By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Tufail Ahmad, the Director of South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC, has recently gone on a rampage against Raza Rumi calling him a “fake liberal” and an “ISI” agent. Raza has advised against this response but I am writing this in the exercise of my freedom of speech. Tufail Ahmad is saying the aforesaid about a person who has always spoken out for the rights of minorities, women and marginalized communities in Pakistan and who almost lost his life for speaking out unwaveringly for the principle. Have some shame at long last. The nerve of this BJP stooge, this shameless uncle Tom, this apologist of Modi’s fascist world view to turn around and attack a person like Raza Rumi and to accuse him of working for the ISI.
What passes for a liberal in extreme Indian right wing eyes is if you basically bow down and kiss Indian arse and not under any circumstances criticize Indians or Indian policy where you feel it is wrong. In this world view everything about Pakistan is wrong and everything about India is right. And if you dare disagree with the Indian right wing paradigm you are likely to be hounded by shrill accusations that you work for ISI. This is McCarthyism 2.0. This is the Tufail Ahmad doctrine of dealing with Pakistanis – by setting the narrative in a way that is perpetually skewed against Pakistan and Pakistanis. If you are a self respecting Pakistani or have an opinion even slightly critical of India, you are precluded from being a liberal or at least a real one at any rate.
Or perhaps the real reason why Tufail Ahmad is on Raza Rumi’s case is because last year I exposed his pedaling of lies by AQ Khan and Shorish Kashmiri. This useless specimen of humanity began insulting me and attacking Raza. To date however, he has not produced the original copy of Chattan weekly which Kashmiri referred to in his book and which was the basis of the dispute.
Whatever the case Tufail Ahmad is the product of a diseased mentality which is the product an increasingly shrinking space for Muslims in Indian political thought. It is a depressing thought but the fact is that Muslims today are caught between Darul-Uloom Deoband which has kept them backwards and then you have self hating types whose idea of patriotism is akin to fellatio to right wing Hindu bigots. Sample the arrogance of this low life:
There is no civil society in Pakistan, only a handful of progressive writers, especially women; if there is one civil society in Pakistan, it is controlled by religious groups and shepherded by the army.
Pakistani civil society does not exist according to this jerk. Pakistani civil society which has faced down violence, military rule and the Mullahs does not exist, because Tufail Ahmad says so. Forget Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Habib Jalib and other countless heroes in Pakistan are only a “handful of progressive writers”. Come to think of it I cannot even count a handful of progressive writers in India.
He then says that in order to qualify as a true liberal you have to support the Baloch separatists (as distinguished from those Baloch human rights activists who actually are working for the human rights of Baloch people). He writes:
Over the years, Pakistan has not produced any evidence of Indian hand in Balochistan, but if you are morally concerned about the people of Balochistan, why to even oppose any support for Baloch rebels?
“Why to even oppose any support for Baloch rebels” – I am not going to comment on the odd structure of this sentence complete with head bobbing – that shows that Tufail mian is not completely at ease with the English language. But there is an answer to that “why”. Because these Baloch separatists have been killing innocent people – mostly Punjabi immigrants who settled in Balochistan way before partition. There are no good terrorists or bad terrorists. The nerve of this two bit kiss ass to Modi sarkar to describe Hurriyat Conference, a non-violent political movement, as being ISI backed but then justifying Indian support of terrorists in Balochistan. Is there no shame? He then goes on to enlighten us further:
It is time Indians also understood this: Pakistani diplomats are doing much better than their Indian counterparts. To the Indian youths: have the patience of a Buddhist monk; do not expect Modi to deliver a permanent peace; Modi is not a superman. The Pakistan conflict is rooted in Pakistan’s religious identity and cannot be resolved as long as it exists.
So basically as long as Pakistan exists – as long as it does not break down into smaller states or is reintegrated into Akhand Bharat- according to Tufail Ahmad there will always be conflict. He then advises Modi government to break the neighbour’s nose! This guy is sitting in judgment over who can and can’t call themselves true liberals in Pakistan. What we know for sure is that Tufail Ahmad is a right wing Indian lapdog – a Nazi poodle if you must of the RSS and Shiv Sena.
Well I have news for jokers like him : Pakistan is here to stay and nothing you can do and no amount of barking will undo that fact. Try breaking our nose and see if we don’t hit back.