Pakistan report – Nor happiness, nor majesty, nor fame

02.02.2014 - Pakistan - Ahmad Mughal Irshad

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Pakistan report – Nor happiness, nor majesty, nor fame
(Image by Abad ul-huq)

Main highlighted stories in the electronic and print media this past week were about violence and strategies to deal with the violence, except one underlined story in which Saudi ruling elites offer an old style economic deal, a barter system.

The top story (highlighted by a few channels) was about the offer of Saudi ruling elites of a “barter system” to give oil and take land, for food crops. This follows on from Saudi Kingdom orders to stop growing crops in Saudi Arabia after 2016 due to severe shortage of water.

Therefore, they are interested to get land on lease from the Pakistani government and offer oil in exchange on a daily basis. Some said the offer was good while others said it is a new style of economic invasion through leasing lands. This story depicts the changing paradigms of the future where the rich will get the land of the poor and the poor will be flushed out.

The Saudi rich will get land from wherever to fill their bellies but poor humans will not even get land 2 feet wide by 7 feet long (for a grave) as happens in Lahore where the poor can’t get land for their dear ones to be buried!

The second story was about Scotland Yard Police investigations based on a documentary of the BBC about money laundering, also the violent speeches and murder of political party MQM leader Imran Farooq (who was based in London). The party leaders and members of Coordination Committee (Rabta Committee) criticized the BBC for making a documentary against the MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain.

The committee members said that the purpose of “the media trial” was to “influence the courts as well as the murder investigation in the UK”.

The third story was about ways to eliminate violence through negotiation. If any artist paints a picture using his or her imagination after reading the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes, he or she will be able to paint a picture reflecting some areas of Pakistan where his “state of nature” exist and “might is right” rule.

However, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave one more chance to peace and set up a four man negotiation committee (two journalists, one ex-army man and one ex-ambassador) to initiate reconciliation processes with militants.

Nobody knows what they will achieve during the bargaining and what will they might lose. Agenda is vague, demand is concrete (peace). Time is tough, field is rough. Can a business minded prime minster achieve war type targets? Many welcomed his offer but a few are skeptical.

This year seems different compared to previously. Will USA forces withdrawals from Afghanistan create a vacuum? Who will fill it? Nobody knows, some predict a new wave of violence in the coming days!

Further highlighted news was about the ex-army general and president of Pakistan who is under treason trial. A special court has been constituted to deal with former president Pervez Musharraf. Last week the court rejected his plea to allow him to go abroad for medical treatment and issued his arrest warrant.

There was some news about celebrities too. In one part of the country everything seems violent and in crises, yet in other parts the country there was news about wonderful fashion shows, cat walks, shopping centres etc. This brings me to say, I don’t know what kind of pathetic situation Shelley faced in his life time but he painted a true picture of this country when he wrote:

“Nor Happiness, nor majesty, nor fame,
Nor peace, nor strength, nor skill in arms or arts,
Shepherd those herds whom tyranny makes tame;
Verse echoes not one beating of their hearts,
History is but the shadow of their shame.

(Shelley)

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