Pakistan in Turmoil

Looking at the smug and self-righteous face of Salman Taseer’s murderer, I was remined of George Bernard Shaw’s warning that ‘There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.’ I didn’t agree with Taseer on much but I agree that former Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq’s Blasphemy law is a ‘black law.’ It has been used repeatedly to victimize minorities and to persecute the weak. It is a tool in the hands of the most intolerant elements in the Pakistani society. I hope the government stands firm and does away with this travesty of justice post-haste.

P.s. The Pakistani liberal intelligentsia is positively atwitter over the murder, as indeed it should be. Their protestations would be more meaningful had they shown similar outrage regarding the murder of 19 Wazirs killed on new years day in three drone strikes as part of the war which many of them support.

Rahimullah Yusufzai is a Senior Analyst with the Pakistani TV channel, Geo TV, and the Resident Editor of The News International in Peshawar, an English newspaper from Pakistan. Rahimullah has served as a correspondent for Time Magazine, BBC World Service, BBC Pashto, BBC Urdu, Geo-TV, and ABC News. Mr. Yusufzai has interviewed Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and a range of other militants across the tribal areas of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Rahimullah joins us from Peshwar, Pakistan.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

4 thoughts on “Pakistan in Turmoil”

  1. Taseer’s arrogance, and the air of being invincible because of his ties with the power brokers in Pakistan got him where he is today.

  2. The danger of presenting Taseer’s killing as a simple issue of fundamentalism against liberalism and even secularism is that it ignores that the struggle is about power as much as belief, writes The Independent’s comment editor, Adrian Hamilton:

    The End of History vision of a world inevitably progressing towards liberalism has shuddered to a halt in the face of the global upsurge in Muslim conservatism, just as President Bush’s fond trust in democracy as the natural, God-given answer to world’s security problems hit the rocks of Iraq and a world where democracy served to intensify ethnic and tribal conflict rather than subsume it.

    The challenge of our time is how to accept the broad developments in train, while preventing them becoming a breeding ground for violent extremism. It’s a political problem requiring political solutions. The worst thing we can do is what we’re doing in Pakistan (and are tending to do in Britain), which is to see it solely as a security challenge.

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