Ayyan Ali’s appearance at University of Karachi drew a lot of laughs on social media, though the poor students who invited her are hardly laughing after being served notices by the University administration. There is nothing wrong with having a laugh at celebrities, though, and the appearance of a celebrity is not really indicative of the quality of studies at an institution, especially when she was invited on the behest of students who are young and probably don’t know any better. So why am I bringing this up? Because I am curious why such a hue and cry is made over Ayyan Ali while other celebrity appearances which are much more insidious are let to pass without comment.
I have not commented on the child abuse scandal in Kasur because what words can be said that could bring any sense to such an atrocity? It is pure evil. There can be no question. And it took place here in the ‘Land of the Pure’. It was not carried out by RAW or CIA. It was not covered up Westernised secular politicians working for their Hindu-Zionist masters. It was carried out by evil men. It was covered up by cowardly politicians and police. And worst of all, it was, it was all done openly. How could it be a secret when the CDs of the abuse were being sold for Rs50? This was not a terrible secret, it was a terrible reality. It sickened me to my core. However, the knife was only twisted by the reactions that came.
There were the ‘cool heads’ like Ejaz Haider who told us to keep things in perspective. This type of abuse happens everywhere, he says. Surely it was not his intention, but the fact is that his ridiculous attempt to show that he is above emotional response unquestionably comes across as downplaying the seriousness of the crime.
— EH (@ejazhaider) August 8, 2015
Obviously Haider saab was only playing his usual role as the retired military officer cum pseudointellectual analyst protecting Pakistan’s honour. Even he was not as callous as some media houses who even reported that it WAS a conspiracy.
Then there are the self-serving spin-walas like Ahmed Quraishi who took advantage of these poor abused children once again to serve his own agenda.
— Ahmed Quraishi (@AQpk) August 9, 2015
So much of the reaction from the expected corners falls into a usual pattern: Denial.
Child abuse is not a good thing, but it happens everywhere. Why make a big deal of it?
Child abuse is not a good thing, but this case is being blown out of proportion. It was just a land dispute.
Child abuse is not a good thing, but it is the fault of corrupt Westernised politicians, not real Pakistanis.
Then I was read another article unrelated to the Kasur tragedy, and yet at the same time it was perfectly related. It was the story of a so-called father who preferred to watch his own daughter drown to death rather than let Dubai Police’s Search and Rescue Department save her because he believed that being touched by an unknown man would dishonour her.
Pakistan is drowning. We are drowning in a sea of extremism. We are drowning in a sea of rape and violence that goes unstopped because we would rather watch our country drown than face the embarassment to admit there is a problem.
A recently leaked internal US government document reveals that the world’s greatest military superpower fears that it is losing a propaganda war to ISIS. Actually, this is not much of a surprise. America is a non-Muslim country trying to persuade Muslims to reject an ideology that claims to be Islamic. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as America’s uncompromising support for Israel mean that the country lacks the credibility necessary to convince Muslims outside their own borders. The Americans seem to realise this to a certain degree, and along with their efforts to increase their own anti-extremist communications, the leaked memo notes that they are looking to Muslim countries for help. However, even though countering the ISIS propaganda is a goal that we have in common a serious problem remains: Our own propagandists are actually worse than the Americans.
A lot has changed since last 50 years. As much is different, though, some things remain stubbornly the same. I was reminded of this when glancing at a newspaper recently and noticing a report re-printed from 1965 that contained these words:
[Meanwhile, as reported by our correspondent in Dacca] the President of the Pakistan National Awami Party, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, today [July 17] called upon the Government not to yield under any circumstances to the pressure tactics of America whose aid with strings attached was motivated to enslave Pakistan. He emphatically declared that the entire nation was prepared to make any supreme sacrifice to face the crisis created by the stoppage of American aid.
Addressing a Press Conference in the city this evening, Maulana Sahib asserted that the people of Pakistan would be happy to go poor rather than to compromise their sovereignty and national integrity with the imperialist Power. He assured President Ayub Khan that he would find all patriotic elements in the country rallying round him to face the open imperialist threat from outside and smash the imperialist intrigue within the country. In this context, he expressed the hope that the Socialist countries of the world would come out fully in support of Pakistan in her hour of need as they did in Egypt, Algeria, Cuba, Indonesia, and other suffering countries of the world.
My eyes popped and I had to check again to confirm what I had read. This was written 50 years ago! Such is obvious from the names of the generals and politicians, but the rhetoric they are saying could easily be from any report today! Accusing “pressure tactics of America whose aid with strings attached was motivated to enslave Pakistan”. Declaring that “entire nation was prepared to make any supreme sacrifice to face the crisis”. Calling on “all patriotic elements in the country rallying round him to face the open imperialist threat from outside and smash the imperialist intrigue within the country”. And calling on the West’s rivals to “come out fully in support of Pakistan in her hour of need”.
It is not often that one can see the script laid so bare before one’s eyes, but here it is before us. The same script that has been read for over 50 years and brought us to the sad state where we find ourselves today. It is the same script that is being shouted by today’s hyper-nationalist generals and politicians. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result. We are doing the same thing for half a century and expecting different result, and then?
From the saga of leaked London Police documents to the revival of the Tanveer Zamani circus, this week we have once again seen sensational rumours spreading like wildfire. Unfortunately, less sensational but far more important stories are all but missing from the discussion.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s advisers pushed for targeted actions including economic sanctions against Pakistan military officers who the US believed were supporting al Qaeda terrorists.
“Assuming we have adequate intelligence, we can go after bank accounts, travel and other reachable assets of individual Pakistani officers, raising the stakes for those supporting the militants without creating an inordinate backlash,” he wrote.
“Thanks, Sandy. This is very helpful,” Clinton replied. Through a spokesman, Berger declined comment on Wednesday.
While the US State Department believes Pakistan military officers have supported terrorists, they do not seem to have the same concerns about Indian support for terrorism inside Pakistan despite Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel telling parliament that he presented the evidence during his trip to Washington last year. Actually, the US denies that Pakistan has presented any evidence.
“I am not aware of any such delivery,” said US State Department spokesman John Kirby when asked at a news briefing if Pakistan had shared those proofs with the United States.
These stories should be just as sensational, if not more than those that have dominated media this week, however they do not satisfy our desire to vilify the hapless politicians. Because of this, they are not only considered un-sensational, they are barely considered news.