HIGH TIME WE FACE IT!Our World in Our Hands.The most catastrophic, cruel, and cold bloodedly executed MAN CONSTRUED calamity,that marked a historic milestone for centuries to come, was the attack on theTwin Towers, more commonly referred to as the 9/11 TRAGEDY. This horrendous, criminal act perforated the worldinto two, euphemistically comparable to the royal wedding stamp gaffe,supposed warring factions namely, Muslims & Christians. “The War between Islam and Christianity,” is a fragment mostwidely comprehended, accepted, expected, propagated, and last but not least, academicaly“drilled”into the impressionable minds of the upcoming generations. The hype thuscreated, has spread its wings so far that, from the smallest to the biggest, allwrong doings take cover behind this TOTALLY NON- QUESTIONABLE HAVEN!
By all means of comparison, this satanic act has and will leave a much deeperimpact on the world history, as and when, juxtaposed to Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings, within all parameters of comparison. In the much more technically advanced present time, the rubble, including human remains was cleared attremendous speed, and all losses were processed and presented in accurate, “jaw-dropping”figures. But, how many of us have ACTUALLY wondered the psychological impact this must have had on the survivors, the rescue workers, those left behind and the generations of the same yet to come?No one, but the affected can actually assign real emotions to it. We, myself included, ritually do empathize or sympathize, curse the criminals, but nothingmore than that, and that’s a FACT!
The larger-than-life hostility, born post the event, is something that needs to be,and can be dealt with in order to pull the world out of the several crises thathave been attributed, directly or indirectly, to the rift hence caused between TheIslamic World & The Christian Community. Neither the Holy Bible nor TheHoly Quran encourage fanaticism,terrorism, inhumanity or intolerance. In fact, no other religion practicedthe world over does so. I have a different take on the “war between Islam & Christianity,” and of course being asubjective opinion is open to all and any contradiction &/or criticism.
What we are facing today, and have named the above, are not attributable to one terrorist crime, undoubtedly the most unjust of the prevailing era. The incident marked an eruption of a volcano, apparently dormant, but rapidly moving towards eruption owing to the pressure-mounting events spanning past three decades. The COLD-WAR between the TWO SUPER-POWERS of the80s namely, USSR & USA, concluded with the invasion of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s, geographic significance made it an immensely strategic ally to the US. In circumstances prevalent then, the government and people of Pakistan wholeheartedly opened doors to the genuinely distressed dislodged families. But, none of the four countries involved in thewar, could by any possible means have predicted the far reaching irreversible, irreparable and dire circumstances, seeds towhich were being sown, as a by product, by all and any strategic action beingdeployed. Looking at it in retrospect, there are no two opinions on the fact that a major portion of the hatred, socio-economic differences, sectarianism,racism, not to mention the very tangibly explicable economic downturns, not visiblein the short haul, are today accepted, acknowledged by none other than theAmerican & Pakistani governments themselves, where many have admittedopenly on international platforms, that the hatred of the Muslims, specifically,towards the American nation, owes itself to the Afghan Invasion. Needless tosay, that the crop of the seeds sown then is very much visible in the form ofwhat are now declared and denounced as the most lethal and sought after terrorist bodies, known GLOBALLY asthe TTP, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba etc. Quite a paradox, I have to say!
The price paid for what appeared a pack of candies then, could be compared to buying an ounce of peanuts for the price ofan equivalent amount of gold! On the other hand, the then USSR got off much better by disintegrating into Russia and several small states. Yes, since then the world has been monopolized by the USA in terms of being the ONLY SUPER- POWER. The high of POWER,ironically made the US commit a suicidal blunder and that was the decision of going into war with Iraq. These “ventures”, if cynicism may betolerable, are manifesting their “flipsides” at the pinnacle, now,in the form of economic, social, psychological problems that the American citizens have to deal with.
- President Obama entered, as one of the youngest but the FIRST Afro-American president of the US of A. In addition to that, he happened to be the one at the helm when the SIDE EFFECTS of the 30year long power ride were reaching a point where they could no longer be passed off as any sugarcoated pill, BUT for what they were. The economic depression, which triggered off within days of his assuming the role ofpresident, was/is worse than that of the 1930s. The result was the disintegration and pack-up of mammoth corporations, unthinkable lay-offs,homelessness, joblessness. The larger-than-life despair and disbelief felt by the Americans, resulted from the fact that this was a nation to which would something as normal as a power outage is to us, was UNKNOWN, unless caused by a natural calamity.
Considering the circumstances that welcomed President Obama, the man with full support on part of First Lady of course, has handled real pressures, misdirected frustrations, some owing to the middle name, in a very sage, poised yet resolute manner. Prior to being elected aspresident, the man had always impressed me with the clarity of vision, the “much narrowed in” points, he thought needed to be focused upon, reiterated by the articulate manner and totalcomposure, unexpectedly open humor, with which he handled any question/allegation tossed his way during the pre-election debates. Even today, amidst all the mayhem, where he must have had to change, reverse revise,several of his plans, owing to the ever present difference between theories versus practice, he accepts, openly shows respect towards not only Islam, but all religions practiced the world over. The smile, demeanor, poise, nothing but the rapidity with which his hair has turned grey, is the only give-away of the pressure and toil the man is laboring under!
This Leader suffers no ego- blow when he admits& accepts the real reasons behind the prevalent crises, without blaming any predecessor, and that too, feeling no shame at having to confess the truth. And looking at it from a basic HUMAN STAND POINT, HUMANS ERR! Political decisions have the impact where a lot or more can be put at stake,unknowingly, just as in this case. Also, the fate of a nation/s is alwaysaffected positively or negatively by these decisions. That is why ELECTIONS are there. THAT is DEMOCRACY, a government, “OF THE PROPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.” Heads of states that nurture democracy, before assuming office assignor resign their lives, in a lot of aspects, to the will of the people, knowing there may be an interim election or they may not be able to serve more than aterm. YES, these are THE CREAM OF THE HUMAN LOT. If they, whether we notice not ,or pretend not to,can humble themselves so, cannot we show the tiniest display of selflessnessin an hour of need when they call out to us, especially in an emergency situation like the one faced now, cropped thirty years ago, but even then the motive was not THIS? You, me, a loved one can be diagnosed with a terminaldisease that was sitting dormant for about the last 20 years, would we expectdoctors to slam doors in our faces?Agreed, some gravely wrong decisions were taken by the PAKISTANI & AMERICAN Governments, but I will still maintain political leaders, seem very human to me, and being so are they NOT permitted to commit errors of judgment and therefore decisions? I WOULD SAY OF COURSE THEY CAN. And if they can admit of a decision having gone wrong over a period spanning 30 years, and openly ask HUMANITY to rise up to the challenge, are WE that MEAN or MEAK that we cant look beyond the department store round the corner? Out of the current lot, President Obama, Ex-President. Pervaiz Mushharff, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton And Chiarman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Mr. Imran Khan, on several international platforms have openly addressed these issues, and, more importantly, the dire need ,and the accompanying lack of time to redress the situation!
- Considering,the impact of the actions, policies, strategies adopted, followed or not followed in the same time frame, I as a PAKISTANI feel an ORPHANED CITIZEN ever since the current regime cane into power.I was a witness to the 2008 attack on the Srilankan Team and the ABSOLUTEreversal of what I witnessed, and what was portrayed on TV, left an impression which is more than evident in the frustrated out bursts of the common-man every other day. I am not personally defending or criticizing any of the policies adopted by the Musharraf regime, or going into motives but the man, on the faceof it, took on anybody, vociferously, audaciously on any issue related toPakistan. Be they journalists, politicians, he never once winced from taking them on, and that too with such logic and mental alacrity that literally brought a few of the biggest and most feared journalists, close to tears, onlive broadcast interviews. This is where credit is due to the charisma, enigma,and intellect of the man.
However,that was then. The prevalent chaotic condition that is very conveniently, butwrongly, passed off as “Musharraf’s Legacy”, suggests we are heading to a revolution, maybe parallel to theFrench revolution. The ever increasing drone attacks, the suicide bombings, areall boiled down to “Musharraf’s Legacy.” It takes a lot more than one man to brewup a storm, as powerful as is in our country. Are not the suicide bombings on shrines, mosques, self contradicting to the "fanaticism" Islam is labeled with? Fanatics would never be that silly to destroy the very root of the plant they propagate to be protecting, and neither are thepeople stupid enough to accept the non-sensical statements aimed at being aneye wash, convincing enough! Are we prepared to hear the current leaders chant “Musharraf’s Legacy”, even assuming it to be so, to any and every crises that arise, which, by the way, are sprouting like marshmallows every day now, and let the country go to the dogs? NO. Like the US Pakistan is ripe for a RADICAL CHANGE. We need a leader who is:
- Educated & internationally accepted
- Possesses clarity of mind in terms of where to go and how to get there
- Has evolved over time. Meaning what could have him raving mad 2 years ago is now ignored by a condescending, smirk, of course perceived only by those who have the caliber!
- Once committed to something, harps the same tune till the goal is achieved, and makes sure sustains too
- Has no personal life skeletons, guarding which is on his list of priority, as opposed to leading a shattered nation
Now that the circumstances have taken a graver turn, with the multidimensionalcontroversies surrounding the death of USAMA-BIN-LADEN, WE all, ESPECIALLY PAKISTAN is standing AT THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CROSS ROADS OF THE last 64 YEARS OF ITS EXISTANCE. A decision taken on March 23, 1940, saw the emergence of AN INDEPENDENT STATE called THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN. We all know how much in terms of patience, sweat, toil, and blood went into gaining visibility on the world map. Are we willing to undo the same, because we are hypocrites wearing rose tinted glasses, or “Musharraf’s Legacy tinted glasses" that assure us that as long as we chant this to every plummet in any segment/sector/ of our public and /or private lives all will be well, then I am ashamed of US!!!Things will only grow worse as the beginning of the pressure tactics that America has only begun to apply, and have a right to, as we ourselves have put us in the spot where they can do so! And, also, later on they more than us, may regret the strategy being adopted now, as the main force behind the wings is just not there. That force , being the support of the people of Pakistan. To me, an interim ELECTION IN PAKISTAN IS INEVITABLE. Who qualifies to lead this nation is no hidden secret. Yes,the American’s have reservations on that, but not at all antagonistic ones, asthis remark I make, comes from a conversation I had over COFFEE at the COFFEE,TEA, & CO. Lahore,on a sunny winter day last year with a very diligent,devoted, capable gentleman, who happened to be a US diplomat. As an American he questioned my opinion, and as a Pakistani, I replied, of course with reasoning to qualify my support ,that made him say, “of course u are the people. You would know your people better,the same as we do ours.” Does this conversation sound HEINOUS to u? Has a sin been committed by a PAKISTANI “ALLYING” (ASSUMPTION OF COURSE) with an AMERICANover coffee? To me it was a very positive discussion. Then too,I was asked whether I would be willing to making some kind of contribution towards bridging the gap of understanding, to which I said OF COURSE! If asked today my answer will be the same, only a much more VEHEMENTone as too much has gone under the bridge already!
By:Saadiah Qadeer Khawaja.