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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Apr 28, 2011


Experts and analysts here on Wednesday termed the current uprising in the Arab world as ‘a refreshing development’ saying that the long deprived, oppressed and economically marginalized people are taking their destiny in their own hands against Western-backed extremely oppressive autocratic regimes. Speaking here at a special lecture on “The Arab Intifada: Military role or People’s power?” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Raza Naeem of Beaconhouse University , Lahore and former ambassador, Tariq Fatemi said it was military that provided vehicle to uprisings but now it was the people who were agent of change.
Raza Naeem, while giving a detailed presentation on the history, politics, uprisings, foreign interventions and evolving internal dynamics of Arab Word, said that current uprising in that part of the world was an eye-opener for those western orientalists and others who believed that the Islam and democracy, and democracy and Arabs were not compatible with each other. “These protests have shattered the Arab stereotypes created by western media and intellectuals. The current uprising is evident that the democracy cannot be dropped and formed through airplanes,” he said. “Col Qaddafi is still holding ground because people support him because he used the country’s oil to create a welfare state while increasing the literacy rate to 95 percent,” he said.
He said that Jamal Nasser was the only Arab nationalist leader who dreamed of Arab unity and later offered resignation but he too had to pay a heavy cost. “He was a sincere and popular leader and over 67 million people attended his funeral from across the globe whereas over 69 million people have protested to seek ouster of Hussni Mubarak,” he said. Former ambassador Tariq Fatemi said that the intense feeling of national humiliation, economic deprivation and brutal suppression had pivotal role in today’s uprisings in so-called Arab word. He said that some form of representative government was everyway better than autocratic regime.
He lamented that the Arabs have no history of representative governments as monarchs and dictators took over the region in post-colonial era involving the dominance of France, Italy and Britain. Fatimi said Arab world was not a single nationality with varying history and perceptions, adding that the region had given birth to extremely corrupt autocrats. He said Arab leaders always lacked legitimacy at home which forced them to seek foreign intervention and patronage. He termed Jamal Nasser as the great leader for Arab world but he accused Nasser and Qaddafi for instigating disturbances in neighboring countries.
He further said that the foreign powers only wanted to change faces not systems adding that representative governments had to grow from soils and need nurturing, tender caring and require time and experience to get strengthened.
“The Western powers have their strategic, economic, security and extremism but above all the survival agenda of Israel in the region” he said.