Since past 5-6 years, I had been thinking on this one subject – how the Islamic world, and specially Pakistan is full of controversy theories. The propaganda that goes on in the name of “real” stories and even journalism is very negative and has twisted logic. Whatever happens in Pakistan is always somehow done by the either Hindus, Jews or Americans. And whatever happens to Hindus, Jews, and Americans is somehow orchestrated by these communities themselves for – you guessed it right … “to malign Pakistan or the Muslims”. It is incredible that this trio turns out to be one heck of a masochistic and sadistic combination.
The truth, however, is that over the last three decades, Pakistan has defiled all international laws to get the Atomic weapons and then proliferate them apart from create an assembly line of terrorism. All this with assistance from China and either approval, apathy or even assistance from the West (US and Britain being the chief ones). The calculations by Reagan went so horribly wrong in case of the fighting of the Soviets from a long term perspective that if at some point, US may face a nuke attack, one may not be surprised if its origin is Pakistan and its genesis lies in the apathy of the Reagan administration.
In any case, when I read this article from Ayesha Siddique in Dawn titled “Diet of Negativity”, I was pleasantly surprised. I would have not expected any Pakistani to really write about this thing. I find even the most educated and liberal Pakistanis toeing the official line of their administration as if it was a religious duty. I have never heard sane views on Kashmir from anyone, for example. So when someone points out the obvious but hidden in that country from the official and public eye and conscience it is surprising. What Ayesha is saying is that the controversy theorists and negative characters in that country are giving rise to a generation that will not trust anyone and not be able to work together with the world. What may end up in the future in Pakistan is a people who will be closed and just looking at their ownselves in false pride while not engaging with the world, because all the countries in the world would have been rendered problematic by one theory or the other.
Is that the recipe to live in the comity of nations peacefully? Certainly no.
But it also raises an important point – can such youth take his hatred and ignorance to the next level? Of actual terror attacks? I think we are looking at a future when the Nukes of Pakistan will be in the hands of those who will pride in killing others for their own religious “duty”. I find it impossible to believe that current tone and substance of debate in Pakistan can create a generation that has any sense of global camaraderie or empathy. Worse still is that fact that such negativity is not confined to coffee or whisky tables in people’s houses – but it is the staple of national discourse in main TV and radio channels. The level and amount of hatred spewed by Zaid Hamid and Hamid Gul is astonishing.
While it is definitely for Pakistan to see how it wants to engage with the world and how its own actions at home will enable or jeopardize its relationships, the world at large should look at the specter of an entire generation of hate filled youth unable to engage with the world becoming owners and controllers of Nukes in the next 20 years.