Wednesday, September 5, 2012

State of Denial - On the media's undue criticism of PTI and Imran Khan (via Saach.TV)


Courtesy: "Saach.TV" (5 Sep 2012)
State of Denial
On the media's undue criticism of PTI and Imran Khan 
Dr. Ahsan Malik

Call this a rebuttal or an eye opener, the fact remains that many writers and ‘analysts’ penning down their (wrongly judged) thoughts with regards to their favourite political clan – PTI, often build their case by conveniently ignoring key facts central to PTI’s theme/strategy/vision/ideas. Let me quote some recent examples:
My favourite writer, a former army major Mr.Kamran Shafi in his recent piece about his perception of some recent interviews expressed displeasure at the unspoken, supposed invitation by Mister Tsunami and Doctor Tsunami to ‘join’ PTI. He also ‘wanted in’ on the secret of “…how Imran manages his household on Rs 50,000 a month…”. However, I am very pleased to relieve the honourable Major of his apprehensions since the invitation by mister & doctor tsunami to Dr.Aalim was explicitly to play his role in politics (just like every citizen should); the invitation was clearly not for joining PTI. Also, narration of the Rs 50k salary incident by Dr.Tsunami was set in the pre-2005 era when 50 thousand rupees had some considerable value; still, if someone wants to learn home economics: refer to the Rs10k earning labourer. Furthermore, if my Major has dreamt of Dr.Aalim joining PTI then he should revive his military-era courage and voice it openly. He may not meet disappointment (fingers crossed).
Another of his articles in which i found his arguments very interesting was where he made his case for convincing us to own ‘the war’. He was successful in eliciting praise from all but a few of my Indian friends, clearly shown by their expressive comments on the webpage where the article was published. The problem lay in basing his whole argument on the smokescreen of the ‘taliban’ and the Major’s inability to observe beyond the obvious.

For example: Mr.Shafi gave the examples of a dozen attacks on Pakistan’s military assets & public locations – obviously despicable and condemnable acts. But to base future course of state policy as a simple tit-for-tat reaction to these heinous acts is plain…stupid. History has proven that mere use of force has never solved any conflict especially in cases where the opponent is disguised within the general population and has their sympathies (due to whatever reasons). Use of force for the last 50 years never prevented Palestinians from recruiting more fighters and carrying on their fight, nor did India succeed in doing the same with Kashmir’s armed struggle despite the most dense military presence. It is noteworthy to mention here that Islamabad fares no better in disbanding the insurgency in Balochistan despite use of force repeatedly in the last many decades. (Note that in no way are freedom struggles being equated with the retaliatory terror acts – the similarity is in the failure to quash the motivation and driving force behind the radicalisation of population that produces gun-toting individuals in each case).
Here the burden of lack of comprehension must not be Mr.Shafi’s alone to share, because he is not alone in misreading the scenario. Every now and then (including in television talkshows whenever the topic arises) we find ‘analysts’ and others in the civil society advocating drone attacks, more war & more killing in the race of being the patriotic, who wants to protect his/her country from ‘enemies’ and ‘rebels’ (might I add ‘infidels’?). What all such war proponents fail to factor into their expert opinions and analysis is the factor of motivation & driving force that fuels the recruitment of manpower that sustains the enemy’s war machine (in this case with the populist moniker – Taliban). All such analysts are requested to please be honest with their analysis and policy formulations by giving a solution that deals with the ‘motivation’ factor of militancy (please do go beyond the “more-education” mantra).
Finally, lets deal with the supposed economic experts who very loyally demolish the economic targets and roadmaps presented by PTI, again through the convenience of ignoring central ideas around which each concept is skilfully based. Take the lead opinion-maker a.k.a ‘analyst’ Mr. Najam Sethi’s television program in which there came no hesitation in dissecting and branding each clause of the economic plan as ‘aik aur wishlist’. Not just Mr. Sethis but every other “expert” analyst is trying to devise new ways of failure of the clan’s economic policy map. Other such examples I have found when I had the honour to observe the arguments of other people eg. A.K.Chishti (who just couldn’t wait to stick his post – its crucifying PTI in a talkshow for a problem that is of all Pakistanis to own up to), Sana Bucha (puts fantastic questions to Tsunami reps but gets tongue-tied if interviewing anyone having anything to do with the word “PMLN”)… just to name a few. NO OFFENCE, but the majority of these analyses are on the same lines of those that steered this country to the ledge it falters on today. Furthermore, except for the odd one out, none of them offer any alternate solutions after dubiously trashing PTI’s 5-year action plan. Strikingly similar is the state of affairs in the analytical realm regarding Mister Tsunami’s other stances, e.g. his vehement opposition to drone attacks and NATO supplies. It is VERY interesting to note the weird behaviour of analytical community towards Khan’s stances (e.g. of bringing the “Taliban” to the negotiating table) first when he was the only few Pakistanis to take such stands, and afterwards when someone from the ideological heaven (a.k.a. USA) begins to broadcast at the same frequency and speak the same language. So when a Pakistani advocates for a strategy it becomes bad and he is given the label of ‘Taliban Khan’, but when my state’s paymaster Mr. US-President advocates the same years later, it suddenly becomes the light at the end of the tunnel?? What a load of tosh.
The unfounded criticism along with no offer of any alternate suggestions/improvements is evidence enough to realise how pessimistic and negative the mind-set is of the vast majority of those doling out these “analyses”. The conclusions from most of such people ends at making the reader/viewer believe that things cannot change, ever. It seems most of such pessimistic speakers/writers are, undeniably, in a state of denial.
PTI is not beyond criticism and neither are their policies any sort of taboo. However, basing criticism on factually incorrect information and consistently throwing policies in the trashcan after conveniently ignoring key details and painting them missing is definitely not on. People have the right to present their analyses but we should all have the courage to present ALL the facts, even if sometimes the resulting conclusion is unfavourable towards our personal bias and preferences.
As I watch the analysts on political TV shows and read op-eds dealing with politics, I begin to wonder: where is the moral fibre?


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Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.


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