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When are we going to open our eyes?

By Raza Rumi

Recent reports quote General Kayani saying that Pakistan-US relations are “good” and were “improving”. These remarks follow hectic parleys between various levels of Pakistani and US officials in the recent weeks. The zealous hyper-nationalists of Pakistan found aplenty in the Urdu press, among the TV anchors and right wing politicians, were surely weakening the case for Pakistan as it struggles to manage internal insurgencies and handle a war on its northwestern front. I recall that Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani had pleaded for reason, not letting emotions override serious business like foreign policy. The security establishments’ engagement with the US counterparts, therefore, is nothing but a ‘realistic’ move to repair ties that need to be repaired. Without a cooperation framework how can Pakistan even think of succeeding to retain its influence in the region?

At a recent seminar in Islamabad, organised by the Centre for Civic Education, a speaker remarked that the most illustrative aspect of Pakistanis resilience was the ability to survive, despite cognitive dissonance. Our civil-military elite have nurtured cognitive dissonance for decades, leading to a widespread disturbance of thinking and perception of reality. Our leader of the opposition in the parliament, who thunders against the US at the drop of a hat, was rattled by a WikiLeaks cable that exposed how his family members were US citizens! He organised a press conference and defended his anti-Americanism. A good psychologist would decipher the language used by the maverick politico and identify how he, not unlike many others, intensely suffers from cognitive dissonance.

Forget the leader of the opposition. The great polemicist, Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-i-Islami, who leaves no opportunity to identify and condemn ‘agents’ sent his children to the US for college. Reportedly, few of his children are also US nationals. His credibility would have nosedived, if there were a rational media and a rule-based society. Not in Pakistan, where lame and indefensible explanations of this untenable situation will be cited by the apologists.

Our view of India in the public domain also suffers from royal hypocrisy. A leading TV anchor held special programmes on the invasion of ‘Indian culture’. The same media group is venturing to build peace efforts with the ‘enemy’. It is beyond ironic that the TV channel regularly airs Bollywood films, dance and music shows — exactly the kind of stuff, which is threatening the ‘Ideology of Pakistan’ — a perennial refuge for numerous scoundrels in the country.
The anti-Americanism paranoia about India, imagined plots to steal our nuclear weapons and the ultimate ‘terrorists-cannot-be-Muslims’ mantra have entered the popular imagination of Pakistanis. These days, there is an overt attempt by several analysts, opinion-makers and even academics to rationalise conspiracy theories. Reportedly, a UK-based Pakistani academic delivered a talk at a Karachi seminar, rationalising the conspiracy theory that the infamous Blackwater (a US contractor) was responsible for attacks on mosques and shrines in Pakistan.

This is no longer a laughing matter. It is a serious state of collective denial that needs to be unpacked and rectified for our long-term stability and survival. This will lead us nowhere: we deny that there is violence against women, we deny that there is rampant child abuse; and we reject that we have allowed for a large section of society to get radicalised in the recent decades. We deny that our textbooks are poisonous for young minds, for the hate they spread, and we refute that sermons given in the name of a peaceful religion actually talk about killing non-Muslims. Above all, there is a widespread denial that minorities of Pakistan are increasingly under attack, including the Shias, Ahmadis, Zikris, and not just non-Muslims.

Nation-states, which take mythologising the past and present a bit too far, start to disintegrate. In 1971, we witnessed one such moment. Such geographical dismemberment is not likely but what will happen when a country and its elite are suffering from doublespeak, rank opportunism and hypocrisy?
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2011.

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13 Responses to "When are we going to open our eyes?"

  1. wonderer India Safari Mac OS says:

    How true!

  2. wonderer India Safari Mac OS says:

    I look up PTH frequently, just to see how Pakistan is doing. I always feel sad when the debate gets onto Hindu-Muslim rivalries, which are pointless and serve no purpose at all.

    I am from Pakistan, but have lived in India after partition. I can see, just as all educated Pakistanis can, that there is something seriously wrong with Pakistan. I want to help, but I am sure any advise by me will not be taken in proper spirit.

    I have thus decided to refer my Pak friends to the audio files on the following web sites, where they can listen to brilliant Pakistani ladies who are very wise and have an open mind.

    http://www.radioopensource.org/ayesha-jalal-pakistans-revenge-of-the-40s-then-the-80s/

    http://www.radioopensource.org/this-year-of-india-5-and-the-chronic-crisis-of-pakistan/

    I promise to get back with more if and when I find something,

    Happy listening!

  3. [...] When are we going to open our eyes? [...]

  4. hiob Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Pakistani eyes are wide open and hence they lie. The lies are so numerous and strongly chained together that they can no more unhitch them and must invent news lies to cover up or strengthen or “confirm” old ones.

    Pakistan’s lies are the lies of a person who knows that lying can be done unendingly and profitably. It just needs some skills and arrogance and a “don’t care a damn” attitude.

    I see no chance that Pakistan or muslims take to the path of honesty and I see no way to bring them to do so. The arab allah will always protect the lies of the muslims. He too profits from them. Some muslim lies are already 1400 years and more old. And there is no chance that they will be discarded because they are successful lies.

  5. Lady Guinevere United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I was once at a cocktail party and spoke with a gentleman at length, looking into his eyes off and on during the conversation. It was only afterwards that a friend told me that the man was totally blind!

    Lady Guinevere

  6. hiob Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    to Lady G.

    Is whole of Pakistan blind? Or cowardly? Or opportunistic and quislingized? Or intoxicated and hallucinating? The last thing that such persons want is honesty and honest leaders.

  7. syed United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    A good hard hitting article…

  8. To Genie Guinevere:

    There is a moral and some silver-linning to your story in case you did nmot lay your eyes on it. In the USA, the formula is look into the eyes, there are exceptions , as there are exceptions to every rule. In Punjabi i will put it this way: For every ruler there is a foota.

    Of all the rulers who met me during their lifetime, the only one who truly impressed me is HM Queen Elizabeth and her grace and memory are amazing. Almost decade after our meeting, I wrote her if she remembered what we discussed, she answered verbatim and recalled very accurately.

    You looked into the eyes, and you could not even RealiZZZe that that that VIP was blind. That is the Realty as well as reality of common realization. Do you recall what was said and done? In Pakistan what matters is not lack of vision but Turf Control, in other , more pungent, words TC.

    Body language, et al, my mfhusain (=my foot!).

    (For about 2 months I could not read what I typed, because i could not find the button that enlarges the size of the typing, on my laptop. Yesterday, I re-0found it by chance, and, therefore, now can re/read what i type).

  9. there are 3 trypos = three mona lisa level artworks by Iqbal Geoffrey.

  10. Lady Guinevere United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Sir Geoffrey! Oh My! “Genie”? Does this mean you dream of me? The thought of this makes me all a’twitter!

    Lady “G” Ginivere oops, I’m so xcited I forgot how to sspeliel my name!

  11. Kristy Hong Kong Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    An answer from an epexrt! Thanks for contributing.

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