The civilized West, Pakistan and the rest
Sometimes the unsaid has to be said and said with the accent it deserves. After the rise of the so-called “western world”; the rest of the world became the “white man’s burden” to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), an influential English voice from undivided India. It was this “ burden ” that “ persuaded ” the Western world / Europe, which benefited greatly from the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840), to colonize the rest of the world – from Asia to Africa, the Americas, China, the Middle East and elsewhere. The former colonial powers exploited to the maximum the wealth of the colonized – both human and physical. And this horrible story continues, in one form or another, to this day.
The United States still cannot come to terms with its racist past; Europe is still mingling and stealing the wealth of its former colonies with France leading the pack. The UK still despises its predominantly brown and black ‘Pax Britannica’ and leads it through the ‘Commonwealth’ whose wealth benefits only the Crown. And the economic hitmen still control the levers of the world through exploitative tools like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and many other international bodies, mostly made up of white men and women. with a pinch of ‘others’ under the smokescreen of ‘equal opportunity’ and ‘affirmative action’.
Entry into these so-called world bodies is governed by unbalanced rules set by a white bureaucracy, making it harder for “others” to be part of their decision-making pyramids. For individuals to be a part of these organizations, one must be flexible, liberal, politically correct and preferably educated in the West / USA with acceptable ideas and fluency in English and a penchant for burgers, Hollywood and the dollar. For nations to be part of this world order, the rules are clear – “follow the line or step aside”. The powerful Western world and its American rudder will not tolerate opinions and policies deemed incompatible with their interests.
The United States can bomb Afghanistan until the Stone Age, smoke bin Laden, kill women and children in their sleep and at weddings; but would shed crocodile tears over the “violation of human rights” in China, Hong Kong and elsewhere. France would send its soldiers to its former African colonies to protect its booty and its antidemocratic proteges, in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter; but would not tolerate its own Muslim citizens exercising the right to wear a headscarf / veil and practice their religion in freedom – all under the guise of a biased legal and legislative system.
The civilized West would invest in the elite – the ashhrafiyya – control most of the “other” countries without exception. Even in distant Russia, they would support Mr. Navalny against President Vladimir Putin and enlist the leaders of the former Soviet bloc countries. This high-level elite is educated in the West, protected, prepared, facilitated – and if necessary parachuted – in the corridors of power of these countries for the most part developing, to respond to Western calls for tenders. Pakistan has its own long list.
Under the pride that comes from this power and leverage, the European Parliament last week adopted a resolution to review trade relations with Pakistan, in particular its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status. Apparently the aim is to force a revision of Pakistani blasphemy laws; in particular in the case of Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel (sentenced to death since 2014 for sending “blasphemous” messages). In reality, the resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority (662 to three with 26 not voted) is to punish Pakistan for its anti-France sentiment, defeated by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Paradoxically, who can bring the powerful to justice for their own religious and racial crimes – in a world where George Floyd (1973-2020) “can’t breathe” or a black child is caged to amuse his white masters; where women cannot cover their heads; where “halal” is coarse; and where Muslims cannot build a mosque to pray peacefully, because their religion is considered “intolerant and dangerous”. The “double standards” are a complement to this crowd of bureaucrats, influencers, journalists and leaders of the civilized West… they have no standards or only “their standards”. Everyone else is lining up and playing the game by their rules or are hungry and finished.
The leaders of our part of the world who show the spine are either deposed and / or murdered, and bondage is made to continue through the elite. Without popular revival and without system challenges, nothing good can be expected from the West American combination. And the popular revival in the case of Pakistan is indebted to our sold-out ashhrafiyya in cahoots with soulless media. Even well-meaning military regimes have done little to undermine the ashhrafiyya stranglehold and monopoly of power, due to their dependence on the same elite for legitimacy.
This ashhrafiyya continues to scare any government for decisions in tandem with Western interests; citing the fragility of our economy. They would frighten courageous leaders about sanctions and the FATF’s sword of Damocles; and all hell breaks loose, if Pakistan does not conform to the American / Western diktat.
The ashhrafiyya parachuted into our power corridors only works for the benefit of the IMF and World Bank etc., interested only in getting more loans and repaying loan installments with full interest, without any consideration for its social fallout . They are more eager than their masters to document our much larger informal economy, which in fact runs this country. So that our only remaining element of national power, which allows this country to survive, is abandoned.
This ashhrafiyya is educated in the West, her children study and work abroad thanks to foreign largesse; they have properties abroad and most of them have dual nationality. They would, of course, not care about the benign demands of the TLP. An inconclusive parliamentary session is a stark reminder.
Deporting the French Ambassador is one of those tests, for the gratuitous insults that the French government of Emmanuel Macron is attacking Muslims, their religion and the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) . We yearn to feel the effects of defying the Western diktat to see the heavens fall! And Pakistan is dying of hunger! Obviously, nothing so apocalyptic will happen. The great Pakistani ingenuity will find better alternatives to survive and prosper. After all, we have become a nuclear power, completely dependent on our people, our power and our potential.
The pendulum of history oscillates with daring and morale. Compromises get nations nowhere.
During this time, the frightened ashhrafiyya can emigrate to live in France.
Posted in The Express Tribune, May 6e, 2021.