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Business Recorder

Published Date: Dec 25, 2012

ARAB SPRING PROVED MOST DEFINING MOMENT IN PRESENT-DAY ISLAMIC WORLD

After Iranian revolution, the Arab spring proved to be the most defining moment in present day Islamic world, where economically marginalized class has broken the shackles of subjugation of Western-backed oppressive and autocratic regimes.

Experts stated this while speaking at a seminar titled ‘Arab spring two years on, and the destruction of Gaza: results, prospects, consequences?” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), who was the chief guest, said that Arab spring had transformed the political and social status-quo into a vibrant struggle for democracy.

He said that both Iranian revolution in 1979 and Egypt’s uprising occurred on February 11 and in both cases the vested interest of the West were in favour of authoritarian rule suppressing the wishes of people.

“Palestine is the core issue in the region where unfortunately US policy is pro-Israel like backing a spoiled child without any logic, hence the Islamic world relations with US will remain in doldrums till liberation of Palestine,” he maintained. Pakistan always sided with Palestinian people and supported its cause at every forum with full commitment, he said, adding that on 23 March 1940, two resolutions were passed by the Muslims of subcontinent, one for Pakistan while the other in favour of Palestinian people.

Raza Naeem, a literary critic and lecturer of sociology at FAST-NU, Lahore while giving a detailed lecture on history, politics, uprisings, foreign interventions and evolving internal dynamics of Arab Word said that Arab spring is not over yet and still has to be transformed into a social movement.

He stressed the need to keep the momentum building as there is no short-cut to democracy. He said the uprising in that part of the world has shattered the Arab stereotypes and was an eye-opener for western orientalists. “The Arab spring will take time as democracy cannot be achieved through fighter planes or bombs,” he added. He further said that uprising in Arab world was not a new phenomenon. In fact there are examples of uprisings in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arab and Yemen right from late 50s till today. “These uprisings were crushed by autocratic regimes with the help of western powers, with which they have secret agreements and many examples can be quoted in this regard,” he added.

The evidence reveal that there have been secret agreements and understandings of Arab governments with Western world to protect their interests, he said while citing the secret agreement of King Hussain of Jordan with Israel, Egypt’s agreements with Israel and joint blockade of Gaza, recent Saudi agreement with west on Libya and Bahrain and compromised collaboration of Palestinian leaders with Israel.

Responding to question whether oppression, economic factor or external interventions drive uprisings, he said that urge for liberty, equality and fraternity stimulated Arab spring. “People no longer wanted the sheer humiliation and authoritarian rule which has imminent Western domination and totally comprised on laws for ruling elites with no regard to welfare of common man,” he concluded.