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One Pakistan

Published Date: Apr 28, 2011

EXPERTS, ANALYSTS TERM CURRENT UPRISING IN ARAB WORLD AS ?A REFRESHING DEVELOPMENT?

Islamabad, Experts and analysts term the current uprising in the Arab world as ‘a refreshing development’ because long deprived, oppressed and economically marginalized people are taking their destiny in their own hands against Western-backed extremely oppressive autocratic regimes.

Earlier, it was military that provided vehicle to uprisings but now it is the people who are agent of change. Raza Naeem of Beaconhouse University, Lahore and former Ambassador, Tariq Fatemi said it during a special lecture entitled “The Arab Intifada: military role or people’s power” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday. 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 oreintalists and others who believed that the Islam and democracy, and democracy and Arabs are 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. Col Qaddafi is still holding the ground because he has support in the people because he used country’s oil to create a welfare state while increasing the literacy rate to 95 per cent in Libya, he added. He said 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 so sincere and popular leader that over 67 million people attended his funeral from across the glob whereas over 69 million people have protested to seek ouster of Hussni Mubarak” he went on saying.He said it is an leaderless uprising backed by common people and it is to been seen as to whether this uprising succeeds in translated into a democratic revolution. He further said that uprising in Arab world is 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 governments with the help of western powers, with which they have secret agreements. The documented evidences reveal that there have been secret agreements and understandings of Arab governments with Western world to protect these monarchs, he said, adding it while citing the secret agreement of King Hussain of Jordan with Israel. Recalling the ‘Black September 1970’, he said General Zia-ul-Haq butchered Palestinians with the help of Shah Hussain. He said that Hussain even asked Israel to send planes for his rescue in 1970.

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 Arab people have no history of representative governments as monarchs and dictators took over the region in post-colonial era involving the dominancy of France, Italy and Britishers. Mr Fatimi said Arab world is not a single nationality with varying history and perceptions. He said that the region has created extremely corrupt autocrats since long. 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 want to change faces not systems adding that representative governments have 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 added. Both of the speakers were of the view that Pakistanis were luck enough not to have situation like Arab world. They said that the British have left institutions in subcontinent and some form of representative governance structure. While the nation has just got rid over of the dictator and having a democratically elected government with parliament and other institutions manifest the functioning of democracy and democratic process.