Making Noise and Being Heard
ACM Kaleem Saadat
With the proliferation of social media and blogs, propaganda is king! Anybody can write anything and forward or share on WhatsApp or Facebook, and the reader takes it as the final truth. The stark example of this irony is that Russian agents were able to post advertisements and posts aimed at supporting Donald Trump and undermining Hillary Clinton. Thus, tactics of the U.S. deep state came back to haunt America.
Closer to home write-ups are circulated which praise Generals, Kiani and Raheel Sharif, while their detractors write things that tend to denigrate them. This phenomenon has also been evident in the political battle between PTI and PML (N). The truth of the matter is that no person or country, for that matter, is as good as its supporters say nor as bad as their detractors try to portray. The reality is somewhere in the middle. However, what amazes me is that educated, rational people will accept falsehoods just because they are in agreement with their own biases. A stark illustration of this phenomenon is the white supremacistsâ€™ support for Mr. Trump, who the rest of the world sees with anxiety, consternation and amazement. The world cannot believe that such a person could become the president of U.S.A and the virtual leader of the Free World. It is also evident that, he told lies during the presidential campaign and even after getting into the Oval Office. The U.S. media has maintained a count of his utterances on Twitter and elsewhere, and found 96% of those to be false.
Most of the world thinks that Mr. Trump is crazy but they dare not articulate this lest he reacts in an irrational manner and cause them or their countries economic and political harm. The American media and political commentators have declared him â€œun-presidentialâ€ in his conduct but he doesnâ€™t care or he doesnâ€™t understand. So we can conclude that his main tool is his ability to create unfavorable noises against people, countries and companies that cross his path. In a forum (the UN) which was created to promote peace, Mr. Trump threatened to destroy totally a country (North Korea).
Thus, it is evident that to succeed in the current strategic and political environment one has to create noise on print, social and electronic media and be heard. Pakistan as a country has done badly in this domain. Pakistan is as devious, duplicitous and hypocritical as are India, Israel and the U.S. and yet we are painted as if we have a monopoly on villainy.
Take the case of war on terror (WoT)! In this fight Pakistan has suffered more than the U.S., India and Afghanistan and in most cases these countries are not only contributors and abettors to terrorism in Pakistan but also direct perpetrators. Pakistan is a net victim rather than a perpetrator of terrorism. Pakistan has hosted 3-5 million Afghan refugees for four decades and is castigated for trying to send them back to where they came from while America will not allow even tens of thousands to enter the U.S. Also, so much is being made out of Bangladesh sheltering Rohingya Muslims, but they are 400,000 in a population of 165 million and they have crossed over only recently. Pakistan has never destroyed homes and killed or maimed innocent women and children in foreign lands but those who have, have the gall to lecture us. Pakistan has been fighting the WoT along the borders with Iran and Afghanistan with 2-300,000 troops for the last 16 years yet Afghanistan with only 60% of its territory in governmental control and the U.S. having 8000 troops there, show the temerity to tell us to do more. Come on people, think! The likes of Ajit Doval, Sushma Swaraj and Narendra Modi, who are actively involved in terrorism and subversion in Pakistan, have declared their ambition to teach Pakistan a lesson sometimes through â€˜Cold Startâ€™ and at others through â€˜Proactive Strategyâ€™. And they pretend to be victims of terrorism! In every parameter of state conduct, Pakistan has both done, and suffered, more than others in its fight against terror. Itâ€™s just that we have not made enough noise and been heard.
Fortunately, for the first time PM Shahid Khaqan Abbassi spoke clearly and directly to represent Pakistanâ€™s case before the UN General Assembly. The fact that all he said was true caused uproar in the Indian camp, which in its response used euphemisms to denigrate Pakistan rather than contradicting the facts of its brutalities in Occupied Kashmir. The Indians highlighted being an IT super power but couldnâ€™t wash off the stigma of being the â€˜Lynching and Killingâ€™ super power too! Well done Pakistan!