Ripe for revolution?

Published: January 28, 2011

The writer is a barrister and a public policy graduate from Harvard University mahreen.khan@tribune.com.pk

A Muslim nation has overthrown its corrupt, incompetent and arrogant government. Most Pakistanis would love to be that nation, hoping that Tunisia’s revolutionary ripples, already rocking Egypt and nudging Yemen, will reach Pakistan too. Enduring raging inflation, malignant corruption, dilapidated public services, an ultra-incompetent, dishonest government and an extra-insincere opposition, ineffectual judicial remedies, brutal feudal lords and tribal chiefs, lynch mobs, daily drone and terrorist attacks, assemblies of cheats, tax evaders and fake degree holders, surely Pakistan is ripe for revolution?

Sadly not — the ingredients for revolution are simply not in place. The 1979 Iranian revolution was led by Ayatollah Khomeini who had an iconic status amongst Iranians across that country. The Shah, on the other hand, was a ruthless dictator installed by the US, with no public mandate, who ruled for decades through repression. The revolution had strong roots amongst the leading intellectuals, was galvanised by the middle class and supported by Marxists, nationalists and Islamists alike. The largely ethnic homogeneity of Iran helped forge this unity of purpose.

Tunisia, in 2011, had many similar factors at play. President Ben Ali was a notoriously corrupt, textbook dictator ensconced for 23 years. He enacted strict control and censorship across the media, allowing only sham elections in which he invariably bagged up to 90 per cent of the votes. Opposition parties were stifled and people were fearful of voicing criticism of the government. Deprived of these outlets for expression, resentment ignited when the self-immolation of a young, unemployed university graduate, whose fruit stall was confiscated because he had no licence, set ablaze the frustrations of the middle class. Trade unions joined in the massive street protests. Tunisia’s revolution was, like Iran, shored by its high literacy rate and the absence of ethnic and sectarian divisions.

Despite a wave of public protests, Egypt is unlikely to emulate Tunisia, due to factors also present in Pakistan. Egypt has a sharp religious divide between Coptics and Muslims as well as numerous Islamic groups pitted against each other. Arab analysts cite low levels of literacy and a general feeling of apathy and defeatism in the population as further reasons that Egypt will continue to fester rather than revolt. Pakistan has these and additional factors which militate against a revolution: deep and multiple ethnic, linguistic, tribal and sectarian fault lines; a paucity of alternative intellectual narratives, radical leaders or strong unions; and an elected government and freedom of speech. Ironically, democratic elections and free speech help perpetuate the corrupt, unjust stranglehold of the feudal-industrial power elite. Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not. Secondly, frustration needs to simmer under a repressive regime until it reaches the temperature for mass revolt. Pakistan’s free media allows an outlet for public dissatisfaction. The often harsh treatment of politicians and police officials at the hands of journalists and judges ameliorates public anger. Vocal opposition parties, unhindered street protests and strikes allow a regular release of fury, draining the momentum necessary for the emotional surge that revolutionary zeal requires. Pakistan’s ‘peasants’ have neither the radical leadership nor the intellectual support to rise up against the vicious feudalism that subdues them but has not yet starved them. The middle class is distraught by unemployment, inflation and lack of equal opportunity but does not have critical mass, unlike in Iran and Tunisia. Political parties have dissipated ‘people power’ along provincial, tribal, linguistic and sectarian lines. Revolutions require a unifying rationale and the only ideology which has the potential to transcend these divisions is Islam. Yet that, too, requires a leadership which commands respect and a mass following. Given the number of religious parties and their intolerance of each other’s beliefs, that unifying leadership is missing. Dire prognostications about imminent revolution are misguided. In fact, a revolution of any kind would be better than the alternative. This society is losing respect for law and order itself. At least revolution replaces one order with a different order of competing ideology. But anarchy replaces order with disorder and there lies the real danger — that this country, desperate for change but unable to muster genuine revolution, will twist instead towards lawless turmoil.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2011.

Reader Comments (62)

  • parvez
    Jan 29, 2011 - 12:20AM

    Nice analysis but the use of the word revolution is over emphasised. In our context I think change or restructure would be a better word and this looks very likely.Recommend

  • Ahmed Khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 12:51AM

    Quick comments on above article,

    There is no revolution in Tunisia, it is actually anarchy. The same party is in power. There was no leader of revolution. Looting has been started.
    Ingredients for revolution are a) There are only two parties, ruling elite and those being ruled. This is not the case here. In Pakistan ruling elite get power from people through ballet. b) Institutions are non-functional. Although diabled, but institutions are functional in Pakistan e.g., return of large some of money in case of NICL. c) Media is under censorship. Its free media here, whatever you want to express you can express.

    Recommend

  • ehabs
    Jan 29, 2011 - 2:19AM

    I hope you’re joking. You actually want a revolution in Pakistan so much that you’re willing to accept it even if it’s inspired by islam?? Do you really hate your liberties and freedoms that much? This is truly disappointing.

    And if any one organization should be afraid of a “revolution” (seriously, this word is idiotic), it should be the military which has been immensely corrupt, but always behind the scenes.

    Let’s hope that the true liberals take charge soon (through peaceful elections). They’re Pakistan’s only hope.Recommend

  • Hamid Khawaja
    Jan 29, 2011 - 7:55AM

    Is this akin to the storming of the Bastille where ordinary people ignited a revolution. Is history repeating itself?Recommend

  • Ehtisham+Rizvi
    Jan 29, 2011 - 10:21AM

    There are way too many sectarian and ethnic groups in Pakistan, and no one is willing to trust anyone else, that is why we have a hung parliament and no single party with a clear majority.

    A revolution in Pakistan will have to be unique, the people of Pakistan will have to vote for a party that is against fuedalism, and once that party has two-third majority in the parliament, they can pass a legislation which will finish fuedalism in Pakistan and confiscate all the land and industry owned by the big players. That land and other assetts can then be used by the government to invest in education and scientific research. That is atleast my idea of a revolution in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jan 29, 2011 - 10:57AM

    waitin for such a revolution here in india bcoz if things continue like this under present govt we r headin nowhereRecommend

  • Naseem
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:28AM

    A very interesting and well observed analysis – I used to think we are heading towards a bloody revolution but this has made me think that perhaps turmoil is more likely.

    Very incisive.Recommend

  • Ali H
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:29AM

    Great piece – very thought provoking.Recommend

  • Ahmad S
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:31AM

    I would disagree – an Islamic revolution is very likely, The majority want to tlive under a just, modern Islamic welfare system. The feudals have to go – bloody revolution or peaceful- thats their choice.Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:33AM

    A very mature piece – great to see some solid analysis and interesting points about the Iranian and Tunisian revolutions.

    Pakistan, unlike the dire predictions in the American press is not on the brink of anything – just stuck in a vicious cycle of violence and lawlessness perpetuated by our American and Indian friends.Recommend

  • Hamid
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:40AM

    “Ironically, democratic elections and free speech help perpetuate the corrupt, unjust stranglehold of the feudal-industrial power elite. Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not. Secondly, frustration needs to simmer under a repressive regime until it reaches the temperature for mass revolt. ”

    Superbly original analysis – very intelligent!Recommend

  • Obaid
    Jan 29, 2011 - 12:05PM

    When you analyse it I guess it does seem that Pakistan will not revolt. Although I would love to se these corrupt rulers get their just desserts.Recommend

  • Bangkapi
    Jan 29, 2011 - 12:06PM

    good analysis.Recommend

  • SYED AGHA ALI Moosavi
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:44PM

    i think in this regards the popular slogan should have been used

    PAKISTAN FIRST

    And then TUNISIA/EGYPT/YEMEN…etcRecommend

  • Hamid Khawaja
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:52PM

    Syed Agha Ali Moosav1

    How appropriate!Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jan 29, 2011 - 4:30PM

    @Abbas:
    Don’t blame us Indians for your problems. The problem is of your “strategic assests” gone mutant. You will reap what you sow.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jan 29, 2011 - 4:43PM

    @Author
    The crucial differences are
    1. In Tunsia there was order forced by a dictator. In Pakistan there is chaos. What is needed in Pakistan is order.
    2. Islam or for that matter any single religion cannot be a uniting force for revolution. Such a force would only spawn rapid Talibanisation of society. Is that what the author wants? That’s already happening in Pakistan. What Pakistan needs is a revolution based on rational thought, not religion and a leadership which motivates to liberate young minds rather than shackle them with religion.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 4:45PM

    “Given the number of religious parties and their intolerance of each other’s beliefs, that unifying leadership is missing.” — Thank the Universe!!!Recommend

  • Fact Check
    Jan 29, 2011 - 5:45PM

    You are wrong and did not Fact Check. Literacy Rate in Egypt is 66.4% compared to 54.2% in Pakistan and that is 10 point difference. Poverty Rate in Egypt is ~ 17% compared to 32.6% in Pakistan according to UNDP. Moreover, you didn’t care to read any interviews of protesters by BBC, The Guardian or CNN, they were Lawyers and Doctors.

    The real difference is that, in Pakistan the haves, have it all and don’t want to change thing other than pontificating while the poor have struggle daily. Leadership for change has to come from middle or upper class educated people, peasant revolutions doesn’t succeed. You have two parties equally corrupt switching places in every election (few at that) and over bearing military with a country to do as they please. You can’t reform crap without reigning in the military under civilian control. To do that, the civilian government have to have the backing of the people and they don’t have it. Civilian leaders with sole objective of making themselves and their cronies rich and powerful are not going to get backing from the people.

    Who has guts to do that? None.

    My Egyptian brothers stick to what you believe in you will win.

    Mahatma Gandhi said:

    “First they mock you then they fight you and then you win”Recommend

  • Fact Check
    Jan 29, 2011 - 5:49PM

    Abbas, as long as American tax payers are bank rolling Pakistan, they are safe. Without it Pakistan is nothing. Keep on hallucinating dude.

    Completely understand, you don’t like US but like our dollars.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 5:56PM

    Below is the amount of US Tax payer money given to Pakistan as aid.

    2001-2009: Since 9/11, the United States has once again bolstered its funding commitments, sending nearly $9 billion in military assistance both to aid and reimburse Pakistan for its operations in the unwieldy border regions with Afghanistan. Another $3.6 billion has funded economic and diplomatic initiatives. But U.S. officials and journalists’ accounts have raised concerns that such funds are not being used as intended, and not just because of the typical concerns about corruption. Documented military and civilian government deals with Taliban elements, like a 2004 agreement with Waziri militant leader Nek Mohammed, have confirmed that money intended to fight the Taliban is, in many cases, being used instead to pay them off. (Islamabad is currently battling Taliban fighters in Waziristan.) When the deals fall through, as rapidly shifting alliances in Pakistan’s tribal regions often do, that money ultimately ends up funding the insurgency. U.S. officials have expressed particular concerns about the Pakistani government’s links to the Haqqani network in North Waziristan, which reportedly has ties to Al Qaeda. At the same time, former president Pervez Musharraf has recently admitted to using U.S. military funding to strengthen defenses against India.

    2009-2014: A new five-year, $7.5 billion assistance package was passed by Congress in September and signed by President Obama in October, with stipulations explicitly prohibiting funds from being used for nuclear proliferation, to support terrorist groups, or to pay for attacks in neighboring countries. It also puts a new emphasis on the bottom line, reserving the right to cut off aid if Pakistan fails to crack down on militants. Those restrictions have opened a rift between the military and the civilian government in Pakistan, which maintain an uneasy relationship following nearly a decade of military rule under Musharraf. Military leaders worry they are being sidelined by the increased U.S. emphasis on development and accountability, claiming the bill threatens Pakistan’s sovereignty. But supporters of the bill say the restrictions are no more stringent than previous ones, and accuse Pakistani military leaders of manufacturing a crisis to undermine the civilian government.

    Subtract the amounts recalculate your GDP and see what you get. I didn’t make this up. Check out the link for more info.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 6:13PM

    according to the author

    “Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not.”

    isnt the basic purpose of a revolution just that? i.e. to get an “elected” Government?

    Tunisia and Egypt have revolted for what we already have here in Pakistan i.e. a legitimately elected Government, and electoral means of getting rid of the Government. Recommend

  • Canuckistani
    Jan 29, 2011 - 7:31PM

    Rarely does ET allow something decent to make it to its pages….Mahreen Khan’s analysis is quite correct with one exception, Pakistan is ripe for a revolution and I’m glad that she’s correctly identified that Islam is the only way unifying factor. Whether sunni, shia, bori, ismaili, barelvi, deobandi..whatever…they all want some sort of islamic welfare state where justice is delivered to the common man. Liberal arguments that divisions would occur because debates would ensure over “which sharia” would apply…that is foolish because the disputes are on matters that can be set aside while the larger issues are addressed through what is mutually agreed upon, and there are more than enough areas of widespread agreement that this is not only possible, but absolutely necessary. Glad to see that the Kemalists at ET didn’t censor this pieceRecommend

  • Asif
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:08PM

    I think we have something like democracy in our country. We selected our parliamentarians in elections, we don’t have a dictator sitting on us since the 80s. It is our society, morality blah blah that needs a revolution. Like always we just get carried away with the happenings around us.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:44PM

    A great piece, Madam.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:56PM

    May I add that the reason why no ‘revolution’ will take place in Pakistan is the army. They will take over long before things get violent and out of hand.

    Indeed, if things do get violent and there is a risk to our nuclear assets the west led by the US will encourage the army to take power. Recommend

  • Grace
    Jan 29, 2011 - 10:13PM

    Imran’s point is well taken. We already have what the Arabs are fighting for – an elected government. We just need to improve our system. We can vote out Zardari if he is found lacking at the end of his term. A dictator or an autocrat like Mubarak or Bin Ali has to fe forcefully removed by pressure like what happened to remove Musharraf. This is the difference.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 10:26PM

    I guess you were wrong about Egypt, but there will be no revolution in Pakistan. No leader, no unifying ideal, no unity equals no revolution.Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 10:38PM

    Pakistan is ripe for mullah takeover and not for revolution. Revolution doesn’t mean regime change with imposition of theocratic order which is only possibility in our case. When the Arabs are on the streets in the hope for a positive change, you are organizing a rally on blasphemy law tomorrow in Lahore.
    I was just disgusted the other day when the hosts of a popular “joke show” on a TV channel telling the people about the benefits of jirga system. When the so-called proponents of change want a return to the 11th century, any hope of a revolution is a Draconian dream.Recommend

  • Rakesh
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:39PM

    I think we need an enlightenment before a revolution… Recommend

  • Farooq Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:04AM

    A working elected parliament, independent judiciary, prime Minister ministers being made accountable. That is what we have. revolution will take this from us. We have a bad economy , sunk already and militancy. Revolution will add to our misries. Most of those advocating revolution want this government to go. What next, they are not clear. The minimum will be chaos and we may end up in a civil war.Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jan 30, 2011 - 6:43AM

    The point all Pakistanis seem to be missing about the current revolutionary culture in the Middle East is that these people are revolting against dictatorial governments that have been in power for decades. They want democracy and the right to self determination. No matter how much development a “Benevolent Dictatorship” performs in a country (I’m referring to Egypt here), one of the most fundamental wants of a human being is change. Without change there is stagnation and in a stagnant society humans can’t survive. These people want the right to express their like or dislike by having the right to vote and are willing to fight and die for it. We already have this right and we have to respect, not be willing to surrender it ourselves. All that a revolution can do in Pakistan is bring a dictator to power again and we will be back at square one. The current problems that Pakistan is facing like the energy crisis, food shortage, natural disaster, financial crisis are not just local phenomenon, in fact these catastrophes are occurring all over the world and no single party or personality has a silver bullet that can alleviate these problems. We are not the only ones suffering as a result of the current financial meltdown and all the other disasters, look in the news, the whole world is suffering so we have to stop being selfish and self centered and look at the world around us and learn from it. We need to stop developing personality cults and start looking at issues. And finally we have to give democracy a chance. Everything is not going to fix itself overnight.
    We have never really give democracy a chance. We need to understand that democracy is an evolutionary system and as a result no two democratic systems in any part of the world are the same. Democracy is coloured by the environment it develops in (like a living organism develops and is influenced by the environment it grows in hence now two humans, animals or even plants are the same). This takes time but in the end it empowers the people and gives them the confidence to hold their head high and face any challenge the world throws at them. We have never given it a fighting chance. As soon as it’s about to evolve, we smoother it with our impatience and then end up having to start again. The reason why India has advanced so much more in the last 63 years is that they have stuck with one system, and now have reached a point where their local flavor of democracy has evolved enough to overcome all the different cultures, religions, languages and ideals and thus it finally represents the 1.2 billion people (I agree we are divided but think of the divisions in India). As a result of this they are now stronger and in a way more united than ever as a nation (even if at an individual level the difference still boil over sometimes). Patience is a virtue which we Pakistanis seem to be lacking. Hast to do things is what has gotten us in this state. We must learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of our forefather. We owe it to our future generations to ensure that we leave them a system that is not dependent on an individual (no matter how lofty and selfless the goals of such an individual) and is mature to face any future obstacle (and believe me there will always be bigger calamities waiting to happen). Our children’s most valuable inheritance will prove to be a stable political system if we can be patient enough to let it evolve and grow.Recommend

  • prashanth
    Jan 30, 2011 - 10:42AM

    Democracy is a process; an educational process. It is education of the masses. Keep and build on your democracy. It is a very long process and not a pleasant one at that. Have patience, don’t expect miracles. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jan 30, 2011 - 11:43AM

    ho hum
    do revolutions ever achieve their goals?Recommend

  • Obaid
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:29PM

    @Imran Khan – Tunisia and Egypt are not just fighting to have an elected government – they want justice and human rights too – which our Zardari government is totally unable to provide. So you are wrong on that count.Recommend

  • Aliya
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:36PM

    @Ehabs – knee jerk liberals like you label everything Islamic as wrong. Whats wrong with Iran? Its a better country to live in than liberal Zardari’s messed up pakistan.Recommend

  • Raj
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:36PM

    Very well written – explains a lot.Recommend

  • Mohib
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:37PM

    @Babloo – yes they do – Iranian revolutio???? Heard of it???Recommend

  • Aliya
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:39PM

    @Rakesh – no we need revolution. Thank you.

    Just having a parliament and elections does not mean we are any better of than egypt. We have the same levels of injustice and unemployment.Recommend

  • Noman
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:42PM

    @Tony Singh – India has a lot to answer for fomenting violence in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal. Dont give us your propaganda please and Indians stop hounding our sites.
    Tony – no – Islam does not equal talibanisation. An Islamic revolution like Iran’s would be better than the unjust system we live under which makes us weak enough for the likes of you to talk down to us.Recommend

  • M. Ali
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:43PM

    I hope that you are wrong – this country shoudl revolt against the feudal-industrial establishment and overthrow these corrupt, unjust traitors who rule us. You are absolutely right – the label of “elected” and the open media is masking the reality which is that we are just as badly off as those who live under more open forms of repression.Recommend

  • Mahesh
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:46PM

    @Fact Check – you are wrong – the article cites “low levels of literacy” not that Egypt is lower than Pakistan – Infact that is the point – both countries have low levels of literacy compared to Iran and Tunisia.

    Your Gandhi quote is really gratuitous – the mahatma would never have supported violent revolution – you need to get your history right.Recommend

  • Rania
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:47PM

    Interesting analysis although I do not like the conclusion – I would love to see Pakistanis revolt and throw out the government and drag the other obese politicians throught the streets.

    The middle class needs to be in power not some engorged elite.Recommend

  • Taher
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Excellent dispassionate analysis – very well written indeed.Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Anyone, including every class and school of thought besides “the followers of Imran Khan”, still dreaming about a revolution in Pakistan? Today 50,000+ gathered in Lahore with an aim to wipe out everything new and modern while pledging to kill those who are “influenced by the West”.
    I was passing through The Mall, where the event held, to reach my office. The mullahs were in “full bloom”. I shivered while imagining if these would “conquer” the world. Obviously, they can’t. But what can do is to destroy themselves and the society they are part of.
    The worst we can hope for is a “revolution” in Pakistan as it would be inspired by the clergy and the characters like Maudodi. The real danger in Egypt is that “Muslim Brotherhood” may cash the opportunity. For revolution we have to follow the West as a model. There is no other option.
    Another thing I must mention. Someone while commenting on the article has questioned “whether revolutions have ever achieved anything?” Revolutions are not one click computer keyboard. They act like a catalyst helping the process to move forward till some “gainful gain”. For example, the French Revolution didn’t bring an instant change, although “many many instant achievements” were made, but it set the path for a secular state, disposing off the clergy forever, which gave room for other developments, which moved the world towards still higher aims.
    Only that change can be labeled as “revolution” in traditional societies” which bins or helps binning the redundant structures. An attempt to reassert the past, under any pretext, would only pave the way for making us a “genuine Somalia”. Recommend

  • Canuckistani
    Jan 30, 2011 - 8:49PM

    @Raja Arsalan Khan:

    typical liberal. Kill “mullahs” because they are blood thirsty murderers, but we are democrats for calling for these killings. Anybody who has an ounce of faith is labelled a “mullah”, which in the eyes of the liberal crowd is as bad as the term “bayghayrat” is for the rest of Pakistan..and is generally applied to the liberal types. This Raja guy denies that a revolution is a revolution unless it is secular….that is some seriously twisted logic. And the only redundant structures are the religious ones? I would say that the religious structures are the most potent and active in our society and its a matter of using them properly…if anything, it is the secular/parallel structures that have proven unproductive, useless and redundant. You speak of the french revolution, but that event lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of more civilians before an EMPEROR, Napoleon, took the helm of power in 1804….certainly not a “democratic” result by any stretch of the imagination.You liberals are so biased, you twist everything including history to suit your needs. And this nonsense about taking us back to the 7th century is more stupidity considering the alternative western order is based on the ‘Magna Carta’ which is also an ancient document that was originally developed as a feudal bill of rights for the landed elite….it was called the treaty of the nobles. Have some self respect and don’t try to emulate everything from the west just because its from the west..! We have institutions here that can work perfectly well and are accepted by our society. Trying to import your fringe ideologies from abroad will only fail. Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 9:30PM

    @Canuckistani:

    Sure! I will import from West and not from the “Gulf” or FATA. I know very well that a tribal and feudal society has nothing relevant to the present. I also know what the Taliban and Maudidis are. Therefore, I am not confused.
    As far as the revolution, blood and Magna Carta are concerned, the French and other Europeans did not sacrifice lives for the “ultimate luxury”, making the women sexual slaves. They had their “Hitlers” but they were washed away. They had higher aims and they achieved. They don’t say they are perfect and striving for “more good”. You are also cutting throats but for a evil cause. That is why I say that revolution in Pakistan is impossible. It is anarchy which is already there although you do not accept the reality.
    I cannot take pride of the history during which 72 innocents were slaughtered in Karbala but “the killers are portrayed as heroes” and their followers are aim at millions more. Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 11:25PM

    @Canuckistani:

    PLEASE INCLUDE THE PREVIOUS AND THIS COMMENT BECAUSE “Canuckistani” WENT PERSONAL. HE NEEDS ANSWER

    Twisting? No single event, except a few, in the human history generated on the spot results. The conflict between the active and passive forces is a reality and goes on and on until one of them is able to overwhelm other. The west was able to dispose off through active conflict. You also have your conflicts but only for succession like that of Aurangzeb and many others. Even three of the Caliphs were killed because you failed to develop system of government. Can you cite even a single social contribution by the Muslims?
    Not withstanding your abusive language, I must refer to your ‘pride dictate’, although I do not believe in caste and creed. I am a Muslim (don’t need certificate by mullahs) and direct scion of ………… But it is strange that my family traces the “tree” from “the great one”. That don’t mention the “great’s son” who was addicted to sexuality and even did not leave his sister-in-law. But he was not alone as all the conquerors believed in benefiting from “the beautiful”.
    Suleman the Great, mentioned as greatest in Ottomans by the mullahs, housed more than 1000 Serbians, including Presitina (sorry if am spelling her name wrongly).
    Muslim rulers only plundered. Yes! The West did the same but gave so much to the world. You want to destroy the world because you can create or build any thing new. After all, the same is the case with other primitive cultures. Islam did not bring tribal and feudal structures and thinking. It is only you are taking refuge in Islam to ensure that your are not exposed. Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 31, 2011 - 1:21AM

    @Canuckistani:

    I must also mention that the “faithfuls” see American and Israeli hand behind every wrong. The Pakistanis rushed to rescue Gaza people but on one is worried about over 0.5 million in Kurram Agency, Pakistan’s Gaza. Why you don’t get them out of the hell they are in. No one will ever do so because it will be a bad precedent, given the strategic location of FATA. Reason! The men there are Shia who hate Taliban. In case they defeat the militants, other locals like in Waziristan can also choose to take on the Taliban. But you don’t want to see it happen.
    Solve your own problems and don’t export terror for expansion purposes. The reason why all the conservatives (they are too many) are behind mullah because they are devoid of power to reason and create and invent (except conspiracy theories). It is a common reality that no mullah-type or a person with traditional outlook can be a efficient worker. Because he cannot think and have no ideas. He fears that modernity with latest technology will consume him; therefore, destruction provides him a mirage for salvation. Hence, West is seen as a threat and easy target to hide one’s weaknesses. Recommend

  • pmbm
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:40AM

    PMBM
    Exchange between two well-meaning muslims(Raja Khan & Canuckistani) is interesting. Emphasis and desire should be to change our conduct according to teaching of Islam as per Quran and authentic sunnah and let those who went off track ,be they past leaders or present answer for themselves.
    Article is thought-provoking. Recommend

  • Mushtaque Ali Memon
    Jan 31, 2011 - 10:09AM

    Good Analysis and Gen Pervaiz Musharaf is the Right person to leadRecommend

  • muhammed ashrafgandhi
    Jan 31, 2011 - 7:09PM

    the ingedient for a revolution is present in pakistan. lets hope it is not bloody.however a complete change is required in pakistan.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:20PM

    @Raja Arsalan Khan “It is a common reality that no mullah-type or a person with traditional outlook can be a efficient worker. Because he cannot think and have no ideas. He fears that modernity with latest technology will consume him; therefore, destruction provides him a mirage for salvation. Hence, West is seen as a threat and easy target to hide one’s weaknesses.”

    No one believes in Pakistan. It has no road map, no vision. The leaders and the rich, all have plan B in place, ready to jump the boat, when is finally goes down. They have their foreign residency papers and bank account all ready and in place.

    The mullah can only profit by selling religion, by peddling goodies for Hereafter, while taking credit for a few good men of the past. The ghairat brigade is quick to point what is wrong with the West, while taking full advantage of the amenities and goodies of the West and at the same time living a lie in the form of unIslamic practices.

    No wonder Allah showers his blessing on the West, for they may not be Muslims, but at least they are not hypocrites.Recommend

  • asad
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:34PM

    truly represents pakistan situation…………Recommend

  • Abbas
    Feb 1, 2011 - 6:54AM

    @Tony Singh:
    Mr Singh I believe you did not understand what I said. I was in fact pointing to India as an example of how in a way democracy has kept the country together despite the fact its a melting pot of cultures, religions and ideas. I don’t understand how you thought I was blaming you?Recommend

  • Fahad Khan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 11:51AM

    ¡Viva la revolución en Pakistán!Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2011 - 8:57PM

    @ALL: Guys she is right in saying how unlikely can be a revolution in Pakistan. Revolution or steps towards it may ensue but we can’t be sure about its success. Reasons are: low literacy rate and low concern of people for their country and their society. That’s why I believe that we need positive measures to educate our masses and bring an educational revolution+great awareness among people through different channels. Internet is also a viable option but it is limited to only 20million Pakistanis and we have to address 170 Million. It would be better that we ourselves behave like responsible and civilized citizens of this country and contribute to our society in terms of what we can: like bringing awareness in our communities through writing, education, fundraising for help of the poor and needy etc etc. By awareness I mean inducing illetrate people towards education and civilization with our own social efforts which is our social responsibility. I would like you to like my Facebook page, I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan, and have your say. You can go to my page by clicking my name or you can visit by adding /IAARACCOP to Facebook’s homepage.Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Feb 2, 2011 - 12:39AM

    @pmbm:

    I think you did not understand what I said. I am not and will never be a part of moral brigade. What I wanted to highlight the lust for sex prevailing in the “moral brigade” which while forgetting its own love for slavery tries to moralise the whole world. Being a staunch “liberal fascist” (the term is expression of senseless unending hate towards liberalism and humanity which the rightwingers have. But I personally feel proud of being called so as it distinguish me markedly from the mullahs although in a negative manner), I suggest that the past would bring more destruction. Any attempt to adjust Islam with present with an aim to make and use it mean to show superiority over others humans will only bring destruction. What Hasan-Al-Bina and Maududi have done proves my point.
    Muslims, as a whole, rejected and resisted change in a hope that they would again rule the world.
    The biggest example is of Allama Iqbal, along with many other “reformists” (confused people), who had declared that the Muslims do not need adopting the scientific approach of the West and only requires gaining technology for use. How stupid the idea is. It means that you will always remain a user of the developed world without giving any thing new to the humanity (a stinging burden) but still claim that you have the right not only to rule others but also force them to accept your way of life.
    Just let and let others live.Recommend

  • restofmylife
    Feb 2, 2011 - 1:08AM

    some army general has to round up all leaders of all political parties, their parents, their kids, three generations and exterminate them.

    without this cleansing we are not going n e where n e time soon.Recommend

  • Zulfi Rash
    Feb 3, 2011 - 1:31AM

    Pakistan is a corrupt country, nest of religious extremists, mullas and those sick looking groups who can’t accept the fact that there are other beliefs and humans on this universe. Look around what is happening in Pakistan everyday, killing, bombings & what not. Sick looking idiots kill themselves to kill others. What kind of humans are those? If you want to see filth on this earth, it is so easy to see that in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Sarmad
    Feb 22, 2011 - 4:12AM

    GoodRecommend

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