THIS is with reference to the letter ‘A plea for sectarian harmony’ by Zafar Rajput (March 3) in response to Nadeem Paracha’s earlier article on ‘Petro games’ (Feb 24). Halfway came the lines: “It is a wrong perception to ridicule the Wahabi sect. In fact, Wahabi is not a sect...” This was followed six lines later with, “Wahabism is the most pious sect based on the true Islamic laws and Sharia. In the Wahabi sect...”
At that point I realised that the writer had either lost the plot or had a different agenda. The letter condemns US hegemonic policy (the writer’s prerogative and a viewpoint shared by many non-partisan people across the world).
However, Pakistan’s ills are attributed only to the US and India.
Such all-encompassing drivel is standard establishment mantra. In fact, later in the night following the bomb blasts retired general Hamid Gul recited the same mantra on TV in more or less the same words.
Most curiously, while holding everyone responsible the writer makes no mention of the Taliban or Al Qaeda, both original products of Saudi largesse. They have made Pakistan a battleground for the proxy war being fought between the present darlings of the West and the currently greatest enemy, Iran.
“Have we ever heard of sectarian riots or suicide killings from that part of the world?” Yes, but, small and tucked deep in the bowels of the media so it does not easily offend. Three references in the same edition: “176 held in S. Arabia after demo.” (P15 and on the same page) “Al Qaeda issues advice magazine for militants.” Then the picture on the back page: of women demonstrating in Bahrain, the only country where Saudi troops marched in to support its hereditary minority rulers.
I would refer the author and other readers to a commentary in The Guardian by Glenn Greenwald. “Brookings’ Bruce Riedel urges intensified US support for Saudi despots,” (guardian.co.uk 19.01.13). Let us understand the simple economic reality that the US dollar is what it is largely because of the petrodollar being bled dry to keep the status quo for US /Israeli interests.
The letter was not a ‘plea for sectarian harmony’ but an unabashed call to embrace the imported cancer that is destroying Pakistan.
DR MERVYN HOSEIN Karachi