THERE are two ways of effecting a change in a society: from top to bottom or from bottom to top. Conventionally, it has been believed — and development and political strategies are based on this notion — that changes at the top and the trickle-down effect will create an impact at the bottom, where it is needed.

Unfortunately, this approach has failed in our case for two reasons. First, in the absence of statesmanship in the leadership and its corruption, the vested interests at the top support the status quo. Hence they obstruct changes in the system or their policies for the benefit of the majority. Second, there is no pressure or demand from below to force those at the helm to reform themselves and the system they administer.

Most human rights activists fighting for change adopt the top-down approach. This means that any change in mindset comes about in a small class which the leaders can afford to ignore. Hence my scepticism of this approach, which includes advocacy as has been practised in Pakistan. This was my reaction when I received a lovely book from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Inteha Pasandi sey Nijaat Mumkin hai. The optimistic tone of the title at least forces one to read it in the hope of finding solutions. Experts such as I.A. Rehman, Dr Mubarak Ali, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Dr Mehdi Hasan, etc, give an excellent analysis of the extremism and militancy that plague this country today.

Will those who need to be convinced read this book? Or will this be another attempt to preach to the already converted? If the idea is to get the authorities to accept the enlightened suggestions put forward in the book, it is doubtful if these words of wisdom will actually change anything. Policymakers are the ones who are supposed to act when you demand a new social contract, revision of our textbooks or the introduction of economic justice by reforming our social and political structures. Will they? Not without public pressure from below.

Only when the masses feel the need for change will they create the demand that will force the government to act. In the absence of this demand the powers that be get away with all their anti-people shenanigans.

This demand also has to be mobilised and channelised. Change has been slow in coming to our society because we do not have leaders of public opinion to create a progressive mindset and give a focus to opinion at the grass roots. This is basically the function of political parties. They have, however, failed to play this role because our democracy — even in the phases when it has existed — has been a sham. The political representatives have not felt the need to gather their constituents behind them as they have devised other ways of winning votes.

Only activists with a liberal agenda working on the ground at the grass roots have managed to mobilise the people and effect some changes in their lives. But they have not made an impact nationally because their reach and resources are limited.

As a result, our society displays a dichotomy that is mind-boggling. The visible layer that is organised, educated and affluent — but is in a minority — demonstrates a growing trend towards religiosity and extremism. Some sections even tend to be militant. For the masses that live below the poverty line, religion is limited to going to the mosque, fasting in Ramazan and observing the ‘Islamic’ dress code. Their opinions cannot even be defined as being extremist, intolerant or militant in the way some opinion surveys project them to be.

As for disrupting law and order, that is beyond them. Parveen Rahman, director of the Orangi Pilot Programme Research Training Institute, who has been working at the grass roots in the low-income localities of Karachi and rural Sindh and Punjab, says she is surprised by the patience and lack of aggression shown by people in the face of extreme hardship created by the collapse of the state.

Apart from the terrorism unleashed by Islamist militants who are driven by their political goal of seizing power, the violence that is tearing our society apart is related to issues not of a religious nature.

The media, academia and the middle class have been penetrated by organised groups — be they the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the Jamaat-i-Islami, Al Huda — or parties that continue to play their proselytising role concertedly. They also provide welfare services through organised networks whose presence cannot be ignored. They win the confidence of the students and the mosque-going and TV-watching middle classes.

Parveen Rahman confirms that only by interacting with the people, identifying with them and ensuring that some benefits accrue to them can you win their trust and mobilise them.

In his insightful book, Pakistan: Social and Cultural Transformation in a Muslim Nation, Prof Mohammad Qadeer, a professor emeritus from Queen’s University, Canada, points out that developments in Pakistan have “widened the chasm between private and public spaces” with public interest being trumped by private commitments. This is reflected in pervasive corruption and inefficiency.

This has left people feeling isolated and insecure. The religious parties are scrambling to fill the vacuum so created, while liberal and secular opinion lags behind as it lacks adequate structures to counteract the religious thrust. This is the area that needs to be addressed by liberals if the country is to be saved from the scourge of religious extremism. The poor are no problem.

www.zubeidamustafa.com

More From This Section

The world around us

A LOT is happening around us, both in our immediate neighbourhood, as well as further afield, that has not just...

Loudness and clarity

SOMETIME back in the 1990s, a visiting journalist from New Zealand climbed the stairs to a newspaper office in ...

The Pakhtun question

The Pakhtuns have found both wealth and squalor.

Missing trade unions

The labour rights movement has lost its luster.


Comments are closed.

Comments (84)

m.y.saleem
August 1, 2012 5:50 am
you can't say that whole nation is extremist. the extremists exist in every society.our problem is created by those who play with religion and they get benefit of ordinary citizen's ignorance.
Tanvir
August 1, 2012 4:27 pm
I Concur your observation and prediction.
Agha Ata
August 1, 2012 3:25 pm
Two questions: 1) Are Pakistanies extremists? 2) Is Pope a Christian?
Imran
August 1, 2012 2:51 pm
You obviously belong to the drifting middle class Zubeida is referring to.
Amjad Butt
August 1, 2012 2:47 pm
No doubt majority of our people are aggressive,religious extremist and undemocratic thinking due to poverty and less education.
Antion
August 1, 2012 2:24 pm
How does your argument translate into "PAKISTANIS" are extremists? There are nut cases in every culture so please stop pointing your biased finger at Pakistan as a society. Yes, I can think of several countries on earth that rejoice murders: 1. Yagil Amir, the assassin of Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, was hailed as a hero by the right-wing Israelis. 2. Murderer of Anwar Sadat was praised for getting rid of the friend of Israel. 3. Bhutto's hanging was celebrated by people and politicians (Ex-PM Gilani included) across Pakistan. 4. Sikhs celebrated the murder of PM Indira Gandhi. 5. Tamils rejoiced at the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The problem is that our own people as well as the west make every effort to portray the entire Pakistani nation as extremist because of the actions of some fanatics. Such generalization distorts the facts and the minds, and is very dangerous.
singh
August 1, 2012 11:54 am
In last 10 yrs, I came across lots of pakistani friends and had a food on same table, with all mostly university educated.Mostly everybody looked good for normal matter BUT w.r.t. religion, so far I could count ONLY THREE who were truly open minded else become water tight narrow and close minded, not mentally ready to listen other than islam.
Bangash
August 1, 2012 1:25 pm
Agree that Pakistanis are extremist.....high level of violence in Pakistan against everyone proves it.
ali abbas
August 1, 2012 1:38 pm
one word response, "duh"!
AHA
August 1, 2012 11:44 am
Bull's eye. This form of extremism affects us everyday.
Former Muslim
August 1, 2012 10:53 am
Ledaership bubbles up. The leaders in Pakistan are a miror image of the people they are leading.
mahmood
August 1, 2012 1:28 pm
the only thing we can do to save our country is that educated class or people belonging to secular groups should join politics, because it's the only way we can move forward. ultimately the politicians are the ones who are deciding our fate...
Nazar
August 1, 2012 10:09 am
Hats off to you for write this. Definately if Pakistan is survive and is to progress as a harmonious plural society, there has to be a moderate credible, honest leadership incharge of the country. Otherwise the future of this country is bleak.
andy fr dc
August 2, 2012 10:35 am
There are many places on earth afflicted with poverty and religion, only Pakistan uses it as an excuse for a violent intolerant society that is famous the world over for exporting murder. Of the 186 countries on the Planet only one was willing to hide Bin Laden. Pakistan
Zeeshan Shamsi
August 1, 2012 11:33 am
I am sure the history of full of other nations through their development where the populace has promoted murder in the name of religion...should I refresh your memory?
Junaid Hashmat
August 1, 2012 12:02 pm
Dear Cyrus, There are lot of questions and cross question. In my experience no one can win debates. Human races can sit together on common points but not on questions and cross questions. To every-cross question there is a cross answer. " They attacked pentagon to make it look real " and so that different people could raise same question, which you did.A kind of cross-question from me " Where were all the jews that day"?. I think all this to be a drama and we all are just players.The multinational companies ( who fund for elections) wanted to come to central asia and NATO wanted a new base near to Russia,Iran,China,Pakistan and Central Asian countries. Dear in this dirty politics, might is right before disintegration of USSR , she was right. Now America is right and in a decade if America kept on fighting like this, China will be right. I guess we all are mere pawns to these games.Who is an American, a human and who is a Pakistani,another human. And this is the common point which we must discuss but the politician from both sides will never ask you to discuss this point. Bush says "roll on" . Obama says "I killed bin laden for you" the next one will say " we need to use power to survive "... Our says " Damn with America" .. You vote for that and we vote for this... We all are the same. No one talks about humanity and human beings. “I didn’t realise my main job was to kill people,” Munter was quoted by The New York Times as telling colleagues. I can defend what you raise by cross questioning you and i know you will do the same. And the matter will lie where it's right now. Sometime i think if NATO would have utilized all their war expenses on humanity the world would have been a better place to live on.
Essjay
August 1, 2012 2:08 pm
More than 80% of Pakistan's population favors the following: 1. Public Floggings 2. Males and Females separated in offices 3. Death Sentence for choosing to leave Islam to join another religion!!! Please arrive at your own conclusion. If a question is important we should not attempt to answer it based on our personal experience, bias, or belief. The above observations are from Pew Organization's Studies in Global Attitudes. Here is another observation that has bearing on Pakistan's future: Q: Which institution has a good influence on the country? Ans: Military 77%. Media 68%. Religious Leaders 66%. Court System 58%. National Government 24%. Police 24%. Zardari 12%.
TRV
August 1, 2012 2:07 pm
Look in the mirror. It helps cleanse the soul.
TRV
August 1, 2012 2:06 pm
The truth hurts, doesn't it? Tolerance is very subjective. You cannot see it from the inside. The tolerance of the current Pakistanis are a lot less than the generation that separated from India (even with the bloodshed!). That is because of the rhetoric that is on the airwaves daily. The propaganda machine in text books and literature, the virulent anti-minority TV shows and the thin-skinned defensive responses to criticism. The next generation of Pakistanis are going to be worse than the current crop. This is what leads to a failed state. Not corruption or poverty. Bangladesh is a good example of what can be corrected.
Owais Siddiqui
August 1, 2012 2:01 pm
So if we look closely we find that most of these problems popped up in Pakistan eversince we had 911 in US. Also that these propblems are attributed to certain people, certain time and so on. Prior to that there were minor problems as in any other country. Now the question is, would you label the country "an extremist" based on what has been going on in the last ten years or would you sit back and try to rationalize as to whether the last decade was the real representative of what this nation is or if this is not a true representative because it has a lot of foreign factors outside of the control of the local people. Anyways, I personally stay away from tagging people especially when there are millions involved.
Cyrus Howell
August 1, 2012 3:58 am
In my experience talking to Pakistanis in America, some are extremists and some are not. It depends ,of course, on one's own definition of an extremist (and it seems we are talking about religious extremism). 2/3 No. 1/3 Yes. The dividing line is education. We all know the answer. Many Pakistanis are gentlemen. The rest are focused on making money only but they do feel forced to defend their religious beliefs. Some are unspeakably ignorant. There is really no point in a conversation. They prefer not to talk to Americans. "Osama bin Laden did not destroy the World Trade Center. The Jews did it." I consider that extreme - and unreasoning. Did the Jews or Israelis also attack the Pentagon and attempt to attack the White House? Why would they?
malik
August 1, 2012 4:03 am
Yes.
Akil Akhtar
August 1, 2012 4:37 am
I believe Osama did it but there is no concrete evidence that can hold in a court of law. But we all know who destroyed Iraq and killed atleast 100 times more innocent people.
imran akhtar
August 1, 2012 4:55 am
Whenever any article comes up, talking about extremism in Pakistan, there is always a reaction to it, a sort of a defense mechanism, by most Pakistanis...., but i guess this is a process of gradual evolution of a sociecty, and eventually they (pakistanis) would one day realize their own intolerant levels. blaming the west for their current ills, would not resolve anything.
Indian
August 1, 2012 4:56 am
Great analysis! However it is hard to believe that the most educated and most well off are the ones with extremist outlook. Usually the rich strata is one which is most liberal in its thoughts just because it has got time to travel and read more than the poor masses. It would also be interesting to see this phenomenon from regional perspective. As an outsider it looks to me that most extremism is coming from South Punjab or Punjab in general. Balochistan is not fighting along extremist lines it wants more rights ( atleast till now some more autonomy might solve the issue). KP which was NWFP previously was always been like that and even it is not extremist rather they are feudal. Punjab however has lethal combination of feudal landlords that also control the army and that desire status quo. I would recommend Ms. Mustafa to more research on this aspect. Is Punjab not the source of all the extremism??
Tanvir Afgan
August 1, 2012 5:01 am
The vast majority of Pakistan, the poor and lower middle classes are too beholden to making a living with little time or inclination for violence except that what has been displayed during the current power crisis and extremely patient. Yes it is the middle class with penetration from religious groups that is slowly drifting towards more religion. However, it is the politicians which are slowly destroying Pakistan with their greed, avarice, corruption and poor governance. With two thirds of national assembly seats held by the feudals you can rest assured that change in Pakistan will entail violence as is currently been see.
Majid Menon
August 1, 2012 5:47 am
Actually whoever follows Islam and its tenants the Westernised society call them Extremists. We are Muslims and follow the path of Islam, its Quran and Hadith...we are actually faithfully religious which Islamophobes consider as extremism and which is wrong.
Rao
August 1, 2012 12:37 pm
That is very true unfortunately.
kaleem leghari
August 1, 2012 12:36 pm
As a whole pakistanis r tolerant people .however their way of life is not not reflected in so called discourse of our media which is dominated by urban middle class.Is t it strange that our villages r more prone to difference of opinion than our cities.I wd request the intellectuals like zubaida mustafa to give voices to subaltern classes and paint true picture of moderate pakistan
andy fr dc
August 1, 2012 5:32 am
Can you think of any country on earth besides Pakistan where the assassin of a governor is showered with flowers?
Shahid
August 1, 2012 6:30 am
>> Experts such as I.A. Rehman, Dr Mubarak Ali, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Dr Mehdi Hasan, etc, give an excellent analysis of the extremism and militancy that plague this country today. How does one become an "Expert" on extremism and militancy? What qualifies these as experts on this issue? Why Qazi Hussain Ahmed or Maulana Sami ul Haq and Maulana Fazal ur Rehman are not qualified to be in this category? Until and unless you do not include all important view points in struggle against extremism nothing is going to change. You have to look beyond the superficial political differences and make alliances beyond your own narrow cliques.
sumiyya
August 1, 2012 12:33 pm
It is wrong to say that pakistanis are extremist, who attacked iraq and afghanistan and killd thousands of innocent people including women and children, Is it not extremism? In barma, who has being killing innocent muslims, is it not extremism?
toti34
August 1, 2012 6:32 am
Extremism should not be measured only on the basis of terrorism. Extremism is also when you cannot tell anybody that you do not fast, for fear of backlash or be afraid to admit that you do not pray five times a day. In a free society everybody should be allowed to do what they want, as long as they do not interfere in other people's affairs.
dr vimal raina
August 1, 2012 6:51 am
There are three ways to bring a change in the society; two you have already mentioned in your first sentence and the third more important and effective and possibly without bloodshed is from the middle to the top and middle to the bottom.
ali abbas
August 1, 2012 1:43 pm
dude I have nothing in common with your version of Islam. Islam was the most forward looking religion. I do not know what you wish to call it but what waste majority of Muslims practice is not Islam. Majority have turned into paranoid group of people who keep fearing that they are being attacked by someone. What do Muslims have to offer that the rest of the world wants?
Capt C M Khan
August 1, 2012 6:56 am
True Andy..your comment says all.
anand singh
August 1, 2012 8:29 am
It would be wrong to say that Pakistanis are extremists. However, most extremists have Pakistani links or origins.
magus
August 1, 2012 8:31 am
Punish both
uzma salim
August 1, 2012 8:33 am
extremism not only belongs to Pakistanis and Muslims...they are prominent and everyone pointing out them because other numerous weaknesses are present in the country and it is natural phenomenon that stronger can increase pressure only on weaker...no doubt that some harsh and bitter realities are there but with others' comparison,justifiable blame is needed..realistic approach is better rather than pessimistic or optimistic.
Falcon
August 1, 2012 9:05 am
Zubeida - Bravo. Your views on the issue along with that of M Zaidi are the most realistic and insightful. I would love to see your thoughts in terms of more details on why extremism exists in urbanized & educated folks vs. lower strata of the society.
Rao
August 1, 2012 1:07 pm
There are so many countries, where people follow Islam, like Kosovo, Bosnia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh etc. People from these countries are not treated with so much suspicion unlike Pakistan. That's because the whole world believes that even the administration in Pakistan encourages extremism.
Ali
August 1, 2012 9:33 am
Yes, Assassin of millions has not only been showered with flowers but also with medals on their chest. Do read the US war history some time.
Antion
August 1, 2012 5:10 pm
Why are people called narrow-minded when it comes to religion especially Islam? Why can't they be called 'religious' instead of being labeled as 'extremists' or 'water-tight'? In scientific community, we hold very tight to our theories and doctrines because of our strong belief in their veracity. While some may label us dogmatic, most call us exact scientists; but never narrow-minded. I believe people who cannot separate being religious from extremist carry a narrow perspective, are biased and may be confused.
Raja imran Dhruggi
August 1, 2012 5:12 pm
There are many factors of expanding extremism in Pakistan.Iam agreed to the writer viewpoint but the major cause of extremism is poverty and lack of education.180 million people are residing in Pakistan and more than half of total are illiterate living in far flung areas of Pakistan,where there is no schools because our feudal lords don't like to educate them .people are hand to mouth and leading their lives below the poverty line.such people are easily religiously motivated and inspired by pseudo Mullas and so called religious factions which are pleasing the foreign donors by financing these innocent people and their families.most of the bomb blasters are unknown to he after effects of the act which they are going to undergo.Nationaistic approach is getting dimmed and dimmed every day because we have no goal,no aim .no nationalistic approach.no state governed policy which unite us for the common cause.its my request by commenting on this issue to the govt to stress on education.Educatoin is the solution of all growing problems including extremism
Agha Ata
August 2, 2012 1:58 pm
Liaqat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister was a great mind, right hand of Quide Azam and a brilliant politician. To say something against him would almost be a political blasphemy. But I can always ask a question. Why did he add that sentence in “The Objective Resolution” (which was not in line with the spirit of democracy) when Quide e Azam spoke of democracy vs. theocracy, which later encouraged religious parties to play hell with this beautify land?
Dr. D. Prithipaul
August 1, 2012 6:01 pm
The demand for Partition and the creation of a theocratic state was made by anglicised middle class Muslims. The talk about who is extremist or not , about who is tolerant or not, is confusing. For example, after having worked together for two generations all the Muslim actors, directors, singers, musicians, script writers of the Bombay and Calcutta film centers left for Pakistan (both West and East). Pakistani academics working in secular universities in North America, in secular environments, still maintain their exclusionary mentalities. There is no such exclusively extremist or liberal Pakistani. Anwar Sadat used to say that it is wrong to speak of Israeli hawks and Israeli doves: they are all hawks. Likewise there is no liberal or extremist Pakistani. They are all extremists. Everything else is a juggling with words, with no meaning. But they project a collective delusion of difference.
Apostate
August 1, 2012 6:14 pm
Name one that has done in 21st century?
@saad_durrani
August 1, 2012 6:34 pm
Didn't people dance on Gadafi's death? Does anyone know where is the murderer?
nandkishor
August 1, 2012 7:57 pm
you are definately not indian..
nandkishor
August 1, 2012 8:14 pm
china is not treating well to its muslim citizens,are they not extremist? unfortunately pakistan believes them big brother & india a big enemy where muslims enjoys more freedom then rest of the world..
Razzaq
August 1, 2012 8:14 pm
In all honesty,I can say with personal experience and a very close study that the vast majority of Pakistanis are extremists. They were not like this till Zia's era began. One have to observe them very closely to find this out. Their behaviour,attitude,way of life, every thing shows clearly their extreme out look and I am one of them except that I have been living in west for over 50 years where tolelance and moderation is hallmark of a daily life.
p kumar
August 1, 2012 8:15 pm
60 yrs is long enough to mature;you would have claimed on another occasion though that pakistan is as old as indus valley civilisation or you may start from advent of islam in pakistan.so what do you mean by 'through their development'
caz
August 2, 2012 12:48 pm
The vast majority , yes.
PNP
August 1, 2012 9:23 pm
Imran, its called dillusion. And, it does not right itself. Its ingrained in the social fabric.
Muazzam Siddiqui
August 1, 2012 9:35 pm
I live in the US as well and I do talk to Americans, free independent thinkers some of whom are highly qualified engineers who look at what heppened in Sep. 2011 objectively. Even they do not beleive the official 9/11 story. Who destroyed the WTC is something that we may never have concrete evidence of in our lifetimes. But Muslims should also not automatically accept responsibility of a crime that cannot be proven in any court of law using the current evidence.
oakville1958
August 1, 2012 9:37 pm
How can you avoid extremism, when you see injustice and corruption in abundance, surrounding you. Lack of education does not help either. When you come across a good public speaker, who has extremist views, you will seriously consider following his/her preaching, since you don't know anything better and the leaders who are in charge are corrupt and have their own interest as their priority. Desperation leads to extremism. Our people are suffering and there are two things that they need the most - i) someone to believe in who can pull them out of this misery (religion and unfortunately it is the extremist who have manipulated the true teachings)and ii) someone to blame for their failings (western society). When these extremist "so called leaders" start feeding their views into the minds of these naive people, we end up with a society of extremist. It is very unfortunate, but this is how i see it.
Vishal
August 1, 2012 9:50 pm
Pakistan is a funny country. When I went there during Zia's time and told the people I was a Hindu from India they all wanted to take me home. The sentiment was truly overwhelmingly friendly nay brotherly. The same people hate India (love Indians though) the same sentiment prevails across the Wagah. I believe that Pakistanis are moderate by nature but easily misled in the name of religion and country through hate factories set up by the likes of Zaid Hamid and Hamid Gul
Ixion
August 1, 2012 10:14 pm
No, Pakistanis are NOT extremists. @andy fr dc: Yes, there are several countries on earth that showered flowers on murderers, e.g., the guy who killed of Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, was hailed as a hero by the right-wing Israelis. It's easy to single out Pakistan for the bad situation that they find themselves in. My conclusion: Zubeida is just another propaganda machine out to malign Pakistanis.
Muhammad Khaleeq
August 1, 2012 10:16 pm
There are only 18 million Jews in the world if they are controlling and manupulating the nations then they must from somewhere supreme not this world.
Cyrus Howell
August 1, 2012 10:17 pm
Yes, it is if people are killed for religious reasons.
Akbari
August 1, 2012 10:23 pm
Yes Pakistan has slowly become an extremist / fanatic country. Thanks to mullahs and the King of extremism Zia ul Haque.
Bhu_kh
August 1, 2012 10:31 pm
It is either religious extremism or communist Maoist practically suitable for Pakistan.
Mahavir
August 1, 2012 11:22 pm
Its matter of degree or percentage. Now id that 0.0000005 percentage or 50.00 percentage? You decide Mr. saleem.
Slim
August 1, 2012 11:23 pm
Excellent article.......analyses the situation very well.
Mahavir
August 1, 2012 11:25 pm
Does two wrong make it right? If what US did is wrong, then how does that make Pakistanis right?
akbar
August 2, 2012 12:00 am
I think the author should note this. The more concerning thing is not extremism but the number of narrow minded people in the society that act like a fertile soil for the extremism to flourish....
ArshadPatel,Ohio,USA
August 2, 2012 12:25 am
The security guard who killed Indra Gandhi is still treated as hero in Sikh community.
P4kIST4Ni
August 2, 2012 12:34 pm
Very true........
katwa
August 2, 2012 12:37 am
even people of pakistan cried when osama bin LADEN was killed.....!
APC
August 2, 2012 1:06 am
You are a genious. Keepup your thoughts put it for us to learn. Great thought and one day it will take your country to new heights.
Imran Khan
August 2, 2012 1:09 am
That too by so called educated lawyers..
Fawad
August 2, 2012 2:18 am
Yes, USA where assassin of million of innocent Iraqi's was reelected as the president
T Khan
August 2, 2012 2:29 am
Don't mean to upset my Indian friends, however, vividly remember some Indians distributing Sweets after Indira Ghandi's Assascination. Pakistani's alone do not have a monopoly on being insensitive although lately they are 2nd to none. Historically there have been events where citizens of even most civilized countries have acted brutally. slavery by Arabs and subsequently helping and selling slaves to Spanish and other Western countries, lynching of Negros, massacre of Red Indians. So nationality has nothing to do with evil behavior; it is an individual thing. however, at times performed collectively.
Bakhtawer Bilal
August 2, 2012 3:25 am
Because the names you mentioned, are on record to have either a very soft corner or practically have condoned the militants.
rano
August 2, 2012 4:22 am
The answer lies in your question!
Rao
August 2, 2012 4:42 am
That doesn't mean you have to follow the same path.... A nation will be best if it learns from others mistakes and avoid them rather than go down the same path.
Sumit
August 2, 2012 5:57 am
No Majidbhai, followers of the tenets of Islam by definition are not considered extremists by the western societies. It's the LACK of following the TRUE tenets of Islam that makes most Pakistanis extremists. Praying 5 times a day and fasting during Ramzan are rituals but the true teachings of Islam, of protecting the weak and helpless, freedom to practice other religions etc are not being followed by Pakistanis. There is a huge hue and cry for innocent MUSLMS losing their lives in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan and now the latest Myanmar but not a single word of condemnation for the daily killIngs of innocent Christians, Hindus, Ahmedis etc. being killed in the land of the pure! Are only MUSLIM deaths condemnable? Can Pakistanis think of HUMANITY in general and get out of this Islam centric mentality?? Until this happens, most Pakistanis will incorrectly perceive the west as Islamophobic . Reality check- Pakistan is NOT the centre of the universe and the whole world is NOT out to destroy Islam! This s just a lie that the powerful clerics will feed the masses to keep their stranglehold on them. May Allah save Islam from EXTREMIST Pakistanis!
ArshadPatel,Ohio,USA
August 2, 2012 6:23 am
Pakistanis are not at all extremists. They are trying to break the shackles put to them by corrupt politicians, the feudal lords, the industrialists and the most inefficient police. Besides they are also resisting against the external terrorists which are threatening their freedom and survival.
Indian, Guwahati
August 2, 2012 6:40 am
All the well known terrorists have some link with Pakistan. Isn't it enough?
Ixion
August 2, 2012 8:52 pm
Where is the proof or is this another conspiracy theory like the US itself destroyed the WTC? Stop imagining and start thinking, dude.
Ixion
August 2, 2012 9:16 pm
You lost your mind or somethin'. Though 'numero uno' in corruption, the present government is moderate and liberal .. they are the ones keeping Talibans at bay.
Ixion
August 2, 2012 9:35 pm
I bet you, Zubeida, no extremist is reading your article. I suggest you do a public service and open a free for all academy to indoctrinate progressivism and moderation into people.
sunny
August 3, 2012 5:02 am
exactly what imran said
Ahmad
August 3, 2012 8:26 am
poorly written. unnecessarily stretched to prove simple point/s. as usual blame game and nothing new really highlighted in the article. A narration of events that people already know. No forethought nether any solution driven. Poor effort.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page