PTH is publishing this exclusive interview of Ali Azmat, Pakistan’s popular pop singer who has gained inordinate attention due to his controversial views and suggestions for the country. We are grateful to Fazeelat Aslam for sharing this interesting narrative that sheds light on the royal confusion that permeates the urban middle classes of this country. Raza Rumi
I recently interviewed Ali Azmat, former long locked rockstar, turned peace activist, turned conspiracy theorist and on occasion political analyst. Azmat has been a proponent of the Zaid Hamid school of thought, but wants to clarify that his views extend beyond what the public currently percieves. Azmat insists on stating his autonomy and that while he collaborates with Hamid, he stands on his own. Azmat tells me he stopped drinking branded beverages twelve years ago, that’s when the process of his enlightenment began. The McDonalds campaign he did in the middle was a small blip on his road to Nirvana. I begin by asking him what exactly the problem is in Pakistan:
AA: The image of Pakistan is being shown as fragmented, but it isn’t. This is psychological warfare on the people of Pakistan. In 2005 we were, as a nation, doing so well. I was making lots of money. We were doing concerts, we were doing social work. In 2005 the earthquake happened…
AA: I’m suspicious about that, but lets not get into it…
This is where the conspiracy theory begins. Ali contends that the earthquake in 2005 was not solely due to natural causes, but potentially orchestrated as part of a global scheme to destabilize Pakistan. This scheme is organized by a cartel of Zionist bankers, and what most Pakistanis don’t know is that it’s all around us.
AA: “Silkbank is a world bank subsidiary.”
Well, actually Silkbank has nothing to do with the world bank, its a company that comprises of Japanese, Arab and local investments.
Azmat looks at me with pity. I am told I have been brainwashed by the Western media’s agenda.
AA: “Pakistan is a client state of the global bankers. They fix your GDP, your derivates…”
From my very basic understanding, a derivative is financial instrument which takes risk and breaks it into pieces. It’s fairly apparent Azmat has no idea what a derivate is.
I try to veer the conversation towards the acts of terrorism that have been escalating over the past few years, a clear repercussion of the increasing disenfranchisement of the majority of the population.
FA: Why did the events at Lal Masjid happen?
AA: It was a ploy orchestrated by the Zionist regime to bring attention to the world, that ‘Hey, here’s a nuclear power! They have a nuclear bomb!’
FA: What does a nuclear bomb have to do with Lal Masjid?
AA: Zionist media are trying to demonize Pakistan. They’re saying ‘Here’s a Muslim country with a crazy population!’
Crazy, you say?
I try to take the conversation back to the Taliban, who have been a growing force in Pakistan for years. Azmat alleges that prior to 2005 Pakistan had no problems with the Taliban.
FA: Do you honestly believe that prior to 2005 the Taliban had no power in Pakistan?
AA: No, none.
FA: What is your message for Pakistan?
AA: It’s for all the countries; we have to get rid of IMF world bank.
At this point, it’s fairly clear that Azmat and I are, as he says, living in two different worlds. I think, that perhaps Pakistan’s problems are due to decades of corrupt governments, as well as a denial of educational and economical opportunities for the masses. Azmat contends that the IMF bank and US Federal reserves are entities which sustain the true enemy, a Zionist banker cartel bent on taking over the world. These theories are indeed supported by a variety of websites, which also argue that the moon landing was fake and that the US, Canada and Mexico plan to implement a global currency. These sites allege that U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is controlled by the head of the US Federal Reserve and the rest Azmat explained. With “facts”.
AA: The US federal reserve is a body through which 8 or 9 bankers control the world. This is a fact. Do you know the Bush administration wanted to give banks 800 million dollars? But then Obama came in. Then they claimed the banking industry was collapsing, stock options, derivates, everything was failing. The senate refused to grant them the money, SO the federal reserve made their own stock options fall, because all of the money is investors who they don’t care about. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the federal reserve bank, walked into the senate and asked, no, threatened the Senate saying ‘if you don’t give us this 800 billion dollars there will be martial law in America. We’ll get USNorthCom with 400,000 soldiers to take over if you don’t give us the money.’
Right. Mogambo, khush hua! Back to Pakistan
FA: Do you think our government allows its people an adequate education?
AA: Yes, Pakistan does. In Punjab the education is free.
FA: Have you…visited a government school?
AA: I studied in one.
I’ve volunteered in government schools, and I’ve done extensive fieldwork in madrassas. The majority of children in both institutions are highly impressionable, have little to no analytical skills, and are indoctrinated to the point where they cannot form opinions beyond the arbitrary boundaries their instructors set.
FA: Would you say that the majority of the educational systems in Pakistan are functional?
AA: “No, but they’re better than the American systems!”
FA: “But we have a 40% literacy rate, and even that’s a generous statistic!”
AA: Why is it that low?”
FA: “Because of the reprehensible state of our government schools and the myopic education madrassas endow?”
AA: “No. People like you who are western educated, are very dangerous. The Madrassa system teaches children the normal subjects as well, they are welfare organizations.”
FA:“I think the majority of Pakistanis get a pitiful education.”
AA: “That’s your opinion I don’t think so.”
Azmat believes that the educational system in Pakistan is functional, he further goes to say our healthcare system is better than America’s because “…everyone gets treated for free. How well funded and well equipped those hospitals are that’s a different story.”
A different story indeed. Lets get down to the brasstacks shall we?
FA: What do you think the youth of Pakistan should do?
AA: The Islamic financial system is far fairer to the world. The Islamic financial system is not interest based, it has other ways of making profit. I don’t really know, bankers might be able to tell you.
As for the type of government system Pakistan needs, Azmat has an alternative, it’s called spiritual democracy, he’s just not sure how it works. Oh wait…
AA: “We need to print our own money, we need to take our own resources, and forget this democracy. We need spiritual democracy which means that any [expletive] who doesn’t have a matric degree, or seven murder cases on him, and banking fraud ever gets into parliament. That is spiritual democracy, which means no [expletive] of ill repute can get into government.”
Azmat follows the teaching of Iqbal, the philosopher poet and leader.
FA: But Iqbal did not live what Islam would constitute a moral life.
AA: “Drinking and dancing and partying don’t matter. I think you’re a good Muslim, you’re a good human being if you don’t steal, or burn people’s homes. You must have high values.”
FA: When people pick and choose what they do and don’t like in Islam you end up with extremists like the Taliban who skew religion to suit their cause. While there are many things that are open to interpretation, I don’t think imbibing alcohol and whatever it is ‘partying’ entails is exactly promoted in Islam.
AA: The media teaches you Islam is evil. You’re so against Islam I don’t even know if you’re a Muslim! You don’t understand. If Islamic militants really were wreaking havoc this world would be a much scarier place. None of these terror groups, Taliban, etc are real entities. Have you seen this movie called “Body of lies”?
Russell Crowe? Yes.
Wait a minute, Leonardo DiCaprio? Oh no.
And with that I realize that while an autonomous, self-sufficient Pakistan is what both Azmat and I agree on, while I agree that large conglomerates have been guilty of everything from unfair business practices to war crimes, while I agree that the US is far from innocent in the dilapidation of Pakistan, I do not think pointing fingers at a global Zionist banker cartel set on destroying the world is a message that should be given to the incensed, uneducated and destitute masses of Pakistan. I think whatever problems we have we can solve by holding our government officials accountable, yes they should be role models, but not measured by some skewed Islamic rhetoric no different from that of the Taliban.