Archive for the ‘ Education ’ Category

Global Radicalization to counter Islamic Radicalization?

_88160170_trump-promo

Michelle Obama said in her final speech as first lady: “Our glorious diversity is our faiths, our colours, our creeds. That is not a threat to who we are; it makes us who we are”

The world is undergoing difficulty digesting the reality, there is a large majority of Muslims readily becoming more conscious of their image, which is helping them shape a new world for their existence by questioning their own kin. However, on the other hand a large majority of thousands and millions of people lead by pre-dominantly radicalized leadership are leading NATIONS without division into reactive radicalization, against the Muslim population without assessing the differences among them, the rising rift between the handful of practically “disowned” Muslim terrorists and larger majority of unrecognized Muslim victims and sufferers. It is ironic that nations like Syria, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq are fighting within their own national boundaries violent battle against the radicalization, which is both at the ideological and physical grounds.

Is this where world is moving towards? Suggesting to counter extremism, religious fanaticism by becoming a fanatic? – Assessing by the nature of the said analogy, the result of such strategy would be counterproductive, resulting in a world full of fanatics, running wild to kill one another. If the world has to judge Muslims by the acts of a few than it would be equivalent to: India is a country of rapists or America is the country of gun violence, ignoring the fact that nations cannot be branded over actions of the few.

When countries fight extremism at national level, it is witnessed that they are deliberate and conscious of dealing it with two contrasting strategies, while there is counter strategy to curb terrorism through military, on the other hand there is a softer, a diplomatic strategy to counter extremism that is the root-cause of terrorism.

statue-of-liberty

By the virtue of basic knowledge, which is expected of leadership, it is evident that proclamations aimed at causing polarization in the world is the formula for fanning and feeding the extremism. Nation-branding, religious and racial discrimination presented as a solution to counter the prevalent global problem is only the work of a closed-mind, work of someone who is ignorant, incapable of understanding the dynamics of political deliverance, in the nutshell, this is someone unfit for securing executive position, let alone member of an administrative staff.

If extremism is the solution to extremism, then the terrorists have won already. If they were in favour of Muslims of the world then they would not place them in a position of suffering, they wouldn’t cause them criticism victimization. It is the generic anatomy of the terrorists to produce a situation where the world becomes hostage to their presence, their activities. It is rather interesting and unfortunate, whenever a terrorist attack occurs, Muslims are taken over by the fear of being judged and questioned for their identity, and on the other hand non-Muslims are taken over by fear of Muslims for being the cause of the attack. The common factor here is indisputably the phenomenon of fear, which is THE objective of the terrorists. According to research conducted by various quarters, following are the average goals of terrorist groups:

  • To spread FEAR among the population
  • To become relevant in the global politics
  • To garner support from certain community who they proclaim to be fighting for
  • To make headlines by carrying significant actions, attacking monumental places

It is quite evident that the basic motives of terrorist groups around the world are quite similar; therefore, this homogeneity of purpose should be utilized as a platform for unity among the victims of terrorist in order to form a counter terrorism strategy.

How to deal with terrorism?

state-terrorism

Numerous studies relating to terrorism have suggested that there are direct psychological effects of terrorism on the individuals from all around the world. It is unfortunate that Donald Trump’s new immigration policy based on global polarization and radicalization would do little to improve the situation. Donald Trump’s aggressively rigid policy for countering terrorism is already producing negative impact, causing him criticism and protests inside United States and globally. On the contrary, to take a lead from where Obama presidency came to an end, he could initiate a more globally inclusive policy as far as countering terrorism in concerned.

  • Forming a global alliance for countering terrorism, including local Muslim population alongside the leadership.
  • One of the few Obama talents was his communication skills, Mr. Trump would have been appreciated more than the criticism coming his way for being vocal about his globally inclusive policy.
  • Taking advantage of Muslim population growing weary of their racial branding by bringing them in the fold of global counter terrorism policy
  • Focus on countering terrorism rather countering cultural beliefs. USA growing more accepting towards to non western cultures, which would help USA changing the perception of the country in larger Muslim population.

This is rather naïve to expect peace by holding “no entry” signs in your hands. Logic dies indeed, from where Trump leads.

 

 

5 benefits of having critical thinking skills

developing your critical thinking skills

How critical thinking needs to pervade our lives


Critical thinking, its benefits and why it has become a necessity

Often times we think about critical thinking as some far off concept that cannot ever be understood by the average person.

100% of the times we’re wrong about this concept and often put it off because it “seems” difficult.

100% of the time, critical thinking is much easier to do than you think.

But it involves some work on your part.

It’s like a coffee table from Ikea furniture store: you buy the whole coffee table and the benefits that come with it, but some assembly is required on your part.

Here are 5 benefits of having critical thinking skills and what they can do to further improve your lifestyle:

1) You’ll be able to measure things that matter the most

This has to be the most obvious benefit of the said strategy…

The way you think about things and why you need to measure a few of them becomes glaringly obvious when you take their impact on your life into account.

For instance, how many push ups you were able to do today vs. how many you did yesterday may seem like a trivial matter.

But compounded over time, you’ll come to realize that you measuring your push ups each day will aid you in making informed decisions about your health.

Conversely, not doing so will keep you in a state of guesswork and confusion.

The choice to develop your critical thinking skills is so lopsided in its favor that it’s hard to ignore such a wonderful strategy for your daily activities.

Building on the example of exercising every day…you can also measure the amount of money you have in your bank account.

So that you don’t get any nasty surprises the next time you check your account. You’ll have to measure these things each day.

You don’t have to become a money-obsessed goblin-like creature, but you DO have to think critically about where to invest your money for maximum returns.

You can literally apply this concept anywhere in your life.

We find this approach to be particularly useful when attempting to change a certain aspect of one’s life on a permanent basis.

2) You’ll learn to preload your movements and focus viscerally on your goals more often

The best gift you can give yourself is to be able to critically think about a situation and develop a response about that situation within mere seconds.

Often times, these situations require deep thinking skills, and you should be able to develop these given enough time and practice.

The more you practice to think about your goals in a creative way, the more you’ll be able to think critically (and deeper) about them.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what foods to eat to keep yourself healthy and disease free.

But you DO have to put in the work to become healthier every day.

3)  Seeing alternative and easier routes becomes almost second nature to you

The more critical thinking skills you develop the more you’ll be able to see problems and their solutions.

You will be more eager to solve these problems rather than shutting yourself out of a possible opportunity to make your life better.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more from life, hence, you also have to understand what you NEED to do in order to get to where you want to be.

The only real way of doing this is to develop your critical thinking skills in a manner that is most effective and is faster than other more slower methods.

Seeing easier routes and being able to solve your problems faster is a true gift of intelligence!

Hence, not wanting to develop your critical thinking skills is the collective suicide of the mind and physical well-being of the body.

4) Critical thinking skills can grant you some level of oversight in some very limited cases

Oversight is not the best thing for you when you’re looking to launch your business or become healthy.

But you do need to realize that developing the said skills will allow you a lot of leverage over your own life.

Having done so will allow you some oversight over very limited cases.

Such as thinking about what your peers will do next, what your parents and siblings think about you, and what the society thinks of you in general.

This leverage will allow you to develop your game to the maximum potential and become obsessed with the ‘right’ thing to do instead of worrying what consequences it might bring.

5) You’ll unlock the ability to leverage your position more often

Think of developing your critical thinking skills as a tiered approach.

At the lowest tier of critical thinking, you develop a strong sense of right and wrong.

And the highest tier of critical thinking, you can do whatever you want keeping the rights and wrongs in mind – with maximum leverage!

And as Archimedes once said:

Give me a ‘lever’ long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I will move the world.

– Archimedes

This ‘lever’ of Archimedes can be thought of as both physical and metaphorical.

In our example, the physical leverage is having wealth of information (knowledge) and money (currency).

Whereas the metaphorical leverage is having moral high ground and the ability to think fast and act fast.

As you might’ve already come to the conclusion that critical thinking skills are of vital importance for, we want you to take a minute and absorb all that information.

Think about what it means to be able to leverage yourself in a brutally competitive world and what contributions you might be able to bring to the table.

Critically thinking in the past, present, and future

In the past, you may not have been aware of your critical thinking skills to a large extent, but that’s fine.

Because you can easily develop these skills in your present by (obviously) starting now.

By starting now, and committing yourself to developing such an essential life skill will make you appreciate life more and would make it infinitely easier to move around the world on pure and righteous intentions.

The future represents your potential and what you can do to develop it further.

You can always do certain things easier and more effectively than you did in the past, but keep in mind that the simplest solutions are often the best ones.

Having said that, these “simple” solutions might not be so easy to implement and that’s where your critical thinking skills come in handy.

What you’ll need to do in the next few hours in order to develop these skills:

  • Join a critical-think club or study
  • Take inventory of everything that you own and what you want to do with it all
  • Take a mental inventory of everything that you need in order to start building your life around leverage
  • Develop the ability to think critically by reading books on the subject matter and developing your curiosity
  • Develop a taste for knowledge and taking up small-yet-doable projects which can help you develop your skills further

As you can see, this is not a complicated process.

It starts in the mind and then glosses over the physical aspect of what you need to do in order to become a critical thinker.

When you start you’ll find yourself often balking at the fact that you didn’t do this sooner, but that’s okay because that’s how you live and grow.

[End]

Taking economic growth of Pakistan on a fast track

How to solve Pakistan’s economic crisis

As we all are very much aware of what exactly needs to be done in order to help the Pakistani nation get back to its economic roots, we’re still very far from achieving these goals.

The average Pakistani is illiterate, brainwashed, and frankly, not that intelligent.

The fact that most Pakistanis think about going to a “prestigious school” in the hopes of one day becoming a “professional” is evidence enough in itself.

We’re given HORRIBLE advice by our parents, our siblings, our cousins, and our relatives.

And from a very young age too…

“Beta, you have to be SERIOUS about life! Get a good job, find a good wife, and settle down.”

No thanks!

I would rather not have a job I’d grow to hate, and a wife who’d eventually cheat on me and steal my children.

[Says the modern man].

“I’d rather make money via other methods, and spend a few hours of the day with random women whom I won’t ever meet again – even if they secretly father my child.”

The reason for this kind of throwback at the society is self-evident [to see].

Simply because when a 20 something-year-old sees the system for what it is and what his parents have taught him, he gets disappointed, disillusioned and feels extremely defeated.

The only reason a country’s economy grows is the fact that every man has a clear direction in life and can teach his children the subject of financial freedom.

Whereas brown parents (specifically Pakistani parents) teach their kids on how to become a good corporate slave.

Hey, if you’re okay with your enslavement, by all means, keep grinding the pavement until life passes you by.

In the end, you’ll have nothing and no one to blame but yourself for having the amount of regrets you have in life.

By actively choosing to be a sheep, you’ve turned off your potential to become rich and indulgent, and hey, who doesn’t like a shiny Lamborghini?

The world doesn’t have to like you. In fact, the world HATES Muslims (especially if they’re Pakistani)…you just have to do what you do best.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be ahead of everyone else. Making stockpiles of money and investing it in smarter ways that further the Pakistani cause.

But you won’t do that until you realize that you HAVE to read books that contain material that offends the 99.9% of the planet. If you can do that, then be ready to become a much more formidable force than anyone can ever see in their lifetime.

The best part about seeing yourself as different is that you don’t have to see yourself as different. You either know you’re different, or you don’t.

A person walking down the street isn’t any better at identifying the personality traits that set them apart from a person living in a cozy condominium just down the street.

In order to believe in your difference of attitude and opinion, you need to have the ‘it’ factor.

That ‘it’ factor involves focusing on one goal and making it something that only you can achieve at any given time.

This goal must be unique to you and ONLY you – anyone else doesn’t matter.

Economically speaking, the best practice only comes forward when we look at things objectively rather than subjectively (Or more accurately a mix of the two).

Even in Koran, when we read verses which go over the economic aspects of Islamic society, they become (for all intents and purposes) strictly objective.

Their goal isn’t to incite an emotional fervor amongst the masses, but rather to highlight the fact that an unjust economic model is unacceptable in the sights of the Creator.

So then how does an average Pakistani break past these obstacles and slew of indifferent economic systems in order to establish a fairer and just one?

The solution isn’t to re-introduce gold-standard currency within the system as an alternative to more mainstream banking system.

It’s simply introducing a gold-standard that works in conjunction with the modern banking system in order to reduce the unjust inflammation in the markets and help the economically downtrodden, get back on their feet.

Capitalism obviously doesn’t provide such a benevolent system, to begin with.

It has more to do with survival of the fittest rather than survival of the most just.

No matter how you slice the pie, you only get one conclusion from this philosophical banter that engulfs the current generation of Pakistanis.

Can Capitalism be used for good? Absolutely it can!

Capitalism is one of the few systems in the world that encourages brutal competition for all men and women.

The better you make yourself, the better you’ll do in the system. However, it shouldn’t be exploited by making the rich even richer by devaluing the currency of exchange.

A more just and prosperous model is to allow the currency to circulate frequently throughout the country’s borders.

If the paper fiat currency seems a little fragile, then introduce plastic coated notes which don’t deteriorate as easily and educate people in matters of smarter money management.

Is then Capitalism the panacea to economic hunger?

Yes, and no.

Let’s begin with the ‘no’ first.

The no comes in when we look at the following factors:

  • Capitalism encourages survival of the fittest model when we already know that model isn’t required anymore (read: technological advancements)
  • Capitalism is a failed system on the basis that it fails to provide the basic fundamental human rights to the general public of a country
  • Capitalism is a feudal system that seeks to suffocate the weak to death whereas rewarding the strong
  • Capitalism breeds psychopaths who’ll do anything to get their hands on other people’s wealth (Read: George Soros)
  • Capitalism has harbored unprecedented levels of war, destruction, genocide and 2 world wars (we’re already on the brink of a third one!)

As you can see, Capitalism isn’t exactly the ideal candidate for growing the moral fundamentals of a society.

It isn’t a just model, it’s a model that “gets results” for those in control, no matter how immoral or destructive they may be.

The ‘yes’ part entails the following:

  • Capitalism allows for a creative pursuit for people of all walks of life
  • Capitalism incites survival of the fittest, so people will do their utmost best in any situation
  • Capitalism brings out the best in people when used as a vehicle to generate wealth and resources in the short term
  • Capitalism is the most effective way of ensuring continued growth of an economy through periodic cycles of boom and bust

Equally as important to notice is that fact that Capitalism has as many positives as it has negatives.

Though, its nature is like that of an alcoholic drink, it must be stated here that Capitalism isn’t the most efficient engine of growth over the long term or sustainable periods of time.

In order for a long-term system to exist it must exhibit at least 6 of the 7 fundamental values of any economic model:

  1. It has to be just
  2. It has to be sustainable through recycling of the money through the society
  3. It has to ensure that no one can manipulate the system in order to hurt other people
  4. It has to be a model that can be sustained over a long period of time – infinity
  5. It has to allow for exponential growth of an individual and as well as the collective economy of a society
  6. It has to display a benevolent characteristic where it’ll sustain anyone who’s observing the system from the outside
  7. It has to be global in nature, meaning that anyone should be able to implement it with ease and reap the rewards it brings

As we can see Capitalism only displays 2 of these characteristics.

I’ll let you guess which ones….

An alternative economic model

As defined in the Koran, such an economic model is not only possible but also existed in the 6th century BCE.

Caliph Omar (RA) displayed what a just economic model looks like by implementing all 7 criteria of the economic model listed above.

He not only implemented the 7 characteristics but also expanded on them on a more detailed subject matter (a topic for a later discourse).

Of course, this economic model can only be implemented if it meets 6/7 of the characteristics of a sustainable, and just economy.

The implementation of this economic model can be very tricky to understand at first…

But rest assured it’s not very difficult to implement. It’s difficult to implement for the landlords of course because it threatens their hegemonic takeover of the people’s lands.

If all of us collectively as individuals (quite a contradictory concept!) understand our WHY then we’ll have absolutely no difficulty in seeing our world from a more empathetic point of view.

Which is the point of a just economy in the first place!

This alternative economic model can never exist in the place of psychopathy and indifference. That’s one of the hardest conditions and limitations for most people of the world to accept – unfortunately.

Economic reformation of the State Bank of Pakistan

In order to economically reform the State Bank of Pakistan, one must understand the purpose for which the State Bank was created.

As we all know, the State Bank was created under the auspices of the great leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

He created this bank in order to present the world with an experimentative model that’ll successfully implement an economic model that is sustainable over the long term while at the same time being very just in nature.

When the Koran declares ‘war’ on interest-based economies, it does so with good reason.

That reason is that it leaves the wealthy people with all the wealth and resources in the land, while at the same time impoverishing the rest of the populace.

Such a system is unacceptable for Koran, and also the great leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

We can go back to those roots BUT, only if they’re clearly defined and we collectively as individuals (that pesky English idiom again!) clearly understand the WHY of this system’s existence.

The whole mess created in Pakistan in the first place arises from the fact that there’s too much confusion among the masses about which economic model they should implement.

The current banking model under way in Pakistan is extremely unjust and follows the footsteps of brutal Capitalism where landlords control most of the wealth and resources of the country.

Such a model is classic feudalism which undermines the democratic power (if we are to use that term slightly more freely) of a country and replaces it with chaos and injustice.

To reform the State Bank of Pakistan, the Pakistanis working in the State Bank itself can implement these WHYs in their daily lives:

  • Ask yourself why are you coming to work?
  • Ask yourself why are you perpetuating Capitalism, when our Quaid has already given us our direction?
  • Ask yourself why is the State Bank responsible for the safety of the wealth and happiness of an average Pakistani citizen?
  • Ask yourself why is it important for you to keep working in an environment that’s inherently destructive to you and the average Pakistani citizen?
  • Ask yourself why must you continue to work under bosses that berate and belittle you when you can easily mount a mutiny and demand reprieve?

See, if you can’t do these things, then rest assured, the unjust economy will keep eating Pakistan alive.

The sooner each of us realizes what we need to do in order to implement a juster economic model, the sooner we can get Pakistan’s economy back on track.

Another question to ask ourselves is why are our leaders purposefully making the great country of Pakistan a hellish place to live in?

Why are they forcing people to leave Pakistan and abandon their well-settled homes?

Why are they taking over property that doesn’t belong to them in the first place?

The answer is inherently simple: it’s due to the hegemony of psychopaths like George Soros who’re continuously blackmailing and arm-twisting our leaders into submission.

These psychopaths cannot be allowed to succeed or “remake” the world in their own image.

They seek to destroy the world and burn all of its resources to oblivion than to allow the “little guy” to live a happy life as well.

They want to see the average world citizen burn in agony and suffer the consequence of not having enough resources, and stupidity.

So what can an average Pakistani citizen like ‘you’ can do?

Easy, start by understanding what an economic model really is.

What does it represent, and what it does to keep a society functional.

Read more books on financial management and asset allocation that can help you understand the depth and the width of this phenomenon.

Playing games or burning each other’s tail all day long won’t get you the results you seek.

You must be willing to seek knowledge and then perpetuate it around you as well.

Helping others seek out their purpose and their WHY in this world and living it as well.

The inherent human nature is to help others. That’s how we get ultimate form of satisfaction.

Help others by first helping yourself see the gravity of your situation and coming to grips with it.

And then in good faith extending your hand towards helping your fellow human being live at par to where you’re already living.

End.

Forget literacy, we stand for education

download

There was chaos in the air. Shrill voices and displeasing exchange of words were tearing through my ear drum, before I could make my way to reach Masjid Al Haram’s women section after performing ablution in an underground washing area. I witnessed a roving herd of savages in the middle of the holy city of Makkah, I was almost in a state of unspeakable awe at the sight of my fellow compatriots among various nationalities. Pakistanis traveling abroad have not realized their national responsibility representing their national identity in a multi-national surrounding, which includes religious tourism/pilgrimage. It was nothing less than an horrific revelation to me while I witnessed innumerable Pakistanis, most of them coming from rural areas of Punjab, who were either completely clueless of the entire idea of pilgrimage or going almost neurotic behaving like animals triumphing their successful barn-escape at sudden exposure to a foreign land and culture.

“There is a difference between literacy and education” – and that explain why Pakistan is at 60% literacy rate. That one phrase I read somewhere, some time ago kept flashing through my brain, as if it was a lost piece to a jigsaw puzzle. Quite disappointing though, it was setting up a new space for an internal debate that was about to explode in my mind, leading me to writing this blog. Apparently, the government of Pakistan seems quite forward looking and “strategically” planning a system of infra structural development influenced from Turkey or China, flaunting some red-riding-hood inspired buses flying through newly-built routes crossing over the city. Interestingly, such a development comes way down the list of “good” governance in a country where education is still a scarcity!

People need basic education, which does sound cliched, yet that is exactly the need of the time. No we do not need Metro buses, Orange lines or Disneylands, we need an emergency announcement for free-of-cost compulsory public ethics crash course in order to become capable of operating in a system our dear government is hasting to deliver to the sheeple they have breeded over the period of time. To visitors, who are conscious enough of their responsibility as nationals of this country, it is an excessive dose of embarrassment, as it was for me to find myself stuck among Pakistanis from Uranus visiting planet earth for the first time in their lives.

It seems, the problem doesn’t only lie at the bottom, it is a vicious trickle-down-affect in process, in whole clock-wise circles, starting from the top. The government which is oblivious of its responsibility other than developing foreign relations with a country on the basis of some vague religion-inspired ideology is not on the right path of development goals, and this is where Pakistan is headed. It is noteworthy that most of other Muslim countries plan their pilgrimage tours to Makkah and Medina through group assistance, who are pre trained, pre planned and pre organized in order to avoid uncalled for happenings during their stay in Makkah & Madina. For instance , unavailability of proper meals/food, getting lost while on their way to the destination, incomplete or wrong performance of religious practices required to be performed during pilgrimage, language barrier problems. Unfortunately, Pakistanis who are noticeably the largest community from among average religious tourists to Makkah & Medina fall prey to such unfortunate happenings most commonly. Absence of pre guidance many old and under-educated Pakistani pilgrims are seen parting from their families losing directions on their way to destination or finding themselves stuck in many such events. Nevertheless, it is also noteworthy that Saudi assistance required for resolution of such issues is either delayed, absent or simply based on an attitude driven by racism and national-discrimination towards Pakistani pilgrims. Therefore, it magnifies the conspicuous lack of bilateral commitment between two “brotherly” countries when it comes to one of the most important part of the deal, religion. The government of Pakistan is apparently more concerned about keeping the “brotherly” part handy for more serious problems, like offshore political asylums e.g. and not public diplomacy, or public welfare.

Undoubtedly, Saudi-Pakistan relations are based upon deep-rooted religious/spiritual lines, however it shall be observed that whether these relations have translated into deep-rooted socio-economic relations or are equivalent to boastful speeches and empty promises made during election period in Pakistan?

Path dependency is an idea that tries to explain the continued use of a practice based on historical preference or use. This holds true even if newer, more efficient practices are available due to the previous ease of experience and practice. Path dependency occurs because it is often easier or more cost effective to simply continue along an already set path than to create an entirely new one. In this respect, Pakistan stands quite high at the pedestal of becoming a path-dependent country, where relations, policies and strategies are formulated on the basis of historically set paths based on religious ties, common beliefs or simply because of the lack of innovation.

Especially in the area of diplomacy, Pakistan needs innovation, a strategic road map based on pragmatism and real politick , not mere emotionalism and “brotherly” sweet-talk curtailing on the essence of diplomacy, the national interest of the state.

file (1)

Pakistan’s relations with India are evidently rough and uncomfortable, having fought three wars and continuously trembling diplomatic ties, while on the other hand the current Indian government of BJP having strong ties with Hindu nationalism and a flaunting history of Muslim massacre and persecution has not barred Saudi Arabia from giving a warmest reception of the time to Narendre Modi while he toured Saudi Arabia. Henceforth, this is a reminder to Pakistan’s leaders that international relations are based on national interest & not on vague religion-based ideology. Moreover, during the visit, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz conferred the kingdom’s highest civilian award, The king Abdul Aziz order, on Modi.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia maintains economic relations with all the great powers of west and others including Israel (behind the door diplomacy), which again reminds our leadership that foreign relations are a much greater game than ideological differences and countries can go to great length for national interest. The rise of al-Qaida; serious bribery and corruption scandals and diplomatic rifts; recurring oil crises; deepening concern over Saudi funding for extremist religious teaching and its links to terrorism; escalating rows about egregious human rights abuses and the repression of women, and most recently, the Syrian calamity and the ascendancy of the black-shirted head-cutters of Islamic State, Saudi Arabia survives it all with diplomatic relations, why not Pakistan?

Therefore, Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations should move beyond the “sweet talk” to pragmatism resolving real problems faced by Pakistani diaspora there and those touring the kingdom for rendering religious obligations.

It is worth mentioning that Prophet Muhammad PBUH loved the cities of Medina & Makkah, which re instates the notion that one must not disregard their place of identity, Islam encourages positivity, and prohibits spread of fitnah/mischief. It is indeed our religious duty as much as it is a national duty to behave as literate, modern, and humble individuals, in order to make a place for ourselves as “good” Muslims representing our national identity as Pakistanis.

Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani (Political activist of Islamic modernism from late 19th century) composed in rhymed prose an ironic commentary on the misunderstanding he evoked in Afghanistan (and would soon evoke in many other countries) in relation with intricate religious orientations that need to be removed by moving beyond them:

The English people believe me a Russian

The Muslim think me a Zoroastrian

The Sunnis think me a Shiite

And the Shiite think me an enemy of Ali

Some of the friends of the four companions have believed me a wahhabi

Some of the virtuous Imamites have imagined me a Babi

The theists have imagined me a materialist

And the pious a sinner bereft of piety

The learned have considered me an unbelieving sinner

Neither does the unbeliever call me to him

Nor the Muslim recognize me as his own

Banished from the mosque and rejected by the temple

I am perplexed as to whom I should depend on and whom I should fight

The rejection of one makes the friends firm against its opposite

There is no way of escape for me to flee the grasp of one group

There is no fixed abode for me to fight the other party

Seated in Bala Hisar in Kabul, my hands tied and my legs

Broken, I want to see what the curtain of the unknown will

Deign to reveal to me and what fate the turning of this malevolent

Firmament has in store for me.

Quest of Accountability

 

media20literacy.jpgDeviating from actual issues surrounding public welfare while cherry picking non-issues, without heeding the harm it causes to national interest especially during time country is undergoing security challenges, fighting a war within, laying lives – Yes, that does sound like Pakistan’s relentlessly free-of-principle media. It is not a matter of much talked about freedom of expression but matter of wisdom and common principle stance regarding areas of national significance, which Pakistan’s morally-bankrupting media needs to learn. Despite all due respect to media personnel killed in the line of their duties, it doesn’t make members of the club exempted from recognizing missing pieces of the argument presented in favour of media. PILDAT Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency organized Right to Information conference for the awareness of academia and civil society stressing upon utilizing this fundamental right as tool for governmental accountability. Whereas, much was not discussed about including media under the radar, to be held accountable utilizing RTI. To top it all, towing his shallow line of argument, detracking the participants from substantial discussion to rather a non-issue targeting Pakistan military as one of the anti-state agenda long carried out by his father company, Mr. Azaz Syed took over as speaker adding his views to discussion on RTI as official correspondent from Geo television network present in PILDAT conference.

As a matter of fact, media yet again displays its obsession with Armed forces of Pakistan, Geo television network in particular, so much so that their military-phobia spills out the rim of glass when the subject of discussion is not even a kilometre close to military or security. Therefore, it shall be made part of constitution, viewing changes in the system an amendment regarding media accountability shall be brought about, formulation of an independent media accountability cell is need of the time.

However, highlighting the event were Indian delegation invited to share their own struggle and journey in order to achieve RTI for people in India who were uncontested source of inspiration during the two day conference. It was duly reflected that Anjali Bharadwaj, co-convenor National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, New Delhi and Amrita Johar, Director Information and Research, Satark Nagarik Sangathan (SNS), New Delhi were highly motivated and active workers in their respective cause of ensuring RTI and spreading awareness regarding the implementation of RTI largely for governance and accountability purpose, focused and matter-of-fact presentations from cross-border participants were markedly based upon public welfare. It was noteworthy, the process of achieving the Right of Information in India has undergone rigorous governmental accountability, especially questioned by the grass root voter after acquisition of RTI making the entire experience a precedence to follow for many other democratic countries. The model presented for the process of ensuring RTI carried stark resemblance with bottom-up policy approach, where advocacy groups are formulated to hold local administrative representatives responsible for mending infrastructural loopholes in each district by releasing a performance-based report card evaluating each representative before the election.

Meanwhile, Mr. Azaz Syed had expressed his reservation over COAS General Raheel Sharif having being given excessive limelight alongside the Prime Minister of Pakistan on official visits abroad. According to him COAS, or to say the armed forces as an institution is constitutionally subordinate to the elected government, where he particularly pointed out the place of Minister of Defence is higher than that of COAS. “”While points raised by Mr. Azaz Syed were misguided and blatantly irrelevant to the subject of RTI being discussed mainly because, he did not have an answer to from what perspective does his question on seniority of COAS serves interest of the general public. Moreover, while raising a question over accountability of Indian military under Indian movement of RTI, Ms. Anjali Bharadwaj explicitly reinstated that military in India is not held accountable under RTI, nevertheless military’s personal and indigenous accountability mechanism exist within its own jurisdiction. She also agreed to a commonly believed notion that Indian media is run on predetermined set national agenda. Therefore, it brings further shame to Pakistan’s pseudo-liberal media and its touts endlessly working opposite the country’s interest in times of decisive internal and external struggles.

Pakistani information commissioners representing Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were part of the panel to inform participants over the state of Right to Information in their respective regions. While Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has lead the case with technologically advancing in the field developing E-governance as their focus, to which questions were raised as to how the large majority incapable of accessing the internet would benefit turned out as an established constraint unlike the Indian counterparts, who are highly grass root in their approach.

Interestingly, Pakistan have had quite a number of legislations,policy formulations, parliamentary acts passed addressing several issues, including that of Terrorism and  Right to Information especially after the resumption of democracy over the last one decade. However, implementation and mass awareness accessible for the general public regarding these basic rights has not been worked out, which shall be considered as lack of political will and failure of democratic ideals long awaited to be resumed. Cosmetic contouring surrounding policy and governance in Pakistan is genuinely the only commendable part when it comes to public welfare, which can also easily be termed as instrument used to veil corrupt political saboteurs exploiting public resources under the garb of democracy.

‘’’’ Beside influential verbal discussions and presentations, there was a conspicuous difference of attitude between both Indian and Pakistani participants. Where Indian delegates were witnessed keeping public interest as touchstone for successful governance and democracy, Pakistani participants presented varying opinion motivated to prove personal achievements side lining mass public welfare. This clearly shows that Pakistan’s democracy is a failure not because military coups have been taking place toppling civil governments frequently, it in fact proves that Pakistan’s civil administration lacks the behaviour and political will which is required for a successful democratic system.

Beyond Security Policies

For the first time in the history of Pakistan’s extremism sickness, in 2014 a National internal security policy NISP was formulated to cure the decaying state structure plagued and clawed by extremism. All appears spotless at the moment one reads through respective draft of the policy, however failure at tangible implementation and expected outcome leaves a bad taste in mouth, which vehemently exposes the fragility of the security apparatus. As a matter of fact, Pakistan has formulated several but timely anti terrorism policies over the period of time, from among them, Suppression of Terrorist Activities Ordinance enacted in 1975 by Z.A.Bhutto was first in line followed by many such attempts till date. Horrifically, the menace of terrorism has seeped deeper into the rows of our daily lives however it remains unnoticed and keeps draining its way silently through weakest corners until each time an APS happens. Sadly, realization that normalcy is becoming history hits the core of the social fabric only when the blood leaves its strongest taste.

file

Impediment

The first and the foremost obstacle in the way of such security lapse is none other than something quite intangible, though its significance is greater than any other requisite for tackling terrorism; a mindset. But where does that come from? – It comes from education. To instill the students, the citizens with the concept of tolerance, harmony, civil liberties, fairplay, socio economic liberties, which may sound quite an obsolete terminologies repeatedly stated to leave an impression of goodwill, as a matter of fact there has not been such need of these qualities ever more before. Undoubtedly, Pakistan is facing serious traditional and nontraditional threats, where only a proactive national narrative could make it possible to survive through it. Sectarianism, provincialism, fanaticism, extremism – all the “isms’ have adversely affected country’s economic stability and social harmony. A national narrative though does not function like a  magic wand and cannot be termed as an alternative to instant scientific solution, it takes dedication and a well planned roadmap in order to achieve desired destination. Thus a national narrative does sets collective goals to be achieved in a polarizing national settings while it lubricates the machinery frequently fluctuating over unidentified problems i.e. extremism, radicalization etc. Why not initiation of nation wide counter terrorism/extremism curriculum development taking the lead in this case? – In order to make it appear less intimidating, it could be titled as Peace studies, where students would be given a chance to become future torch bearers to ensure future peace building measures. Moreover, such a need has been recognized in contents of National Counter Terrorism Authority of Pakistan NACTA, National Action Plan NAP and National Internal Security Policy NISP emphasizing for a robust civil-military cooperation or the concept of nation wide inclusive-policy, where public is largely engaged in highlighting the problem areas, assisting the intelligence, and disowning any activities endorsing extremist sentiments.

Countering Ideological Extremism

The role of extremism itself has a history in the country, which emanates from certain school of thoughts having adopted ideologies based on politico-religious grounds, ethno-nationalism, separatism or racism. Notwithstanding, Pakistan is unique in its social setting, where general public, or the national outlook is traditionally associated with the spirit of Islam, however disapproving the dystopia, an average Pakistani citizen does not endorse violent acts or sentiments of extremism, yet they also explicitly denounce extreme activities disregarding religious ideals held significantly close as an influence in day-to-day environment. Unlike China’s Uighur anti-extremism measures or Tajikistan’s law enforcement personnel taking stringent steps to curb rising extremism in country, shaving 13,000 beards and banning Arabic-sounding names like Muhammad and convincing women to give up head scarves, Pakistan is more sensitive to such uncompromising measures thus only approving of more balanced stance where religious sanctity remain intact. Therefore, this conspicuous element further highlights the need of a distinct national narrative, a roadmap defining contours of country’s ideological foundations in order to counter extremism and drawing much needed lines between average religious practices and unacceptable extremism.

Moreover, the founder of Pakistan himself endorsed an ideology for his prospective country to be more pluralist and heterogeneous – Jinnah’s world view had no place for religious priests with a divine mission. He said in February 1948: “In any case Pakistan is NOT going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians and Parsis – but they are ALL Pakistanis. They will enjoy the SAME rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.

file (1)

Association of academia

Comprehensive Response Plan CRP as detailed in NISP entails engagement of broad based stakeholders including general public, intelligentsia, religious scholars, media and academia in state’s fight against terrorism. The most basic challenge faced by the state in countering extremisms remains that terrorists usually lurk in shadows, they target the state in such way that it affects it in all dimensions, whether physical, psychological or ideological. Their objective is to proliferate confusion among masses resulting into disharmony, sentiments of conflict making way for delinquent terrorist organizations. National counter terrorism policies have repeatedly stressed over formulating a nation-wide alliance of religious leaders representing all major groups and segments, similarly an alliance representing academia, intelligentsia and even media representatives should be stressed upon, as they hold a great role to play in possible peace building measures.

Ensurance of Fundamental rights

Constitution of Pakistan states rights of its citizens, including minorities. It must be reinstated that terrorism, radicalization, spread of ideological extremism is easily contagious when supported by a weak governmental infrastructure, vis-a-vis rule of law.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN, 1973

PART II

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND PRINCIPLES OF POLICY

Chapter-1 :  Fundamental Rights

Article-20:   Freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions

Subject to law, public order and morality-

(a) Every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and

(b) Every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

Article-21: Safeguard against taxation for purposes of any particular religion.-

No person shall be compelled to pay any special tax the proceeds of which are to be spent on the propagation or maintenance of any religion other than his own.

Article-22: Safeguards as to educational institutions in respect of religion, etc.

(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.

(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.

(3) Subject to law.

(a) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and

(b) No citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the Advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

Article-25: Equality of citizens.-

(1) All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

(2) There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone.

(3) Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the protection of women and children.

Chapter-2 : Principles of Policy

Article-36: Protection of minorities.-

The State shall safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, including their due representation in the Federal and Provincial services.

‘’’Henceforth, it is none other than country’s successive governments, political bigots claiming to have fulfilled their promise of democracy have in fact failed to provide the basic justice, equality, rule of law and ensurance of implementation of fundamental rights in the country.

download

Conclusion

Ruling out the involvement of a foreign hand in sabotaging country’s stability while lamenting on Pakistan’s terrorism question would be completely unfair. Along the surge of rapid national security policies, foreign policy and diplomatic affairs shall also be redesigned to address foreign involvement in various instances reported over the period of time >> e.g. ‘’’Pakistan has presented a dossier containing evidence against Indian involvement in Pakistan especially in its terror-ridden Balochistan province. Pakistan’s stability is widely dependent on its neighbours with India on its east, Afghanistan and Iran on west, China in north, thus it is interesting to discover that all these significant countries carrying distinct recognition in world political arena have greatly influenced Pakistan’s internal security paradigm. India with its traditional rivalry, Iran with its indifference and instances of involvement in bordering Baloch province, while Afghanistan sharing largest porous border with Pakistan has most affected the country with its terror spill over post 9/11, whereas on a whole all of them have widely played a negative role in bringing Pakistan’s fight against terrorism to its lowest ebb. Moreover, Pakistan in order to tackle the menace of unending terrorism must adopt Hitler-like Nazi ideology, only that this one is determined for a cause leading to a greater good of not just the country but the world at large. Just as Fuhrer’s antisemitism had lead to nation’s fanaticism disowning and banishing each jew found lurking in streets of Germany, Pakistan should initiate its own homegrown anti-extremism campaign surveilling streets of each city, with citizens as a party to achieve terror-free Pakistan. Mere formulation of glamourous anti-terrorism policies with catchy terms would not be enough to kill the boogeyman, a national anti-extremism narrative based on broad based inclusive-policy is the way forward.

%d bloggers like this: