By Rasul Bux Palijo
The broad masses of the people of Pakistan joined the rest of the civilized world in their deepest sense of shock and grief at the horrible tragedy inflicted upon thousands of innocent people of United States and some other countries on 11th September 2001. It is widely believed that such crimes against humanity cannot be justified by any alleged previous crimes of a similar or even worse nature and dimension. The people of the third world countries including those of Pakistan, who have suffered centuries of countless terrorist crimes, in the course of the rule of local tyrants and successive series of foreign aggression and occupation, in all their brutal manifestations, e.g. (to mention only a few recent ones) in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in (Japan), massacres in Indonesia, in Mai Lai in Vietnam, in Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila (Lebanon) and the on-going bombing and starving of Iraq and Zionist fundamentalist revivalist terror in Palestine, abhor all forms of terror against innocent and helpless groups, communities, peoples, states and countries under any allegedly lofty and noble covers e.g. exigencies of war, of restoring law and order, protecting liberty and the free world or promoting a civilizational or super-religious holy mission etc.
While thus rejecting any and all justifications for terror under any colour or pretext whatever, people of the third world and for that matter, of the whole civilized world, cannot shut their eyes and pretend to be unaware of the facts, that those vociferously proclaiming to-day their horror of terror and calling for waging a holy war for saving human civilization, happen to be representatives of exactly those forces which have been practicing, instigating and masterminding terrorist crimes across the four corners of the globe, against innumerable poor and defenseless societies, involving looting, plundering ,murdering, enslaving and de-humanizing of entire countries and continents of this ,our un happy earth, either directly or through using and patronizing such fiends, again to mention only a few recent ones, as Hitlers, Mussolinis, Francos, Salazars, Pinoches, Marcoses, Sohartos and Ariel Sharons, etc. The vast majority of humanity to day continues to bear the scars of such international terrorism.
Nor can it be forgotten that many of those alleged to be involved in terrorism now, are known to belong to those groups which were enlisted, trained, armed, financed and un leashed by imperialism for heinous acts similar in nature to those, which they have allegedly perpetrated now, under the very same cover viz religious extremism which has allegedly been used in the inhuman tragedy of 11th September.
Universal contradiction, motion and change, unity and struggle of opposites, growth and transformation, passing away, replacement and renewal are some of the laws of the development of this our wonderful universe of systems in which, according to the science of universe, nothing is unconditional, permanent, unchangeable or absolute as everything and phenomenon is changeable and in permanent flux.
Allama Iqbal has referred to this phenomenon in many of his immortal couplets:-
Spirit of the west is commercial,
That of the East is hermetic,
There every second is different and new,
Here Time stands still.
Don't measure it with the measures
Of today and tomorrow,
Life is eternal, constantly moving, Ever young.
The stars are old, the heavens outworn,
A growing world in its early youth,
Is what I want.
Never at all impossible that a way farer,
May at some point tell his guide,
" Please leave me alone!"
Humanity has grievously suffered at the hands of dogmatic interpretations of the belief systems leading to intra-religious and inter-religious wars throughout world history, which caused the maimings and killings of billions of innocent human beings and ruined entire countries and civilizations.
Defying the dead dogma, enlightened and wise leaders of the Muslim world, throughout history, like Salahuddin the great, Akbar the great, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mustafa Kamal Pasha, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, , Jamal Abdul Nasser, Abdul Rahim Sukarno and others, instead of treating life as at permanent stand-still, like dead-wood and always keeping their eyes fixed on the past only, while keeping in view all great and good things of the past which continue to be viable in subsequent times and historical environments, fully took into account the changes wrought by changing times and realities and adopted brilliant strategies, flexible tactics and wise policies which ensured success in facing the challenges confronting Muslim societies in their times and situations.
What the Muslim world needs to day is a forward-looking strategy and tactics based upon the awakening of the Muslim masses throughout the world and their unity and struggle based upon objective world, regional and local realities and the spirit and vision of the modern era and march forward, shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the deprived, oppressed and subjugated humanity in general and the Muslim world and the third world in particular, for a world built on the foundations of genuine democracy, social justice, equality, freedom of conscience, national sovereignty, and equality among nations based on mutual co-operation and benefit.
Dogmatic views of world history and of the available and feasible paths of national and social progress and development are bound to lead the Muslim world into historical blind alleys and may even prove to be suicidal. Dogmatism, fundamentalism, revivalism and social reaction are not and have never been the monopoly of the followers of any one particular faith only. At this very point of time, along with Muslim fundamentalism etc, we have Zionist and Hindu fundamentalism etc rampant in Israel and India.
Ruling classes, cliques, states and empires have always used one or the other form of religious extremism as a weapon against the masses to divide, weaken manipulate and subjugate them and to misguide them and send them on a wild goose chase. In recent centuries, European colonizers did so in their colonies including India.
World imperialism and its stooges, who are foisted upon the majority of third world countries as their rulers, including the stooge-tyrants setup to control the Muslim world, are, a vast global-mafia who have enslaved the destinies of billions of starving and suffering human beings.
Religious fundamentalism and revivalism in various forms are engendered and lavishly financed by imperialists to day in Israel, India, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere for their global power-politics.
Their new-found antipathy towards religious extremism and terrorism etc. is selective, selfish and totally hypocritical.
Imperialists have historically been interfering with, invading, misusing and manipulating Afghanistan and committing un-pardonable crimes against the people of Afghanistan since centuries.
Through their highly rewarded clerical and other Afghan and Pakistani agents, imperialism has caused to be committed serious terrorist crimes against both countries and virtually ruined them.
Floods of refugees, Heroin and Kalashnikov culture, sectarian bloodbaths are but a few evils imposed upon us in Pakistan.
People of Pakistan and Afghanistan are suffering and will continue to suffer for a long time because of what has been done to them yesterday and what is being done to them to-day.
The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot be justly punished for the miscarriage of adventurous games that imperialism and its Afghan and Pakistani stooges have been playing with the destinies of the people of the two countries.
Historically, ultra-religious and other-worldly thinking has gripped the minds of poor, helpless and back- ward masses when they have found themselves in a blind alley in a dark historical epoch without any hope of redemption in this world.
This happened in ancient times at the time of the decline and anarchy in the Roman Empire when poor people became prepared to be thrown before hungry lions in the hope of some future in the next world. To-day, with the collapse of the Soviet Union which counterbalanced and kept in check, western imperialist domineering tendencies and adventures and the emergence of a Western, Christian, Sole Super World-Empire and with many of the leaders of the third world including those of the Muslim world, at the beck and call of the new Super-Masters, there seems to be, apparently, no hope of redemption for the wretched billions of the earth in the majority of the continents of the earth.
The monarchs, etc. and 'liberal democratic' rulers of Muslim countries are generally regarded by Muslim masses as corrupt and characterless imperialist stooge- autocrats, unwilling and unable to stand up and fight for the rights of their peoples and countries. Hence the frustration of the Muslim masses and hence the attraction of religious extremism, revivalism and fundamentalism. Those of the Muslim world leaders who, rightly or wrongly, were perceived as enlightened, competent and able and willing to stand up before foreign pressure, e.g. Nasser, Soekarno, Bhutto etc. were frustrated, over- thrown or got murdered through henchmen and replaced by worthless nincompoop toadies. Consequently a number of people from the Muslim masses, who for centuries, have been deliberately kept socially back ward, confounded and heavily doped by imperialism with impractical "airy nothings" through its "liberal" stooges on the one hand and with fanatical revivalist day-dreams, on the other, through clerics ,many of them enlisted, intoxicated and bamboozled by it for its global political games and nefarious schemes and intrigues, regard some fundamentalist leaders as Super-Heroes who have stood-up for their faith and people, as the Heroes of the past.
We in Pakistan could not have been used as such helpless and obedient tools, if we had not been plundered, ravaged, bankrupted and turned into starving beggars by our own rapacious, corrupt and mercenary dominating classes and foreign-appointed ruling cliques, dancing to alien tunes.
Had those been men of the required intellectual and political grade, with some basic honesty, competence and character, they would never have allowed themselves to forget, in their exuberance at suddenly finding themselves in possession of a brand new country, that it was not only the existence of the cultural-historical yearnings and socio-political aspirations of Muslim India, for what they regarded as their proper share in the power structure of India and not only the existence of what they complained to be the super-ego, overconfidence and rigidity of the stand of the majority community, that led to the success of Pakistan movement but also the enlightened liberal democratic interpretation of the Muslim ethos, the up-to-date modern constitutional-political skills and flexible and rational strategy and tactics of a totally modern Muslim leader like Mr.: Mohammad Ali Jinnah which had led their efforts to fruition. Had they not betrayed his liberal democratic patriotic ideals and enlightened socio-political line, when he was fighting for his life after partition, had they not, while paying lip-serves to him, deserted him and his ideology and general political line and joined the camp of imperialism and virtually adopted the fundamentalist ideology of its favorite revivalist clerics who, till but a few years back, had been towing, for decades, the Akhand Bharat line of the great Mahatma Ghandhi , bitterly opposing Pakistan movement and had earned for these services to his line, the grandiloquent title of "Nationalist Muslims" from him, things would have been quite different in Pakistan to-day.
Had they not, further, served their personal interests and those of their foreign masters at the cost of their own country and its deprived and oppressed people, had they not been busy, recklessly pushing their country backwards, year after year, decade after decade, through selfish criminal ventures like imposition of one unit and one Martial law after another, East Pakistan, Baluchistan and Sindh (1983) massacres, the fiascos of 1965 and 1971 wars, enlisting, arming and unleashing ethnic and sectarian terrorist gangs against their own helpless citizens in Sindh, and elsewhere in the country, bankrupting the country through drowning it in a deep sea of indebtedness and insolvency, by incurring huge debts ostensibly taken for national development but known by the whole world, including the creditors themselves, to be destined mainly for the pockets of the members of the ruling cliques for the time being in power and through open loot and plunder of the banks etc., the condition of the country would not have been as desperate as it has become to-day. We as an atomic power, would not have become a laughing stock of the world because of the way that we have collapsed under threats and have virtually surrendered our sovereignty for petty installments of paltry sums of blood-money being announced from time to time in the papers, not only to our shame but to the shame of the people of the third and Muslim worlds. After Afghanistan, Sindh is the worst sufferer of the machinations of imperialists and their Afghan and Pakistani stooges regarding Afghanistan. Sindh has been flooded with Heroin, Kalashnikov, lakhs of hungry, quarrelsome and aggressive Afghan refugees and groups of armed terrorists claiming to be armed with direct mandates from heaven. We are in immediate and present danger of being over-flooded and swept away as the masters of our historical home- land Sindh.
The justice loving people of Pakistan are not alone in demanding that the bombing over Afghanistan be stopped forth- with, foreign forces be recalled and the matter be resolved through civilized processes. Even the fascists and Nazis who caused the horrible deaths of crores of innocent people and the devastation of the whole European continent, were given a proper and regular trial before an International Tribunal at Nuremburg , whose proceedings continued for years. Nobody should be allowed to be the complainant, the prosecutor and the Judge at the same time. This will tell the world at large, that doors to a fair hearing are closed where the sole Super- Power is concerned. The results of such a conduct can be well imagined.
It may not be out of place to add, that a number of fair minded leaders of public opinion in the west (and thank God there are quite a few of them, to the credit of the modern western civilization, in all walks of life.) are supporting these just demands and calling for the establishment of a new just world order which should ensure a fair and just deal for all the deprived and oppresses masses of the entire globe including those of Afghanistan, Palestine Kashmir And Iraq.
Among the steps that need to be taken immediately are the following:-
(a) Bombing of Afghanistan should be stopped forth with.
(b) An independent inquiry tribunal consisting of universally respected world jurists should be established to identify suspects involved in the above events.
(c)The entire International Community should join hands in the interests of world stability and progress to apprehend the above suspects and produce them for trial by the International Criminal Trial Court consisting of international judges including Muslim judges of universally known and acknowledged judicial capacity, integrity and independence.
(d)The judgment after the completion of the entire required judicial process should be implemented as a question of the honor and integrity of the World Community as a whole.
(e) A Commission Of Inquiry under some world respected statesman like Nelson Mandela be appointed under UN auspices to define terrorism, find its causes, identify the forces responsible for breeding, promoting and indulging in terrorism in the past and the present and to suggest ways and means of uprooting terrorism and punishing the culprit individuals, groups and states thus found to have been involved directly or indirectly in terrorism.
(f) The people of Afghanistan should be properly compensated for the havoc played with their society and economy by foreign inspired wars and they should be helped to create a viable economy with international assistance.
(g) Afghan people be helped by International Community to construct for themselves a genuinely independent, enlightened, democratic, patriotic, forward-looking, broad-based Afghan government capable of leading them to a new bright future free of foreign intervention and domination.
(h) An International force consisting of contingents from countries like South Africa, Finland, Switzerland, Bangla Desh, Malaysia and Tanzania etc. be deployed to help maintain peace in Afghanistan during the interim period.
This article was written in 2001