While the statement that right wing of Pakistan is itself undermining its ideological foundation would sound controversial, but deconstructing it would reveal some dark facts that have to be brought into lime light.
Pakistan as a society is becoming increasingly polarized. This polarization is evident on many levels and on many issues. The case of Ahmadis, Salman Taseer, Blasphemy law, banning of Youtube, Lal Masjid, Malala and her book, Hakimullah Mehsud’s death are just to cite a few. The country is still divisive on which colour to paint Malala. Is she a national treasure or imposter? Furthermore what title to issue for Mehsud? Hakimullah’s death has brought forward controversial statements about his martyrdom. He stands a hero to many and at the same time villain to many more. Many of our opinion makers and elders are silent. And those who have spoken, have not done so judiciously. Instead, they have rolled out opinion that is s chained with excess baggage and selective quotations. Opinions that are bludgeoning with decades of frustration and apologetic rhetoric. For level headed people, it is now getting tiring to hear that every obstacle in the nation’s pathway is a cunning scheme of either the near east or the far west. As a nation, the only sport we can now think of getting medals is cooking conspiracy theories and antagonizing others. This development has taken us from a people of vision and ambition to masses of scepticism and intolerance.
For me “The Pakistan ideology” was a vision of a state of welfare, opportunity, creativity and tolerance. It was where the “ills” of the world would have been cured. A fair and just society. A place where the contentment of the heart, mind and soul as opposed to monetary prosperity would have been an index of progress. A society, where every living being would find peace, nirvana and much more. Life not merely a struggle for existence, but a thriving reality. Unfortunately at present, it is anything and everything but that.
Have our right wing helped in inspiring our youth to that utopian image, particularly in this dark-age which we are going through? The answer sadly is no. Would they vilify this article on the bases of words like utopia and nirvana? Sadly yes.
It is disappointing to see our righteous leaders provoke but not inspire. They do not calm but incense. They do not ooze positivity but propel negative motivations like hatred and revenge. Their reactions ride on waves of rancour. Their arguments riddled with fallacies. Their comments tainted with rhetoric. They do not leave pearls of wisdom but do leave bones of contention. And perhaps the image of the ideal Pakistan is getting blurred not because its existence is a mirage, but because the path to it, as shown by our “righteous” leadership is false.
I believe the regressive thinking by our right wing to be responsible for dragging us in this mire of confusion. A case in point is Jamat- e-Islami. A party that has an organization and structure that many rival parties envy, but has a leadership that is intellectually decadent. They seem clueless, disconnected and aloof, living in a construct of reality in which they have given up free will for a self-imposed sense of powerlessness. This rot should be a worrying and a lesson for everyone. Jamat seems stuck on a one point agenda, blame America for all evils. And not budging from this stance does not seem to be taking them anywhere. Their blind hatred of the west has alienated them from their staunchest supporter. Instead of providing real solutions, their hopes are pinned on the fall of the US as a superpower through imperial overstretch. They have gone beyond treating everything coming from west with suspicion; they believe irrationally on the outset that it must be wrong.
By treading on the path we are treading, we will become more differentiating rather than integrating. It is true that those who don’t stand for anything will fall for everything. Perhaps it is this message that the rightist have taken on board with the wrong understanding. They should also know that those who stand against everything will also fall with nothing. We will have to get out of our siege mentality that is a product of centuries of subjugation. A rebellious psyche can be an agent of change but a vengeful psyche is regressive and disastrous.
What is much needed at this point from our right wing is instilling tolerance, clear the air, create space for dialogue and focus on the broader issues of sustainability. They need to cultivate the frustration of our radicalized youth and mould that intense energy for development, beginning from educating minds. They need to learn from Ikhwan movements of Turkey and Eygpt, whose popularity lies in furthering education, welfare and charity not in slogans. They should not be selective in their truth and give their moral narrative to events based on the whole truth, not driven by the hatred of west. The holy Qur’an says “Let not enmity of a nation incline you to be unfair; be fair, that’s closest to piety.” After all, that is what the Pakistan Ideology demands. If this is not done, they will further alienate themselves, create chaos and will do a huge dis-service to their own ideology, country and religion.
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