WATCH: PAKISTAN...Explaining the unexplainable

From the Western world’s perspective, Pakistan has been described aptly as the 'frenemy' (friendly enemy).

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Even I, having been born and raised in Pakistan don’t understand the full dynamics, the government, the army, and its political system.

But Pakistan is in the news and I’ll try to explain it.

Here are the basic historical facts:

  • Pakistan is important on a global scale because of its geostrategic location. With a population of 212.2 million people, the country shares its Eastern border with India; on its Northern side, it has China. Its Western fronts include the boundaries with Afghanistan and with Iran.
  • Pakistan has been in existence for over seventy years and from these, there have been 21 years of army rule.
  • The army in Pakistan plays a covert role as a state institution in ruling the country. It is also the most organized and powerful institution of the state.
  • No political party in Pakistan has lived through its full term.
  • Pakistan is the only Muslim country with a nuclear bomb (sometimes known as the Islamic bomb) and in the hands of the extremists, this could be deadly.
  • Pakistanis have been involved in many of the terror attacks around the world.
  • In 1977 General Zia ul Haq took over power and brought Islamism into the country. He was blown to smithereens in a plane crash.
  • From the time Pakistan was created it has always been beholden to the USA.
  • Pakistan has borrowed 21 times from International Monetary Fund since 1958. The IMF has lent money to Pakistan during the last 60 years, which currently needs about $28 billion for the current fiscal year to meet its financial needs.

In contrast, present-day news in Pakistan includes:

  • Recently ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan (playboy and former cricketer) came into power very popularly but irked the west with his strong stance on Islamophobia.
  • Khan, in his position with the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), had been pushing the Islamophobia envelope for a long time. (Overlooking the fact that there are at least 11 Muslim members of Parliament in the Canadian Government, the Mayor of London in U.K. is a Muslim and Muslims hold positions of power in North America.) There are of course isolated incidents of hate, bigotry, and racism which don’t make Islamophobia institutional as being projected.
  • Recently he met US Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullah Omar who took a trip to Pakistan for a meeting with him. Omar has been peddling anti-Islamophobia legislation in the US Congress. They compliment each other. Omar who is known to have strong antisemitic sentiments, has expressed her “admiration” for Imran Khan and for his “work against Islamophobia globally” while noting that Khan also “appreciated her.”
  • Khan contends that the West is constantly interfering in Pakistan’s affairs and his ouster is also a US conspiracy.
  • After withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, the chief of Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence agency (ISI) went to Afghanistan to gloat.
  • The final nail in the coffin was Imran Khans visit to Russia on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his resistance to signing a joint letter with the European Union condemning the invasion.

Since Imran Khan has been ousted from his government, he blames the West for his incompetence and inability to rule sensibly.

Of course, there’s always the “Islamophobia” boogeyman to use as a crutch for their own failures!

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  • By Raheel Raza

The ABC's of Islamism

Everything you wanted to know about radical Islam, but were afraid to ask.

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