Why do they pick on us Pakistanis?

Published: January 3, 2011
The writer teaches physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. These remarks are excerpted from a recent talk he gave in Washington DC to Pakistani professionals settled in America

The writer teaches physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. These remarks are excerpted from a recent talk he gave in Washington DC to Pakistani professionals settled in America

My green passport requires standing in a separate immigration line once my plane lands at Boston’s Logan airport. The ‘special attention’ from Homeland Security, although polite, adds an extra two to three hours. I belong to the fortunate few who can get a visa, but I am still annoyed. Having travelled to the US frequently for forty years, I now find a country that once warmly welcomed Pakistanis to be strangely cold. The reason is clear.

Foreigners carrying strong negative feelings — or perhaps harmful intentions — are unlikely to find enthusiastic hosts. I know that the man who tried to bomb Times Square, Faisal Shahzad, a graduate of the University of Bridgeport, is my compatriot. So is Aafia Siddiqui, our new-found dukhtur-e-millat (daughter of the nation). Another Pakistani, Farooque Ahmed, with a degree from the College of Staten Island, made headline news in November 2010 after his abortive attempt to blow up DC Metro trains.

If such violent individuals were rarities, their nationality would matter little. But their actions receive little or no criticism in a country consumed by bitter anti-Americanism, which now exceeds its anti-Indianism.

Example: after the Faisal Shahzad news broke in early May 2010, TV channels in Pakistan switched to denial mode. Popular anchors freely alleged conspiracies against Islam and Pakistan. None revisited their claims after Shahzad proudly pleaded guilty in June. Calling himself a “Muslim soldier”, he read a prepared statement: “It’s a war … I’m going to plead guilty a hundred times over”.

Psychologists say that even hard facts can be denied when people subscribe to a radically different vision of the world. A glimpse of the current Pakistani weltanschauung — the mental makeup which selects and filters facts before they reach the conscious brain — can be had through the lives of the three young US-educated Pakistanis mentioned above.

Idealistic in their own way, they fought for a cause they believed was just. Influenced by an ambiance that puts America as the source of the world’s grief, they bravely sacrificed their jobs and careers. Having inhabited some part of their universe, I can understand something of what they went through.

Like Aafia Siddiqui — now al Qaeda’s poster girl — I, too, was a student at MIT. And, like her, I was furious at America. In the late 1960s, American B-52s were flattening Hanoi and Haiphong, while napalm and Agent Orange were destroying Vietnam’s people and jungles. When Nixon ordered the Christmas bombings of 1972, I wept. How could one live in America and not fight it? But instead of wanting to bomb Harvard Square, I chose to return to Pakistan — for good.

Reason and observation slowly changed me. Cruelty to the weak is not an American monopoly; wars and brutal conquests are as old as history. The US cannot be forgiven for the Vietnam and Iraq wars, among others. But should India be forgiven for killing Kashmiris, West Pakistan for the East Pakistan massacres, Turkey for the Armenian genocide, or Japan for the Rape of Nanking? Countless states have blood on their hands. But retribution would surely make the world an inferno.

If Pakistani-Americans wish to feel welcome in the country they have chosen to live in, then, they must judge the West and Pakistan using exactly the same criteria, and expose three popular falsehoods.

First, it is a lie that American Muslims are victims of extreme religious prejudice. Certainly, no country is free of religious discrimination. But, the secular West is infinitely less discriminatory than any Muslim country. How many churches are there in Saudi Arabia? Yet Muslims have built hundreds of new mosques in America — with Saudi money — and many after 9/11. New churches or temples are impossible in Pakistan; even old ones are burned down by rampaging mobs.

In America, Muslims successfully use the legal system to seek damages if there is discrimination in matters of employment, housing, or access to public facilities. But in Pakistan, if you are a Christian, Hindu, or Ahmadi, you simply accept your fate.

Second, it is a lie that US Muslims are physically endangered. In fact, Muslims are far safer in the US than in Pakistan. Does one see Kalashnikov-toting guards during Friday prayers outside a mosque in the West? Yet if you are a Barelvi or a Shia in Pakistan, your life may end at your place of worship. Scattered body limbs and pools of blood at Data Darbar, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, and the Pakpattan shrines testify that the cruellest of Islam’s enemies come from within.

While Pakistan’s terrified religious minorities live in fear of an intolerant majority, American Muslims get protection both from its people and the state. A personal example: the day after 9/11, I was appalled by the wild joy among my students. Worried about my former students, now studying in various US universities, I emailed them. Their return emails were reassuring. White American students had formed defence committees; no Muslim student was ever harmed on any campus. So even though George W Bush — a religious zealot — was preparing to invade Iraq, ordinary Americans were largely decent.

Third, the nauseating hypocrisy of Pakistan’s radicalising West-hating, West-baiting leaders needs to be exposed. For example, Imran Khan — who speaks of the West as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital.

To conclude: if Pakistani-Americans want to feel welcome in the land they have chosen to settle in, they must actively combat the cancer of radicalism. They must want to be part of the modern world, not the one they came from. To mosque imams and radical Islamists, they must say clearly and loudly: we want to live peacefully with other Americans in a modern, pluralistic and secular society that values freedom of belief, freedom for art and music and freedom for thought and expression.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (152)

  • Ajay
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Well said like very few do !Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 12:16AM

    A well-written and thoughtful piece by Professor Hoodbhoy as always. I agree with the basic premise of it, that the anti-American sentiment prevalent in Pakistan has been used for too long to detract from the real injustice – which is that it’s the Pakistanis killing and looting the Pakistanis.

    But as you say, we need to compare like with like. Yes, there is more religious tolerance in America, but America regards itself as the leading nation in secularism and acceptance. Something, which to Pakistan’s credit, it has never boasted of. And rightfully so. Yet we can’t leave American Pakistani’s to fight the charge against a radical Pakistan, I think that should fall squarely on the Pakistani nationals within the country itself. Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:11AM

    Everyone knows about Seeta White and her daughter; but Imran opposed Women Protection Bill! Alongwith radical mullahs, he paticipated in the 31st Dec rally which was carried out to warn the Government against bringing any amendment in the Blasphemy law. In Swat, the taliban were blowing up schools and flogging women but Imran was telling everyone about the virtues of taliban rule. Shouldnt Imran first apply the traditional laws on his ownself? Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 1:15AM

    Good article by Mr. Hoodbhoy, one of the best names in science in Pakistan. I am not a PTI supporter or a fan of Imran Khan as a politician, but sadly the criticism on Imran Khan is pretty much baseless. Saying that he doesn’t use hakeems instead of doctors is not satire, sir, looks more like a sign of delirium to me. Just because someone criticizes the US government for all the right reasons, it does not make them the Devil Incarnate. This is the problem in Pakistan that everyone gets personal instead of offering solid arguments, and you find the trend in every single debate. Don’t tell me that Imran Khan is a hypocrite, maybe he is or maybe he is not, tell me how is he wrong in criticizing America. Come up with something more solid and people will be convinced. I agree with everything else you have written. Recommend

  • SomeGuy
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:39AM

    I find it funny when middle-class Pakistanis bash “western ways and values” everywhere, yet have no qualms about watching their TV shows, listening to their music, working for their multinational companies or consuming their products Recommend

  • Amna
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:00AM

    “Third, the nauseating hypocrisy of Pakistan’s radicalising West-hating, West-baiting leaders needs to be exposed. For example, Imran Khan — who speaks of the West as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital.”

    Just because someone speaks against the American government or it’s foreign policy doesnt mean they are Anti-America or West-hating. I am an American and I think the American government has an obnoxious foreign policy. I know many American who are not of Pakistani-descent that feel similarly. I am accepted just fine here, and I speak my mind to anyone.

    If you are an extremist, you will turn into a Faisal Shahzad-yes. But just because you disgree with what is going on between the West and Pakistan, does not mean you are Anti- America or an extremist. Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:13AM

    Pervez Hoodbhoy is a true Pakistani hero. Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:17AM

    On the one hand we have religious extremists who spread hatred against the west and on the other we have militant secularists (like Parvez Hoodbhoy) who are also in denial. Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:21AM

    Two wrongs are making one right: India in Kashmir, Turkey in Armenia and Pakistan in East Pakistan. Now lets salute the US for invading Iraq. Logic of Parvez Hoodbhoy is very much like that PPP minister who said ‘corruption par hamara haq be hai’ (we also have right to do corruption)!! Change the word corruption with ‘cruelty to poor’.

    He has unnecessarily dragged Imran Khan in the debate because he had personal argument (almost fight) in some tv show. Imran Khan never said that West is fountain head and he never said that living in London etc is Haram. He is Chancellor of Bradford University and he believes in standing up for principles, not falling for visas. Recommend

    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:55AM

    very few pakis will introspect and look within for the problems they created themselvs .. but most of them are blindly religious brainwashed zealots..Recommend

  • EZ
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:57AM

    “if you are a Barelvi or a Shia in Pakistan, your life may end at your place of worship”.…THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RUBBISH,Mr writer contradict himself by mentioning data darbar and Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in the very next line because mostly Sunni Muslims go visit these shrines and even they are not safe,fact of the matter is as far as safety of worship places is concern its not a good time for any one in Pakistan and not only the minorities…..agreed with the rest of the articleRecommend

  • SLatif
    Jan 4, 2011 - 3:40AM

    Well written. Yes that is true, Muslims are safer in USA than any Muslim country espacially Pakistan. Mr. Hoodbhoy you mentioned that barelvi and Shia are not safe, I guess you forgot another minority. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the main target of the discrimination and hate campaign of the ” Respected Mullahs”. Recently on the streets of Pakistan they are annouced very loud and clear about killing of member of Ahmediyya Muslim Community. You mentioned about the attacks on Data Darbar, Abdullah Shah Gazi and Pak Patton but did not mentioned about the attack on two Mosques of Lahore in May, 2010.
    Mr Hoodbhoy I respected you as a libreral and honest writer. Please shade some light on cruel attacks on Ahmadiyya Muslim Community all over the Pakistan.
    .In USA Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is trying to show the true picture of Islam and remove the misconception about Islam. A Billboard is showing our message on Times square about “Peace, Love & Loyality”.Recommend

  • Zeeshan P
    Jan 4, 2011 - 3:43AM

    “Third, the nauseating hypocrisy of Pakistan’s radicalising West-hating, West-baiting leaders needs to be exposed. For example, Imran Khan — who speaks of the West as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital.”

    what? why stopped there? Let’s go a few hundred years back and demand Americans to be grateful to Muslims who passed so much knowledge to them. It’s one thing to be obsessed with west as the rational and superior civilization, it’s another thing to assume that science and knowledge are products of the west alone. So many Muslims have contributed to the well-being of westerners too. West-hating didn’t originate from vacuum. If Muslims are forced to introspect, why shouldn’t you demand the same from the west?

    Secondly, have you been following poll in America lately? You should cause a huge chunk of Americans, just like Pakistanis who you are ready to bash, are ready to deprive minorities (i.e., Muslims) of many rights. And Americans who have traveled to Pakistan will tell you about Pakistanis’ hospitality despite Pakistan being attacked with drones (that violence you approved of). While you demand Pakistan to introspect, might we ask you Dr.Hoodbhoy to look at the world beyond your narrow lens?Recommend

  • Salma
    Jan 4, 2011 - 4:19AM

    A typical piece by Pakistan’s very own Uncle Tom! This is an intellectually dishonest article that relies on ad hominem rather than address the real problems faced by Pakistanis.Recommend

  • BP
    Jan 4, 2011 - 4:26AM

    As usual a great article by Dr. Hoodbhoy. Just one comment. He seems to be equating Kashmir with East Pakistan genocide. The fact is that the Indian/Kashmiri security forces don’t deliberately target Kashmiri civilians. Of the ~43,000 deaths in Kashmir in the past three decades, half of those killed were terrorists, 37% security personnel and about 12% civilians. While there could have been some extra judicial killing of civilians or in cross-fire, a lot of them were killed by the terrorists themselves. People in Pakistan, including normally unbiased intellectuals such as Dr. Hoodbhoy, have bought into the Pakistani establishment propaganda. Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 4:36AM

    Totally agree. That’s really funny about our society, we want to blame everything on the west and yet we are “dependent” on them.

    I think its more out of inferiority complex. They are progressive, developed and ahead of us. Someone our inflated ego can not gulp that.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 4:45AM

    Very good article, dare I say the only way forward for Pakistan would be a secular PakistanRecommend

  • nayeem
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:09AM

    excuse me please name a game not invented by western colonialists? and that comment about hakeems and imran khans family messed up the entire article.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:22AM

    I have lived in the USA for nearly two years. During this time, I never came across a single bigoted American at work, on streets, or in my neighborhood. I was never discriminated due to my nationality and faith. Sad to see why people in Pakistan are so resentful of Americans without evaluating their own state of affairs. Actually, I have personally faced systematic discrimination against Pakistanis in a number of Islamic countries.Recommend

  • S Jamil
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:54AM

    Third, the nauseating hypocrisy of Pakistan’s radicalising West-hating, West-baiting
    leaders needs to be exposed. For example, Imran Khan — who speaks of the West
    as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes
    his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather
    than hakeems for his cancer hospital.

    What a silly argument is this! Instead of recognizing the tremendous amount of good that Imran has done – Cancer Hospitals and Nimal University Mianwali – picking on what kind of doctors he uses or the game that he used to play or his family life is as ridiculous as it can get.

    Cruelty to the weak is not an American monopoly; wars and brutal conquests are
    as old as history.

    So one should simply accept it as normal and not raise voice against it? So Martin Luther King should have kept quite and Gandhi should have fallen line and Chomsky should have kept to his Linguistics studies.

    Reason and observation slowly changed me

    Let us hop that this process continues.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 6:50AM

    An excellent article by a great scholar. Recommend

  • Ashwin
    Jan 4, 2011 - 6:55AM

    brilliant ! i agree with all your observations “Countless states have blood on their hands. But retribution would surely make the world an inferno.” Every state has blood on it’s hands.Recommend

  • Kesav
    Jan 4, 2011 - 7:04AM

    Dear Doctor, You accuse India of killing Kashmiris but conveniently fail to mention that Pakistan trained thousands of terrorists and then pushed them into Kashmir since the late 1980’s,for the sole purpose to create anarchy by terrorist activities.Pakistan’s aim is to win over Kashmir through terror.Thereby forcing the Indian troops to retaliate, and then point to India for retaliation!!What do you expect the Indian soldiers to do,sit on their hands and watch the murder and mayhem?!!Before 1989 is the police action in Kashmir any more than other states of India? Why don’t you come to the real reason,which is the hatred in your ideology that is consuming everything.Recommend

  • Zubair Faisal Abbasi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 7:37AM

    This is an extremely useful and timely critique. We need to challenge the religious orthodoxy and highly biased rhetoric by many religio-political actors such as Imran Khan and his confederates. This article by Dr. Hood must acquaint people with a comprehensive assessment which is needed to have a life which does not endanger lives of other human beings. Having said this, I feel that such a thought is being marginalized in our society. In our academic institutions we are more into churning out students who do not ‘think critically’. Our youth is more interested in finding conspiracy theories and easy-identification of enemy to start working. Something has gone seriously wrong in Pakistan and the progeny we have placed in fields will keep giving us ‘hate-based’ scenarios for a long time in future. I hope, things change in Pakistan BUT it requires a big push largely from the state – the state which has too many faces and mostly confusing ones. Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 8:39AM

    Great piece :-)
    Thumbs up !!!Recommend

  • singh
    Jan 4, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Very thoughtful. I can’t read Urdu but please write in Urdu for people who can’t read in English.
    It is excellent piece of writing..Recommend

  • Amaar
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Very true. In fact a campaign for this purpose ‘Muslims for peace’ has been launched in the USA (http://www.muslimsforpeace.org/)Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:19AM

    @ Author

    Sir, it seems that you are restricted this article to advice Pakistanis living in America but it is not going to sove the problem because root cause of the problem lies in Pakistan. You should solve the problem in Pakistan.Recommend

  • TKhan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:48AM

    Bravo Sir. Always the voice of sanity. Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:09AM

    Wonderful article Sir …. coundnt agree anuthing more than this. But, unfortunately crusade has already started and we all know what will be its fate according to your holy book !Recommend

  • amlendu
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Well said sir, the biggest problem for muslims is the inherent hypocrisy and arrogance. I have muslim friends who would be gushing about the law and order situation in Saudi Arabia but won’t say single word about the state of religious freedom there. Most of the muslims want to be given full religious freedom when they are in minority but will not criticize the muslim majority states when they deny that freedom to their minority. This hypocrisy is direct result of false arrogance that the Islam is the only true religion and anyone who is not a “proper muslim” does not deserve any rights and be treated as second or third class human being. To clarify, I’m a Hindu by birth but do not believe in concept of religion and believe that it is a man made construct and is shaped by the time and place of it’s inception.
    Thanks again.Recommend

  • Jawad+Iqbal+Jawad
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:50AM

    The professor is aptly right in declaring the West more tolerant and broad-minded than the Muslims living in their homelands in the East. No doubt there is a significant role of America in the disturbed situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the basis of this disturbance lies within these countries. If the body possesses a powerful immune system how can the external forces make it ill;. We are vulnerable and this is the reason or foreign intrusion whether it is from America, West and India. It is not the people of these countries, but some institutions and agencies exploit the situation of Muslims countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan for their interests. If Faisal Shahzad was going to explode a bomb in New York his victims would be civilians and they are as innocent as the innocent children, women, youth and elderly people targeted by CIA, RAW and FBI in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 11:57AM

    Well said Professor Hoodbhoy, not only did you come back to Pakistan, you saved Quaid i Azam university from being turned into a housing colony for professors, an initiative to which an overwhelming majority of my professors at QAU were signatory.

    You walk the walk Sir, more power to your keyboard.Recommend

  • rahim
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:52PM

    Of Quackery and Imperialism

    It is difficult to disagree with the view you put forward in your article regarding the fact that many nations have blood on their hands, so to portray the US alone as some kind of novel design of a war mongering and civilization destroying nation would indeed be wrong. To put it simply let’s call a spade a spade, be it Americans in Iraq, West Pakistanis in East Pakistan or Indians in West Bengal violence and war are no excuse or solution. This is a lesson oft repeated in history but we have been unable to realize the significance of this lesson and learn from it.

    My question though is simple, I am not who one is disgusted by the so called immorality and oppression of the American Empire but by oppression in general, by injustice (or at least I would like to think so). If you suggest taking a more empathetic approach to this condemnation but leaving out individual countries and maybe not attacking the mindless war mongering rhetoric that pours out of the great enlightened United States of America (recognizing simultaneously as it does from our very own state and so many others) what is it that we one can do. Weep as you did when America bombed Vietnam and return home seeking isolation in despair or protest in every which way possible. What do you suggest we do, rather human nature demands someone to blame; who do we blame?

    Before I end I feel necessary to mention that over the years I have enjoyed reading your articles because they seem to have a coherent thought pattern and cogent arguments yet lately it seems all of us have fallen prey to the rather lowly and underhand tactics of the TV channels in denigrating and condemning people. In my personal opinion one has every right to comment on the personal lives of public figures (such as Imran Khan) but it is still something that is frowned upon by the more refined and educated especially when their personal lives are obviously complicated due to divorce etcetera. I can assure you that if one would like they could portray certain parts of your personal and family life and mould them to reflect the so called hypocrisy of your ways. After all what do hakeems have to do with imperialism anyway.Recommend

  • karim
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:53PM

    nice exactly correct,,,,,,,,,,,,Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:05PM

    Again, half facts and theories by mr hoodby.Recommend

  • hafeez
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:12PM

    One more great piece from Perveiz Hoodbhoy. Recommend

  • vasan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:15PM

    Hats off to Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy. You have shown the mirror to Pakistani brothers. I hope they open their eyes wide and look into the mirrorRecommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 1:24PM

    Now work on another piece and show the other side of how many have been kill Iraq, Palestine, Kashimir, Bosnia, Afghanistan… Yet when someone comes to our door step.. with an American or a British Passport… how we react in that situation?Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 1:36PM

    Just because Imran Khan is against the US foreign policy and imperialistic approach does that make him Anti-USA???? I wasn’t expecting this kind of baseless argument from writer of your status. Writer seems to have personal grudge against Imran :DRecommend

  • osama mansoor
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Excellent article. Although I disagree with Prof. Hoodbhoy on many issues but as far as this article goes, I just cannot agree more. Recommend

  • Arifq
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:00PM

    Kudos to the writer for his honesty and objectivity. I second his suggestion to challenge the political opportunists such as Imran Khan, Pakistan needs more people lile the honorable Professor. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Akhtar
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:06PM

    No need to put up any counter arguments to this Liberal Fascist….Recommend

  • Adam Malik
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Kudos Hoodbhoy has well analyzed and articulated our hypocratic attitutde of our so called intellectual. Some people themselves want to live their west including US and they for their children to study and work their but for common people they like Pakistani society and declare it better then west.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 2:28PM

    sir… u r absolutely rightRecommend

  • Jamil Maqsood
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:36PM

    Parvez Hoodbhoy is a great scholar and visionary intellectual in the region, who speaks bluntly. He narrates situation in a very simple manner.

    Jamil MaqsoodRecommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Hats off to a true leader of Pakistan. We are honored to have you among us who can tell a truth unlike others! Recommend

  • Safder Lodi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:45PM

    What about Drone-Attacks on Innocent civilians as disclosed by, Gardian UK,” Proportionately 1 militant = 50 civilians are being killed in the attacks.” 2nd; within the Pakistan, Data derbar or Pak-patten all Bomb blast was done by ,” Black-Water ” that is why no one can arrest or nammed them on-record. This is USA-War base-economy. Their Ordnance-Industry earning/making easy money through this ,” Christmas-Bombing “Recommend

  • harkol
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:45PM

    As usual Mr. Hoodbhoy is upto the point and is fearless in articulating an unpopular point in radicalized pakistan.

    The reality of any state is that it uses its coercive powers in ways that’s not always right.

    @Raquib Ali

    It is ridiculous for some to call Hoodbhoy a ‘militant secularist’! A militant is one who is disposed to ‘warfare’. There aren’t any non-state ‘secularists’ who want to enforce secularism with a gun. That is an exclusive preserve of religiously/ideologically bigoted individuals.

    The facts speak for themselves – Pakistan has followed a covert policy of ethnic cleansing on its Hindu minorities. From close to 20% at independence to less than 2% today didn’t happen accidentally. Even today, Hindu’s are seeking migration to India and other countries, and the Pakistani law treats them as second/third class citizens.

    Compare that with the statistics of USA or India. The muslim percentage of the population has gone up in the past 50 years…

    Militant secularists my foot!!Recommend

  • Mahmood Hussain
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:47PM

    I have found a sole person “Dr.Hood Bhai” in the Media and public who give a true picture of Muslims and Situation in Pakistan.
    Dr.Hood Bhai! i have a longing desire to meet You Sir!.Please give your e-mail address.Recommend

  • Riaz Khan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Excellent article based on reality! There are very few people like Pervez H in Pakistan in fact none who is truly honest, bold, straight forward and dedicated to the cause of Pakistanis. Pervez you make us very proud. Recommend

  • Farhana
    Jan 4, 2011 - 2:52PM

    simply wonderful….I wish our youth learns, what our generation couldn’t.Recommend

  • Footnotes
    Jan 4, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Stop pointing fingers you are radicalising Imran too which is onus of your article.
    Read Sir Syed and live your life and let live toward progress.
    Pointing fingers using big words dont make a country progress – lets have an economic war now . TALK IS CHEAPRecommend

  • Iqbal+Khan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Excellent article with a bitter truth !!!Recommend

  • Asad
    Jan 4, 2011 - 3:33PM

    “Third, the nauseating hypocrisy of Pakistan’s ……Imran Khan………”
    Can’t digest it that you have said this..Despite that, worth reading..Recommend

  • Hamad
    Jan 4, 2011 - 4:41PM

    One of the biggest puzzles about life today is that if a Muslim criticises Christianity it’s “freedom of speech”. The other way round is “religious intolerance” that has to be stamped out quickly. I’m not sure just how we’ve got into this situation; it all seemed to happen so quickly under the smoke and mirrors government of ZIA.
    People in the middle ages thought they were civilised,that there would be no more revolution or disorder and that the king was only second to God… 500 years later we know we had the Wars of the Roses,that the King had his head chopped off and that people were burned at the stake for their religious views….

    The Muslim extremist problem is a direct result of 11yrs of ZIA bringingf them in on the understanding that they vote for them…. for Islam Quran!!!Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:19PM

    Mr Hoodbhoy, nice try in hood winking us into believing that somehow your personal opinions could pass off as analysis. You talk about the world turing into an inferno if everyone seeks retribution, it is alright for the US to seek retribution but wrong for anyone else to seek it?

    No one denies that people have been killed in massacres during war all over the world, but the US has been instrumental in pushing forward their agenda via their military machine. Now people like you are asking Pakistani Americans to be compliant to this mass murder of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. You should feel ashamed.

    Now on to your three falsehoods, The US and most western nations are secular, Saudi Arabia is a muslim state with muslim laws and does not permit the construction of churches, thats the law of the land who are you to question the wisdom of that law. If the US or US citizens have any problems with Saudi money funding mosques in the US they should ban the building of mosques in the US. They dont seem to have a problem with saudi money when its being used to fund their war machine in gulf war in the 1990’s or when they are saving Citibank from collapsing ( prince waleed in the 1990’s)

    Most minorities are subjected to discrimination, be it religious in the case of muslim countries versus racial in the case of the US, i think there is enough data available for you to sift through about the ‘impartial’ US justice system and how it affects the Blacks and Hispanics.

    Falsehood 2 – Just like Ordinary Americans are largely decent so are Ordinary Pakistanis!!!!!!!
    The Muslims in the US are not in danger, but the ones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North west are in grave danger. US policies in the Af-Pak region need not be revisited they are like an open book and just as we should blame ourselves for this mess that we have created we should also point the finger at the US for helping the Mujhahideen when it suited them and now to kill them all and let god sort them out.

    Dear Professor the majority of Pakistanis have no recourse to law it is muslims in pakistan who have suffered the worst in terms of terrorism, in terms of the blasphemy law so yes it is tragic but the common Pakistani doesnt discrimnate against anyone. Your personal story brought a tear to my eye very touching (sarcasm – thought id tell you just in case), time and space doesnt allow me to tell you my stories of how i studied in a missonary school with christians and hindus and we stood for each other as brothers.

    Now to the third falsehood – your personal dislike for Imran is very eveident Imran doesnt criticise the West as the root of all evil afflicting Pakistan and the Muslim world, he does criticise the US for its policies in Pakistan and in the muslim world which are very fair and balanced. His stand has been vindicated by the wikileaks document and his political opponent Mushharraf as a man of integrity and character. Your digs at his personal life and how he runs his hospital are really too shallow to even comment upon.

    I expected better but then again its our own which have caused us the most damage!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 5:28PM

    For example, Imran Khan — who speaks of the West as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital????

    how can a man of science make such arguments?Recommend

  • romm
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:35PM

    U Indians can never accept truth. Pervaiz Hoodbhoy is equally respected in foreign countries as in Pakistan. U guys need to come out of ur Complex of pretending to be clean on any account. we have not neggated his views on east pakistan crimes, whereas u have started mourning on his impartial comments regarding kashmirRecommend

  • Huzefa
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:57PM

    Nice article, but one thing you mentioned was way out of propotion, u said there are no mosques in saudi arabia, but there are plenty of mosques in USA, as a matter of fact there are no mosques in Vatican city either. otherwise all what you said was fair enough. cheers !!!Recommend

  • amir
    Jan 4, 2011 - 7:51PM

    Hoodbhoy your pointing towards Imran Khan…which is not true…he is only against american foreign policy towards Pak….Wikileak’s is the proof…Recommend

  • Shez
    Jan 4, 2011 - 8:07PM

    A poorly written article with no attention being paid to facts. Bush was preparing to invade “Iraq” after 9/11? Seriously? It was Afghanistan just to set the record straight. Iraq was invaded almost two years after 9/11. And why you excluded Afghanistan again when you mentioned US’s unjust wars? IRecommend

  • Kashif Jan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:10PM

    I have always admired Mr. Hoodbhoy’s articles and his views on political shows. He raises some very valid points in his article and everyone would agree that we should all work towards removing the double standards in our society.

    However his criticism of Imran Khan was not only factually incorrect but also in poor taste. We in PTI always welcome discussion on policy issues but have never stooped to personal insults or statements regarding families. But since Mr. Hoodbhoy made naïve and illogical statements we believe it is imperative to respond and correct his knowledge.

    To begin with Mr. Hoodbhoy suggests that “Imran Khan speaks of west as the fountainhead of evil”. The statement in itself shows his ignorance of Imran Khan’s politics and his ideology. Imran Khan has always stated in all his statements that he is not anti west but against certain policies of individual governments. PTI is against the drone attacks and war on terror on principle as we believe that this has fuelled further militancy in the region and has been against America’s and Pakistan’s long term interests. PTI believes that American forces should leave Afghanistan to stabilize the region and this in turn would benefit USA by removing their forces from a conflict and help reduce its deficit and for Pakistan to focus its resources on human development.

    He goes on to suggest that “Imran keeps his family in London and New York”. Perhaps Mr. Hoodbhoy is unaware that Imran Khan was married to a British National (born and raised in UK) and in case of divorce it is the mother who has the first right of custody. Imran Khan’s children were 8 and 5 at the time of his divorce and it was a natural decision for a mother to raise such young kids. Besides this is a personal decision of the parents and its very inappropriate to use that to further a political argument.

    The fact that Mr. Hoodbhoy is criticising Imran Khan for playing a colonial game and somehow suggests that this is Imran Khan’s double standard shows lack of real arguments.

    Finally Mr. Hoodbhoy suggests that Shaukat Khanum employs real doctors as opposed to hakeem. This is the most absurd criticism one can imagine and shows the paucity and weakness of his argument against PTI. We don’t recall Imran Khan ever suggesting that hakeems are better than doctors so frankly do not even understand what that criticism means except he is really struggling to have a reasoned critique of Imran Khan.

    We hope that Mr. Hoodbhoy would stick to issues rather than personalized comments especially without checking the veracity of statement he makes. Recommend

  • Hrithic+Roshan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:16PM

    Mr. Pervez Saab,
    I’m a big fan of your articles and your comments. People like you are the future of Pakistan. Main culprit is Saudi Wahabism that is source of all evil in Pakistan. All Pakistanis should reject Wahabist mentality and come back to Sufi ideology that is more peaceful and tolerant. Without this Pakistan is destined to sink further in hellhole created by these wahabists.Recommend

  • Srinath
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:20PM

    The liberal space in Pakistan is shrinking rapidly.Normally, blogs serve as a forum for different shades of opinion. But here, the venom poured on Pervez for this piece reveals how deep the rot has set in.Wonder how long Zia-ul-Haq’s ghosts will haunt Pakistan.As long as we hear sane voices of Pervez and his ilk, there is hope.Recommend

  • Rahul Saproo
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:40PM

    Great article as is always the case from Prof Hoodbhoy

    A small piece which I felt missing was the atrocities and brutal killing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits by militants during 1990’s in Kashmir.Recommend

  • abdullah
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:05PM

    i agre with the author very much but y does US not cme clear on blackwater what about its terrorists activities in afghanistan……the reason 4 ppl hating US so much is that they have bombed iraq 4 the nukes and than 1 day bush suddenly says he is sorry nothing was there..in afghanistan they have failed to avhive what they had cme 4 ..all they have done till know is kill civilians so y will ppl not hate them ….and a true islamic scholar would never allow any1 2 kill a hindu christian or any non muslim .islam does not allow u 2 do that .but there r ppl who change the meaning of quranic versus and translate it according to their own opinion and use it 4 their benefit same lyk the talibans r doing …a man who dresses according to sunnah and has beard does not mean that he is true muslim..ppl have used religion 4 their own benefits..Recommend

  • Abdul Mannan Lodhi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:25PM

    I agree with most of what Hood Bhoy has said in his recent article and in fact those he has been writing before.But I dont think Imran Khan hates the West or the USA.In fact he likes them for all good they have but he does not agree with some of their policies and he has the right to differ.I do not agree with his support to Taliban and again he must be given the right to disagree with others.So for the USA people of Pkistani origin living in the USA,they are earning a lot of goodwill for that country.Here is a very good muslim and an ex military soldier I see him always mentioning the Americans a great people .He has been in the USA for eleven years and he always says that he is theakful to ALLAH,to his company and to the USA.He is all praise for the Americans and he is a very good patriotic Pakistani and a practising muslim.All the Pakistanis living in the usa or other countries must live there as law abiding faithful citizens and if they dont like them for any reason they can come back.But living there and being unfaithful to those countries is really very bad.I know of a little five or six yearsf little girl of Pakistani origin who just threw a few paper bits on the streets of Bitish city.Her mother told her go and pick up the paper and put them in the dust bin and dont make make this country of ours dirty who has given us the British passport and other rights.Yes.That should be our behaviour and that is the teachings of Islam.Recommend

  • Romm
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:46PM

    @Muhammad Ali Akhtar
    U Sound Extremist devoid of any knowledge that’s why u don’t give any Argument! U need to very careful while calling someone Facist like Mr Hood Bhoy who is respected even by his opponents due to his Character and devotion towards his assignments. By the way, liberal means who thinks without being bias so term Liberal Facist sounds ur limited knowledge and personal approach based intellectual Bankruptcy.Recommend

  • Sandra Gordon
    Jan 5, 2011 - 12:03AM

    Humanity & us Americans cannot be fooled for too long.’Islam’ means peace..they keep telling us. well the only peace they offer is the silence after all opposing voices of truth have been massacared.Recommend

  • Noor
    Jan 5, 2011 - 12:33AM

    Professor Hoodbhoy, why don’t you and your students innovate in the field of physics and take Pakistan at par to the West, in at least one way? Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:51AM

    Dear Hoodbhoy and Kesav

    I totally agree with Kesav that our ideology behind Pakistan was based on hatred and disharmony and we are reaping the crop now….. In other words our salvation lies within us; to recognize the evil we are carrying within us and get rid of this. As this requires a lot of courage it will take a long time and with lot of destruction. I hope that probably sanity will prevail at the end after lot of distress, but not in our lifetime.

    Mr. Hoodbhoy how do you consider my observation?


  • Anoop
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:38AM

    You forgot to mention David Headley, the guy who played a big role in Mumbai Attacks. He studied in Pakistan for 18 years. Also, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber was from Pakistan.

    You should also have added that despite there being almost a comparable number of Muslims from India, the secularist India has produced not a single Al Qaeda member compared to thousands from Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sulaiman Malik
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:04AM

    I sometimes wonder why educated people in Pakistan have not been able to make a difference. Its simple, because they lose contact with reality when they are in a foreign country, trying to explain how it is in Pakistan. Imran has repeatedly talked about adopting western concepts of Justice, Taxation, and Welfare State in governance of Pakistan. He talks about the Westminster model alot. Yet our ‘rocket scientist’ calls him a hypocrite for not employing hakeems at Asia’s biggest cancer hospital! Recommend

  • Nadia
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:19AM

    After what happened yesterday I believe they are right … we deserve every bit of it … we are a nation of psycho fanatics … who can’t do anything positive but can only kill others in the name of Prophet and Islam … The prophet who taught peace, the religion that says to kill a human being is like killing entire humanity … we are sick minded people … nation of loosers Recommend

  • Peace On Earth
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:48AM

    We Pakistanis must look at ourselves first before we point fingers at others for judging us or making assumptions about Pakistanis in general. As the adage goes, “When you point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you.” This can be applied to us Pakistanis as there are many among us who are arrogant and ignorant.

    Look at how Pakistanis are quick to denounce India, America, England, even Jews. We often blame our problems, not on our own ineptitude or general ill-will towards minority Pakistanis in our homeland, but on the American, Indian, and or Jewish conspiracy.

    What I am trying to say is that in order for us to be respected around the world and by our neighbors we must first learn to accept our brethren whether they may be Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sindhi, Punjabi, etc.

    We should also hold ourselves to a higher standard in terms of behavior. Instead of thinking with a hot head and looking for revenge we must forgive others and show compassion. If we can show how humble, respectful, and accenting we Pakistanis are we can truly turn this tide of negativity away from us.

    However, in-spite what I have said and others have mentioned this will unfortunately fall on deaf ears…Recommend

  • Sarah Sadiq
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:51AM

    Mr. Hoodbhoy – surely one with your knowledge, experience and exposure should not talk like an unaware, easily manipulated religious zealot. Why should Imran Khan have ‘hakeems’ at his hospital? And what business is it of yours where he houses his sons? If you disagree with his politics, don’t vote for him – but please don’t try to take away from the good that Imran Khan has indeed done for this country. And frankly if people like yourself have such little tolerance for anyone you disagree with, can you blame the generally uneducated masses of this country for their lack of tolerance for minorities?Recommend

  • R.Raheem
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:51AM

    Mr. Hasan, you are coming from a different planet & I smell extreme radical views from you. God save you from extreme hatred for others. People like you have destroyed Pakistan.Recommend

  • Paroo
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:36PM

    Partial truth, I applaud your guts to speak it as it needs a lot of courage to stand against the odds. keep it up and we will reach there – sooner or later!Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:02PM

    Imran never talks about the so-called afghan jihad or our strategic depth policy. He traces the roots of extremism to 2004; thats what the right-wing section of the establishments wants us to believe. Even while condeming the murder of Salman Taseer; he connected it to US presence in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:36PM

    Mr R.Raheem, i am indeed from a different planet in terms of my views and thank the lord for such small mercies. If the rest of your senses are like your sense of smell than i have nothing but pity for someone like you. I have been brought up to question and debate every side of the argument and that is what i do and will continue doing, Hate is an irrational concept which doesnt agree with someone like me, and the Almighty has blessed me with a balanced outlook towards life and the world around us. People like me will ressurect this country because we have what it takes to stand up to what is wrong in this country and i am sure that people like you will sit on the fence like always and jump on the side where the grass is greener.Recommend

  • sam
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Since Mr Hoodhboy is so ecstatic at American morals and laws, he should check up on the phrase “innocent till proven guilty” – Afia Siddiqui falls under this category.Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:52PM

    One day after this article governor of one of the province is shot dead because he was saying something liberal.
    Do you still think there will be any doubts in westerners !!!!!Recommend

  • Ross Gellar
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:59PM

    I must say a truly incredible article!!!!Recommend

  • ram
    Jan 5, 2011 - 4:25PM

    Excellent article. I may add that Muslims are safer in India than in Pakistan. We want Dr.Hoodbhoy to visit India and participate in seminars, TV talk, discussions, etc. I am confident this would improve relationships between two countries. Pervez will certainly get VISA (not Musharaff)Recommend

  • Francesco Lenci
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:00PM

    Those who have the privilege of reading Pervez Hoodbhoy’s comments have the opportunity of enlarging their views and better understand quite a number of crucial, delicate international problems. Thank you, Pervez

    Francesco Lenci

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Incredibly well written and succinct. Completely captures the situation. But alas, even this article will not break through the iron wall of deception that we have built for ourselves.Recommend

  • Saleem Khan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:27PM

    A well written article spoilt by cheap and unfounded comments about Imran Khan.
    Dear Mr Hoodbhoy, the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital is a world class hospital staffed by highly trained Pakistani Physicians and offers services to all Pakistanis rich and poor.
    I hope you are more objective when you teach Physics!Recommend

  • Hamid Khawaja
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:47PM

    Agreed. But what about the drone attacks that kill innocents Pakistani civilian regularly? Was it necessary to nuke Japan in WW II when the Japanese has AGREED to surrender. America is still the ONLY country to have used nuclear weapons. Was it necessary to wage war against Afghanistan just because Osama was suspected to be there and suspected to have attacked the twin towers. Would a Police/counter insurgency operation not have sufficed? What does America have to show for its success in Afghanistan (America’s longest war) after killing so many Afghans many of who are innocent civilians? They lied about WMD in Iraq and there is yet not any convincing evidence that 18 jokers who carried out the attack on the twin towers were Osama’s disciples. Aeroplanes are not like cars. You can’t do some primary flying training on a light aircraft and thus be able to fly a heavy passenger jet and make a coordinated attack in there different places. And then there is still the big question of how tower # 7 came down?

    “Cruelty to the weak is not an American monopoly”

    Whither the original inhabitants of America? Were the Red Indians treated fairly?Recommend

  • kailash sethy
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:58PM

    If a writer with so much understanding still has some hateful feelings in his heart which he expresses(like bush and kashmir) here, no wonder general muslims hate West and India so much. Recommend

  • Mawali
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:47AM

    Simply remarkble thinking coming from a Pakistani. Awesone! and perhaps a reason for hope for all Pakistani’s. Objective, clear, reason based arguments. Made my day!Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 8:38AM

    Let us hope that these type of scholers who make us proud pakistani will do something…..
    One more great piece from Perveiz Hoodbhoy…Recommend

  • Mahmood Hussain
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:28PM

    Safdar lodhi@ This is also report of Guardian uk, far before wikileaks expose that Saudi intelligence had met with Israel intelligence official and offer them space to attack on Iranian nuclear sites.
    Saudis has recently make a deal of 60 billion US$ weapon with US, against which country??
    who are most supporting the US weapon industry and economy???
    Attack on shrines are conducting by Black sheep not Black water and everybody know who are supporting these black sheep(munafqeein)Recommend

  • ztorwali
    Jan 6, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Muhammad akhter,

    And no ‘liberal fascist’ has ever picked up a gun like the ones, you probably admire, do.

    We are afraid walking even in the street we live yet we dream to conqure the world. Ridiculous! Living in fools’ paradise. Recommend

  • siddiqa
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:09PM

    A wonderful “peace” of work! Reading such articles makes me feel super proud to be a pakistani. But after reading some ignorant comments I feel yet again sick to my stomach Recommend

  • Peace On Earth
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Hamid Khawaja, read your history, in fact re-read the portion on World War II (and I suggest a well-researched source and not some piece of propaganda which blames India or whomever).

    Japan refused to surrender as it would be considered a disgrace culturally. The USA had no choice but to do what it did in order to bring a swift end to the war. However, the USA contributed in helping Japan rebuild her nation which has allowed her to thrive to this day.

    Maybe if my fellow Pakistanis would learn to be more open minded instead of living in a fantasy world that India and America are out to get her, then truly Pakistan can prosper.

    It is rather ironic that despite the constant blabbing by most Pakistanis about how they despise the West, there is a constant and steady stream of Pakistanis moving abroad to the USA and England. If you hate the West so much why do you move there in the first place?

    Pakistanis here in the USA have married non-Muslim Whites and yet they tell the world they are sharif (pure) and true Muslims. Imran Khan rails against the West and Israel yet he married a Jew.

    The irony and hypocrisy of Pakistan continues…Recommend

  • nadir hasan
    Jan 7, 2011 - 3:03AM

    the only lesson from this terrible tragedy is “leave pakistan if you believe in free speech or moderation. ……… and……… don’t join a group of ‘bible bashers’ (for want of better terminology) when you do find a new home in the west!!!!!!!Recommend

  • R. Khan
    Jan 7, 2011 - 9:21AM

    Baseless writing…there are many baseless clues in this article,,,for example about Imran’s fame as a cricketer.
    I want to ask mr. hoodbhoy, did he know the history of HOCKEY which is our NATIONAL game.?
    For his information hockey was also orginated in England. So what he would say about our heroes of hockey game? Is palying hockey a national shame??? what a stupid…
    No game should be blamed for its origion.
    one thing more that he is a nuclear scientist and he is against our nukes,,,so what we should expect from him (though he may be a good scientist) for the benefit of our nuclear program???.Recommend

  • Jahan Zeb
    Jan 7, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Imran Khan — who speaks of the West as the fountainhead of evil — prefers to keep his family in London and New York, owes his fame to a game invented by British colonialists, and employs real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital.

    What a nice comment?Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 7, 2011 - 11:09AM

    @ Peace on Earth, Imran criticises western policy not western people and nations please if you dont have the capacity to underdstand atleast dont comment. So what if he married a jewish girl what difference does it make in your life, please get out of these stereotypes and educate yourself.Recommend

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 7:53PM

    OMG, now Qadri is our new national hero. Where we are heading….
    I think we are now hopeless case……
    External big players are funding our out-of-controls groups in our country and everything seems messed up….
    Young generation who love to use internet, fb, twiter on iPhone and BlackBerry and other western inventions are falling in hands of fundamentalist and saying Qadri is hero on forums and facebook by using western toys….
    May Allah SWT give “hadait” to these corrupt religios groups and Ulmah who ran religion as business and poluting our young generation as they don’t have any other skill set to pay bills…. and if someone point fingure he becomes kafir….

  • Nauman Muhammad
    Jan 7, 2011 - 11:24PM

    Why pick on Imran Khan? He brought us the cricket World Cup, built a cancer hospital and a University. What has professor sahib done for nation building?Recommend

  • Mansoor
    Jan 8, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Come on Dr. Hoodbhoy. You had to shoot such a well written article right in its foot in the end with that jibe at Imran Khan?

    Real doctors is a gift from America as well? And if he spanked the English in their own game, in their own backyard…that makes him a hypocrite? And prefers to keep his family in America and UK….like come on!

    If I get down to your logic, I’ll call you a hypocrite since you left America as a protest and cant help traveling back all the time despite they treat you like crap at the airport! But i wont….cause I know it’d be rather a only judgmental slur!Recommend

  • Shank
    Jan 8, 2011 - 12:36AM

    I wish every Pakistani gets the privilege to read and appreciate this article. But an article so rational became irrational when he compared Kashmir with a few other mass massacres. The author should be reminded that Kashmir was no different from other parts of India until Pakistan started sending trained militants into Kashmir in 1989. Recommend

  • missnononsense
    Jan 8, 2011 - 8:27AM

    Iam amazed how can people allow themselves to be influenced by Hoodhboy’s stories? Where does it say that you have to pay blind allegiance to the west even if its unethical? Hoodhboy’s entrie article reflects his “Slavish Obedience” to the west.All his arguments are so weak and biased especially about Afia and Shahzad.His argument about Imran khan “hiring real doctors rather than hakeems for his cancer hospital” is childish.

    We do face problems concerning the right of religious freedom in America aswellI I live is the US and in a very commercial state, only last year our city’s mosque was burnt by americans but this incident was never publicized in the news nor the in papers????
    Let me tell you about a problem we face on weekly basis,On every friday there are unknown buses occupying the parking lot space in santa clara mosque(the biggest mosque in silicon valley) which makes it difficult for us to park our vehicles.My point is that we do face religious discrimination in America too!!!

    His argument about saudia policy agaisnt building churches is not smart. How does he explain the “American Compounds” in Saudia where these americans are allowed to do whatever they want!!!??? Come on Hoodhboy you can do better than that??? Talk about the real matter. Talk about “New World Order” and its game plan to control the nations!!!!Recommend

  • Gulkhaiz
    Jan 8, 2011 - 9:27AM

    I thought the writer is an intellectual , but unfortunately he is not any different from other narrow minded single track critics. His comments on Imran are lopsided and irrelevant.Imran does not owe fame to the game but to his outstanding performance and demonstrated leadership qualities in the game and other fields. I wish we had more people like Imran Khan who have proved to be excellent achievers in most of the things they undertake. Mostly Hoodbhoy is criticising people who have made tremendous contribution in changing the lives of millions in Pakistan . People like Prof Attaur rehman , Abduk Qadeer and Imran are his targets. By the way can somebody tell me as to what are the achievements of Hoodbhoy, other than talking against nuclear weapons of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 9, 2011 - 6:45AM

    I agreed with you, until I read the paragraph about Imran Khan. It seems you used him to validate your casebut what a bad example. He has not “chosen” to keep his family in the West. Jamima moved out after they got divorced. And, just because he played cricket, you’re going to blame him because it was invented by the British? Why don’t you stop using your computer, your appliances and electricity…weren’t they all invented by the “goras” afterall? I know I make it sound like I belong to PTI -which I don’t- but I wanted to make sure that I highlight your choice of a very bad example. Recommend

  • Faria Khan
    Jan 9, 2011 - 7:34AM

    Is Dr. Hoodbhoy considered an intelectual of any worth? He may well be in his academic field, but his political, cultural & social analysis is extremely simplified.

    As someone who lives in the ‘West’ I can inform the good Dr, those opposed to US foreign & military policy are generally referred to as being on the progressive side of politics.

    Equating a rejection of policy, with anti-American puts him in good company – the neo-cons & more recently the Tea-Party.Recommend

  • Hamid Khawaja
    Jan 9, 2011 - 6:23PM

    Peace on Earth: I strongly recommend that you read Liddell Hart’s book: History of the Second World War (Page 691 to 698). It will clear your mind about America’s decision to wipe out two Japanese cities with nuclear bombs. The Japanese has agreed to a surrender but the Americans wanted an UNCONDITIONAL surrender. Churchill was willing but the Americans wanted nothing less than an UNCONDITIONAL surrender. Additionally, the Americans did not want the Russians to invade Japan so they wanted to end the war before that happened. Moreover, the American government had to justify the huge expenditure of the Manhattan Project so bombs had to be dropped to show the utility of the project. Japan had collapsed already. It’s navy was ineffective, Japan was using shrapnel of American bombs to make spades due to lack of imports and natural resources. So why was there a need to use the ultimate weapon and cause massive destruction on an enemy who was of no threat any longer. If your logic is to be used, America should drop nuclear bombs on the next enemy on the first day to ensure that the war comes to an end as quickly as possible. Would you agree to that? Why did Kennedy then use the “Flexible Response” policy in Vietnam? I find it paradoxical to see you use Peace on Earth as your nickname.

    By the way, why is America still maintaining bases in Japan? Did you know that American nukes are stored there? Do surf the net on the subject. You might be astonished about your newly adopted country’s foreign policy. And why does America support dictators; start with Hosni Mubarik and add to the list – it’s a long one. There is more but I am limited by space.

    All said and done, I consider P Hoodbhoy a voice sanity in Pakistan but no one gets everything right. Recommend

  • Sarwat Rizwani
    Jan 10, 2011 - 7:09AM

    This is an excellent analysis of the situation, and I totally agree with you sir, I wish more Pakistani can think like this. These terrorist are a disgrace to our country, to humanity and to our religion, they are giving such a bad reputation to Pakistan, and Islam, and they are are creating so many difficulties for us to travel, and no one suffers more than us.I only wish they learn more about Quran, which says again and again to be nice to others, and here we are all so much wanted to kill innocent people, and feel happy about it. There is more injustice and cruelty, ignorance and stupidity in Pakistan than anywhere I know. I feel so ashamed as I am one of them. I thank you for writing this, sincerely Sarwat Salma RizwaniRecommend

  • Jan 10, 2011 - 10:16AM

    Imran Khan is only hope. Hoodbhoy, talking is easy and doing something for nation is real thing. Did you every tried to play your role? At least Imran did try and trying…
    Do something if you realy belive what you are saying or writing. Pointing figures is easy and fixign something which cout. Recommend

  • Jan 10, 2011 - 11:12AM

    Well written, May God bless and protect Dr. Pervez HoodbhoyRecommend

  • Wajid Rizvi
    Jan 10, 2011 - 10:30PM

    He is logicall and his take on media and extemist is right. I appreciate his efforts and courage.Recommend

  • zz..ss
    Jan 11, 2011 - 8:56PM

    Article mein Imarn khan ko keuun gossera…….,

    but it was a nice article.Recommend

  • raja
    Jan 13, 2011 - 9:10AM

    Dear Prof i agree with you on theses issues but Imran only speak against the US and west foreign policies He never said any thing about people he always mentioned rule of law and democracy in these countries please don’t make people confuse about their only hope Recommend

  • Jamil Aslam
    Jan 13, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Very realistic article by Prof. Hoodbhoy.Recommend

  • atif
    Jan 13, 2011 - 10:31AM

    What Mr. Hoodboy so conveniently forgets is that there is a blatantly obvious dichotomy between American people and American State. The former being responsibly and morally neutral in matters of religion and race, the latter clearly guilty of fanning the same by supporting despotic and fascist regimes in numerous states – from Guatemala, Vietnam in the 60s to the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan of today….Recommend

  • Jan 13, 2011 - 4:15PM

    As usual, Dr Hoodbhoy has exposed succintly the hypocrisy and hate that bedevils society and hate in Pakistan today. The Islam propogated and promoted by Gen Zia and the Mullah’s is not to be found in any other Muslim country and bears little resemblance to the true spirit of Islam.Recommend

  • zahoor siddiqi
    Jan 14, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Notwithstanding what is happening around us we have to take a firm stand against the spread of fanaticism;Iam sure that the people of Pakistan will rise one day to smash the evil designs of these beasts of fanaticism.The minorities in Pakistan be protected at all cost;nature took millions of years to
    shape the human beings and those who destroy them on one pretext or the other are the followers of
    Satan and not Islam.Recommend

  • Moazzam Ewing
    Jan 14, 2011 - 11:17PM

    At least he is willing to admit that there might be something wrong also in our own society of Pakistan, just for that alone this article is breath of fresh air.
    Thank you Sir for not wallowing in the pool of hypocrisy which is our society.Recommend

  • Jan 15, 2011 - 12:17AM

    It is strange that when you speak of unforgivable cruelties by nations, there is no mention of the Bangladesh genocide. It isn’t whether crimes by other countries are forgivable or not. The average Pakistani already has decided they are not. The point is that these things are also in the history of Pakistan, and forgiveness may not be possible, but it is possible to look at other qualities too.

    I don’t wish to point fingers, but till the average Pakistani stops seeing evil only in others and himself as nothing but pure and victimized, you cannot hope for change, because there can never be compassion. There can never be humility.

    You bring up an important aspect, yet stop short of showing a mirror. You are a big man. Well respected. Well listened to. Pakistan’s future lies in the hands of people such as you, if there is to be hope.Recommend

  • Sonia
    Jan 17, 2011 - 3:50PM

    yeah but the question still remains unanswered… Why do they pick on us? Intriguing title, boring-and-typical analysis.Recommend

  • Mohindar Singh
    Jan 17, 2011 - 4:02PM

    Congratulations. Pakistan is in the limelight. People pick up on Pakistan, because Pakistan has earned it. The world pickup on Pakistan and Pakistanis has a history promoting terrorism and acting on terrorism. If I have to travel by air, I don’t mind for waiting until all the would-be high-jackers are checked or eliminated. The scholars in Pakistan are often subjugated and hanged. Pakistan has a history of Military Rule, and no respect of Civil Laws. Pakistan has no place for loyalty and no matter what they say, they intrinsically hate infidels, non-believers or Kafirs. That creates double standards of dealing with the humanity. Pakistan has blasphemy laws included in its constitution and it is so easy to hang someone for blasphemy. Pakistani clergy has more power and they don’t hesitate to put fatwas in other lands. In Pakistan ladies are gang-raped as part of delivering justice ; as delivered by the tribal tribunal. Since 1947, Pakistan had made life hell for India either attacking India or closing the borders. As I say above, people pick up on Pakistan, because Pakistan has earned it.Recommend

  • hahaha
    Jan 17, 2011 - 4:10PM

    Mr.Hoodbhoy, you are a credit to humankind because of your brutal honesty.Recommend

    Jan 17, 2011 - 9:07PM

    Mr hoodbhoy. I can only advice you to protect yourself in Pakistan. Majority of us can not digest the quantity of truth you wrote in one article. We Pakistanis desperately want scholars like you.

    I think our nation will keep living in denial for next few decades if we not start our homework -a homework is clearly mentioned here.Recommend

  • SAS
    Jan 18, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Superb article Mr Hoodboy, every word is true.Recommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 12:01AM

    I was never comfortable with Pakistan’s “ally in the war on terror” status, mainly because the U.S. chose to ignore that it is one of the worst countries in terms of women’s rights. So-called “honour killings” are just one example.Recommend

  • SAS
    Jan 18, 2011 - 12:06AM

    I like Pakistani people, but as an Indian I am hurt very frequently by their attitude towards us Indians.

    After the 26/11 attacks in India, I had a good Pakistani friend of mine who was eating at my house tell people the attacks had been orchestrated by India itself. I was very angry and hurt, but I did not tell him off.

    I thank people like Pervez Hoodboy for his courage.Recommend

  • Khan from Jeddah
    Jan 18, 2011 - 2:07AM

    Dr. Hoodbhoy, the contextual setting in your article is missing, so is your argument about Imran Khan which seems pretty shallow… as far as i know his kids are in London because of parental custody law. Just because his kids live in London, he played cricket and he has the best cancer hospital in the country, you expect him not to say the right things?

    You mentioned “The US cannot be forgiven for the Vietnam and Iraq wars, among others”. How about occupation of Afghanistan, in your opinion? Imran Khan is critical of the US occupation of Afganistan, and it’s impact on radicalization and militancy in Pakistan and regional instability.

    I agree with your comparative analysis of the religious freedom and security in Pak and USA.Recommend

  • LivingAbroad
    Jan 18, 2011 - 6:49AM

    Wish we were more like the Vietnamese and Japanese who progress and flourish by the day and moved on. I wish people from our nations were more tolerant, educated, serene and thought through it before burning flags. It’ll never happen. Poor and uneducated will always remain poor and uneducated.Recommend

  • Saad Ullah
    Jan 18, 2011 - 4:17PM

    The article is totally biased and is a piece of hatred for a country he lives in. its more of a propaganda ad than an impartial perspective. it does not account for so many of ground realities and is therefore shallow. i didnt expect Professor to be so superficial in approach. i dont know a single segment of Pakistani society he seems to relate to. What i sense eventually is that he is seeming to be holding us Pakistanis responsible for making him stand in queue for visa.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jan 19, 2011 - 10:17AM

    i am sorry you should also talk about the other side of the story. thousands of innocent Pakistanis killed by areal bombardment from the Americans in the name of collateral damage. we are the victims. we are who bleed not themRecommend

  • Raza Usman
    Jan 20, 2011 - 8:56AM

    What a great article.
    Fact of the matter is political Islam has not only socially retarded us by making us intolerant but has created an air of tribalism based on religion.
    There is little that can be done.
    This country is on a one way path to destruction… Recommend

  • Jan 21, 2011 - 6:14AM

    well explained, unfortunately there will never be a consensus. as long as radicalism exists in humans rationalism cannot prevail. wht needs to be looked at is the level of penetration of extremism in this context. with no criticism towards the assasination of salman taseer or the blasphemy law it seems a hard comeback for a nation plagued with sectorian voilence and relegious fundamentalism. the choice for people of such nation seems either be a victim of the relegious ideologies of the exploited version of islam or die opposing it. the only consolation is to survive a bit longer. no issues can be sorted out no voilence could be wiped out without arriving on a common global consenses against voilence of any form be it through relegious ideologies or supression. i e a zero tolerence towards voilence may gud sense prevail. Recommend

  • Mohammad Ahad
    Jan 21, 2011 - 8:56AM

    “But retribution would surely make the world an inferno.” Please, without retribution injustice prevails and injustice leads to the worst – desperate attempts such a suicide bombs, the 9/11 incident and as such to seek justice.

    However, I will strongly disagree with you on the point that the actions and mindsets of the 3 people you mentioned in your article reflect the weltenschauung of Pakistanis in general. By your fallacious argument I could pick out 3 Americans who are involved in incest and define Americans in general as inbreds. However, I won’t.Recommend

  • ALI
    Jan 21, 2011 - 3:32PM

    We are a victim of terrorism in the name of religion and on the other hand liberal-extremism too. Islam is religion of peace and teaches moderation in all the aspects of life. I would urge you and all the liberal-extremist to stop portraying the wrong image of Pakistanis especially when you go abroad. This country was founded on the basis of “Pakistan ka matlab kia La illaha illAllah” and even now it runs in our veins.

    Due to perverted social values and traditions our nation has adopted wrong customs like wanni, dowry etc but you must not forget the chemistry of this nation is very different and is still very strongly synthesized with its religious values. Even Hinduism which was a strong religion of subcontinent and deluged many other emerging religions of the past, could not submerge Islam. So it will be useless even trying to malign Islam or muslims.

    Unfortunately this country is very fertile in producing traitors but our people are also very quick and ferocious in taking REVENGE. Recommend

  • Farzana Jabbar
    Jan 23, 2011 - 12:51PM

    i wish we all can stand against injustice ,and all educated people should have courage to speak the truth .

    i wish we canthrow these redicals out somehwere to save our country from them and can make pakistan a peaceful land for our children to live happily in .Recommend

  • Tanvir
    Jan 24, 2011 - 3:10PM

    Why drag Imran Khan in this discussion. Just because he opposes American imperialism-based foreign policy. I have never heard him speaking against education, science and fountain-head of modern day knowledge. He speaks against West’s imperialistic designs, yes. Why on earth people like Hoodboy who pose to be rational ones get so personal, its very cheap and an act of madness professor. Hold on, wasn’t it “ratings” stunt? Completely aware that IK is a popular figure among the youth, the majority of readership for this article, and thus dragging IK will get high number of comment!! A good article is just ruined !Recommend

  • Sheheryar Khan
    Jan 24, 2011 - 5:40PM

    Reading this piece, I find that you’re harbouring a misconception that a person cannot be religious (Islamic) and modern simultaneously. This is categorically wrong. For instance, if I use a computer I’m modern in the sense that I am up-to-date with my contemporaries and benefits myself from the technology that is available. That, in no sense, implies that I’ve to be non-religious to use it.

    In a nutshell, it is imperative that you need to realize whether a radical mullah is against American people or American government. As you mentioned that US GOVERNMENT is responsible for the havoc in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan so it is not mind-blogging when people speak against America. Do not criticise them for using modern western American accessories. They’re not against the technology, the people but against the idelogy, involved individuals who cause destruction to mankind in general. At this time, a beautiful hadith comes to my mind which encompasses that the Holy Prophet [Peace be Upon Him] ordered one of his Companion to learn Hebrew. My question is, WHY??Recommend

  • Romm
    Jan 25, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Can Indian come out of deprived mentality and stop talking about pakistan all the times. If u think u r superpower, come out of Pakistan centric approach. In any blog I get in, Indians are found mourning against Pakistan. Even on their National day, their ceremony can’t be considered successful, if indian president does not curse Pakistan. It speakks nothing but sick minds and historical depriviation. So my suggestion to my India friends is that have a heart and think positive. Recommend

  • Romm
    Jan 25, 2011 - 10:12PM

    Can Indians come out of deprived mentality and stop talking about pakistan all the times. If u think u r superpower, come out of Pakistan centric approach and try behaving like a developed nation, which u always pretend to be. In any blog I get in, Indians are found mourning against Pakistan. Even on their National day, their ceremony can’t be considered successful, if indian president does not curse Pakistan unnecessarily. It speaks nothing but sick minds and historical depriviation. So my suggestion to my Indian friends is that have a heart and think positive. Recommend

  • nOOne
    Jan 28, 2011 - 12:59AM

    Lets sum the debate up.
    “War is terrible, but it is terribly profitable” – LeninRecommend

  • yar jan
    Jan 28, 2011 - 11:33AM

    because they know us from the v v origin…..Recommend

  • fazela
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:30PM

    The article makes some very relevant points and Yes Imran has his problems but there was no need to mention him by name. The Jamat itself has been on the pay roll of the world powers and are the very same people who incite anti American sentiments among the not so educated people and bring them on the streets.

    There is no such tag as militant secularist. Do not insult the intellect of seculars and liberal by calling them militants. I would also like to add that the deliberate fallacy of calling Liberals or secularists as anti religion is a trick of the obscuratists and hypocrites who consider themselves the custodians of religion and kill with impunity. People who are devout Muslim are also tolerant, compassionate and kind and they can and are secular as well.

    Thank youRecommend

  • Dharma
    Feb 5, 2011 - 5:43PM

    While nations / states have waged war since ages, it is the singular achievement of Islam’s armies to bring in asymmetric warfare into the sub-continent. If you read about warfare in pre-711AD India, there were written and unwritten codes in fighting wars. The annals of Islam’s (or those of purported Islamic states) wars have documented the nature of Islamic warfare. Mohammedan armies lacked all honor and sense of justice, something which was not the situation before.

    Islam is in some ways the uber-purified version of political religion that started with Judaism, expanded with Romanization of Christianity (imperialism as a divinely graced prerogative). This methodology culminated in the uncivilized armies of Arabs who came out of 7th century Arabian deserts. All these religions lack a spiritual basis of development of the human civilization and intellect.

    As long as the major Mohammedan countries / peoples (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Egypt, Iran, Mesopotemia / Levant) do not realize that humanity is above everything, and continue believing, they will suffer, both by their own hands and in the hands of others who can see through their hypocrisy. Mohammedans fail to realize that by pursuing Islam, they are singing the tunes of the Arab Bedouin imperialists who came out in hordes out of the deserts out of jealousy and hatred to pillage their civilizations.

    And please do not tell me that the Koran is not violent, I have read it in Arabic. So go back to real spiritualism. You have a good point to start in Sufism which is Middle Eastern / South Asian mysticism predating the rise of Islam.Recommend

  • Falak Afroze
    Feb 7, 2011 - 10:44PM

    The article would have been much sane if personal grudge against Imran Khan was kept aside.Recommend

  • Adil Khan
    Feb 10, 2011 - 2:49PM

    A very balanced analysis. However, to assist secularists and rationalists such as youeself and to allow good sense to prevail, US (which also acts on behalf of Israel in ujnust wars and repression of Palestinians) and the West must end its so-called “war on terror” immediately. Latter helps to confuse issues and merge fundamentalism with nationalism. Pakistanis and for that matter every country – Muslim or otherwise- must be allowed to define and sort out its own internal problems. American bombs are no answer to either democracy or secularism neither in Pakistan nor anywhere else in the world.

    Your advice about American-Pakistanis is sound but empathy with woes of cultutal origins is difficult to deny. The Irish did not especially in England!Recommend

  • moise
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:18PM

    We tend to internalize all the problems in Pakistan and outside it as our own doing.

    Airport screening is nothing specially reserved for Pakistanis. It happens for US citizens as well. America is becoming a police state. Unfortunately the thinkers in Pakistan doesnt know any history and like to think main stream media is source of information.

    If you read the history of Weimar Republic converted into Nazi Germany you can see the parallels with US right now. Unfortunately doctor saheb like to parrot what US media says and not what the actual fact is.Recommend

  • skai
    Feb 23, 2011 - 2:36AM

    @Muhammad Ali Akhtar:
    ” No need to put up any counter arguments to this Liberal Fascist…” No wonder people like you are part of the muslim’s problem all over the world. see http://www.thereligionofpeace.comRecommend

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