Establishment-cultivated anger starts to backfire

Ever since the Ayub Khan era Pakistan’s establishment has built a narrative that the military is good and politicians are bad. This anger has been cultivated by the security establishment within the average Pakistani – both within the country and in the diaspora – using the educational curricula, the media, social media and films.

Over the last decade or so the establishment has promoted movies like Waar and Maalik that promote not only a jingoistic nationalism but portray politicians as feudal and corrupt, army as pure and selfless, and jihadis either as misguided or brainwashed by India. Waar 2013 film is focused on how a former Pakistani officer uncovers a plot by India’s intelligence agency (R &AW) while Maalik a 2016 film is focused on the story of a former special services commando who is hired to protect a corrupt feudal politician.

This anger cultivated for years was predicated on the fact that the politicians have not only been corrupt but also unpatriotic as they have been willing to speak to India while the army has ensured Pakistan’s survival and continued the eternal struggle for Kashmir. 

What is ignored in this narrative is that it is under army rule that Pakistan has not only lost the wars it fought with India but also lost half its territory and more than half its population (1971).

Ever since India revoked Article 370 and sought to integrate Jammu and Kashmir there has been an upsurge of Pakistani anger. The inability of the government of Pakistan to do anything much beyond speeches and news conferences and social media hashtags has not helped.

One example of Pakistani anger was recently experience by current Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi. An army friendly former journalist Maleeha Lodhi has served the establishment well for almost two decades. She has represented Pakistan for over two decades – as Ambassador to the US (1994-1997, 1999-2002), to the UN (2015-present) and to the UK (2003-2008).

Lodhi was heckled at the close of an official event hosted by the Consulate General of Pakistan to the UN. In the video below a man heckled and accused her of corruption, saying “You are a thief and don’t deserve to represent Pakistan.” Lodhi is seeing evading questions raised by the Pakistan national during a UN event here. While the diplomat was apparently addressing media persons, the man, who seemed enraged, was heard asking whether she had a minute to answer his questions and then without waiting for a reply asked: “What are you doing from the last 15 to 20 years. You are not representing us.” Interestingly the person was pro establishment enough to be invited to this event.

Video below

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