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muse

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Why Nayyar need not worry

Zafar Hilaly
Saturday, March 26, 2011


Kuldip Nayyar, the eminent Indian journalist and tireless protagonist for better India-Pakistan relations, told an audience in Islamabad the other day that peace between the two countries was vital. Otherwise, he added, “I feel Pakistan will move towards Arabs in the absence of an opening with IndiaMr Nayyar need not worry. Pakistan has been trying to befriend Arabs (mostly the Gulf Arabs), but in spite of our best efforts the vast differences in our mental equipment and outlook has ensured we remain apart, and this is not about to change.

There is very little that Pakistan has not done to earn Arab favour. We have gone so far as to place Pakistan at their disposal; we have offered our land to feed them; our army to defend them; our labour to build their infrastructure, at trifling salaries and in living conditions which a conscientious slave trader would have difficulty in accepting; we have offered our wildlife and fauna as a free range for their falcons; and God knows much else, some of which can never be mentioned.

If that were not enough, we named Faisalabad, Faisal Mosque, Faisal Avenue, Sharah-e-Faisal, Shah Faisal Colony, Faisal this and Faisal that, as further signs of our regard for them, and especially the richest of them, the Saudis. But so unrequited has been our love in this respect that not a single street or highway, to say nothing of a city, was named after the Quaid in any of these Western petrol stations of the Gulf.

Z A Bhutto blazed the trail by offering up “the army of Pakistan as the army of Islam, in 1974 at the Lahore Islamic Summit; although Bhutto was being Bhutto, mostly promising what he could never deliver. In September 1970, the man who was to be his nemesis, Ziaul Haq, had already led a Jordanian army division in a war, not against infidels who coveted Arab land, mind you, but against fellow Muslims – the hapless Palestinians. He did such a good job in routing them that he received Jordanian accolades and a bauble from King Hussein. And, of course, he earned Pakistan the enmity of the Palestinian leadership.

In return for their cringing, our leaders also obtained from the Gulf Arab ruling families a safe haven, money and land for themselves and their relatives to enable them to start businesses and homes, whether or not they were in exile, so that they can live and spend their ill-gotten gains in comfort. In return, the Arabs claimed and obtained for themselves the right to be not merely an observer but a participant on the Pakistani political scene
(Wikileaks).

Needless to say, they used this valuable entree for their own benefit. They funded religious political parties by buying up all the literature these organisations published and which no one else would bother to read; and when that ran out, they simply handed out sackfuls of rupees. They financed the publication of religious textbooks for schools which insinuated their own take on Islam to the exclusion of others’ and funded madaressahs that spewed sectarian venom.

Gulf Arab leaders are in the habit of summoning our rulers and heads of our lay political parties to their palaces and desert hunting grounds to impart instructions. And, just so they are listened to attentively and obeyed, give a mite or so of their astronomical earnings every now and then to earn our gratitude and help the army purchase upmarket American weaponry. As for the Pakistani awam, they prefer to keep them at arm’s length.

In an earlier article I had described the incarceration and expulsion of a Pakistani worker in the UAE merely for making a rude finger gesture to a local who had insulted him, which, at most, should have drawn an admonition. I had further recounted how I had personally witnessed a bewildered Pakistani labourer on arrival at Jeddah airport having the “taweez” worn on his arm prised off by an iron comb and thrown to the ground and stamped on by a furious Saudi security official. In Pakistan such an act would have had hordes of baying fundos demanding his head.


Regrettably, this trend of hostility against Pakistani people, which is so pervasive in the Gulf states, continues unabated. The latest example is the harrowing accounts on the internet of the treatment meted out to Pakistanis by their Arab “brothers” in Bahrain during the ongoing civil unrest there. According to an eyewitness in Manama, “the medical staff of a hospital, including doctors, took out bleeding Pakistanis from the ambulance as though animals, with hands tied behind their backs, and kicked and beat them,” only because they were Pakistanis. This was preceded by the killing of four Pakistani-origin members of the Bahraini police, while their Bahraini officers were left unmolested.

Sadly, these incidents received scant attention in our press, whereas intrusive questioning or a body search by a Western official of some Pakistani official at, say, Paris or Washington airports, raises a howl of protest. It may be part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt, but to hate a man before you hurt him, purely because he is a Pakistani, amounts to xenophobia and racism.

Some will say such atrocities these days are the exception, and not the rule, in the Gulf, and explain it away by putting it down to the exceptional times and the historical changes that the Arab world is witnessing. But nature, though often hidden and sometimes overcome, is seldom extinguished. Besides, Arab history is a long and virtually uninterrupted saga of Muslims killing Muslims on account of differences in race, sect, creed and colour, notwithstanding the Quran, which abhors such practices. In fact, Arabs have killed fellow Muslims with greater glee and ferocity than the infidel. In just about every Arab country today, not excluding Palestine, a fellow Muslim or a foreign Muslim is the greater enemy. Whether it is the Shia-Sunni, Arab-Persian or secular-religious divide, they are all hand-me-downs from the early days of Islam when the Abbasids, Fatimids, Umayyads and subsequently the Ottomans and the Arabs were busy slaughtering each other.

In the circumstances, Mr Nayyar has no need to be concerned or in a hurry. He should continue his work in bringing Pakistan and India closer together. Whether or not the “opening to India” takes place, he can rest assured that the Arabs will continue to bristle with prejudice when it comes to dealing with the poor people of Pakistan.




The writer is a former ambassador. Email: charles123it@hotmail.com
 

muse

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Whether or not the “opening to India” takes place, he can rest assured that the Arabs will continue to bristle with prejudice when it comes to dealing with the poor people of Pakistan.

I think the Arab-ness of the arab, has been a mercy, indeed God works in mysterious ways -- It is the Arab-ness or as Ambassador Hilaly puts it: the vast differences in our mental equipment and outlook (thank God) has protected Pakistan from herself and from the Arab.
 

TheStrantrunCurve

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I think the Arab-ness of the arab, has been a mercy, indeed God works in mysterious ways -- It is the Arab-ness or as Ambassador Hilaly puts it: the vast differences in our mental equipment and outlook (thank God) has protected Pakistan from herself and from the Arab.
If you think arabs are racists and iranians are not then you in for a rude awakening, I mean everyone including afghans are racists to pakistanis and whats this association with indians they are the biggest racists i have seen in my entire life, they make fun of bangladeshi's, sri lankan and african people even though they all look the same
 

FreekiN

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i wish we sided with Iran instead

even under an islamic totalitarianship, at least they try to move forward in fields like education
 

Shinigami

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If you think arabs are racists and iranians are not then you in for a rude awakening, I mean everyone including afghans are racists to pakistanis and whats this association with indians they are the biggest racists i have seen in my entire life, they make fun of bangladeshi's, sri lankan and african people even though they all look the same
how can troll like you not be banned? can u tell me the trick?
 

Kinetic

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If you think arabs are racists and iranians are not then you in for a rude awakening, I mean everyone including afghans are racists to pakistanis and whats this association with indians they are the biggest racists i have seen in my entire life, they make fun of bangladeshi's, sri lankan and african people even though they all look the same
According to you everybody is racists except you?

whats this association with indians they are the biggest racists i have seen in my entire life, they make fun of bangladeshi's, sri lankan and african people even though they all look the same
Total lie. If you wanna show you hatred chose something better.
 

VelocuR

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Please send this useful article to the President of Pakistan or Prime Minister, they will consider it. :tup:

We are sick of useless Arabs and bow them.
 

khanz

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i wish we sided with Iran instead

even under an islamic totalitarianship, at least they try to move forward in fields like education
even pakistan with all it's problems and negative image is more progressive than arabs atleast we've made major steps towards self reliance and have been one of the pioneers of the muslim world -only muslim nuclear power,first muslim country to elect women leader,first country to produce nobel prize winner in science ,multiple presidents and prime ministers from minority islamic sect (shia),women fighter pilots, multiple high ranking women diplomats,jf-17,national women sports teams and athletes, multiple cricket world cup,squash and hockey winners and first muslim country to build it's own satellite while arabs in modern times haven't done ANYTHING and still living off oil and south asian slave labour........
 

Veritas

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I am really wondering people bashing Arabs, which Arabs are you talking about?

I think it would be great if you specify that the discussion is confined to the "oil arabs", because I have met many hard working Egyptians and Jordanians who are pretty darn good, I would say are equally good if not better than their turkish or Iranian or Pakistani counterparts.
 

khanz

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^ gulf arabs........but in general arabs haven't achieved anything (seriously i really can't think of one major achievement or pioneering thing the arabs have accomplished in modern times) they are useless and pakistan should let them fend for themselves and concentrate on it's own people we have enough of our own problems.
 

jayron

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even pakistan with all it's problems and negative image is more progressive than arabs atleast we've made major steps towards self reliance and have been one of the pioneers of the muslim world -only muslim nuclear power,first muslim country to elect women leader,first country to produce nobel prize winner in science ,multiple presidents and prime ministers from minority islamic sect (shia),women fighter pilots, multiple high ranking women diplomats,jf-17,national women sports teams and athletes, multiple cricket world cup,squash and hockey winners and first muslim country to build it's own satellite while arabs in modern times haven't done ANYTHING and still living off oil and south asian slave labour........
Pakistan is a LOT more progressive than Arabs. Pakistan's constitution is a lot more equal . A vibrant media and a population who are aware of their rights. Without oil, Arabia will be like Yemen or Sudan.
 

Mech

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It is my personal belief that whatever problems Pakistan is facing currently, is indirectly related to the Arab nations. In the 50's and the sixties, these nations were nothing more than feudal states at war with itself. Pakistan was the symbol of Islamic tolerance and sanity. I remember a friend telling me that the social climate in Pakistan was so vibrant during the 60's that it was a cause of great envy to the observers. Arabs gained the upper hand economically when they discovered oil...they corrupted the liberal Pakistani thinking with their foreign fundamentalism, and warped self-conflicting theories. They peddled their moronic ideas into the un-suspecting Pakistani society who considered them their kin.

The Arabs never considered Pakistanis or anyone from the subcontinent as their equals. They placed themselves on a pedestal and looked down on everyone else, simply because fate smiled on them in the form of crude oil. Arabs are the reason we even have Islamic terrorists in the world today. Not Pakistan. Hell, Bin Laden is a Saudi for crying out loud.
 

Vinod2070

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An old article about the same topic, Pakistan's fascination with Arabs and the Ummah.

Pakistan's Homecoming | South Asia, not West Asia

In 1972, after the Bangladesh war, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto publicly vowed to turn his back on India and seek Pakistan's fortune among the Islamic
countries to the West. He convened a spectacular Islamic summit at Lahore.

He embarked on a quest for nuclear weapons, not merely to deter Indian conventional superiority but also to assert Pakistan's leadership role in the Islamic world.

He christened it the 'Islamic bomb' and collected enormous funds from the Islamic world. He concluded secret defence deals with the Shah of Iran and the Gulf states to ensure their military support in any future conflict with India.

General Zia-ul Haq continued the wooing of the Islamic world. He sent a whole division of Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistani pilots flew fighter aircraft for the Gulf states. Pakistan's identification with the Islamic world became total when, under the CIA's leadership it assembled a vast international jehadi force of 80,000-100,000 Muslims from countries ranging from Morocco to Indonesia to fight the Soviet forces in Afghanistan.


That, in turn gave birth to jehadism with Pakistani ideologues like Maududi (originally from India) exercising a lot of influence.

With Arab money, West European equipment obtained in black market, Chinese weapon design and technical assistance and the US looking away, Pakistan became a nuclear weapon power in the late '80s.

Yet Pakistan was not accepted as a partner by the Islamic countries of West Asia, let alone as a leader. Ayatollah Khomeini used to call Zia-ul Haq the lesser Satan, the bigger Satan being the US.


There have always been tensions between Shia Iran and Sunni-dominated Pakistan. During the first Gulf War, Pakistani army chief General Aslam Beg initially sided with Saddam Hussein's strategic defiance.

That, in turn, led to most of the Gulf states scaling down their military involvement with Pakistan under US pressure. Subsequently, Pakistan took over Afghanistan by helping the Taliban to fight the Rabbani government.

The Pakistani ISI backed the jehadi campaigns in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir and Chechnya and instigated trouble in the Central Asian Republics.

Allowing Osama bin Laden refuge, supporting the Taliban and converting Pakistan into the epicentre of jehadi terrorism were all part of the Pakistani leadership's ambitious plans to play a pre-eminent role in the Islamic world.

The Pakistani leadership has a tradition of overestimating its own capability and underestimating the countervailing factors. That resulted in their being frustrated in 1947 (Kashmir), 1965 (Operation Gibraltar), 1971 (Bangladesh), 1984 (Siachen) and 1999 (Kargil).

They spoke of bleeding India through a thousand cuts but could not succeed. Similarly, their use of terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy finally recoiled on them when 9/11 happened.

The US became fully engaged in West Asia with president Bush making clear the American determination to restructure the political architecture of the region. Pakistan has been told it has no role to play to its West.

Thanks to its wrong priorities, Pakistan has lost out in terms of economic growth as well as social and political advance-ment. The Pakistani education system is completely out of sync with today's knowledge economy.

An estimate has it that the ratio of college students between Pakistan and India is 1 to 97.

General Musharraf appears finally to have realised that as a country that is part of the subcontinent and whose destiny is linked with the Indus-Gangetic area, Pakistan would never be accepted as part of West Asian Islamic states.

Long ago, a noted US analyst said that Pakistan's geostrategic importance arose out of its proximity to the three largest nations of the world - China, India and USSR - and its commanding the oil sea lanes from the Gulf.

But in a unipolar world with no active tension among these three major powers and the US, that geostrategic location has lost much of its significance. Pakistan's source of financial support, Saudi Arabia, is coming increasingly under US scrutiny.

In many ways the upcoming SAARC summit is a sort of homecoming for Pakistan: It has more in common with the rest of the subcontinent than West Asia and its future economic growth and political and social advancement depend increasingly on peaceful interaction with other SAARC nations.

Pakistan is the only country in South Asia that has been discussed internationally as a possible failed state. General Musharraf now knows that terrorism unleashed by the ISI has boomeranged on him.

The general, when faced with the US ultimatum in September 2001, made a U-turn in his Afghan policy and totally abandoned the Taliban.

Now, faced with the inexorable realities of the war on terrorism and developing international alignments, it would be logical for him to give up the policy of the last 30 years of confronting India and embark on subcontinental economic cooperation so vitally needed to prevent Pakis-tan from becoming a failed state.

In the history of SAARC this is the most crucial summit. While India, in the light of its past experience, has to be extremely cautious, it must also take into account the enormous compulsions on Pakistan to break with the past.

If Pakistan gives credible evidence of its desire to integrate with the subcontinent it should be welcomed and treated like the prodigal son of the biblical tale.
LEADER ARTICLE<BR>Pakistan's Homecoming | South Asia, not West Asia - The Times of India
 
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