Original Articles

The False Bravado shown at Birmingham- by Chauhdry Ahmad Khan

Asif Zardari

Objective and constructive criticism is the cornerstone of secular liberal democracies. In that regard, those who have disagree with the current Pakistani president’s trip to the UK have the right to express their protest at what they perceive is wrong.

At a time when Pakistan is facing unprecedented challenges, common sense dictates that different political forces need to stop using the biggest natural disaster in Pakistan’s history to score cheap political points. Unfortunately that is not the case. After initiating and signing the 18th amendment and having it passed unanimously by Pakistan’s elected parliament, Zardari has voluntarily reduced his governance powers and restored such power back to the federal Prime Minister and the provincial chief ministers. As such, his recent trip is based on using his political party’s structure to collect relief funds for the devastating floods and to mobilize the international community into donating even more; aside from Muslim countries, the rest of the world has already started donating generously.

Nonetheless, that is not enough for some. Even if his political opponents felt the need to protest, they could have done so in a manner that was constructive and made sense.

However when the two main groups at the anti-Zardari rally in Birmingham are the PTI, a reactionary Islamist party whose one known leader and chief demagogue, Imran Khan, is more known for his rabid apology of the Taliban and the Hizb ul Tahrir, a violent Islamist group which makes no secret of imposing a global totalitarian dictatorship, one wonders if this is informed and principled political protest or simply an expression of budding fascism.

The intention of these two Islamist groups who constituted the protest became apparent when the following slogans were aired by their activists:

(Kashmir belongs to Pakistan and is the Destruction of America.)

“Jihad, Jihad, Jihad”

It becomes apparent that this protest has nothing to do with a principled opposition to Zardari; this was simply a crass display of the fascist and violent sentiments of two Islamist parties that have never made any electoral gains in Pakistan and whose ties with the shadowy establishment supporters of  Islamist militias is known to all those who do not subscribe to an ostrich mentality.

It is equally disappointing to see some of these sentiments on the blogs of the pseudo intellectuals of Pakistan whose headlines seem as they though they have been dictated by the shadowy anti-democratic intelligence community. Awab Alvi, of the Teeth Meastro blog is one that tops the list. His hatred for Pakistan’s secular political parties is matched by his smug canvassing for Pakistan’s chief Taliban apologist, Imran Khan. His selective support for the Al Qaeeda operative, Aafia Siddiqui is matched by his ignorance of those groups in Pakistan that are feeling the brunt of the attacks by the local Taliban affiliates. There is smug celebration on many of these blogs and facebook walls of a shoe throwing incident at Zardari’s speech in Birmingham; an act that was advocated in advance by those whose visceral hatred for secular politicians is matched by their mental servitude to the Islamist establishment.

This is truly a sad reflection of the state of affairs. One wonders if these educated upper class elites who scoff and selectively criticize Zardari will ever have the guts and courage to take an unequivocal stance against the Taliban. Will these elites ever advocate for the rights of the marginalized Balochis instead of labeling them as fifth columnists and traitors due to their (Baloch) opposition to the brutal military crackdown against their nationalist youth. Will they ever criticize the security establishment for allotting 80% of the national budget for themselves and thereby denying the development of crucial infrastructure such as dams that could have reduced the severity of the current floods.

It is disappointing that no one is pointing out the hypocrisy of the protesters who wish the destruction of Western civilization (“Down with the West”) whilst enjoying its material social welfare benefits. Similarly, none of these elitest blogs mentioned what has been stated in the Al Jazeera report by Najam Sethi regarding Zardari’s European trip. That the protest and outrage against Zardari has been orchestrated by the security establishment because Zardari has not adopted a confrontationists attitude with the British Prime Minister regarding the latter’s condemnation of pointing out the obvious linkages between the Taliban and Pakistan’s establishment.

Their false bravado of throwing a shoe at Zardari will never be equated by their willingness to advocate the same treatment to army generals, Pro Taliban media anchors, self-righteous judges, Gulf shaikhs, muftis, hardliner ayatollahs and Jihadi leaders…..

About the author

Ali Arqam


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  • جب آپ دلیل کا جواب دلیل سے اور ووٹ کا ووٹ سے نا دے سکیں تو آپ کے پاس 2 آپشن ہیں یا تو مخالف کو گلیاں نکالیں یا پھیر جھپ کر اس کے جلسے میں جایئں اور جونہی موقعہ ملے جوتا اچھال دیں

    اب میں اس دن کا سوچ کر ہنس رہا ہوں جس دن کسی جیالے نئیں شریف برادران ، عمران خان، قاضی ، یا پھر چودری افتخار کی طرف بھری عدالت میں جوتا اچھال دیا ، سیاست میں جوتوں کی آمد قوم کو مبارک ہو

  • Ager kisi nay “Muqaddas gaye ” Mir Shakeel Ur rehman per jota mara tou kia geo is ko broadcast karay ga ? .

    Bangladesh ,Kashmir ,Afghanistan aur FATa main khoon ka khail kailnay walay jamatiyon per tou jooton ki barish hoti chahiyeh

  • “At a time when Pakistan is facing unprecedented challenges, common sense dictates that different political forces need to stop using the biggest………”

    Precisely for this reason the President of Pakistan should have been in Pakistan and not having a hurrah in England.And please do not give the lame reason that the Prime Minister is the Chief Executive. All the cabinet members the likes of Rehaman are idiots and I will not even employ them even in a clerical job let alone the minister of state. Please get out of the PPP mould and think. You can be a ppp supporter and yet use your brain if you have got one.

  • Dear Naqqad, thank you so much for telling us as PPP supporters to use our brain. It has been noted and from now on we will use the brains!

  • @Ahmad Iqbalabadi.
    Forget my angry remarks but the supporters of PPP should seriously worry about the health of the party which is being damaged by one single individual called Zardari. No individual should be and is bigger than the party. PPP has so many brilliant people in it, let them come forward and take the command from an individual who was not even selected/elected by the party.

  • though i agree with the fact in your article regarding planned propaganda against Mr. Zardari and i condemn the action of said person at Birmingham. i mean criticism of one policy is democratic right but he is elected president of Pakistan. and with in democracy there are a no of way for criticism which would have been better than humiliation of whole nation in front of the world.
    but on environment of islamist, i will like to disagree with you. as it is evident by general public appreciation of incident that some thing is seriously wrong. i have been thinking why such dissatisfaction in public and even in PPP after there is an elected government………i believe it is lack of democracy within political parties, the selection of office-bearers
    and candidates is done by a hidden hand and party workers and public has no say in it. And Mr Zardari has become symbol for such deprivation of people .

  • Imran Khan: a Taliban Goebbels?

    By —Dr Mohammad Taqi
    Daily times

    The PTI and its leader are perhaps politically insignificant, but conceding space to such Ziaist propaganda has the potential to radicalise the nation, especially our youth. Fortunately, Mr Khan is not perceived as an American stooge — he is seen as a Taliban apologist

    “The lowest form of popular culture — lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives — has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage” — Carl Bernstein, US journalist.

    Perhaps ordinary Pakistanis are not much better off either. But it is not just the journalists embedded with the jihadists who are peddling nonsense. Among the politicians, Mr Imran Khan keeps outdoing himself in the craft of black propaganda. He has been stuffing people with this Goebbels-speak for years and, unfortunately, the western print media is one such avenue he uses to push his outlandish assertions.

    While the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, Muslim Khan, had the dubious courage to clearly own up to the savagery of his outfit, Mr Imran Khan, who is the head and de facto chief spokesman of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, stoops to the lowest levels of skulduggery in defending Taliban atrocities. Sheer disinformation, misinformation, contempt for truth, and an utter disregard for the realities of people’s lives, particularly of the Pashtuns, are what Mr Khan’s spoken and written words are all about.

    He seems to have perfected the art of repeating half-truths and quite often just plain lies over and over again. In his article ‘Don’t blame Pakistan for the failure of the war’ (The Times, UK, July 27, 2010), he has some real gems to share. He writes: “Before the West invaded Afghanistan, my country had no suicide bombers, no jihad and no Talibanisation.”

    Perhaps Mr Khan had been too busy playing cricket to take note of al Qaeda’s activities in the early 1990s at Abdullah Azzam’s Maktab-al-Khidmat — a base camp in Peshawar for Arab jihadists. Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden met each other in Peshawar courtesy Professor Azzam. Suicide bombings were not a norm then, but Azzam himself was killed in a car bombing in November 1989, allegedly orchestrated by his more extremist friends. He disagreed with their concept of takfir, i.e. declaring people who did not meet their definition of Muslim as infidels, who they believed deserved to be murdered. Benazir Bhutto, Dr Najibullah, several Arab rulers and Muslim minorities were placed in this category.

    The early 1990s were the formative years of world jihadism and these men in Peshawar were not confined to just Afghanistan. The Afghan-Arabs, as they became known, worked hand in glove with all varieties of Pakistani jihadists and after 1992, Afghan territory was used for their cause. For example, training and sanctuary were provided at the Al-Badr camp in Khost to terrorists who unleashed havoc in Pakistan and around the world.

    Mr Khan has completely glossed over the terrorist acts of the jihadists trained in the Pak-Afghan border regions. Riaz Basra of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was one such figure who was involved in over 300 acts of terror on Pakistani soil, including an attempt on Mian Nawaz Sharif’s life, way before the US forces had set foot in Afghanistan. Along with Akram Lahori and Malik Ishaq, Basra had used the training facilities in Sarobi (near Jalalabad). This was the beginning of Talibanisation in Pakistan.

    While the terrorist cadres were trained in Afghanistan, their leadership was groomed at various madrassas in Pakistan. However, Mr Imran Khan is either ignorant of this fact or is protecting such nefarious characters when he writes, “Until that point [army action in FATA in 2004], we had no militant Taliban in Pakistan. We had militant groups, but our own military establishment was able to control them. We had madrassas, but none of them produced militants intent on jihad until we became a frontline state in the war on terror.”

    Only two entities from what is literally the Ivy League of the jihadist network need a mention to refute Mr Khan’s claim. Karachi’s Jamia Islamia aka Binori Mosque has produced hundreds of jihadist leaders that include Maulana Azam Tariq of Sipah-e-Sahaba, Qari Saifullah Akhtar and Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil, the leaders of Harkatul Jihad Al-Islami, and the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Maulana Masood Azhar. The association of this madrassa’s patron (Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai) with the Afghan Taliban, especially Mullah Omar, is well known.

    It might not have dawned on Mr Imran Khan but Jalaluddin Haqqani carries the title Haqqani for a reason — he had spent six years at Darul-Uloom Haqqaniah in Akora Khattak. Among the top 32 officials in Mullah Omar’s government, 11 — including six top ministers — were educated in madrassas in Pakistan. Out of these 11, seven were students at the Haqqaniah seminary. The US was nowhere in the picture when the alumni of these madrassas were on a killing spree in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Mr Khan betters himself still when he claims, “After the WikiLeaks revelations yesterday, reports are being floated that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is aiding the Afghan militancy. The fact is that the ISI is not that powerful, but certainly in an environment of chaos and uncertainty Pakistan will need to protect its interests through all means necessary.” Even the ISI may take serious offence to this, as it is positioning itself as the power that can deliver the Taliban, especially the Haqqani network, provided the new set-up in Kabul is to its liking.

    These assertions by Mr Khan might even be amusing if he was not capable of even worse assertions. Blaming the US for all ills is one thing, but he has as easily blamed the victims of terrorism. Writing about the Karsaz bombing in ‘Benazir Bhutto has only herself to blame’ (The Telegraph, UK, October 21, 2007), he noted, “I am sorry to say this, but the bombing of Benazir Bhutto’s cavalcade as she paraded through Karachi on Thursday night was a tragedy almost waiting to happen. You could argue it was inevitable…it is different for me campaigning in public, even in the frontier region, because I am not perceived as an American stooge, or a supporter of the war on terror.” Benazir and not the takfiris were to be blamed as per Mr Khan’s views!

    The PTI and its leader are perhaps politically insignificant, but conceding space to such Ziaist propaganda has the potential to radicalise the nation, especially our youth. Fortunately, Mr Khan is not perceived as an American stooge — he is seen as a Taliban apologist.

  • LOL!!

    Zardari ko Joota pARA,PPP ki PEE nikal gaye. Allah Jisay chahye Izat Day aur Jisay Chahye Beizat karay! zardari k naseeb me Zalil Hona he likha hay.

    Let’s not forget that the shoe was thrown by PPP’s old activist who declared him a traitor and murderer of BB.

    Go and screw your own jiyalas rather than bulshitting on others.

  • Rahmat, fyi, it was a Hizbul Tahrir activist. I shudder to think what could have happened if this fundo who you admire was allowed to bring in C4. Nonetheless, the PPP has always seen cowards like rubbing their hands in glee, when their activists were killed, beaten and imprisoned and when their leaders met their death for defying the establishment. A shoe is nothing compared to this. Ofcourse, cowards like you can never raise a finger at the establishment and its media and judicial proxies…

  • You are Critical PPP forum. Why can you not criticise PPP’s policies and shortcomings. You seem to jump to defend PPP when criticised. Surely, PPP is not beyoung criticism or is it?

  • President’s Flight is not defendable rather condemnable but equally is the media and right wingers for making too much out of nothing.

    Geo Jingoism and Pajjah Politics and I pray that Nawaz qulify the standards he is setting for PPP now.

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