Friday, July 2, 2010

Deluded and Confused

Another day. Another brutal massacre of innocents. Is there anything to say about the horrendous suicide attack on the Data Darbar in Lahore last night that has not already been said a million times before?

Of course one could always point to the apathetic response to the previous major terrorist attack against the Ahmadi mosques in Lahore to show how callous indifference to the persecution of vulnerable communities has a habit of coming back to haunt us. But even that is something that should surely be already on the mind of any right-thinking person. The issue is not one of security lapses at all - as some are mistakenly emphasizing - the issue is a more fundamental one.

I don't wish to go into the grisly details of the attack and its tragic aftermath. Instead, what I would like to share with you are a couple of things. The first of these is a portion of an interview of author and journalist Mohammed Hanif, on Kamran Khan's special series of programmes (which are running as a substitute for his normal programme while he is away on vacations). The portion you need to hear lasts from the beginning till about 5:25.

Now, keeping in mind what Hanif says, read this news item from the Associated Press. In particular:

"But on Friday, few Pakistanis interviewed saw militants at the root of the problem.
"America is killing Muslims in Afghanistan and in our tribal areas (with missile strikes), and militants are attacking Pakistan to express anger against the government for supporting America," said Zahid Umar, 25, who frequently visits the shrine, where 180 people were also wounded.
Pakistanis are suffering because of American policies and aggression in the region, said Mohammed Asif, 34, who runs an auto workshop in Lahore. He and others said the attacks would end if the U.S. would pull out of Afghanistan.
Several other Pakistanis interviewed blamed the Ahmadis, a minority sect that has long faced discrimination in Pakistan. On May 28 in Lahore, gunmen and a suicide squad targeted two Ahmadi mosques, massacring at least 93 people, and some Pakistanis claimed the sect must have been seeking revenge.
Others cast about for additional villains — though America's hand was seen there, too.
Washington "is encouraging Indians and Jews to carry out attacks" in Pakistan, said Arifa Moen, 32, a teacher in the central city of Multan."

Today, on Geo news, I also heard the Barelvi Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) - holding a rally outside Memon Masjid in Karachi - blame the Data Darbar terrorism on "Blackwater and Qadianis." And I wondered, is there any hope for us at all?


Faizullah Jan said...

But I am amazed at the belated reaction of Shahbaz Sharif who does not have the courage to name the Taliban. Interior Minister Rehman Malik is also mysteriously silent. It is the beginning of a long war. The chickens have returned home to roost; we cannot blame anyone else. It is time to redesign our future on the basis of welfarism, secularism and diversity--in every sense of the word.

Magnum said...

when sunni fanatics attack shias, shias come out and blame israel. so am not surprized by what jup said. they're not living in la la land. each one of them has gone compleltly bonkers. they thing such talk will save them from fanatics. yea, right.

Magnum said...

and yes, no hope. no hope whatsoever. it's not only them, but a bulk of pakistanis it seems have gone compleltely psycho.

Anonymous said...

no there is no hope!! but i loved burqavaganza!


Pakistani said...

Azeemtar pakistan? geo is absolutely delusional. The state is bankrupt and completely failed in all aspects and they still don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan is no longer a functioning state. Goverment writ cannot be implemented.

There is only one solution. Carpet bomb the whole country.

TLW (Raised In Karachi) said...

The state is bankrupt and completely failed in all aspects and they still don't get it.
- "Pakistan" @9:07AM

Pakistan is no longer a functioning state. Goverment writ cannot be implemented.
There is only one solution. Carpet bomb the whole country.

- "Anonymous" @3:41PM

LOL, hit the spiritual centre (as much as you can call Data Ganj) of Lahore and see how the Lahoris come crying out of the woodwork.

I always suspected my fellow Lahoris were bitches @ heart, now its confirmed.

tilsim said...

Indeed, the denial is beyond belief. No chance of tackling the problem if the direct victims can't see the enemy of extremist Islam or have the courage to protest even against it. A society that has totally lost it's moral and ethical compass is dead and it's clear it's not able to fight back. This is very very frightening indeed.

Umair J said...

There's a difference between blaming Blackwater/Israel and blaming America. If a random person on the street says that the Taliban are retaliating against American occupation in Afghanistan (and Pakistani support to the occupation), i really don't see how anyone can contest this particular opinion.

We all agree that the militants are homegrown. they're Pakistanis and they're ideologically motivated (to a certain extent). We all agree that they take the Islam vs. The West narrative to be true, and that they see the war in Afghanistan not as a manifestation of neo-imperialism, but as an attack on Islam. Within this larger backdrop, why is it so difficult to understand that the American presence in Afghanistan (and our continued support to the occupation) remains a major selling point for the jihadists. I'm not saying that an American withdrawal would stop the attacks from taking place, but at the very least, it would take away an immediate part of the jihadi narrative.

Anonymous said...

The question to really be asked is who are these people who are bombing innocent civilans on a regular basis?
Are they
a) Al-Qaeda
b) TTP
c) JUD/Lashkar e Taiyaba
d) Isreal/Mossad
g) ISI/Pak army
And are we so naive to think that each and every bomb blast or shootout or target killing can be laid at the door of one element only?
Yes the TTP exist. Yes Al Qaeda exists. and yes there are nutters and fanatics everywhere. But so are RAW/CIA/Mossad/Blackwater/Lashkar/ISI etc etc.
They all have different motivations. They are all equally as ruthless. And most of all they are all connected.
Who are the TTP for example? They are not real jihadists from the 70s. They are armed and funded (by multiple actors) for one purpose only. Destruction. And so on and on.
Laying all this destruction at the door of radical Islamism misses the point. The point is who benefits from the chaos that it breeds.
Who do these radical elements look up to as their spiritual guide? Certainly not the Grand Imam of Islam from Saudu Arabia. Or to our own homebred Imams who all denounce killing of innocent and suicide bombs. If their ideology is Wahabi, its not coming from the Kaaba. So what is their religion and who is indoctrinating them?
And lastly, are we not all simpletons to just point the finger at Islam (and jihad) as the problem?

Porate said...

oops. it seems we've gone back to squre one (albiet in a more intellectual manner).
taliban would be mighty relieved.
We still have rational ppl giving rational arguments about animals who believe rationality is an evil western/infidel construct.

Tayyab Mahmood said...

@Porate & all pro war.....
You need to learn from the History..You know America never was part of World War 1 and 80% of American are against the World War 1 but then an incident happened one of cruiser “Lusitania” carrying 128 American was drowned by German..America public turned pro-war they jumped in to the War at end lost their 120,000 men...Total human casualties were 21,228,813. more then 20 million people...

Now see the background of American entering war...

Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary England asked American Colonel Mandel House (President Wilson’s top political advisor in 1915), What will America do if the Germans sink an ocean liner with American passengers on board?” and Colonel Mandel House answered, “I believe that a flame of indignation would sweep the United States and that by itself would be sufficient to carry us into the war.”

After this conversation On May 1st, 1915 the British Naval cruiser “Lusitania” was scheduled for Liverpool, taking off from New York harbor loaded with 600 tons of explosives, 6 million pounds of ammunition, 1,248 cases of shrapnel shells, other war materials, and last but not least 128 American passengers & drowned by German torpedo (which is an separate story why they drowned it)

“British commander Joseph Kenworthy, on duty when the ship was sunk, later revealed that her military escort was withdrawn at the last minute and her captain ordered to enter at reduced speed an area where a German U-boat was known to be operating.

My friend It’s a complicated situation. No one knows for certain who is friend & who is foe? We are making wild guesses on media reports not from Independent Analyst & Historical Facts.

Anonymous said...

TLW said:

"...hit the spiritual centre (as much as you can call Data Ganj) of Lahore and see how the Lahoris come crying out of the woodwork.
I always suspected my fellow Lahoris were bitches @ heart, now its confirmed."

I'm sorry, but last time I checked, even those born in Karachi were still referred to by the umbrella term 'Pakistanis'. So can it be that you are actually advocating the killing of your countrymen?

Even though growing up in Karachi can be a very desensitizing experience (God knows that in this city, people are killed by the minute), but even then, how screwed up do you have to be to advocate something like this?

Or can it be that you're one of the people doing all this killing.
In which case, never mind.

Tilsim said...

"My friend It’s a complicated situation. No one knows for certain who is friend & who is foe?"

Yes Hizb e Tahrir says the same thing - this violence is being orchestrated by foreign enemies. We know Hizb e Tahrir's political agenda. My friend, if you can't see all the hatred and violence in our society and the steady takeover of the State by Deobandi/Wahabi/Salafi Islam supporters who see enemies and impure muslims under every rock then you are playing into this narrative. We won't be able to tackle this until we tackle the ideologues of a reactionary extremist political form of Islam.

Tayyab Mahmood said...

Tilsim...what would you suggest to solve the situation......bombard every inch of Tribal / South Punjab to eliminate the route cause ????????

& lastly i am against religion involvement in politics...True believer of liberalism

Tilsim said...

No I never advocated just bombing people to bits as the answer. However I do believe that the State has to have a monopoly on violence and so it has to disarm and defeat those who are waging war against it. I also believe that the State needs to stop giving a confused ideological message to the public. It has to clearly say that militant Islam is a heresy that will not be tolerated. It has to say that sectarianism is a curse that will not be tolerated. It has then take active steps to purge media, education from this curse. It has to remove people who are sympathisers from positions of influence. The State's response comes across as either that of an ostrich or quite sympathy with the idealogy of the militants. If that really is the best that can be done, then moderate elements will either have to join the new orthodoxy (which eliminates all dissenters), oppose it or leave. I oppose it because I still believe that most Pakistanis don't want Pakistan to become a Taliban type hell hole. I am just saying that whilst the situation may be complex, the immediate source of the problem can be readily identified.

Tayyab Mahmood said...

..Again PS of your whole article is elimination of extremist with the same manner extremists are eliminating people of Pakistan. War is not the solution to the problem.

In first world war 20,000,000 (20) million people lost their life...they try to make a league of nation to stop further war but failed.

World War II started in 1939 America lost 418,500 Japan lost 2,700,000 people. Total human elimination was more then 70,000,000 (70 Million).

At the end what happened Japan, America, Germany & UK become almost friend which they need to be after World War I.

Your theory is that eliminate million of people and then make them friend…dude no doubt some time WAR is inevitable but problem starts when for no reason for whatsoever you prolong it…… educate the people with truth without any ethnic or religious bias on it & accept past mistakes and open to new things…

Tilsim said...

I think if you are saying that you can talk to Taliban/AlQaeda/Jud/LET/LUJ etc and convince them then you are wholly wrong. Please try it yourself before advocating it. These people only one language: Jihad/violence. You can definitely talk to the ordinary Pakistani who is unsure who the bad and good guys are and stop him thinking that these groups might change his future for the better.

Tayyab Mahmood said... are killing Taliban/AlQaeda/Jud/LET/LUJ & they are killing you for past 9 years.....
how much more years you want to eliminate these fanatics? for me War is in favour of both these parties......

hey do you know the term Military Industrial Complex or will call it myth or conspiracy theory :)

Tilsim said...

"you are killing Taliban/AlQaeda/Jud/LET/LUJ & they are killing you for past 9 years....."

Really. As you said earlier, it's more complex than that. It's the deep connections of certain of these groups and their allies in the State apparatus that means that they continue to gather strength. Where the state took decisive action, they were pushed back e.g Swat. I suppose you believe the state should just watch these people usurp more and more of it's authority.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't however understand why is the video clip? It seems XYZ wants us to listen to a liberal fatwa (or to say it analysis?

TLW said...

God knows that in this city, people are killed by the minute

That's the crux of the problem. I don't care about anything else, that sentence you said is everything, and I want to add to it.

There are parts of this country where people are killed by the minute, and there are parts where they still aren't. Lahore and Central Punjab are places where people aren't killed on a minute by minute basis and I want them to avoid Karachi's fate by preventing a factional hatred gain immunity in their own city, the way multiple factional hatreds have gained immunity in Karachi.

Lahore can still salvage itself from the multiple fires smoldering on low burn throughout Pakistan.

Tears for Punjab said...

All those industrialists in karachi who packed up and left for Punjab in the 90s, are trickling back.

Wonder why Lahoris is still stuck in the 90s when it comes to karachi?

Anonymous said...

Still stuck in the 90s? Though nothing beats the 90s, specially '96, I would like Tears for Punjab to know Karachi is still a much worse place to live in as compared to Lahore. Compare the political freedom the citizens of each city enjoys:
The PML(N), louts who have the mandate of the city, let the jialas (and the Lahori jiala is the toughest there is) operate freely in their midst. Say the same about North Nazimabad?

I'm upto here with people saying everything's hunky dory now. Stop living in a state of denial. You need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Commo said...

Err ... when was the last time you visited Karachi, Anon? 1996?
There is no place as diverse and tolarant still than Karachi.
Kindly stop sounding like a 'jag punjabi jag' bafoon.
Lahore's gone to hell and yet to you it's all karachi's fault?

TLW said...

Commo, if you haven't noticed there is now a regular pattern of killings carried out in Karachi every two or three months. Then the leaders of the three main parties get together after fifteen to thirty people are killed and sort out some sort of peace agreement. Which then lasts only two-three months and the pattern begins again.

If you will also notice, and as somebody on Five Rupees blog mentioned it, one of the down sides of having the entire media concentrated in one city (Karachi) is that the media can not freely comment on organised serial murderers located within driving distances of their offices.

Which is why Cafe Pyala has not seemed to comment on this problem very often.

And as for the PML-N, fuck them. If they need a murder organised they do it through the police and provincial machinery. They have no need to form their own ethnocentric militant militia.

But we should probably keep this argument to Lahore....

How many more attacks will it take before Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi corpses stuffed in gunny bags, start showing up on Punjabi roadsides?

Tayyab Mahmood said...

I am preaching this for years that only counter intelligence can prevent the attacks...police can only act on the solid info not on vague info from agencies.....
please read the following news item which shows the competency of Mother of all Agencies (ISI)...

Ammar said...

I am not at all surprised by the views expressed by the self-proclaimed scholar as there is whole army of such delusional individuals. Our foremost threat is an internal insurgency which many amongst us fail to acknowledge and would rather have make-believe threats such as Indian hegemony, or a grand Jewish conspiracy. Muhammad Hanif very rightly points towards the level of being delusional as we can see the right hand cutting the left one yet we look for the hidden hand!!

Anonymous said...

Once again "Pakistan is no longer a functioning state. Goverment writ cannot be implemented.

There is only one solution. Carpet bomb the whole country. "

yes every square inch. It is soo soo soo said to see that while the Thais are throwing out their government, the Iranian try to do the same there, the greeks are protesting, there is no nation wide shut down with what happened to the small Ahmedi community.

The Muslims in Pakistan are missing a gut, instead there is a mob mentality to hunt down and kill minorities and the few that do seem to care are here blogging.

Thank good My granddad left this rat infected land during partition

We were not Hindus but good knows that the Pakis that have a no heart and the few that do have no gust


Anonymous said...

lol. XYZ promoting CPM's video clip - talk about self praise!