By Yahya Hussainy
English essayist and poet Samuel Johnson once said, Patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel. By that well-known definition what should one think of the fact that ever since the civilian government came to power in Pakistan there has been a rise in the number of Pseudo-Patriots and Conspiracy Theorists?
In August 2005 PBS did a program titled Pakistan: In the Land of Conspiracy Theories where they said If you spend any time in Pakistan, you realize that it’s a land full of conspiracy theories: 9/11 was a Jewish Mossad plot; the Pakistan army is killing innocent Muslims in Waziristan at the behest of the Americans; Musharraf is only pretending to wage war against the terrorists in Waziristan so as to appease Washington. And there are endless Osama bin Laden intrigues — many Pakistanis believe that the hunt for the al Qaeda leader is just an excuse for the United States to intervene throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and that bin Laden will not be found until the Americans have conquered the entire Muslim world.
In May 2009 the New York Times published a piece titled A Grand Conspiracy Theory from Pakistan which talks about the various conspiracy theories floating in the Pakistani media including the idea that Osama Bin Laden may be Jewish.
Let us have a look at these so-called Super Patriots whose websites are called Pakistan Ka Khuda Hafiz, Pak Alert, Pak Spectator, Pak Defense, Rupee News and others. Who are they and what do they stand for?
Ahmed Quraishi is a Musharraf-sympathizing, democracy-hating, pseudo-journalist whose own website referred to him as the Master of Immaculate Deception.
A list of his various articles will give you an idea of his flow of thought – The Harpoons and Pakistans American Mess (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/latest_col.php?id=105 ), How ODA 574 Installed Karzai, and Afghan Democracy (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=788 ), US Hummers Enter Pakistan, Undercover American Soldiers Swarm Islamabad (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=785 ), American NGO covers for Blackwater in Pakistan (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=766), US Engineering a New Disaster in Islamabad (http://pakalert.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/u-s-engineering-a-new-disaster-in-islamabad/ ), Whos Country is it anyway, Ours or US Think Tanks? (http://www.nowpublic.com/world/who-s-country-it-anyway-ours-or-u-s-think-tanks ), Indian Army to Deploy Prostitutes As a Women Battalion in Held Kashmir (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=794), and President Obama is lying about Pakistan (http://www.daily.pk/pakistan/pakistannews/9858-barack-obama-is-lying-about-pakistan.html).
Another conspiracy theorist is Moin Ansari who seems to have a sex fetish as his blog “Rupee News” is full of stories dealing with sex. For example, Bilawal Bhutto being naughty, Women in Bharat, Did Pakistani PM Gillani grope Sherry Rehman?, Kashmala Tariq turns up heat! Bites more than she can chew?, Sex Antics of Mohandas Gandhi: His Failures, Pedophilia, Adultery, Incest, Sexual Perversion & Fetishes, Sex Life of Indira Gandhi of India: The Indian Matahari:- Indira’s tryst with seduction.
Other posts on his website attack the mainstream Pakistani media Obituary of the Pakistani Medias 5th column: Can the Anti-Pakistan dawn.com halt Dawns slide towards irrelevancy and catalepsy? or reinforce the fear that the whole world is ganging up against Pakistan The headlines about Pakistan in the media: Understanding the Rupert Murdoch-Neocon-Hindutva doomsayer machine which is running scared of defeat and retreat
Another conspiracy theorist, Nayyar Zaidi, Washington Correspondent or Washington Bureau Chief of Pakistan’s Geo News TV (Geo Television Network), The News International (English newspaper) and Daily Jang (Urdu newspaper) was arrested in March 2008 by Ohio police on charges of trying to have sex with an under-age teenager and is currently in prison.
Nayyar Zaidis defense is that he was trapped for refusing to cooperate with the FBI and that was working on a story but he has failed to produce any email or letter proving that he had temporarily been assigned by his media group to stop being a political reporter (which is what he had been all his life) and venture into investigating predatory sexual behavior of adults (Zaidi is in his sixties) towards children.
The Master Conspiracy Theorist Shireen Mazari once described by the late Kahlid Hasan as Pakistans Ann Coulter–is in a class of her own. She worked for the Musharraf regime as Director General of the Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies. Musharrafs own support of and by the United States is well known but Mazari saw no contradiction between working for someone she should, by her own reasoning, consider an American agent and continuing to spew anti-American conspiracy theories.
Mazaris articles on the US go the full gamut from – The Sneaking US occupation of Islamabad (http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/article_detail.php?id=782), Pakistan First: The devastating affects of appeasing India and kowtowing to the US (http://www.defence.pk/forums/strategic-geopolitical-issues/13163-pakistan-first-shireen-mazari-devastating-affects-appeasing-india-kowt.html ), Targeting Pakistan and silencing the Critics, (http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=196326 ), Suffering Under Our Proxy Imperialists, (http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=144885 ), US yearns for Pak capitulation (http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=13430 ), How many times will we be fooled by US (http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=172494), Our Leaders Voluntary Submission to Colonization (http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=194868 ), Kerry-Lugar Bill: Still Seeking Control over Pakistan (http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=175974 ), America: Dubious ally or outright enemy? (http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=119044 ), The Endgame target: A Weak Nuclear Defanged Pakistan (http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=182163 ).
Pakistanis must decide whether they want to be part of the real world or continue to enjoy the circus of rumors, almost always unfounded or subsequently disproven, that the conspiracy theory brigade has set up. One Abu Saad (is that the real name?) now claims to have created a Union of Patriotic Bloggers for Sovereign Pakistan (UPBSP). A better name for the grouping would be Union of Conspiracy Theorists of Pakistan (with Little Knowledge of the World and possibly some fetish or the other).