New Delhi, Nov 23, 2016: Pakistan-born Canadian journalist and author Tarek Fatah, whose sardonic dismissal of the radical Islam has won him fans in India, says that he is an Indian at heart.
Fatah says that he sees no progress for provinces of Pakistan like Balochistan and Sindh which are struggling to break free from the clutches of state-sponsored terrorism. The founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress praises the shift of India in its Balochistan policy saying that it has turned heads towards the issue which was never brought under the spotlight, mentioned HT report.
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When questioned by HT, about the endgame of the Balochistan Struggle- he said that a few years back, it could have been solved in a way where it could have been a part of the federation based on the presentation of some of the nationalist politicians, a six-point plan similar to what Sheikh Mujib Ur Rehman did to win the election in the year 1970.
The Pakistan government rejected it completely which sent out the message that the only path Islamabad suggested was the subjugation and elimination of the Balochi language.
He said that a government in exile is necessary and after India’s intervention there is hope that the Baloch leadership might get together into a confederacy. Fatah thinks that Pakistan was taken aback. He said that they never thought that the Indians would know about Balochistan.
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He tells HT, since most NGOs and journalists serve public relations companies and rely on press releases and lobbyists, the Baloch have no understanding of the working of international media and hence, their voice is never aired.
Rashad Suleymanov, the vice president of the European Parliament explicitly mentioned in Geneva that the European parliament will impose sanctions on Pakistan if the human rights infringements do not stop in occupied Balochistan.
While explaining the situation in Sindh, he said that Sindh has been diluted by the Urdu-speaking immigrants who migrated came in from India. At first, Jinnah took away their major city Karachi and converted it into an Urdu speaking city where no other language was permitted. This deprived around 90% of the population who spoke Gujarati, Sindhi, and Balochi.
None of the Gujarati speaking people were employed as the requirement was the ability to converse in Urdu and the Sindhi were pushed away from the urban cities.
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On being asked why is he so critical of Pakistan he said that the colonial power has blood on its hands. It bullied itself into shame when Pakistan was formed. Around 60 percent Pakistan converse in Bengali, but the Punjabis forced Urdu upon the Bengalis. The bitterness is invoked by their attempt to appear as descendants of Babur and Taimur which will launch the retake of Delhi as the Mughal Empire. It is an insult to intelligence and the Punjabi ancestry.
“I visited Pakistan last in 2006. My brother had to change his last name. I do have extended family and unfortunately, sometimes they face questions. They have to disown me. That is what restricts most sincere people to speak out because the Punjabi Pakistani state has a very feudal, medieval way of torturing relatives or running away with daughters.” He told the Hindustan Times when asked about his family in Pakistan.
He said that it is not a natural alliance but that is how parliamentary politics works when asked about the BJP-PDP alliance.
Talking about the turmoil in Kashmir he said that the Arabisation of the people is taking place and it can be felt in Burhan Wani’s message. He said that it was not Sheikh Abdullah’s language, it was coming from ISIS (Islamic State).
He said that this was not about territorial occupation or freedom, it was about the dominion of this world by a “fanatic Islamic-Fascist order”.
“There is no national interest. They (Kashmiris), a segment of Indian Muslims, and the Indian left want some exotic fantasy of Pakistan to remain there. So they can live the drama of peace, progress, why can’t we live together. It is a complete fraud.” Says Fatah.
He explains that at one end we have the completely fascist order based on deception and the other end has Hindu guilt-ridden liberals that say they have a plan to practice brotherhood nut it is the Hindu right-wing hindering that.
“The real ultra-right is the Muslim liberal class, it is not the other way round.”
When said that he was very critical to the left he said “I think the CPM is the ultra-right wing party in India.” How can the Left, the Marxists, protect the rights of the fascists, Jamat-e-Islami, or the Muslim Brotherhood.
The most horrific face of Islam is represented by ISIS and they are the ones controlling the Kashmir agenda.
When asked if he would want to become an Indian citizen, he said, “I would love to but there is not a system in India wherein I could apply for it. Imagine, Portugal’s prime minister is the first European head ever to be of Indian origin, he would I’m sure love to visit Goa. I don’t blame anyone, but it is just how things are.
I have asked but there is no application for citizenship. Our entire family is Mumbai Punjabis, but we can’t be Indians. I am as Indian as anybody else.”
He says that the status of young girls is changing in India. There is something very different between the girls on either sides of the border. There are young girls clad in skirts and ties, sitting on bikes confidently, which is not at all visible in Pakistan. You could see this in the 1950s Lahore as most women went to work on a bicycle.
There is no unified Pakistan: the Sindhis and the Balochis want freedom, the Karachi mayor is imprisoned and they are in a delusional state. The Afghan wars have Arabised the Pashtuns and the Punjabis want to speak Urdu. There is an ongoing identity crisis but the majority of the ruling class are fundamentally aggressive and think it is their right to erase anything un-Islamic.
They have been taught that the Hindus are fragile and weak and it is their job to civilise them. A group of brainwashed people cannot be reasoned with rationally.
“We are dealing with a considerably more rational reasonable people (in India) because of women’s empowerment in India,” adds Fateh.
-prepared by Shivam Thaker with inputs from HT. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker