The Elusive Last Straw

Dec 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Media Watch, Pakistan

I am such an idiot. I thought we should get that out of the way early.

Remember September?

When the whole blasphemy video issue happened? When the PPP “capitulated” to the religious right?

I remember certain people, who hold sway in the media, people who claim to be on the left, being deeply scarred by all of it. I remember their anger and outrage, and I remember them finally running out of patience with their beloved party.

I remember it being “the last straw”. And I remember believing them.

Silly me!

Corruption, poverty and just plain slaughter that goes on in Karachi every day is not of much concern for the intellectually gifted. It’s the pandering to the religious right, the targeting of minorities and the evil machinations of the military that fuel their fury.

Admirable! And perhaps, why September seemed like a turning point; a last straw. It was and it wasn’t.

September was a last straw that came after many last straws, and many last straws have come after it. Many will come. What will change? Nada.

There might be some noise made when the circumstances don’t allow otherwise, like in September, but most last straws don’t even register. The camel quite obviously is on steroids and the last straw is but a myth.

Proof, you ask me?

Well, what do you know about the Sunni Ittehad Council? Forget that religious parties are inherently against the “we want a secular state” brigade, the SIC also openly supported Mumtaz Qadri. Mumtaz Qadri, in case you have trouble recalling, is the man who killed Salman Taseer. Salman Taseer, in case you have more trouble recalling, is the man certain people remember every day as the hero who fought darkness, the knight in shining armour and other stuff in that category.

Now, there’s been an alliance involving the SIC and a “liberal” party Salman Taseer called his own. Et tu, anyone? Well, no one, at least no one in the “independent” media and hence; no last straw.

Moving on we observe that the independent media doesn’t only exercise its independence by giving the PPP a free pass. Enter Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, hail Nawaz Sharif, the lord and owner of Punjab. There’s a strange kind of love for his highness Nawaz Sharif in our “leftist” press, despite his very Zia-ish roots.

It so happens that the saviours of our Shia community never question PMLNs shady links with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, past or present. And whilst PMLN might have entered into a declared alliance with ASWJ again, during the by-polls, chances are that the anchors will talk about the weather when Mr. Sharif graces her show.

Here too the last straw, needless to say, remains unattainable.

What about the military then?

“Military = Evil”. So, Military+PMLN+PPP = Outrage. This is just simple math, right?

Not quite.

All of you will be pleased to know that in light of Supreme Court’s Asghar Khan case judgement, which stated that military was indeed involved in rigging elections, PPP have done the honourable thing.

The party proudly announced that they will not be probing Punjab owner Nawaz Sharif for taking ISI money and the Asghar Khan case was, their words not mine; buried.

The military interference and the ISI money and the stealing of the people’s mandate; all forgiven. Surely this is the bloody last straw?

In your dreams!

So to recap, in the space of a half a week, the PPP and PMLN have combined to

1) Protect election rigging, the famed will of the people.
2) Give cover to military interference and protect culprits in this regard.
3) Form alliances with sectarian outfits blamed for much of the violence against Shias in the country.
4) Form alliances with religious outfits supporting the murder of a sitting governor over the blasphemy law.

And yet no last straw! Actually, no straw at all!

Since 3rd December, when SIC-PPP alliance came to light, till today, here’s how the honest and upright, the “dissenters”, have reacted:

The English media, famous for their knack of spotting ASWJ flags, did not have an editorial on ASWJ-PMLN, nor did these teary-eyed Taseer fans give space to PPP-SIC. The newspapers also abstained from commenting on PPPs general amnesty for military interference.

Not a single one of “always excellent” op-ed writers was bothered by these trivial happenings. In fact the folks in these “newspapers”, God bless their unbiased heart, did not even report the SIC-PPP alliance.

Beyond pathetic isn’t it. Depressing even!

All is not lost though, for these people will find their voices again once the PPP and PMLN are not in the picture.

Now when that happens, and it will happen, I would be thankful if everyone, respectfully, tells them to take their appreciation for Taseer, their concern for the Shias, their disdain for the deep state, alongside that elusive last straw and bury it all for good.

Ali Ahmed

About the author

Ali Ahmed is a Lahori in Islamabad, a student and an entrepreneur. He blogs about Pakistan

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  1. really great ………. very interesting 🙂 keep it up

  2. you exposed hypocrisy of libidos and PPP but not PTI on Mehran Bank scandal. Javed Hashmi PTI president is also accused of 40 million Rupees in Mehran bank scandal.

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