Pakistanis are notorious for arriving late to parties, though only slightly lesser than Indians. So it is with little suprise we find that when rabid fanatics in other parts of the world have burned some foreign embassies in self-righteous anger and gone back home satisfied, the Pakistani brothers suddenly realised they were falling behind in the “we’re angry too you mofos” stakes, and started rioting.
It could be that they were protesting against horribly bad KFC/McDonald’s food, but there’s no excuse for Pizza Hut dammit.
Jokes aside, it feels as if there are troubles ahead for Pakistan. Though the country regularly features protests organised by religious groups, lately they’ve been getting bigger and more frequent. The people are really angry.
1) The earthquake. The magnitude overwhelmed authorities and led to much criticism. The government was inefficient in distributing supplies and gaps were usually filled by outside agencies.
2) The USA effect. The US military’s presence so near to the border is always an issue. They built up goodwill during the earthquake, only to mercilessly squander it by accidentally bombing a village and killing eighteen people.
3) Social unrest. Although the economy is doing well, unemployment is still an issue; there are serious problems in the Baluchistan province; and General Musharraf no longer seems to command the attention he did.
Coming to the cartoon protests. Most western bloggers forget that almost all protests in the Muslim world are orchestrated – either by religious parties or the government. The Daily Times reports:
Intelligence sources told Daily Times that the chain of violent incidents was orchestrated by a group of trained young activists of religious organisations. Activists belonging to the student wing (sic!) of Jamaat ud Daâ€™wa (formerly known as Lashkar-e-Tayba), Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba and Shabab-e-Milli of Jamaat-e-Islami gave the destruction a professional touch.
There have been a lot of religious protests in Pakistan of late, and they have been getting bigger and more destructive. Most of the property being destroyed doesn’t even relate to the cartoons. They’re just cars, motorbikes, cinemas, restaurants etc.
I received this from a friend just recently back from Pakistan:
Suddenly, considering it their birth right to protest, Pakistanis have jumped on the bandwagon .In their dangerous mindset, the more anger they will show, the closer they would get to the prophet. I am sure some political powers (mainly Jamat-e-Islami and Lashkar-e-Tayyabbah) would have declared the dead people as “shaheeds”. Appalling! Sad! and down right pathetic.
You know before partition, when people of the sub-continent used to protest against the “White Sa’ab” or the government, they would break public parks, roads and all the government property, just to give the government the signal that they hated being ruled by an outside power. The attitude was probably not right even then, but at least held some reason behind it.
Today, Pakistanis go out and break their own property if something goes wrong in any part of the world. Down right ignorant bunch of fools they are. In Peshawar, in their quest to find a Danish office, they ended up at Telenor mobile company and burnt the office where their own country men worked. The biggest tumor in Pakistan today is illiteracy, and sadly the ever so corrupt politicians en cash this illiteracy to strengthen their governments.
Pakistan can be an unstable place. The intelligence services already underestimated the recent protests.
Musharraf has used previous protests to consolidate his own position with the US (“Do you really want these people in power?”), as other Middle Eastern countries like Syria do.
As everywhere else, the religious parties want power but are being held back by the military. So using every controversy as a pretext, they’re happy to flex their muscles and see how much damage they can do.
But if the riots get out of hand or spread then the President could be severely weakened, and eventually brought down.
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Filed in: Pakistan,Religion,South Asia