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The Nation

Published Date: Apr 28, 2011


Terming the cur¬rent revolutionary trends in the Arab world ‘a refreshing devel¬opment’ owing to long depriva¬tion, oppression and economic marginalisation of people, ex¬perts at a seminar on Wednes¬day said that people were taking their destiny in their own hands against West-backed extremely oppressive autocratic regimes Earlier, it was military that pro¬vided vehicle to uprisings but now it is the people who are the agents of change.
Raza Naeem of Beacon house University, Lahore and farmer Ambassador Tariq Fatemi said this during a special lecture ti¬tled ”The Arab Intifada: military role or people’s power” organ¬ized by the Sustainable Devel¬opment Policy Institute (SDPD here.
Raza Naeem, while giving a detailed presentation on the his¬tory; politics, uprisings, foreign interventions and evolving in¬ternal dynamics of Arab Word, said that current uprising in that part of the world was an eye-opener for those Western orient lists and others who be¬lieved that the Islam and democ¬racy, and democracy and Arabs all not compatible with each other. These protests have shat¬tered the Arab stereotypes cre¬ated by western media and in¬tellectuals.
The current uprising is evi¬dent that the democracy could not be dropped and formed through airplanes. Col Gaddafi is still holding the ground because he has support in the people be¬cause he used country’s oil to create a welfare state while in¬creasing the literacy rate to 95 per cent in Libya. He said Jamal Nasser was the only Arab na¬tionalist leader who had dreamed of Arab unity and lat¬er offered resignation but he too had to pay a heavy cost.
“He was a so sincere and pop¬ular 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,” Raza Naeem went on saying.
He said that it is a leaderless uprising backed by common people and it is to been seen as to whether this uprising suc¬ceeds in translated into a dem¬ocratic revolution.
Raza Naeem further said that uprising in the 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. Autocratic gov¬ernments with the help of West¬ern powers crushed these up¬risings. Th~ documented evi¬dences reveal secret agree¬ments and understandings of Arab governments with Western world to protect these mon¬archs; he said it while citing the secret agreement of King Hus¬sain of Jordan with Israel. Re¬calling the ‘Black September 1970’, he said General Zia-ul¬Haq butchered Palestinians with the help of Shah Hussain. He said Hussain even asked Israel to send planes for his rescue in 1970.
Farmer 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 govern¬ment was everyway better than autocratic regime. He lamented that Arab people had no history of representative governments as monarchs and dictators took over the region in post-colonial era involving the dominance of France, Italy and Britishers.
Fatimi said that the Arab world is not a single nationality with varying history and per¬ceptions.
He said that the region had created extremely corrupt au¬tocrats since long. He said Arab leaders always lacked legitima¬cy 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 Nass¬er and Qaddafi for instigating disturbances in neighboring countries. .
“The foreign powers only wanted to change faces not sys¬tems”, he further said adding that representative govern¬ments had to grow from soils and need nurturing, tender caring and require time and experience to get strength¬ened. “The Western powers have their strategic, eco¬nomic, security and ex¬tremism but above all the survival agenda of Israel in the region” he added.