Original Articles

The fake liberals strike back – by Qudsia Siddiqui

Pakistan's pseudo-liberals are as shallow in their thoughts as is their understanding of and influence on the Pakistani society

First part of this article:
Another pseudo-liberal muck-raking of the PPP: So what’s new? – by Qudsia Siddiqui

Firstly, thanks to the LUBP for accepting my post. I was heartened to see blogs like this one and Pakistan Media Watch, Café Pyala and Pak Tea House provide some form of liberal discourse.

However, I was disappointed that aside from LUBP, the other blogs also suffer from the de-politisization disaster that is the legacy of General Zia-ul-Haq. There are two types of Zia-ul-Haq’s children in today’s Pakistan, i.e., the right wing abettors, supporters and apologists of the Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba, and the left wing abettors, supporters and apologists of the establishment.

When I see the media and blogs of other countries, there is a clear political point of view that is being expressed. For instance, the Huffington Post is devoutly Pro Democrat.

However, in Pakistan, the trend amongst the chattering class is to conceal their reactionary and anti-democratic streak behind a false veneer of liberalism. Much effort is made to hide one’s true political agenda behind a fake stance of objectivity. However, poke a few wholes in this veneer and it is priceless to see the verbal diarrhea of elitist urban myths.

In that regard, I would like to address some of the comments to my earlier post.

@Tahir Khan:

The chattering elites have always supported military dictators and while supporters like me were weeping when ZAB and BB were executed and saddened when BB’s governments were dismissed, I witnessed many of my own class and family celebrating and cursing the PPP leaders and engaging in their usual elitest rant that “Pakistan does not deserve democracy” and “how dare these illiterate peasants think that their vote counts”!

I am glad that you bring up Benazir Bhutto’s political bargaining with General Musharraf. For the process of nascent democracy to restart in Pakistan and not hijacked by your lawyers’ movement and its compromised judges, we needed a fresh start where the people elect their representatives who are not victimized by a corrupt judiciary that goes after them on trumped up charges.

The NRO was simply to combat these trumped up charges and time has proven me correct when your judiciary provides gate passes to dangerous Jihadi terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Mullah Abdul Aziz and decides to open only those 30 odd cases that concern the fake cases against PPP and not others!

This is my perspective and the perspective of all those brave Pakistanis who came out to vote in the shadow of severe suicide bombings on PPP rallies and gatherings; the ones that your morally bankrupt class considers it beneath their dignity to remember!

If you want to harbour the same civil society rubbish about this incident, you and your Imran Khan and your Jamaat Islami and your Jamaati chauvinist judges are welcome to do so!

@Anas Butt and “Karachikhatmal:

Yes, things change. Thanks for bringing the obvious to our attention. Yes, many of us would love to believe that the only true urban political stars are MQM and PML-N. It would be foolish to dismiss these two establishment parties as both do have a significant vote bank.

In Karachi, the MQM does have a vote bank amongst some sections of the 40% who are migrants and Urdu/Gujrati speakers. However, all of us from an Urdu speaking background do not vote MQM and a large number of us still vote for PPP. In the last elections, 3 federal seats in Karachi South were the results of rigging controversy when PPP lost them to MQM.

In spite of living in the same address for nearly 30 years, I was not allowed to vote for PPP in Karachi Central (Gulshan Town) but my vote was only acceptable if I voted for MQM!

The MQM has a stranglehold on Karachi’s bureaucracy thanks to the support of 2 military dictators. Their acts have divided Karachi like never before and don’t think the voters will ever forget that.

In a fair election, I would think that both PPP and ANP will make significant inroads into the artificially inflated MQM vote bank; a vote bank that is an insult to many Pakistanis and Karachiites who are Urdu speakers and whose parents and them migrated after partition. Those of us who are PPP supporters never went along with this false victim-hood of the “migrants” and saw through the sham of General Zia and the creation of MQM as a force that was carved out of ex-IJT thugs.

For us, the very paradigm of willingly accepting the migrant tag made no sense as we identified with the Sindhis and Balochis who shared their land with us.

The MQM is a de-politisization force that has eroded the culture of student politics and that by its own admission places a primacy on violence and not discourse. The Sindhis and Balochis of Karachi accepted my family with open arms in Karachi and their influentials built entire housing areas for us.

I am disgusted by MQM’s racist attitude towards the Sindhi flood victim affectees and towards the Pushtuns! The MQM is an insult to the memory of Jaun Elia and all the other prominent PPP supporters whose ancestry is from Urdu speaking areas of India but whose heart rooted in the political philosophy of federalism.

As for Aitzaz Ahsan, get your facts straight. Like lotas and backstabbers before him, he has no constituency and will never win without the establishment’s support. Lately, my friends in Lahore have told me that he has been put in cold storage by the establishment. By the way, where was your Aitzaz during the current SCBA elections?

@Everyone

These civil society types will never come out openly and express their fantasy for PTI, MQM and PML N. Many times, some of these civil society types whose sense of self importance is inversely proportional to their sense of history actually take pride in their surface level political neutrality.

They think that this enables them to do things as opposed to my generation and highlight the great things they are doing for the victims of the flood affectees. Aside from fulfilling their narcissism via boasting, their argument is as flawed as their understanding of politics! In their universe, they are the champion saviors while those “Krupt PPP feudals” did nothing.

For them, the work of PPP activists, supporters, leaders and elected officials with regards to the flood relief efforts simply did not happen as that would puncture their false sense of self importance and deluded pride.

For them, people like Talat Hussain who could lie without shame on BBC that he collected more money for the flood victims is a hero and a president bridging ties with one of the largest donors for the flood is the villain. Being socially conscious and coming to the aid of the victims of the flood is not mutually exclusive towards supporting a political party.

This posture of false neutrality is not fooling anyone anymore. Embrace the tiny Imran Khan in your brain and accept that you, like the rest of your class always loathed the PPP, and were invariably always rejected by the people of Pakistan. Your future not unlike your past and present is bleak notwithstanding your ever evolving shallow theories and false hopes.

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Nighat

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