Two Lives Lost

Category: Asia, World Affairs Topics: Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines Views: 4438

The two Pakistanis, Raja Azad and Sajid Naeem, reportedly executed in Iraq never had a chance. For they belonged to a country whose government just could not bring itself to say the one thing that could have saved their lives: that no Pakistani troops would be sent to Iraq.

Far from making this unequivocal declaration, which is what the Iraqi hostage-takers wanted, Pakistani spokesmen, from the prime minister downwards, kept peddling the absurd line that on sending troops to Iraq no decision had been taken. Which of course left open the possibility that a decision to send troops could be taken.

Why has it been so difficult for military-ruled Pakistan to say that it will not send potential human targets to Iraq? Why can't it afford to tell the US that such a move will harm not serve Pakistani interests?

The answer is pretty obvious: Pakistan's military-led government just can't say no to the US. Two hostages beheaded? There could have been a dozen under threat and Pakistan's policy would still be the same.

The US wants the Pakistan army in Iraq and because they are so obliging, people in the decision-making level are desperately looking for ways to go there. In fact, after Trojan Horse Ashraf Jahangir Qazi's appointment as US puppet masquerading as United Nations envoy in Baghdad, there seems to be no stopping the eagerness of General Headquarters (the nerve-center of army decision-making) on this score. The more Pakistani spokesmen say that no decision has been taken, the more they seem to protest too much.

And you know what? Trojan Qazi himself has said that if and when Pakistani troops are sent to Iraq, they won't come under any mythical UN command but under the overall command of US forces.

Is there something wrong with Pakistan? There is certainly something terribly wrong with the great brotherhood of Muslim countries, the ummah, the large majority of them desperate despotisms at home and first-rate American puppets abroad.

How far removed all this is from the Philippines! The Philippines, mind you, was/is the quintessential American satellite, its elites, across the political spectrum, pro-American to a fault.

Yet when the crunch came and the life of just one Filipino hostage - a poor truck driver, Angelo de la Cruz - was on the line, the dainty, petite, charming, attractive president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, not much more than five feet tall, showed she was taller and tougher than many strongmen who act and sound tough but who, feeling the slightest heat or pressure, turn out to be men of straw.

To save the life of that one truck driver, President Arroyo didn't waste any time in announcing a quick pullback of the tiny Filipino contingent - 53 military personnel - serving in Iraq. She angered the United States, no doubt about it, but at the same time sent a wave of pride and jubilation across her country.

The whole of the Philippines rallied to Angelo de la Cruz's cause, prayed for him and wept with joy when he was released. Gloria Arroyo showed that her finger was on the nation's pulse. The Philippines looked a whole foot, or several feet, taller as a result.

In contrast, Pakistan stands diminished by the killing of Azad and Sajid Naeem. They could have been saved, easily, but were not. More than the brutality of the Iraqi situation - a situation created, let us remember, by the United States - it was Pakistani indecision that did them in.

How do you explain this to the two families, especially with the Filipino example so fresh in their minds? Are we to suppose that they would be so foolish as not to understand the ramifications of Pakistan's Iraq policy?

After all, the choice before Pakistan was far simpler than the one facing the Philippines. The Philippines had troops in Iraq. It was required to pull them out. Pakistan has no troops in Iraq. All the government was required to do was to declare that no troops would be sent. Yet even this verbal declaration was beyond the capacity of the government of Pakistan.

But there's a key point people forget. Gloria Arroyo is an elected leader who can't afford to be too far out of step with public sentiment. Pakistani leaders, stronger and certainly taller than Gloria Arroyo, are under no such obligation.

Beheading or killing innocent people is a crime against humanity. No question about it. The Iraqis should observe the rules of war. But when the Americans observe none and their invasion flouts all rules of international behavior, let alone the tenets of international law, it is too much to expect the victims of this war to observe all the niceties that they should, especially when they have their backs to the wall and are all alone, the great brotherhood of Muslim nations, the ummah, lifting not a finger to help them.

The Philippines made a clear choice: that protecting Filipino interests was more important than pleasing the United States. Faced with the same test Pakistan flunked it, choosing American pleasure over the lives of Raja Azad and Sajid Naeem.

When Angelo de la Cruz was taken hostage, a sense of urgency gripped the Philippines, a high-level delegation flying to Baghdad to secure his release. No remotely similar sense of urgency gripped Pakistan.

A day before the execution of the two Pakistanis, the National Assembly asked the Iraqi captors to free them unconditionally. It forgot to ask the government of Pakistan to make a firm commitment not to send troops to Iraq. 

The same day Pakistan's apology of a prime minister, Shujaat Hussain, was telling a group of parliamentarians that any decision on sending troops to Iraq would be made only after taking people and parliament into confidence. Ye gods, as if this statement by itself was not enough to drive the Iraqi hostage-takers up the wall.

And it's not as if there wasn't a warning shot from the heavens. Just a month ago another Pakistani driver was taken hostage in Iraq and released as a gesture of goodwill on the part of his Iraqi captors. Far from taking any heed from this warning, and desisting from playing the American game, Trojan Horse Qazi's appointment as UN puppet for Iraq came soon thereafter.

This was accompanied by more talk of sending Pakistani troops to Iraq. What must the Iraqis have thought? One conclusion they could have drawn is that there was no point in being lenient to anyone carrying a Pakistani passport.

Guilty of inaction when it could have done something, the government should not insult the memory of the two Pakistanis killed by shedding crocodile tears now and making a show of its grief.

But learning something from this fiasco, and it is one, it can still do the right thing by rescinding Ashraf Jahangir Qazi's appointment as United Nations puppet for Iraq and telling the Americans once and for all that we are doing enough duty for them in Afghanistan but will send no cannon fodder to Iraq.

Is it too far-fetched to suppose that in their dying moments - I still hope the news of their beheading is not true - the two Pakistanis wished that they were Filipinos rather than Pakistanis?


  Category: Asia, World Affairs
  Topics: Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines
Views: 4438

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
The recent abduction of the 2 French journalists in Iraq is another HUUUUGE question mark. I am convinced that my Muslims brothers and sisters, and especially Iraqi Muslims are better when it comes to the mathematics. They know that France is the last country the Iraqi freedom fighters want to "punish", to the contrary, they know that France is the ONLY country that the people of Irak hold in a VERY HIGH esteem. They know France did for Irak and against the American criminal of war, MORE THAN ALL OF OUR ARAB AND MUSLIM RULERS DID!. Yes France is doing what it's doing for her own interests and that of the Euro, there is nothing wrong with that according to the American reasoning. Harming two French lives and upsetting a whole country that did nothing but fought hard against the mafia of Washington to prevent the invasion of a sovereign nation, no offense to the despicable Cosa Nostra, and for what? For the Hijab issue?, I think we need to be given a break here. It definitely smells the rotten fish from Washington or those from the Dead Sea. THINK! Or get back to your basic maths.

Peace to All


Children are like a sponge, they absorb all what they see, hear, and feel

Adults are like a mirror, they react to what they see, hear, and feel.

I pray for Peace for all. Amen.


With respect don't be so impatient, however I've read, thought, asked questions, listened, counselled opinion, studied, contemplated and pondered.

But no one can justify "Slaughter in the name of religion" nor slaughter in any form.

In the name of humanity, can you?

Peace to all.

Rest In Peace, Raja Azad and Sajid Naeem (Innocents killed by murderers).

P.S. Starting from 2002, What was the Iraq solution?

P.P.S. You seem to assume that I am not a Muslim. Madmax, why is that?

So Paul, do you have an answer to my question? remember? post number 26083, or do you need few more days?, or if you are unable to provide a simple answer to a simple question, just like I did in, you must admit, a timely manner, then let me know because I have few more questions to address to you.

Becky, that total horror that the Iraqis lived in for the last 30 years, is made in Great Britain and cooked up in the United States of America, read some real books about the 20th century World History, and especially focus on the Middle-East, and then come back to express your real sincere and real honest compassion. By the way, so far you are the 15th person just on this forum that started with words like, "I came to learn about Muslim and Islam, and bla bla bla" You want to truly learn about Islam and Muslims, then stay focused on the religious and cultural links of this website and other similar good websites, not on place where you read people's hot and fuming comments about a sad situation created by the war that was imposed on these people by your cheap politicians. You also said "Maybe what we "the Americans" should do is pull out of Iraq. I would not say "maybe" but you "BETTER".

Csaba Cere, you are right the Americans did not "put a gun to the Iraqi's heads", they only drop thousands of bombs on the Iraqis heads, they only separated thousands of children's heads from their little weak and innocents bodies, they only blew up to pieces thousands of Iraqis families at the same time. The Americans only freed up the Iraqis from a dictatorship they have set up themselves, so they can behave worse than the regime they removed and on a land where they are not supposed to be in at all, and against people that the only crime they are guilty of is to be sitting on the second largest reserve of oil in the world. Yes the root cause is America's crime, you have to take FULL responsibility and you just have to accept it and you just have to live with it. This is not Southeast Asia, this is not Latin America and it's not Eastern Europe either, this time America chose the wrong corner of this planet, and you Csaba Cere instead of posting nonsense, spend your energy working against the group of people that are taking your country down the toilets, because trust me that's bad news for you and your countrymen.

Paul, peace to you too. I owe you a direct answer to your direct question;
Question - how can I (we) justify slaughter in the name of religion,
Answer- we absolutely cannot, because there is no religious justification to such an act, nor are we religiously instructed or required to carry such acts or any killing for that matter, except fighting when war is imposed on us, you will find and learn, granted you are a serious and a sincere learner, that Islam permits us to fight back under certain very important conditions, since as human being we cannot and we MUST not accept aggression and injustice without fighting back and wihout driving the aggressors out of our homes. With the undeniable necessity of fighting back, you will learn that Muslims have been given a noble code of war many centuries before the Geneva Convention saw the light. You are welcome to let me know if this answer is not satisfactory.

I hope you will be providing as well, a direct answer to my direct question; where did you read, watch and heard about such statement? Take your time while doing research before you answer, for that you will need to find and provide unassailable sources where there are statements about religious justification in slaughtering human beings. You posted your question here, so I assume that you learned that these captors did this in the name of the religion.

A question for Madmax & Amjad

How can you justify slaughter in the name of religion?

Peace for all.

Csaba, yes, it is true that all pain caused in not only Iraq, but Afghanistan, Pakistani and to muslims here are due to American invasion. American stuck their heads where it doesn't belong(how civilized) and led other to do the same. And no, they didn't put a gun to someone's head but used political b.s. to do so.
Every drop of muslim blood was because of bush's personal (disturbed) issues.

Very sad.

I hold the American .., Bush jr., responsible for the deaths of American and non-American citizens in Iraq. He has been misusing his power and he is the only who should be held resposbile; ..


I think the world is waiting for Dino Demars to define "terrorism", perhaps he can elaborate a little bit more and define any word deriving from the word "terror", perhaps "shock and awe" cannot be defined as terrorism. Explain us Mr. Dino Shakespeare, we are here to learn the modern English language or should I say the dead Latin language. Is it indiscrete to ask if you are also a speech writer in your spare time?

Pakistani government over decades has proven that they can sell anything faith, mother, brother... for the right price. I mean not just Busharaff but every predecessor. The Muslim world ignores the grave atrocities they committed in Bangladesh, then East Pakistan. In last fifty years history shows they have betrayed Bengalis, Kashmiris, Sindhis, Pakistan freedom fighters (labeled as Mohajirs), Pathans, Afghans, Iranians, Indian Muslims...


Fatuma Abdi writes: It is just to sad - what have they being sacrificed for. Do the americans even know who their wives/children/relatives are and what pain they have caused??

Fatuma - So a couple of sickos hack two guys heads off, and it's the American's fault?

Did the Americans put a gun to the Iraqi's heads? Did they wrap their fingers around the unwilling Iraqi's fingers and force him to saw through bone and sinew? Of course not.

Don't get me wrong - Americans *have* caused a lot of pain in Iraq. They shouldn't be there now, and should never have been there in the first place, but don't become an apologist for terrorists. Two wrongs still don't make a right. The Iraqi terrorists made the choice to cut the throats of innocents. And Raja Azad and Sajid Naeem are Muslims at that.

Don't take the easy way out and blame this on Americans.

It is just to sad - what have they being sacrificed for. Do the americans even know who their wives/children/relatives are and what pain they have caused?? This is a war that is causing so much pain to innocent human beings!

My sincere sympathy goes out to the families of these Pakistani men. I came to this website to learn more about the Muslim people, however, when I read nothing but hate for Americans, this is very dishearting. Maybe what we "the Americans" should do is pull out of Iraq, let the insurgents and murderers take over this country, they'll be in your country next, but, I know as an American the Iraqi people do not deserve this. They have lived in total horror for the last 30 years. For other countries to pull they're people out of Iraq is definately giving these murderers the wrong message..

So, in the author's world, giving in to terrorists is a good and honourable thing? Something to take pride in even? I'm sure the author is an intelligent man, intelligent enough to realize that this anti-US rant is based on an incorrect premise. Complying with terrorist's demands is never a wise choice.

The Philipino government did what was right for one man and his family, but it was wrong for the rest of the country. Now, every terrorist knows they can kidnap a Philipino national anywhere in the world, and get that 'dainty, petite, charming, attractive president of the Philippines' to do their bidding. Does this really seem like a good and brave thing to do to your country? Of course not.

I was shocked to hear this news. Probably Pakistan has reached too far assisting US that it just can't back out now! Far from being supportive to their Brothers in need, being puppets in the hands of a Kuffar is certainly not a sign of a believer. I am sure the People of Pakistan would also have felt the same panic as the Philippinos did. Only difference is one leader showed qualities of a believer being a non-believer and the other proved to be a non-believer in the mask of a believer.

May Allah rest Azad and Sajid's souls in peace - Ameen.

My country India is much better and strong to say NO to US pressure to sent troops to Iraq.
I hope India will or should not sent its troops to Iraq to clean up the mess created by US and its tailwaving royal puppy British government run by,Blair.
Busharraf is licking Bush.., Pakistanis shedding their blood.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un. I think Pakistan is doing more than its fair share - just as it once had in the struggle against Communism. Ye gods, I would imagine that Pakistan has more than enough to do in its own neighborhood, without getting mixed up in Arab affairs. I am grateful for Pakistani efforts made (and losses suffered) for Allah's sake in Somalia. I apologize if I have caused any offense.

Personally, I think the last thing Iraq needs right now is an influx of foreign troops. Admittedly, some of my suggestions might seem rather unusual but perhaps a "good-will performance" by the U.S. Air Force could accomplish more than might otherwise be accomplished by bloodshed. Call it a military exercise - subject to public review - if you like. It could be sort of an air show but perhaps from fifteen kilometers up. I would much rather see needy contractors put to work entertaining the Iraqi people than inciting them to rebel. The author of this article briefly touches upon the virtues of genuine democracy. Perhaps members of the resistance might decide to become more involved in national politics if the alternatives were made clear. I hope I have not caused offense or alarm.


Assalamou Alaikoum. No one in his right mind would be blaming the captors for doing what they are doing, for them, anyone who is not welcome, and especially working for the lowest form of life, the American invaders and greedy thieves. America has made a real mess out of the most advanced Arab country, forget Saddam who was put there by the Washington and London criminals in the first place, he positively contributed ZERO to his country unlike the honest people of Irak. The captors (and throat cutters) are only using the same means the American thieves and murderers are using but at a smaller scale. May Ar-Rahman have merci on the two Pakistani brothers. Dictator and alcoholic Musharaf should be the one held by these captors.