Asif Haroon Raja |
Strange are the ways in this land of the pure which at times stuns the world by bagging world records in various fields, be it sports, academia, technical and artisan skills, military professionalism, nuclear know-how charity, hospitality, or resilience to face the crisis. On the other hand, it suffers from the stigma of being the ‘most dangerous’ country in the world. Ignoring the strengths, all sorts of concocted stigmas are pasted on Pakistan by powerful countries that have ganged up to discredit Pakistan by shaming its people. It becomes easier for the detractors to whip Pakistan and disgrace its people because of moral weakness of the leaders, deplorable role of the media who subscribe to their propaganda, the absconding rebels who happily play their game, disgruntled politicians in opposition and so-called saner elements who willfully or inadvertently help them in accomplishing their sinister agenda.
Pakistan is faced with multi-dimensional threats for the last 16 years. Pakistan is up against biggest ever covert war launched by Indo-US-Afghanistan combine, Indian Cold Start doctrine, Af-Pak doctrine, twin threat from east and west, war on terror fomented by USA, Indian cultural threat and fifth generation hybrid war to divide and weaken the society from within. The foreign paid proxies have bled the people of Pakistan profusely and destroyed Pakistan’s properties and economy extensively. Pakistan has so far suffered 70,000 human casualties and $ 123 billion financial loss besides incalculable social trauma.
No one bothers to question them as to who will perform the surgery to cure the cancer of corruption when all are bathing in the same tub and none among those who matter has an unblemished record and qualifies to be Sadiq and Ameen. Each one whether among the politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and military, or for that matter the religious cadre, have skeletons in their cupboard.
In order to weaken the morality of people of Pakistan, they have been subjected to a well-orchestrated campaign spearheaded by international media controlled by the Zionist lobby. In this, Pak media has played a big role in coloring perceptions and cloning the minds of people of Pakistan. Ironically, the so-called educated and affluent class are the worst affected by the propaganda war and they are the ones who sell foreign manufactured themes to pollute the minds of the common people and divide the society on ethnic, sectarian, religious and political compartments.
The ones that had chalked out a set of objectives against Pakistan after 9/11 had planned to subvert the minds of the Pakistanis through media and for that purpose had invested huge funds to expand, empower and glamorize Pakistan’s electronic media which was later on substituted with social media. The international media controlled by the Zionists was instrumental in polluting the minds of the people. It has made full use of Pak media to subvert the minds and make them dance to the tunes of string pullers.
The process of mind-controlling started from 2003 onwards with the help of over 60 TV channels, English newspapers, magazines, and ads. The process was buttressed by Indian cultural invasion under the garb of people-to-people contact and confidence-building measures after the signing of Indo-Pakistan peace treaty in January 2004. While the people were led up the garden path that resolution of Kashmir and other core disputes would be resolved through composite dialogue, Indian psychological operators and spin doctors had a field day in hunting in greener pastures of Sindh, Baluchistan, FATA, and Gilgit-Baltistan.
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All the disgruntled elements having ethnic, sectarian, social, economic or political grievances against the State were instigated and patronized. Film stars, singers, poets, and artists were used to undermine Islamic values and promote obscenity and secularism. The main thrust was on the youth to rob their spirit of Jihad and defiance and lead them towards the life of pleasure. Islam was demonized and all settled issues were put to debate to make them controversial. Liberals made the Two-Nation theory and role of Quaid-e-Azam in making Pakistan contentious. In his bid to show soft face of Pakistan, Gen Musharraf came out with the idea of enlightened moderation which opened the doors for the liberals and seculars to come in the forefront and undermine Islamists and Mullahs.
Both segments blaming each other for the societal ills kept adding logs to the fire of mutual antagonism which heightened extremism and produced more and more secular fascists and Islamist fascists. Both type of fascists were supported by foreign agencies. Whereas the former held all levers of power, the latter resorted to terrorism. Neither the State nor the Ulema and Mashaikh or the intellectuals bothered to douse the fire by bridging the gap between the two antagonist groups. Media thrusts sharpened secular-Islamic divide, triggered extremism and intolerance and further polarized the society. Political parties also oriented their ideologies as centre, centre-right, leftist and rightest parties and polarized the society. Media also played its part in causing friction in civil-military relations.
Corruption is one small part of the moral degeneration. No one bothers to question them as to who will perform the surgery to cure the cancer of corruption when all are bathing in the same tub and none among those who matter has an unblemished record and qualifies to be Sadiq and Ameen.
As a consequent to multiple societal divides and lack of direction, the directionless society has gone astray and is suffering from moral decay. The pristine moral values, ethics, principles, honor and dignity that were once our strengths have faded away and become stories of the past. Respect for elders and love for the juniors have dimmed. Some of the contributory reasons behind this decline in moral turpitude is the weakening of the three basic reformatory laboratories – the home, school and mosque and neglect of the vital sector of education. The three streams of education based on Madrassas, government schools and elite schools providing unequal means of social growth has kept the society heterogeneous and lacking in spirit of nationalism.
On top of it, leadership crisis after the murder of Liaqat Ali Khan and India’s meddlesome role kept Pakistan politically unstable and economically weak. India in collaboration with others played the game of ladders and snakes to keep Pakistan wobbly. No sooner it started to climb up the ladder and reach the economic take-off position, either the snake bit it from the top or the ladder was pulled from underneath to make it restart the journey from the scratch. This game has kept the country lurch from one crisis to another throughout its 70 years history and kept it economically dependent upon others. This game was again played in the form of Panama gate scandal to impede development agenda and to scuttle CPEC. Since April 2016, Pakistan is suffering on account of this foreign-inspired scandal which was exploited by opposition parties.
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Some who still have streaks of old texture of nationalism in them, nostalgically recall the green past and shed tears over the current sorry state of affairs. Materialism has blinded us and there is a rat race going on to get rich overnight. The insatiable greed of the elite class for power, wealth and fame has created a yawning gap between the rich and poor. Politics being their exclusive domain, they callously indulge in nepotism and white collar crime to amass ill-gotten wealth. Upper middle class struggling hard to snuggle into upper class, in anticipation begin to crow and start behaving like swans. Struggling middle class also aspire to join the club of elites. Oppressed lower classes finding it hard to earn two times meals, look at the insensitive privileged class with envy, resentment and hatred. Class composition and inequitable distribution of wealth has sharply divided the society.
There is no dearth of laws but are applied selectively and are designed to be obeyed by the have-nots only who rarely get justice. The elites defy or bend laws and get away with it. The deprived people abhor the privileged and dream of snatching their privileges. They vie for inexpensive and speedy justice but so far the much-needed judicial reforms have not been carried out.
Media thrusts sharpened secular-Islamic divide, triggered extremism and intolerance and further polarized the society. Political parties also oriented their ideologies as centre, centre-right, leftist and rightest parties and polarized the society. Media also played its part in causing friction in civil-military relations.
Immorality has seeped into all layers of the society and corruption has become a norm. Even the poorest of the poor would like to make easy money. The only difference between the haves and have-nots is quantum of loot and methodology. The former indulge in white-collar crime and the latter resort to thievery and other criminal acts. Almost every small and big trader, shopkeeper, technician, artisan, a laborer is involved in malpractice. No product, food item or medicine is free of adulteration. No file moves in the offices without greasing the palms. Negativity has overwhelmed positivism.
Every one considers himself to be all-knowing and right and others wrong. None bother to carry out self-analysis for self-correction as ordained in Quran. We point fingers at others and dig out faults, some real and mostly perceived. To embarrass our opponents, we resort to high handed tactics or lies and intrigue. We feel no remorse in engineering scandals, in character assassination and backbiting.
These vile habits are found in plenty among the politicians and Senators belonging to different parties who in their enthusiasm to please their party bosses indulge in abusive bouts during TV talk shows or during public meetings. They make wild allegations and resort to abuses to point a score against their political opponents. This culture of lies and abuses has been promoted by PTI. Imran Khan (IK) in pursuit of his burning passion to unseat Nawaz Sharif (NS) and nestle into his seat has been indulging in baseless, malicious and insulting accusations against NS and his family. This trend has washed away the difference between evil and virtue, between good and bad, right and wrong. Everyone is painted with the same brush.
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What is worse is that the PPP with a poor track record in its 2nd and 3rd terms, broke all records of corruption in its 4th term and institutionalized it, is today giving sermons on corruption. It has not mended its ways even now. Its performance in Sindh when compared with other provinces is poorest. Zardari has now given a fillip to corruption in the recently held Senate elections in which the legislators were purchased by the highest bidder without any compunction. He initiated the process of horse trading by manipulating an in-house change in Baluchistan government and then bought seats for his candidates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh. In KP, money spent on buying 25 legislators was Rs. 1 billion and 60 crores. Since the independents from Baluchistan and FATA have become kingmakers to elect the new chairman and deputy chairman of Senate, prices have risen to Rs. 25 crores per head. Surprisingly the judiciary and Election Commission have so far taken this massive horse trading lightly.
We are so deeply submerged in the pool of mutual hatred and infighting over petty matters that we have lost sight of the real issues plaguing Pakistan and the grave dangers lurking over the horizons of Pakistan. We have turned a blind eye to the worst human rights abuses inflicted upon Kashmiris by Indian security forces. The enemies are openly talking of dismembering Pakistan but our media and the politicians, as well as the intellectuals, remain silent about the lurking internal and external security threats to the integrity of Pakistan. Their entire focus is on the delusional Naya Pakistan, which in their view, only IK can translate it into reality. For them, IK is the cherished Messiah and NS the Satan and a real danger to Pakistan. NS bashers are leaving no stone unturned to demonize NS and his party and get rid of them.
They have been drumbeating scourge of ‘corruption’ mercilessly and having succeeded in ousting NS from power, they are now using the same weapon of the judiciary to gun down Shahbaz Sharif. The ones excelling in the art of demonization and with the dirtiest tongue are eulogized by media as real heroes. Corruption is one small part of the moral degeneration. No one bothers to question them as to who will perform the surgery to cure the cancer of corruption when all are bathing in the same tub and none among those who matter has an unblemished record and qualifies to be Sadiq and Ameen. Each one whether among the politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary, and military, or for that matter the religious cadre, have skeletons in their cupboard. Then there is no accountability bill or Ehtesab Commission to undertake across the board accountability. NAB lost its credibility after it became selective in 2002 and is maintaining its reputation by adopting NS family specific posture.
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We as a nation have lost our ability to think rationally, judiciously and impartially. Our perceptive power has become tainted and jaundiced. It will not be altogether wrong to say that our conscience, influenced by materialism and subversive propaganda, lie sedated. Regionalism is fast prevailing upon nationalism which is a dangerous trend in the wake of the 18th amendment in the constitution. The germs of provincialism are now seen for the first time in Punjab. In these testing times when the economy is in doldrums, security situation is grim, political front is shaky, there is uncertainty, and general elections are only three months away, the need of the hour is to set aside our differences and get united to put our act together and to not only confront the challenges but also give our shoulder for a smooth political transition. Let the people decide whom they want to elect. There is no room for political engineering or new experiments at this critical stage. What is urgently needed is to harness reckless media and anti-Pakistan elements which are promoting foreign agenda by systematically shredding the homogeneity of the society.
The writer is a retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence and security analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. firstname.lastname@example.org The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.