Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How US Policy Created An 'Imported' Debate Of Sufi vs. Wahabi And Religious vs. Secular In Pakistan; Nation Needs Unity And Not Divisions That Serve Foreign Interests

I don't know why some of our 'liberals' love to confuse our national debate. [So do some of our religious extremists].

Foreign commentators [Read: Americans] decide that our national battle should be Sufi saints vs. Wahabi Saudi Arabia [to borrow from the 'imported' vocabulary, because 'Wahabi' is used in the US and the UK media, but never in Saudi Arabia], and our liberals adopt this line without questions.

Our foreign well wishers also decide to limit the entire great and magnificent reality of Pakistan into one single speech by our Quaid on 11 August 1947. Which is a great speech. The objection is that US's Pakistan policy has hijacked this speech to support its agenda of how the government should look like in Islamabad.

Our Quaid, God bless his soul, was a well versed man and had the courage of his convictions. He, and we, want Pakistan to be a modern state. Pakistan is a modern state barring some deformations that occurred after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Our Quaid was great at expressing his thoughts but he never used the word 'secularism'. And so the insinuations that US policymakers and their Pakistani poodles are trying to inject into his 11 Aug. 1947 speech should end. It's none of their business anyway.

Who says that Sufi vs Arab and 11 Aug speech vs. everything else is our main battle in Pakistan?

If some Pakistani citizens want to follow Sufi saints, that's their right. If some Pakistanis want to follow Arab schools of thought in Islam, that's their right too. If somebody here wants to be a westernized liberal Pakistani, that's their choice.

More divisions in a nation exhausted by fake political and linguistic divides are not welcome. A war between these fake divides is certaily not Pakistan's battle, regardless of what American think-tank types suggest.

The Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal can accommodate the Sufis and others, as well as those who are westernized or, to be more accurate, our version of 'liberals'.

Pakistan's real battle is to create and strengthen Pakistani Nationalism. And this nationalism covers our multidimensional identity that spans the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of India/South Asia.

Our challenge of rebuilding the Pakistani State consists of many smaller challenges. Religious-liberal divisions are not one of them. Let's not get behind this ridiculous recipe offered to us by American think-tank types. If these think-tank types and their recipes were any good, they would've handled Iraq and Afghanistan better and prevented their nation from squandering their wealth and reaching the point of default in less than a decade.