Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


The crazy malaise

Published Apr 26, 2012 06:12pm


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Pakistanis have become a callous case of some glaring social and political contradictions. Its people and politicians, army and holy men can be seen affectionately engaging with the most omnipresent symbols and gadgets of so-called ‘western materialism/imperialism’, and yet many of them do not hesitate to roll out high and mighty examples of oratory about political and cultural sovereignty.

‘Fulla Muslim Doll & Abaya.’ Are we simply trying to replace what we consider to be ‘Western cultural imperialism’ with symbols of conservative Arab cultural hegemony that too are as alien to our largely sub-continental and pluralistic scheme of things?

Exactly what does a politically and culturally sovereign Pakistan really mean? This question is sure to attract a number of distinct answers. And that should be expected – especially from within the diverse ethnic and political milieu of Pakistan.

But unfortunately, even more than 60 years after the country’s emergence, this diversity is yet to be recognised and respected by the state that continues to strive rather unsuccessfully to define Pakistan through a rather synthetic ideology. An ideology that constantly drags in religion in the matters of the state and society believing it to be the glue that could hold the centre of this illusory singularity.

It hasn’t. Because Islam in Pakistan has multiple sects and sub-sects, and each of these have their own take on the spiritual and legislative traditions and rituals of the faith.

Thus to ensure that tensions between the sects and sub-sects are kept at a minimum, government and the state, as well as the media, must stop pulling religion out of peoples’ homes and mosques and putting it into the public sphere.

The more it remains inside the privacy of homes and mosques, the better. Otherwise, Pakistanis of various sects and sub-sects will not only continue judging and denouncing the validity and authenticity of one another’s faith, they will go on clashing among themselves, as well as, with the singular version of religion that the state of Pakistan has been peddling for years – a strain mostly constructed with the help of petro-dollars that come in with the condition of forwarding a particularly stern and isolationist edition of the faith.

Anti-Shia violence has risen dramatically in Pakistan. However, the country is also facing violence and tensions between Sunni sub-sects, especially between the Barelvis, Deobandis, Wahabis and Salafis. Facing violence and persecution are also minority religious groups such as the Christians, Ahmedies and the Hindus. The state and governments in country have dragged their feet in producing affective legislation against public show of religious hatred and bias.

We glorify our importance by constantly suggesting how powerful nations are so interested in us.

Conspiracy theorists, politicians, soldiers, mullahs, Islamists and the media put us at the centre of the universe; a universe that we believe is teeming with malicious superpowers and other ‘enemy religions’ that are supposedly hatching diabolic conspiracies and schemes to destabilise our wonderful Islamic republic.

This is just a mirage; a feel-good, rather paranoid, projection. It is splashed across the social and political canvas that we trade upon to obscure the many state and social failures this unfortunate republic has been suffering in the name of religion, patriotism and, of course, now sovereignty.

We are behaving like a cultish collective that molested itself and then called the act ‘ghairat (honour).’!

Many would instantly take offense if you suggest the above, and after shouting you down as a traitor, they will proudly remind you that we are a nuclear power.

But the way we are going about in trying to isolate ourselves (in the name of defending our sovereignty and faith), I think we are trying to actually prove that we are really only slightly better than the isolationist, poverty-stricken and missile-happy North Korea!

Yes we have the bomb, but where are the new, quality schools, hospitals, a welfare system, political stability, a healthy competitive economy, democratic institutions and mindset, and a life free of sectarian and religious bigotry, strife and hatred?

Cartoon courtesy: Sabir Nazar

We have become prisoners of our own delusions – delusions about ourselves and about the many countries and cultures that we believe are constantly scheming against us.

We refuse to free ourselves from these suspicious and blinding phantoms in our heads, and yet we demand sovereignty from the nefarious designs of our many (largely imagined) enemies?

I have continued to say this and I am going to say it again: The enemy is us! It is within us.

Once we manage to openly recognise and confess our own inadequacies and let go of our paranoid stubbornness to keep hanging on to ideologies that have only spelt disaster and have been resounding failures, our journey to a sovereign state based on religious tolerance, economic progress and a democratically achieved political, ethnic and sectarian plurality shall begin.

Till then all we can do is to keep cuddling our missiles and raise our bony fists in a delusional exhibition of empty triumph and hysteria. It looks even worse if exhibited on a half-empty stomach that had to be filled with the figurative grass just so the missiles are allowed to continue rolling out and test fired.

Even before they could overcome their love for Dora, these kids are being taught to hate. A group of kids are handed toy guns and asked to raise violent slogans at a rally of a religious political party.  Is this what is meant by replacing ‘Western/Hindu culture’ with an ‘Islamic’ one?

Genuine achievements in the sciences, the arts and economics that help Pakistan as a country and society to become an engaging part of the international community of nations should be the thing used to construct feel-good narratives; not demagogic spiels by hateful rattlers attempting to inflate young, impressionable egos with muscular promises of going to war with ‘infidels!’

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Author Image

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (100) Closed

Adil Jadoon Apr 27, 2012 02:12am
Dont blame religion for our failing. What have you done to deserve freedom, democracy and a good life. Democracy requires a constant struggle which unfortunately in Pakistan no one has aspired to do. There is no shortage of crack pots around the world but lets no concentrate on them and work with those that really should matter. I have never seen a positive article from Mr. Paracha. All critique and no advice makes him a very dull boy indeed.
Kausik Apr 26, 2012 09:33am
a picture speaks thousand words smll children instead of holding books or playing sports sporting toy guns shows clearly how goebels tactics worked in nazi germany same can be said about the entire subcontinent as i find nfp comments applicable to all rdical elements in sub continents.Pakistan shold get back to ideal set by the founder Mr MA Jinnah.
Suresh Patel Apr 26, 2012 09:37am
This equally APPLIES to INDIA. Hope many Indians read this & reflect on it.
kanwal Apr 28, 2012 02:52am
NFP i want to see you write a similar work on feudalism. Especially in Sind and Panjab.
Agha Ata Apr 28, 2012 02:49am
Yes, Nadeem we do have the bombs, and please remember that the quality schools, hospitals, political stability and a life free of sectarian and religious bigotry, strife and hatred is the responsibility of the Civilian government you elected to run the country. That is their duty, not ours. The nation needed bombs, and we made them.
Kashif Apr 27, 2012 10:22am
Never been your fan nor liked your post before but I must admit this one is the best. I loved it. Specially these words "Conspiracy theorists, politicians, soldiers, mullahs and the media put us at the centre of the universe; a universe that we believe is teeming with malicious superpowers and other ‘enemy religions’ that are supposedly hatching diabolic conspiracies and schemes to destabilise our wonderful Islamic republic."
RJ Apr 27, 2012 03:17am
Great article NFP - Most thinking Pakistanis will agree with your analysis. Unfortunately, thinkers are in short supply in our country.
Tim Apr 26, 2012 04:18pm
Is it just me or this article an almost exact replica of "Sovereignty and hysteria", another article written by the same author on 12th of June last year.
M Khan Apr 27, 2012 05:33pm
Mr. Siddiqui, forget about the Author, what more important is the contents of the article. We cannot ignore the fact that since 1980 we have transformed the whole Pakistani society. Once we realize what is the problem then only we can work to correct that and it make take another 25 years or so. We Pakistani used to be proud of our achievements etc b4 80s after that we start looking for conspiracy and also start blaming of all our faults on outsiders. Before we used to blame but to insiders. Thats comes from Middle east and thats from that Afghan war. Just Think. Have u see the pictures of Kids with guns b4 1980? Have u see people blame all on west and outsiders b4 1980.
Abhay Apr 27, 2012 06:06am
Boss....The photo with the kids holding the guns will give me sleepless nights!!!.. Imagine teaching them to hate when in fact they should be taught how to love ..... God help Pakistan!..
Ghazala Apr 26, 2012 12:21pm
Kanishk Apr 27, 2012 07:51am
I wish there were more people like you in Pakistan. If only Pakistanis were less paranoid about the imminent danger from their neighboring country (a danger which I am sure is surreal), they would have time to think that there is more needed for a country's progress. Pakistan is on crossroads right now. They need to sit back and decide that what is actually important for them. How are they gonna benefit from India's instability? Is it not their own stability which should be of prime concern to them? Everyone knows that till the time religious fanatics continue to exist and prosper on both sides of the boundary, peace wont get a chance. Still I pray for their well being. I hope they understand the meaning and advantages of peace and tranquility.
Yawar A. Bhatti Apr 26, 2012 11:25am
The writing is on the wall and yet we simply refuse to read it due to what NFP correctly suggests is a stubborn paranoia.
NFA Apr 26, 2012 02:15pm
NFP Thank you for raising the voice for the right, please keeping writing to oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.
Baidaar Bakht Apr 28, 2012 04:48am
@Siddiqui: Gen Zia and JI are two most significant factors which have played their part in Pakistan's decadence. Perhaps, Zia too is an offshoot of JI. Hence, we are left with JI as the prime architect of present day unenviable Pakistan. But one thing has to be kept in mind: JI presents a particular brand of Islam, interpreted by Maududi.
jeeves Apr 27, 2012 08:22am
The second pic is shocking by any standard in the whole world :-(
jeeves Apr 27, 2012 08:23am
I meant the last Picture, sorry!
El Cid Apr 27, 2012 07:33pm
NFP pics are selected to obfuscate and confuse issues. Your comparing Nazi Germany with Pakistan is far more Goeblisk...offensive.
kris Apr 26, 2012 11:25pm
Is anyone listening, or does anyone care?
Shankar Apr 27, 2012 06:55am
Kids being taught hatred with toy guns in hand! What low levels has the world reached? Will the world community blacklist the organization which organized this event!
Irfan Baloch Apr 27, 2012 04:56pm
I see their are many who pray for NFP's safety. A few years back when I started reading his articles and when finished reading the first one, the first voice in my head was, God Please Keep Him Safe. Thank God most of the extremists can't read English. If Dawn was an Urdu paper called fajar NFP would have been looking for a job long time ago. But we do need him to communicate with the masses in Urdu and Dawn news channel is the perfect platform. He used to appear on a show a few years back I believe but the program was in English and the audience was a particular sector of our society. NFP there are many so-called anchors acting like intellectuals. We need someone like you. Of course you do not have to be do blunt but you will pick the right topics. We don't care you shavethat beard or not. There was Wasatullah Khan now he is nowhere to be found. Think sbout it comrade.
Krishna Prasad Apr 26, 2012 07:51am
MrParacha, sensible voices like yours are needed to salvage Pakistan from the vicious clutches of extremists in select sect of Islam. Please let them not silence you; be safe !!! KP
ZAK Apr 26, 2012 06:09pm
Country needs a leadership that can counter prevalent misguided mindset. The present leadership safely bunkered in Islamabad is too busy keeping the coalition intact to stay in power. The President & Prime Minister both are out of touch with masses. Country is a rudderless ship sailing on an uncharted course.
Babar Khan Apr 26, 2012 06:16pm
Thank you for stating what should be obvious to any human being. Anyone should be able to understand that if they are at the receiving end of prejudice, hatred and bigotry, they will not like it. Therefore, they should not expose someone else to it. I simply do not understand how our mindset has become so distorted that we cannot see what is so obviously wrong. Please keep writing, maybe we will wake up.
ZIR Apr 27, 2012 05:17pm
The whole Indian sub-continent has a very rich and varied heritage of culture, music, art, literature and science. This civilisation is very ancient. We have the spirituality and wisdom of the sufi saints as our precious legacy. Yet we seem to hanker to the Arabic view of Islam, an Islam devoid of any joy and stripped of the richness of life. We need to wake up and seek our own heritage rather than become slaves of a foreign and inferior Arabic philosophy.
Cynical Apr 27, 2012 08:05am
@Kaushik I totally agree with what you said except the last bit about '....get back to ideal set by th founder Mr M A Jinnah.' There is no need to go back.Actually the present is a natural and logical progression of his famous call of 'Direct action'.
Kuppuji Apr 27, 2012 12:55pm
As far as I know, there's no journalist/columnist in Pakistan who writes as succintly as does Mr Paracha. He says it as it should be said. Hope Pakistanis will ponder over the reasons narrated by Mr Paracha for their current status and take corrective action as soon as possible. It is never too late. Congrats to the author
CAT Apr 26, 2012 06:49am
Great piece! Once again Nadeem has hit the nail on the head! But is any one listeingin/reading?
CYrus Howell Apr 26, 2012 06:53am
The truth is that Pakistan is not really a nation yet. Patriotism is a convenient lie. Abraham Lincoln warned Americans, before our civil war began that "A house divided cannot stand."
kanak Apr 26, 2012 06:55am
A wonderful article written by the author for not only Pakistan but also the countries that spend enormous sums on defence starting from the US, China, India to Pakistan as all countries that spend so much on external defence also have pressing needs. But then who will listen?There is always an enemy for all nations and smaller nations that think big go over board and then go bust.
Peace Lover Mustafa Apr 26, 2012 07:54am
Really good article. It seems that Mr.Nadeem F.Paracha is the only person in Pakistan who analyse and u/stood the exact problem. Hats off to you sir.
Krishna V Apr 26, 2012 08:49am
I generally don't like people who are critiques, since I beleive that critiques are over-pessimistic people always trying to find faults. But I must agree that Mr. Nadeem F Paracha has given a new meaning for a critique. As always a master piece from NFP. I sincerely believe that intellectuals like NFP should travel around the world and try to influence people. I request Mr. NFP to travel to India and also publish a book, enlisting all his articles....
CYrus Howell Apr 26, 2012 06:56am
Conspiracy theories are formulated by people who cannot understand what is happening to them, and they fill that vacuum with their worst fears.
Dr. Prudent Injeeli Apr 26, 2012 07:18am
Too Good , as usual Take care Mr. Paracha, times are bad
Tanya Apr 27, 2012 01:00am
The pic with kids with gun is chilling! Chilling! Innocent mind taught to hate! My blood freezes to think of the such future generation and the havoc they will have on Pakistan and the world! NFP, May god keep you safe!
Nate Gupta Apr 26, 2012 11:40am
I was a little shell shocked to see the picture of little kids in a "Stop Shia Killings" rally instead of being at playing fields... And then I scrolled down and saw the picture of bunch of kids holding guns. I am speechless.. out of sheer horror! Nadeemji, I have always found your words to be audacious. The blend of images along with narration continues the trait.
Aon Shams Apr 27, 2012 09:15pm
One of my friend should read your comment CYrus.
ali Apr 26, 2012 11:55pm
Yeah it is.great article though.
psriblog Apr 26, 2012 02:58pm
I totally agree (and I am an Indian)
krishgovind Apr 27, 2012 12:51pm
The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue. Arnold J. Toynbee Today we are the sad witness the Islamic Pakistan " facing violence and tensions between Sunni sub-sects, especially between the Barelvis, Deobandis, Wahabis and Salafis. Facing violence and persecution are also minority religious groups such as the Christians, Ahmedies and the Hindus."Diametrically out of step with real Islam. How did this dichotomy between interpretation of Toynbee and Islam as practiced in Pakistan arise? It is for the Pakistani intelligentsia like NFP to ponder sobriety.
Slim Apr 27, 2012 03:48pm
We should all ask ourselves as to what are we doing about it as individuals, as families and as organizations. We can't just give up. Just highlighting problems is not enough.
Abu Aayan Apr 27, 2012 10:35am
NFP: Wonderful like always ... I wish people do not just loose themselves in your wonderful writing style and miss the message. I Just wish. Not many think like this , and even less express it, and even less express this good. I hope and pray that every sane voice of this country is guarded by angels, as these are the last hope to this society... Rest the conditions are not good :(
Shankar Apr 27, 2012 06:49am
A blunt and truthful analysis of the situation! It takes a lot of courage apart from brilliance to write the way NFP writes. May God keep him safe!
Aziz Apr 26, 2012 10:24am
Basically what seems to me is government really want the ssenario to extend in coming days and the future of Pakistan is the same as we are observing today. As government have no any vision about the mindset and future of this country's youth, they don't have any plan to change the current scenario and there is no smell of actions in this regard in any sector but we can come through articles such as this where the really is bashed. The teachers in schools know how much about the track which we are following and how they have trained to make free and libral mindset to young generations, but schools and madrasa of different sects are getting appreciations by parents and elders of this society. What is the responsibility of young open-minded youth of Pakistan, how should they play their part need to be addressed by NFP, as I feel every responsible reader of him need to hear from him a track and action plan where he can play his part.
El Cid Apr 29, 2012 08:41am
Yours is an astute distinction between needs, priorities, allocation of resources, responsibilities and duties. Your sincere effort to point out the lacunae in his muddied-up thinking is much appreciated. There are other problems with his logic and thought process...but that would require another type of professional. One mess at a time. Thank you.
MrT Apr 26, 2012 10:14am
The last paragraph of the article talks about "Genuine achievements in the sciences,.....". It seems that substantial amount of work in this direction is going on in Pakistan but there is no one in Pakistan to support or at least appreciate these efforts. ... everyone is busy in criticizing what is wrong which is also needed but in doing so they are providing free publicity to negative elements. Is there anyone in the media to give a focus attention to our achievements, to motivate youngsters by telling them heroes are those who are serving society through their scientific achievements. Can anyone take the duty of producing and directing a program that talks about 1001 Muslim inventions that are used in the present world. I always wonder whether these talk shows are of any use to motivate our next generation, or do they only increase their frustration.
Riza Apr 28, 2012 03:20am
The article is quite close to reality. But only highlighting the problems is no solution. I shall also like to see, from NFP, a concrete guideline that can elucidate the possible route to progress and emancipation from "hate culture" for the wretched masses of Pakistan.
shirish Apr 26, 2012 05:16pm
brilliant analysis.this applies equally to all the nations of sub- coninent
A lover of Pakistan Apr 26, 2012 03:08pm
Once again, you've clearly articulated the current reality. Bohat, bohat shukrya!
bharat desai Apr 27, 2012 07:09pm
What are the yardsticks for real progress is the question. We have almost similar issues on ourside. The population nuclear bomb is ready to explode Are we ready to feed educate housing and provide quality life to the masses? Buddha once said"Hate never yet dispelled hate,only Love dispells hate" Preach love it is the answer.
El Cid Apr 27, 2012 07:07pm
Good observation. But as is obvious from his articles, NFP has not the requisites for what you recommend. And if those pseudo sects and sub-sects, you mention, paid as much energy and attention to the unity, peace, and compassion in Islamic as they exploit to invent schisms NOT present in it. Unknown, or delibretaly obfuscated by them, Islam under Shariah Law protects the minorities living within its domain. Further, and NOT acknowledged by them and probably NOT known to 90% of Muslims, but recorded in history, the minorities living in Muslimlands are included in the Umma and their religion and rights MUST be protected by individual Muslims and the State . Additionally, the man made so called "Blashemy Laws" are unislamic and contrary to Allah's Law as verifiable in the Noble Koran. Even so they cannot be applied on Non-Muslims. Their application on Muslims is also contraversial, as the Noble Koran recommends against it. Only Allah is the Judge of all that.
ablationist Apr 26, 2012 01:02pm
Dear Nadeem,_Thank you for consistently expounding sanity. What are your views on the fact that there is no plurality (meaningful) on the left in Pakistan._Or dont you agree?
El Cid Apr 27, 2012 06:42pm
NOT hate. Desprate attempt at self defense. Starting at a much younger age, kids in other countries are practicing flying Kller Drones while sitting on their computer keyboards where you cannot see them..._
El Cid Apr 27, 2012 06:31pm
"...shouting you down as a traitor". Sir, you hardly qualify as a traitor.
ARP Indian Apr 27, 2012 03:30pm
The picture of kids with guns is sickening. Is there nobody in Pakistan reacting to such incidents?
Fazil Apr 26, 2012 03:47pm
Kudos to the author for his courageous analysis and also to Dawn for opening up the platform to critical analysis of the Pakistani society. I think the explosive mix of politicians + muillahs + the military should be denounced.
@RizKQalandar Apr 26, 2012 08:59am
We as a nation at the verge of self-destruction thanks to our forces, nobility , clergy and a fair composition of three of them in the form of self-proclaimed last hope leaders , defense analysts and televangelists. People like you are need of this critical time , please start writing in urdu as well.
El Cid Apr 27, 2012 08:05pm
Abraham Lincoln was a highly intelligent, perceptive and wise man, he could look into the future...and the best President America ever had. While admiring him, I constantly have to remind myself that he commanded the Civil War that killed 600,000 troops, untold civilians and negro slaves. Under his genocidal general, General Grant, he allowed the destruction of the American South. ALL Southern cities, Including Atlanta but except Augusta where his girl-friend lived, were burnt to the ground. As a student at a nearby university, I often read, studied, reflected, mediated or simply jogged through the Kennasaw Mountain Battelground Monument Park where Grant was thwarted...he simply sidestepped the entrenched fortified mountain and burnt Atlanta to the ground. NOT a military necessity, but punishment for losses at Kennasaw, and HATE. Without Lincoln there would be NO United States of America. Quaid e Azam Jinnah was the only equivalent Pakistan ever had But Jinnah was not available for East Pakistan, not Afghanistan, and unfortunately not for Blauchistan...Imran Khan has this daunting test before...the stature fits not. Will the shoes fit, even if poorly, Pakistan may have a chance.
Naeem Malik Apr 26, 2012 10:06am
Other excellent article
Lori Apr 27, 2012 04:29pm
@IA Siddiqui: Did you read the article before commenting?? Which line you felt was giving a bad name to Islam. The article talks about people like Mullahs and conspiracy theorist who use Islam as a source to satisfy their own interest. Check the pic with kids carrying gun. He says "Even before they could overcome their love for Dora, these kids are being taught to hate. A group of kids are handed toy guns and asked to raise violent slogans at a rally of a religious political party. Is this what is meant by replacing ‘Western/Hindu culture’ with an ‘Islamic’ one?" Whats wrong here? Does Islam talk about making small kids fanatics and handing guns to them instead of books? What future do these kids have with guns?
saleem Apr 27, 2012 03:56pm
I love to read Arundhati Roy in India and N. Paracha in Pakistan both has the guts to write what the majority doesn`t want to read and listen.May god save both of them.
Irfan Baloch Apr 27, 2012 04:19pm
Most of us are listening, and many of us do care. But the elites have designed a maximum security prison, that guards our thoughts and keeps our actions in check, that my friend is called Poverty and a subsection of it is called Worry How You Will Feed Your Kids Today. It is depressing, but there is hope. There are more NFP's in our society then u can imagine. Sitting tight waiting for the right time. The more organized the repression by our elites, the more organized will be the resistance. Just wait and see.
Goga Nalaik Apr 27, 2012 10:25am
Dear Nadeem, Excellent article as usual ... And the majority remained indifferent as usual ... My friend, keep fighting with your pen! I hope one day you will make it! Your fan
Gurdeep Apr 27, 2012 05:24pm
Can somebody please tell which organization organized this rally and put guns in kids' hands? There is a strong and urgent need to post this picture to a Pakistani forum, directed to that organization letting them know that they have fallen way too low. They need to be questioned about their grand future plans regarding this action.
Serendippp Apr 27, 2012 10:49am
Hoping against hope that any voice of reason, no matter from which troubled part of the world. does not end up as a voice in wilderness. Incisive and brilliant, NFP can only take the horse to water, but making him drink it is quite another matter!
Sergio Apr 27, 2012 07:41am
A great article - and a vital message too. Thank you.
Devendra Apr 26, 2012 03:48pm
If there was "Best & Most Courageous Journalist of the World" award; NFP would win it hands down. I am a dedicated reader of his articles and eagerly await them. His analytical calrity, penetrating insight, the audacity to speak the unpalatable truth, integrity and human rights vision is par excellance. I read a lot and I have never seen a journalist like NFP. NFP, Keep writing. May THE GOOD LORD keep you. BE SAFE....I PRAY.
Rahul Apr 27, 2012 07:27pm
It applies because many in India are using language, religion,caste etc to preach messages of hate, it may not be a big problem now, but we need to stay vigilant and identify and expose such. It's all over, congress trying to please the deobandis by not staying true to our secular ideology, BJP with its RSS and VHP masters attempting to consolidate the Hindu vote. MNS in Maharashtra wants to keep north Indians out, church playing a major role in Kerala congress etc.
M-G Apr 26, 2012 04:49pm
Excellent as always. Hopefully, we take this as yet another excellent example of how non-polarized most of Pakistan actually is. Most of us are moderates that want the very same as in any other place on the planet. Just stop telling me how I should or shouldn't pray and that my relationship with my God is any of your concern. Excellent, excellent piece NFM.
PenRumi22 Apr 27, 2012 05:46pm
As usual, NFP is brilliant. Assuming people in Pakistan read and understand what NFP Is saying, does anyone listens to him? I don't think so.
Atul Shukla Apr 26, 2012 03:58pm
An Indian Reader Apr 29, 2012 12:27pm
If I have ever come across a writer who can put across a message in the most concise and direct manner, it is NFP .... hats off ..... only that all his writings, though boiling with rational and logic, and in spirit very much wanting for a magnanimous, progressive, all-inclusive Pakistan, are always critical of the current state in Pakistan .... though I am nowhere close to his thought and prose, I will have to muster much courage to request him some writings that give the Pakistanis a thought for being part of something good ..... he is a magician, lets see he shows us (especially Indians) some good scenery .... many thanks NFP ... keep the good work .. and of course .. Take care of yourself ...
Aamir Apr 26, 2012 12:21pm
Excellent article reflecting the true state of affairs
romasa Apr 26, 2012 04:58pm
Great one :)
Joe in USA Apr 28, 2012 03:03am
Please, just a view from the USA. We follow Pakistan people's developments in our hearts. In our street have several friends who are immigrants to the USA. We talk, laugh, and share stories about our children and families. They go to mosque freely and hear about peace and kindness. We are just people, sharing our life together. We are so saddened by news about so-called religious fanatics who corrupt innocent children. They are not human. One can only wonder about what kind of "religion" they had. Together, each of us, we grieve in our hearts when we hear of 10 people being killed by some idiot suicide bomber in Karachi. It hurts all of us. But please, -please-, don't forget that we here (USA) lost over 2,800 innocent men, women and children in an attack on just one day. Please think about what that kind of atrocity would mean to you. Every time we read about a new crime committed by some jihadist in Pakistan, we are all together in one humanity.
AHA Apr 26, 2012 11:20am
There are so few voice that carry the message of peace. Keep up the good work, NFP, and may Allah, the beneficent the merciful, bless you.
Zia Apr 26, 2012 11:25am
NFP never said we are doing good in sciences, research etc..... he only suggested that we should focus on...... You said "...... program that talks about 1001 Muslim inventions that are used in the present world"....... he said exactly the reverse of what you are saying now...... again he said we should rather care about what PAKISTANIS are doing in those fields.......
I.A.Siddiqui Apr 27, 2012 12:14pm
I have never seen any positive article from Nadeem F Paracha. He is fond of criticizing Pakistan, Islam and General Zia. He can never see any thing wrong in Pakistan Peoples Party and puts blame for every thing wrong in the lap of Jamat-e-Islami and religion. Mr. Paracha should write some thing on other subjects other than Islam, Gen Zia & Jamat-e-Islami.
Realist Apr 26, 2012 01:29pm
One quote sums it all up....."We have become prisoners of our own delusions
Sunil Apr 28, 2012 06:38am
I only hope NFP is not the next target of taliban.....
Mohammad Ali Khan Apr 30, 2012 10:51pm
True muslim believes he will be judged by his conduct.Honesty,compassion,work ethics,love of knowledge, discipline,patience,perseverance,humbleness,inclusiveness, and other good qualities are measures of a good Muslim.
El Cid Apr 29, 2012 09:02am
Pakistan Ideology is NOT a man-made construct. It is a sacred place where Muslims are to find solace, peace, and refuge from the World. And defend and protect themselves from it when necessary. Please, you have the right to make up your own opinion and beliefs. However, FACTS and definitions have a life of there own and are independent of your opinions and belief system. BTW what is a Muslim, true Mulsim, and "true Muslim in essence"? Just wondering...
Asad Shah Apr 28, 2012 07:52am
I agree with your assessment. NFP is either living in past or finding only the negatives in society. In which country is he living after all? Because the Pakistan in which I live in has normal kids who go to school and are mostly secular in nature. NFP really needs to get out a little bit more rather than singing to a tune the outsiders really want to hear. There is more to Pakistan than just mullahs and kids holding toy guns.
malik100 Apr 28, 2012 08:02am
I think Hamid Gul and Hafiz will tell you 'weapons are ornaments of momen'. Or maybe kids for this picture.
malik100 Apr 28, 2012 08:06am
Yea he should write on how to make bigger and better bomb.
Sohail Nanji Apr 28, 2012 09:16am
I'm stumped that some people when they see an author rationally critique the man-made constructs like Pakistan Ideology, he or she is labeled anti-Islam. You criticize army, you are anti-Islam, you criticize abuse of women, you are anti-Islam, sometimes even if one criticizes Imran, he becomes anti-Islam. Sometimes I really think it is people who go around labeling ppl anti-Islam are the ones who are doing great disservice to this great religion. What's more, I believe it is actually people like NFP who are true Muslims in essence. May Allah give him more strength. Amen
El Cid Apr 28, 2012 09:24am
Dawn is NOT an open platform. Dawn is NOT open to critical analysis, counter argument or even free speech. This should be obvious to anyone who reads these one sided comments. What do you think happens to the discenting voice? It is censored out by site management. But you can't, or don't. And keep saying "Kudos" to nonsense.
adesh Apr 28, 2012 09:46am
I SALUTE HIM. I appreciate that anybody is in this word who wants to escalate this issue. I will request the top of word Power full authorities to come and save these kids
Qadri Apr 28, 2012 12:39pm
Creating controversies to enjoy good readership i.e. tamaash beeni which we are fond of..The governments and electoral systems have been producing this leadership which the country is enjoying now so blame yourself for not trying and working for better system in Pakistan.. where does corruption in characters come from and who advocates the linguistic and regional division i dont know to where you are leading the young generation through your columns.
El Cid May 01, 2012 04:40am
“Or perhaps, somebody has told you a watered down version of the law” Respectfully sir: You presume too much. I am no preacher. And I don’t take watered down anything. I don’t go by hearsay. Unverified hearsay and passing rumor is condemned as haram in Islam. Allah commands that I study, reflect, meditate, ponder on the primary reference in any discipline I pursue. In in this case it is the Noble Quran. Preachers have no place in Islam. Those who say that Kafir/non-believer has no right to live and must be killed have NOT read the Noble Quran. Shariah as principled in the Noble Quran categorically forbids it. Allah even holds the life of an animal as precious. Even eating to satiety is discouraged. And there is NO intercession, NO intercessor, NO preacher in Islam. Muslims have direct access to their Almighty Creator Allah if they so choose. What someone weak ears and gullible mind believes is not mine to fix. They and you have the same resources available as have I. It is not rocket science. Allah has made His words easy to remember, but Man’s inhumanity to man gets in the way.
Hamza Apr 29, 2012 03:11pm
"It looks even worse if exhibited on a half-empty stomach that had to be filled with the figurative grass just so the missiles are allowed to continue rolling out and test fired." Isn't this what Bhutto said with regard to the attainment of the nuclear weapons? We know what we are in and we know what we need. But how to get it? Will we even be able to get all that given current conditions?
Indian Apr 29, 2012 03:12pm
Well that's exactly the problem then isn't it, that whatever you said about Shariah law is not known to others? Or perhaps, somebody has told you a watered down version of the law. Either way, there is a huge disconnect between what is preached in the religion and what is followed by its followers. This should not have presented any problem; a lot of religions have shady followers. Why, even my religion, Hinduism has problems. What makes the problem worse in this case is that some of Islam's followers believe that kafirs don't deserve to exist! and they are prepared to take action to that effect. Shouldn't that raise an alarm?
Piyush Apr 28, 2012 06:57pm
Not just Pakistan - In India too Islamic fanaticism is on the rise while the Government is looking the other way. Recently muslim groups have threatened the Government over almost every piece of legislation - be it RTE (Right to Education), Compulsory registration of marriages or giving inheritance rights to daughters - the muslims have asked themselves to be excluded - and the government has willingly bent backwards to accommodate them.
dinopak May 01, 2012 07:26am
You sir, are awesome
El Cid May 02, 2012 04:25am
Well, he is giving it his best shot...pun intended.
Mahmood Apr 29, 2012 07:17pm
I just want to say one thing that we all see this article, which in fact is written very well.... but after reading this we will forget what it really meant and we will continue to live our lives as we always do.. very few of us will try to be some thing better...
El Cid May 02, 2012 04:23am
That is what they said to Galileo Galilei -- astronomer, physicist, chemist, philosopher -- when he insisted that the Earth revolves around the Sun. He was given life imprisonment for this blasphemy.
El Cid May 02, 2012 04:13am
You have described a good human being who may have any faith, Christian, Hindu, Jew or none. An Atheist for example may have all the qualities you have enumerated, they are not mutually exclusive as you may realise. And you avoided...not answered my question: How would you define and differentiate between a Muslim, true Muslim, and "true Muslim in essence"? By merely adding a new category "Good Muslim", you have convulated the issue and added to the redundancy. But thank you for attempting to answer for S. Nanji at whom the question was intially directed. Thank you.
nasir Malik May 23, 2012 01:47pm
Many will read but no one listens
Nasir Malik May 23, 2012 02:22pm
If there are ills present in a society or a country, these must be brought to notice and exposed in order to find solutions.