Does Pakistan Need Any More Wake-Up Calls? The recent brazen attack by Taliban on the Pakistani army headquarters may be the last wake-up call that the nation is going to get.
Pakistanis have to ask themselves some serious questions. What If The Taliban Had Attacked Pakistan’s Nuclear Facilities instead of the Army Headquarters? Or, what if these had been coordinated attacks simultaneously? The results would be horrible and ugly domestically and in the international response and concern about Pakistani nuclear assets.
That there are Taliban, Al Qaeda, Jihadi as well as Khliafat movement supporters and apologists in Pakistan is a sad fact. That there are still Pakistanis who do not see beyond the length of their nose – or a few months of perceived good and bad political stability – and yearn for martial law and its “benefits” is also a sad fact. That there are plenty of “blame America for every problem that Pakistan faces” people in every walk of life is also a given.
But if they all needed any further reminder, slap on the face, and one serious final wake-up call, this attack was it. It literally was an attempt to take over the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, something even India and Pakistan do not try to do to each other in times of cold and hot war. This should show the most ambivalent and secretly sympathetic Pakistanis that the Taliban are the enemies of Pakistan.
It appears that the attackers had inside information before the attack. The fact that there remained a not so secret cadre of Pakistan military officers who theologically, intellectually and emotionally remained supportive of the Taliban was dangerous enough. That they may still be providing material and professional aid to these enemies of Islam and Pakistan is far more treasonous than any actions of corrupt politicians or even dictators imposing martial law.
I must say I am shocked, and seriously disappointed, that the Army did not expect or prepare for the kind of brazen attack that took place. Signs had been pointing to it. Events were leading up to it. Yet, the very center of Pakistan’s army operations was caught off guard.
I am surprised at the news reports suggesting that the guards on duty were confused by the fact that the attackers wore army uniforms. This should have been the most basic expectation provided to the guards in their basic training. Expect the enemy at any time, in any guise.
I am also thankful, and actually surprised, that these were not a series of automated attacks by uniform wearing terrorists attacking several Army locations around the country. We should be thankful for that, but also expect, and prepare for the worst.
This also highlights a serious risk that Pakistanis would be foolish to ignore. A similar uniform wearing gang of terrorists could attack nuclear facilities in Pakistan. We are fortunate that this attack did not target nuclear installations. As it is, it is a matter of serious embarrassment and grave concern for Pakistan and supporters of Pakistan.
The time has come for Pakistan, Pakistanis and the Pakistan army to wake up, and march forward, with no doubt, no hesitation in the no prisoners attitude to deal with the cancer that is now obvious to everyone except anyone harboring a secret desire to live in the Stone Age again.
Pakistan has to eradicate the Taliban, and by extension Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, not for the sake of Afghanistan, not for the sake of America, a not for the sake of any supposed global war on terror. Pakistan has two fully eradicate this cancer from every part of its body and soul for its own survival.
It is not to be easy. There will be blood. Unfortunately, that is what happens when the cancer is allowed to grow freely, or even encouraged in the false assumption that it can be controlled. The time is now. The need is critical. Pakistan’s survival is at stake.
Pakistan’s army and its people have to work together to meet this challenge together. The time of ambivalence is gone. The time to tolerate terrorists apologists is gone. The time to eradicate the cancer is here. Let us not let down our nation. Pakistan Zindabad.
Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar
If you ask a loaded question, “Which Country Is A Danger To Its Neighbors, Is Unstable And On The Verge Of Breakdown, And Is Terrible To Women?” I am sure Pakistan is what most of them would quickly jump to answer.
The cell-phone video of three “brave” strong males holding down and ravaging a young northern-area woman (who may be Pakistani or Afghani) with a public flogging was shameful by any standards of decency, morality or humanity.
Even more shameful was the timing of the video’s release. It was apparently leaked not to call attention to a serious crime, and dozens of atrocities like it that are committed by spineless, dishonorable, Taliban every day, but to complicate Pakistan’s nearly complete peace deal in Swat.
The Internet communities like Twitter are, for lack of a better word, atwitter (!) with this particular video being used as an example of what must be happening to every woman in every part of Pakistan.
Don’t get me wrong. The scourge of the Taliban, the cancer of AlQaeda and the repulsive puss-filled sore of Pakistani-killing terrorists brazenly attacking people in Pakistan are serious threats to every Muslim, every Pakistani. But they are, in many cases, byproducts of other fundamental problems that need to be solved by Pakistan and Muslims.
For example, a history of letting some parts of Pakistan being somewhat exempt from the laws of modern Pakistan may have seemed like ceding power and control to local warlords and ancient tribal traditions. But, in many cases, there were also arrangements in place that suited older governments of Pakistan.
They found it easier to buy the peace with a warlord or Maliks or Emirs of the region, even at the cost of not giving the local populace there a vote or a voice in its own destiny.
Even the money given to areas where natural resources were found, and consumed nationwide, the “royalties” did not go to benefit the people of the area, but to enrich the tribal leaders, who became even stronger and more vile forces, somewhat like Stone Age Godfathers even without the semblance of a competition or law above them.
They ensured that murder, rape and other heinous crimes remained their tools of administering their subservient population. Ensuring lack of education, lack of basic facilities, even medical care for the poor was another way to keep a population barely surviving and not daring to speak up, or even knowing that speaking up was an option.
That is why, though I went to school with many scions of such “wadera” or “tribal chief” families sons, I did not shed a tear when a certain Nawab, who was as much an enemy of Pakistan as of his own people, was wiped out by General Musharaff (in one of the few good things he did as Chief Dictator Officer in Pakistan).
My hope was that many of the tribal leaders’ kids going to school with me at Aitchison College, Lahore in Pakistan, would one day go and become the new chiefs of their tribes and maybe change things.
I guess power, especially generations old almost godlike power, has its own power to corrupt. Many of my friends went on to have professional careers but I did not see or hear of any of them being the power of change I had hoped they would.
Thus, it is easy to see why the international media, the global community, including God-fearing, law-abiding, everyday Pakistanis, being horrified and angry at the crimes being committed by the sewer rat Taliban fanatics. It is easy to see why decent people around the world, especially on the Internet, would distribute the story to everyone who would hear.
But what gets my riled up is the way the tragic story is used not to influence positive change or to discuss the reasons such groups exist. There is no talk of the role of the United States in creating yesterday’s mujahideen (today’s Taliban).
Ignored is the double standard of Washington in making speeches about democracy but always secretly praying for, and playing for, a powerful but controllable dictator in Muslim countries.
The worst examples include the repulsive and thankfully long dead General Zia and moderately pleasant but still Constitution-raping General Musharaff in Pakistan or the Arab thug Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
The most disgusting to me personally is the concept of all American administrations supporting a monarchy in Saudi Arabia, where Islam brought the earliest concept of people deciding who would rule them after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) passed away.
During this time, the fact is that online communities like Twitter have a flood of messages screaming that the sky is falling in Pakistan. They are crying hoarse about how Pakistan is on the verge of a breakdown.
They are maligning Pakistan as if every young or old woman in Pakistan is beaten at the smallest excuse and the rest of the country applauds. They feel Pakistan is a threat to its neighbors.
If you ask a loaded question, “Which Country Is A Danger To Its Neighbors, Is Unstable And On The Verge Of Breakdown, And Is Terrible To Women?” I am sure Pakistan is what most of them would quickly jump to answer.
The triple irony is that just today’s news shows three of America’s stalwart, and supposedly stable, allies are the worst examples of what Pakistan is accused of being.
The vile Zionist state of nuclear-armed Israel continues to show it has no desire for peace, with its own Foreign Minister blowing off agreements they had made with the American governments in recent years for a two-state solution to the Occupation of Palestine. They treat their Palestinian occupied territory slaves, men and women, worse than the worst Pakistani tribal crook chieftain treats his subjugated poor serfs. And they have an unstable coalition government increasingly run by right-wing fanatics.
Saudi Arabia, where the thankfully gone George W. Bush could not get enough of kissing, and lip-synching policies with the equally hypocritical and un-Islamic Saudi monarch, (and where President Barack Hussein Obama was also bowing in deference) is in the news. How they mistreat women and have no civil rights for migrant workers is not even news.
The latest repulsive news from Saudi Arabia was that a man gave his 8-year old daughter to be married to a 47-year old man to settle a debt. I repeat, to settle a DEBT. In the year 2009 AD the Arab Muslims are literally selling daughters to settle business debts. I wonder whom they would sell to settle a mortgage loan.
Lastly, the mother of all daughter-selling countries, Thailand, a favorite destination for child-porn seekers and pedophiles from Europe and America, not only continues to peddle its wares, and its daughters, it is also now in a state of emergency, in addition to political unrest in various regions around it.
Let’s be fair. All these nations also have insurgencies of one kind or another. It is time that America sends in the drones. But this time let’s send them to bomb civilian areas in Tel Aviv, Jeddah and Bangkok and deal with the far worse crimes against humanity committed by those three American allies every day.
Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and email@example.com . You can respond to his live comments on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar
George Bush, IMRAN, Imran Anwar, Islam, Terrorism, Israel, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Pedophiles, Child Porn, Child Brides, Saudi Arabia, Missiles, Drone Attacks, AlQaeda, Taliban, Egypt, Lahore, Civil Rights, Democracy, Twitter, Afghanistan, Flogging, Palestine, Barack Obama
This has been another week in which Pakistan has been in the news in America. Pakistan has embarked on a major new path when its people once again stood up for democracy. But that news has not been reported very much in American media. It is almost as if some American media were disappointed that, for a change, the news from Pakistan was good.
You would think that these media would have preferred if Pakistan had a “Long March” which turned to total chaos and anarchy. It would have given some American media and many so-called analysts the opportunity to say, “I told you so.” For them it would have been more newsworthy to report “Pakistan near collapse” than the “boring” news that “Pakistanis Face & Reverse Tyranny.”
I wonder if it is because most American media, despite their protestations and editorial comments when Pakistan does not have democracy, in their heart of hearts know that American interests abroad are best served by keeping dictators in power.
After all, that is the one thing American governments, be they Republican or Democrat, have always been consistent on. They have always supported dictators in Pakistan. Of course, that is the same reason they use to curtail aid to Pakistan, but always seem to open their wallets when a dictator in Pakistan plays hardball with them.
It would be foolish and irresponsible for us to believe that everything is hunky-dory in Pakistan. Pakistan managed to step back from the precipice of a total meltdown after the Long March. President Asif Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finally agreed on a mechanism for the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chowdhry has taken his office again. But Pakistan is not out of the woods.
The terrorists who carried out the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team are still brazenly moving about the city of Lahore, posing unknown threats to Pakistanis. The Taliban and their evil supporters have stooped to new lows.
Even the repulsive Zionist army of Israel, invading and slaughtering Palestinians and the Lebanese, or the indiscriminate bombings of American jets in Afghanistan and Iraq, have never been known to specifically directly target a mosque full of worshippers. Yet that is what the scum of the universe, the suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are doing.
How are their actions serving Islam? How they are helping liberate Palestine or Kashmir – by killing 100 Muslims in a mosque during prayers? They are not.
It is all about sowing terror, not spreading Islam. It is all about bloodlust, not about freedom. It is all about evil, not about iman. Yet the silence of leading politicians from religious parties, ulema, imams and other “thaikedars” of Islam is deafening.
The same people who jump on every opportunity to have a press conference, or send out a press release, about deaths happening in Palestine or Iraq seem to have nothing to say on this biggest evil of suicide bombers right in our own home, killing our fellow Pakistani Muslims on an almost daily basis.
Some apologists for these professional so-called “defenders of Islam” try to make excuses for them. They tell me that they did indeed, maybe some time in the past, say something or the other condemning terrorism.
My question is, isn’t the slaughter of Pakistani and Muslim worshippers in a mosque a far more evil deed that is being carried out right under our noses? Why is there not a daily fatwa against suicide bombers? Why are we not declaring every day (even by name of the suicide bomber of the day) that they will be burning in the deepest recesses of hell?
What Pakistanis, and Afghans, do not seem to still realize is that their silence is acquiescence. By not uniting and using every available tool to eradicate the scourge of suicide bombing terrorists from within Pakistan and Afghanistan, both these countries are inviting more and more trouble from abroad.
President Barack Hussein Obama has recently released more information about his plans for Afghanistan and, more ominously, Pakistan. The good news is that an American president at least understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. The bad news is that an American president understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. What do I mean by that?
What it means is that Obama is winding down on the war in Iraq. He and his advisers realize that while time, energy and money were being wasted in Iraq, thanks to the foolish and idiotic warmongering policies of George W. Bush, the real threat of Al Qaeda was actually growing.
During this time, because of Bush simply outsourcing the hunt for Bin Laden to General Musharraf, the only thing that was achieved was greater hatred for America among the very people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who could have helped eradicate Al Qaeda.
This is a make or break opportunity for Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan. We now have an American president who is actively working to undo the damage done by George W. Bush around the world. He is diligently working to withdraw troops from Iraq. He has already ordered an increase in aid to Pakistan.
He has more than once mentioned that the main conflict between Pakistan and India is Kashmir and that America needs to help solve that problem.
On more than one occasion, in recent speeches, he has directly spoken words addressed to the Muslim population of the world. He has even done the unthinkable for an American president; speaking words addressed directly to America’s original arch nemesis in the Muslim world, Iran and its clerics.
Let’s remember that this man is still President of the biggest military power on the planet. America still is the only remaining superpower. He is not speaking from a position of weakness. He is not speaking to win any elections in America.
Obama’s outreach attempts to befriend Muslims have even been criticized by his opponents at home. Many of them think that reaching out to the Muslim world is caving in to terror.
Think about it, dear reader. We Muslims, with our silence, have allowed things to get so bad that the typical, not highly educated, not very politically aware, citizen of most western countries equates our religion of peace with blood lust and terror.
If we do not speak up, unite and eradicate the evil growing amongst us, it will kill more and more of our fellow Muslims and Pakistanis. It will continue to malign our religion Islam and threaten the very existence of our beloved countries.
Do you still want to remain silent? Speak up now or one day God will ask you about it.
Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . You can converse with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar
President Zardari, the whole nation and almost the whole world have congratulated you on your ascension to the highest office in our land.
Your political party also controls Parliament and most of the provincial bodies. The Armed Forces have, showing wisdom and loyalty to the Constitution of Pakistan, stayed out of the fray.
Past allies and even competitors have shown political civility towards you. For the first time in recent history of Pakistan there is not a group of politicians sitting outside the tent throwing rocks, claiming the President is illegitimate.
On top of that, you can even leverage your historic domestic opportunity to win advantages for Pakistan on the global affairs scene.
As a Pakistani writer, and later as an American TV and media commentator, I have always loudly complained about the way America and Americans want to see democracy around the world, but American policymakers love to deal with, and support, dictators, especially in Pakistan.
Even in this, fate is on your side, at least at present. As I said during a recent interview on the very popular and influential Fox News Channel, in having you as President of Pakistan, America and American policymakers can get what they both want; a democratically elected Pakistani President with almost dictatorial powers, but without the bad aftertaste of a military regime.
Talking about fate, it seems the alignment of the stars favors you in one more way. Thanks to the foolish, even America-destroying, policies adopted by President George W. Bush, the United States has turned its post September 11, 2001 surplus of global goodwill into a huge deficit. His actions have made and are making America, and my fellow Americans, widely reviled among the very people who once loved us.
Not content with destruction of America’s foreign goodwill, Mr. Bush has also taken the huge economic surplus left by ex-President Bill Clinton, and turned that into a huge, and growing, budget deficit. The result is the weakening of the sole-superpower, the United States of America, and enabling opportunities for other countries to rise up.
That is why puny dictators, like the one in North Korea, can play games of one-upmanship with Bush. It is also why Russia was so easily able to walk right into, and take over, parts of the former Soviet state of Georgia. They did it knowing full well that all Bush could do was send the Darth Vader of American politics, Vice President Dick Cheney scampering to the region. All Cheney could do was try to ensure the remaining states did not start quickly falling in line with the latest Russian expansionism.
What that means for America is the opportunity to work with a democratically elected President (and Prime Minister) of Pakistan, both belonging to the same party, which also enjoys a clear mandate by the nation to solve problems. What that means for Pakistan, under your government, is to exploit your position, not for further personal gain, or to benefit your friends and supporters, but to gain greater benefits for Pakistan and Pakistanis.
When I first heard about it, I thought you were doing well by heading to China, a supposedly stalwart Pakistani ally, but which recently has started building close relations with India. But now I hear that trip may be on hold. I still think you should not ignore China in this manner.
I also think it is imperative that you reach out to the Russians.
I have always been anti-Soviet, and am no fan of Russia or its grand designs. But, at this juncture in time and history, it is imperative for Pakistan to finally, and fully, exploit its geo-strategic opportunities. Former Communist and Socialist states are now more and more Capitalistic, at least in their economies. Therefore, it is even easier for you, and Pakistan, to build relationships with, what I call, a “Commutalist” China and a Resurgent Russia.
Let no one think for a moment that I have forsaken my lifelong disdain for Communism, Socialism and all things Soviet. I actually think Pakistan reaching out to Russia is in the interest of both countries I am citizen of, Pakistan and the United States.
How is that possible? Well, it is long standing US policy to exploit Pakistan as a willing satellite and then to walk away from it to go woo India, for example. Having a Pakistan that can as easily walk into the arms of China and Russia actually will help ensure American policymakers show more wisdom in dealing with Pakistan.
What this enables you to do is leverage the situation and work with America. It lets you gain back the trust we lost in the post-9/11 age. It helps you gain facilities that Pakistan has never enjoyed, despite being a loyal American friend for six decades.
During this time, a supposedly non-aligned, but Soviet-allied, India has gained incredibly huge business benefits. Even worse, it is now getting closer and closer to the United States militarily.
To add insult to an even bigger injury, it is India that is now getting civilian nuclear technology from the Bush government. The lame duck government of General Musharraf had ample time to prevent this terrible decision from being made by the lame duck administration of George W. Bush.
Despite having American policy being totally based on his persona, General Dictator Musharraf, and his lazy cohorts, hardly tried to do more than just get enough funds from America to keep them in power. Even if they did try, they failed miserably to stop India’s brilliant and confident march on to the world stage. India has managed to stand next to the United States as a democracy peer, and one day as a military one too. Even more brilliantly, India has done this without jeopardizing its relationship with the Russians.
What kind of slap in the face, kick in the pants, or punch in the nose does a Pakistani government need to see how quickly, and how effectively, Pakistan is being sidelined on the global stage?
The need of the hour from you, on the world stage, is to show that Pakistan means business; not that ruling Pakistan is just a business.
It is essential to insist that America immediately, sincerely and boldly increase its development aid to Pakistan. But you have to ensure transparency in linking such development funds to specific national level projects, be they dams, power plants or roads and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. With your mandate, and the powers you are yet to show signs of relinquishing, you can easily push through long-stalled projects essential to national development and even survival.
Insist and demand that American nuclear power companies, with some of the world’s best civilian nuclear technology, be allowed to build, own and operate nuclear power plants in Pakistan. This is mutually beneficial. The American nuclear industry segment, which is very close to the Bush and his interests, gets opportunities to grow their global business. Pakistan gets the fastest possible mechanism for producing cheapest possible energy. And, this gets done while ensuring these civilian energy related nuclear projects do not get bogged down in nuclear non-proliferation issues.
Instead of increasing reliance on aging US-supplied military hardware, especially Zia-era aircraft like the F-16s, you must try to expand the horizons of Pakistan’s defense forces. To build our own capabilities, you must invite and encourage Pakistan’s private sector and technology entrepreneurs to build and provide military grade technologies to our armed forces.
At the same time, Pakistan must make sincere efforts to win America’s trust. You must leverage Pakistan’s geo-strategic location. Your government has to show solid results in the war on terror, which is now “our war” as much as America’s.
Your government should work to help stabilize Afghanistan and earn the right and privilege to be at par with, if not ahead, of the technologies America is giving India.
I can think of many reasons why my fellow Americans must realize that India is a long-term threat to US military and strategic interests in the region. I am sure your brilliant foreign affairs experts can give you many more.
Yet, India has all world powers falling over each other to sell it weapons and give it technology and business. Why can’t Pakistan do the same? Pakistan should reach out to European, Russian and American governments and defense manufacturers to seek the best they have to offer.
To exploit to the fullest the foreign relations opportunities you have been blessed with, I suggest that you reach out to, and visit, the largest powers that impact us directly. You must meet with the leaders of China, Russia, the United States as well as India.
Going to Dubai to take care of any kind of non-strategic, non-mission-critical, or personal business is a bad move. Blowing off China and rushing to our former colonizers in the United Kingdom at their slightest beckoning is a move Pakistan, and your government, will regret in the long run.
My suggestion is still to visit China, Russia, possibly Saudi Arabia. I would also add France, Germany and Japan to the list, while having your experts consider visiting a Muslim country like Malaysia that has done well on the global economic scene.
Yes, later, you should also visit the UK, and the USA and the UAE and any other country that you have an interest in.
But, now is not the time to rush there. When the time is right, when you have established a modicum of Pakistani sovereignty and independence, in the eyes of these countries, only then should you visit them. Believe me, you will find them more respectful and receptive to you if they know you are not rushing to their arms.
Ironically, even then, the loud and clear message you have to carry, as a democratically elected Pakistani President, is best summed in the words of a former dictator.
The people of Pakistan seek relationships with all these countries…. as our “Friends, Not Masters.”
Someone asked recently, “Didn’t Bin Laden work for the CIA? Didn’t they train him and give him loads of money?”
Well, I do not think Bin Laden was technically a direct recruit of the CIA or an employee.
I understand he went to Afghanistan on his own to fight the Russians, for their invasion of a Muslim land. US said he is a good man for feeling that way.
The CIA and the US Govt. were busy actually promoting the word JIHAD in Muslim countries like Pakistan so uneducated masses could be exhorted to volunteer to go into battle against Russians, many times knowing they would be suicide missions. So, Bin Laden was a Godsend to the CIA and they worked well together. Training and resources were surely provided to him.
Of course, now we are paying the price. We said he was a hero when he wanted outside armies out of Muslim lands like Afghanistan. When he said OK, now American armies out of Saudi Arabia (his actual home country)Blair and Bush started talking as if this is some ideology from 1000 years ago. Now, last time I checked 1979 was not 1000 yers ago when the US Govt. and CIA created the JIHADI soldier.
The Russians are probably laughing at us every day we get mad dogs we trained biting at us around the world now.
Post date: Aug 4, 2005