Hypocrisy and defenders of democracy

Published: January 24, 2012

Mansoor sparked off the crisis that threatens to engulf the PPP, so he is obviously an enemy of all that is decent.

Hypocrisy may be the tribute vice pays to virtue but Pakistanis take it too far. Those who have appointed themselves as the defenders of democracy, the protectors of our military or the guardians of an independent judiciary have entered a Bermuda Triangle of political argument, where a black hole sucks in whatever logic once existed in their brains.

Let’s start with Mansoor Ijaz, or rather his critics. Here is the man who sparked off the crisis that threatens to engulf the PPP and so he is obviously an enemy of all that is decent and democratic. As a colourful businessman and self-considered diplomat, he has provided a lot of grist for the liberal crowd but his appearance in a raunchy music video should not have been one of them. Suddenly, all those who wrote earnestly on Veena Malik’s barely-covered breasts have discovered that they are outraged by near nudity. Veena was obviously a symbol of peace and tolerance but how can anyone take Mansoor Ijaz’s allegations seriously when he appears among bikini-clad wrestlers?

Then there are those posing as principled supporters of the Supreme Court as an independent institution to keep a check on the government. This crowd includes Sheikh Rasheed, whose relevance to politics is inversely proportionate to the amount of time he spends on the sets of talk shows.

His current rhetoric is in favour of the Supreme Court but his role has always been as a supporting actor for military interests.

So we have a man who was on the wrong side of two judicial coups – the one launched by Nawaz Sharif against Sajjad Ali Shah’s court in 1997 and Pervez Musharraf’s ouster of Iftikhar Chaudhry’s court in 2007, now pose as a man worried about how the PPP is not duly deferential to the judiciary and how about the military apologists, a gang so patriotic that they will even put aside their self-professed (but obviously fake) love for democracy because they are so worried about how the PPP is selling out this country.

Thus you have the spectacle of those who sat idly by as Musharraf sent Pakistanis to Guantanamo for cash, allowed drone strikes, and was reliant on US aid for fighting their war on terror, now criticise the PPP for doing the same. Their concern for our sovereignty is as fake as their supposed worries about how the PPP is damaging democracy. The only sovereignty they care about is that of the army over the civilians.

Anyone who begins a sentence with, ‘I support democracy but’ is secretly hoping the generals get back into power where they truly belong. What is most galling about the parade of hypocrites is that there are legitimate reasons to take any one of the positions espoused by these three categories.

Democracy truly is in danger in Pakistan, the independence of the Supreme Court does need to be respected and worrying about the PPP’s governance capabilities should not automatically make you an army stooge. But since the hypocrites tend to be the loudest and least reasonable they end up monopolising the debate.


Nadir Hassan

An Islamabad based journalist who tweets at @Nadir_Hassan.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    In Pakistan we have two words thrown about without really understanding their meaning 1) secular and 2) democracy.
    Democracy can not be in danger in Pakistan because in essence it does not exist.
    A democratic system exists for the benefit of the people. Can it be claimed that the existing system is benefiting the common man ? Ask the common man for a reply ?Recommend

  • Modazul

    Theres no democracy in Pakistan. It’s the same dictatorship in civilian clothing. The PPP rarely ever listens to what the court says! Musharrafs time was still better than the mess of PPP today! Tell me one thing, does the poor man on the street give a damn about whether there is democracy or military dictatorship? The poor man only wants a job, gas, CNG and food to live this life. I hate Musharraf and his cowardly policies, but atleast conditions were better!! Even when oil was at $147 a barrel, it wasnt as expensive as petrol is today in Pakistan!Recommend

  • http://[email protected] D. Asghar

    Nadir Bhai,

    Two Thumbs Up. Thank you so much for calling a spade a spade. Yes Hypocricy thy name is “Pakistan.” You are bang on correct with your analysis. Keep exposing the real truth.Recommend

  • Sufi Shah

    You are too young to be so self-righteous, Son. If so unhappy, join the PTI.Recommend

  • A

    Weren’t the elections a fraud to begin with the whole fake electoral roles, ballot stashing (by both PML-N and PPP) and the illegal NRO? …

    So what democracy are you talking about?Recommend

  • http://guldaan.wordpress.com/ Hamza Balouch(@H_Balouch)

    You only mentioned Sheikh Rasheed and did not mention Faisal Saleh Hayat. Moreover, you did not mention MQM and PMLQ, who were the right hand of a “dictator” in past or now right hand of “democracy”.

    2/3 of today parliament is same, what was in Musharraf ear… Not only the same, but also the same parties are in govt which were in Musheraf era.Nothing different between that “dictator” and this “democracy”!Recommend

  • Sajjad Awan

    In Pakistan everything is possible. The new drama titled “Memo Gate” or rather “Mamoon (Uncle) Gate” is being played while the naughty nephew Mansoor Ijaz is not coming to Pakistan and Mamoons(Uncles) having a cigar in their mouths are happily sitting in their privileged offices. Pakistan has been passing through critical times since 1947. Good knows whats is going to happen. Recommend

  • Uzma Farooq

    Seriously, the reference to Veena Malik was unnecessary and it did not make your point very clear.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed

    Mr. Nadir, you got it completely wrong with this one! First of all Mansoor Ijaz is nothing more than a petty conman, well a highly educated one that is. He is a member of a powerful think tank in the US, which is funded by the most powerful lobby in the US of A (i.e. Jewish). Secondly, he is got nothing to do with Pakistan, no stakes & no love. His Father was working with the Pakistan Nuclear program & defected & blurted out the information to the world against the interests of our country.

    Secondly, you talk about the coup of Musharraf, well now let’s see, is it OK for Nawaz Sharif a morally corrupt person, to become a democratic (fixed elections) dictator (Ameer Ul Momeneen Bill)? I say, Musharraf is & will be by far more democratic than these people in politics these days.

    As for selling Pakistani’s are concerned, tell me did he sell anyone you know to the US? Please get your facts straight, almost 99.5% of people either the one’s in the missing persons list or the one’s sent to Guantanamo have been involved in serious acts of crimes (anti-state).

    I am no qualms about the fact that what we are seeing today in Pakistan is due to the wrong policies of the US, Saudia & a Pakistani dictator (Zia-ul-Haq) & his narrow vision of Islam. But it is utter nonsense to compare Zia to Musharraf.

    I suggest you look all this without the biases & get your facts straight & stop believing sponsored Journalists & Talk Show Hosts who are extremely biased, unethical & unprofessional, only looking for ratings.

    Best RegardsRecommend

  • Seema Shaikh

    @Shahryar Ahmed: I tell you the name, among those Aafia Siddiqi is one who was sold to USA. Dont forget Shasi air base was given to US military just on verbal agreement, during his period Bugti killed, Banazir murdered.and there is no difference between Zia and Musharruf, except one promoted narrow version of Islam other had promoted moderate enlightenment. Zia created Mujahdeen and veena Malik extremely enlightened. Recommend

  • http://www.chattingpk.com chattingpk

    it was just an other drama of government and media. What happened now ? No result yet ? ok take 5 years more to just bring out something from it. This is the main cause why we are behind because of our judiciary take years to just delivered 1 decision.
    Pakistani Chat Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Samo

    Mansoor Ejaz is the test case for Pakistan Military and Civil leadership, USA is waiting to do the right thing or may be the deserving one , because at Istanbul conference Russia, China , Iran and Paksitan agreed to teach some serious lessons to Pentagon. No doubt Pakistani Leadership is the slave , but while talking about Pakistani Nation, we are optimistic for the welfare and developement. Mansoor Ejaz is the change of Foreign policy from both sides(Pakistan and USA). China has influenced Pakistan to sit together with Russia despite what happened in the past. America is concerned what the hell is going on, America is shocked right now as Pakistan was shocked after 9/11. American policies and strategies for Muslim world i think has become outdated. America is trying to blackmail the leaders for to prevent China-Russia Influence in Pakistan. Pakistan Establishment and Civil Society has to review the American interests in the region. America will never ever let us remain in peace and harmony, America is the number one Human Rights Violator. America is the root of terrorism in the Muslim World.Mansoor Ejaz’s credibility is zero as a Pakistani Well Wisher, he has always talked and written against ISI and Pak Army. Manzoor as a Witness doesn’t looks like a accurate one , he is a conspirator. Memo Commission should not wait for Mansoor Ejaz.Recommend

  • -ive man

    When the truth is found to be lies
    The joy within you dies

    CCR said it allRecommend