Monday, October 17, 2011


     By Rabia Ahmed   Pakistan Today    18 October 2011

Apparently, Madame Tussauds wished to wax Moin Akhtar. Let me hasten to clarify that this refers to the Madame Tussauds waxworks museum, not some beauty salon.

Mr Akhtar’s son has turned down the offer. So let me propose another, if lesser, candidate...our newly minted doctor of philosophy, Rehman Malik.

Please Madame Tussauds people, take Rehman Malik...we’d be happy to have him waxed, threaded, dermabraded, whatever; pose him foot realistically jammed in his mouth in the chamber of horrors, where his statue could issue statements at the press of a button, just like the original.

Dr Malik will be eyeing the Nobel Peace Prize now. If you find that absurd on grounds of unsuitability, there are precedents elsewhere:

During Idi Amin’s tenure as President of Uganda, thousands of Ugandans were murdered and thousands more expelled from the country. In spite of this, President Carter opposed economic sanctions against Idi Amin’s government. He was however overruled by the Congress and the sanctions were imposed.

President Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

While economic sanctions as a weapon are questionable, the fact remains that the US has used sanctions repeatedly to topple regimes it labelled ‘repressive’. The US’ self-appointed status as judge, jury and policeman to the world has also been questioned, as well as its view of what constitutes ‘repressive’.

In January 2009, Barack Obama assumed Presidential office and in October the same year he became the Nobel Peace laureate, ‘for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.’

Just recently, this Nobel peace laureate sent troops to Uganda, to assist ‘select partner nation forces.’ He added prudently that the troops would only fight in self defence.

The Council of Foreign Relations documents the present Obama-Biden foreign policy. To pick a few points, the agenda promises domestic security and standing, and a responsible end to the war in Iraq. It also plans to put an end to the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and to insist on the Afghan government reducing its trade in opium.

What has actually happened is at variance with these promises. The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime cautions that Afghanistan’s opium production may rise by more than two thirds this year, and warns that profits from this production could be used to finance terrorist organisations.

Regarding Iraq, Time magazine reported that although Americans in Iraq began 2010 by celebrating their first month without any American combat deaths in that country, a US court that same year dropped charges against Blackwater guards who fired on and killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians, and wounded another 20.

The word ‘responsible’ is obviously applied with a certain bias.

Says Reuters, ‘at least 2,600 civilians, police and soldiers, along with 35 US military personnel, have been killed in violence in Iraq since Washington formally ended combat operations’ in 2010, which supports the BBC’s statement that ‘almost every figure related to the war is disputed, with none more keenly debated than the total number of Iraqi deaths.’

The US has a history of taking selective note of human rights abuses. To the credit of the American public, it pulls up its leaders if and when it perceives an abuse.

So, returning to Pakistan: last month, after claiming that the Government had broken the backbone of target killers in Karachi, Dr Malik offered his views on the bombing of Chaudhry Aslam’s house in Karachi. He said that this was the act of persons who wished to destroy the law and order now established in Karachi, to achieve their own ends.

Where would we be without the burning insight afforded by penetrating statements such as these?

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, targeted killings claimed 748 lives in Karachi in 2010. The HRCP’s report in July 2011 said that during the first six months of 2011 1,138 persons were killed in the city. An English newspaper reported a statement by Zohra Yusuf, chairperson of the HRCP, who said that the continuous targeted killings (in Karachi) reflected the government’s inefficiency in handling the situation.

Rehman Malik, the person in charge of the ministry most answerable for this inefficiency was recently awarded an honorary PhD for his “matchless services to the country in the war on terror and particularly in restoring peace to the citizens of Karachi”, this quote from the same newspaper.

Who was the blithering idiot who conferred this degree? In addition to being an absurdity, the act has devalued the degree of anyone else who holds this document from the University of Karachi, the conferring institution.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any comments, please leave them here. They will be published after moderation. Automated comments will be deleted.To contact me please leave a comment. If you do not wish that comment to be published please say so within the message. Thank you.