By D Asghar
It is rather disheartening to see the lack of objective analysis when it comes to the general population of Pakistan. Mostly people tend to think along the lines of religion or language and tend to hold their strong position irrespective of what facts are presented to them. Any person engaging in a meaningful dialogue is shunned by the usual and often debated conspiracy rhetoric.
Let’s take the event of 09/11 for an example. On the eve of 09/11, when I spoke with my Mother in Karachi, she was convinced by the Pakistani media that there was not a single Jew, who was murdered. All the Jews were informed a day in advance, not to show up to work, that ill fated Tuesday. When I informed her about the facts, it was hard for her to accept. I had a few discussions with my relatives, who were adamant about that. They were utterly convinced that it was an “inside job”, and the whole incident was a pathetic attempt by “Evil America” to malign the Muslims and to “conquer their lands.”
I have expressed my views regarding Bush era’s follies of ill planned and prepared invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Those were two very costly strategic mistakes. On the other hand, if measured, timely and effective strikes were done to dismantle the over zealous terror network, things perhaps would have been different.
The argument of 09/11 being an “inside job”, defies any logical intelligence. The Bush Administration in their cocky attitude needed no precursor to launch their ill conceived invasions. Yes the event of 09/11, provided the Bush Administration to sell a fairly weak argument to the nation to invade Iraq. The poor results of that poor plan based on a poor argument are in front of the entire world.
But our Muslim media had a field day, painting the picture of the hijackers as zionist agents. When Barbara Walters of either ABC or CBS did a special report and traveled to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to meet the families of those hijackers, which of course were not “paid actors”, no credible rebuttal came from the Muslim world. Lately, Ahmedinijad of Iran, eluded to the same thing at UN General Assembly that the entire event was concocted. No one ever asked Ahmedinijad, would he allow an American to present a dissenting opinion to the people of Iran on the National TV of Iran.
There were 3 Americans held by Iran recently and charge of spying was leveled against them. A female out of the 3 was released on humanitarian grounds, after the $500,000 bail. Iran’s hypocritical stance is quite evident to the rest of the world. How the Iranian regime kills dissent in Iran by violence is common knowledge. Yet the general Muslim world is fine with that, because after all Iranians are “Muslims.”
We have another example of the infamous Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Her conviction has sparked a lot of protest in Pakistan. The religious zealots who are out burning flags and effigees and causing destruction to vent their anger never ask the following questions:
A) According to her sister (please see story www.thenews.com.pk dated Sept 24, 2010), Dr. Siddiuqui was sold to Americans by then President Musharraf. Why there was no case filed by the family, the civil society and the politicians against the President? Why was no suo moto notice not taken against her absence by the apex court?
B) Why did the defendant take the stand in a supposedly “hostile court” in her personal defense and no proper legal representation was sought?
C) The Interior Minister Malik kept on harping after her conviction that, she will be brought back to Pakistan at any cost. What prevented him to do what he said? The religious fanatics should have garnered a movement to hire a legal team to challenge the so called “circumstantial evidence” in the court of law, prior to the sentencing phase. Next the defendant’s rhetoric about the verdict coming directly from Israel was not a logical statement to begin with. What benefit did state of Israel get from her conviction?
D) The media in Pakistan paints a picture of “heavy handedness” and atrocity by the US Justice system. Yet in all these years, why the TV channels have not gained access to her to broadcast her side of the story. All the unknowns about the case should be brought to the fore to prove her “innocence.”
The concept of illogical notion that US and Israel are out to destabilize Pakistan is quite farcical. If US had the agenda to get rid of Pakistan, it should have not opened the war theaters around Pakistan. It would have taken the fierce measures from the skies to cause destruction. For those who cry on drones, yes I am not in support of their blind usage. But measured drone usage has proven to be very effective.
Similarly, if US had the intention of destroying Pakistan, the US would have turned a blind eye towards aid after the devastating earthquake and floods. After all the nature took its course in favor of the US evil agenda, yet US has always been a great ally of Pakistan in tough situations. When the aid is needed we have no qualms, but when it comes to implicating US in any domestic issue, we never waist any time.
As a Pakistani American, I do not agree with a lot of policies of the US around the globe and voice my dissent, but by the same token cannot subscribe to the widely held argument that US wants to eliminate Pakistan. When it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Pakistani media in specific and the Muslim media in general paints an illogical picture of religion being the main issue. It is more of a territorial dispute as there are Palestinians who are Christians as well. Amazingly in all these years, the Muslim nations have failed to gather on any unified plan to resolve the long standing dispute. It is mostly for lip service and political mileage, whenever Palestinian issue is revisited. On the other hand, as biased as US is towards Israel, it is the US diplomacy that always brings the two nations of Israel and Palestinians towards some negotiations and resolutions.
It is high time that Muslim world in general and Pakistan in specific develop objective and logical thinking. We should step out of the mentality of victomhood. We should put our interest and national perception to the fore front and become informed citizens of this world and the universe. The world needs to see the bright and positive side of our characters, intellect and the faith.