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One Sided Story

 

Nadeem Yousaf

 

David van Praagh in his article “Ottaw’s Unwelcome Visitor” published in Globe and Mail on 25 September has told one sided story of the coin. While accusing only Pakistan for providing shelter and support to Taliban and Afghanistan, he has completely ignored the fact that Taliban were not product of Pakistan but a creation of the circumstances. When Soviet Union left Afghanistan after the war, there was a chaos in the country in which Taliban found opportunity to hold the power in major cities of Afghanistan. America had no problem with Taliban until they rejected American Oil companies’ bid  to work in Afghanistan.

 

Mr. Praagh did not refer to USA policy in promoting religious extremism in Pakistan, which became a nuisance for moderate people in Pakistan. USA, with the help of ISI, was a backbone of nurturing religious extremists and provided financial and military support to them to win the proxy war with USSR in Afghanistan. Muslims were led to believe through Muslims governments including Pakistan that it was their religious obligation to fight (Jihad) against disbelievers. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq fought the war for America and got the required political, moral and financial support in return. After winning the proxy war America left Pakistan alone to face the consequences. Since then, there is more extremism in Pakistan than ever before. Osama bin Ladan who is so much accused and hated around the world is a product of America and not Pakistan.
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Mr. Praagh is also so much concerned about nuclear technology in Pakistan and fears that it could misused, though Pakistan has no intention to use weapons of mass destruction. Keeping in view the current “might is right” atmosphere, it is essential for countries like Pakistan to have Nuclear Technology for minimum deterrence. The world has witness that both Afghanistan and Iraq were smashed on false accusations because they had no opportunity to defend themselves. Attack on Afghanistan was completely on baseless grounds. One can hardly think of that a group of illiterates could design a so sophisticated attack as we have seen on 9/11. America could not prove their allegation that the attack was really planned by Osam bin Laden and his associates or Alqeeda. Then America attacked on Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussain had weapon of Mass destruction and allegedly linked him with Alqeeda but the world is still awaiting to see those weapons of mass destruction and substantial proofs of links with Alqeeda. It is astonishing that American Administration could not find their number one enemies even conquering the battles. Mr. Praagh and others will probably agree that playing videos of them on different channels is not very convincing evidence to prove that they are still alive. Anyway the crux of the argument is that they had hardly sophisticated technologies which could really threaten America and the civilized world has to answer as to why they could not stop America from attacking the weak countries.

 

Mr. Praagh should have also asked American Administration as to why they have been supporting military dictators in Pakistan. It is another open fact that American and the other Western countries supported army dictator Zia-ul-haq who promoted extremism, sectarianism and other ills in the country. It is not the wish of Pakistani people that army generals run the country. If generals would have been so popular in the country none of them needed to hold fraud referendums in Pakistan. President Bush has been backing the General for completing his own agenda; otherwise, People in Pakistan still remember when ex-US President Clinton refused to entertain Gen. Musharraf while on a short visit to Islamabad and preferred to speak directly to people of Pakistan on the Pakistani Television.

Majority of Pakistanis are moderate Muslims and they themselves are tired of bomb blasts in Pakistan. Portraying Pakistan as a state of religious hardliners is totally wrong. Whether Mr. Praagh likes it or not, it is true that the Western mistreatment of Muslims and fabricated accusation are disturbing for moderate Muslims. If leaders of the civilized world really want to fight war against terrorism, they must pay attention to those reasons which develop sense of deprivation in people’s of developing countries. They should follow the strategy of justice and respect to reduce tension between weak and powerful and rich and poor. The world is spending huge amount to find a few terrorists but not showing any interest in eliminating reasons of terrorism. The current strategy against terrorism is not nipping the evil in the bud but promoting terrorism. We should remember if love begets love so the same goes with hatred and aggression.

16  October. 2003

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