First something about the big picture ….
By: Waris Husain
…… When the decision by the Pakistani Supreme Court was released, a commentator on twitter noted that Rinkle Kumari, one of the three females in the case, was showing signs of Stockholm Syndrome. Neither the commentator nor I have the credentials to administer a psychological diagnosis to Ms. Kumari, now known as Faryal Bibi. However, let us think of the hundreds of other cases that have existed throughout Pakistan’s history where Hindus, Sikhs, or Christians were converted against their will.
Stockholm Syndrome has been described as a condition where an individual is abducted or kidnapped, and begins to empathise with their captor to the point that they defend their actions. In evolutionary psychology, theories have been developed that explain the evolutionary benefit of the Syndrome. When humans lived in hunter gatherer societies, clans of men would continually fight one another, and women would be taken as “victory prizes.” The women who protested their capture were regularly killed, while the ones who adjusted to life with their brutal captors survived.
Therefore, one should examine the case of religious minorities in Pakistan from this brutal, archaic, and outdated perspective. Potential converts are born into a society that subjects them to massive social and institutional discrimination, for public services and employment. Non-Muslims have been subject to murder, rape, or beatings merely for simply being born to a different religion in a nation where the right to spread Islam is more protected than the right of minorities to live in peace. In this environment, when a woman, child, or minority is converted to Islam, they could likely develop Stockholm Syndrome and embrace their new faith as an instinct to survive in a brutal society.
This raises a question that should be asked to the ‘gairatmand.’ Is the benefit of forcibly converting one individual to Islam worth jeopardising the validity of all the converts to their faith? Many say that the justice system is flawed if it mistakenly punishes one man, even when it rightfully punishes thousands. In that light, does the forced conversion of one soul not call into question the thousands of others that may have converted voluntarily?
There should be no societal benefit for belonging to the majority religion, just as there should be no detriment for being a minority. Therefore, one hopes that Parliament can address the societal discrimination at the heart of this issue by passing appropriate legislation. This legislation could thereafter be utilised and enforced through the Court. The Pakistani Constitution recognises the right to religion as fundamental, and despite contradictory laws that discriminate against minorities, a legislation is required to fairly deal with forcible conversions.
Read more » DAWN.COM
Saroop Ijaz on Imran Khan
By Omar Ali
Saroop Ijaz asks the question and votes for “lies”.
I disagree, I think he is not consciously lying. I think he is genuinely deluded..at some level, he really believes his theories…maybe he knows he is exaggerating when he says “I will finish corruption in 19 days”, but I suspect he really does think corruption is something that can be finished once he becomes ameer ul momineen and applies the philosophy of Allama Iqbal and the glorious system of the Khulafa e Rashideen.. One must not underestimate the effect of Pak Studies and Allama Iqbal on a truly determined person…
If he is lying, then he may be thinking he has to say ridiculous things and repeat mindless notions of Allama Iqbal and his glorious philosophy in order to become prime minister and then gradually fix the system using more practical means….a sort of “noble lie”. I am afraid I remain pessimistic because I have a hard time imagining that he is just faking all the “golden age of Islam and Allama Iqbal” stuff. Somehow, I find that hard to believe… But I will be happy to be proven wrong….
Read more » Brown Pundits
Mother of all conspiracies
by Omar Ali
A narrow coterie of military officers, mullahs and bureaucrats relies on the conspiracy theories to keep their flock in line. They use them to cover up their own crimes and shortcomings and hide their own dirty deals
Conspiracy theories exist in every corner of the globe and the world being what it is, some must be true. As social animals, we naturally organize into an endlessly branching tree of groups and subgroups, all eyeing relatively scarce resources. Sometimes we cooperate with other groups in mutually beneficial arrangements, but all too frequently we fight, literally or figuratively. This competition takes all forms, from ordered and rule-bound competition to a vicious struggle without rules or limits. In this endless struggle the existence of conspiracies is not only expected, it is the norm. For after all, what is a conspiracy? It is a certain group of humans getting together in secret to plot against other humans. Looked at it this way, all nations and groups probably launch some secret cooperative efforts against their competitors.
But when we talk of conspiracy theories, we are talking about deeper and darker myths, not these run of the mill plots and plans. We are talking of paranoid fantasies that connect disparate events and usually imagine one vast conspiracy where a hundred different conspiracies may be working at cross purposes. These are the big daddies of the conspiracy world: the protocols of the elders of Zion, the trilateral commission, the black helicopter people. These theories inflate the cohesion, camaraderie and capabilities of one group of people (the Jews, the corporate barons, the “Hinjews”) well beyond the realm of the humanly possible, while demoting everyone else to helpless victim and clueless idiot. Such paranoid fantasies are not confined to any one country or people. Moronic paranoid conspiracy theories circulate at the fringes of every society. But some countries and populations do seem to have a special fondness for them. Luckily or unluckily, we are one such country, and Muslims in general seem to be one such people.
Why? The psychology and sociology literature overflows with explanations. One theory holds that conspiracy theories are the last refuge of the powerless. People who feel they have no control over their own lives look for supermen (and women) who are responsible for their predicament. Others blame modernization, or the dislocation caused by the collapse of traditional society, or sky-god religions that are already primed to see the invisible hand of one grand actor behind all events. Some of these theories are probably correct, but there is another factor that deserves consideration: a conspiracy; a conspiracy to promote conspiracy theories.
I am saying that people in Pakistan do not just believe in wild conspiracy theories because they are un-informed or illiterate (in fact, that last chestnut is clearly false, the biggest believers are all literate). Neither do they do so just because they are powerless or because their traditional worldview is collapsing in front of their eyes or because they already believe in an all-powerful deity. All those may be factors, but let us not forget one more reason they believe in wild conspiracy theories: because their leaders of public opinion tell them it is so. In other words, the widespread belief in conspiracy theories is itself a conspiracy; a small group of men (it is always men) pick up the juiciest theories from some idiot American website (usually a White supremacist or paranoid brain-dead Leftie website) and spread them far and wide in the land of the pure. They plant them as stories on their websites. Then they get their own “news” outlets to pick up these stories, quoting their own websites as sources. Then they get their opinion leaders to repeat these conspiracies, using the media and the websites as sources if needed. There is, in short, a conspiracy to spread these conspiracy theories.
So it is that we find that large sections of the Pakistani middle class believe that everything that is wrong with Pakistan is due to a Hinjew conspiracy against Pakistan. Those Hinjews, otherwise so accursed and incompetent that their Akash tablets melt when used (and are, of course, no match for our superior PacPads), are so capable in the conspiracy field that hundreds of suicide bombers blow themselves up in their service and don’t even know they are serving the Hinjews. They are so brilliant that their controllers never get caught as they go around coordinating vast legions of agents in every civilian party and media outlet. They are so tightly knit that there has never been a fissure within the Hinjew ranks. No disgruntled Hinjews have come on TV to tell us that us all about their evil plot against GHQ. While our own ambassadors, prime ministers and presidents are all foreign agents, no Hinjew traitor betrays his own country. While our own intelligence service (the finest in the world) cannot catch one of these conspirators, their incompetent intelligence service has recruited our best and brightest by the thousands.
Why make people believe such things? One answer is that a narrow coterie of military officers, mullahs and bureaucrats relies on these conspiracies to keep their flock in line. They use them to cover up their own crimes and shortcomings and hide their own dirty deals. They use them to focus public resentment on a convenient faraway (and even mythical) enemy while ignoring proximate causes of their predicament. They use them to create an atmosphere where their own demented “policies” start to appear sane by comparison.
Or it may be that they themselves believe these things. Maybe there are psychological factors that drive our elite to first believe and then sell these conspiracies; this implies that the drivers are not narrow self-interest, but widespread self-delusion amongst the elite. Maybe because of the difficulties of patching together an identity from a flawed and rather superficial foundational myth; or the cognitive dissonance between their own partly (or even mostly) Indian cultural and biological roots and their professed un-Indian ideals. One could make up socio-psychological mumbo-jumbo for days with this rich material. And it could be that both theories are true. Self-delusion and self-interest are happily married and produce endless red-hatted conspiracy theorists when they bed together. But is that all, or could there be, perhaps, a conspiracy behind this conspiracy to sell conspiracy theories to our middle class?
Here, I revert to my own Pakistani roots and present to you the mother of all conspiracies; this conspiracy that peddles incredible bullshit with unbelievable vigor on a hundred Paknationalist websites is itself a Hinjew conspiracy! Our conspiracy theorists are themselves the agents of RAW and Mossad. They have been directed to plant these conspiracy theories in order to ensure that middle class educated Pakistanis remain mired in stupid, moronic, illogical and contradictory conspiracy theories and never figure out how they are being screwed and by whom. Just think about it. If you were a Mossad officer tasked with destroying Pakistan, would you waste time recruiting dangerous fanatics in faraway mountains when you could recruit a few people in Islamabad and make monkeys of the educated middle class? Doesn’t this explain everything? As the conspiracy theorists always tell us, just think about it….connect the dots.
Via – Brown Pundits
by Mazhar Arif
Retreat of socialism, particularly in former Soviet Union, and rise of “Ziaism” in Pakistan depressed the progressive (Leftist) and secular forces in the country which resulted in fading of “battle of ideas” in media and educational institutions. The consequences are the general intellectual bankruptcy and emergence of media-obsessed intelligentsia and the result is the “Ziaized” elitist intellectuals are on the center-stage …
Read more → ViewPoint
“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views… which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering.” –Dr Who
How true is the above quote in regard to prevailing fascist mindset deep rooted in Pakistani society. Yes, fascist tendencies could be found in any society. These are however fringed and alienated from mainstream. Besides, the state, law of land and society itself always remains vigilant about the activities of such fringed elements and never allow them to impose their views on others by use of any coercive tool. It is so because civilized societies are fully aware of the potential of this threat. They have observed and experienced the devastation done by fascist approaches for entire humanity and especially, for the societies that perpetuate such tendencies.
However, the case of Pakistan society vis-à-vis fascism is all together different. Here, fascism is not an isolated phenomenon. Instead, a significant chunk of the entire population including the majority of the urban middle class is now fully inflicted with this disease. The rests are also drifting towards this trend with an unchecked and alarming pace. The urban youth, belonging to upper and lower middle class has developed themselves as brainless zombies, devoid of any reasoning and logic. Their thought patrons are amazingly indistinguishable from each other. Yes, their looks and life style could be different. But they are all equipped with same set of absurd conspiracy theories with an extremely narrow and dangerous worldview. …
Read more → ViewPoint
Welcome to the Pakistan Army Help Line..
For Real Estate, press 1;
For Banking Services, press 2;
For Construction, press 3;
For Logistics, press 4;
For Agricultural Services, press 5;
For Retail services, press 6;
For Shadi Halls, press 7;
For Insurance services, press 8;
for Consumer goods, press 9;
for Security please call ‘Brinks‘.
…And for whereabouts of Terrorists call American CIA
For those in denial please call your approved psychological services specializing in conspiracy theories …
Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, May 27, 2011
When Pakistan Says No to the C.I.A.
Will Pakistan’s demand that the C.I.A. curtail its activities be a blow to American efforts to fight terrorism?
Feeding Pakistan’s Paranoia
Shuja Nawaz is director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington. He is the author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within” and “Learning by Doing: the Pakistan Army’s Experience with Counterinsurgency.”
Behind all the talk of a strategic dialogue and strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan lurks the reality of a persistent transactional relationship, based on short-term objectives that intrude rudely into the limelight every time a drone attack kills civilians inside Pakistan or in the instance when an American “operative” is caught by the Pakistanis after killing two people on the streets of Lahore.
In “Paranoidistan,” as the historian Ayesha Jalal has called Pakistan, the public and the authorities are prepared to believe the worst. Conspiracy theories abound, involving the C.I.A., Israel and India, in various permutations. …
…. The United States needs to stop paying the Pakistan army with coalition support funds to fight in the border region and instead provide it adequate military aid in kind, as part of a carefully structured cooperative program to build its mobility and firepower against the militants. Money cannot buy love. ….
Read more : The New York Times
by Dr Mahjabeen Islam
Weaving convoluted conspiracy theories is a finely refined Muslim art. And all things horrid emanate from the Hunood-Yahood-Amrika (Hindus-Jews-America) trio. Just prior to his death, Shahbaz Bhatti recorded a video detailing the death threats he had been receiving
The last shred of possible Pakistani pride has left me. Incontrovertibly, we are a nation of cowards and conspiracy theorists, always copping out and shifting blame. Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated in broad daylight and immediately all police wirelesses came alive. The killers were not just on a quickly hidden and weary motorbike but a white car. Islamabad teems with police and it is astounding that a clearly described Mehran could not be apprehended. Perhaps it is this rampant enabling of such heinous crimes that engenders the conspiracy theories that the nation loves to employ when faced with tragedy. They conspire themselves and so everyone else, they figure, must do the same.
How does a car just vanish into thin air in a populated area overrun by police? And therein lies the issue. Pakistanis have become inured to blood and gore. Be they retired generals or the common man, the economy and the national code of greed make each man take the most profitable option. How do armed extremists just appear from nowhere and perpetuate attack after attack, especially since 2008? No one cares to find out who this out-of-towner that wants to rent their home is; their main concern is to get the maximum rent. …
Read more : Daily Times
Nor is Talat alone in suffering from this forked tongue affliction. The Quilliam Foundation, a UK anti-extremist think tank, recently held a function in Islamabad. The event gathered together some of Pakistan’s media elite, youth activists, reformed terrorists and foreign journalists. One of the speakers at the event was Hamid Mir. I have it on good authority that Mr Mir was the voice of rational moderation that day. He talked unequivocally of his disgust with the intelligence agencies, he explicitly condemned the Taliban as anti-Islam forces and passionately argued — in English — that the only future for Pakistan was democracy and that it should be protected at all costs. Yes, I am talking about Hamid Mir, host of “Capital Talk”. Version 2.0 of Hamid Mir had transformed, becoming the personification of enlightened moderation. But then he was speaking in English and not to his usual Geo constituents.
Of course the reason that the Hamid Mirs and Talat Hussains of this world can get away with this duplicity is due to the linguistic Berlin Wall that the establishment likes to retain. Project an urbane, liberal image to the West with your (mostly) rational, logical and relatively free English media, and feed the wider public bile, conspiracy theories and irrational, simplistic nonsense in Urdu, thus ensuring that a suitably malleable, impressionable public can be whipped up when said establishment is fed up with the present government.
Do you remember when AQ Khan was forced to apologise to the nation for giving away nuclear secrets for personal gain? In what language did the disgraced scientist speak to his countrymen? English, of course. The establishment didn’t want the father of the bomb discredited as a money-grubbing chancer in the eyes of the public. Change the language and you change the audience. …
Read more : The Express Tribune
Pak-Afghan Border and Asymmetric Warfare – Hot Pursuit, Boots on the Ground, and Drone Attacks
…. An additional factor that complicates these tactics is the idiom that ‘all is fair in love and war’. In the age of Internet, people have come to believe the stated intents and positions of international players to be true. The real intent and policies of global players are the most highly guarded secrets and are not meant for public consumption. Publicly disclosing the nations real intent, strength and vulnerabilities would be tantamount to surrendering. Nonetheless, when the statements and actions of stakeholders repeatedly don’t match, it creates many conspiracy theories as well as mistrust amongst allies.
To read full article >> Politact
by Shakil Chaudhary
Pakistan’s Urdu press is perhaps the most careless, irresponsible and demagogic in the world. It promotes conspiracy theories day in day out. Instead of expert knowledge, most editorialists and columnists rely on crude propaganda, emotionalism and prejudice. It does not let the facts stand in the way of a good story. The concept of fact checking is totally alien. …
Read more >> ViewPoint
Men who have excessive faith in their theories or ideas are not only ill prepared for making discoveries; they also make very poor observations. Of necessity, they observe with a preconceived idea, and when they devise an experiment, they can see, in its results, only a confirmation of their theory. In this way they distort observation and often neglect very important facts because they do not further their aim... But it happens further quite naturally that men who believe too firmly in their theories, do not believe enough in the theories of others. So the dominant idea of these despisers of their fellows is to find others’ theories faulty and to try to contradict them. The difficulty, for science, is still the same. – Claude Bernard, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, 1865