The hypocrisy of Pakistan’s self-declared liberals

Published: November 23, 2012

The writer is the National Programme Manager for the Imran Khan Foundation, as well as a film-maker in his free time. He tweets at @idkasuri

“War is the terrorism of the rich. Terrorism is the war of the poor.” These words were penned in 2003 by Sir Peter Ustinov, one of Britain’s foremost playwrights. Unfortunately, such profundity is lost upon Pakistan’s “allegedly” liberal elite who, if they weren’t Pakistani, could lend credence to the fact that Edward Said’s “orientalism” is alive and well in the subcontinent. The stereotypical misconceptions presented regarding the War of Terror crystallise the view that Pakistan’s self-declared liberals are anything but — liberal that is.

While it is decidedly liberal to critically self-evaluate, it is not liberal, to alleviate the blame from others. It should behove our “alleged” liberals to consider the fact that numerous US policymakers have already acknowledged America’s role in creating the Taliban. From South Asia scholar Selig Harrison’s view that the US helped to create this “monster” to Hillary Clinton’s admission that the US is “fighting the same people it funded 20 years ago” during “Operation Cyclone”, US involvement is abundantly clear.

The song remains the same in the 21st century. That we choose to ignore it does not change the fact that the US is still one of the Taliban’s top financiers. By the Pentagon’s own admission last year, $400 million of its funds have made their way indirectly into Taliban coffers. Chickenfeed? The real amount, according to Michael Hughes of The Huffington Post, is as high as a billion dollars a year (since 2001), thanks in no small part to the questionable practices of USAID and its contractors in Kabul, who are milking this war for every penny it is worth, regardless of who else gets paid in the process. They are so blinded by war profiteering that Rear Admiral Kathleen Dussault, the Commander of Task Force 10 (set up to prevent the flow of coalition funds to insurgents), was rotated out of Kabul four months after her arrival there in 2010 just because she suggested tightening the controls on the contractors who were paying off the Taliban.

Today, almost every major study conducted on drone strikes has concluded that they create terror, cause the deaths of innocents and provide a recruitment bonanza for the Taliban. Therefore, any assertion that they do not cause huge civilian casualties can only be justified in light of the Obama Administration’s official definition of what it means to be a terrorist: all military-age males in a drone strike zone. It doesn’t take a genius to comprehend the ludicrous nature of this definition. Jeremy S Cahill, a real liberal journalist calls it like it is, “mass murder”. Over a decade has passed since this war was initiated and the extremist philosophy is more pervasive than ever. More of the same cannot be expected to achieve different results.

More than any other war in history, liberals cite the Second World War as a just war. It might actually have been, had the victors not recruited Nazis into their ranks and launched their own agenda for global hegemony, far exceeding even Hitler’s own vision for a Third Reich. From Vietnam in the East to Palestine in the Middle East to Chile in the West, the US’s corporatist owners have waged a war in perpetuity against the forces of democracy that have stood in the way of their economic interests. When such a power is running Kabul, both fighting and funding the Taliban at the same time, peace is simply not possible.

Liberalism demands that all avenues for peace be exhausted before war is considered. The agreements cited as evidence of attempts at peace failed, as much because of government incompetence as the Taliban. Pakistan never enforced its demands for disarmament or the surrendering of foreign militants and over-compensated them to the extent that future funding was secured. The cumulative effect of this ineptitude served to solidify the Taliban’s base and silence dissenting voices in their areas of operation. A liberal comprehends that in the absence of any meaningful support from Pakistan, the poor, illiterate and underserved populations of the villages in North Waziristan cannot be sentenced to death by bombardment, for providing support (at times under duress) to those who they may perceive (albeit incorrectly) are fighting their oppressors. Collateral damage in the thousands, while fine by Presidents Barack Obama and Asif Ali Zardari, is simply not liberal or civilised. If the last eight years have taught us anything it is that without an independent leadership that has the trust of the masses, any attempt to remove the Taliban’s base of support, to make peace or to conduct military operations, is doomed to failure.

It is not liberal to blame those who haven’t governed the country for Pakistan’s failure to tackle terror. It is also not liberal to exclude from the narrative, the “real puppeteers” in the US and Saudi Arabia, without whose financial support this illiterate, rag tag bunch of zealots wouldn’t have a pot to urinate in, let alone the resources required to wage a war against Nato and Pakistan for over a decade. It is certainly not liberal to blame Hafiz Saeed and Mullah Omar for the failure of successive governments to provide security, access to education, health care and livelihood opportunities to its citizens. It is definitely not liberal to support a political party that allegedly believes in the rights of minorities, yet distances itself from its own who laid down their lives for such a cause. And it is not leftist or progressive to support a political party whose monarchical leadership is vested in the perpetuation of feudalism. In the absence of any such acknowledgements, this narrative simply has no relevance to Pakistan’s masses. The war-mongering only serves to perpetuate the view that liberalism is nothing more than imperialist propaganda of the Washingtonian variety.

To quote Tolstoy, “You consider war to be inevitable? Very good. Let everyone who advocates war be enrolled in a special regiment of advance-guards, for the front of every storm, of every attack, to lead them all!”

You first, “alleged” liberals. Pakistan’s masses may yet reconsider.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.

Reader Comments (74)

  • Toticalling
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:43PM

    Hold your horses. First define liberalism. I liberal is a guy who respects opinions of other people without changing his own. Wars are evil, They kill people. That is why a liberal is against wars,any wars. Except for war on terror, because terrorism kills innocent people with views that are not liked by the clergy. Here s an example. A few days ago Azerbaijani writer Rafiq Tagi died. Tagi had been a consistent critic of conservative Islam and of the regime in neighbouring Iran. His opinions had earned him a conviction for inciting hatred and a death sentence from Iranian Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani. He survived prison, but was a marked man. He met his end in hospital, four days after being stabbed by an as yet unidentified killer. The son of Lankarani praised Tagi’s killer, congratulating him for standing up for Islam and thwarting “Zionism”.
    He was a liberal with courage. So let us stop bashing liberals.

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  • Karim
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:44PM

    This opinion is a mess of confused incoherent claims with just verbiage and little sense. But given the party affiliation of the writer, no wonder that he is frustrated at the success of drone strikes that are hitting PTI’s most favorite terrorist group. The so-called “peace march” welcomed by Taliban is not a distant past after al.

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  • Usman
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:45PM

    same content which we read in vernacular journalism. This time clad in crisp English. It is good to quote from literary pieces to make prose attractive but for analyzing political matters critically it is better to read Gramsci.

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  • sdf
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:53PM

    Not another one about what a “real” liberal is and what a “fake” liberal is…you could have just written a piece on why military solution is not right and it would have had a lot more strength.
    Instead you decided to lose focus arguing over semantics or terminology or whatever you want to call it.

    I am for a military solution. Mostly, all I can take from your article is that I am a “fake liberal” who nonetheless thinks military strike is the way to go. You didn’t make much effort to convince me why the IK plan would work, or that military solution wouldn’t work.

    So are you happy now? I’ve let you win the “terminology” fight. Hurrah for you.

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  • Lobster
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:55PM

    The ironic is that these exact self-declare “liberals” are foremost opponents of death penalty after trial!

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  • Fahad Khan
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Very rarely we see some article which makes sense on ET. Every word of every sentence makes sense in this article. So much for the self declared liberals to read in between the lines.

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  • afzaalkhan
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Brilliant article

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  • bangash
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Taliban are creation of Pakistani ISI, which is why to this day they are protected and sheltered. Blaming US is not going to solve any Pakistani problems.

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  • Uqaab
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Excellent piece!!!

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  • Geeto
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:19PM

    Dear ET Readers ….. Please do not waste your time in reading this atricles. Writer is completely confused in arguing his point, if there is any.

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  • MSS
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:26PM

    US might have created jihadists or funded parts of al-qaida in the 1980s, the money was sent through Pak army who could have refused to play ball. Secondly, Taliban were first heard of in 1994 or there about long after the US pulled out of the area. The jihadis who were rebranded ‘taliban’, a rather respectable name for killers and murderers of innocent people were fully indoctrinated, trained and funded to take over Afghanistan by the Pak agencies for their own ‘strategic depth’. Now they have become a real threat to the state.
    So, no time to worry about the hypocrisy of ‘liberals’. It is time to realise that the iceberg has hit the titanic. Get the music band off the deck and and implement measures to save and salvage.

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  • Karim Azizi
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:28PM

    Pretty sure the author is confusing a theoretical approach known as “liberalism” which is based on co-operation among actors on all levels to Pakistan’s “liberals” that support drone strikes. Somehow you managed to complicate a straightforward argument, and for that we acknowledge your writing skills.

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  • gp65
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Did terrorism emanating from Pakistan not exist before the drones? We haven’t forgotten the Kashmiri Pandits who were made homeless. We haven’t forgotten the 1999 hijacking. We haven’t forgotten the attack on Indian parliament. Oh and part of the planning for 9/11 also happened in Pakistan. We haven’t forgotten the 2005 London tubes bombing. All this before drones. What explanation does the author have for this?

    When I think of “self declared liberals” in Pakistan, I think of
    – Sherry Rehman who tried to move a private member bill to address problems in the man made blasphemy law,
    – Najam Sethi, Khaled Ahmed, Raza Rumi and Nadeem Paracha who try to peel away the decades of lies that have been told to Pakistanis and give a glimpse of the truth
    – Marvi Sirmed who is an advocate for the mniorities in the country
    – Asma Jehangir who speaks up against institutional overreach whetehr by the Army or the Supreme Court
    – Kamran Shafi and Ayesha Siddiqa who shine the spotlight of truth on the workings of the military establishment

    They may have referred to drones in passing but definitely that is not their primary focus. I find their statements internally consistent over the years and have not observed any hypocrisy. Who exactly are you thinking off?

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  • Falcon
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Good one. Pakistani liberal attitude of blaming everything on few factors is more reflective of ignorance than wisdom. They didn’t give a damn through out 65 years when Pakistan was investing close to zilch in education sector, but they are all up in arms now that the under-privileged segments of the society are being used by terrorists. If we want to fix Pakistan, we have start accountability of ourselves first. Criticizing IK might make for a good drawing room conversation but not a liberating introspection.

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  • Mj
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:40PM

    In this article: Gross generalizations and bashing of the liberals, and apologism of the Taliban. Oh look, I can straw man your positions too!

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  • aaaaa
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Ofcourse the Taliban were created by the US, nobody can deny that. But its interesting how you completely forgot about the ISI’s role in all this. Kind of like that Imran Khan, whose foundation you run.

    “If the last eight years have taught us anything it is that without an independent leadership that has the trust of the masses, any attempt to remove the Taliban’s base of support, to make peace or to conduct military operations, is doomed to failure.”

    This is crap, pure and simple. If somebody ordered an operation that ended up saving my life as well as my children’s life, I wouldn’t give a damn about the probity (or lack thereof) of that person. I would be thankful, period. You don’t need public support for any operation. Leaders are meant to lead, not follow opinion polls.

    I have also read ‘Living under Drones’. It also says that the leadership Imran Khan says will take over and resist the Taliban are all dead, something which any PTI-wallah will never believe. It also makes it very clear that the Taliban have zero local support, a fact that is completely at odds with Imran Khans strategy of inviting them to the high table for talks and thus elevating their status to people actually worth negotiating with. Strange how you left these bits out, but I guess you come from the facts-should-not-stand-in-the-way-of-a-good-story school of thought.

    You say that the people of the agencies need our support. They do, and the only way to reach them is for a military operation in N.Waziristan to take place, not to let them die under the Taliban/Haqqani/TTP rule as well as the drones. That, coincidentally will also stop drone attacks, but ofcourse, you would be loathe to consider that suggestion.

    Its also interesting that the only people who ever end up persecuted in Pakistan are liberals yet these are the same people you criticize. No person on the right, including Imran Khan ever ended up in jail because of what they believe in. Its only the liberals who end up there. When IK labels everybody who disagree with him ‘liberal scum’ (which is basically what you are doing) is that the ‘real’ liberal you seek. Pervez Hoodhboy is a true liberal. Go look at the way your dear Imran Khan treated him on a talk show some while back. That ought to set you straight about who the fake liberal really is.

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  • Asif
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:08AM

    powerfully written with lots of conviction – thank you for lifting some of confusion that afflicts our ‘liberals’

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  • Asif
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:11AM

    @gp65, this is an internal conversation. Have some respect and save your story for another interloping day Recommend

  • Azim
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:12AM

    Isfandiar kasuri – does the Taliban fight against drone/US justifies ?

    Killing innocent school going girls?
    Burning schools?
    killing minorities?
    Suicide attacks on mosque?
    Killing local social workers trying to help local people?
    Killing Malik’s / local leaders? who them self are a victim of these drone strikes?

    I am against the way drone operation is conducted, not on the results its is delivering. Drone strikes started only when we (Pakistan) declined (showed inability) to act against these safe heavens that were been used to attach afghans and the forces their. So nothing wrong if US / afghans want to protect them self ? after all every one has a right to protect their national/ people interest.

    US came to Afghanistan after 9-11 – Everyone knows what Taliban did to the people in Afghanistan before US came. So stop blaming US for this sick mindset.

    I am a PTI supporter, yet i don’t buy PTI’s stance on this important issue, or a very important issue – feel PTI is shying away from realty here. I am a Liberal, and all like me have a right to pray, send our girls to school, also would never allow my house to used to attack my neighbors.

    PTI has a stance, yet other political parties have no position and are very much hiding behind the bush on this very important issue, surely winning election is more important then saving life of the countrymen.

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  • jawad
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:24AM

    Terrorism is the war of poor killing poor people, that’s what I understand from this article.

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  • Asif
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:26AM

    @gp65: You’ve summed up very nicely with facts and by mentioning great personalities of Najam Sethi, Nadeem Paracha, Asma Jehangir, Kamran Shafi, and Ayesha Siddiqa to name a few.

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  • Jat
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:26AM

    @gp65: +1 !

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  • Hamad
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:33AM

    wonderful pice of writing in ET. Former US president Bush said onces, One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror, same job is our liberals are doing . we should praise(ironic) them they are doing hard work.if you not want terrorism than listen,in words of Noam Chomsky, Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it. So if US stop terrorism in world it will get stop it self. every one must understand particularly the self claim liberals of Pakistan, The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?????????

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  • sdf
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:34AM

    @Falcon:
    How is it that you establish that the Pakistani liberal attitude in particular did not give a damn about education. Has education been the foremost priority of the Pakistani conservative attitude?

    As to the mystery-full statement: “If we want to fix Pakistan, we have start accountability of ourselves first”, I say to you “yes, indeed” with equal mystery.

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  • Mj
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:44AM

    @Falcon:
    Which alternate reality are you living in? Pakistan has barely been ruled by liberals. Who brought forward the Objectives resolution, who declared Ahmedis non-muslims? Who made alcohol illegal? Who brought into law the medieval hudood ordinance? Which court halted land-reforms? Which PM tried to declare himself Ameer-ul-Momeneen?

    Don’t confuse self-serving political, feudal, religious, and military rulers with liberal who have been sidelined since Pakistan’s independence.

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  • elementary
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:51AM

    You nailed it . Simply Superb!!Recommend

  • shakrullah
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Dear Kasuri : I must confess I have great difficulty in understanding your outpourings .

    May I seek clarification as to what you understand by the term ‘liberalism’ Why do use it

    as a term

    of abuse without , I believe , knowing its meanings ? Which class of people do you label

    as ‘Pakistani liberals’ ? Which liberals pushed Pakistan into the 1965 war , the suicidal

    bloodshed in East Pakistan , or the ignominious venture in Kargil ?

    Are you perhaps referring to people who believe that we should not allow

    violent militants to destroy our state and society, and to deal sternly with insurgents

    who blatantly challenge the writ of the state .?

    It is obvious though that you strongly hate some unspecified people , for reasons

    you have

    not divulged to your readers . Finally, why you had to use the word ‘liberals’ ? A more

    handy term would have been ‘yahud-o-hanud ‘.

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  • Azra Shahnaz
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:04AM

    It’s good to see that you have got the courage to admire terrorism, but unfortunately you are admiring a terrorism that kills minorities of Pakistan and girls like Malala Yousufzai! If you’re heroes want to fight against a super power how can they harm Americans by killing Shias! Couldn’t understand this logic!

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  • Kashif
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:13AM

    we have to provide people right, I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be a terrorist. They are desperate people, As long as you persecute people, you will actually throw up terrorism

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  • Banday
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Let us ask some questions from the writer. (1) Did liberals arm the Afghan mujahideen in the eighties to fight the infidel Russians? (2) Did liberals brought muslim fighters from around the world for the jihad in Afghanistan? (3) Did liberals destroyed the Afghanistan in the civil war in nineties? (4) Did the liberals massacre the 8,000 shias after capturing Mazar Sharif in 1998? (5) Did liberals destroyed the 2500 years old Buddha statues in Bamiyan? How many proponents of religious right are killed by liberals in recent times in Pakistan?

    I believe answers to above are negative. Please understand that liberals have very shrinking space in Pakistan. They are a weak lot, who cannot even defend themselves here. However, they are up against the ruthless bunch of religious fanatics along with their right wing apologist that includes PTI. And in this case, the tactics of “enemy’s enemy is a friend” makes perfect sense for the minuscule liberal population in Pakistan. As it made sense for the religious right in Pakistan in the eighties against Russians….

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  • Arshid Jamil
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Toticalling has nailed it!

    The writer ridicules Obama’s definition of terrorists, be it may, but then goes on to formulate his own ridiculous definition of liberals. That’s the problem with this article. The writer has quoted extensively from history that has absolutely no relevance to the Pakistan’s REAL liberals.

    Liberal Pakistanis believe that the current state of affairs is a result of ill conceived perspective of Islam and creation of Pakistan. Literacy is the real issue. I am surprised when he claims ‘It is not liberal to exclude from the narrative, the “real puppeteers” in the US and Saudi Arabia, without whose financial support this illiterate, rag tag bunch of zealots wouldn’t have a pot to urinate in, let alone the resources required to wage a war against Nato and Pakistan for over a decade’. That is precisely the case, liberals do blame these ‘puppeteers’ as puts it. He goes on to write ‘It is certainly not liberal to blame Hafiz Saeed and Mullah Omar for the failure of successive governments to provide security, access to education, health care and livelihood opportunities to its citizens’. It is definitely the liberals cause, these are a key players among the ‘rag tag zealots’. The version of Islam that they preach and use as ‘incentive’ to recruit suicide bombers is warped, there is no question about that and it is this warped perception that is exploited by the puppeteers.

    So Mr. writer please rethink who are the real hypocrites of Pakistan.

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  • Parvez
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:48AM

    Its an intellectual sounding article and the author in the heat of youthful zeal has, at a time few months before a national election, managed to poke the electorate in the eye with one hand while asking for their vote with the other. Not a good way to go, this could have been handled better.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:25AM

    Today, Pakistanis know next to nothing about the drone program, and believe the worst about it. The same may be said for many Americans. The debate over the use of drones has grown more acrimonious as the administration of President Barack Obama has increased the number of strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and expanded the program to Yemen and Somalia. Critics have denied the alleged pinpoint accuracy of drone strikes, arguing that hundreds of civilians have been killed as collateral damage. Scholars of constitutional law have asserted that targeted assassinations have no basis in American law. But there are many people — myself included — who defend the use of drones but decry the pervasive secrecy around them. There is a real danger that around the world drone warfare will come to be seen as the dark arts of the Obama administration, as torture and “rendition” were for President George W. Bush.
    Silent but Deadly: How the State Department tried and failed to force Obama’s drone program into the open.BY JAMES TRAUB | NOVEMBER 16, 2012
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/16/silentbutdeadly

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  • altaf
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:33AM

    rubbish!

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  • gp65
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @Asif: “@gp65, this is an internal conversation. Have some respect and save your story for another interloping day”

    Sorry. Terror emanating from Pakistan impacts India. In my post I have given several instances where india was impacted, So definitely we have a point of view on an article that discusses how it should be addressed.

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 2:41AM

    @Kashif:
    “….I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be a terrorist……”
    .
    Do you really think the guy would walk up to you and say,”Hello, I am a wannabe terrorist, which school do you want reduced to ashes, today? BTW do you have a killing list too?”

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  • sabi
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:49AM

    Author
    Tell us about the hypocricy of “our self declared rightist” (fascists.thekedar).

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  • faraz
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:52AM

    Who told you that ‘real liberalism’ means allowing TTP and sectarian terrorists to butcher people?

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  • F
    Nov 24, 2012 - 3:01AM

    This is interpreting facts to suit your agenda and that too with the luxury of hindsight. USA is funding Taliban! The insinuation is that it is deliberate US policy to fund terrorists so that the US can benefit in some Machiavillean manner. No stopping conspiracy theorists. There is nothing further from the truth. Funds to build Afghanistan are being provided to Afghans to build their own country. That the Afghans choose to pass some of these funds to Taliban is a choice they are making. In addition, the US may not have to use drones, if Pakistan was actively keeping its Non Nato Ally commitments and fighting the Taliban. But terrorism is the fault of the USA and Pakistanis that want to fight these terrorists amongst them are liberal! Welcome to the world of nonsense.

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  • Falcon
    Nov 24, 2012 - 3:10AM

    @Mj & @sdf:
    As you can see, I have no problem with liberalism. My problem is only with Pakistani liberals. They are the most educated people who can very well make a difference, but keep wasting their skills in mundane activity of criticizing others. They think everything wrong with Pakistan is someone else’s mistake, not theirs. They look down upon masses as ignorant folks, think radicalism is the only problem infecting Pakistan, have never given a ray of hope to anyone, and most importantly, have never proposed or organized themselves for bringing forth practical solutions to the problems of Pakistan (and please, changing constitution of Pakistan overnight is not a solution). If they want to have the right to criticize, they should first learn to put skin in the game rather than sitting 24X7 on the high horse of self-righteousness.

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  • The Real Bloch
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:52AM

    Excellent article. Liberal is defined as a stooge who knows only two countries who are always right, UK and USA. This is his/her only world.Recommend

  • AJ
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:53AM

    Blaming US for everything: check.
    Blaming current ruling party for everything: check.
    Invoking Godwin’s Law: check.

    You, sir, have hit a trolling tri-fecta. Congratulations, yeh water cooler aap ka hua.

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  • MAC
    Nov 24, 2012 - 9:13AM

    There is something very wrong about this article. It is a very badly written piece with no understanding of theoretical underpinnings of liberalism, and a whole lot of gibberish that sounds impressive in English

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  • Umer
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:01AM

    Pakistan’s self-declared liberals

    So does being liberal require a degree from somewhere such as from an elite overpriced school?

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  • Saif M
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:35AM

    This article proves, if a proof was needed, that being able to string words in English does not necessarily make you intelligent or even coherent.

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:09PM

    How does the US benefit by funding the Taliban?

    By what mechanism does the USAID flush out monies to the Taliban?

    Is it the civilain government or the military that is responsible for collaborating with the CIA operated drone program?

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  • Omer Khan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:11PM

    What about Baitullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain and many other leaders of the TTP killed in drone attacks whose only job was to kill, butcher and maim Pakistanis across the length and breadth of the country? They had not much to do with Afghanistan or the US. The people of Pakistan should thank the US Govt. for helping us get rid of these killers.

    Had IK been in power and drone attacks stopped, we would have seen ‘collateral damage’ of PTI’s policies in the streets of every urban centre of Pakistan.

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  • TAK
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @MSS: Please taste this one for a change and a bit of education.

    U.S. Tax Dollars Fueling Afghan Insurgency

    June 21, 2010

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6604606.html

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  • Anonymous
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Liberals who r in favor of military operation; suppose we capture Baitulla Mehsud,and govt want to hang him. My question is would you support the hanging of Baitulla or oppose it? If ur answer in support of hanging then congrats ur not liberal anymore, and if ur answer is against the death penalty then congrats again ur not a liberal. Pretty tight spot for liberals haaanRecommend

  • TAK
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:35PM

    Our quixotic liberals have been living in la-la land too long. A pretty good spanking, I must say, with a minimum of qualms.

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  • mani
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:02PM

    @Karim:
    success of drone strikes? nigga plizz

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  • mani
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @Azim:
    how do u know all that was taliban?

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  • Kaalchakra
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:32PM

    ” If ur answer in support of hanging then congrats ur not liberal anymore, and if ur answer is against the death penalty then congrats again ur not a liberal. Pretty tight spot for liberals haaan”

    Anoymous, I never thought of it that way. Must say, this is utterly brilliant. A real breakthrough against liberal reasoning.

    Omer Khan

    Under IK, had all those people (Baitullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain etc) not been killed, then ordinary Pakistanis might or might not have been ‘collateral damage’ as you put it, but certainly Pakistani nation would not be suffering under the heavy yoke of American imperialism. Nor would Pakistan’s daughter, Dr Aafia have been rotting in a cruel American jail. Are a few Pakistan lives too heavy a price to keep Pakistan free from the evil designs of imperialists?

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  • Rizwan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:38PM

    now pakistan self declared liberal troll… face the music…. exposed so many times but never admit…

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 5:39PM

    The author is woefully unaware of what liberalism is. He concots his own definition of what liberals and leftists should be believing in, and then mocks the liberals as “self-declared” based on his personal definitions.

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  • Ismail Effendi
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:58PM

    Mr. Kasuri’s article is full of strawmanning errors, besides being vague and highly selective.
    For starters, he never names or refers to the liberals whom he attacking – Who are the liberals in Pakistan who advocate war?Similarly, his quoting Ustinov implies that terrorism is bred out of poverty. If that was the case, Pakistan’s poorest and most disenfranchised section of the population would have taken the lead in the acts of terrorism that have engulfed Pakistan.Yet, the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan is almost entirely restricted to Takfiri Jihadi militant groups that have the backing of Pakistan’s military establishment and leniency from the Judiciary and the lack of will by the elected government to tackle them. The Christains are amongst the poorest in Pakistan but has there been one single Pakistani Christain terrorist??Mr. Kasuri then falls back upon the “Drones are causing terrorism” argument – a favourite excuse of the Taliban apologists found amongst PML N, PTI and Jamaat –e- Islami. The ratio of drone victims that essentially target the Taliban/Al Qaeda/LeJ to those who have been killed by the these groups is 1:15! So if Mr. Kasuri’s arguments had any merit, the anti Taliban Pashtuns, Shias, Ahmedis, Brelvis, anti-Taliban Deobandis and Christains would have the highest number of terrorists amongst them – as they have suffered the most. This argument by Mr. Kasuri clearly backfires. The entire drone debate in Pakistan has been confused because those who oppose drones are dishonestly absolving those who continue to sponsor the Taliban. If the United States is still funding the Taliban then Imran Khan, Munawar Hasan, Hafiz Saeed and Malik Ishaq –the chief apologists and supporters of the Taliban in Pakistan must logically be CIA agents. Apparently the absurdity of this logic is lost on Mr. Kasuri. Similarly the Taliban itself uses innocent Pashtuns as “human shields” but those who oppose drones conveniently absolve the Taliban for civilian deaths. What about the thousands of foreign mercenaries that are misusing FATA and North Waziristan to launch terrorist attacks on our cities. Remember the graphic videos of Khooni chowk?Furthermore, ET should have done some basic fact checking.
    Mr. Kasuri only cites by hyperlinking the controversial and increasingly discredited NYU-Stanford Law report on drones. This report has been proven to be extremely selective and unduly influenced by organizations connected to PTI. Refer to Dr. Taqi’s “Shooting down drones with academic guns? — I—Dr Mohammad Taqi” (Daily Times) and “Correction: Did a Drone kill Malala (Anas Abbas, DAWN)Mr. Kasuri completely leaves out the exhaustive study on drones by the Burea of Investigative Journalism, Professor C. Fair, New America Foundation, Shahid Saeed/Awais Masood and most importantly the analysis by Pashtun academician and anti Taliban activist Farhat Taj. Many of these articles can be accessed by searching for “Pakistan Media Watch Drones”.While Mr. Kasuri slams President Zardari for the latter’s anti Taliban stance, like his current employer, Imran Khan, he completely absolves the army inspite of General Ghayur Mehmood’s public statement on how the Pakistan Army has corporated with the United states on drones. Asad Munir’s “Imran Khan’s march to Waziristan” published by Express Tribune refutes much of the half-truths in Mr. Kasuri’s article. After headlining Mr. Kasuri’s weakly constructed article, atleast Express Tribune can no longer be slammed by PTI followers for being against their party. Atleast when articles written y PPP members are published, their affiliations are made clear. This is not the case for the current ET headlines where Mr. Kasuri’s role in the Imran Khan Foundation are simply not mentioned as well as his fervent advocacy for Imran Khan on various forums on Facebook and media discussion groups. This is a crucial omission because it misleads the reader into evaluating this article as written by an independent source instead of a PTI supporter – which is what this is.

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 6:10PM

    Please do tell us about hypocrisy of self declared rightists as well. A piece of confused thoughts making no sense at all.

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @sabi:
    “Author
    Tell us about the hypocrisy of “our self declared rightist” (fascists.thekedar).”

    .
    TPI’s supporters don’t you worry, go on playing your game. The US knows where Ultra Rights sympathies lie.

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  • sidrah
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:50PM

    ummmm y did this article make it to the op-ed pages?

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  • Something Clever
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:54PM

    @mani:
    Drones have taken out more significant names than your army throughout its history and they weren’t even used until a number of years after the war started.
    Though I’m not counting big named Pakistani citizens and politicians. Your army wins there.

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  • Anonymous
    Nov 24, 2012 - 9:27PM

    It is one of the absurd article I have ever read on ET
    It is not clear whether author is against USA or Taliban . If Against USA and its funding of Taliban as alleged! then Why Taliban Khan is supporting Taliban. If they are American agent let them die withamerican drone.
    Author is calling USA ans KSA as puppeteers ! Probably yes. But after USSR withdrawal , USA abandoned Pakistan as a piece of rubber.” remember liberals were against Taliban then and now” what a consistency over 33 year irrespective with whom they are fighting!!!
    More problem than puppeteer is “mindset” that petrodollars have shaped in the form of taliban khan and others who support as much as they they can to “toxic idealogy of intolerance”. These supporters outnumber terrorist and you can find them everywhere.
    One of the solutions along with other things, take away pulpit of masjid from mullah for preaching that toxic idealogy. They can use their political offices for this purpose. Ban any political or sectarian preaching in masjid.

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  • Fahad Khan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 9:38PM

    Thank you Mr. Kasuri for showing the self declared liberals of Pakistan mirror. Excellent and very relevant quotes have been quoted. The end of the article is amazing. “To quote Tolstoy, “You consider war to be inevitable? Very good. Let everyone who advocates war be enrolled in a special regiment of advance-guards, for the front of every storm, of every attack, to lead them all!”
    You first, “alleged” liberals. Pakistan’s masses may yet reconsider.” Loved it.

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  • Ali S
    Nov 24, 2012 - 9:55PM

    Part of being “liberal” is being a critical thinker – which brings up the question: if drone strikes are counterproductive, how else are we supposed to deal with these subhumans? We have all seen how the prospects of “peace talks” and dialogue have turned out – they’ve made a mockery of it and dropped their end of the deal 13 TIMES. With no other choice, we have to settle for the lesser of two evils.

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  • pg
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:30PM

    WAIT WAIT!! The author is telling me that drones who target taliban are ‘BAD’? The same taliban who cut off the heads of soldiers and posed with them!??

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  • Jat
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:48PM

    @pg: “…The author is telling me that drones who target taliban are ‘BAD’? The same taliban who cut off the heads of soldiers and posed with them!??…”

    He is not really an author, just someone from PTI parroting the same old line – Taliban good, drone bad; American dollars good, Americans bad.

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 11:33PM

    @Ali S:
    “Part of being “liberal” is being a critical thinker ….”
    .
    If you are on the Ultra Right it is just right. Thinking is not a requirement. Critical or otherwise.

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  • Sultan
    Nov 25, 2012 - 12:47AM

    Be democratic. Hold a referendum in Pakistan on whether we want to wage a war or use political means to get out of the mess we are in–let the tribe speak!

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  • Sultan
    Nov 25, 2012 - 12:54AM

    @Ismail Effendi:

    This is not the case for the current ET headlines where Mr. Kasuri’s role in the Imran Khan Foundation are simply not mentioned

    You wrote a lot of piffle and balderdash based on glaring omissions. You need to get either a new prescription for your glasses or a pill for dyslexia–right under the author’s picture above, ET discloses that he works for Imran Khan Foundation. I have cut and paste the exact disclosure below in case in your eagerness to type anti Imran drivel, you fail to see it again.

    The writer is the National Programme Manager for the Imran Khan Foundation, as well as a film-maker in his free time. He tweets at @idkasuri

    Where do we get these blind jokers from?

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  • sattar rind
    Nov 25, 2012 - 4:17AM

    what he wanted to say?

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  • Aries
    Nov 25, 2012 - 9:31PM

    What a confused bit of writing. What a waste of time!

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  • Hasnain Ali
    Nov 25, 2012 - 9:58PM

    The so-called liberals are using different tactics to cover up their misappropriation or embezzlements of zakat funds and misusing corporate jet for personal & political purposes!

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  • Nov 25, 2012 - 11:58PM

    @Hasnain Ali:
    :
    “The so-called liberals are using different tactics to cover up their misappropriation or embezzlements of zakat funds and misusing corporate jet for personal & political purposes!”
    .
    Do I understand you correctly that the said industrialist is doling out cash and support to the Ultra Right Wing part because he is a liberal? So is Taliban Khan a liberal too!

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  • abcde
    Nov 26, 2012 - 4:44PM

    @Anonymous:

    1st of all, Baitullah Mehsud is already dead. 2nd of all, liberalism does not require tolerating the intolerant, or intolerance generally. Does Karl Popper ring a bell? Of course it doesn’t. So I would be all for hanging, for example, Qadri, for in doing so, I would be preserving tolerance itself. It does not negate liberal principles in any way. Samjhay baat?

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  • Nov 27, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Holy Prophet Mohammed (sws) prohibited killing of innocent people even during war.
    What is terrorism? Edward Herman, Emeritus Professor from Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, has offered a politically neutral, straightforward definition of terrorism that is difficult to argue with: “the use of force or the threat of force against
    civilian populations to achieve political objectives.”

    A strategy to “squeeze” countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Waziristan through bombing and starvation, or other covert operations, “until the people of the country themselves get the leadership changed or become puppets” would certainly qualify as terrorism under this definition.

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