Dr. Aslam Abdullah's article with the above caption recently appeared on Iviews. If the name of the writer were not given, one would think that the anti-Pakistan rhetoric was spouted out by one of the dozens of anti-Pakistani Hindu organizations in India. The first thing that strikes a reader is the contemptuous and derisive manner in which the author spotlighted what he perceived, rightly or wrongly, the social and political ills of Pakistan. On further examination, one finds that the charges he made are based on exaggeration, distortion, and outright fabrication. The piece is more of a sophomore standard then the matured and measured writing expected from the one who is an editor of an Islamic magazine, author of several Islamic books and 400 papers, a director of an Islamic center, and a former college professor. The short article is long on accusations, taunts and unsubstantiated opinions, but sorely lacking in substance and understanding.
Dr. Abdullah opens his article censuring the alleged match fixing of the Pakistani cricketers in these strong words, "This is utter disgrace from a sports perspective, abject disgust from a national perspective and absolute shame from a faith perspective." No doubt, sports gambling, and matching fixing is a condemnable practice. Pakistani authorities are promptly investigating the charges and announced to bar the convicted players for lifetime. Match fixing and betting is neither a new phenomenon nor it is introduced or solely practiced by Pakistani players. At one time or another, the players of other countries, including India, were also implicated in the gambling and match fixing scandals. Then, why the vehement expression of disgust reserved exclusively for Pakistani players?
After disparaging Pakistan for the match fixing offense, the writer assails the country for its poverty. He says, "This is the state where some 25 percent of Pakistani living in conditions not suitable even for animals". Pakistan is a developing and relatively a poor country, like dozens of other countries in the world. Guaranteed, a good portion of Pakistani citizens is deprived of proper living and some are even subsisting on the bare minimum. Nonetheless, it is absolutely and factually wrong to say that the 25 percent of Pakistani population live under the conditions not suitable even for animals. This is a baseless, haughty and foolish utterance of an Indian nationalist coming out of hubris over wrongly perceived sense of superiority coupled with the hatred for Pakistan.
How well India is faring in terms of poverty, here what an Indian newspaper reported: "More people are mired in poverty in eight Indian states than in the 26 poorest African countries, according to a new UN-backed measure of poverty. There are 421 million MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index) poor people in eight Indian states alone -- Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal -- and 410 million in the 26 poorest African countries combined." (Hindustan Times, July 13, 2010)
How strange, an Indian is taunting Pakistanis for being poor! That is like the pot calling the kettle black!
Dr. Abdullah continues in his diatribe against Pakistan: "honor killing (in Pakistan) is often justified by religious scholars" and "girls are considered social stigma". It would have been helpful had he named just one scholar who is guilty of justifying honor killing. The plain truth is that no Muslim scholar, Pakistani or not, worth his name has ever made the idiotic attempt to justify the unislamic act of honor killing. Dr. Abdullah should rethink his ways and incorporate integrity into his raison d'tre to disparage Pakistan.
I do not know where the learned writer gets his information, however, he is solidly wrong when he writes, "... (In Pakistan) "Girls are considered social stigma". Perhaps, he has confused Pakistan with India, which indeed has become synonymous with the practice of female infanticide. Gender-selective abortions and murder of newborn girls are widely practiced and almost acceptable in India. As one Indian writer says, "Diagnostic teams with ultrasound scanners which detect the sex of a child advertise with catchlines such as spend 600 rupees now and save 50,000 rupees later. The implication is that by avoiding a girl, a family will avoid paying a large dowry on the marriage of her daughter. According to UNICEF, the problem is getting worse as scientific methods of detecting the sex of a baby and of performing abortions are improving."
Here is one more part of the silly string of insults hurled at Pakistanis - and I will stop here - "religious sector whose dealers known as clerics take pride in charging the believers huge amount of money for reciting a few words of the scripture and making a few duas in Arabic." This is a new and wicked one - and perhaps the funniest of all - read again, "religious sector whose dealers known as clerics", and I leave it without any further comments.
The situation in Pakistan for the last few years is certainly deplorable. However, the unfortunate situation does not exist for the reasons Dr. Abdullah attempted to point out in his cynical piece of satire; the reasons are much deeper and complex and of international dimension.
Abdul-Majid Jaffry is a retired aerospace engineer and a freelance columnist. He resides in Washington, USA.
I have read many articles of Mr Abdullah as "islamicity" is set as homepage of my browser. Usually I find his articles are well written. But this is absolutely shocking for me, Would you believe before today I did not know that Mr Abdullah is and Indian Muslim...WOW
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH MR JAFFRY...That it is not that Pakistan does not have these problems but the manner in which Mr Abdullah portrays them is just plain non-professionalism and inhuman.
If one were to collect facts about USA one would find (UN Statistics) the most rape and crimes occurs in USA despite it looks of an ideal country. (BY THE WAY I HAVE BEEN TO USA AND INFACT I DID MY ENGINEERING FROM USA...so I did see many things for myself in 4+ years). But that would not mean the USA is country of wild animals with uncontrolled animal instincts. BECAUS I know and knew many wonderful and nice non-muslim families and I still have relation with many of them.
I think if Mr Abdullah has such venomous world to say he should say them about the USA and Europe attitude towards HAJJAB...and What about French attitude towards their leading food chain opening up Halal hamburgers...SHOULD WE BRAND FRANCE as RACIST or DISCRIMINATIVE...NO, NO, NO even though I do not agree with much of their recent attitudes towards muslims who are french citizens
Here is one thought for Mr Abdullah...I have seen Earthquake and Flood disaster in Pakistan and the response of the Nation has been overwhelmingly humane but during Catarina the USA president has to order marshal law (shoot to kill orders) for other americans entering into state for robbing and raping. HOW IS THAT FOR A COUNTRY THAT CONSIDERS ITSELF AT THE CLIMAX OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION.
That not mean all americans are robbers. There are always good and evil in any society.
But everybody is not evil
Dr. Abdullah, my response does not deny the honor killings, poverty, or corruption in Pakistan. All these things, unfortunately, exist there as it does, in one or the other form, in many other countries.
For example, in India the bride burning is a commonplace. Here is what The Times of India says: "According to government statistics, 7,000 brides are killed every year in India. The actual number may be double. In fact the total number of brides killed and maimed on account of dowry may be over 25,000, which exceeds the annual UN estimate of 21,000 civilians killed or maimed in landmine accidents all over the world." (The Times of India, May 24, 2003). Mind you the figures are from 2003, the numbers are much higher now.
It was the hateful and derisive manner, blatant lies and distortion in your writing that prompted the response.
It is a brazen fabrication on your part when you say, "...honor killing (in Pakistan) is often justified by religious scholars". Name one Pakistani religious scholar who is guilty of justifying the unislamic practice of honor killing. You can not.
Who told you, "girls are considered social stigma (in Pakistan)"? Have you ever heard or read that Pakistanis women having gender specific abortions or girls are killed at birth, as commonly practiced in your native country. Dr. Abdullah, please do not let your anti-Pakistani feelings run wild.
Yes, great many Pakistanis are poor, like neighboring Indians, but where did you read, "some 25 percent of Pakistani living in conditions not suitable even for animals". What you say is simply ridiculous. Quote your source, if you are truthful.
Following are the facts reported by the Pakistani media. Probably, they are also involved in Pakistan bashing.
According to official statistics in 2006, as many as 1,261 women were murdered in the name of honor killings in Pakistan.
Official data presented in the country's Upper House Senate shows that more than 4,000 people were killed during last 6 years in the name of honor killings.
Of the victims almost 2,774 were women and 1.226 were men which means twice as many women lose their lives to this ugly social custom.
More than 12 million people were added to the poor in Pakistan
between 1993 and 1999. The rising poverty was the result of poor
governance and slow economic growth
But unofficial statistics suggest that the number of victims is much higher because most the cases are not reported to police since close family members, including brothers, fathers and husbands might be involved.
The data shows that the highest number of honor killings were perpetrated in Punjab province followed by Sindh, the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and the south-western province of Baluchistan.
Few months ago, a major national newspaper The News reported on massive corruption in the public sector organizations. The report said: "Government decisions, in total disregard to merit, fair play and transparency, based on personal monetary gains for a few individuals in the government have grossly compounded the economic miseries of Pakistan and turned several government organizations into insolvent corporate entities."
The report also challenges the elected government by suggesting:
"Positioning of several handpicked corrupt and incompetent officials in key appointments at the government-run companies, in many cases without an active approval of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, has left a trail of incredible cases of corruption never witnessed before."
Very, very simple. Muslims always try to convince the non-muslims that muslims are morally upright and they are superior to others because they are muslims and follow Islam.
Guess what, Mr Jaffray, you just negated the views of muslims on faith basis as far as sports gambling part is concerned. As far as I know (and I am a Hindu), gambling in Islam is Haram. And Pakistan is an ISLMIC Republic. What a fine example from not only a muslim but an ISLAMIC country. Convince this infidel about the righteousness of Pakistani sports team.
By the way, in my previous posts over the last several years, I have never agreed with Dr Abdullah.