Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #286 - Pakistan's French problem
Food inflation is sky-rocketing. Every economic breath is dependent upon loans. No money is there for repayment. And what are Pakistanis fighting over? What Macron is doing in France! Go figure!
“But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small.” ― Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
The easiest way to sell a god is to make the mobs swear by “him” (for it provides a powerful narrative) and kill everyone who doesn’t.
The difficult way is to search for such an entity or possibility.
Yes, the entire existence is there and I did not make it up. Who did? Or What?
It should be a search.
Not an apriori assumption that forces people to believe in a story.
Europe’s darkest times were when the entire Greco-Roman civilization was destroyed (libraries in Alexandria burned, books lit up, scholars killed, schools closed, and science called blasphemy) by religion. That was countered by the “Age of Enlightenment” where science was held to be the anti-thesis of the religious. If, the scientists argued, something could be explained by logic, then it could be assumed that there is no god. They assumed that the only conception in the world was a religious god that they had encountered. Little realizing that every civilization had sought the answer to the question “Who created the Universe” since mankind started. And everyone came up with their own ways of approaching it. Natives of the Americas, Europe - every part had their own powerfully profound traditions, the Far East, Indian subcontinent, Africa, and Australia-NZ. There was no one way to approach.
What they were fighting was only one conception of god.
Over time, the scientists became as fanatic as the religious ones they had rebelled against. And, all that was subtle and profound in every civilization was missed by them.
Pollution is as much a problem created by our greed as it is created by the lack of alignment of science with our existence. What pollutes nature does so because it is not aligned to it. If it did, it will die and renew just like nature does. What stays inert and hurts everything around it, is fundamentally a poison for the entire existence.
Its genesis lies in the rebellion against the fundamental forces of nature itself.
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Pakistan - a lesson in self-destruction
On October 16, 2020, 18-year-old Abdoullakh Anzorov beheaded Samuel Paty. Paty was a French middle school teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris, who taught history and geography. In a class on freedom of expression, Samuel Paty had shown his students the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammad.
Before he showed the cartoons, Paty did allow his students to either leave the room or look elsewhere if they did not agree with what was being shown.
At that time, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard had called out the crime and said that the murder was an attack on freedom of speech.
Jean-François Ricard, France’s anti-terrorist prosecutor, said the teacher had been “assassinated for teaching” and the attack was an assault on the principle of freedom of expression. “This is the second attack to take place during the Charlie Hebdo trial which shows the high level of terrorist threat we face,” Ricard said. (Source)
The killer, Abdullakh was a refugee who had received a residency card in March 2020. He not just killed Samuel Paty, but also posted a “macabre photo” of the teacher on Twitter while naming him.
New York Times, a leading US paper rapidly turning into a tabloid rag that sympathizes with terrorists while dinging on every principle that “liberals” once stood for, gave it a spin that only its staff can dare to.
As if fanaticism and bigotry needs to be celebrated and integrated? Into what?
When you place inclusivist and exclusivist on the same pedestal and ask why the former is not celebrating the latter who keeps attempting to behead and murder the inclusivist, then you are not being liberal. You are being the worst case of terror architect that the world can have.
On October 2, before the attack on Samuel Paty, Macron had called Islam “a religion in crisis.”
On October 2, Macron called Islam "a religion that is in crisis all over the world" and said the law would help prevent radicalization and foster better integration. Macron said Islamist separatism was "a conscious, theorized, politico-religious project that materializes through repeated deviations from the values of the republic and which often result in the creation of a counter-society." (Source)
As a reaction, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he believes that Macron "needs mental treatment." Unacceptable tone and wordings in the diplomatic arena. France recalled its ambassador from Turkey.
Meanwhile, the response in Arab states became stronger. France dismissed it all.
France said Sunday that boycotts in places like Kuwait, Jordan, and Qatar were "baseless" and "pushed by a radical minority." (Source)
In the aftermath of all this, Macron gave an interview to Aljazeera.
His headline for the world - While he understands that some people were offended by the Mohammad cartoons, he will never accept that someone can justify the use of physical violence because of these cartoons.
At that time, this Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari went on to compare Macron to the Nazis. Yes, a country that considers terrorism as its geopolitical ‘strategic depth’, even has this farce going (Source).
And, I am not talking about the minister, her interesting fashion sense notwithstanding!
As tensions continue to simmer between the European nation and the Islamic world, Shireen Mazari, a former journalist and an active member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s team, wrote that "Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews." She added: "Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won't) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification." (Source)
When pressure mounted, she quickly deleted her tweets. (Source)
One of the rapidly rising Islamist political parties in Pakistani gave a deadline to his government to expel the French ambassador over the cartoons and Macron’s statements. They had extended the deadline to April 20, 2021.
A radical Islamist group in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), has demanded that the government expel French ambassador Marc Barety from the country and end diplomatic ties with France. The TLP has built pressure on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government by staging sit-ins and demonstrations, forcing it to take the matter to the parliament. Earlier, the TLP had set Feb. 16 as the deadline for the government to expel the ambassador. The deadline was extended to April 20 after negotiations between the government and the group. (Source)
The world, which the Pakistani Islamists believe is run by them, is now shivering. The deadline is here and Pakistan has not thrown out the French Ambassador.
Well, Allama Saad Hussain Rizvi, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP)was arrested earlier this week on Monday, April 12th. Which started a country-wide riot in Pakistan.
Since Monday, TLP activists have been demonstrating against the arrest of their leader, Allama Saad Hussain Rizvi. He was detained after announcing countrywide agitation from April 20 to demand the French ambassador’s expulsion and a ban on imports from France in protest against the publication of blasphemous images in that country. The right to protest is contingent upon doing so peacefully. In the ongoing disturbances however, many people have been injured and several killed. (Source)
Why is this TLP such a big deal?
By 2018, it had become a strong party. IN the 2018 Pakistani elections, TLP fielded 178 Candidates to contest general elections from National Assembly Constituencies. None of them won any seat.
But what really made everyone sit up was that this party got over 2.1 million votes. (Source)
The far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has emerged as the country’s fifth-largest party, according to an exit poll survey by Gallup, with analysts predicting it will become a growing legislative force. The religious party, founded in August 2015 and led by hard-line preacher Khadim Hussain Rizvi, is the third largest in Punjab, the country’s breadbasket and most populous province, the survey shows. In a surprise to many political observers, the TLP gained more than 2.2 million votes in the recent election, taking 4 percent from the total vote bank. (Source)
And, because of that clout, the rest of the parties and politicians have been looking at them as potential partners. For example, earlier this year, Pakistan’s ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was planning to create a political alliance with Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP).
A new political alliance between ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is on the cards in the upcoming by-election in NA-249 constituency. The NA-249 seat was vacated after newly elected Senator Faisal Vawda resigned as an MNA. According to details, the possible tie up for NA-249 by-election was discussed between PTI Karachi and TLP leadership during a telephonic conversation on Thursday. Both parties are considering fielding a joint candidate for the seat. (Source)
In fact, one leader from PTI has defected to TLP during this entire imbroglio.
Former lawmaker of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Zahid Durrani on Saturday announced joining the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Speaking at a news conference here, he said that he quit the PTI because of the harsh and discriminatory treatment of Prime Minister Imran Khan towards his party’s lawmakers. Zahid Durrani was elected as MPA on the PTI ticket in the 2013 general election from Mardan city. (Source)
A few years back - in November 2017, TLP and its Jihadi groups got attention when they brought Pakistan to a standstill. For what? An election law that they thought would benefit the Ahmadis. The TLP clerics belong to the Barelvi Islamic school which boasts of some of the most fanatic members in an already Islamist country.
The party was formed when it supported Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of Salman Taseer who was the governor of Punjab, and fighting to defend the rights of a woman who had been accused of blasphemy.
In May 2018, a man claiming to be a TLP member shot and wounded the then Pakistani interior minister, accusing him of blasphemy. Since the 2018 elections, in which the TLP surprised many observers by receiving the fifth-highest vote share in the country, the party has threatened and staged protests on a number of occasions. Most notably, in October and November 2018, the TLP held violent protests after the Supreme Court acquitted a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who had spent eight years on death row on charges of blasphemy. A video statement released by the party said unequivocally that if Asia Bibi were pardoned, “there will be terrible consequences against the government and the judiciary.” (Source)
The federal government has banned the TLP party now in Pakistan.
The notification said the federal government "has reasonable grounds to believe that Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan is engaged in terrorism, acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country, involved in creating anarchy in the country by intimidating the public, caused grievous bodily harm, hurt and death to the personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies and innocent by-standers, attacked civilians and officials, created wide-scale hurdles, threatened, abused and promoted hatred, vandalised and ransacked public and government properties including vehicles and caused arson, blocked essential health supplies to hospitals, and has used, threatened, coerced, intimidated, and overawed the government [and] the public and created sense of fear and insecurity in the society and the public at large". (Source)
Will this ban work? Well, let us listen to Hassan Nisar, one of the top analysts in Pakistan.
Basically, it’s an eyewash.
More than that, even those who are condemning the TLP led rioting are doing so because it will impact Pakistan’s image and how it will be seen on the international stage.
They are not looking at the utterly ridiculous nature of the whole protest!
Let us look at things that someone at least must have brought out in the Pakistani media but did not:
- What Macros said and did was the basis of the Western Liberal system. You can ridicule any god, religion, or way without any fear of violence.
- You may disagree with someone, but you cannot kill him.
- What happens in France is up to the French, not Pakistanis or Muslims around the world. If Muslims in France protest the laws - legally and peacefully without threat or resorting to violence - that is perfectly legitimate. But who the heck are Pakistanis to tell Macron on what to do?
So, no, Pakistan should have arrested the TLP because they were destroying Pakistan up. Not because of how TLP’s words and actions “impacted Pakistan’s image abroad.”
Strangely, as in this video, the commentator agrees completely with the logic of TLP which they used to riot and create anarchy. Just that he thinks that they are “fanatic” and extremist.
And, that is the issue with the moderates in such societies.
They walk 8 of the 10 steps that the Jihadi takes to behead a Kafir (infidel). And, then they want to fight the Jihadi. By then their endorsement of his ways is too deep and too profound for the ship to turn around!
For purposes of safety and precaution, France has asked all its citizens to leave Pakistan immediately. They are not safe in that country anymore.
The country is on the brink of an economic disaster and just last year France gave Pakistan $34.8 million as assistance. Currently, every economic breath that Pakistan takes is on the basis of loans from external sources.
Pakistan’s reliance on foreign commercial loans has been increasing at rapid pace as the country obtained $3.110 billion through this head out of a total of $7.2 billion external loan inflows during the first eight months (July-Feb) period of the current fiscal year. The foreign commercial loans of $3.11 billion and $1 billion from Chinese deposits helped the government to achieve the net transfer of dollar inflows in the current fiscal year. With the combination of foreign commercial loans and safe deposits, Pakistan received over $4.1 billion that was over 50 percent out of the total received foreign dollar inflows from creditors. (Source)
Inflation is at an all-time high. The inflation in food prices is was at 9.1% in March 2021.
Pakistan’s inflation rate has increased to 9.1 percent in the month of March mainly due to increase in food commodities prices. Inflation is increasing from last couple of months. Inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 9.1 percent in March 2021 as against 8.7 percent in February this year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Earlier, in January 2021, inflation eased to 5.7 percent. On month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.4 percent in March 2021 over February. (Source)
No one knows where the next loan to keep the nation afloat will come from. But the leaders and the fanatics in the country are bothered at what France is doing in its own country.
Does that even make sense?
As for the actions that the Pakistani government takes with respect to the terrorists? Here is Richard Clarke, the NSA in the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Just check his frustration.
Pakistan is a country whose Intelligence Chief funded the 9-11 hijackers and later sheltered Osama Bin Laden. (Read Issue #122 - Who REALLY carried out the 9-11 attacks?)
Their only saving grace is that someone is more foolish than they are cunning.
The trickery of the Pakistanis can only be matched by the foolishness and unbelievable masochism of the Americans with respect to the Pakistani actions. Read - Issue #259 - How Pakistan plays with the US
Sunday, 10 AM India Time and Saturday 11.30 PM Central Time in the US, Sunday 3.30 PM Sydney Australia, and Sunday 4.30 AM London Time we, Vivek Agnihotri and I, will be on VRA TV exploring #QuestionsofLife with yet another set of intriguing questions. Why rituals are important? Please do tune in to #IAmBuddha channel on Youtube.
Our last discussion was on an equally explosive topic - “Why people are afraid of Sex?” If you haven’t watched it, please so watch it today and share your comments.
market corner: 10 quick bytes
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Unemployment rises in new surge: The imposition of fresh lockdowns has led to increase in the unemployment rate to over 8% in the first two weeks of April and has the potential of impacting over 120 million unorganized workers besides hurting the economic recovery process, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said. “Frontline casualties of the uncertainties regarding a lockdown have started showing in the data. The first two weeks that ended in April 2021 show an increase in the unemployment rate to over 8% and a fall in the labor participation rate to 40%,” CMIE said. (Source)
Cremation vs Burial during COVID surge: As Covid casualties increase, burial sites are harder to get and the grim development has prompted the Catholic Diocese of Ahmedabad to tell its adherents to consider cremation of corona victims in this extraordinary crisis. The faith leaders of the Parsi community in the city have made a similar appeal. Neither community’s religious practices allow cremation in the last rites in normal situations. (Source)
5-star hotels as COVID Centers in Mumbai: As Mumbai continues to report a massive surge in COVID-19 cases, the authorities have decided to use 4/5 star hotels to accommodate patients who do not require emergency medical intervention. Additionally, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has decided to convert Jaslok Hospital into a dedicated COVID-19 facility. "It is seen that many beds in private hospitals are occupied by patients who do not require emergency medical intervention, such patients can be effectively and adequately managed at isolation facilities such as step-down facilities," MCGM said in a circular. (Source)
Homo Erectus from 2 million years ago: A skull fragment belonging to a Homo erectus found in the 1970s dates back two million years, making it the oldest specimen on record - the previous was dated 1.78 million years old. Paleoanthropologists at Arizona State University determined the age by radiometrically dating rocks where it was first discovered in Kenya. While investigating the scene in Africa, the team also uncovered fossilized teeth from other vertebrates, mostly mammals, which allowed them take a look at the ancient environment in which the Home erectus once lived. (Source)
5000 tons of cosmic dust a year hits the Earth: Every year, our planet encounters dust from comets and asteroids. These interplanetary dust particles pass through our atmosphere and give rise to shooting stars. Some of them reach the ground in the form of micrometeorites. An international program conducted for nearly 20 has determined that 5,200 tons per year of these micrometeorites reach the ground. (Source)
video corner: Welcome to India
Hugo Moussy, a traveler, shares some unbelievably beautiful shots of India in this short but visually brilliant movie. Watch it NOW!
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