The Verdict of Dr Afia and Our Reaction

Raza Habib Raja

Right now the media is voicing its vociferous opposition to the sentence handed to Dr. Afia Siddiqui. The entire case, even before the verdict was announced, had become an overly emotional episode for the Pakistanis. The media has been whipping a lot of frenzy for a considerable period of time. This case overshadows even horrendous acts of terrorism in terms of the condemnation generated.

I will not debate the technical aspects of the case as frankly the court which gave the verdict was better equipped to weigh and decide. We often have the tendency to become “experts” while having flimsy evidence. During the past two years particularly when the case was being fought in US, Ms Afia’s was simply assumed to be a victim of some grand conspiracy and this presumption was propagated everywhere on the media. The hue and cry which the media constantly whipped and is continuing to whip often rode on nothing concrete in terms of evidence. All the time, Miss Afia was simply assumed as a victim of a grand conspiracy of the United States and nothing else.

Having followed the case over the past two years, I do acknowledge that the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and subsequent reappearance are suspicious. These circumstances do pose several questions particularly on the ways of our intelligence networks. However to spin stories that the entire case was fabricated by the US to punish Miss Afia is frankly stretching things too much.

It has often defied my cognitive faculties that what possible “benefit” can US get by building a totally fabricated case against her. If anything the US government was aware of the possible backlash the guilty verdict would have caused. And the backlash is there and increasing with every moment.

 All the right wing elements in Pakistan are again having a field day. Once again our attention is completely captured by this incidence and our anger is not because of “unfairness” of the verdict but in reality is underpinned by our hatred of USA. It is not because an “innocent” woman has been penalised.

These voices are completely silent when far sinister things happen to our own women in Pakistan. For those who are really passionate about “inhuman” treatment to the daughter of the nation, let me remind them that our country has draconian laws like Hadood ordinance against women. Let me remind them that there are many women languishing in Pakistani jails and in far more inhuman state. I find their silence hypocritical and shameless on those issues. In fact the right wing religious conservatives in our country who are most vocal against Afia verdict right now are the ones who oppose revocation of draconian laws like Hadood.

But then we have developed this mindset where we get more angry not on the severity of the incidence but on whether it has some direct or indirect linkage with US and the West. 

 We continue to have this misplaced anger and consequently end up damaging ourselves. Afia’s case was not construed as a case of a woman wrongly accused but as a conspiracy of USA to defame Muslims and hence the overboard reaction. It is this mindset which needs to be changed.

44 Comments

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44 responses to “The Verdict of Dr Afia and Our Reaction

  1. Athar

    Raza – Very well Said.

    My comments on Tribune:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/53632/it-is-time-for-the-us-to-show-goodness-and-pardon-aafia-siddiqi/

    @A.Suhail & RS& Tanzeel: Well Said!!!’

    Rest of you Shallow Critics – About time that you get your head out of sand, before it is too late. Likes of you are reason Pakistan is on the precipice today. Shame on YOU!!!

    For God Sake – Get some Sanity Pill. For what Damn Reason – do you think, she is innocent.
    There are THOUSANDS of Pakistani and Muslim lady doctors in United States who live as Americans in peace. Why is this DAMN woman made hero for being a Terrorist.

    Get a Nerve, people.. Time may not be too long — – your shallow rhetoric has brought Pakistan to it’s knees in world community.

    Instead of accepting and owning up to black sheep terrorists – like Faisal Shehzad and Afia Siddiqui – and, trying to fix the situation, you hypocrits are lining up your bigoted defense. Shame on You!!!! You are the reason that Islam and Pakistan is maligned in this world of today.

    And, Trust me, by God – if you Don’t mend – GOD’s Justice will be served -the way it is supposed to be served.

    In God’s name- I make strongest appeal to you to stop defending terrorists. Our peaceful religion Islam and Pakistan are great country – like Aisam Qureshi beautifully summarized in his speech at Final in US Open in New York.

    And, American are such a great partner to Pakistan helping millions in Flood affected areas. You should be very proud of what they have done. Is that the way, you show support to your true friends by emotional garbage and baggage.

    Stop being hypocrities. And, if you invoke God’s name to show your bigotry again – Trust me, God’s Justice is coming to Terrorists and Bigots who are malining Islam, Pakistan and et al.

    Peace.
    ***********************************

  2. SHAFAT SHAFI

    brilliant analysis raja sahib . very prudent and rational . moreover this is nothing but a hypocritical protest by some holier-than-thou pious brigade who wont utter a word for women like zille-huma (if any one remembers her),dr.shazia or mukhtara mai but are pretending to be concerned for a lady who is also an american national .

  3. Athar

    Brilliant analysis, Raja Sahib. I wish there was more of it – not JI brigade running the show (they never come out and protest against terrorist suicide attacks). No limits to their hypocrisy.

  4. Mnoor

    The case against Afia is very circumstancial, that’s what a number of people understand who have followed the case. Mr Raza accuse other people of acting as experts, while he is acting as expert of the prosecution case. The problem is that as a society we have become highly polarized. The right wing is hesitant in unconditionally condeming the talibans, while the liberal brigade cannot bring itself to condemn such a harsh sentence for a woman who project a conservative image.
    Supposedly the US system does thorough investigation of all cases, there is whole genre of movies and TV shows on crime investigation. But in case of Afia key missing pieces were not questioned, no explanation for lost years, no credible independent eye witness for the event of which she is accused, and yet the court made that ruling.
    Mr Raza asks a question that what benefit US govt has of fabricating a case against Afia. Well I think they have grossly exaggerated an attempt to escape by Afia, and this is the best way for them to proceed. Plus the situation in US is extremely anti Muslim and the judge has played to popular sentiments. But of course since she is not a victim of Muslim law, our liberals will have little to say in her defence.

  5. Feroz Khan

    @ Raza

    Please consider the reactions to the verdict in another light.

    The verdict takes the spot-light away from the floods and from the incompetence of the government in dealing, with the crisis. It takes away the attention from the impending Supreme Court decisions on the re-opening of the NRO cases against the presidency. It drowns out the issues of violence and mayhem in Karachi. It offers the discredited politicans a popular currency to re-invent their tattered reputations and it robes them, once more, in the colors of patriotism and sweetens the experience by momentarily diverting attentions from their conducts and making them account for their actions.

    Of course, the Pakistani politicans will milk this crisis to the point of obscenity and of course, they would enflame the situation.

    The question is, but why do we let ourselves be fooled again and again?

    There is an element of the mind-set involved here that refuses to change, but it is also a part of human nature to rage, when frustrated. Such incidents find fertile soil for anger, because we do not have too many outlets for venting our rage at all that we suffer or to seek those safe harbors from the storms that torment us daily.

    This is a symptom of a lack of recreational options available to the average Pakistani and it is the handiwork of a code of morality, which has been forced upon us, which makes the idea of enjoying life a sin; a sin that has to be punished. If misery loves company, then it has found a perfect abode in Pakistan.

    Yes, this mind-set needs to change, but so do the laws, which inoculate this behavior. The only way to change the mind-set is to punish those who engage in such acts and if no punishment is forth-coming, then how is such changed mind-set possible?

    ciao

  6. Pingback: Afia Siddiqui sentenced to 86 years - Page 8

  7. no-communal

    Mnoor
    “… what benefit US govt has of fabricating a case against Afia. Well I think they have grossly exaggerated an attempt to escape by Afia, and this is the best way for them to proceed.”

    This could very well be the case. Going by the way law enforcment works in the US, especially when anything even remotely related to terrorism is concerned, this seems like a very distinct possibility.

  8. no-communal

    An Indian guy (I am forgetting his name) has been in jail for the last 5 years or so for posting some anti Bush messages online. That’s it, just posting some messages. Even though every investigative agency has given him a clean chit and has confirmed that he is not a threat. He is still languishing in a US jail.

  9. whether Dr Afia is innocent or not, it is not for me to comment on her sentence. all i can say is that our premier should focus on the treatment of women in our country before going on to comment on the sentence on a ‘daughter of our nation’. while 1000’s of daughters are raped and beaten up everyday, our premier can not notice tht and focus on these issues which are not even in our hands.

  10. Mustafa Shaban

    @Feroz Khan: Many people talk about one thing being used to distract people from another, sometimes this does happen. However this is not the case all the time, I think that the failure of the government to fight for Aafia Siddiqui can also be seen, her case is an addition to the list of failures of the Pakistani government. Sometimes things add up. Not everything is a distraction.

  11. Chote Miyan

    No Communal,
    That guy was at Purdue and his rants made a big news. It was not just his anti Bush rants(including threats) but really vile comments about the “white” race and how they deserve to be killed, etc., that got him in prison. Apparently, he acted as his own lawyer and botched his own defense. I doubt, if any government can afford to take risks by freeing such idiots.

  12. DN

    @ MNoor.
    Thoroughly support your argument. While Dr. Afia is accused of attempting to gun down the US soldiers, who is to bear responsibility for all the years that she has been ‘sentenced’ in prison without trial and for her children who were seperated from their mother at such a tender age.
    Which law permits that?

  13. Raza Raja

    To all those are really worried about Miss Afia and think that I am an apologist for the West, let me humbly remind you that the article is about our more than essential reaction. Deep down we are not supporting Miss Afia for her “innocence” but because she has been convicted by USA.
    Let me assure you that even if the evidence had been water tight, we would have still called it fabricated. After all even now 60% of us think that 9/11 was a grand conspiracy of USA.
    Any way I think there is much more to worry about our own draconian laws against women rather than someone who has been punished in USA.

  14. Mustafa Shaban

    @Mnoor, DN: Completely support your arguments as well.

  15. no-communal

    Chote Miyan

    Yes, he was in Purdue. I don’t actually know what his rants were, but I believe you that they were serious enough. However I don’t know why he couldn’t just be deported if he wasn’t really a threat (as I believe was verified by the agencies). He is probably just a crackpot.

  16. Tughral

    Dear Raza
    I agree with the sentiment of your write up to quite an extent. As a nation we tend to act more on emotions rather than logic. While there is no doubt that Dr. Afias capture and sentencing was not in the correct spirit of the law and in fact violated some of the basic human rights, there are also no grounds for us to declare her as innocent. We are playing by nationalist emotions again. This should not be a case of Pakistan being victimized but in fact about justice for this woman. If she is guilty let her pay for her crimes.. but if we have evidence for her innocence then lets appeal… take it to the international court. Lets challenge the jurisdiction of the US to go around picking up our citizens secretly. Lets ask for justice for her children who also disappeared.

    but what we should not do is to say BECAUSE she is pakistani she is innocent. this is a flawed argument based on nationalist emotions. This is the same logic on which most people are defending the spot fixing allegations against the pakistani players. There is no need to be defensive.. lets fix the issue and prevent it from happening again. Covering it up under nationalist sentiment is just ensuring these events keep happening again and again.

    And yes I wholeheartedly agree with you about justice for the poor pakistani women suffering in our land of the pure. We must be vocal about their protection and due rights.

  17. due

    There also is a need to analyze women’s psychology under a misogynic totalitarian-finalist ideology.

    Why does a woman with a science doctorate, a US citizen, a mother of 3 children go the way she went?

    What is in this totalitarian ideology that some seek the way out in “martyrdom” and passionate irrationality? Is this “martyrdom” some kind of a “glorious” last-resort attempt to escape the oppressive totalitarian god-centred ideology which allows no changes and no criticism and no escape except through “glorious” death.

    Actually the whole of Pakistan, its origin and its ideology is a murky untiable knot of this complex psychology.

    Many a person suffering under a totalitarian ideology will prefer to die a “glorious” death, a death that will be exalted by those who remain behind, since he has no other escape.

    The 20 year old Ajmal Kasab was sold by his father for a few lac rupees to go on a kill-and-die trip to Mumbai and thence to jannat. That was his only chance of escape and his only chance of repaying his father.

  18. .Ohioguddymuss! I must tell you folks that it was Hajji Sir Nawaz SharrReef who started this ignoble (dirty!)
    neotradition of handing over innocent Pakistanis to USA FBI/CIA without any court or Extradition proceeding/hearing. He started off with Mir Aimal KASI of Balochistan who was my client. Kasi wrote to me that if Pakistan had an grievance, it would have been far better, had he been hanged or gunned down in his Motherland. Over 6000 Pakis have been Renditioned; cross my heART, that is the barest, naked truth since 1998. Bounty moneys are shared between CIA (referral fees from Seditionist Pakistanis) and their khufia agents an d surrogates in packistan.

    Although KASI was accused of having murdered two Americans in broad daylight. Yet my mail to and fro Kasi wsas promptly delivered. Aafia is not even permitted to receive letters or to answer her mail. She is being degraded/inhumanely kept (detained) in a windowless, lightless room and denied very basic amenties.

    Let me say USA had no business kidnapping and Renditioning her; and when it backfired, this OUTRAGIOUS Toppi-Drama was enacted regarding AAfia grabbing a gun and shooting two Americans. PoppycocKKK!!!

    The fatal-fatwa of Judge Richard M. Berman (catering to the galleries to prove his loyalty) that she tried to shoot down an american soldier is false and fabricated. In stead of sentencing her to maximum 30 years Berman smugly gave her death sentence. Very gravely wrong! Amerika-Asstablishment (=officialdoom) must mend its rabid racism/ subliminal McCarthyism.

    Aafia’s lawyers (hired by Haqqani and Gilani for the sake ofg some $1.4 million fee kickback as Referrals to them) betrayed her. To hell with t hem!

    I feel highly disgusted and very agitated. “To sin with silence when they must protest makes cowards out of persons”: Abraham LINCOLN.

    I say to American Officialdom (and its hirelings and sycoiphant-surrogates!!!) loud-and-clear: Luck YourSelf!!

  19. (there are four typos in the above; these are designedd and dedicated to the three american lawyers (imposed upon her) and to judge berman for walking aafia down the garden patch or garbage path to predetermined conviction and heinously wrongful sentencing…

  20. Maham

    WHAT are you saying?
    What ARE you saying?
    Don’t compare Pakistani hadood law to the American sentence.
    America stands as the champion of human rights, Pakistan doesn’t.
    America stands as a democracy, Pakistan doesn’t.
    It stands as a superpower, Pakistan doesn’t.
    Thus no comparison.

    If America is being harsh on a woman, the world should scream itself hoarse because it actually boasts its awareness of human rights and fairness of law and judgement. Pakistan doesn’t. That, not for even a second does not mean that the mindset doesn’t have to be changed and oppressed women in Pakistan not fought for, but it just means that the comparison doesn’t exist.
    America hurt Afia because of reasons we cannot find.
    What is wrong with the whole scenario is that America is not being clear about the case AND Pakistan is not doing enough to find out.
    Thats it.

  21. Sardar Khan.

    My question to Arthor & Raza is to explain what benefit America and West is getting from killing innocent people(mainly muslims only)in Iraq,Afghanistan and Pakistan?

  22. Prasad

    Sardar:: US pursues those who they think disturb their livelihood. It is impressive to note their determination and alacrity in pursuing their objectives.

    At this instance they have pursued despots funding terrorists, ruthless tyrants and also terrorists who have repeatedly attacked them worldwide

  23. Humanity

    A spot on analysis of the issue on hand by Feroz Khan posted on September 25, 2010 at 1:25 am.

    The nation’s conscience goes into deep sleep when women buried alive are condoned by the parliamentarians, paraded naked in the public charged with the crime of immorality, or locked up to rot in a jail not even knowing the charge against them. These women are not daughters of the nation because they do not offer any political mileage.

    See “Help for women prisoners” on Express Tribune
    tribune(dot)com(dot)pk(slash)story(slash)53277(slash)help-for-women-prisoner.

    While this James Bond epic clearly has many unanswered questions, the bottom line, summed up eloquently by Raza, is as follows.
    “To all those are really worried about Miss Afia and think that I am an apologist for the West, let me humbly remind you that the article is about our more than essential reaction. Deep down we are not supporting Miss Afia for her “innocence” but because she has been convicted by USA.
    Let me assure you that even if the evidence had been water tight, we would have still called it fabricated. After all even now 60% of us think that 9/11 was a grand conspiracy of USA.
    Any way I think there is much more to worry about our own draconian laws against women rather than someone who has been punished in USA.”

  24. micksdad

    Guilty as Hell!

  25. no-communal

    Sardar

    USA’s goal in Afghanistan is to eliminate those who kill innocent people. The truth is there are a lot in the world who readily kill innocent people for religion and politics, and USA is not one of them.

  26. Feroz Khan

    @ Mustafa Shaban – September 25, 2010 at 6:57 am)

    It is a distraction, because it divert attentions from other more pressing issues.

    Let me ask you some harsh questions.

    Do you honestly think that burning American flags will make the United States release Dr. Afia Siddiqui?

    Do you honestly think the Government of Pakistan has the power to convince the United States to release her?

    If you want Dr. Afia Siddiqui released and her sentence reduced, file an appeal with the US Court of Appeals; use the due process of the law to challenge the verdict; create a legal fund, which pays for her legal fees while the appeal is in the process of being filed and heard; use the power of the media, in the United States with help of groups such as ACLU, Human Rights Watch et other to mount a public relations campaign and influence a debate within the United States itself over the its own laws. It will not only bring a sense of dignity and humanity to the case, and the person of Afia Siddiqui, but will also humanize the issue and bring respect to Pakistan’s cause in seeking justice for her.

    You are dealing with a country, where the law and the legal process may be abused and the wrong verdict given, but it is still not Pakistan, where threatening judges and threatening violence will get you the decision you wish.

    If you want to reinforce every negative image about Pakistan, then by all means ignite your emotionalism and indulge in your nihilistic fantasies and at the end of day, you will still be emotionally imbalanced, the country would have suffered another round of needless destruction; Afia Siddiqui would still be in prison and the world will still think that Pakistanis are immature and incapable of reasonable actions.

    The case was decided in the United States and if necessary, it can be appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The Government of Pakistan, if it is really serious about this issue, should pay for Dr.Afia Siddiqui’s legal team to use the due process of the American system and it still would consume less time than the period for which, Afia Siddiqui is sentenced and if injustice has been committed, the lower court’s decision can always be over turned and there are grounds to challenge this verdict, as an article in the The New York Journal of Law argues.

    On the other hand, for the next 86 years you can rage, rage, rage and Dr. Afia Siddiqui will still be in jail and the Government of Pakistan will still be proclaiming its determination to bring her back.

    If you want justice for Dr. Afia Siddiqui, appeal her case to a higher court and if you want her life to became a political football in Pakistan, then abuse the memory of the “daughter of the nation” for your own ends and interests!

    File the appeal and tell your government to pay for her legal defence!

    ciao

  27. I agree with Feroze Khan to an extent. Yes! Appeal must be made to United States Court of Appeals by some competent and honest-to-goodness lawyers (the best it would do is reduce the punishment, if that!) not a triology of deep-pocket crooKKKs. Govt. of Pakistan has (mis)spent $3M+; it is MUCHMUCH more than the poor people can afford. I hope those who recd referral fees are charged and oneday exemplarily punished.

    JUST REMEMBER Aafia’s matter was not referred to International Court of Justice by the so-called Govt of Pakistan because Dutch lawyers do not kickback funds as Referral Fees .. that is unethical in Holland but perfectly legal and the done-thing in USA.

    The sentencing (=death sentence) by Negro Judge Richard M. BERMAN was all pre-packaged and fully pre-determined. Miss Maham cooing about The Great American Justice as being so good and sexy must know that U$$A has a deplorable history of abusing coloured denizens in the past, Negroes, Semitics (Jews), Chinese, Japanese (gracious-recipients of 2 atomic bombs). That can no longer be tolerated much less Accepted by the civilized people of the world (mind you a Global Village). The American Asstablishment (MIC + bureaucRATS, et al) looks down upon those yearning for justice and peace

    WAKEUP! (I think now that the Harvard trained Epilepsy Consultant : Dr. Ms. Fouzia Siddiqui needs a good sleep; she has enjoyed more than enough teaparties and just too many photo-sessions!)

  28. BeFairDue

    @Due – so many Mussalmans have served with honor in Indian armed forces.

    Even the BSF commander who inducted women BSF guards into the ceremony at Wagah is a Mussalman.

    If you have a grouse against anyone then name names, be specific.

  29. T.S. Bokhari

    Thank you, dear! Yours is the welcome voice among flood of insanity. I wonder at the lawyers and the so called, law givers, who are protesting against the conviction of Afia by the US court. Such is the ‘Bheirh chaal’ of this nation.

  30. hayyer

    Aafia Siddiqui is an American citizen tried in America for a crime allegedly committed in Afghanistan. Why does it affect Pakistan or its government so strongly?
    86 years seems an extremely harsh sentence for a mere attempted killing. Is there some evidence of Al Qaeda connections that was aired but not argued in court?
    As pointed out above, Pakistani women have been victim of honour killing in Pakistan by Pakistanis without the country or its government becoming so agitated. What is it about Aafia Siddiqui that arouses so much passion?

  31. due

    To BeFairDue

    Don’t give yourself a specific name of that type.

    There are many non-arabs who were given arab names (by their naive muslim parents or under social-familial pressure) – but thankfully they are not all quislings of arab imperialism.

  32. It is the nadir of non-unwisdom to suggest that Dr AAFIA SIDDIQUI is an American citizen. No! Siree!! she is not. She does not even have a Green Card now.

    The point is with all the hoopla(w)! did she receive a fair trial. Know the answer is, NO!

    Ba! Ba!! (non-U) Black Sheep!!! Have you any Will?

    Your humble proActive U-biquist codicil:

    Barrister Syyed Mohammed Jawaid Iqbal Jafree Chinioti (Thank havens! it is no longer part of Jhang Ji!!) off Pacific Palisades

  33. sarah

    the fact is that our people have so much gotten into the habit of speaking the language of our media that we forget we have thoughts of our own ……

  34. hayyer

    Dear S Gaff Ray
    There is all that ambiguity about her whereabouts. Her being in Nigeria in the company of Al Qaeda types and the glimpses in Karachi and at Islamabad airport. The locker and the key and such like.
    Would you care, in your inimitable way to give us a verbal collage of why the trial was unfair and why the Pakistan government did not put a competent lawyer on the task of defending her then instead of showing so much concern now.

  35. Mustafa Shaban

    @Feroz Khan: I agree wiht you for a certain extent. I never said that we should just sit down and protest. I said we need to take action and engage the legal system to try to get Aafia back. At the same time everybody has the right to expres thier rage and rfrustrations. The thing is the Pakistani government did a poor job especially Ambassador Haqqani. This government will nt do it. But I am sure that we can find a way. I never said that we should only talk about it even though that also good.

    However the chances of getting her back and tried fairly are slim.

    In the words of former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney:

    ”What an incredible sentence for Dr. Aafia! What an incredible reflection of “justice” in the United States. The United States territory was stolen from indigenous people who were then eliminated by genocide. Africans were stolen from their homeland and transported to the U.S. and enslaved for centuries. Anyone who is surprised by incidents of injustice in the United States is someone who is not aware of U.S. history.”

  36. Khudi Pakistan

    While it is true that the whole Afia Siddiqui affair is shrouded in mystery, our reaction to it has been extremely one sided and hypocritical as well. Where is our conscience when ahmadis are killed in Pakistan? Where are our religious parties when Pakistani women are used as commodoties, to be bartered to settle family disputes? Where are the street protests when christians are burned alive? If Afia Siddiqui was a Pakistani christian, would we see this level of support for her? If she was a Pakistani ahmadi, would she still be the ‘daughter of the nation’? If this was a tribal jirga that had passed the sentence, would there be the same hue and cry over it?

  37. due

    Muslims come out on the street to protest (mostly violently) and thus reveal what moves them really.

    What really motivates the muslims (esp. the protesters among them and their leaders) is the chance to slander and vilify non-muslims and to create some cause or excuse to kill or hurt the non-muslims.

    Muslims are experts at creating the false impression – upon non-muslims and muslims – that muslims fight for justice, humanism etc. But far from it – they actually end up revealing their love for imperialism and expansionism and self-glorification.

  38. Nasir

    This women is a witch who would have had no problem mudering innocent men, women and children in the name of Islam. She has got exactly what she deserved. If it was up to me it would have been much worse. The pakistani public is as usual brainwashed into somehow thinking she is a national hero and the US is the great satan. It is very sad however that they this same public has no problem in extending their begging bowl to be filled by the great satan.
    This is the same public who somehow seem to think that pakistanis can do no bad in the world its always a conspiracy (maybe mossad, CIA or Raw were bored and didnt have much to do so they decided to pick on this little pakistani angel). Its time for the public to wake up and smell the coffee.

  39. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Pakistan: The Reactions On The Verdict of Dr Afia

  40. moniems

    I feel there is something in Islam that can make Muslims more prone to terrorism, for which capability for extreme brutality is essential. I do not know what that ‘something’ is, but, in the most horrifying experience of my life, I have seen, with my own eyes, the evidence of unspeakable atrocities committed by our own soldiers in 1971 in East Pakistan (where I happened to be on UN assignment in Jan., 1972). It is difficult to believe a human being can be that cruel, and that too towards persons of his own religion.

    People say, “All Muslims are not terrorists. But all terrorists are Muslims!” We do not like to hear such things, but can we, in all sincerity, blame those who say it?

    I know many of my co-bloggers will not like what I write. I can apologize to them. I feel very strongly we need some serious introspection. For those who agree with me, I can recommend two writers; Ibn Warraq, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    It has taken Pakistan 63 years to become what it is today. It will take Pakistan even longer to become what it ought to be. I ask the Pakistani intelligentsia, is it not high time we made a beginning?

    To those who are happy with today’s Pakistan, may Allah bless you an Pakistan!

  41. anoyN

    First thing pakis should do is stop reproducing with their blood relatives (1st cousins anyone?). pakis are mentally deranged.

  42. Sardar Khan.

    due,
    You are verry wrong and misinformed about the Islam’s Self respect.Islamic history is full of it.Read without prejudice and open mind.