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The (further) closing of the Pakistani mind

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    The (further) closing of the Pakistani mind

    Excerpts from an article by
    Ayaz Amir (The DAWN)

    A few evenings ago, driven by a desire that I can now see as insane, I happened to flick over to my favourite TV channel, Pakistan Television , which, if there be any justice in this world, will be compulsory entertainment for every confirmed sinner when he arrives at the outer gates of hell.

    There I saw a bizarre sight: three high-toned pontiffs - a bishop of the cloth, an ex-law professor and someone who looked an outright rogue - singing the praises of 'the removal of doubts ordinance', a piece of legal gimmickry whereby all the Islamic provisions of Pakistan's moribund Constitution have been included in the Provisional Constitution Order. Leaving nothing to chance, these experts were hammering the point home that this was another bold step (every step in Pakistan being a bold one) towards Islamization.

    I am sure these professors of the airwaves were not the only experts hauled up by PTV for special duty on this subject. But their enthusiasm was a reminder of how PTV has regularly insulted the intelligence, or what there is of it, of the Pakistani people. No matter what folly a government (any government) purveys, PTV is programmed to hail it as an act of the highest statesmanship. Resurrect Hitler from his ashes and provided you bring him to Pakistan, PTV will hail him as mankind's saviour. Although it was only one programme I happened to watch, that too in passing, I am sure the pattern is being repeated and PTV's captive audience, helpless in the matter, is being made sick with the hidden virtues of this ordinance.

    And what is this earth-breaking ordinance about? It takes the Islamic provisions of the Constitution - the Objectives Resolution, the principles of policy, the other articles which refer to the Quran and Sunnah - and makes them part of the PCO. By doing this it has earned the plaudits of the many clerical armies in Pakistan which somehow succeed in fooling every ruler even though, as every blighted election in this land has shown, their sound and fury are worse than their bite. In other words, the Islamic provisions have been saved as if, without this timely action, they stood in danger of being extinguished. By such momentous undertakings is life in Pakistan defined. The received wisdom is that the military regime has succumbed to the pressure of the clerical brigade. This is far from the truth. From the clerical brigade noises were being made about protecting the Islamic provisions of the Constitution. But there was no pressure, if by pressure something tangible or real is meant, which could deflect the military regime from its chosen path. There was only a chorus of ill-trained voices raising the bogey of Islam in danger. Against such a threat there was no need to be clever. Or even to be brave. The religious lobby has always sought to draw attention to its existence, and its nuisance value, by such tactics. It is for governments to read such situations correctly. If they cannot, and if they see danger or opportunity where none exists, who is to blame?

    The clerical armies are of course crowing with delight but why should they not when they see a tough-sounding military government, the commando motif written all over it, retreating twice in quick succession? First over the anti-blasphemy law, now over this false play of shadows on a distant wall. What will become of the liberati who were pinning such hopes on what they fondly believed was a Kemalist revolution?


    I would like to hear from Mr. Xtreme and other members of our own clerical army on Gupshup as to whether they believe the eternal sob 'Ayaz Amir' is wrong ?

    [This message has been edited by Some1 (edited July 26, 2000).]

    I'm sorry I don't really understand the significance of this article. What is it saying in a nutshell?


      No wonder its headlined.....

      The closing of the Pakistani Mind........


        Case (and mind) closed.

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