Headless Chicken Syndrome

A mob is only as smart as its dimmest member. If the political discourse is anything to go by,our society is under attack from “outsiders”hell-bent on “undermining Islam” who we now must destroy. The destructive nature of mob mentality manifests itself every now and then in this country,be it under the banner of religion or any hyped up emotionality. The inclination towards redneck deindividuation in a crowd is carefully cultivated and careful attention is paid to nuances and notes that must be carefully played on the Pied Pipers flute. Sadly there is no dearth of Pied Piper aspirants in the land of pure who use their hypnotic tunes to cause many to abandon friends,family and responsibility to society and self and dance to the deadly tune.

So when forty groups known for their hardline approach to anything and everything under the sun;notorious for their promotion of sectarian violence in the country;their odium for anything not Islamic;groups that have been banned and repeatedly made UN’s list of terrorist outfits year after year join hands,paint on a gaudy display of guns and chains on a yellow banner,congregate a couple of otherwise insignificant remnants of Zia’s legacy;the nation braces itself for the latest contagion to strike since dengue last year:Difai Pakistan Council.

Hardliners and fundamentalists have always been the more vocal,easily organized and assembled face of Pakistan. One can start by asking how a party that doesn’t even put on a pretense of representing half of Pakistan’s population:women,which issues dulcet warnings of “breaking the legs of any ‘whore’ who went to India to sing and act in films” and vows to make ‘mincemeat’ out of India one day,create such massive waves and garner so much support ever since its inception towards the close of last year.

Hitherto organized civil society groups glued together with hypernationalism,religion and sect based politics and militancy touted their colors discreetly,creating for themselves pseudo manifestos and alter egos to gloss over the murky aspects of their organizations and create mass appeal or save face that way. Why is it that Difai Pakistan does not need an elusive cloak to prevaricate its intents and purposes and is allowed enough airtime and media coverage to allow its ranks to swell at every rally it conducts? Ever since the ATC was termed unconstitutional and all its writs termed null and void,thousands of terrorists were set free,among them Hafiz Saeed,instructor at University of Engineering turned leader of terrorist organization Lashkar e Taiba known for rampant sectarian violence. Hafiz Saeed has been wanted in connection with 2008 Mumbai Attacks and according to Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai they have handed Pakistan a dossier on Saeed with sufficient evidence for prosecution. While no steps in that regard were taken,the most Islamabad did was ban this man along with other leaders from DPC from entering into the capital. Their rally did take place in Islamabad two weeks ago,there was an inconvenient sit-in at Aabpara yesterday,where twelve year olds were taken and told that they were going to ‘destroy America’ without telling them why and how.

The entire furor over the crowds PTI amassed in its Karachi rally died to a barely audible snore in the face of two million DPC activists cheering and sloganeering at their recent rally in Karachi,where a literary festival was also underway the same time and was effectively ignored. The Council condemned foreign intervention in the country,delivered verbal knock outs to India especially towards warming relations via MFN,declared undying love for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui without having a single woman present in the rally,and warned the Government against reopening NATO Supply routes into Afghanistan. A ten point agenda reinforced the importance of the Two Nation Theory outlined the demands and solutions for Pakistan’s prosperity and ended with avowals of ‘crushing’ India to smithereens. Peacefully of course without wondering how you ‘crush’ someone peacefully. As we have it,DPC Chairman JUI(S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq,Jamaatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed,PML chiefs of their own factions Ejazul Haq and Sh Rashid Ahmad,former DG ISI Lt Gen (retd) Hameed Gul,Jamaat Islami Amir Syed Munawar Hasan and PTI central leader Ejaz Chaudhry all seem to be very vocal DPC diehards and have found a new platform to spew and foment hatred from in the form of DPC.

Balochistan however stood up to this possible Hydra monster when almost all Baloch nationalist parties refrained from supporting DPC or joining the All party Conference it convened in Quetta.

That was a dismal affair and the large civil society rally including throngs of men and women on roads in Peshawar demanded DPC not be allowed to carry out its rally in the KP capital. Not everyone seems keen on joining the bandwagon of AK- 47 wielding headless chickens. The liberal factions of Pakistan happen to unfortunately form a small minority;they just aren’t vocal and will never paint a monster on a banner and call it Bush or Obama to garner support.

27 in line of Greene’s laws of Power states that one should use peoples’ inherent need to ‘believe’ to create a cult following. Indeed as we have witnessed time and again that a state of national confabulation exists where anyone with a fiery story and mic stands up to fill the missing gaps of logic memory and reason that we as a nation lack. Difai Pakistan is one such escape route for the headless chicken bandwagon that needs something to believe in and that Pakistan is under attack from all corners of the earth is plausible when so many matters of internal strife tend to bamboozle one of out their wits. Perhaps it is time someone stands up to the right wing and tempers the narrative out,the onus for this lies with everyone,it’s high time Pakistan stopped viewing itself as the starry eyed damsel in distress waiting for its knight in shining armor General Hamid Gul and troupe to save her from the fire breathing dragon next door.

Area 14/8

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