The looming anarchy

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The government-sponsored "Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH)" was, on all counts, a disaster. Nothing better could be expected from a regime whose top priority has been short-sighted politicking, not facing up to immediate and medium-term national issues or adopting principled diplomacy. The one respect wherein the regime stands in line with the rest of the Muslim world is its incompetence in effectively pressuring the West to set rational limits to "freedom of expression", although the 'Danish cartoons' affair took place six long years ago.


This performance manifests the abject failure of Muslim states (headed by pro-West regimes) in pushing for global legislation via the UN, the OIC, or even on bilateral basis, that prohibits denigration of any religion, its holy books, and its sacred personalities.


The US response on the issue is a dumb ad campaign wherein President Obama makes you laugh by saying that "Since our founding the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We 'reject' all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others [but that 'rejection' is merely verbal, not legal]". Indeed the US president is helpless. But in a script posted on 'Counterpunch', Essam Al-Amin quoted a report of The Jewish Press that said that Google had promptly removed over 1,710 videos from its website because many of them 'concerned' the denial of the Holocaust, or defended its deniers.


French Premier advised those offended by blasphemous cartoons published by the French magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' to go to the courts; French government won't sue that weekly. He said "We are in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed, including the freedom to caricature".


Lesson: freedom of expression can be curtailed only if it threatens strategies of the powerful interests eg Zionists, the US (latest victim: Julian Assange), the racists in Europe, and those humiliating the Muslims (magazines and film makers in Europe and the US).


Secretary Generals of the UN and OIC expressed their dismay at the misuse of "freedom of expression" in the West. But will they opt for credible action to force the US and the West to enact laws against blasphemy, or will their 'zeal' subside along with the protests in the Muslim world? Such a failure would be wholly unexplainable for the pro-West (including Pakistan's) regimes. These regimes ensured the failure of any sanction that other Muslim states tried to impose on Western countries that permit denigration of religion (Islam in particular) via "freedom of expression".


The apathy towards setting limits on 'freedom of expression' suggests that it has more to do with the belief that, given its present sectarian divided and dependent state, the Muslim world can't hurt Western interests; dividing it even more could render the resource-rich Muslim states more vulnerable.


Besides, public turmoil there, and the steps that regimes in the Muslim countries take to protect Western embassies and interests portray these regimes as Western protégées making them a popular target the way the PPP regime ended up yet again on September 21. Like the rest of the Ummah, Pakistan's government reacted to the sacrilegious film at the eleventh hour, but in a self-damaging fashion. The claim to showing anger at disrespect to Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) fell flat on its face after protesters looted shops and banks, and ransacked cinemas, offices and hospitals.


Surely, that didn't reflect any of the humane teachings and traditions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the tragedy is that the monstrosities the protesters (led by religious leaders) committed were in the name of Islam and love for Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).


Ideally, if the "Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH)" was a unanimous decision of Pakistan's lawmakers, it was the responsibility of the parliamentarians to lead the rallies from their constituencies to express national solidarity and to ensure that the demonstrations remained peaceful.


The fact is that this mayhem was (even if unintentionally) encouraged by the political leadership. Not one politician, either of the coalition or the opposition parties, came out of their safe heavens. The country as a whole was left at the mercy of reckless protesters who had saboteurs in their ranks.


The criminal acts committed that day proved that the protest was less over the sacrilegious film, far more over rising poverty and consequent lawlessness - the hallmark of state governance of the last five years. This reality exposed the government's hypocrisy.


A number of unemployed, whose number rises every day, are now steadily turning into criminals, in fact organised gangs. Protesters therefore vastly out-numbered the law enforcers who yet again displayed their limited capacities. This was the most horrifying reality of this affair.


The failure of a grossly inadequate, over-worked and under-equipped police force foretells country-wide anarchy - the epitome of irresponsible governance. The losses suffered by business and industry on the "Yaum-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH)", have been estimated at billions of rupees. Anarchy, now a certainty, is the result of reckless policies of the regime the epitome of which is weekly revision (mostly increases) of petroleum prices - surest way of hiking up inflation and providing a mechanism for petrol station owners to earn unfair profits at the cost of the rest.


As it is, extortionists (many with political affiliations) had eroded investor confidence, but the fact that even banks, virtually facing the Sindh Chief Minister's highly guarded residence could be looted and burnt, has totally shattered the investor confidence.


The in-power 'democratic' regime (having Western support) has brought the economy to a standstill. This is the setting for total chaos in near future, which anyone can see. While the economic mess created by bad governance - power shortages, unemployment, poverty, and consequent lawlessness - is worsening rapidly, no 'pillar' of the state appears concerned over it; fearful of being labelled anti-democracy, they appear to look the other way.


The past track records of these 'pillars' of the state have injected in them a sort of paralysis that is preventing them from acting even in line with their constitutional obligations; this attitude could help materialise the now well known "2015 plan" of disintegration of the country via anarchy.


These pillars are defending a regime that is unique in many ways. Remember the lawmakers' fake degrees, their concealed dual nationalities, running cases of corruption against government ministers, and frauds in state offices involving hundreds of billions that rendered the fiscal deficit beyond control. If the feared chaos occurs (courtesy encouragement of vandals and arsonists by September 21 events) no one will escape the blame for it. No protective shield is unbreakable; they all fall apart during anarchy. History proves that.

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