches their argument to incredulous levels.

But where Hamid differs from them is that the principles he borrows from them are only used for opportunistic attacks without crediting the source of his arguments. He fails to use those same principles and apply them at home. For example, when the Chinese used brutal force to kill and subdue Muslims in Xinjiang recently, there was not a word out of him. Nor did he say anything about the stolen election in Iran simply because he supports ‘Muslim Power’ and challengers to the dominance of the West. In a similar fashion, in one of Osama bin Laden’s recent video tapes, even Osama sounded like a left wing environmentalist (again derivative justifications stolen from Western dissident scholarship), rather than being a man hell-bent on destruction.

Again, who exposed the abuses in Guantanamo? It wasn’t Hamid, but Western journalists concerned that their countries were doing something inhumane and illegal. But things like that are fictitiously ignored by him in his reign of hatred.

Hamid says the Pakistani people have been lied to, and claims to be an exception. Well, he is just continuing the tradition in a new paradigm. He says he is exposing the secrets, by bringing out the truth. Unless Hamid has never seen the programme we both appeared in, he would have clarified that he was not a ‘Dr.’ as he was labelled in it. The duplicity is amazing. By the same coin I am taken to task for being a semi-literate just because I conceded in the programme to having a bachelor’s degree.

Laughably, Hamid is so convinced of his own grand rhetoric that he believes his every word is followed by the CIA and FBI. He claims to have exposed a huge failing of the FBI because their most wanted description of the terrorist Osama bin Laden does not include a reference to his involvement in 9/11. Hamid then quickly added that after the airing of the programme he is sure the FBI will change it. You are welcome to visit the FBI website, because nothing of the sort happened. Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda is a suspect, but Osama has never claimed responsibility for the attacks and has only signalled his approval of the atrocity.

Hamid says that he believes in the truth and understands the importance of reading. By that statement we would believe that his standards of evidence are quite high. Yet anyone who disagrees with him, like Hamid Mir, is maligned as a CIA agent or a ‘Zionist banker’ like Fasi Zaka (who has never worked for a bank), or an ‘anti-Pakistan western slave’ like Hasaan Nisar, and now, me.

Yet he excludes himself from the category when he talks about his Afghan experience with Ahmad Shah Masood who openly received CIA money and did not toe the Pakistan line. Does it not qualify Hamid as CIA? If someone else had worked for Masood in Afghanistan, we wouldn’t be hard-pressed to believe that Hamid would have labelled him a CIA agent. It’s the hypocrisy of a fast-moving tongue that hopes people don’t follow the fine print.

Despite his hatred for the Americans, on his website he is happy to accept US$ 300 for his reports. He says he wants the gold system, but, alas, is also worshipping the altar of the almighty dollar. The FBI didn’t change the charge sheet on Osama like Hamid claimed it would, but Hamid is likely to change his web page when caught cheating.

In the show, Hamid was incensed at being called a conspiracy theorist. I wonder why, because on a number of occasions he has explained his ‘exposes’ against the many Zionist-Hindu-Western. lobbies working in the region as ‘Pakistan ke khilaf sazish’ (conspiracies against Pakistan). He often uses the word himself. But I think he has a bigger problem with the word ‘theorist.’ He wants everything that comes out of his mouth to be taken as an irrefutable ‘fact.’

He says that since Pakistan is an Islamic nuclear state, countries like India, Russia, China, Israel, Iran and America have a huge interest in the politics of Pakistan, where these counties finance political parties and armed militant groups. He says those who suggest that we should look inwards and at ourselves to solve our socio-political and economic problems are being simplistic and naïve.

Right. These countries have as much interest in Pakistan as we have in Afghanistan, Iran, China, and, of course, India. Thus, as much as it will be ‘simplistic’ to only look inwards in this respect, it is simply delusional to only look outwards for whatever goes wrong in Pakistan.

Even though Hamid agrees to be conscious of the turmoil Pakistan has been facing in its politics and economics, he suddenly short-cuts his way to largely pointing the finger on outside forces and strange-sounding lobbies. Is his position that if we are left to out own devises, we’ll be fine?

As a statement, the above sounds rather patriotic, but highly Utopian because it smacks of the kind of demagogic isolationism that countries like Albania, North Korea and Myanmar were put in, cut off from the rest of the world. Not because of any passionate display of self-reliance and independence of thought and action, but only to shield the totalitarian dictatorships that these countries have suffered from the criticism and reaction of the international community.

Why do you think elements that react the most negatively to international and journalistic criticism on human rights issues are dictators? Wouldn’t each one of them want to isolate their countries from ever being affected by international laws and rules that are clearly not in favour of military regimes and other forms of dictatorships?

Talking about ‘outside influence’ is nothing unique. Every country, big or small, has done it. And what’s the ‘expose’ aspect in dishing out the ‘crimes’ of certain intelligence agencies? What the American CIA and the Soviet KGB were up to during the Cold War was hardly ever a secret. Both the agencies explained their manoeuvres and proxy wars as a way to not only safeguard their respective countries and allies’ political and economic interests, they also explained these manoeuvres as a way to maintain a tussle without the use of nuclear warfare.

What is Hamid really suggesting, especially when he attacks concepts such as democracy and then insists that Pakistan be left alone? Is he suggesting acts of self-reliance in politics and economics, or is he talking about preparing the ground for an unconditional return to military dictatorship; the sort that will not have to explain its emergence to the international community of democratic countries, or face any political and economic pressures from nations that are only logically concerned by the awkward sight of an unstable and poor country with a nuclear bomb shining menacingly in its arsenal?

What else can be extracted from a so-called ‘security expert’ and television personality who talks about self-reliance in politics and economics, but at the same time scorns at democracy and related concepts, calling it a violent construct of the sinister ‘lobbies’ working against Islam and Pakistan?

He says that democratic countries have been at the forefront of killing millions of people through wars. That’s true, but these countries are as guilty in this respect as were the communist countries, as much as Genghis Khan was (and he most certainly wasn’t a democrat), or as much as a number of Muslim kings and generals have been in the past.

For argument’s sake, let’s say if Pakistan does become self-reliant in a way Hamid preaches it should, what sort of a system is he suggesting should prevail in this country? If not democracy, capitalism, socialism, or any other form of such dirty, violent Western constructs, then what?

His answer in this case, too, is a classic example of cringing rhetoric: ‘ Islam.’ By this – if one listens to his many spiels on Islamic history – he means the Islam conceived for this country by those who would have loved to rule unchallenged until their peaceful, natural deaths, over a nation taught through their history books that democracy has nothing to do with Islam. He also suggests that what these rulers (in the shape of military dictators) are doing in the name of governance is akin to the mythical ways of the religion’s first four Caliphs as well as soldiers and generals like Saladin and Muhammad bin Qasim.

Hamid is really a sucker for myths. He could’ve written greater ‘Islamic fiction’ than the renowned Pakistani historical fiction writer, Naseem Hijazi, who turned the lives and achievements of many historical Muslims generals into glorious literary soap operas. Well, at least he still described his books as fiction.

Funnier still is the way Hamid continues his leaps of logic in this context by suggesting that the Muslims had for hundreds of years experienced a most enlightening, tolerant and progressive civilisation. Of course, we are all well aware of the many philosophers and scientists that Islamic civilisation generated between the seventh and thirteenth centuries. But none of these developments were achieved in isolation.

Islamic thinkers and scientists were open to brand new ideas from ancient Greek and Latin thinkers on politics, history and science. In fact, much of what emerged as brilliance in philosophy and the science on part of these Muslims were influenced mainly by ancient Greek philosophers. What’s more, many Islamic philosophers and scientists had no qualms questioning religious dogma as well.

None of them saw these influences as a ‘conspiracy’ to derail Islam and Muslims. So why has it become so now?

 

Courtesy The Dawn Blog

http://blog.dawn.com:91/dblog/2009/08/11/in-defence-of-reason/

84 Comments

Filed under Media, Pakistan, Religion

84 responses to “In defence of reason

  1. Rana

    Hooo boy!!! Paracha has once again gone for a sacred cow. And now he should beware the hatered and attacks he will face from the usual rabid z hamid fans.

  2. Unfortunately, this defeatist approach of conspiracy theories is very well grounded in the Pakistani mindset now. It clearly shows that we do not have the patience to fix our own problems and just want them to go away overnight. People like Zaid Hamid dream of a Khilafat which existed centuries ago in its own time and age. These conspiracy theorists are unable to get out of the ‘golden age’ dreams purely because they are willing to put the burden of a nation’s mistakes on someone else’s shoulders and believe this will cure all ills

    Just my 2 cents!

  3. Waseem

    “And now he should beware the hatered and attacks he will face from the usual rabid z hamid fans”
    Unfortunately, “hatred” is the only thing that Mr Zahid Hamid’s camp has. Goodbye “critical thinking” and “wisdom”. God bless our nation

  4. WS

    It is correct that every nation in this world is competing and many times fighting with other nations and in this fight every nation is doing all kind of conspiracies. But can one believe that out all problems have roots outside the country and we as a nation never did any mistake? If we did then would it be wrong to accept it and decide not to repeat it again?

  5. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well said Mr. Peracha. You are quite extraordinary.

  6. Rashid

    Zaid Hamid—Embodiments Pakistani dogmatic minds.

    I think this article will bring insight into minds of Pakistanis who think “Pakistan Islam Ka Qilla Hay”, as if Allah SWT depends on THIRD CLASS people of Pakistan (which happen to be in over whelming majority) to defend HIS favorite religion–Islam; as if Allah SWT is (nauzubilah) too weak that HE needs help of Pakistanis!!!!
    Unfortunately, Pakistanis underestimate Allah SWT too much.

  7. Ahmed Chowdhry

    NFP – You are da man! It is time to take on the lunatic fringe that is the Urdu Media aka Media Mujhadeen, now lead by people such as Zaid Hamid who promote nothing but hate speech.

  8. hossp

    Is Zaid Hamid worth anyone’s time?

  9. Ahmed Chowdhry

    @hossp – O believe me there are plenty of nuts around who hang on to his every word.

  10. Golaarahahhai

    Paracha does it again. All power to reason. Zaid is worth the time because so many so-called ‘educated’ Pakistanis have only time to uncritically digest the bullshit he’s always feeding him.

  11. Ayesha Khan

    THANKU NFP! go go go and never stop plz 🙂
    if only 80% of our nation could WAKE UP and understand what you say, im sure we would not be sunk here like we always have been …
    sadly the figure is not even 2 % 😦

  12. Majumdar

    HP saeen,

    Is Zaid Hamid worth anyone’s time?

    Good entertainment value at least.

    Regards

  13. Ron

    NFP,

    How about a TELEVISION SHOW????????

    Cheers , your admirer from India

  14. Liberal from India

    I understand that it is none of my business to intervene between two Pakistanis, yet I wanted to convey that people of your thinking face similar resistance and brickbats elsewhere as well -more so in IndoPak region. Just stick on the path of fighting for a democratic set up as you belong to the future -not so distant, perhaps!

    The agony is that religionists or communists wrongly project democratic governments as anti-religion/communism. But the fact is that a democracy allows all isms or religions to prosper and propagate.

  15. Amar

    Dear Mr NFP,

    There was no need to write this article in the first place. This looks more to me as a ‘defence thesis’ of a ‘defeated guy’.

    My advice to you is: “Perform where it matters.”

    Paracha Munda: Get Well Soon!

  16. Golaarahahhai

    Amar Jee,
    Zaid Sahib can sit for hours and hours on TV talking nonsense, but NFP (or anybody else who does not agree with this hate-mongerer) has no need to present a counter argument?
    Bohat achey, bhai. Live and let sleep.

  17. Hassan1657

    Good work, NFP, though I dont like you personally because of being ahead of contemporary Pakistani sense of Humour(its a compliment)..
    The conspiracy theory is so deep-rooted that anyone who tells anybody to get out of Islamic-dream-of-Khilafat, he is a confirmed CIA agent, I never knew that CIA was on usch a recruiting spree until I was labelled one myself.

  18. Aryan

    I’m a right wing BJP supporting Indian, and I say ( it may surprise some of you) you need Zaid Hamid like characters along with people correcting them like Mr Paracha. Popular sentiment lies in between the two usually. Due to civilizational differences liberals will have it rough in Pakistan while conservatives will suffer in India.

  19. Mustafa Shaban

    A response to “In defence of reason – Nadeem F Paracha”
    August 12, 2009
    On a recent episode of “+92 IDENTITY” show on Dawn News TV, Zaid Hamid (ZH) and Nadeem Farooq Paracha (NFP) presented views relating to so called conspiracy theories and how they are perceived in Pakistan. ZH defending his analysis as non conspiracy theorist, and NFP representing the mainstream thought process. One would expect that after airing both the views , it would be left to the viewer’s discretion to decide and follow whichever camp they feel is telling the truth. But NFP, felt that the format of show did not allow a rebuttal and hence had to write an article in response. What was so special about ZH’s arguments that NFP felt the urge to write a rebuttal, a “punch by punch” answer as he says in his article? One read of his article and you realise that there is more of ranting and crying there, than actual refutation of Zaid Hamid’s arguments. In Punjabi slang, this is called “Rondee”. I will explain how as we move on. Please remember its conspiracy theories we are talking about

    Have a read through this paragraph, to see what I mean by “rondee”:

    “Taking the documentary to be a general discourse on the ins and outs of conspiracy theories in Pakistan, and not knowing what Hamid would say, my 10-minute spiel was simply a defence of democracy and common sense that I think should prevail more than demagogic paranoia in matters of social and political upheavals.“

    NFP is complaining that he did not know what ZH was going to say hence that was in some way unfair to him? Let me ask you NFP, did ZH know what you were going to say?

    Next example, when NFP says that ZH is anti Hindu and Hindus are a “paleet” nation, and are unfit to govern. First of all ZH is not anti Hindu, he is anti Hindu oligarchy, get your facts straight, he has said time and again that we sympathise with the Dalits and unscheduled castes of the Hindu population. And even if he says that these Brahman oligarchists are paleet, thats his point of view. So what? we have 1 billion people across the border who think cow is god, rat is god, even shivas genitals are god, so whats wrong with the belief that the Hindu oligarchy is “paleet”. In fact any type of oligarchy is paleet. Where is the conspiracy theory here?

    Lets move on, NFP says ZH has no original research. First of all, i don’t understand what he means by original research, can you please define that NFP? He says ZH uses research done by Westerners and at the same time discredits Western media. He mentions a few names, like Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky. Mr. Paracha, ZH was referring to mainstream media, how many times have you seen Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein being hosted on MSM talk shows? How many times Mr Paracha? How many times are the views of these people propogated on CNN? Let me spell it out for you, ZH discredits Western Mainstream Media, and not Western intellectuals as a whole, so if he uses research from Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein and others, there is nothing wrong with it, there is no hypocrisy there as you suggest. If he was quoting stuff from CNN and at the same time discrediting MSM then it would be called hypocrisy. Is that clear enough? Again where is the conspiracy theory here?

    The next paragraph is just amazing just have a read:

    “Hamid says the Pakistani people have been lied to, and claims to be an exception. Well, he is just continuing the tradition in a new paradigm. He says he is exposing the secrets, by bringing out the truth. Unless Hamid has never seen the programme we both appeared in, he would have clarified that he was not a ‘Dr.’ as he was labelled in it. The duplicity is amazing. By the same coin I am taken to task for being a semi-literate just because I conceded in the programme to having a bachelor’s degree.“

    Now what do we have here. Hmmm. It looks like NFP is suggesting the ZH is a liar just like the rest. What does he base it on? The fact that an IT guy at Dawn News mislabeled him as being a Dr., and that so far he has not said that he is not a doctor(which he has said on many shows on many channels on many occassions, most recently on Ali Azmat’s show on Aag,but NFP wants nothing to do with that). Pretty heavy stuff to base your argument on. Nice job NFP.

    In the next paragraph, NFP gets a little desperate and starts putting words in ZH’s mouth. This is what NFP says “Hamid then quickly added that after the airing of the programme he is sure the FBI will change it.” What did ZH actually say: “They may add that after our interview”, he did not say that he was SURE FBI will change it. My dear brother, NFP, who’s the liar now?

    Next NFP uses a past experience of ZH in the Afghan war to label ZH as a CIA agent. And since ZH was fighting alongside Ahmed Shah Masood, and since Ahmed Shah Masood took money from CIA, hence ZH is CIA. NFP poses the question that does that not make ZH a CIA agent, the answer obviously is no, it does not. But it does make him a warrior of the Afghan war, who fought to eject the Soviets from Afghanistan.

    NFP says that ZH wants everything that comes out of his mouth to be taken as an irrefutable ‘fact.’ Doesn’t every analyst and commentator want that? Whats wrong with that? Where is the conspiracy theory here? Please explain, NFP.

    Continuing to the next two paragraphs, this is what NFP has to say:

    “He says that since Pakistan is an Islamic nuclear state, countries like India, Russia, China, Israel, Iran and America have a huge interest in the politics of Pakistan, where these counties finance political parties and armed militant groups. He says those who suggest that we should look inwards and at ourselves to solve our socio-political and economic problems are being simplistic and naïve.

    Right. These countries have as much interest in Pakistan as we have in Afghanistan, Iran, China, and, of course, India. Thus, as much as it will be ‘simplistic’ to only look inwards in this respect, it is simply delusional to only look outwards for whatever goes wrong in Pakistan.“

    First of all, NFP, are you denying that there is no external interference and influence in Pakistan’s local politics and policy making? Please let us know. Second, again please don’t put words in ZH’s mouth. ZH said, looking inward ONLY would be simplistic and naive, just as you suggest looking outward ONLY would be delusional. ZH is of the view that you have to tackle all problems, looking inwards and outwards. he was quite clear about this in the show. There is a mountain of difference there in what ZH said and what you suggest he said, I hope you understand. A line in your next paragraph, negates your very own argument in the previous paragraph that ZH is delusional to only look outwards for whatever goes wrong in Pakistan. How? Just read:
    “Even though Hamid agrees to be conscious of the turmoil Pakistan has been facing in its politics and economics…” So you know he agrees to look inwards, and yet you try to give us the impression that he only wants us to look outwards. Did you write the article in a hurry? You say something and contradict it in the very next line. This is amazing.

    In the final paragraphs of his blog post, NFP’s argument revolve around the following concepts:

    1. ZH is an isolationist, and wants us to cut off from the rest of the world.
    2. His suggestion that Islam and Islamic history should be used to devise a system of governance for Pakistan is actually supporting the concept of a military dictatorship in the country.
    3. ZH attacks democracy, only because he wants to prepare a stage for return to a military dictatorship.
    4. ZH’s suggestion for Islam as answer, is the Islam conceived by people who want to rule us unchallenged.
    5. No one is conspiring to derail Islam and Muslims.

    Lets tackle them one by one, or “punch by punch”, as NFP says:

    1. The first point is obviously not true, for example ZH has on many occassions suggested creating strategic alliances, with Iran and China, as a means to counter US influence in central Asia, this is hardly isolationist thinking. Another example: ZH wants Pakistan to be so powerful and progressive that he wants Pakistan consulted on every global decision making, again hardly an isolationist thought. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that when ZH says , that we should be left alone, he means the foreign forces should stop interfering in our internal affairs, that doesn’t mean, we close our borders and our TV stations and become a closed society like Myanmar.
    2. I simply fail to understand this argument, how is using good aspects of our history and using guidance from Islam constitute a military dictatorship. Our constitution prepared by a democrat, clearly says, that no law shal be made that is repugnant to the Quran and Sunnah. The legislators could be dictators or democrats, but they cannot legislate against the Quran and Sunnah, this is what the constitution demands. How does this support the concept of military dictatorship?
    3. ZH attacks western style democracy, and not democratic values, which are inherent in Islam, you should listen to him more closely with an open mind, and may be then you will understand. Western style democracy is generally defined as mob rule, so it needs to be controlled by a constitution. That is when you become a republic. But that hasnt worked in Pakistan, the constitution has been unable to control the mob.
    4. Again, not true, ZH wants an Islamic system, whether it is brought about via democracy or via dictatorship or via people revolution. He said this in episode 28 of iqbal ka pakistan on Aag channel, just search for it on youtube and watch it.
    5. Well the answer to this question lies in your own article, NFP, when you label Islamic governance and anything derived from Islam, as a “myth”, “fiction”, and “utopia” and when you suggest that the Khilafat was nothing but a military dictatorship. If this isn’t an effort to derail Islam, what is?

    I have saved the best “rondee” for the last, which made me laugh, NFP says:

    “Despite his hatred for the Americans, on his website he is happy to accept US$ 300 for his reports. He says he wants the gold system, but, alas, is also worshipping the altar of the almighty dollar.“

    Dollars, Rupees, Riyals , the paper currency , is the legal tender in this day and age. Will you open a shop today, and turn back customers who dont have gold to pay you with? By this statement you are suggesting that ZH is a hypocrite. While obviously there is no hypocrisy there. He will accept gold when it is made legal tender, simple as that. And how do you suggest people will be able to pay him in gold through his website? I would love to see that.

    In my closing, I would like to ask you one last thing Mr Paracha, what makes you think the recent Iranian elections were stolen? Just because CNN said so, or do you have any “original research” to back up your claim? If you don’t then you are just another conspiracy theorist.

  20. Mustafa Shaban

    EDITED FOR ABUSE

  21. Zia Ahmad

    @ Mustafa Shaban

    “…who has taken it upon himself to present in a clear and honest manner the issues that Pakistan is being confronted with right now and he will continue to do so no matter what because WE the people of Pakistan are with him.”

    “This nation needs people like Zaid Hamid, who have the power of truth behind them …”

    Your recently deleted comment falls short of an elegant rebuttal.
    May I ask who appointed you to speak for the entire nation. Zahid Hamid has as many supporters as he has detracters, as you can clearly see by the trend of comments preceding you and on Dawn blog.
    Your comment is condescending at best and bigoted froth at worst. I would ask the moderators to paste the comment back so everyone can see the subtle and fine nuance of your criticism.

  22. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well said Zia

    Frankly I don’t understand the fascination people have with off-base characters… I mean the man is clearly the weirdest looking dude on TV with his red topi and his little goatee fudge.

    He looks like a caricature villain from a cartoon … Sometimes I wonder if all this is the result of an unsuccessful attempt at ISSB or … maybe psych profiling.

    The rebuttal to NFP by Mustafa Shaban’s friend from Imtiaz-e-Pakistan was a joke. It did not address any of NFP’s points at all.

  23. D_a_n

    on a much lighter note…

  24. Gorki

    Mustafa Shaban Saab:

    I am reading the above debate with interest but I don’t want to interrupt the internal discussion among Pakistanis regarding Mr. ZH so I will not comment about him but
    you made a couple of interesting comments above that were not clear to me; so can you kindly elaborate?

    1.” we have 1 billion people across the border who think cow is god, rat is god, even shivas genitals are god, so whats wrong with the belief that the Hindu oligarchy is “paleet”.

    Not knowing what paleet is I can only imagine something bad; So I assume that worship of a cow or a rat is bad.
    OK.
    So then does that make the worshipper any less human? Any less worthy of equal treatment?
    And how about those among the billion who do not worship a rat or a cow but perhaps a hypothetical old man in the heavens?

    Are they also something equally repugnant?

    2. “Western style democracy is generally defined as mob rule, so it needs to be controlled by a constitution”.

    Which Western democracy without a constitutional rule are we talking about?

    Regards.

  25. Mustafa Shaban

    just to let you know this response was written by imtiaz…i posted it here so that you guyz could respond to it

  26. Mustafa Shaban

    the second response was also by someone else, I support the response given by imtiaz…in case of elaboration you should go on the link and post those questions there

  27. Gorki

    Shaban Saab:

    While you are at it could you also check with Imtiaz Saab regarding the following statements in which he said:

    “In fact any type of oligarchy is paleet. Where is the conspiracy theory here?”

    Here below is the definition of Oligarchy:
    “An oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony”

    And here below is the official version and facts respectively about two different forms of Governments.

    1. “The central institution of the Saudi Arabian government is the Saudi monarchy. The Basic Law of Government adopted in 1992 declared that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of the first king, Abd Al Aziz Al Saud”.

    Now compare this to India:

    2. The basic constitutional practices are similar in all states; India is a parliamentary democracy. Note that India’s biggest State is UP which is currently ruled by Mayawati. Guess what; she is not a Brahmin but a ‘Dalit’ whose cause you so vociferously champion.

    Now which one of these two if any is a Paleet according to you or Mr. Imtiaz or to Mr. ZH?

    And why?

    Regards.

  28. Golaarahahhai

    Just you guys wait. There will come a point where Mr. Hamid will start claiming that he is getting all is knowledge directly from God Almighty … that is, if ISI permits, of course.

  29. R Nawaz

    Mr. Mustafa Shaban, Mr. Imtiaz:
    I recommend u to study some basic course on political science, history or civics, but definitely not from Pakistan. Yes I mean from foreign ‘western’ institution. Here u can vomit by saying ‘western’ as ‘paleet’ too but my common sense plus sociological imagination tells that even a slight hope of getting US visa will not let u sleep because of overjoy.
    Stop being ZH’s bulldogs. U were utterly unable to understand what were the ‘issues’ between ZH and NFP’s debate.
    Nice contribution by Gorky. NFP! I am with u.

  30. Mustafa Shaban

    I am 18 years old, I have lived the first 6 years of my life in Dubai then the next 6 years in Toronto, and I came bak to Dubai and have been here ever since. I am attending university in Dubai. I am very familiar with western academic discourse. I also am familiar with the alternative media discourse which i find makes a lot more sense than the academics of western institutions. I am a proud pakistani and I do not have a inferiority complex about being pakistani. So R Nawaz we are having a debate on our points of view which is great but there is no need to get all personal.

  31. D_a_n

    Shaban…

    Biography and life story was scintillating…

    Now how about you have a go at answering the point raised by Groki….?

  32. Ali Abbas

    ZH is the embodiment of the recent infatuation between some members of the Left and the Islamists; hence by wearing the red cap and the non-mustache beard, he is playing to both galleries. These wannabe Che Gueveras have recently started boning up on Seymour Hersch, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky and use their research in their tirades against America. Ofcourse, they are utterly oblivious to what Noam Chomsky wrote regarding Bangladesh in 1971. For these Islamists, Imperialism only applies to Americans circa 1989 when they were dumped by their CIA lovers after a job done in Afghanistan.

    All those who fought the Soviets were firmly in the CIA camp. Its really about a jilted lover; apparently their notions about imperialism exclude their patron in chief, KSA, and their racist and imperial treatment of non-Arabs in KSA and UAE.

  33. PMA

    Gorki (August 13, 2009 at 1:50 am)

    “we have 1 billion people across the border who think cow is god, rat is god, even Shiva’s genitals are god, so whats wrong with the belief that the Hindu oligarchy is paleet.”

    “Not knowing what paleet is I can only imagine something bad”

    Gorki: Since you asked. ‘Paleet’ means ‘Na-Pak’. Opposite of Pak. It simply means something spiritually not clean. Let me tell you a short story from my childhood.

    There were only few Hindu families in our neighborhood; all other had left Pakistan many many years ago. There was this very sweet Hindu lady who used to visit us. But there was something very peculiar and strange about her behavior. At least that is how it was to me. She will not drink or eat anything from our house and she will not sit down on any cushioned furniture in our house. She will select and sit only on a wooden chair without leather or cotton seating. My mother knew it and she therefore will offer her a chair of her choice to sit down.

    I asked my mother about this strange behavior of our guest. Here is what my mother told me: “Khathrani Ji considers our cushions ‘paleet’.”

    “But these cushions are clean. I have seen you washing them with the bar of soap.” I argued with my mother.

    “Yes Khathrani Ji considers bar of soap ‘paleet’. It contains animal fat.” was my mother’s reply.

    Gorki. I hope now you understand what is ‘paleet’.

  34. Gorki

    Dear PMA Saab:

    Thanks for sharing the story.
    I can not say it was heartwarming or anything; just something that made me a little sick in the stomach.

    I now understand what paleet is but somehow the moral of the story escaped me;

    Two wrongs make a right?
    Obviously it could not be that.

    Then what, a whole nation of one billion stands condemned for the behaviour of one bigoted woman?

    Perhaps there were millions of bigoted narrow minded men and women in undivided India then, like that woman in your story. May be even, now there still are many such people in India today. So where do we go from here?

    And what about millions of those in the same country that ZH now calls paleet who have stood up against such utterly inhuman and deplorable beliefs; have risked life and limb and have staked their all to end those practices and beliefs?
    Do they also stand condemned in a guilt by association?

    Years ago my then kindergarden going son came home from school and proudly repeated the lesson he had learnt that day:

    “An eye for an eye is no justice; it will only cause the world to go blind”

    I think it is a good lesson for us adults to remember as well.

    Regards.

  35. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    I never thought the day would come when I would defend the feared and terrifying PMA against you.

    I think you misunderstood him entirely. He was illustrating the meaning of the word, and from what I read, there were no overtones or undertones. At least that’s what I think.

    Having been borne to a mother who was brought up in the South right until her marriage, I now understand exactly what the word means. As you know, a good Brahmin shuns modern footwear as it is normally made of animal leather, including cow-hide. This is why you will find them walking barefoot, if particularly of an orthodox persuasion, and naturally dashing for the tap whenever they come indoors, to wash off all the dust. That is also one reason why in orthodox households, footwear is banned within doors (this seems to be spreading, btw).

    For a person who has had (wrongly and mistakenly) drilled into him the concept that animal slaughter is vaguely sinful, and cow slaughter is distinctly and specifically a mortal sin, this is a fairly understandable reaction. Two things: understanding something does not amount to supporting it; I decry Brahminical superstition as strenuously as the next man. On the other hand, Tout comprendre, tout pardonner. That is a good point at which to start and perhaps – dare I say this? – a good point to begin any communication.

    I notice Khathrani Ji was offered a seat. Even today, the plumber, the electrician, the carpenter, the tailor don’t get offered seats; they squat on the floor if they are privileged old service providers, but that’s as far as it goes.

    It does look to me like an attempt at explanation very sadly mistaken and misunderstood. Let us leave bigotry of all over-excited religious types behind and consider our views in a calm manner.

  36. Gorki

    Bonobashi, PMA Sahib:

    I am truly dumbfounded.

    As I read Bonobashi’s explanation and then frantically re-read PMA’s last post I realized to my rising chagrin that Bonobashi was indeed right and the real paleet was nothing but my own stupid mind.

    I stand ashamed of myself for assuming the worst.
    PMA Sahib indeed seems to be giving an innocuous example while I am going on and on about bigotry and what not. He would now be well within his rights never to address me ever again.

    However if he were to find it in his heart to overlook this one time transgression I am willing to make amends.

    Thus if he were to agree, then I promise to take him out (along with any company of his choosing) to any place of dinning of his choice either in Chicago or in San Francisco. I would only request him to recite a poem of his as payment.

    (If he is really in a vengeful mood may I suggest Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago ;-). It will do a serious damage to my bank balance.

    Seriously, I apologize for being such a jahil jackass.

    Regards.

  37. PMA

    Gorki: We never thought that the lady in the story a bigot otherwise she would have not been invited back into our house. It was her belief that anything containing animal fat or meat was not pak. Most Muslims like most Jews consider pig as na-pak or paleet and therefore do not eat pork or pork products. Most Muslims and Jews only eat meat of certain animals and not of others. Also most Muslims only eat meat butchered in a certain prescribed way. Therefore the concept of ‘Halal’ and ‘Harram’. Most Muslims find certain Hindu religious practices ‘paleet’ and vis-a-versa. Therefore no need to get ‘overheated’ on these issues. You should listen to that old wandering sage. I don’t know if you have heard this Muslim joke: “When invited for dinner the guest says to the host that beer may be of any brand, but please make sure that the meat is halal.” I may take you up on your invitation. And never ask a poet for an encore as the encore may exceed the main event.

  38. Gorki

    PMA Sahib:

    Thanks for the post.

    I am now relieved that the misunderstanding has now been resolved. When you first told the story I sssumed the lady in question felt she was too superior to touch objects from you home due to your religion.
    (There is a story about the Maharaja of Benares once refuring to touch his own ring after the wife of the Viceroy of India asked him to let her touch the ring because she innocently tried to pay him a compliment. I understand he was made to abdicate for his troubles. Moral of the story: Don’t try to act superior to people who are YOUR own superiors)

    It was big hearted of you to accept the sincere apology. Hopefully you and I can meet over some good food soon. YLH has my email address, feel free to contact me or else give him permission to forward your address to me.

    I have no doubt the poem will be far better than any main course. Of course the meat will be Halal, since I eat anything and everything. (I guess I am too dumb to remember what is or is not prohibited by my religion.) Only I must warn you that I have been jokingly called a disgrace to my Qaum for not drinking alchohol or offering it to others so no Beer; sorry. ;-).

    Bonobashi: I owe you one for this one. I am glad you spotted the error in my thinking before it did more damage.
    I know a great vegetarian place in Berkeley (close to SFO.) I will be a pleasure to take you out too whenver you feel brave enough to venture this far.

    (On another note please remember my model of the Parthenon with the correct dimensions when you come. 😉 )

    Regards.

  39. Mustafa Shaban

    Well you see the definition is correct. Ofcourse with a government like that the elite segment’s interests will be considered first before the entire population if you dont have checks and balances. Islam is against this. Power should be with the people and the Judiciary.

    Both structures are terible for the following reasons:

    1. The royal family of Saudi enriches itself with the country’s wealth and gives nothing to its people. There are no checks and balances. The people are given very little attention and the government is very repressive and it serves only the royal family and the elite.

    2. In India we may have a few ppl from minorities in positions of power such as governer etc. But this does not change the fact that the Brahmin Hindu elite and extremists dominate government policy, army, and RAW. The indian governemtn only serves interests of the economical, political and religous elite. The rest of the population is in darkness. The system is extremely curropt.

  40. yasserlatifhamdani

    Mustafa Shaban,

    I am not the one to defend India and most people know it… but your comparison between Saudi Arabia and India is completely off-base.

    India is not an oil rich nation … so it is not developed. And it has a cultural lag no doubt… but it has a democratic constitution – one of the finest in the world- and has an independent judiciary and a rising middle class.

    Tariq Ali wrote in his book “Clash of Fundamentalisms” that Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a Muslim version of India.. which makes perfect sense given that the issue was of Muslim and Hindu bourgeoisie clashing with each other for economic and political influence.

  41. Hayyer 48

    @Bonobashi
    I didn’t comprehend you were a theist. Only God can understand all and forgive all-unless you go by the book, and then anything is possible.

  42. Mustafa Shaban

    YLH: I am not saying that india is same as saudi. India is better but yet the systems of both countries are flawed…also pakistan has a very flawed system. We need to find a solution to get out of elitism and stop the rich from becoming richer while the poor become poorer. An alternative system needs to be found. 70% of india’s population is still below the poverty line, the judiciary is still weak and 20-30 year old cases still remain to be resolved and its hard for common man to get quuick justice. Its all about systems. You do not need loads of natural resources to develop, you use your man power and ofcourse there are numerous strategies to build a welth of a nation and develop. You need a good leadership as well. Also someone needs to implement the constitution and not allow anyone to violate the laws and constitution of india if that country is to move forward.

  43. Gorki

    Dear Mustapha:

    Being a father of a 17 year old son, a part of me cannot help admiring your idealism and the fact that you are a very intelligent kid with a keen sense of global geopolitics and history.

    However the same paternal instinct is also somewhat troubled by the fact that you are at a youthful age where idealism far outweighs experience and as a result people at your age tend to see the world as a black and white where as the truth is that it is mostly, if not entirely grey. Thus they are very gullible.

    For example you wrote:

    “In India we may have a few ppl from minorities in positions of power such as governer etc. But this does not change the fact that the Brahmin Hindu elite and extremists dominate government policy, army, and RAW. The indian governemtn only serves interests of the economical, political and religous elite. The rest of the population is in darkness. The system is extremely curropt.”

    I think such generalizations become accepted as a gospel truth when one accepts the words of people like Zaid Hamid etc. who are masters of manipulating others.
    What they do is take a few well known facts and criticisms about their opponents (for example ; India ‘the enemy’), and combine it with their own outlandish and purely fictious conspiracy theories and feed this mishmash to a gullible audience like you.

    Since it takes a very sophisticated mind to separate fiction from fact, such theories then, become very difficult to remove from popular beliefs.
    Let me use two examples.

    1. Take the above paragraph that you wrote. It is true that India still has many systemic failures, the corruption is legendary and far too many poor still feel left out of the system. However there is no Brahmin conspiracy to keep any one or the other sections down.
    Take a close look at our broken reservation system; in some situations the reserved quotas go all the way up to 92% covering almost everybody but you know who? You guessed it; the much maligned Brahmins. The political power too is very fragmented with the party of the Dalits, Mayawati’s party is in power in caste ridden UP so it is busy placing its own people in government machinery even to the detriment of the state. Also look closely at Punjab and Bengal; two states that were partitioned in 1947. Punjab has become a pocket borough of the Badals, a family of Sikh Jats; non Brahmins non Hindus, and a minority in India (on whose behalf ZH wants to fight India to help create Khalistan.) The Badals too are busy placing their own Jat kinsmen in all positions of power, police, civil administration business; you name it. Bengal has been under the clueless (and utterly mirthless) communist government for the last 30 years. Again, hardly a Brahmin conspiracy. Yet ZH will never tell you that or will dig out another fantastic explanation to fit these inconvenient facts into his worldview. To refute all his conspiracy theories will take a small book but I can discuss it more off line if you want.

    2. The second example is of the 26/11 Mumbai massacre as a cover by the ‘Hindu Zionist RAW’ conspiracy to finish off a key police officer which you wrote elsewhere. Think of it this way, if the RAW were really that powerful and wanted to kill one or two or ten police officers to keep them quiet, would it not be much more efficient to kill them quietly without causing billions worth of damage to Indian business and hundreds of Indian lives?

    Besides there is this inconvenient fact that Kasab is still alive and singing like a canary and that Pakistani establishment also has accepted that he is indeed a Pakistani. If it is indeed a conspiracy then the RAW must also have recruited not only the Pakistani PM, the President but also a large section of Pakistani media to its side.

    Makes you wonder…Hmmm.

    My last question and comment is adressed even more personally to you.

    Even if we accept that the Brahmins are indeed heartless tyrants then how would replacing them with an Islamic Khalifat be better for the Dalits of India?

    You seem to be enamored by the mythical past history of the first few years of the Islamic rule which clearly was a huge improvement over that which had existed before but that was 1400 years ago and mankind has progressed a lot since then.

    Don’t buy all ZH’s rhetoric about ideal ‘Islamic vision ruined by incompetent Saudi or other rulers.’
    The fact is that our small planet was always run and will always be run by men who are similar to the rulers in SA, Iran or Dubai or who till recently ruled Afghanistan under the Taliban. Without the democratic checks and balances such people will go on doing that which they do now. Angels from heaven are unlikely to come and run ZH’s version of ideal rule.

    Look around you; the World has scores of Muslim majority countries.
    Not only Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but also places like Indonesia Malaysia and Turkey.

    All of them have some degree of Islamic and modern secular democratic principles mixed in varying quantities in their systems of government.
    I think if you list them in an order with governments most based on Islamic principles on one end and most secular on the other, you will find SA and Iran on one end and Turkey on the other. (Pakistan, thanks to YLH and his kind, is slowly moving towards the second end)

    Now as a young man who has lived in Canada as well as in the Gulf, keep an open mind, and then ask yourself this question: In which of these countries does an average minority (women, ethnic minorities like blacks, foreigners, other religions like Buddhists and Hindu Dalits etc.) have the most likelihood to advance economically and politically to their full potential?

    My guess is that this second table will mirror the first. Now compare it with a successful democracy like Canada or even a flawed one like India. Again the chances are Turkey and Indonesia will look more fairly similar to these two which will be closer to the top of the heap while SA and Iran will look light years away.

    So then what can we conclude?
    Islamic legacy is under intense pressure and abuse both by its detractors in the West like NeoCons and its so called protectors in the East like ZH.

    Islam however is Islam; a glorious saga of human experience that brought lessons of fairness and universal brotherhood to mankind. It should be honored for that. Yet the world has become a far more complex place than Arabia was 14 centuries ago and now secular principles should be incorporated in addition to those lessons.

    It does not mean Islam is irrelevant; it remains, and should remain a source of strength, of faith, of moral guidance for all those billions of believers who become better human beings every day because of it. Only let it not be dragged by unscrupulous men into a public arena to be used as a tool to advance their own hateful and paranoid agenda.

    Regards.

  44. Mustafa Shaban

    Gorki: I appreciate your advise and open minded approach. You have given me a lot to think about. At the same time I agree that I have exxaguerated a few things, but I do not just absorb theories without thinking, ofcourse I can be wrong, but I know that there is an element of truth about what people call “conspiracy theories”. I appreciate your response and am thinking on it, I will respond soon to what you have said.

  45. Mustafa Shaban

    I am willing to discuss your rebuttal of his theories , i would like to hear what you have to say.

  46. Hayyer 48

    Mustafa Shaban
    I have seen only a few of ZH’s videos, but not one did I find balanced. I would think that everyone of his views can be shown to be off-mark.
    The Hindu-Zionist conspiracy for example is based probably on the recent defence cooperation, with India mainly buying equipment and expertise. It may also have some connection to the reported Israeli proposal some three decades ago for India to let Israeli planes use its bases for an attack on Pakistan’s nuclear assets. This was rejected by India.
    I cannot imagine Jews and Hindus getting together in Afghanistan to infiltrate troops into FATA. The uncircumcised dead found there could not be Hindus or Sikhs. Surely they would have been circumcised before being sent in.
    His vast strategic sweep is nothing but paranoia.

  47. bonobashi

    @Hayyer48

    About being a theist: I didn’t see the hole I was digging for myself until you pointed out that I was already in it.

    The take-away: not to use obscure French proverbs without carefully checking the ramifications on one’s own positions.

    Now where does one get a spade in this damn’ pit?

  48. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (August 17, 2009 at 9:50 am): I am not a “conspiracy theorist” and I do not follow this Pakistani journalist named Zaid Hamid. But there is wealth of evidence of Israel-India (on the government and semi-government level) and Jewish-Hindu (on individual and organizational level) cooperation. You may or may not be aware of the strong Hindu Nationalist and Jewish Nationalist presence in the USA. Both groups have learned that mutual cooperation between the two would increase their abilities many fold. The two groups are in concert against their real and perceived enemies. The news of Iran-Pakistan cooperation in the nuclear field were “disclosed” by the Indian and Israeli sources. ‘Neo-cons’ of America are held responsible for the American attacks on Iraq. The group is dominated with Jewish Nationalists. The same group is credited for the Bush administrations nuclear technology transfer deal for India. The Hindu Nationalists and Jewish Nationalists in America are the strongest supporters of The Clintons. As a reward of their support Clintons have placed Hindu Nationalists and Jewish Nationalist on very sensitive positions in the State Department. As I said, I am not a “conspiracy theorist” but the evidences of Hindu-Jewish cooperation are all over. Ask any Pakistani or Muslim doctor, including Muslim doctors from India working in American hospitals. They will tell you many tales of Hindu-Jewish doctors working against the interests of Muslim doctors. Same is the situation in large universities. Of course exceptions are there. Is there a “Hindu-Jewish” cospiracy against Muslims. I don’t know. Depends on what is your definition of “conspiracy”.

  49. Hayyer 48

    PMA:
    Well, yes. It depends upon what your definition of Hindu-Jewish conspiracy is.
    Some Indians(Hindus) in the US are reported to be close to Israelis and some Jewish neo-conservatives (the term is unfashionable these days). I have no idea whether the NGOs involved link with Governmental agencies or try to. Indian activity or policy in relation to Pakistan is not run or controlled by Hindu-Jewish groups operating out of Washington DC or New York.
    Relations with Israel were initiated by the Congress under Narasimha Rao, not the BJP under Vajpayee. And though the BJP has long believed in the principle that my enemy’s enemy is my friend it has not managed to shake off its fascist taint. The Israelis can’t have forgotten that a reprint of ‘Mein Kampf’ in India was sponsored by the RSS.
    I would not say that operations by a small group or groups, even in DC, amount to an official conspiracy. Of-course it is possible to view it as such if one’s own mind works that way, which it does in the case of ZH.
    All those Hindu and Jewish nationalists could not get Clinton to budge an inch on the nuclear business. Bush junior was continuing his father’s policy of closer relations with India. The etiology of this particular fondness for India has yet to be fully understood. A Jewish link is far fetched. I can believe that the Zionist lobby controls American attitudes over Palestine-but can it’s power extend to relations with India? I doubt it. India has been pro-Palestine ever since the formation of Israel. It is only around 1994 that attitudes were modified, but not openly.
    Indo-Pak enmity is 62 years old as of now. Hindu-Jew conspiracies cant have been laid, hatched and matured in the time that ZH began to wash behind his ears.

  50. PMA

    “Indian activity or policy in relation to Pakistan is not run or controlled by Hindu-Jewish groups operating out of Washington DC or New York.”

    I did not say that it was. The policies are formed some place else. But let me elaborate. Wealthy Indian individuals in the USA have very successfully organized themselves into various pressure groups with a two fold purpose. First to influence the USA to develop pro-India policies, and second to block any pro-Pakistan stance that America may have. If anyone does not know that he must be sleeping under some banyan tree. These efforts are done on many levels and have no bearings on who is in government in Delhi. Just like you and your compatriots here at PTH, these are patriotic Indians working for their mother India and Hindu revival. But Indians are relatively new in this business. When they first started on this journey they found out that the halls of congress and corridors of white house were already occupied by the Jewish lobby, the mother of all lobbies in the USA. The Indian first started by hiring law firms run by the Jews who were pros in this influence buying business. The rest is history. Now they work together. If you dig deeper you will find out that the Indian recognition of the state of Israel and American favors towards India are linked. India was pro-Palestine only in the cold war era when the former was in the Russian camp. Things are different now. I do not want to use words like ‘conspiracy’ but have Hindu Nationalist and Jewish Nationalist in the USA linked up. Yes they have. Where ever the interests of the two coincide they work together. I use the word ‘Hindu’ and not Indian because Indian Muslims in the USA are excluded from the inner workings. Too many of them in search of their identity end up in the mosques. They have close contacts with other Muslim groups and therefore could not be trusted both by the Hindus and the Jews.

  51. Bloody Civilian

    hiring law firms

    perhaps you meant PR firms? i do remember reading/hearing that the indians had followed the simple logic that if the israeli lobbyists were doing well in washington, whether or not because of their PR firms/consultants, it would be a good idea to hire the same firms/consultants. and as these firms/consultants are highly regarded, whether in their own right or because they represent the israeli lobby, they charge rates much higher than the market average, apparently. even if this is true, i agree with hayyer48, there is no conspiracy – neither israeli, nor indian, nor israeli-indian. will the same firms agree to lobby for pakistan? i’d have thought it difficult for a lobbyist, even a professional one, to take on clients with completely opposing interests. but i don’t know enough about this whole business of lobbying, PR firms etc. and the do’s and don’t’s of their business in washington.

  52. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (August 18, 2009 at 1:51 am): No I meant ‘law firms’. In the USA lawyers do much more than ‘law’ work. They also ‘get things done’ for you for the right price. Lobbying in a lawful business in the USA and it is handled mostly by the lawyers. You need to be registered for such work and lawyers being knowledgeable about legal details do it all. A Jewish lawyer would get things done quicker and more efficiently. Have you not heard of “my attorney, Bernie”. He gets things done. But Indians have graduated from that phase. Now they are working directly and first hand within the American legal and political system. And yes various Pakistani governments through intermediaries have also tried the same formula with miserable results. I have purposely refrained from using the word ‘conspiracy’ because in Sub-continental context it has greater meanings sometimes bordering on treason. For example did Mujib-ur-Rahman and elements of Awami League conspire with India against Pakistan. This is a question very few in Pakistan are willing to touch. Is there a Hindu Nationalist and Jewish Nationalist collaboration against a third party? Yes. Is it a conspiracy? I will let others to decide.

  53. Gorki

    PMA and BC:
    I am not sure why it matters.

    While both of you are partly right I think BC’s point is more accurate in that since lobbying has now become a billion dollar industry in the US, it has attracted the attention of law firms, one does not need a law license (or any other license for that matter) to become a lobbyist. In general lobby firms do not represent clients who have opposing agendas. The lobbying business came under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the Abrahmson and the Repulican party dominated K street scandal but the lure of money is so strong that lobbying is a strong business. Please check the following information from Sourcewatch, a monitor gruop:

    “Lobbying firms are specialist companies that primarily represent clients to politicians and government regulators. While there are no clear boundaries between what is lobbying and what is PR, lobbying firms often play specific roles within a broader campaign plan. Some lobbying firms are subsidiaries of public relations firms while some law firms also fulfill a lobbying function for their clients”

    PACs are another powerful way in which groups exert influence in policy making. Some of the most powerfull such groups is the gun lobby (NRA) which can make or break politicians.

    The Israeli lobby (AIPAC) has been one of the most successful foreign lobby but others such as the cuban exiles too have had influence on the US foreign policy which has been disproportionate to their importance to the US. Sometimes these have influenced US policy in ways which was dertimental to the US (check out details of Cuban exiles and Jewish lobbies elsewhere)

    Last year a book titled “The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy” by J. Mearsheimer (a jew) and S. Walt came out and created a loud storm of protest from the predictable quaters.

    However the Israeli sympathies run deep in the US (far deeper than Europe) and even a respected ex president Jimmy Carter was criticized widely even by level headed party members attempting to distance themselves from him when his book about Palestine called ‘Peace not Apartheid’ came out and was probably the fairest book on this topis so far!

    The Indians OTOH can only dream of such influence; Clinton was sympathetic but I remember the first Bush administeration had no major position; the Indian embassy had to beg a Florida Cardiologist who was a Republican party local bigwig to intercede with the WH to get the ambassador an appointment with the President.

    The Indian influence has been more due to critical influence of ‘aloud thinkers’ Tom Freidman of the World is Flat fame and of that visible Indian in the think tanks; Fareed Zakaria. Also the silicon valley billionares have helped. They actually have a truely Indian agenda (rather than a Hindu agenda) and is not limited to Pakistan (although it is a part of it) but to a broad lignment of Industry and trade policy.

    Why US suddenly saw it fit to woo India is also not a secret (but it is a little bit more sophisticate than containing China) I can elaborate later if asked but again have a busy evening today. Thus a broad Hindu Zionist conspiracy exists in the sick minds like ZH.
    Most Indians in the US (including this one) love India but have a very strong loyalty to the US as well.
    The Indians I know (including well known academics/scholars) have a sense of duty to India but more in terms of philanthrophy than a desire to indulge in geopolitical debates vis a vis Pakistan. (This is a small sample size of a few hundred only however)
    (May be I am an odd one out and people don’t speak infront of me but personally I have had only one instance where I had to abdruptly shut up the discussion due to one idiot sprouting hostile communal remarks.)

    Last of all, while individual anecdotal cases can not be ruled out, I have not seen an organised attempt by any one group of ‘doctors’ aligned against another group in the last 22 years of practice in US in fact some of the top hospitals in US have some very respected faculty members from Indian and Pakistani Muslim communities.

    Having said that, since by one count the Indian physicians in the US account for almost 25- 30% of the workforce, it is very visible and allegegations of bias can not be ruled out.
    I personally know of at least one instance of an Indian cardiologist turning down a presitious committee chairmanship since the committee was already dominated by Indians an it would have given an impression of nepotism; a less qualified white physician was then nominated on his recommendations.
    I am how ever not discounting PMA Saabs views; perhaps subtle bias does exist that I am not aware of.

    I am somewhat familiar with the Chicago area large teaching hospitals, and would certainly be interested in finding out more, and may be able to look into it if I can get some specifics; perhaps off line?

    Regards.

  54. Gorki

    Pre arrest bail plea to any grammer fascist lurking by:

    In defence of reason..
    Sorry the reason for my defenseless typos above is the time constraints underwhich I am working for the next few days which allows me to write intermittently and does not allow me to proof read or even re read my post before hitting submit.

    Please allow wide latitude for now. 😉

    Regards.

  55. Hayyer 48

    PMA:
    Sure there are wealthy Indians lobbying, and they must have followed Jewish footsteps and may be linking up with them. Perhaps, as Gorki says the Indian Mission there needs locals of Indian origin to intercede for it. I saw it happen. Way back in 1999, an Indian business man in Atlanta offered to get my political colleague a visit to the White House, purely on the strength of his Democratic connections-All I said was that I don’t believe there is a conspiracy.
    India has been bending over backwards to woo Arabs and the OIC. It does not always succeed. Some countries such as SA or Turkey maintain their pro-Pak stances despite India’s best efforts. Conspiring with Israel serves no Indian purpose in the wider world. In the context of ZH it is hard to see Jews and Hindus working together in FATA or even Afghanistan, where even the Americans and Europeans are struggling.

  56. Hayyer 48

    Lest I have given the impression that I am in politics please read’ a colleague who was a politician’ for ‘political colleague’ in line 5 of my post above. Thanks

  57. Dilip

    This is one the best BLOGG that i have read.
    I am a South African of indian origin. Most of the bloggs provides for only hate speech between hindus and muslims. Guys, keep it up. This is the only way forward for both Pakistan and India.

  58. Gorki

    “Lest I have given the impression that I am in politics please read’ a colleague who was a politician’ for ‘political colleague’ in line 5 of my post above”.
    …………………………………………

    A likely story, however smells like backpedalling as an afterthought to me; something a politician would do. 😉

    Regards.

  59. Dilip

    @GORKI
    My comments were not based to realise a politicle solution for the two countries but to promote to create an understanding between the people of the two nations.

  60. Gorki

    Dilip:

    Thanks for your kind comments and welcome to the PTH.

    However I was reacting to Hayyer 48; it is a private joke at his expense since he refuses to divulge his identity to us plebians. 😉

    Regards.

  61. Hayyer 48

    Gorki:
    My identity is not of any particular import. And I am not a politician.

  62. Bloody Civilian

    I cannot imagine Jews and Hindus getting together in Afghanistan to infiltrate troops into FATA. The uncircumcised dead found there could not be Hindus or Sikhs. Surely they would have been circumcised before being sent in.

    have pictures of the uncircumcised dead been shown? are they genuine? how reliable is the evidence? i hear that mohelim tend to have a peculiar style, as the jewish procedure is always done freehand and very early. khad and local men could be done at varying ages and less-professional, non-medical practitioners. a plastibell job would be a sure sign of a middle or upper class, non-jewish man. a procedure undergone as an adult and in the recent past should also be possible to identify. the act of undergoing the procedure in the line of duty, btw, is in itself deserving of a medal. could some uncircumcised dead be the result of either very lazy or very poor parents? or parents who were conscientious objectors?

    i’d leave it to our resident medical expert to assess and/or add to the above.

  63. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (August 19, 2009 at 8:46 am):

    “And I am not a politician.”

    Sounds very ‘Nixonian’.

  64. Hayyer 48

    PMA
    I am considered by those who know me to be rather a straight forward fellow. ‘Nixonian’? That might be a compliment to someone like me.

  65. bonobashi@Bangalore

    @Gorki


    Pre arrest bail plea to any grammer fascist lurking by:

    In defence of reason..
    Sorry the reason for my defenseless typos above is the time constraints underwhich I am working for the next few days which allows me to write intermittently and does not allow me to proof read or even re read my post before hitting submit.

    Please allow wide latitude for now. 😉

    Regards.

    We have seen some grammar fascists lurking around, but typos diminish the quality of our orthography, and we have noticed no spelling fascists lurking around. Fortunately for some of us, who under strain or free from strain, mangle the standardised spellings of the current state of the English language.

    We are left feeling wistful about the demise of the rack and the thumbscrew.

    We will endeavour to contain our feelings.

    @Hayyer48

    1. Lest I have given the impression that I am in politics please read’ a colleague who was a politician’ for ‘political colleague’ in line 5 of my post above. Thanks

    2. “Lest I have given the impression that I am in politics please read’ a colleague who was a politician’ for ‘political colleague’ in line 5 of my post above”.
    …………………………………………

    A likely story, however smells like backpedalling as an afterthought to me; something a politician would do. 😉

    Regards.

    3. Dilip:

    Thanks for your kind comments and welcome to the PTH.

    However I was reacting to Hayyer 48; it is a private joke at his expense since he refuses to divulge his identity to us plebians. 😉

    Regards.

    4. Gorki:
    My identity is not of any particular import. And I am not a politician.

    5. Hayyer 48 (August 19, 2009 at 8:46 am):

    “And I am not a politician.”

    Sounds very ‘Nixonian’.

    6. PMA
    I am considered by those who know me to be rather a straight forward fellow. ‘Nixonian’? That might be a compliment to someone like me.


    Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

  66. Gorki

    Bonobashi Da:

    Someday I wish I could become you when I grow up. 😉

    The above post of yours has so many layers of delights to it that it begs reading and re-reading many times.
    Yet it never disappoints; for so far each reading has brought a new explosion of a silent laughter in my head.

    Thank you gentle sir; you are indeed a wordsmith without equal. 😉

    Regards.

  67. Hayyer 48

    Gorki&Bonobashi
    If you must have a tag for me perhaps that of part time farmer is best; not to be confused with ‘humble’ farmer.

  68. Gorki

    Gorki&Bonobashi
    If you must have a tag for me perhaps that of part time farmer is best; not to be confused with ‘humble’ farmer.
    ………………………………………

    Dear Hayyer:

    Thanks for lifting the veil a little bit; the suspense was killing. 😉

    I will share an unrelated anecdote.

    The Mayo clinic in Rochester, MI was founded by two brothers Charles and William Mayo; both surgeons who till this day remain an inspiration to a generation of physicians around the world. This much is well known.

    Something that is less well known is that one of them was an avid amateur (gentleman) farmer but he liked to call himself an ‘agriculturist’.

    Whenever anyone referred to him as a gentleman farmer, he would correct the person and say “No, I am an agriculturist; a farmer is one who makes his money on the farm and spends it in the city while an agriculturist is someone who makes his money in the city and spends it on the farm” 😉

    I hope you are a better gentleman farmer than Dr. Mayo.

    Regards.

  69. Hayyer 48

    Gorki
    I wish that were true.

  70. Bloody Civilian

    ayaz, mahmud ghaznavi’s grand vizier, was another part time farmer. he did it to remind himself to try and remain humble.

  71. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (August 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm):

    Not to nit-pick but I always thought that Malik Ayaz was a governor of Lahore province under Sultan Mahmood Gaznavi. He was thought to be a good administrator. Iqbal is very fond of him. And where did he do his farming if I may ask?

  72. Hayyer 48

    Is that the Ayaz with curly locks whom Mahmud loved?

  73. Bloody Civilian

    PMA

    oops! that’s what happens when one relies too much on the daastaango version of history. giving him the office/title was merely an assumption of mine based on the fact that mahmud is reputed to treat him as a trusted ‘advisor’. thanks for the correction.

    according to the daastaango he kept a little hovel, on a farm, to live and work like a peasant, for short periods, whenever he could. it could well have been in lahore. and in ghazni before that. the particular story was about ‘ayaz and the prostitute’… mahmud could have been visiting with him in lahore.

    Hayyer48

    the same ayaz indeed. the son of a slave enslaving the master through his curly locks. an occupational hazard of his full-time job?

  74. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (August 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm):

    There is a Malik Ayaz, the governor of Lahore under Ghaznavid rule, the figure of history. And then there is an ‘Ayaz’ the figure of common Indian lore and popular fiction. Some times the two are merged and thus become indistinguishable in the simple minds. There is no doubt that in the medieval times powerful men kept young boys as servants. Ancient Greeks and Persians are known for that. Perhaps young Ayaz too was kept in that role. But as a man he proved to be a wise and capable administrator and rose to the ranks of ‘Malik’, some think equivalent to a governor or administrator. This title is still very much in vogue in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Malik Amir Mohammad Khan is one name that comes to mind. What phase of the life of Malik Ayaz we like to remember depends upon our own biases. The young slave boy who was kept as servant or perhaps even sexually abused, or the free man who grew up to be a governor of Lahore. I will leave it up to the individuals and their personal biases to come to that decision.

  75. Gorki

    Hayyer:

    Gorki
    I wish that were true.
    …………………………………………………..

    I am sure it is true since Dr. Mayo never made any money from his farming enterprise, 😉 though if it is not then it must mean it is due to something even better, ie that you are independently wealthy. 😉

    Anyway, thanks for being a good sport and taking the time to reply; I have business prying any further, you have the right to your privacy if you so desire.

    You did however indicate in your posts that you travel to the US often.
    If so then you have an open invitation to a bed and breakfast at no cost whenever you happen to visit the west coast (Sacramento area) and if you feel inclined.
    YLH has my phone and email and I can provide it to you if you need.

    Regards.

  76. Gorki

    DARN IT!!
    I have business prying = I have NO business prying

  77. Hayyer 48

    Gorki:
    Thank you for the kind invitation. I am in the US for most of Sep/Oct, and if I make it to the west coast I shall try and look you up.

  78. PMA Sahab: I don’t think anyone is claiming that Ayaz was sexually abused (at least from my readings of these posts). To my understanding, the story of Mahmud and Ayaz is one of the great romantic stories of our subcontinent, just like the story of Shah Hussain and Madho Laal. We shouldn’t apply our 21st century understanding of sexuality and gender to past history. After all, there is a great tradition of homoeroticism in Islamic culture– and I don’t see anything wrong with that:)

  79. Mustafa Shaban

    Another response to NFP’s article, dunno who the author is.

    Zaid Hamid vs.Nadeem Farooq Paracha
    As a preamble to this post, I would encourage you to visit our video channel where I have taken the liberty of queuing the Dawn News program on conspiracy theorists and, once you have seen these two videos, I would ask you to visit this Dawn Blog link (http://blog.dawn.com:91/dblog/2009/08/11/in-defence-of-reason/ ) where Nadeem Farooq Paracha wrote his op-ed titled “In the defense of reason”.

    If anything, I was expecting the fallout of this program to be, at the very least, a serious academic debate between two opposites in the Pakistani mainstream media but, why am I not surprised? Instead of dishing out reason which may have entertained a reasonable rebuttal, Mr. Paracha dished out his own prejudices. What was supposedly a “punch” is actually nothing more than a poke, a low blow at best.

    Now let’s cut to the chase. I am going to try and answer Mr. Paracha’s “Shikwa”. But before I do that, let me just say that I am not doing so in defense of Mr. Hamid, I am doing it because I take serious exception to his reasoning, and in doing so if I end up putting a defense for Mr. Hamid, well ,so be it then.

    Much as Mr. Paracha does not like to be called a “Pseudo-Intellectual” or a person promoting “Hindu Zionist agenda”, I am very certain that neither does Mr. Hamid prefers that he be called a “Conspiracy theorist”. And where as I am certain his statement, when he said that those who call him a conspiracy theorist are ignorant and misguided, was in response to question posed, I don’t think Mr. Paracha was afforded such a controversial question.

    Labels notwithstanding, I think Mr. Paracha needs to review the series of works by Mr. Hamid, and read more than just Naomi Kline or Noam Chomsky. In my opinion he has missed out on the finer points which Mr. Hamid always tries to make, but I will get back to that later.

    On the matter of Mr. Hamid having a doctorate, the answer is very simple, he does not. For those of us who follow his programs know that he is not a Doctor. The matter was clarified by Mr. Hamid himself in an interview given months earlier. However, if further clarification is required, then all you have to do is visit his website and read about his credentials.

    On the issue of lobbies; be it Hindu or Israeli, and their effects on the politics of other countries, one need not go far. Just pick up any peer reviewed journal and you will find loads of material on them. Fact of the matter is that such lobbies do exist, and their sole purpose is to promote the interest of their countries. They spend millions if not billions of dollars; hiring power full law firms, donating to labor unions, contributing to campaign funds and organizing media salvos in an effort to influence the legislators and policy makers. Case in point: India.

    When the Indians failed to secure Oil and Gas assets in the Canadian North, they energized a very comprehensive lobbying effort to influence the US legislation on Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Proliferation, in favor of India. This lobbying effort relied upon a very strong network of US law firms and public relations entities and, was financed by the wealthy ethnic Indians in the US and, the GoI via their embassies. The result: Indians secured commitments and contracts for the Nuclearization of their energy infrastructure. Once built; these reactors will create megawatts of electricity; they will also create more than enough nuclear material to make some more nukes. Considering the fact that India has refused to sign the NPT and India is continuously expanding its R&D to enhance its nuclear capabilities, who is to say that they are not going to place these nukes in their new nuclear capable “Arihant” submarine? And what is the probability that in case of a military standoff, this submarine is not going to be brought to bear its weight on Pakistan? On the flip side, Pakistan is banned from procuring any kind of nuclear technology from the west.

    And this is not the only time the Indian lobby has been brought into action. Years ago, when Pakistan sought to procure the Russian made Su-37 aircraft, the Indian Government threatened to cancel all its Military procurement from Russia, the result; Russia refused to honor any sales to Pakistan. Another example is from the not so distant past, during the Bush Administration, when the Americans decided to finally release our, already paid for, F-16s it was the Indian government that lobbied the US congress to prevent that from happening. They cited all kinds of security concerns, from threats to regional stability to Indians feeling insecure. All the while negotiating with the Russians to acquire more SU-30mki, more nuclear powered air-craft carriers and developing a secret nuclear capable submarine program.

    Sound like a conspiracy theory yet? These are examples of the Indians acting in a “friendly state” manner to yield influence over Pakistan through other countries. To find out about the kind of activities they engage in; to influence Pakistan from within, to achieve their aim of becoming a regional power – to all you have to do is read and watch Mr. Hamid.

    The thesis of Mr. Hamid’s arguments is very simple, it’s Pakistan. His programs are all about Pakistan, and how we, the Pakistani people, need to learn from the examples found in our Muslim history to define a future for our selves. Why look at the western Christian Ideologies? Why learn from the capitalist system of governance? Why implement the Jewish financial and economic theories? Not that I I have anything against these systems, but when we Muslims already have a system of our own, one that is not created by economists and social philosophers, but one that has been created by Allah for us, then why should we not apply that system?

    Now you can give all the counter arguments in compendium against this Islamic system, as advertised by Mr. Hamid (or for that matter Maulana Israr), you can even call it “demagogic paranoia” if you don’t understand it, but to call it a “conspiracy theory”……

    Mr. Hamid is not creating and relating an Islamic “Fiction” as Mr. Parracha so suggested. Muhammad-bin-Qassim, Tipu Sultan and the rule of our first four caliphs is not a “myth”, nor is the Islamic system a work of “fiction”. In my view, he is merely reminding us of what we should hold as our standard and the kind of people we should revere as our ideals. Mr. Hamid also goes a step further; he not only reminds us of our Muslim inheritance, he also warns us of the dangers that pose a threat to this priceless inheritance. So when he speaks about the; Hindu Zionist lobby, the Israeli lobby, the war of perception, or the covert attempts to destabilize Pakistan, he is in essence voicing these dangers. Instead of calling him a conspiracy theorist, labeling his analysis “vitriol”, we should take his credentials into account and at the very least give him the benefit of doubt.

    “Why not talk about the Iranian elections or the Turkic Uighurs?” asks Mr. Parracha. The answer to that is very simple. They are not Pakistanis. Mr. Hamid has not taken the mantle to affect a Muslim Revolution; rather his efforts are to affect a Pakistani awakening. This is where perception comes into play, you see if one was to follow his arguments, one would will realize that a stable and a successful Pakistan, an influential Pakistan will have a say in these matters. And by the way, isn’t that what the fuss is all about?

    The grand debate as I see it is; how to affect that kind of change? How to turn Pakistan into a power house? Mr. Hamid says “why not follow Islam? And while you are at it watch out for the road blocks”, Mr. Parracha says “defend reason; follow democracy”. Well, we went the Democracy route and it gave us Zardari. But what would happen if we dare follow the Quran, the Sunnah, the Hadith and our all encompassing Islamic theology, in which Allah has promised us peace and prosperity and above all paradise? I will let you be the judge of that.

    But I will say this for Mr. Parracha. He is right when he says that “Islamic thinkers and scientists were open to brand new ideas…” unfortunately he is not one of them. Neither do I account him as being a credible source in the matters of; Muslim history, its thinkers, its scientists, its leader and the Muslim way of life. He is what he says he is, a “critic” and an “anarchist”. And, if Mr. Hamid is a conspiracy theorist when he motivates us to follow the Islamic itinerary and learn from our Muslim past, then I say better a “conspiracy theorist” then a “defender of reason”.

  80. S.Faisal

    yeah the last post is from pakistanrepublic.blogspot.com, dont know the author though

  81. Shaistapth

    Zaid Zaman
    The Khalifa Of
    Yousaf Ali is in a new avatar of Zaid Hamid
    Yousaf Ali killed (in prison while facing LIFE IMPRISONMENT) by another prisoner member of a banned sectaran outfit

  82. Mustafa Shaban

    Zaid Hamid has only met Yousaf Ali but has nothing to do with him, he rejects all those who do not believe the Prophet Muhammed SAWW is the last messenger of Allah!! Shame on those who associate such people to Zaid Hamid.