Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bangladesh and Pakistan

There is so much venom in Bangladeshis of all age, size and color, for Pakistanis that I have given up any hope of having any reconciliation between the two countries, at least in my life time. There are strained relationships between many other countries like China and Japan, Indonesia and East Timor, Korea and Japan etc. due to one reason or other, but the amount of open hatred oozed by Bangladeshis cannot be matched by any.

I have felt it, seen it and have been targeted by it in Bangladesh and also in the US and Australia. If you look at different Bangladeshi forums on the internet, you will notice how the young and old alike like to just talk about what Pakistani army did in 1971. To the extent that war crimes are morally wrong, no matter against whom, I find the extension of hatred of the Bongs towards Pakistanis irrational and counter productive for peace in South Asia.

Despite apologies from Pakistan government, on several occasions for the atrocities of Pakistan Army perpertrated on Bengalis (East Pakistanis) in the 1971 War, Bangladeshis have neither forgiven nor forgotten the past. May be the whole nation's collective psyche has nothing else to mull about in the absence of any bright future of the poverty trapped country. A joint hatred towards Pakistan at least gives them a thread of nationalism, commonality and something to be passionate about.

It may take one or two generations for Bangladeshis to come out of their arrested development caused by living in the past and they may realize that channeling their energies to solve real problems of the country like poverty is far more useful in the long run, than to hound the Jamat leaders in the country and mourn 1971. So, may be meanwhile Pakistan and Pakistanis should stop providing apologies for the wrongs of 1971 and let time heal the wounds of the two countries.

Friday, May 07, 2010

My share of conspiracy theory vis a vis Faisal Shahzad

When 9/11 happened, I kept thinking, who would do it and why. Why and how would/could Muslims carry out such a massive and concerted damage to the super power of the world. Who benefitted by killing five thousand or so American citizens and annihilating two sky scrapers. Not the Muslims, not certainly Iraqis, Pakistanis or any Afghanis--the ones who to date are paying for that. From the very day, I thought why would a Muslim or Muslim group do something like this which would end up exacerbating problems for Muslims and would further taint the already tainted image.

And, now this Faisal Shahzad case. First, thank God it was a failed attempt. I do not condone or provide apologies for any terrorist activities whatsoever. But, then once again, this person who apparently could have been avenging the US drone attacks in Waziristan has done nothing for his "cause" but instead has just almost broken the back of the over-burdened camel. Secretary Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying that in future such acts against US would not be tolerated. Paranoia haunts the Pakistanis who are settled in the USA or those who aspire to do so. FS has to be out of his mind to even believe for a moment that he is going to do any good for Muslims, Waziristan or Pakistan by trying to bomb NYC. It is not even making a statement that he is upset with US involvement in two major and one proxy war. So, my paranoid mind thinks, was he a CIA agent who acted this way to give a bad name to Pakistan. Because, his actions gave the world and particularly USA and India to point their fingers to Pakistan more strongly and say with a louder voice that all roads of terrorism lead to Pakistan.

That is the only explanation that makes any sense to me! What do you say.