Is Pakistan’s ‘Monkey Show’ Coming Apart?

M. Shahid Alam

For too long now, the government of Pakistan – at its highest levels – has looked like a monkey show staged by the United States of America.

The USA picks the mercenaries from Pakistan’s wealthy and corrupt elites who are eager to play the part of the monkey. Once in office, they act upon cues that are called by the US plenipotentiary in Islamabad or elsewhere. The monkey master says, Give us transit rights; the monkey obliges. He says, Join our war against Afghanistan; the monkey obliges again. He says, We will bomb your people, you take the blame; the monkey obliges again. The monkey never disappoints.

All that the monkey master has to do to keep this monkey show going is to toss a few peanuts to the monkeys in the show for every act well-performed.

Of course, in order to try to fool the Pakistanis, the monkey master complains periodically that the monkey is not “doing enough.” The monkey replies that the master is not “giving enough” – peanuts, that is.

How long is this monkey show going to go on?

How long will Pakistanis stand for this humiliation?

There are growing signs that this monkey show is coming apart. It appears that the top monkeys in the show are beginning to fear for their lives: they cannot anymore trust the Pakistani military men and police officers they have picked to give them security. As a result, they are looking into hiring foreign mercenaries to improve their personal security.

This is what the Express Tribune reported recently on this new move by the monkeys in the show (Or, are the monkeys acting on a cue from their master?) –

While the security of President Zardari has always been cause of serious concern for the authorities, a larger proposal is also under consideration by the government to hire the services of foreign security guards for a number of VVIPs including the prime minister, provincial governors, chief ministers, and a few federal ministers, the source told The Express Tribune requesting anonymity.

Read the rest of the report here.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave 2009). Visit his website at Quranic Reason.

3 thoughts on “Is Pakistan’s ‘Monkey Show’ Coming Apart?”

  1. @ Shahid Alam,

    You are another Pakistani opportunist hypocrite, who never had any problem with either the monkey and the monkey master, when Zia-Ul-Haq brought in Islamic extremism, when Pakistan became the breeding ground of the terrorists in the Saudi funded madrasas, you had no problems with the monkey master pouring in tens of billions of dollars and the monkey army running the terrorist training camps for decades ….!

    Now is the time for the pay back, as you can not have it both ways …….. !!

  2. Alam’s religiously inspired hypocrisy shone through his take on the murder of Salman Taseer as well:

    Alam thinks Taseer was assassinated for his “obstreperous stand,” that is, stubbornly defiant stand. One wonders what other stand can be taken against the stubborn militants. At one place he states that Taseer’s murder was “unfortunate,” but then he also says it was “unnecessary” and that [although] the governor had acted unwisely in denouncing the blasphemy law, but that did not make him guilty of blasphemy.” The question arises then; would his murder have been deemed “necessary” by Alam if Taseer had “blasphemed”?

    His argument was that “public protests” had conveyed a clear “signal” to the administration of not being in favor of repealing the blasphemy law, and so it was unwise for Taseer to have campaigned for its repeal. Does it mean that tomorrow if thousands of Sunnis show up on the streets demanding the expulsion of Shias from the Islamic fold, it would be alright to do so because the people were demanding it?

    At one point he recommends that President Asif Zardari should have reprimanded Taseer and fired him.

    Taseer was the only politician who, in such a dangerous country, stood up for the minorities. Sherry Rehman, the former information minister in the Zardari cabinet, was the other prominent person who wanted the blasphemy law to be amended. She is in hiding right now because of the threats. On Sherry’s efforts to amend this law, Alam says:

    “Was this an initiative inspired by foreign embassies, some Pakistanis speculated, not unjustifiably in a country where Western embassies routinely poke their nose in the country’s domestic affairs.”

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