By Yasser Latif Hamdani
(Our friends at LUBP have asked us to respond to their libel with an open mind. In other words they can abuse us and lie about us but we should refrain from telling the truth about them. Ah well. I’ll try and keep it minimal so as to not offend the large egos and small minds that operate that website.)
A new breed of Jiyalas has emerged in the PPP which has nothing to do with the old PPP Jiyala who battled first the establishment backed 9 Stars (of which ANP was also a part) in 1977, Zia’s dictatorship (from which leading lights of ANP got medals and awards) and then Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N in the 1990s (with which ANP formed a coalition government). Today ANP activists and ethnofascists under the guise of PPP act like PPP’s most loyal activists. They stand for everything that PPP stood against and these are the same people who aided and abetted the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Somebody forgot to give Jamaat e Islami and the Daily Ummat wallahs the memo our friends at LUBP are privy to. It has been declared that I Yasser Latif Hamdani am:
2. Pro-Jamaat e Islami
4. Storm trooper and right-winger
5. An Imran Khan supporter
Could Qudsia please write to Daily Ummat and get them off my back please?
But seriously my crime: I suggested that attacking old PPP stalwarts like Sherry Rahman and Aitzaz Ahsan and abusing civil society activists like Asma Jahangir, Raza Rumi, Ayesha Jalal etc for signing a statement against the brazen attack against Sherry Rahman was not something one can condone or appreciate. Apparently this is enough to brand me all of the above and whitewash every article I have written. Since the NRO judgment I have taken a consistent stance against the Judiciary’s bulldozing of parliament. The irony is that my articles against my “beloved chief justice” and “jamaat e Islami” have been posted by LUBP itself. (Rabia Shakoor is the only LUBP moderator who has the integrity and honesty to call a spade and spade having read my articles on the Basic structure myth and against Khawaja Shareef and others). So there is some major inconsistency there. Similarly my articles in support of the Pakistan People’s Party and President Zardari have been posted by the LUBP. My articles criticising Imran Khan are also on record. Like any Pakistani, I admire Imran Khan as a great cricketing hero and a philanthropist but I strongly disagree with his politics. How that amounts to being a pro-PTI storm trooper is something only the good folks at LUBP can tell.
One friend wrote to me earlier “congratulations, you are a jamaati for not saying jiye Bhutto”. Actually it goes beyond that. The author of the said post has nothing to do with the PPP. People who were till February 2008 abusing Zulfikar Ali Bhutto have now become his biggest champions. The issue has to do more with ANP-PPP-MQM equation in Karachi and the intra-PPP power struggle on which my friend Ali Chishti will write further. The funniest statement though was by the author of the article against me:
” It has made some great strides and is already miles ahead of PTH where the dominant view is that secularism begins and ends with Jinnah and that cursing South Asian leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Bizenjo, Mengal, Bacha Khan, ZAB and BB is a badge of progressiveness and not prejudice!”
It is amazing how Bacha Khan has now been clubbed together with ZAB and BB. Now we have criticised Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for his role in the passing of the second amendment and BB for her role in the aid of Taliban, but we have always held them to be popularly elected leaders and in the balance have supported them. In fact PTH has written more pro-Benazir Bhutto articles than LUBP. Let us not forget however:
1. That it was Wali Khan, son of Bacha Khan and father of ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, who called Bhutto “Adolf Bhutto”.
2. ANP leadership- with the blessings of Bacha Khan and Wali Khan- was part of the PNA and Nizam-e-Mustafa campaign – funded by the establishment and moneyed interests and Saudi Arabia – against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977.
3. ANP leadership contested direct elections against Benazir Bhutto and was an ally of Nawaz Sharif and Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi both in 1990 and 1997. In fact the mighty pro-PPP ANP leader Bilour defeated Benazir Bhutto in an acrimonious campaign against Benazir in Peshawar in 1990…. but the folks over there at LUBP will NEVER acknowledge this fact will they? Today these ANP wallas have become the Chachas and Mamas of PPP just as the Jamaat e Islami and JUI-F have become Chachas and Mamas of Pakistan despite their sordid history against Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement.
The author has a personal axe to grind. While ANP has lost many good people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, its leadership in Sindh continues to encourage terrorists in the illegal settlements it has championed on Karachi’s once deserted sandy mountains bordering North Nazimabad. Large number of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists operate with impunity under the banner and safety of ANP’s militant wings in Karachi. This is an old ideological alliance of the ANP dating back to Bacha Khan. While that grand old man – the frontier Gandhi – went to Karachi and took oaths of allegiance to the new nation, in Peshawar he, his son Ghani Khan, his brother Dr. Khan saheb and others were actively promoting Faqir of Ipi’s revolt. Today the grandson of Faqir of Ipi, that old family friend of Bacha Khan and Wali Khan, is a major leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Yet the author in question takes umbrage to the view that Taliban is an expression of hardline Pushtun Nationalism mixed with puritan tribal and straitjacket interpretation of Islam commonplace amongst certain, though not all, Pathans.
What is even more disturbing is LUBP’s alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami netizens and cyber-warriors in attacking PTH and PTH editors. One brilliant LUBP contributor even quoted abuse by Dr. Jawwad Khan’s “Fundamentalist blog” abusing Raza Rumi, A H Nayyar and myself on the debate regarding the hate-filled ideological textbooks. How is this “miles ahead” of PTH in establishing a secular narrative. Perhaps both the LUBP wallahs and Jamaat-e-Islami will mind explaining why they don’t attack each other but always target PTH? I smell a dirty rat. PPP – at least on the internet- is being taken over by other groups who are using PPP’s good name to forward their ethnonationalist and other agendas. I suppose this is the new PPP we have to deal with, where Law Minister Babar Awan – an ex-Jamaatia and a conservative religious bigot- can claim a “Qadiyani conspiracy” when he was accused of corruption and yet be championed by this new politburo as being the bastion of secularism.
We on the other hand support the PPP government not because they are perfect but because we believe in the continuity of the democratic process. It is not our place to advise LUBP on what they should call their blog but to call it “critical PPP” when they abuse all and sundry for disagreeing with brazen and violent attacks on PPP stalwarts like Sherry Rahman is a joke. PTH is the only true critical PPP supporter blog out there. All of the editors of PTH are confirmed pro-democracy and PPP supporters and most are PPP voters, including yours truly “the pro-PTI Imran Khan supporter Yasser Latif Hamdani” while admittedly some of the LUBP people have a long history of voting against the PPP.
Keep Posted for a list of articles that PTH has written against the judiciary and in support of PPP. It is so long and comprehensive that it would take hours to compile it.