While the world particularly the American political class is debating Pakistanâ€™s responsibility in the war on terror, nobody seems too much concerned with what 160 million Pakistanis must be expecting from them. There is no doubt that after eight painful years of the neocon rule the world is a difficult place for living. Banks around the world need rescuing and the US Congress has signed a huge cheque to cover the corruption of their financial wizards. Yet the country which practically almost voluntarily brought the war on terror home to placate the west and make the world is being considered only a bad boy in the class who deserves nothing but spiking.
At a time when Pakistanâ€™s people are being crushed under the weight of sky rocketing prices, the creatures of the World Bank and IMF, instead of helping the countryâ€™s fragile economy are lecturing us on removing subsidies and inviting us to starve our people to death. Enough is enough. As someone who has a hand on the nationâ€™s pulse I have to ask our western peers one simple question: Are you with us or against us?It has been plain for considerable time that the neoconservatives are against the integrity of Pakistan and want to see it destroyed before they are out of power. But they are the same folks who gave the world gruesome gifts like the current financial crisis, bloodbath and invasion of weak nations and most likely shocking events like 9/11.
It is sad that the entire world, especially the American people, are inhaling their propaganda without any objection. It is true that like in Pakistan the legacy of these absolutist supremacists will survive in the US and elsewhere for sometime at least as many of their lackeys are strategically placed within the civil and military bureaucracy of the United States and the rest of the world. Yet the believers in democracy can at least contribute their bit by building their defences against the propaganda of this cunning class.If truth be told no propaganda should make us oblivious to the fact that democracy thrives on an inalienable faith in the supremacy of human rights and absolute lack of discrimination. How can those, who show no respect for human rights, possess zero tolerance towards dissent and take strength from reductionist discrimination, jingoism and fear mongering, be friends of democracy. Democracy in Pakistan is a learned process and we have learnt it from the west. Today the people of this country are looking towards the United States for an example. Will the oldest democracy of the world be tolerant enough to elect a coloured man as its president, is the question on everyoneâ€™s mind.
While many do underestimate the people of the US and claim that owing to the level of racism there, Obama has no chance of being elected President, I have firm faith in human spirit. On February 18, 2008 despite the humungous threat of terror attacks the people of Pakistan came out of their cosy homes and stunned the political pundits by voting overwhelmingly for change. Today the very same people are looking to the west for another example and to see whether the mightiest nation in the world can vote for a man with a Muslim surname or not. The rise of the neoconservatives in the west had opened a gaping hole in the security of both capitalism and democracy. As capitalism has already been damaged thoroughly due to this tragic flaw it is wise to shut this hole before it destroys democracy too. And donâ€™t take these words lightly for change is excruciatingly painful and long process. Yet if our nascent democracy can struggle so vehemently against our very own neoconservatives then the worldâ€™s institutionalized democracies have nothing to fear from such a struggle.
While we learn from you sirs, try to learn something from us too.If these principles are relevant for you they are germane for us as well. If the neocons have damaged you so much, and there are no two views on that, how can you trust their judgement regarding us? Pakistan has lost countless bright soldiers and sons of the land fighting the war on terror. And yet what we get from the west is nothing short of contempt. May we ask why? Is it to please the Indians? Is it to please the typical Pakistan bashers? If yes then there is no excuse for such a stupid attitude. The world for many unknown reasons which may include the obnoxious propaganda of the Indian hawks keeps underestimating our glorious nation.
We may have weaknesses like everyone else but it cannot be denied that Pakistan is home to 160 billion loving souls who admire the civilisational contributions of the west instead of envying them. In my humble opinion the west in mistreating us is repeating the mistakes committed towards the Chinese people during and after the World War.Democrats and intellectuals in this country keep wondering quite often why everything was considered rosy by the west as long as there was a dictator in power here, and why after elections the country has become an international pariah. This is being viewed clearly by the common man on the street as the test case of western double standards and a signal that democracy is only an Anglo-Saxon privilege. We have seen what happened when capitalism was dubbed Anglo Saxon, democracy is only too precious to be squandered this way.
While the political elements keep dividing the world into reductionist identities, there is one thing that even xenophobic maniacs like Samuel Huntington cannot deny in spite of all their repeated rants: there is one civilisation namely the human civilization. One wonders then why those who adore India and after invasion are tolerant even of Arabs consider us, Pakistanis, the scourge of earth? We might have different history but we are of same racial stock folks. Then why do you fret about us? Oh okay the nukes? Please come and see that our nukes have no beards and wear no turbans, hence no so-called Islamic bombs. Donâ€™t waste your time there. If you are true friends of humanity and hence Pakistan, drop your biased vision and help us out. Pakistan today desperately needs economic help, a hundred billion dollars. If you can save the corrupt financial establishments through huge dole outs, this insignificant amount will only pay you well. Democracy in Pakistan needs support and while nobody tells you this is the last chance for democracy here. Decide now. Are you with us or against us? We need to identify our enemies first. The author is a Pakistani television journalist, columnist and commentator on security, political and media affairs. He can be reached through his websiteÂ www.pitafi.com.