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Enemy Within!

04 January, 2007

By Ahmer Muzammil


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We whine and we moan about how oppressed Muslims are all over the world. We blame Jews and Christians for wreaking havoc in our lives. How true is that notion? To some degree I think it might be accurate so some whining and some moaning might be justified but I am always amazed at the silence of Muslim masses and more alarmingly the "intelligentsia" for not raising hell when the culprits of our misery are from within.

  

If Pakistan doesn't have a welfare system for the poor, if the chaudhry of your pind abducts the innocent girl for his pleasure while the administration sits idly by, if public health care system is a sham, if numerous school systems are running in parallel out of which only one is capable of producing "winners" hence too expensive & out of reach of about the 90% populous, if the laws of the country are only enforced on you if your uncle isn't a brigadier in the army; if your imam sahib asks you to go blow yourself up in the mosque down the road so you can be on the fast route to the promise-land, then aren't our-own savior's rather than jews and Christians, to blame for most of these inadequacies? People that govern our lives in Muslim countries feed this frenzy that everything wrong in our lives is due to the scheming and evil planning in the quarters of Washington D.C and Tel-Aviv just so we remain in this state of hallucination and don't start looking towards GHQ

 which in my estimation is the source of most of our headaches. Our masters feed us dung and kudos to us for eating it all up with the hot sauce!

  

Its mind numbing that the morons who come out in hordes to protest huddood ordinance or lack of it never once ask their leaders "how come we never protest the fact that you all keep getting prosperous while my life remains a living hell?". No hunger strikes when electricity bills are sky rocketing, no processions when innocent human beings and their self respect is dragged in the streets at the hands of law-enforcement agencies, not a whimper from neither the "enlightened" nor the "righteous" when innocent women are raped and or killed in the name of honor. How disgusting are we? How morally bankrupt and what a sorry state of numbness! Where is the outrage people? I swear this freeing the media phenomenon seems to have done more harm than good to our collective psyche. Because when Zia was at the helm of affairs, everything was bottled up and at least people would get mad and there was a hope that the tipping point might be near. In recent times every Joe blow and his uncle appear on the television, curse out the authorities and that's that. Sometimes extreme oppression leads to jolting the masses which hopefully can be translated in to absolute freedom, although it never really happened for us even after extreme coercion.

  

My blood boils when I see that at the end of "Capital Talk" the minister and the opposition member walk off the stage hand-in-hand, smiling, hugging each other like all the outrage that was on display about 5 minutes ago was all just good television. Turn the damn cameras off when these thugs are making out with each other, we know that " sabb aykk hii thallii kay chatayy bathayy hein" but please don't add insult to injury.

  

When will the people realize that the real issues that affect our daily lives are never addressed by neither opposition nor the government? Instead we are enamored with non-issues like huddod ordinance, attire of mushy, Kashmir, women's face on hoardings, music in public buses and other crap like that. Who the hell cares? First make sure that your constituency has clean drinking water, access to a hospital is available, affordable and meaningful educational institutions are obtainable to all, justice is accessible regardless of class, creed, religion or financial status and then get all riled up about hudood ordinance. Opposition is not able to rally the masses because they look just as insincere and alien as the government.

  

Speaking of insincerity, why is that the love of democracy and sense of care only dawns on Army officers and bureaucrats once they have retired and some how not offered a juicy position by the sitting General? Where is this authenticity and courage when they are in office and are actually engineering elections and formulating IJI's and MMA's? Oh no, the Army discipline must be maintained, who cares if the country is being looted and raped in broad day-light. They make sure that they have collected the pension and secured the lucrative real-estate worth millions of dollars that the people of Pakistan "force" them to take for providing exceptional service in their tenure to ensure the annihilation of civil society and total dominance of Pakistan army in every facet of civil life by hook or crook. Once that noble goal is achieved then they come out of the wood-works to carry the torch of democracy.

  

Every single day in Iraq hundreds of innocent Muslims are dying, majority of them at the hands of other so called Muslims. We in Pakistan use to be champions in this shia-sunni fiasco; the mantle has been passed to Iraqis now (that doesn't mean that we are not still in contention). In Palestine, they are being bombarded by the Israelis and when there is a moment of calm, hamas and fatah are at each other's throat; Israel isn't devastating enough for you anymore that you had to start killing each other now? I mean am I the only one who is just awe-struck with the stupidity all over the Muslim world. It's an open secret that the west and Zionist lobbies are supporting Mehmood Abbas to over throw the democratically elected government of Hamas. But my feeling is that a good chunk of the Palestinian civil society is also responsible for this in-fighting. By nature most of us don't respect the concept of majority being right, given that it's not always the case but this is the essence of democracy and even though majority might not always be correct but odds are definitely in favor, besides it can't be any worse than what we have now.

  

The fact that almost all the dictators and kings in the Muslim world are mere employees of Washington D.C is no revelation either, but my contention is that a section in these societies who are supposedly indigenous; genuinely feels that all these tin-pot dictators some how are able to benefit our collective cause. This is a text book example of suffering from Stockholm syndrome. This negative mind-set more than anything else is the most depressing aspect of our society. We in the Muslim world still hasn't completely reached this universal conclusion that democracy in this day and age maybe the worst form of government but it's best amongst the worst that are available. I don't blame the political prostitutes and yellow journalists who are ready to sell their allegiances for meaningless ministries and some petty cash; after all that's what they do to put food on the table, but the onus is squarely on the voters to reject these jokers in future. Pakistan civil society must

 recognize that they have to stop hoping against hope that there savior is a knight in a shining armor. If Bangladeshis and Indians have recognized this reality that the remedy to the ills of the society are democratic institutions rather than personalities; than how come we are not getting it? It's worth contemplating that regardless of the ultimate and unquestionable leadership that Prophet (PBUH) enjoyed while he was alive and his followers would have never questioned his decision if he would have appointed his successor; he hinted but still he left the actual decision to the people. But some how these obvious wisdoms escape us instead we choose to focus on how high or low our pants should be. If humility escapes us and we remain cocky and rude despite our shalwar being above our ankles, I am afraid we have dodged the point. I am not knocking a sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) but the spirit rather than just the action itself should be emulated. Bottom line is this, we gained independence in 1947 and it's been more than 50 years. Army has ruled over us for 30 years directly in khaki uniform and the rest by proxy in sherwani. If Pakistan is a failure as a welfare state for it's people and it surly is, then let's give the next 50 years to the people of Pakistan to govern there own lives and if they just manage to keep the current geography of Pakistan intact(still more than what Army was able to do in there tenure) then we'll call it a success, although my utmost submission is that it will be a far greater success story than that.

End.

Reader Comments:

Real Issues.

Well, the anger of the writer is fully justified. He is absolutely right when he says that we should deal with the problems that are facing us right now, about water, food, shielter, education, justice and the factors that directly affect every human being rather than being very passionate about non-issues.

Prashant Sonawane, Hungary - 04 January, 2007

Enemy within

It is an interesting article and practical. Atleast someone has the guts to write the truth on paper and not just bottle up the truth like I do.

We muslims have the tendency to blame west and israel and india for our problems but the enmy truly lies within. The basic problems of sanitation, water , unemployment and military rulers and imam influence are our primary causes of failure as muslims.
There is a little bit of truth that West-Israel-India want to destroy muslims because if that is truly on their agenda the have enoght comined nuclear arsenal to wipe us out and we in the muslim world only pakistan has some just probbly enough to take out India , leave alone western powers. These countries just want to economically dominate us and not eliminate us and frankly speaking thats business.

Let us admit the fact that,the frenzy of hate is actually cooked up ny our Imams and politicians to increase their own power and importance.

If these same Mullahs and imams diplomatically and peacefully negotitate with the so called enemies of Islam ,I am sure the enemies have no desire of war either. If we truly set aside our patriotism and Islamism,we wcannot deny the fact that most of the time Islam reacted out of proportion to some atrocities the West-Israeli-Indians have done on us. Their strong point is their restraint and diplomacy. Lets take an hypothetical example, If India wanted to eliminate us it would have let Israel use its airbases long back. Even thought India is the enemy ,it still has shown restraint many times ,however hard we may deny it because our patriotism.If the parliament attack on India or the bomb blasts had happened here in pakistan ,we would have surely started war by now without thinknig of consequences.We in our patriotic fervour claim our armed forces are better than India, but lets face it that in a full fledged war and even in nuclear confrontation ,if the war lasts long then we are going to probably defeated econonmical wise which in itself is as good as defeat.

Islam has taught us peace and jihad but we tend to adapt jihad at the least of provocation and ignore peace wherever possible. Unless our tendencies change we will be one day most hated religion on earth. We ourselves are the instrument in our downfall.

We also associate with our priorities wrong like instead of basic development in our land we are more obsesssed with Kashmir and India. True that the problem of kashmir is a problem but is it really our proble, India has smartly maangeed kashmir and frnakly speaking if we look at Indian websites there is just a passing mention of kasmir of pakistan ,unless its an extrodinary event worth reporting. Meanwhile we tend be more India centric and Induia meanwhile is progressing in all spheres economically. Soon one day at this rate we may find out that ,India is an economic power and too late for us to catch up with them.

Let us forget the west, isarel , india because unless we give them reason for provocation they wont come after us simply because they are too engrossed in bieng econmicallly strong and politically correct.

Last but not least we need change in our govt, I frankly for once dont know whom to beleive. For example in 1999 our President Musharraf denied any involvement of our army in kargil. I beleived him and supported him like a true pakistani. Recently while in Canada I read his book ,In the line of fire and now I am not so sure wether it was mujhideens or our army regulars who were killed by Indian forces. If they were our army men the is it not a shame that those who sacrficed for our country were not even acknowledged after death .

Politics of power has left us all in a problematic phase and the common man is suffering on a dialy basis , Why cant we take a leasson from the West-Israeli-Indian nexus in this regard and do what they did for their people in term of development first. wHy do we have to grab only the negative things from them.

Truth is we are our own enmy first and we have to change to take on a stronger enmy of we will be annihlated.

shahid khan, Pakistan - 04 January, 2007

proud pakistani

I am sorry to say that the author has extremists views, i am more interested in reading articles of an open minded author rather than an extremist

ARIF, Pakistan - 04 January, 2007

This year may be the turning point?

What a promising start of the year! There may be still hope bothe for Pakistan and Islam. Only when more and more Pakistanis start thinking like this, will there be real AND VERY MUCH NEEDED changes in our country. Also I could have continued, in the same pattern as the writer, to highlight even more problems. But what is the point in telling people what they already know? So i will only say this> Do something for your country. Anything that can make life better for some few or many. What about the local school u went to? May be it needs some fixing? What about teachers? Do anybody care if they do not come on their work daily? Do all the kids have books? Shoes and wintercloaths? Do the best pupils in every class get any kind of encourgement?
Or are we only champions of talking, talking, talking? Do not wait or expect anything from mushy or others so-called leaders. They do not have time for this kind of things. Why should they? Playing golf is better AND MUCH MORE FUN than solving these kind of problems. Besides, they do not want anybody else's kid get educated.So these welleducated kids may some day start asking some questions to their rulers. Rulers who SURELY will be the kids of today's rulers. BUT DO NOT HAVE ANY KIND OF DOUBT ABOUT THE LEADERS KNOWALGDE ABOUT THE IMPORTANSE OF EDUCATION for kids. ONLY FOR THEIR KIDS. Why else should they send them to the best schools in Pakistan AND EVEN EXTREMLY EXPENSIVE ONES ABROAD?

Khan G Farooq, Norway - 05 January, 2007

Good to disect problems.

It is good that you have disected problems.I beleive if there is a pressure from the civilians on Govt to implement merit in all walks of life,in selection,promotion,demotion,firing etc,etc and it is transparent then situation may start to change.Corruption that exists due to nepotism,or any other reason e.g.greed(bribery,connections) opens the door for crimes.Unfortuantely the ruling elite, sadly the military not only condones the corruption but indirectly supports it.Who doesn't know that Chowdhurys of Gujrat run a well established Mafia and control people not through repect/love but through fear.But they are the closest ally to Military chief.Examples of India and BD are enough for anyone to understand the situation.
I recall an incidence.When Indira Gandhi declared emergency.The CNC said we will cooperate with the Govt.,when asked to comment by reporters.Indira called him to PM Secretariate,let him sit in waiting the longest and then told him How he could make a comment like cooperate when his only job is to obey?Then she handed him retirement letter.Can you imagine this in Pakistan.In BD the Generals who were trained in Kakul tried the coup but were arrested,jailed and killed now they don't dare.WHile In Pakistan situation is different.,entirely different.Also we are declining as a nation in area of self sufficiency,international respect,economic development compared to the two countries.Military needs to stay only on borders and barracks but they wouldn't as long as Pakistanis keep on treating them with respect.The key for solution lies in the hands of people in their attitude.If people collectively make the army feel it,and army feels embarrassed to come in public in uniform for fear of humiliation and insults then only can democracy come in Pakistan.Today the ambassadors are retired Generals,Airmarshals and Admirals with neither appropriate education nor training.Just see how many similar clowns are in such position in India,or Bangladesh!

Dr.Khan, United Kingdom - 05 January, 2007

Dear friend,
I am very much impressed by your article.
I agree that media is wasting time on crap things rather than concentrating on burning issues like education,hospitalistaion,water and soforth.
Well! when army could not provide better atmosphere in 30 years of its rule and rather lost half of pakistan under the brilliiant generals then why don't they trust the civilians and hand over to them.
There are so many intellectuals & honest people are available in the country and abroad.They should given a chance to rule the country.Politics has become such a dirty game that honest person scares to join it but at the same time country will have to rope in such people otherwise it will go to dooms.One honest person at the top will make the difference.Manmohan singh of India (pm) and abdul kalam president combination is making a change.We need an advanced and brilliant people in our neighbourhood so that both may learn from each other rather than depending on west.We should cooperate in education,electricity,clean water,controlling the population,bringing up better qualified/honest generation rather than wasting time and crying on bloody kashmir issue for the last 50 years.Strictly speaking no one wants solution and both the govts are ruling their respective country on the pretext by diverting the public mind from the core issues.

suresh taneja, Hungary - 05 January, 2007

IT HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE


THE ARTICLE IS TIMELY AND WELL WRITTEN. NATURALLY, IT WILL NOT PLEASE MANY TRUE BELIEVERS AND FORCE THEM TO AGREE THAT THEY CAN’T JUST KEEP BLAMING OTHERS FOR THEIR PROBLEMS AND YET GIVEN THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY THEY WANT TO GO AND LIVE IN A WESTERN COUNTRY.

UNITY BASED ON RELIGION (ANY FAITH) IS MORE EMOTIONAL THAN PRACTICAL. POLITICAL LEADERS GENERALLY SURVIVE, PROLONG AND JUSTIFY THEIR RULE BY CITING THE IMMINENT DANGERS FROM THE REAL AND MOSTLY IMAGINED ENEMIES. BUT THAT WORKS ONLY SO MUCH. IT HASN’T WORKED IN PAKISTAN DESPITE THE FACT NOW AND THEN PEOPLE GET WORKED UP AND DEMONSTRATE (VIOLENTLY) AS THEY DID IN THE CASE OF THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE CARTOONS OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD (PBUH). BUT NO MUSLIM LEFT ANY EUROPEAN COUNTRY IN DISGUST TO LIVE IN PAKISTAN OR ANY OTHER MUSLIM HOMELAND. BECAUSE, THEY KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LIVING CONDITIONS AND FREEDOMS IN THEIR HOMELANDS AND YET DO NOT WANT TO ADMIT IT.

ALL INQUIRIES SHOULD BE AS PRAGMATIC AND DISPASSIONATELY UNCOVER TRUTH AS THE ARTICLE TRIES. BUT SUCH ARTICLES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE. BUT NO MULLAH, PIR OR MAULVI AGREES.

THE DAY PAKISTANIS FOCUS ON DEVELOPING THEIR AMPLE SKILLS AND TALENTS AND STOP FOREVER LOOKING ACROSS THE BORDERS AND INDULGE IN THE BLAME GAME, PAKISTAN WILL REALLY PROSPER. ALAS, SUCH A DAY IS DIFFICULT TO DAWN IN PAKISTAN.



A . V. RAO, United Kingdom - 09 January, 2007

It seems that Ahmer is not happy with anyone. He only looks at bad things about Pakistan. All countries have their share of issues. Poor in Pakistan is still better off then the poor in Africa and the poor in India, Bangladesh, Nepal etc!

I was a fierce opponent of Musharraf but I realized (after my last trip the IRP) that things could have been force if Sharif or Bhutto were to be in power.
I was surpries to see the economic activity and development. There is no doubt that inflation and corruption are growing but that is not due to this regime. Things will imrpove insha-Allah but one should not expect 60 years of issues resolved in 6 yrs. I am very optimistic about Pakistan. Lets not sit here and watch CT on Geo instead go and look at the situation. I think Musharraf is the best option available to IRP at this point, BETTER THEN BB & SHARIF.

Imran Siddiqui, Canada - 09 January, 2007

THE ENEMY IS US

THE ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE REMINDS ME OF THE FAMOUS CARTOON CHARACTER OF YESTER YEARS "POGO" LIVING IN THE GREAT SWAMP; AFTER MARCHING THROUGH THE SWAMP WITH HIS RAG TAG COMRADES IN SEARCH OF THE ENEMY REPORTS BACK TO THE COMMANDER “SIR, WE HAVE FOUND THE ENEMY – IT IS US!”


A. V. RAO, United Kingdom - 10 January, 2007

He is better, but is he the BEST?

Imran bahi, surely he is far better than those two ultra stupid ones we have had. And who are so stupid that they do not understand that their time is over now. They have nothing Pakistan can not do without. Still they are doing their outmost to come back. FOR REVENGE OR FOR SAYING SORRY TO THE NATION? They, both, were given chanses not only onces, but TWICE to prove their capacities. But did they learn anything from their faults and became better leaders the second times? OF course not. If they were so great and HAD DONE SO MUCH for the common man, why did not the common man came out on the streets, in millions, when these were kicked out? Having said that, there is no doubt mushy could have done much more, espescially with the kind of power he has. WHO WOULD HAVE STOPPED HIM DOING GOOD THINGS WHEN NOBODY IS STOPPING DOING BAD THINGS? In Wazirstan and in Balochistan. There is no internal or external resistanse he is faced with. Is not that a dream situation for any leader? Now how many factories or/and universities has he opened? Jobs has he created? What is he doing about the problems the country will face in 10/20/30 years? Even the basics like onion and sugar is imported from India. Why do not our own farmers produce these?
The problem with Pakistan AND ISLAM is that they can not produce leaders visionery leaders of worldclass. FOR SOME REASON THEY JUST CAN NOT AND HAVE NOT DONE IT FOR LONG TIME.
Until that happens we must do with second and thirdclass material. That is our tragedy.

Khan G Farooq, Norway - 10 January, 2007

article is very strong worded but true. can it make any difference

jan mohd, Seychelles - 13 January, 2007

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