Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mainstreaming Hate

While discourse about the Taliban problem in Pakistan’s print media has never been awe-inspiring, at least in the good sense, you have to admit it has reached astounding new lows these past few months. Arguments have been disposed of as unnecessary or trivial, giving way to jibes and accusations. A good article today is not one that tries to reason, understand or explain,  it is one that labels the other side as, say, ignorant, cowardly, pathetic, utterly arrogant and/or shameful. All qualities possessed in abundance by one Kamran Shafi. In his writing, obviously.

This kind of writing is then celebrated by like-minded commentators with great enthusiasm, hailed as the final nail in the other side’s coffin, until next week. So while Mickey uncle has had his day in the sun as the man who finally exterminated Imran Khan, he must give way now to Cyril, who has new, more polished goodies to sell.

It is telling that a more reasoned, argumentative and evidence based piece by Babar Sattar failed to capture the imagination of this rowdy crowd in the way that the other two have. If you want to be a hero Mr Sattar, start fighting the villain.

Which is what Cyril does with aplomb, week after week.

Once upon a time Pakistan was a beautiful and serene locale, where extremism was in its place, justice reigned supreme. Enter Taliban Khan. He said our beautiful paradise actually required a few tweaks, just a little less corruption, a little more honesty, if you will. One thing led to another, and he mainstreamed extremism !! *Gasps*

It was that handsome mug that doomed us, those plaintive eyes misled us; that soft, colloquial Urdu weaved its magic, those open hands hugged us in a suffocating embrace — an irresistible package hawking irresistible simplicities, irresistibly drawing us into a quicksand of irresistible hate whose grip is, believe it or not, irresistible.

Yes, it was this man and this man alone, who caused inconceivable damage to the fabric of our society. An invasion next door had nothing to do with it. The influx of more refugees did squat. Drone attacks by a foreign power on our soil were of no concern. That we were paid by the US to fight our war of terror bothered no one. Thousands died in those operations? Meh. Millions of IDPs languishing around the country? Shit happens.

All that equates to nada. It’s all on Imran.

Simplification, Cyril says, is Taliban Khan’s greatest gift. Hmm.

Let’s recap how Imran Khan has managed to mainstream extremism in this great country of ours. He says we should talk to solve militancy, and use force as a last resort. He says drone attacks are a bad thing. He says innocent people die in military operations.

If that isn’t mainstreaming extremism, I don’t know what the fuck is.

What’s more striking is that he’s been saying all that since before the Pakistani version of the Taliban came into being, and he’s been called Taliban Khan since before the TTP as well. More strikingly, he said before we were in this shit storm, that if we continue down this path we will get into a shit storm.

Yet instead of the much maligned, short sighted idiot doing the “I told you so” dance, the far sighted, articulate and reasonable among us are … forget it.

It is incredible the amount of hate this man attracts from the Liberatti (coinage:  ). You would think it was him who helped establish the original Taliban emirate across the border. That was Hazrata Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, before the plight of common Pakistani citizens such as Pervez Musharraf and Condoleezza Rice forced her to renounce the Taliban and come home to fight the menace.

Nor was it him who wanted to become Ameer-ul-Momineen, emulating the one-eyed wonder that is Mullah Omar. That would be democratic hero-stooge of Zia-ul-Haq; Nawaz Sharif. Before the “wants to take on the Taliban but hands are tied by Imran Khan’s rhetoric” and Saudi interests thing.

He is so evil he will impose the barbaric Shariah on us, take away the rights of women, lynch people and everyone will have long thick beards. You know, what Shaheed BB did to Afghanistan, or what Mian Sahab wanted to do here.

He wants to talk with the barbarians, he might give them FATA. Like ANP already did with Swat.

It is insane. Everything that he has never said he will do, but it is beyond doubt that he will do, has already been done by ANP and PPP. Why don’t they get that hate? They didn’t mean it you see, they just, you know, did it. He on the other hand, doesn’t say it, the cunning bastard, but he really means it. Trust us, we know.

Propaganda is a vile thing, and it works. The constant lying and more lying eventually takes its toll, and without the media means to contradict it, it is dangerously polarizing.

The recent expulsion of a PTI delegation from a Shia protest camp in Lahore is a prime example. Imran is the only leader to have gone to the Hazara in Quetta after the terrible tragedies last year. He is the only one who openly condemned the LeJ. And he is getting thrown out because the media will constantly paint him as a villain.

Meanwhile the PMLN pay Malik Ishaq the stipend and LeJ continue to operate out of Raisaini’s territory in Mastung. PPP ministers have LeJ guards, and a PPP local leader owned the bomb factory probably used in the tanker blast against Hazaras.

But facts mean less than nothing when Mickey or Cyril can take a dump and print it in a national newspaper, every week.

The only hate Imran has mainstreamed is the hate of this bunch against Imran Khan. 


  1. I wrote a response to Cyril myself today but must admit, yours is way better.
    My response tackled the emotional aspect only - yours de-constructs Cyril's triangulations to the core. Kudos & thumbs up bro

  2. Nawaz hides behind Army .. PPP plays both sides of the fence .... but lets blame khan who never made any policy

  3. Hate has no logic. That is represented by IK haters. I feel sorry for them.

  4. a very nice article. well written, to the point !!! HighFive Bro :)

  5. I really liked it and especially when u said

    It is insane. Everything that he has never said he will do, but it is beyond doubt that he will do, has already been done by ANP and PPP. Why don’t they get that hate? They didn’t mean it you see, they just, you know, did it. He on the other hand, doesn’t say it, the cunning bastard, but he really means it. Trust us, we know.

  6. and on top of all this what PPP done in the past the WESTERN MEDIA has taken the task of taking back Pakistan to PRE IMRAN KHAN ERA and promoting Bilawal as a RENAISANCE MAN, so they can again play the game they love most. Why cant they ask Bilawal what was BB shaheed doing in USA for weeks before landing in Pakistan, why cant they question the breaking news she gave to the indian channel about OSAMA'S being DEAD and in Zardari's interview he claimed that he is dead, and during PPP rule and Zardari being President they killed another OSAMA and Zardari claimed it as ONE LESS TERRORIST TO WORRY ABOUT. did anyone dare to ask where is the PROOF and who was dumped in the ocean. Only Mubasher Lucman the only anchor proved that it was a fake game with proof of the picture shown as DEAD OBAMA, and the rest Media masterbated and went to bed. Remember the attack on some army base during PPP govt. at it was 2 am when breaking news came through I saw on Dunya TV and within 15 minutes NASEEM become the lead news caster and declared that they we TERRORISTS within 15 minutes no official report from any where and all other media start beating the same drum, how do you know what actually was going on in that barracks, Its is just like on 7/7 london bombing all the tv reporters claimed and showed the location onthe map before the 5th bomb, which never exploded or the 3rd tower going down on nine eleven while reporting live the building was still there, I can go for hours but today on twitter I asked the future leaders the WEST is running a campaign to impose on us to denounce their parents, lets see who is going to do that or is it going to business as usual, selling their ASS/ARSE is more profitable in Dollars/Pounds/german/french franks or yah phir CHUDA HWA pakistani rupya. Good Luck and PEACE.

  7. Bravo.. they talk about "mainstreaming" hate and extremism (burning in hate themselves) as if before IK it was not already pervading the country and all levels of state machnery (except in liberattis' coccooned image of Pakistan)

  8. Very easy to paint Immy K as the victim. The man who hurls accusations at others left, right and center. Immy K is the same man who cries about accountability everywhere yet refuses to apply the same on his own party. Master of u-turns has forever dealt in excuses tu justify his frequent summersaults. The man who will believe every random conspiracy theory if it suits his point of view yet refuses to believe plan facts if they doesn't suit his world view or personal opinion.

    Though the topic is about him selling Pakistan. His talks theory is yet to fully fall flat so he can still do what he does best that is to engage in meaningless rhetoric and go on a repeat mode "i told you so", " i had a foresight", "i predicted this". The man just loves himself nothing else. Even the best of his deeds away from politics have come from self-worship. So missing the larger picture was never really out of question as far as far his testosterone overdosed mindset is concerned. The man who traveled a few times in tribal areas decades ago and claims to understand everything about the tribals is forever clueless. So going on relative and presenting him as a victim is again the same mistake the dumbo himself has been doing all his life.

  9. Keep writing.....

  10. Awesome! As usual :-)

  11. Oh boo hoo. Imran Khan is the victim of propaganda. Thats why minorities attack him. Because thats what people are, irrational dupes of propaganda when they go against the politicians you support. Thats why shias attack PTI folks and thats why Christians attacked PTI banners after the peshawar bombings. Misled by Cyril Almeida and the twitter liberals. If only the english-speaking press had that kind of influence in Pakistan anymore. Talk to most shias, it doesnt matter how much they've read the english press, they have very negative views of Imran Khan. It isnt about propaganda, its lived experience.

    This is feel-good soft-pedalling of Imran Khan's soft-pedalling of the Taliban. Heres some things that might piss off people beyond him only calling for negotiations, ending drones and demanding war as a last resort:
    - Insinuating that the US attacked the Peshawar church even as a Taliban linked group took responsibility and TTP said the attack was in line with sharia
    - Denying links between sectarian violence such as that of LeJ and Taliban (despite numerous sectarian attacks by Taliban, and intermingling of personnel between the groups)
    - Painting Taliban as pashtun nationalist freedom fighters. The same people who killed thousands of Pashtuns, and attacked mosques frequented by Pashtuns that werent sitting well with them.
    - Sending his Punjab chief to the rally celebrating Mumtaz Qadri, with his representative promising in his speech to uphold blasphemy laws.
    - Responding to allegations of support for Ahmedies with language they found insulting, and promising he would uphold laws that victimise them.
    - Equivocating on what shariat means to him, and what it means to the Taliban when he talks about we should allow shariat to be enforced in areas Taliban control. Even as Taliban were very publicly demonstrating what their brand of shariat would be like in Swat (floggings, beheadings) Imran Khan wrote articles and gave interviews on why we shouldnt be afraid of shariat in Swat and elsewhere in Pakistan, as shariat is nice and cuddly. Dont think about all those floggings.
    - After every new horror inflicted by the Taliban, deflecting the conversation to American actions. That isnt people being pedantic about not straying off topic, do that often enough and people start suspecting that you are indulging in spin. In spin, on behalf of whom.. the bombers?

  12. brilliant reply!
    stay blessed!

  13. wow. quite a re-read of history going on here. definitely benazir who set up the taliban - wasn't the ISI was it? sorry, i keep forgetting - when was the last time a democratic government had the power to implement grand strategy foreign policies? was it the political parties that set up the LeJ and LeT?

    sorry wait - US funded our war? i mean, when we set up the taliban, and they come back to bite us, that's not our war, is it?

    go back to late 2008 and early 2009. go through the papers and see the fucking bullshit Imran Khan spouted about the people of Swat, and how being ruled by the Taliban was what they wanted because they never got 'swift justice' from the state of Pakistan.

    calling IK taliban khan is doing a disservice - but he has mainstreamed the taliban because this is the one person, who without fail, has always treated the taliban as something OTHER than the outrageous scumbags they are, with his fucking narratives about the taliban existing as a result of drone attacks and what the fuck not.

  14. Normally politicians are shielded from the public by technocrats but they still have connection on field. Imran's case becomes worse as he is shielded from ground realities both by (less experienced,incapable,wannabe) techocrats and his own rigid+simplistic mindset. Imran was never a man of details so he tends to make broad generalizations & non practical/implementable claims. Khawab ooncha dekhna hai aur gadhon ki team bana kar urnay ki koshish karna hai

  15. Keep writing this must shut those who can only spread hate and hinder idealogy

  16. Brilliant-- quite brilliant! I wrote a much shorter reply to Cyril' s piece a while ago, much in the same vein.
    Keep writing, Ali!

  17. The irony is that while you acknowledge Babar Sattar's piece as fact and logic based, you have yourself given Kamran Shafa and Cyril a lot more attention instead of engaging with Babar Sattar's very good arguments. And here lies the problem with PTI. While Kamran Shafi etc are easily (and rightly) dismissed as PTI haters, there are also those who do not necessarily hate the party but genuinely find its utterances on the terrorism issue problematic. And the party does nothing to address their valid criticism either.

    As for the anger about the language employed by the likes of Cyril and Kamran Shafi, isn't it a case of selective rage when Imran uses similar hate filled language about anyone who calls the WOT our war or supports military operations as an honest opinion? Does it not mainstream hatred when people are labled as 'dollar khor' just because they have a different opinion?