5000 People have so far been killed in clashes between protesting masses and tyrannical Asad regime in Syria. The government is using the iron fist to put down the uprising but has failed to do so until now. Arab league has approved sanctions against Asad government in Syria and has repeatedly appealed to Aasd to stop the military action but to no avail. Despite repeated requests from the leaders of protestors NATO and Europe have until now have shown no interest in intervening, though they have been using other means like resolutions in security council to pressurize the government to stop the atrocities and human right violations.
Nobody in Pakistan is interested in killing of 5000 thousand people in Syria by the government and obviously they should not be, as we have our own problems to cater to. But if by any chance, NATO and American or anyone else will decide to intervene, pseudo intellectuals, columnists, Mullahs and religious parties in Pakistan will at once start criticizing the action as an American conspiracy to destabilize Middle East. It will be termed as Jewish agenda to over throw Muslims rulers. In fact different writers have already termed ‘Arab Spring’ as western conspiracy. Nobody will try to understand the simple fact that people of Syria, like the people of other Middle Eastern and Arab countries, have turned against their dynastic oppressing rulers and don’t want to carry on with them. We will call the protesters agents of America, West and Jews. Intellectuals in Pakistan, like rulers of the Muslim world, are failing to read the writing on the wall and are paying the price.
Pakistan was only country in the world where columnists were writing columns in favor of Gadddafi of Libya and religious parties were taking out processions in his favor and against NATO attacks. While on the other hand people of Libya were engaged in fierce and bloody struggle against the dictator. Thousands were killed in the bloody clashes which forced Gaddafi tit un for his life and hide in hole in a far flung town. His last video showing him begging his captors for mercy told the whole story of his popularity.
The mood in Pakistan about the Libyan revolution was a just a continuity of the long tradition of misguided and ill informed movements about the happenings in Muslim world. When Turks were busy in kicking out their Ottoman Caliphs, our elders were advocating with the British for safeguarding caliphate. One words of a popular Urdu writer, it is difficult to imagine a more sincere yet a more useless movement. When Afghans were themselves going through the worst crisis, our religious scholars were declaring united India as land of conflict and war (Darul Harab) and motivating Muslims to migrate to land of Islam (Darul Islam). What happened to those who headed to the advice and migrated to Afghanistan is now a bitter part of our checkered history. We in Pakistan still consider the termination of Ottoman Caliphate as a conspiracy by Jews and Christians where as Turks themselves have never bothered to look back and remember those incompetent rulers.
When students and masses were gathered in Al-Tahrir square for agitating against Husni Mubarak of Egypt, we were looking for the hidden hands of America in the uprising. I wonder what our religious leaders would say now about the change in Egypt, when AlIkhwan and Salafis have won the first round of elections. Will they also be calling Al-Ikhwan and Salafis the American agents?
Why is it that we always fail to understand what is going on in other Muslims countries and as a nation take wrong sides? We always side with the dictators and not with the people of those countries who are struggling to rid themselves of those tyrants? Rather we term these movements of the people as western and Jewish conspiracies. From Indonesia to Morocco, we have never been able to objectively analyze the ongoing people movements and public sentiments.
What is the reason behind this mindset of ours and this intellectual failure? The fact of the matter is that we doubt all these movements and struggles because of the experiences which we have had at home. Our political, social and even religious movements have a long history of foreign funding, sponsorships and backing. If our Madrassah was and is getting financial support from Arab world, then our leftists were getting equal support and patronage from Moscow which was their beacon. Our political movements to get rid of popular leaders like Bhutto were sponsored by C.I.A. Our Jihad was fully funded and sponsored by Pentagon. Our NGOs working on human rights are blamed for working on western agenda for American dollars. Even the movement for the restoration of Chief Justice is said to be heavily funded by parties interested in achieving some other goals. The opinions of many journalists have known to sway with sway in fortunes of governments or with the fatness of envelops which they receive. We are never sure whether a politician is actually popular in the masses or the show of power have been orchestred by hidden hands to force other parties to follow their agenda.
With this metal baggage and background, it is difficult for our analysts and intellectuals to imagine the some movements can be indigenous and can gather momentum without foreign invisible hand and support. This makes our analysts look at the movements in other Muslim majority countries with doubt and suspicion. Whenever our masses managed to get rid of some people at the helm of affairs, afterwards they came to know that ouster was not result of their struggle; rather decisions had been made somewhere else even before their struggle had started and that their struggle actually meant nothing and they were mere pawns on the board.
While trying to analyze these movements in other countries, we need to overcome these mental and psychological barriers and look at them objectively. We should also try to have a look at the history and background of these countries and societies. Most of the Muslim world countries across the world are rules by families or persons who have been at the helm of affairs for very long time. Most of the rulers who have been thrown away had been ruling their countries for at least two decades. This situation is very different from Pakistan, where democratic governments do not manage to last for four years and even military dictators with all their might cannot go beyond ten years. So the discontent of the people in other Muslims countries with their rulers and the desire to change is not surprising. In few Muslim countries where there is regular change of faces and rulers, the situation is quite stable. Many Muslim countries are ruled by dynasties or by individuals trying to convert democracies to dynasties. Husni Mubarak and Gaddafi both were grooming their sons to take their place which causes lot of resentment. Though Bashar ul Asad claims to be an elected president, his rule is nothing but a continuity of regime of his father Hafiz-ul-Asad. Same is the case in many other Arab countries and sooner or later we can expect to see similar movements emerge in those countries as well. It is not a matter or ‘if’, it is only matter of ‘when’. Term these movements ‘Western or American conspiracies’, is in fact like insulting the commitment and struggle of the people of those countries.
So my request to respected analysts in Pakistan is to stop looking of hidden hands in the Arab spring and other similar movements and try to understand the changing dynamics of the Muslim world which is on the brink of a major shift. People living in the Muslim countries are fed up with the archaic and outdated systems and want change. They want to enjoy the benefits which are being enjoyed by the people of developed countries and this is not possible till our countries are ruled by these corrupt to the core rulers. Failure to understand these shifts will leave us stranded and alone even in the Muslim world. It will not be long before we shall be witnessing the same uprising in our own country and then we shall not be able to able to explain or understand that either.