Major Emoshuns

Yours sachly was reading Ayaz Amir column where he excoriates the general Pakistani public about where their obsesshun is leading them.  Reading his column, yous sachly started to wonder why the country was in this shape when sensible beepuls like Ayaz Amir is shaping our opinions. Here is a record oph my overflowing emoshuns:

Ayaz Amir: The fallacies of the military class – such as its never-ending quest for security, the preoccupation with Afghanistan, the bane of India-centrism, less a threat to India than to our own mental stability.

Yours Sachly: Whoa!!!

Ayaz Amir: What Pakistan is today, the depths it has plumbed, the failures courted, the follies assiduously pursued, have been the handiwork of its English-speaking elite classes

Yours Sachly: AoA!! Agree!!

Ayaz Amir: Our militarist adventures vis-à-vis India; and the honing of ‘jihad’ as an instrument of strategic fallacies. This last piece of brilliance came from the army as commanded by Gen Ziaul Haq. Religious elements became willing accessories in this game but were not its inventors.

Yours Sachly: AK Phyrr in the Air!! Beace with Yindia!! I like!!

Ayaz Amir: The religious parties have been the hyenas and jackals of the hunt, yelping from the sides and helping themselves to the morsels that came their way. Lords of the hunt, lions of the pack, have been Pakistan’s generals and politicians, assisted ably at all times by a powerful and equally short-sighted mandarin class.

Yours Sachly: Whoa!! He calls a lota a lota and an AK an AK!! Or as english speaking elite would say, he calls a spade a spade!!

Ayaz Amir: If the Pakistani establishment continues to see India as the enemy, keeps pouring money into an arms race it cannot afford, is afflicted by delusions of grandeur relative to Afghanistan, and remains unmindful of the economic disaster into which the country is fast slipping, we will never get a grip on the challenges we face. The raging cleric, frothing at the mouth, is thus not the problem. He is merely a symptom of something larger. Pakistan’s problem is the delusional general and the incompetent politician

Yours Sachly: Beace in South Asia!! PHREEDOMM!!! BEACE BEACE BEACE!! Phreedom!! A Monkey Asha!! BEACE!! BEACE!!

Yours Sachly: Who are these Jackals that feed morsels phrom army and play the sycophant ! Who are those short sighted idiots who gloriphied terrorists moojahids and drove our society to the depths oph extremism!! Who are these who urged the general public to become terrorists and moojahids and commit jihad? Who are these beepuls? Where is my AK? OUTRAGED!! OUTRAGED!!!

Ayaz Amir: Circa 1999: It is instructive and not a little inspiring to consider the courage and skill of the fighters who are challenging the might of the Indian army and air force along the cruel heights of Drass and Kargil in Indian-held Kashmir…Whether any or most of these fighters acquired their combat skills in Afghanistan is a matter of detail. What is important is that their spiritual outlook has been shaped by the Afghan experience which they, and a goodly part of the religious and military establishment in Pakistan, considers to have been a true jehad. It was the spirit of jehad which drove the Soviet army from Afghanistan. It is the spirit of jehad which can drive the Indian army from Kashmir…. Right from the Afghan war till now in Kashmir, volunteers for jehad (or whatever else the finicky may call it) have come from social classes far removed and indeed alienated from this structure. How many people from the intelligentsia or the newspaper-reading classes fought in Afghanistan? How many of them are fighting in Kashmir?…But it does mean that if we are to sustain this policy it must become the common property not only of madrassa students, great as their contribution is, but of all Pakistanis, including those from the affluent classes. Why must only the poor go to Kargil? Why not others? Who provides the volunteers for such organizations as Lashkar-I-Tayyaba, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, etc? Is mainstream Pakistan represented in them?

Yours Sachly: 😦

Facepalm3

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Birth of a Liberal Pakistan!! (approximately after 70 years of screwing)

After Salman Taseer’s assassination (about which one of my fourth cousins had something to say), I read several articles lamenting the death of liberal Pakistan. These many excellent articles that you would have definitely read were probably written by a middle aged donkey resting somewhere in Peshawar. I base it on the fact that I get a profound impression of an (intellectually) lazy, gas emanating being typing out identical articles and concluded that the only possible explanation is an unemployed donkey. Who takes on foreign (Indian and the West) nom-de-plumes occasionally.

By now you probably figured that I disagree with those articles. If you hadn’t, let me formally state it. I formally disagree with those articles. So atleast by now, you probably figured that I disagree with those articles. Well, Good.

So what do I soch you pooch?

Salman’s taseer assassination, wimmens and gentlemards, heralds the arrival of an egalitarian Pakistan!

But Why!” you pooch?

Here is why. Liberalism, wimmens and gentlemards, is a belief in social justice rooted in individual liberty and equal rights. So how did social justice and equal rights prevalent before Salman Taseer’s assassination die on that day? Actually it didnt. Before going back to the begining, for dramatic effect let me start with the end. The day Salman taseer got assasinated, the elite suddenly realized that they cannot do what they wished, such as down a few or have their way with the blasphemy law, without the danger of their incensed security guard or domestic help firing off a clip in their direction. This, I suspect, the aforementioned muddle headed donkey has mistaken for the death of “liberalism”. What has instead died, I humbly submit, is the power over the common man which was usurped and weilded for so long by the the elites.

And that is because power has been democratized. And that is because everyone has a gun. Ergo, the power to shape the future and destiny of Pakistan, which used to lie with the elites is suddenly with the masses. Because every one of them has a gun, and unlike the elites, they seem quite comfortable firing it to protect their beliefs.

A round of applause for AK-facilitated egalitarianism!!

So what of this elusive little-understood animal (like the Yeti and “Silent Majority” of Pakistan) called Liberalism? More importantly what is and why Liberalism? Liberalism wimmens and gentlemards, among other things, is to ensure social mobility and equal participation in governance. And social mobility in yesteryears depended on access to capital producing goods. Like Land. Ergo, if Liberalism had existed before Salman Taseer’s assasination, Land reforms would have been implmented. Pray tell me how did that go? As you would have guessed:

Fantastically!! We had the Provincial Tenancy Act of 1950!!

Since yours sachly fancies himself as a story teller more than a lawyer (and is allergic to the word “WHEREAS” in all caps that every legal document seems to have) instead of describing the law, let me tell you a story. There are 1.7 million landless agricultural workers  in Pakistan and in January 2002 The honorable High court of Sindh dismissed petitions for the release of bonded laborers citing this very same act and declaring bonded laborers to be a “dispute” between Landlords and peasants. Covered by the Tenancy act. So much for equal rights and social mobility based on capital producing goods. So, did the “liberalism” enabled by tenancy act die with Salman Taseer’s assassination?

No!

Did the egalitarianism of the threat of a few peasants banding together, declaring their landlord to be a blasphemer and shooting him in the head become a real possibility after Salman Taseer’s assasination?

Emphatic yes!!

So wimmens and gentlemards, I submit that egalitarianism has taken birth!!

Let us take the second aspect of social mobility. Education. The less said about this, the better. But let me belabor the point. Education in Pakistan has become a propaganda tool of the state. To supply canon fodder for the various Jihads. Afghanistan. Cashmere. And dont forget Dagestan. Before Salman Taseer’s assasination, it used to be the case that only the likes of Khaled Ahmed had a monopoly over dissemination of his (incoherent) opinion in English about how Pakistan is the guardian of Indian Muslims. Now after Salman Taseer’s assassination, Khaled Ahmed’s interpretation of the Nationhood of Pakistan is being challenged, (in an egalitarian way, let me hasten to add) by the products of our emiment education system who insist that the Nation of Pakistan means strict adherence to Blasphemy law. Now pray tell me, why does this diversity of opinion indicate the death of Liberalism?

Ladies and Gentlemards, a round of applause for free speech and the right to dissent (with an AK if the need arises) !!

What am I getting at here? Salman Taseer’s assassination is a tragedy. This piece is not about him, but about the other tragedy. The so-called “intellectuals” who are hemoragging columns after columns lamenting their inability to continue business as usual and realizing to their horror that their long neglect of Pakistan’s population and radicalization of the successive generations brought about by their hatred of India and the west and desire to maintain status quo has in fact enabled the opposite. That the very base of their authoritarian power to shape the future and destiny of Pakistan has eroded. They are simply using the death of a governor to lament the death of their authoritarian power over the masses. The very masses they neglected, manipulated and whose world view they grotesquely mutilated for their short sighted needs.

The future belongs to this grotesque semi educated, poor, landless, hatred infused, mullah directed armed Yahoos. And they are coming for you. To shape a society where more people are equal and have a right to shape their country’s future as they deem fit.

In short, a Liberal Pakistan. Ergo, Liberalism in Pakistan is quite fine. The elites who claim to practice it on the other hand….are F’ed.

LONG LIVE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE!! LONG LIVE EGALITARIANISM IN PAKISTAN!!

PS> For an excellent writeup about Land reforms in Pakistan by Shahid Saeed, please see here:

PS> My fourth cousin’s goat suggests that the elites immediately jumping into the “Lets all find ideas to prevent blasphemy & uphold the blasphemy law” bandwagon is further proof of their aversion to Liberalism *and* AKs. So they should probably STFU and not write more articles lamenting the death of liberalism.

3.Formula

Governor Salman Taseer has been murdered. My condolences to his family. Full disclosure: He was the target of some sarcasm from my fourth cousin’s tweets, especially those concerning India’s space program, (which got yours sachly’s fourth cousin’s Patriotic goat because he thought that the real joke — Pakistan’s space program — didn’t get the credit it deserved for being the bigger joke). Nevertheless, as a self-made man with wealth made not from privilege, connections or Khaki, notwithstanding my fourth’s cousin’s tweets, *I* always thought of him as the vanguard of Pakistan’s future.

 

So yours sachly has been following twitter posts and achieved great enlightenment (not the Buddhist variety, please don’t shoot me for blasphemy!!) on how to proceed to build a strong and prosperous Pakistan and defeat the Mullah brigade. Here is my 3 point plan:

 

  1. As a nation, we should debate Hadiths at great lengths to determine what constitutes Blasphemy, and whether Blasphemy does in fact entail death as a punishment. By “nation” I mean well-traveled, middle-to-upper-class english educated people on Twitter whose tweets on non-assassination days involve booze, cricket, sexual innuendo, flirting and complaints about the latest gadgets. After all, their pronouncements on religion have much more credibility than shabbily dressed, hirsute madrassa educated firebrands who are employed in Mosques and preach everyday. Any debates along the lines of “I have traveled to a few places and have a modern education and am of the opinion that running a country with laws based on religion is a medieval proposition” should strictly be avoided. That would make Iqbal and the Quaid sad. If the Quaid said what I thought he said. But I digress. We need to defeat Mullahs in their own game!! More importantly we need to do a bait-and-switch on the questionable fence sitters (which would be 99% of the non-mullah population) who might be intimidated if we bring in too much modernity into debates and start denouncing religion as the basis of nationhood.
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  3. While engaging in such a debate, care should be taken to protect Honor & Dignity. Western commentator says Pakistan’s laws are F’ed up? Scream “PALESTINE!!!!”. Indians taking the opportunity to brand Pakistan a medieval country where people cannot speak out without getting shot 27 times? Bring up the outrageous Arundhati episode where Hindu trained Zionist RSS terrorists did Hindu terror in her house and broke a flowerpot!! Keep in mind that *all* countries are as bad as Pakistan, they only have better PR. Fixing Pakistan is important, but not at the cost of hurting its “image” in the process!! Never for a moment even entertain the thought that Pakistan might be more F’ed up than any other reasonable-sized country and acceptance of this fact might possibly provide a good starting point.
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  5. That brings me to the third issue: We must take a nuanced view and not end up criticizing all religious intolerance. Everyone knows that there are two types of Jihad. Internal Jihad and external Jihad. I heard it on TV once. I think that it means Jihad fought internally in Pakistan (“Bad Jihad”) and Jihad fought externally — say in India, US, Afghanistan, Palestine or Dagestan for that matter (the “Good Jihad”). While criticizing internal Jihad and religious intolerance inside Pakistan, care should be taken to balance it with vehement expressions of outrage when “OPPRESSED” indulge in external Jihad — say when a few fellows with nice sized rocks throw them on policemen in Cashmere and get shot at in the process. Ofcourse religion inspired ethnic cleansing of say, Kashmiri Hindu Pandits should be swept under the rug. Few cases of religious intolerance when a revolution is in the works are inevitable and should be condoned (Note: This applies only outside Pakistan, inside Pakistan please criticize all religious intolerance.)
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And lastly, don’t let Salman Taseer’s death bother you for long. The next time Turkey sends a flotilla to Israel, Alms from the US or IMF come with strings attached, IPL does not take Pakistani players or some random Indian celebrity gets criticized in Indian media, the services of our collective outrage and short attention span would be in urgent demand.  I’d say Salman Taseer should be given half the time that was spent after Benazir’s assassination debating the use of violence as a state policy.

 

PS> As an aside, deep introspection has revealed that Kasab is not Pakistani. If he is, he is a non-state actor led astray due to atrocities in Cashmere & Palestine. Nothing about that episode or the lack of progress in the case indicates any sort of Society-Establishment-Mullah-Army-ISI-Judiciary-Politician consensus on using radicalization-inspired violence to achieve the objectives of the state. If you are not part of this consensus, you are part of the minority. And you know what happens to minorities in Pakistan…