Punditry without predictions is like a fish without a bicycle and who would ever want that? But if one does make predictions, one’s predictions can be checked. That, perhaps, is why no paid pundit makes too many predictions. But, with nothing at stake, I will not only make predictions, I will also recall predictions from 3 years ago for criticism. And dear socialist friends, please remember these are not prescriptions, they are predictions. I don’t like them much either.
In March of 2009 I took a road trip across the Eastern United States and asked several generally well informed Pakistani friends what they thought was likely to happen in Pakistan in the days to come. I am reproducing that article unchanged below; the first few theories are what my friends proposed would happen, followed by my own predictions from 2009. I consulted two of the same friends again this week and their current predictions and my own 2012 predictions follow. It is, of course, a very small and unrepresentative sample, biased towards liberals, infidels and leftists with no other input. And it is not expressed in University-Speak. So please, be gentle.
Continue reading Pakistan Predictions 2012 – by Omar Ali
KARACHI – SINDH, Aug 12: Speakers clarified the misconceptions regarding Sindh’s famous politician G.M. Syed and touched on his philosophy of life at the launch of the book Fikr-i-G.M. Syed Aur Aaj Ka Pakistan by Abdul Khaliq Junejo at the PMA House on Friday.
The book is an Urdu translation of three of the politician’s known speeches.
Dr Jaffer Ahmed, who presided over the event, read out a few excerpts from the preface. He said two different behaviours and attitudes vis-à-vis the state’s functioning had existed from the time Pakistan came into being. The first (which had turned into an ideological paradigm) was to do with a strong centralised system, which was usually considered necessary for the country’s unity and progress. Those who held this view often used religion and patriotism to support their standpoint. He said in 1951 no less than 32 religious scholars came up with a programme in favour of that kind of rule, despite the fact that East Pakistan was also part of the country at that time. They were doing so in a country which was multiethnic and multilingual.
Dr Ahmed said the other view that ran parallel to the first one was in favour of provincial and regional autonomy.
The Centre often labelled those who held that view as separatists. He said G.M. Syed was unfortunately one of those politicians who after partition became a victim of the Muslim League’s wrath and was not only ignored in the national discourse but was also dubbed as a ‘negative force’. Such politicians were often accused of something that they never committed or believed in.
He said the book contained some predictions made by G.M. Syed which were now proving true. In the book, he’s seen welcoming those who’d migrated from India to Pakistan and in a speech delivered in Vienna in 1952 he condemned the western powers for adopting the policy of supporting religious forces to counter communism. G.M. Syed had pointed out that if the West continued doing that, the religious extremists and regressive forces would take advantage of the situation and reach the corridors of power — something that later happened.
Prof Dr Tauseef Ahmed said time had proved G.M. Syed right on the things that he disagreed with Mr Jinnah. It was in 1946 that he first took issue with Mr Jinnah and his ‘confederation’ approach was not liked by the Muslim League. He said his address at the formation of the Pakistan People’s Organisation indicated that G.M. Syed wished for a state where there’d be a socialist system, where there’d be protection of everybody’s basic rights.
Continue reading Fikr-e-G.M. Syed Aur Aaj Ka Pakistan
Pakistan Predictions 2009 – by Dr. Omar
I wrote this in April 2009 for Wichaar.com and am posting it unchanged. Its interesting to see how our predictions look 2 years later….
I recently went on a road trip across the North-Eastern United States and at every stop, the Pakistanis I met were talking about the situation in Pakistan . As is usually the case, everyone seemed to have their own pet theory, but for a change ALL theories shared at least two characteristics: they were all pessimistic in the short term and none of them believed the “official version” of events. Since there seems to be no consensus about the matter, a friend suggested that I should summarize the main theories I heard and circulate that document, asking for comments. I hope your comments will clarify things even if this document does not. So here, in no particular order, are the theories.
1. Things fall apart: This theory holds that all the various chickens have finally come home to roost. The elite has robbed the country blind and provided neither governance nor sustenance and now the revolution is upon us: the jihadis have a plan and the will to enforce it and the government has neither. The jihadis have already captured FATA and most of Malakand (a good 20% of NWFP) and are inevitably going to march onwards to Punjab and Sindh. The army is incapable of fighting these people (and parts of it are actively in cahoots with the jihadis) and no other armed force can match these people. The public has been mentally prepared for Islamic rule by 62 years of Pakistani education and those who do resist will be labelled heretics and apostates and ruthlessly killed. The majority will go along in the interest of peace and security. America will throw more good money after bad, but in the end the Viceroy and her staff will be climbing rope ladders onto helicopters and those members of the elite who are not smart enough to get out in time will be hanging from the end of the ladder as the last chopper pulls away from the embassy. Those left behind will brush up their kalimas and shorten their shalwars and life will go on. The taliban will run the country and all institutions will be cleansed and remodelled in their image.
2. Jihadi Army: The army is the army of Pakistan . Pakistan is an Islamic state. They know what to do. They will collect what they can from the Americans because we need some infidel technologies that we don’t have in our own hands yet, but one glorious day, we will purge the apostate officers and switch to full jihadi colors. The country will be ruled with an iron hand by some jihadi general, not by some mullah from FATA. All corrupt people will be shot. Many non-corrupt people will also be shot. Allah’s law will prevail in Allah’s land. And then we will deal with Afghanistan (large scale massacre of all apostates to be held in the stadium), India , Iran and the rest of the world in that order.
Continue reading Must read : Pakistan Predictions