By Fareeha Qayoom
First things first, let me clarify my motivation – I have no axes to grind. No, I am not a ‘fundamental’ Muslim as extremists are characterized in popular press. No, I am not a ‘dooms day,’ prophet. No, I am not ‘psychotic.’ No, I am not a ‘mullah.’ No, I do not have any political aspirations nor do I want to lead a long march somewhere, no, sorry, no activism in my past either. No, my views don’t stem from discussions with any of my friends’ politics’ or religion. No, I am not easily influenced either because I like making up my own mind. No, I don’t have a closed mind.
Yes, I have been exposed to other cultures and religions. Yes, I have worked with a lot of international colleagues, from India, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, USA and UK. Yes, I don’t stereotype people I have never met (except maybe dumb blondes!). Yes, I believe in pursuit of truth no matter what. Yes, I like hearing all sides of the argument first. Yes, I am your regular ‘average Jane.’ Yes, I don’t read the newspapers every day. Yes, I don’t watch TV every day. Yes, I work all day. Yes, I have a family. Yes, I have hobbies. Yes, I have responsibilities. Yes, I don’t have a lot of leisure time. Yes, I pay taxes. Yes, I pay indirect taxes. Yes, I am generally considered to be an honest and trust-worthy person. Yes, I am a person of average intelligence. Yes, I am always in touch with reality. If that is all out of the way, let’s get to the bottom line…
I think events are escalating towards a third world war. Yes, the third world war will start in our region – It’s quite possible that it might happen in my life-time. (Pakistan technically falls under the geographical region of Middle East if you look at the world map) – Unfortunately, Middle East and Central Asia are two poorly-defended, vulnerable oil rich regions containing vast numbers of Muslims. No, the war will not be about religion, even though, it will be a confrontation between people of different religions. Yes, the war will be about economics and power as usual. How can I say that? Quite easily in fact…I don’t require a degree in political economy to figure it all out. All it takes is a little common sense.
You can look at the situation objectively – if you are a historian – you will probably know super powers invariably invade poorly defended neighboring countries for more power or to consolidate their current power-base or for simple greed, for more land, or for indigenous technology or unusual products (like the silk or spices in the dark ages) or rich natural resources (like gold or oil) or to create a reputation in the world as the resident ‘bully’ or ‘super power’ (depending on your definition) so no one dares to mess with them. They never invade them because of a particular ideology or religion, that’s just a label to satisfy the gullible masses. (No, the crusades were not fought for supremacy of Church or for God; they were fought because the Europeans wanted the Muslim’s lands, knowledge, technology and riches).
If you are a scientist, you are probably familiar with Newton’s third law of motion, “for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” This is an ideal equilibrium position. No country will mess with any other country till the equilibrium is disturbed. In other words, the opposing forces have to become unequal for an invasion to take place.
You probably are also familiar with the “pendulum” motion theory, “when a pendulum is displaced from its resting or equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back towards equilibrium. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing is called a period.” In other words, the pendulum doesn’t quickly return to equilibrium. It takes many cycles to reach moderation so when a revolution takes place in history to correct some injustice; it always swings to the opposite extreme before returning slowly to moderation…have you ever noticed that any revolution in history that took place to remove an ‘old regime’ was in fact no better? For example, remember the French revolution? It was fought to remove French monarchy and restore power to the people; unfortunately, they proved as tyrannical as any monarchy in the beginning and committed as many atrocities in the name of freedom. (Remember, Dickens’ novel ‘A tale of two cities,’ more or less based on those times?) Revenge is never about moderation. It’s about vengeance. So a whole new cycle is created to oppose the injustice perpetrated by the ‘new regime.’ In other words, things will always get worse before they can getter better. What is happening in the world right now?
To simplify things ‘Capitalism’ defeated ‘Communism,’ (which was a world-wide reaction to ‘monarchy’ and ‘imperialism’) and now ‘Capitalism,’ is after ‘Universalism,’ the broadest and weakest proponents of ‘Universalism’ unfortunately are Muslims. It’s not personal. The predator doesn’t eat prey because he doesn’t like it, it’s just food and unfortunately for food, he became toast because it didn’t run and hide fast enough…here you are probably familiar with Darwin’s theory – “survival of the fittest,” only the fit survive to fight another day. The weak get eaten; simple law of nature.
Pakistan, unfortunately, is toast because she’s not being smart enough to defend herself. As political leaders, Pakistanis lack self esteem. They think they deserve to be on their knees. They always negotiate international bilateral agreements by playing on the defensive; by building their defenses on their weaknesses instead of on their strengths; they are never proactive, pre-emptive or on the offensive. In other words, they always play a loser’s game and end up losing. No surprise there.
They never bother reading the fine print when presented with a contract. They are ignorant and don’t understand their geography, history, or their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, in other words, they are usually deaf, dumb and blind to all the fine nuances and like to play the classic ostrich when surprised or caught off-guard.
They can always be bought – (in cricket terminology, its called match fixing) and yes, they always think the opponent is playing a friendly game of chess when the opposition or opponent in question is actually intent on wiping you off the face of the earth, rubbing your face in the dirt and leaving you dead on the ground. They are not planning on taking any prisoners; they’re after your total annihilation. You are the dumb blonde who doesn’t understand the rules of engagement. It’s hardly their fault.
Even when they are offering you money through direct funding, they probably offer you more stick than carrot in the contract because you invite it. I have never seen any NGO do any good for anybody in our country even when they have no apparent hidden agenda and are so-called not-for-profit organization highly dependent on international donations. As for direct investment – that’s another joke. They usually siphon off huge profits to their home countries while they spend a mere pittance on managing a low-key operation run by a small team of locals who is typically led by a corrupt man who is intent on ripping off as much profits under the table as possible for himself while he is employed by the multi-national corporation, working out of rented real estate and fixtures. The multi-national never sinks any roots in your country. They never build any long term stakes and don’t care about your local economy or your people. They are after quick profits – if they get that, fine, they will stick around, if not, they will move on to greener pastures. You are supposed to be grateful for their investment because you need their business. You keep on offering more attractive packages and incentives to invite yet more foreign investments. You never build any safeguards in your economy to defend your rights as a host nation so any Tom, Dick or Harry can come rip you off and move on while you pat yourself on the back for inviting yet more direct foreign investments. But I digress. I was talking about why I think “Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world” right now.
I think Pakistan will play a key role in starting a third world war because it’s sitting on a keg of dynamite which will blow any minute. Unfortunately, for her, she’s the original dumb blonde who got herself surrounded by a bunch of aggressive wanna-be molesters while she was not looking. She thinks those guys were her friends and kept on drinking, dancing and partying past the witching hour, she kept shaking off the weird vibes she was getting as hallucinations or the obvious result of too much drugs and drinks in her system. The friend who actually spiked her drink was the original wolf in sheep’s clothing, he was never her friend. His intent was always to corner her, weaken her and then rape her. He even invited a couple of his friends for the party. Our little red riding hood doesn’t have a knight in shinning armor on a white charger waiting in the wings to ride to her rescue – if she doesn’t push to rescue herself, she will get beaten up, raped and left for dead. The funny thing is, since she brought it on herself, the audience will think its divine justice. The only reaction will be a sigh and a click on the remote control for the next hot soap opera. No one will even remember her tomorrow. She’s that disposable.
So what am I predicting? I am predicting an invasion, shrinking of her territory and eventually her total destruction – wasn’t there a rumor doing the rounds that Pakistan is not even on the world map in 2030 or is it 2050? Anyway, two of the neighbors have already bought chips in this particular game. I don’t even have to spell it out – you can probably read the signs too…
As for us, what can we do as citizens of this particular dumb blonde called Pakistan? We can end up as statistics or we can migrate before the situation escalates to that point or we can play ostrich, however, we can not and should not fool ourselves into thinking we are safe playing with dynamite. Our geography unfortunately is against us. It’s only a matter of time. Yes, there is a fourth choice while we wait, we can pray for deliverance. In that case, in the words of Shahzad Roy’s famous song, “Laaga Rah” and “Sab Kuch Allah par Chaur day,” loose translation – pray for a miracle! May be the “force” will be with us but the way things are going, even God seems to have written us off as a dead loss. Sigh.