Sunday, July 29, 2018

Pakistan: A creature of partition - Nothing can change where Dogma remains supreme

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” 

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People


Over to Pakistan, experts see 'ray of hope': But more than just an Imran Khan, Pakistan needs to change 'dogma'

Pakistani establishment that is the military is always in the background and would drag its feet whenever there is any peace initiative.

Amid hype created that Imran Khan's electoral victory would herald a 'new Pakistan', a noted Pakistani writer Mobarak Haider said more important will be to bring about transition in "unchanging psyche" in that country. He also said unlike Muslims, Buddhists in Vietnam despite immense suffering did not resort to any 'religious war'.

"It is an unchanging psyche. You may change the Shah of Iran with an Imam, replace Nawaz Sharif with an Imran Khan; nothing will change for the better because dogma remains supreme," says Haider 

To a question from the blogger, Haider suggested the Muslim clerics and some global players actually did a mistake by bringing in 'religion' in their respective national fight against the US or the erstwhile USSR.

2014: Haider and Blogger Dev

"People of Vietnam suffered far more than any Muslim nation did, but those Buddhists did not call it religious war nor did they start Jihad of Terror. We do, because we know only one answer to every question: Islam. What is, then, the role of a Muslim thinker? Should he preach Muslim unity against Christians and Hindus? Will that avert the conflict?," he asked.

"The industrial revolution which totally transformed our world was a product of scientific reason. This facet is not understood. Such scientific mindset actually pulled Europe out of the medieval norms of life. In medieval times, economic prosperity could come as a result of fighting power. But things changed....once people adopted to scientific temperament," he said.

Mr Haider, at present based in Stafford in Virgina (United States), pointed out that in the 20th century the United States could emerge as the 'Super power' because of this 'scientific economy and industrial prowess'.However, known for his candid observation, Mr Haider also lamented that Washington "has actually wasted most of its prestige and wealth by fighting wrong wars and by uninvited policing of the world".

In this context, Mr Haider also maintained it is because of such follies including 'policing the world', the United States has been "losing its status more rapidly since 1990s after it outsourced its economy and invaded Afghanistan and Iraq".

Even Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat is not quite optimistic. "So Imran Khan is a man Indians can talk to. But what should we expect from a Pakistan led by him? The problem is that he has two faces — a liberal, cosmopolitan and urbane one, which is seen in London and Mumbai — and an uncompromisingly hawkish Islamist one, an image he reserves for his Pakistani audiences. 

This is the man who, after all, has had Hafiz Sayeed address his early rallies", wrote Tharoor in an article for 'The Quint'.
On their part, a section of Pakistani experts say the 'real crisis' is still a few months away, "which gives the new government time to formulate its response".

"There are big problems waiting for the next government, though it is important to underline that none of them have yet graduated to become what we might call a ‘crisis’. That could happen in the months to come, but it is not here yet," writes Karachi-based economic journalist Khurram Husain in 'Dawn'. According to a report in another Pakistani paper 'The Express Tribune', Asad Umar, the man 'tipped to lead Pakistan’s finance ministry', has also spoken about the option of knocking on the doors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A BJP leader in Delhi on the condition of anonymity, however, said the elections in Pakistan and possibility of elevation of Imran Khan as Prime Minister is only "an internal matter" of that country.
"People do talk about election being rigged at the behest of the story has hardly changed. This was the story even two decades back," he said adding "We strongly feel that if they want peace, Pakistan needs to come clean on terror front. Without that no movement forward would be possible as the Pakistani army commanders are capable to put brakes on any kind of political approaches".

A section in India's ruling regime also says that it would be interesting to see how Imran Khan-led dispensation actually deals with the United States. Imran Khan has lately said that "excessive US diplomatic, non-diplomatic, and intelligence personnel from Pakistan” should be removed. Such reactions came after the US administration decided to suspend security aid to Pakistan until the country took action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

Meanwhile, senior sports journalist Gopalakrishnan Unnikrishnan, who has met Imran Khan as a politician and also a cricket captain, pens lucidly: "As a player, Imran created a deep sense of loyalty in his players and this not without forgetting his running rivalry with Javed Miandad. On a cricket field and within the walls of a dressing room, Imran could afford to be brusque and dominant. But if he indeed muster the number and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he will be asked to follow a different road."


Tail piece:

However, BJP leader Sunil Shastri said elections in Pakistan and the possibility of Imran Khan taking over as the next prime minister in that country has given a "ray of hope" for improving ties with India  but the onus is on the cricket icon-turned-politician.
"I will say, there is a ray of hope....but it is with a caveat, he has to deliver. The onus is on Imran Khan," said Shastri, whose father Late Lal Bahadur Shastri led India to a glorious victory against Pakistan in 1965 war. (ends)

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