Feb 3, 2012 - published work, terrorism    5 Comments

All you wanted to know about Difa-e-Pakistan Council but were too afraid to ask


One cannot be faulted for assuming that Difa-e-Pakistan Council comprise of officials of defence ministry, four star generals and decorated admirals who wish to ponder over the defense needs of the country and make major strategic decisions. To find out that it is actually a motley crew of 40 odd religious parties, banned terrorist outfits like Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), a few other political has beens like Sheikh Rasheed and Ijaz-ul-Haq, and the former spy master Hameed Gul among others can be shocking. To figure out what it stands for can be even more astounding. Let’s try and figure it out by asking a few questions. 

So what does this Council stands for? According to Hafiz Saeed of the JuD, it is a coalition with the aim to “defend Pakistan”. What do they actually do apart from claiming to defend the country? Not much besides holding rallies in different cities and threatening the government of dire consequences if their demands are not met. 

What are those dire consequences? Chaos, anarchy and suicide bombings. But don’t we have them – anarchy, chaos and suicide bombings – already? Yeah, but they have promised to upscale the operations if their demands are not met.

And what are those demands? For starters, they want the parliament to not restore NATO supply lines. But those supply lines have always been open and were blocked only a few weeks back, why this sudden realization that it undermines the sovereignty of the country? Well, it is better late than never, isn’t it?  
What else do they want, surely they cannot spend millions of rupees on all those public gatherings to seek that government does not restore the Nato supply lines? The ultimate goal is to severe all diplomatic, cultural, political and economic ties with United States of America. Errr, can our country survive this ultimate isolation? Most probably not, but the Council would surely like the government to try that. Is it Just USA that they want to do away with or has any other country faced a similar wrath? They hate India just as much and are angry with the government for awarding them Most Favoured Nation status.

But by regularizing trade with India, the government will not only discourage cross border smuggling of goods but will also benefit from taxes and duties levied on the imports which can be used for public welfare, surely that cannot be bad? Difa-e-Pakistan Council is not concerned with public good, According to its chairman, “the council’s sole agenda was to ensure the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.”

What legitimacy do they have, if any, to demand all that? Between the 40 parties and organizations of Difa-e-Pakistan council, only JUI-F is in the parliament and they too have only 8 seats. One can surely figure out their legitimacy by their underwhelming electoral performance. They, of course, would like to think otherwise. According to Maulana Sami-ul Haq, Chairman Difa-e-Pakistan Council, their gatheringsare a clear message to US and it is a referendum for the government of Pakistan to immediately reconsider relations and foreign policy for US and its allies.

Does any of it make any sense at all? Not really, but then our politics has never been about logic, finding solutions and peace and harmony. It has always been about rhetoric, confusion, demagoguery and posturing and Difa-e-Pakistan Council is doing one hell of a job of it. 

First published in The Express Tribune
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5 Comments

  • motive of difa appears to be much more sinister by looking at there website in which in one photo a pakistani flag is hoisting over redfort

  • ‘Defend Pakistan’ … from what? From: moderation, rationalism, development, education, science and technology, from polio vaccines, from iodine in salt, elections, from literature, from debate, the arts, music, songs, poetry, Bollywood movies … etc?? And to bring about that shining boots-beret-caps-black coats-flash bulbs-plus-lots-of-talk-time clad ‘tsunami’ – that incidentally is also being aided by ample amounts of Hollywood-ian ‘special effects’, not to forget humongous quantities of botox shots, hair weaves, wrinkle removers and even the surgeon’s scalpel and knife???

    The ‘land of the pure’ is not an island and cannot isolate itself by dreaming of colorful beard-and-shining- boots induced ‘utopia’. They have to understand their strengths and weaknesses, then build on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, if necessary seek help, support and assistance in doing so. It will have to develop good relations with all nations, especially its neighbours and other big powers – the world’s self-appointed policeman included.

    This strange assertion by the self-styled “defenders” of the ‘land of the pure’ that granting MFN status to India (‘MFN’ is btw a purely technical term) will be detrimental nay ‘finish’ their indigenous industries – is again pure unadulterated poppycock.

    Which other country can provide the same fillip to the LoTP’s industries – including their small and medium scale ones? Perhaps even their cottage industries, if one exists? From cuisine, furnishing, weaves, literature/books, art, the fine arts, handicrafts, jewellery, textile, couture, music, entertainment, sports, leather crafts, toys, and what have you!

    Certainly not China! In fact no one else can. Then? Perhaps the “defenders” are worried about the fate of those virgins in paradise.

  • India would very much like to see a stable and prosperous ‘land of the pure’ next-door and not one teeming with self styled “defenders”.

    Frankly this entire landmass that went much beyond today’s India and LoTP was earlier known as ‘Sindhu’ – derived from the Sindhu Nad (river Indus)

    And even after a millennium of marauding hordes and conquerors and colonization, the name ‘India’ is still derived from ‘Indus’.

    I think the ancient Persians (a class of Aryans who were fire worshippers; Agnihotris) called the people living east of the Indus River (Sindhu Nad) as “Hindu” since they could not pronounce the Sanskrit “Sindhu” in their language. Then came the Greeks (especially Alexander) who too could not pronounce “Sindhu” in their language, and so called them “Hindu” instead. That is how the people of this land began to be known as “Hindu”.

    Something akin to ‘Shammi Kapoor’ becoming ‘Shami Kaboor’ in Iraq and ‘people’ becoming ‘beoble’ in Egypt.

    What is today known as “Hinduism” – was actually the ancient Vedic faith, called “Sanatan Dharm”. ‘Sanatan’ means ‘ancient’ and ‘Dharm,’ refers to ‘righteousness’. ‘Dharm’ did not mean ‘religion’ as we think or know it today. It was given the colour of religion by later day interpreters who either misunderstood/mistranslated the words/phrases or did not have adequate phonetics/words/vocabulary in their language. Or maybe willfully misinterpreted it.

    There are no shortage of vested interests – of all creed and colour. Have never been.

    Hinduism – was never envisaged as a ‘religion’ as we understand today. It was an accumulation of the wisdom of the ancients over the ages. This faith was a ‘way of life’ and the stress was on ‘dharm’ meaning ‘the path of righteousness and doing one’s duty no matter what obstacles appear’. Today ‘dharm’ has become ‘dharma’ and is automatically taken to mean ‘religion’. But the word ‘religion’ never existed in this ancient Vedic faith (Sanatan Dharm).

  • Hinduism is not a religion such as Christianity or Islam since the particular ‘ism’ did not have a single founder nor is it a cult movement to unite people under a single founder.

    The people living east of the river Indus (Sindhu) or the so-called “Hindus” followed a pattern of life that was unique. They believed in a Single Supreme being in whom all the Power and Energy of the Universe resides and also from which it emanates much like the source of a river.

    They believed that this Power and Energy could be broadly branched: Brahma – the Creator, Vishnu – the Preserver and Shiv – the Destroyer.

    Frankly even though several faiths have sprung up over the last millennium or two, I am unable to ignore the similarities in the birth and early life between the person known as Jesus Christ and Shri Krishn (who too was a son of Sindhu).

    And I am unable to ignore the symbolisms involved in the ‘Sanatan Dharm’ and the faith that took roots in the desert sand.

    E.g., The colour green: Both Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiv) means ‘green’ and they are also known as Hari-Hara in their syncretic form.

    The moon and the star: the crescent moon is placed on the matted hair of Shiv, while the star (known as ‘tara’) is another manifestation of the divine mother (Shakti).

    There are others too: the black stone and the eagle (which we call as ‘Garuda’ – on whom Shri Vishnu is astride).

    In any case, we (India and LoTP) have a shared culture and a shared history that dates back many millenniums, and it should be embraced. That is the way to go forward.

    And it is in everyone’s interest to fight against the forces of darkness, tyranny and terror – the forces of Yazid. Modern Yazids and their followers that have become moderately enlightened -perhaps courtesy that pure and pious electricity extracted from djinns – included.

  • What are you people getting for daemonising JuD? Who has declared them a terrorists organisation?

    Stop getting brainwashed by western media and stop this propaganda..

    It is very easy to write such stuff from the comfort of your desks. Reality is very far from this.

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