Archive | October, 2012

Do not make IK your scapegoat

17 Oct

Shame on you, Mr. Khan“, read the title of an article of a popular English daily.

TALIBAN Khan is back”, was the starting line of a piece by a member of editorial staff of another English daily. Yes with caps.

So Imran Khan wants to negotiate with the people who kill little girls for their desire for education”, screamed (read: tweeted) some of Malala’s well wishers after the attack on her. Of course they were not using the incident to vent their anger and frustration for personal reasons. It is very reasonable to blame Imran Khan because obviously he has been advocating a ban on women education and ordering Taliban to attack little girls for years. Isn’t he? Never mind that he is the founder of one of the internationally recognized colleges of our country, located in a relatively small city.

Seriously!

You would think Imran Khan had personally shot the girl and put the picture of himself holding on his twitter account if you read some of the ‘opinions’ expressed.

Everyone loves to have a scapegoat i.e that one person who can be blamed for all the wrongs that happen to us because it helps us avoid figuring out the actual problem or to help avoid the real culprits. ‘Bomb attack in Pakistan?’ Blame India. ‘Bomb attack in India?’ Blame ISI. ‘Increase in sectarian violence?’ Blame Jews for spreading the hatred among the Muslim Ummah, which was living very happily otherwise. ‘Your children don’t listen to you?’ Blame Amreeka and maghribi rivayaat (whatever that is). Even Taliban use this ploy effectively and blame all of their motivations on operation of Lal Masjid. Similarly, the elites have found Khan as an easy scapegoat for all the wrongs that have plagued this country even though the guy has yet to hold any actual power. Khan is an easy prey because the only thing one has to worry about afterwards is the amount of hate mail one receives. And considering that many pseudo intellectuals think that amount of hate mail is directly proportional to their own IQ, it actually is a bonus. He is easy because blaming him will excuse them from speaking openly about the real culprits.

Or is it because Imran Khan openly speaks what he believes in instead of playing the game like PML-N which covertly makes alliances with extremist organizations for a couple of petty NA seats? Whose law minister has even participated in rallies of these organizations despite their links to Lashkar e Jhangvi which is responsible for sectarian violence from Punjab to Baluchistan? And yet ‘opinion makers’ of editorial pages only seem to find Imran Khan as a hypocrite. I must sue Oxford dictionary publishers and all my English teachers for feeding me the wrong definition of hypocrite all these years.

If a leader of a popular party can be called TALIBAN KHAN by a member of editorial staff in opinion pages may we also write ‘Shahbaz Sharif Jhangvi’?

To put it on record let me say I do not agree with Khan’s idea of negotiations with the Taliban. But is he the only one doing it? PPP information minister Mr. Kaira even went on to say government would support if Khan negotiates with Taliban. Apparently he also suggested Nawaz Sharif should negotiate with Baluch leaders. One wonders why have people voted for PPP then if every one else is supposed to do their job? So, why no article with the title ‘Shame on you Mr. Kaira’?

If it is about Imran Khan saying that there are different types of Taliban groups who need to be identified and separated, than one only needs to be looking at what Rehman Malik has been smoking for the last few days because that is exactly what he has been saying.

Lot of issue has been made (and rightly so) about Imran Khan’s statement in Talat Hussain’s interview where he showed reservation over big statements against Taliban over the safety of his workers in FATA. But one must ask whether any other politician even has made this little statement even? Even the parliament resolution did not mention Taliban by name. Why not write a piece ‘Shame on our whole Parliament’?

I would double dare any opinion maker to write an article titled ‘Shame-on-He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ over the killings of mere bystanders by political goons just because their leader was insulted by a member of another party?

Or is it because authors of elitist mindset feel guilty over keeping on voting for same parties again and again and their parties producing zero results?

Guilt is a very undesirable feeling to have. We do not wish to take any blame for ourselves or for those whom we helped in any sort of way. For that we tend to deflect our guilt on a scapegoat. Stop using Imran Khan’s name for personal fame or because you want to subdue your own guilt. Perhaps ‘Shame on us all’ should be the next appropriate title.

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Being brave when it matters

11 Oct

Fear is a dangerous thing. It can create panic and obscure our purpose and journey. It can make us hesitant in doing the right thing to do. Few people in this world show valor at the time when it really matters, because the path of valor requires sacrifice. Because it is one thing to hurl threats against an enemy from afar, while looking at an armed and powerful enemy in the eye and standing your ground is another. It is this very reason that history only remembers those heroes who chose to fight for what they believed in regardless of the size of their enemy.

When a nation is fighting a war it rallies around its heroes. They are the ones who inspire others. They have influence beyond material output as they ignite passion among others and the will to resist. Malala Yousafzai is that warrior hero. She is the one who has eloquently used the most powerful weapon there is, to make grown men fear her, her vision, her philosophy and her resistance. If ever a book is written by the phrase ‘Pen is mightier than sword’, than her face should be on it. Some sections have pointed out that young children have died in Pakistan and indeed they keep on dying rather frequently in Baluchistan, FATA and other areas effected most by terrorism, so why such special focus on her? For such people I would say ‘Open your eyes. It is not every day that you can find a hero that has the potential to inspire thousands of others’

Unfortunately for her, she is the hero of a war which is least likely to be owned up by its own people who are supposed to defend themselves. She is the hero of a nation which has sunk its head in the sand and has not, even after these many years not made up its mind whether to even acknowledge the enemy. Can she grow beyond herself to change all that?

For her part, she has mostly done her job. When grown up leaders were questioning whether terrorist attacks on schools do actually exist or is it all some media propaganda, (you all know who you are) she was 11 year old girl facing all the situation herself and decided to speak up against all that herself through her pen and through her voice. One assumes she would have tried to do so by hand as well if she was old enough. Her story would make many grownups feel like a useless lot. I for one surely feel that way.

She showed valor when it all mattered. She was in the thick of the situation and yet she spoke up. Not from her drawing rooms in farm houses of Islamabad and Lahore. Even after the cowards threatened her she remained brave. There is nothing further that we can demand of her. Well perhaps we could ask her to kick our leaders in the nuts whenever she recovers. Perhaps that would help them realize that they may have them still. Will that throw in some senses? They sure do need a reminder. None have clearly spoken against the enemy even half bravely as her. Even Imran Khan clearly admitted it citing safety for his own workers as a concern. Many circles have criticized him for his statement, I would say at least he had this much courage to say these words, while there has been complete silence from other leaders and our National Assembly which has issued a mere redundant and bogus condemnation. If today also, we do not recognize this as our war than when will we?

The reasons given by TTP spokesman make one thing clear. This IS an ideological war and not reactionary. The terrorists are people who have their own mindset over how they want to see Pakistan through their closed mind. Anything other than that is against them and is a threat for them. No matter if she happens to be a 14 year old girl.