Hawking Women’s Rights

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Pakistan may not have the complete freedom of action, especially political action, necessary to ameliorate the situation, but some Pakistanis do have the potential to make things worse. The military metaphysics that prompts Pakistan’s liberal hawks to celebrate the drones and call for more war is born of ignorance and indifference. They appear to be unaware that they are demanding something of the Pakistani military, which the U.S., in spite of its seemingly limitless resources, has been unable to accomplish in Afghanistan. This failure is not because of insufficient military commitment: no amount of force could resolve what is essentially a political problem. The intransigence of Pakistan’s liberal hawks has done little to enhance security; but it has succeeded in creating an association in many minds between secularism and imperial apologia.

The assassination attempt on Malala Yousufzai was a criminal and cowardly act. No amount of military operations or drone criminality can excuse it. Collective punishment does not make retaliatory killing of the innocent inevitable. But, it does make it more likely. The drones, even more directly than the American occupation next door in Afghanistan, are a destabilizing factor. They destroy the normalcy of people’s lives and force them into reaction. Given the variations in human nature, some reactions will inevitably be less restrained than others. Some will also try to inflate the definition of the enemy, so that a war against western intervention becomes a war against secularism itself. The lesson, then, is to remove the irritant that allows these conflations.

Recall that before 2002 there were no suicide bombings in Pakistan (except for an Egyptian attack against the Egyptian embassy in 1995). This new development coincided with the destabilizing intrusion of foreign forces next door. The most comprehensive study of suicide bombings since 1982 conducted by the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism shows that 95 percent of suicide bombings are carried out in response to foreign occupation.

Pakistan’s hawkish class is indifferent to the fate of the many Malalas whose lives have been extinguished by America’s mechanized executioners. The fact that they have elevated some women’s rights over the human rights of all in north-west shows that they really care for neither. If this were about the rights of all women, they would not have ignored Nadia, the 10-year-old girl whose parents were incinerated in a drone attack. Like Malala, she also pined for education; but her story did not lend itself well to pro-war propaganda. Women’s rights will not be served as long the suffering of a Nadia isn’t accorded the same significance as the suffering of a Malala.

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at De Montfort University. He has a doctorate in sociology and edits Pulsemedia.org. He was born in Chitral and raised in Peshawar. He can be reached at m.idrees@gmail.com

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5 Responses to Hawking Women’s Rights

  1. […] been put, both by the so-called western media as well as by all sides of the drone argument. Ahmad points out that the ways in which the TTP’s violence is parasitic on the violence about which […]

  2. faraz on Nov 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Wow, I never knew that the problem is the one dozen liberal columnists and not the mullah military alliance and its vast jihadi enterprise that has been recruiting civilians to wage proxy wars for past 30 years

    • pashtun-girl on Nov 2012 at 8:39 AM

      you never knew it because you don’t have the will to face the complexity of realities instead sweeping it with a black and white paint brush. you hnoestly think that pakistanis are that dumb to be convinced by a bunch of jihadi mulla’s to fight war, if you have an iota of sense, try to make sense of the post 2002/war against terror, flux of jihadis, created by your masters

  3. […] News Sources on November 4, 2012 Muhammad Idrees Ahmad writes: For advocacy to be successful, it has to come from a place of empathy rather than superiority. […]

  4. Firman on Jan 2013 at 5:50 AM

    that he is pro militants he just said that only war will not solve the satuition. We have to try and differentiate between the militants and the actual pro-Pakistan people in the North Western Pakistan. Even within the Taliban ranks would be people who would not agree with the militants and would be ready to negotiate with the State.Imran Khan has been wise by not criticizing the TTP and the Taliban openly and blindly like rest of the coward and corrupt politicians. He has decided to view this problem logically even though it has been an extremely emotional time for the entire nation. Sending in troops to fight TTP in the coming winters would be the biggest mistake. Repercussions of NWA operation would be greatly felt in all major cities of the country with massive civilian casualties due to suicide attacks and enormous damage to the economy. Additionally satuition may get so bad that even the National elections would have to be postponed indefinitely. In short, an emotional decision at this stage would be catastrophic for Pakistan. If the war escalates to a point where it can not be contained, it will give US / NATO forces to enter Pakistan and within days and weeks Pakistan will become another Iraq.So pray for a quick and full recovery of Malala but also do not be blinded by emotional (politically motivated) statements by the tried and failed politicians and do not get pressurized by the US and its other western allies. This time think before you act!

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