Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Taseer angered Pakistani liberals

The article by Aatish Taseer in the Wall Street Journal drew angry responses from the Pakistani side.
E.g., Ejaz Haider.
Shashi Tharoor replied. Among other things, he wrote:

No, the “Indian threat” is merely a useful device cynically exploited by the Pakistani military to justify their power (and their grossly disproportionate share of Pakistan’s national assets). But Pakistani liberals are particularly prone to the desire to prove themselves true nationalists; it is the best way to ensure that their otherwise heretical opinions are not completely discredited by the men in uniform who hold the reins of power in the state.

As this otherwise minor editorial spat demonstrates, Indians need to put aside their illusions that there are liberal partners for us on the other side of the border who echo our diagnosis of their plight and share our desire to defenestrate their military. Nor should we be surprised: a Pakistani liberal is, after all, a Pakistani before he is a liberal.
 This is very perceptive.  E.g., see this item from the trial of M.M.Qadri, the killer of Salman Taseer (reproduced below).  What should be evident is that Qadri's lawyers are constructing the defence  that Taseer was insufficiently pious and so his murder is justifiable.  Since Pakistani liberals are for separation of piety and state (if not always for separation of religion and state), the one leg they have to stand on to prove that they are patriotic and not wajib-ul-qatl is their anti-Indianism.   Making anti-Indianism unrespectable will undermine them.

RAWALPINDI: Son of late Punjab governor appeared here on Saturday before Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) No-II, Rawalpindi judge Syed Pervez Ali Shah for cross-questioning and also for recording his statement.

Malik Muhammad Rafiq the lawyer of Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri (alleged killer of Salman Taseer) asked hard questions from Shahryar Taseer during hearing in Adiala Jail. The court adjourned further hearing till July 9.

As Shahryar Taseer the son of late Salman Taseer appeared in the court, Malik Muhammad Rafiq the lawyer of Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri asked as to how many times did his father marry in his life. Shahryar Taseer said, Four. To a question from the lawyer whether all wives were legally valid and the women were Muslim, he replied in the affirmative. But the lawyer countered him saying that his late father had gone to India in 1982, when dictator Zia-ul-Haq was in power, and he married a Sikh woman. The Sikh woman gave birth to a child named Atish Taseer in India at that time.

Do you know Atish Taseer, your brother? asked the lawyer and Shahryar answered in the negative. The lawyer presented a book titled Strange to History in court, saying that it was written by Atish Taseer, son from Sikh woman. Shahryar Taseer admitted that Atish had written a book on the life of his father which was published in India.

Malik Muhammad Rafiq, the lawyer told the court that Atish Taseer has written in the book that his father ate pork, drank excessively and had affairs with several beautiful women. Atish Taseer came to Lahore to meet his father Salman Taseer but he refused to meet him. Slahuddin Ahmed the closest relative of Salman Taseer arranged a secret meeting between Atish and his father. In the meeting Atish demanded rights of his mother and himself as well but Salman Taseer refused, said the lawyer.

When the lawyer asked Shahryar whether he or his late father had issued any clarification about the book Strange to History written by Atish about the life of Salman Taseer, he replied in the negative. Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri the alleged killer of Salman Taseer was present during the hearing.

No comments:

Post a Comment