Posts Tagged ‘Conspiracy Theorists’

Ahmad Faruqui – Demonizing America

December 21, 2009

This article appeared in Dawn on December 21, 2009

It was in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran that America was labelled The Great Satan. Judging from current trends, the day is not too far off when America will be given the same moniker in Pakistan. Ever since the US resorted to carrying out drone attacks against terrorist suspects inside Pakistan, vocal condemnations of America have been widespread. The furore over the Kerry-Lugar foreign aid bill brought matters to a head.

 At issue, the corps commanders explained, was the affront to national sovereignty. The nation’s honour had been attacked became the rallying cry. So what if the challenger was the globe’s only superpower? And so what if it was simply trying to strengthen Pakistan’s civil institutions? Their crumbling at the hands of the military had been of great concern to civil society.

  (more…)

Ahmed Rashid takes on Conspiracy theorists

November 25, 2009

Ahmed Rashid, veteran Pakistani journalist, in his latest column on BBC News has taken on the conspiracy theorists in Pakistan.

Here is the piece – Pakistan conspiracy theories stifle debate

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan. You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

(more…)

Sadiq Saleem: Lagay Raho, Media Bhai

November 4, 2009

This article by Sadiq Saleem appeared in The News on November 4, 2009

On Monday, November 2, thirty-five innocent Pakistanis lost their lives to a terrorist attack. These were ordinary people, standing in line at a bank to receive their monthly salary. They must have gone there with plans of spending that money on their parents, wives, children, brothers and sisters. But for the Pakistani media, especially the TV anchors who have now become the arbiters of what is important and what is not, the death of these poor people was not important. With their usual cast of characters from —Jamaat-e-Islami to Imran Khan to the two Muslim Leagues— the electronic media that day was exclusively focused on the so-called NRO issue.

 

Although the PPP has defused the matter by withdrawing the ordinance from Parliament, there is something artificial about the manner in which the matter of the NRO was made the primary focus of national discussion. The NRO issue took over from debate over the Kerry Lugar Bill, which also died its natural death. Those in the media who considered the Kerry-Lugar Bill a matter of national sovereignty have not even asked the PML-N or PML-Q to bring their own resolutions in the National Assembly on the matter.

  (more…)

Never Ending KL Controversy

October 28, 2009

By Wasiq Ali

I just read an interesting take on the ‘KLB Controversy’ in an Indian newspaper. According to The Hindu Islamabad correspondent “Pakistan’s costly controversy” has little to do with the actual contents of the Kerry-Lugar bill and more to do with the tussle between the civilian and military branches of the government to assert who is number one. “The entire one-month hysteria in Pakistan over the Bill, after it was already passed by the U.S. Congress, resulted in drastically altering the civil-military balance in favor of the military. It left the democratically elected Pakistan People’s Party-led government considerably weaker than it was. It served to isolate President Asif Ali Zardari, and shattered the nerves of the government. It confirmed the Pakistan Army as numero uno.”

 

And as has been argued by me and others the KL debate also showed “Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (N) in clearer light. Despite his thunder about the need to keep the military subservient to civilian rule, his party chose to oppose a U.S. Bill that wants exactly this.” The article attacks the Pakistani media’s pro-military bias as well stating that “With some exceptions, the Pakistani media too, despite their pride in opposing military rule, made no bones about which side they were on over this issue, saying the government’s “stupidity” in allowing the U.S. to impose such conditions left them with no choice.”

(more…)

Irfan Hussain: Distortions and Delusions

October 3, 2009

By Irfan Hussain
This article appeared in Dawn on October 3, 2009

National Geographic aired a programme about the 9/11 conspiracies the
other evening. While it did not cover any new ground, it did
painstakingly demolish many of the idiotic theories that have been
doing the rounds for the last eight years.

What struck me most about the TV documentary was the ease with which a
rumour can be spread compared with the time and expertise it takes to
expose it as a lie. Literally millions continue to believe that the
Twin Towers were actually brought down by thousands of explosive
charges planted inside the building and not by the airliners that
crashed into them. It took a crew of experts who brought down a
building to demonstrate how ridiculous the conspiracy theory really
is.

(more…)

More on the Inter-Risk Controversy from New-Pakistan.com

September 23, 2009

An excellent post on the Inter-Risk controversy from New-Pakistan.com:

There has been much chatter recently about security companies in Pakistan and whether that is a threat. This despite a complete lack of explanation for what the threat is, or any evidence that a threat exists at all. The latest story comes from a raid on the offices of Inter-Risk, a Pakistani security company that was hired to protect American officials with the US Embassy. This is more than just a storm in a teacup, though, it is a dangerous distraction from the real threats to Pakistan.

On Monday, Dawn published an editorial that quite nicely addresses the misinformation about Inter-Risk most heard among the chatter. First, there seem to be some undefined conspiracies about why Embassies are using private security companies in the first place. This is simply ridiculous. Almost all Embassies use private security companies of one sort or another, and it is no secret that American officials are at particular risk.

The media has been up in arms and spreading conspiracy theories about US Marines protecting the Embassy (even though that is common practice throughout the world). So what is left? Leave the Embassy with no security at all? I am positive that Baitullah Mehsud would have loved for Embassy officials to have no protection, but what peace loving Pakistani would support that? Besides, with Inter-Risk we are talking about a Pakistani security company. Now the media is spreading false rumours about our own security companies? Dawn makes the point perfectly:
(more…)

Pakistan’s Pseudo-Patriots Shown in True Light

September 20, 2009

By K.M. Rizvi
This article appeared in RationalPakistan on September 20, 2009

For the last two weeks there have been numerous stories floating around about the U.S. private military contractor Blackwater operating inside Pakistan. Websites led by pseudo-Patriots and Conspiracy Theorists like Shireen Mazari and Ahmed Quraishi have pushed these theories. They have claimed knowledge on the basis of their “close ties to the military-intelligence establishment.

Rational Pakistan and many other like-minded websites have on the other hand been trying to present the truth to Pakistanis –Blackwater is not operating inside Pakistan.

Today we feel vindicated by the following story in the Daily Times

  (more…)

Pakistan’s Conspiracy Theorists: Nationalists or Instabilty Creators

September 18, 2009

This article appeared in PakistanWithoutTerrorism on September 18, 2009
By Yahya Hussainy

English essayist and poet Samuel Johnson once said, Patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel. By that well-known definition what should one think of the fact that ever since the civilian government came to power in Pakistan there has been a rise in the number of Pseudo-Patriots and Conspiracy Theorists?

(more…)