Exactly what is wrong with Pakistan is what is wrong with Muslim world in general but just on steroids thanks to the various artificial injections. Almost all of the Muslim world is sunk in a pessimist state; with their generation after generation reading the chapters of glories now lost which they cannot see in sight – while they swing ideology from one war and chaos into another!
Obvious choices have ranged from state of total distancing to the quest for finding reasons and eventually dissent. But as with anything else the ever so resilient house of Shem has problem admitting the mistakes they have made themselves to reach the point they are at; hence conspiracy theories are ripe if not only convenient. To understand the condition of the Muslim world you have to understand that majority of Muslim world is under authoritarian regimes by people who are not in favour of the masses and are most of the times super imposed or at least strengthened with Western support. Start from Egypt where it is said that even if God was standing in elections He couldn’t get a 99% approval rating but well Hosni Mubarak has been getting that for few decades now. Look at rest of Middle East and you find kingdoms while in South Asia you find highly unpopular family dynasties all with one common factor; unrelenting Western support (read American support). Though not in any way trying to justify the problems, how a common man sees it in the end is just an Imperialist controlling them from distance using these proxy rulers.
Years of constant decay both socially, economically and now recently even culturally has led to a massive gap which no one is able to fill in. The whole region is devoid of any genuine street level leader able to motivate and rally people on large-scale. Time after time many have come along but have fell short of the expectations while some have even turned out to be with a very different motive in their mind. This lack of leadership has created just a massive herd of sheep without a shepherd.
Pakistan in specific, a land which once took pride in its culture, sensitivities, hospitality, openness and diversity has become a place which not many of us can recognise any more. There are indeed happy stories still, there are moments of joy and certainly there are some shimmering hope but in general it has been a linear decay on every level.
Height of uncertainty can be simply expressed by the fact that all the major political leaders both in power and in opposition have almost no assets inside the country, these extremely rich people have even moved their industries to other countries. How can a bank convince other people to keep their money with them if they themselves use another bank’s vault to store their money?
The artificial injections mentioned before are the wars which are being fought inside Pakistan now (the Afghan war which is apparently being fought in Pakistan has now become the biggest drone action ever seen in the world). These have made all the businesses run away, brought massive wave of anarchy in the country to the state that when there were some Political-Religious leaders issuing fatwas against now slain Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer – Government could not make a move against any one of them. Now when over 500 have signed a letter actually supporting assassination of Governor, Government who could have easily used that as a shopping list for arrests and prosecution but well she is hiding her head in the sand.
With lack of any national direction to steer out of the pending doom even the Pakistani liberals are of no help. This liberal leaning piece is even written in English, a language not all of Pakistanis can understand; especially the ones who should be the prime audience for this. Most of liberals even are extremist liberals shoving a Western idea of liberalism down the throats of Pakistanis – another highly disastrous idea in the country which is already engulfed in series of conspiracy theories. They even make things worse for the liberals who want to present a localised solution to the problems.
What Pakistanis perhaps need to understand is that though their name means “Land of the Pure”, they are far away from it now. The idea of a land of refuge for Muslims of India has become a land of persecution for anyone with even a slight hint of dissent. Whereas what all other Muslim countries need to understand is that this is what is happening with most of them already, they just don’t realise it yet. Perhaps our steroid-infested case should offer you some food of thought.
First shared on log here on 6th January 2011.