Zaid Hamid: Treason against reason
Two statements have been circulating in my head for the last few days. The first one is by George Orwell:
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
The second is a piece of poetry by revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz:
Nisar teri galiyo pe ae watan kay jahan,
Chali hai Rasm kay koi na sarr utha kay chalay.
Jo Koi Chahnay Wala Tawaaf ko Niklay,
Nazar Jhuka kay Chalay, Jism o Jaan Bacha Kay Chalay.
(My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation!
Where a tradition has been invented- that none shall walk with his head held high,
If at all one takes a walk, a pilgrimage,
One must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in fear)
It all started with an e-mail.
A few days ago, I got an e-mail from a friend that contained a webpage link and a message stating that it was an urgent matter and we should do something about it. I clicked on the link, and lo and behold, a sumptuous statement was present on the ‘Official’ Facebook page of Mr Zaid Zaman Hamid:
Today, we have filed a petition in the Supreme Court against SAFMA for high treason against the Pak sarzameen, its sacred ideology, its beloved founding fathers and waging a war against the Pak sarzameen, armed forces and our freedom on behalf of the enemies.
We have demanded the death penalty under article 6 high treason laws for All SAFMA leaders, members and supporters. Now these snakes will be dragged to the court and confronted with their crimes against the Pak sarzameen”.
I was not very surprised by this development as Zaid Hamid has been trying to raise a hue and cry after he was publicly humiliated on Express News by Ali K Chishti and Hasan Nisar. The statement mentioned above is truly hilarious; Zaid Hamid can himself be dragged to court on ‘defamation charges’ for his diatribes. His pet army, namely ‘Pakistan Cyber Force’ is also active and has been releasing ridiculous videos against SAFMA, and progressive newspapers such as The Express Tribune. A closer look at the said ‘petition’ reveals more about Zaid Hamid himself than SAFMA members. Omar Ali, a blogger, wrote the following about the petition:
Zaid Hamid, a clown promoted by the security establishment (and very popular among the burger jihadi crowd, as can be seen by the comment in the link), or at least, by the jihadi faction of the security establishment for years, has now filed a petition in the Supreme court of Pakistan to bring anti-Islam and ante-Pakistan forces to heel. Most of those named in the petition are associated with SAFMA (South Asian Free Media Association), a group that has done great work to promote dialog between journalists in South Asia”
Some interesting observations about the petition are as follows:
1. Zaid Hamid is introduced as “Founding president of an international threat analysis consultancy and defence think tank“. This is a clear sign of delusional grandeur. He needs to reassess his thoughts, not go to court.
2. The petition makes the director general of our notorious establishment agency a respondent in the petition.
3. The petition mentions that “many of the most senior and patriotic analysts of Pakistan have raised serious objections over SAFMA”. No names have been provided by the petitioner although we all know who the members of the ghairat brigade are.
4. He has accused the respondents of “trying to project Quaid-e-Azam as a secular leader, lowering the image of Allama Iqbal, and aggressively attacking the image of armed forces and ISI”, showing that he has probably never heard of the phrase ‘difference of opinion’.
5. He accuses them of “having done great damage to the ideology of Pakistan, to the spirit of the Objectives Resolution, and Islamic clauses of the constitution”. Apart from a ‘difference of opinion’, only legislators (which none of the accused seem to be) can ‘damage’ clauses in the Constitution.
6. About his own credentials, he had says the following:
The petitioner is an internationally known security, defense and threat perception analyst and runs a think tank called BrassTacks whose defense and threat perception studies are widely circulated, read and acknowledged by friendly countries national and international media. Jordanian Strategic Study Institute declared him in 2010 and 2011 as one of the most influential 500 Muslims living in the world today.”
The list is not compiled by the ‘Jordanian Strategic Study Institute’ but by the ‘Royal Institute of Strategic Islamic Studies’ and the validity of this list can be gauged by the fact that in 2010, it included General Ashfaq Kayani, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Mohammed Abdul Wahab, Amir of Tablighi Jamaat, Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri, Shaikh Mohammad, founder of the International Islamic Propagation Centre (IIPC), Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar, a Sufi scholar of the Ashrafia order based in Karachi, Dr Farhat Hashmi, Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri, Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro, Secretary General of Jamiat Ulema-Islam Sindh, Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui, Junaid Jamshed, Abida Parveen, Zaid Hamid and Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.
7. There are countless spelling errors in the petition, such as “weather it is not a fact that”.
8. The famous conspiracy theory narrative of Zaid Hamid is also part of the petition, as it says:
Whether it is not a fact that Pakistan is in a state of existential war, under attack from multiple axis. The objective of this war is to balkanise the country on the pattern of Yugoslavia.
And it goes on further stating:
“Whether it is not a fact that Pakistan is facing an existential war for its survival today, because of treacherous role of some elements within Pakistani media and especially the group called SAFMA working under the umbrella of Free Media foundation”
9. The famous Zaid Hamid accusations against people and the typical jumping-to-conclusions tactics were all based on nothing and this is visible in the text:
Whether it is not a fact that SAFMA is creating Moral and social anarchy through filthy Indian media, secular or Hindu ideology, vulgarity, Hindu culture is spreading immoral values repugnant of Islamic and local cultures”.
In these lines, the petitioner is arbitrarily passing judgment on Hindu Culture as “immoral and vulgar” while forgetting that hundreds of thousands of Hindus are part of Pakistan as well.
10. The petitioner has also tried to define what, according to him, is the basis of Pakistan, and wants the court to proceed based on his definitions:
That Pakistan is an ideological Islamic State created on the basis of Two Nations Theory to be made a homeland for Muslims of the sub-continent to live and carve their lives according to Quran and Sunnah and teachings of Islam individually and collectively
11. The petition also peddles the conspiracy theory revolving around the separation of East Pakistan, stating that it was solely because of Indian influence and not because we denied them their rights for 25 years.
In 1971, they [India] attacked East Pakistan, supported insurgencies, spread lies and disinformation and worked hard to dilute the Two Nation Theory by promoting provincial hatred resulting in breakup of Pakistan. Indira Gandhi took pride not in the military victory but in the fact that they had dismantled the Ideological Pillar of Pakistan, The Two Nation Theory.
12. The petitioner himself tried to spread fabricated information and accused SAFMA of many things without giving any concrete evidence. For the record, SAFMA is mostly provided funding by Norway and the Netherlands:
It should be noted that SAFMA is a covert operation of Indian establishment and Raw and such operations rarely have any audited bank statements, hence depend upon secret funding, briefcases and envelopes. The lavish SAFMA lifestyles and spending are serious circumstantial evidence to their secret foreign founding.
While I do not have enough legal acumen to know whether this petition will be admitted by the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, I truly believe that if it does happen, Zaid Hamid and his ‘true colours’ will be evident for all to see; and what an entertaining event that would be!
This post originally appeared here.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.