Nov 30, 2011 - USA    8 Comments

Anyone protesting outside the GHQ?


Sometime last week one of my former students asked me to help her with a protest in front of US Consulate in Karachi against the latest NATO attack on Pakistani soil killing 24 soldiers. Now don’t get me wrong, I am as fond of protesting against the injustices as the next person, but I have serious questions about the whole brouhaha that surrounds the latest development. 

For starters, NATO has been violating our borders for quite some time now and quite a huge number of Pakistani citizens have died but no one barring the leadership of Jamat-e-Islami and Tehrik-e-Insaaf uttered a single word against those deaths. The victims of drone attacks were called collateral damage. Pakistan army’s silence was especially baffling considering it is their responsibility to defend the borders and its citizens, but ISPR never issued any statement over the serious death toll that occurred due to drone attacks – even when a baraat (wedding procession) was attacked. If the wikileaks’ released cables are to be believed (and there is no reason we should not believe them), it is evident that instead of protesting against the drone attacks, the army actually requestedthe US government for greater drone back up to support their own military operations on the ground. What I find most surprising is that such duplicitous policy of the armed forces did not result in country wide protests against them. Apart from the five usual suspects who decry military’s role in country’s foreign and domestic policy, no one took much notice of it. If inviting another military to attack your own soil without disclosing it is not the betrayal of highest order and a seditious act, then what is?
I am just as saddened by the deaths of 24 army men as anyone who has respect for human life, but the lives that we have lost in Pakistan as the result of the same military’s tacit acceptance of drone attacks by another country and its oppressionin Baluchistandemand the same empathy and compassion, if not more. I hardly see it anywhere.

Instead of protesting in front of US embassy (chances are that we will be stopped from doing so by our own law enforcement agencies) we need to indulge in a little introspection and ask the following questions: 

– What provoked this attack? According to reports, cross border skirmishes and exchange of rocket fire between Pakistani and NATO forces in not something new. According to NYTreport, there have been 55 ground-to-ground rockets fired between Pakistan and NATO forces.
– What was Pakistan air force doing? The attack apparently went on for an hour. They were nowhere to defend our borders. What’s the point of spending a bulk of the tax payers’ and foreign aid money on the armed forces when they cannot quickly come to defense of the troops under attack by the foreign forces? 

I am horrified at the US nonchalance and the super cavalier response from their government – it took President Obama a good three days to offer condolence and express regret at the loss of 24 lives – but I do not see any point in protesting in front of the US consulate. I would, however, love to stand with those who want to protest in front of GHQ, taking them to task for their repeated incompetence and many treacherous acts. 

PS: How can anyone take these protests seriously when Jamaat-ud-dawa activists dupe children into participating in anti-US rallies by conning their parents into believing that they would be attending a science fair?

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8 Comments

  • As far as I know PTI always quite vocal against drone attacks and US, but that will end soon because imran khan now talking more softly about US, he use was very extreme against us ki ghulami but now hes saying that we dont want to be US slaves but its friends on equal basis :), regarding that attack I don’t know what to say if it were my close ones God only knows how far I could have gone. And believe me all that talk about shamshi airbase and horse shit talk about reacting strongly to America is just temporary measure to pacify the army and public, general public wouldn’t matter they either too busy in struggle in their daily lives or protesting on facebook on twitters or launching so called peaceful protests whats joke as if ti will make any difference. but army is different if army rebels then it would be disaster. all this strong reaction of establishment and govt to is just a move to pacify army nothing more. and maybe to bargain some new leverages from US.equal friend ship only works between countries with equal powers not the master and beggers, and if by chance some leader decided to truly defy US(no the publicity shams of PML N and PTI) then our own public will burn him alive, because how can we live with out US visa, green card, brands and multinationals company jobs. Iss mulk mein sab ko inquilab chae laiken unn ki comfortable life mein koi faraq na pare, sirt facebook per protest karney sey unn ki duty poori ho jatey hai, “facebook protest!!” hahahhahhaa

  • dear tazeen,

    i’ve been dying to ask these questions to a pakistani from a long time but i never got a chance till now.

    1.how do you as a pakistani feel about the idea of india-pakistan-bangladesh becoming one country?

    once every few months i romanticize this idea, thinking how great it would be, like the way it was before the independence. i’ve seen some of your tv shows and they are a lot like ours, your politicians also do the same circus our politicians do. how great it would be to see these idiots from both the countries doing it under one roof as people of same country.

    2.wouldn’t this region be in a much better position to meet the competition and challenges of china if we were one? we must keep in mind the well being of our future generations.

    3. what do pakistanis feel about indians and do pakistanis think anything like i do?

    4. ultimately who has benefited by truncation of this region? it’s anyone but us? china tries it’s best to exploit this to their advantage. we are always busy fighting with each other and never give attention to progress and development. china doesn’t have this kind of problem of this degree and see who much they have progressed. they were also under british raj for a part of their history too like us. i feel it was a conspiracy to divide like this by british to scuttle our progress.

    i’ve seen a lot of videos of pakistan on net, in some video i found out that pakistani’s feel ethnically superior to indians because of their fairness? is this true, do all pakistanis feel this way? i’ve also seen reports about your schools history lessons, where it is taught that pakistan was a different country and got freedom from india around the time of india’s independence. where as in india it is taught that pakistan was always a part of india and it got broken away because of communal violence. it is hard for me to imagine india without sindh as that is where indus valley civilization started and india derives it’s identity from it. it was the iranians who called us sindhs and people on this side of the region called it ‘hindustan’

    please share your thoughts and i hope you’ll allow my comment on your page and have an enlightening interaction. i’m using a pseudonym as i’m scared that i might be tracked by isi or something like that. sorry if i hurt anyone’s sentiments.

    wishing the best for this region.

  • Finally pakistanis are realizing that who is their real enemy. As far as PTI & JI are concerned, they are just pawns.

  • Please don’t protest outside QHQ, unless anyone likes to be sacked into a bag and taken to some remote place where they would beat the shit out of you. Please stop polluting the youth with weird ass ideas. Protesting is one thing and being logical other.

  • for the writer …
    plz dont pollute the minds of people, i feel pity on ur student, who got such a shameless creature as her teacher ……….. i dont think so u will be able to guide ur students
    May Allah guide such unguided missiles like u. Ameen

  • Do u want to add more people to the missing peoples list? I think not then keep these ideas to yourself.

  • Except for one source-quote, I think you did a classic oriental mistake. Since in this issue Pakistan and NATO are on the opposite sides, quoting NYtimes might not be too factually correct.

    Its like quoting a German paper for Allied military advancements on Poland post 1939.

  • bring it on

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