Evolution of conspiracy theories has always been quite a common phenomenon around the globe; so much so that even the incident of 9/11 gave rise to certain ideas where it was considered to be America’s inside job to find a reason for a war against Muslim nations for its own vested interests. Those who do not agree with it, call it a ‘Conspiracy Theory’.
Similarly, there are these world-famous ‘Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zions’ which are often seen as a major reason behind all the anarchy in the world. It is believed that it is these protocols that have been followed by the Zionists in order to control the world in pursuit of their cruel lust for power and hegemony in the world. But then the Zionists reject the idea of protocols as a conspiracy against the Jews and thus, call it a hoax.
In Pakistan too, we have always heard of the term ‘yahoodi sazish’ i.e. Jewish conspiracy whenever there was anything wrong happening in the country. Many a times the chaos was termed as the result of a foreign hand or conspiracy of some sort. But that is an old story now. Today what we see is an entirely different wave of conspiracy theories promoted by certain liberals of our country.
As per the new conspiracy theory, any appalling incident taking place in the country is because of the Pak Army. There are several examples available to prove this. Let’s not go far away and talk about the 2014’s march towards Islamabad that was led by the leadership of PTI and PAT. Those who opposed the sit-in left no chance of labeling it as an army-supported episode. The opponents predicted that the orchestrated political turmoil would lead to a martial law as they were sure that the events were unfolding as per army’s plans and directions.
The sit-in was over within few months and the predictions associated with it eventually turned out to be idiotic rumors only. The same government is still running the country after 10 months since the march towards Islamabad actually began.
Next, there was this unpleasant happening where Hamid Mir was shot while travelling in his car in Karachi. The news channel he worked for didn’t take too long to put the blame on ISI – the army’s intelligence faction – and our liberals followed suit in abusing the army like anything. Many journalists and intellectuals started ranting against the defense institution in the media – local and international both.
Later, we saw that the same episode was repeated after the suspicious murder of Sabeen Mehmood – the Karachi based activist. Within few minutes of the murder, the social media turned hate-mongering against the ISI. Later, upon investigation, it was found that the real culprit was actually a graduate of one of the most prestigious institutes of Karachi. After the murderer’s confession, there was deafening silence among those who earlier blamed the army.
These are only few instances out of many where army was blamed without any proofs. And this conspiracy theory is not confined to word of mouth only. It is spread through electronic and print media that helps shape public opinion. In the world of journalism, where unfortunately there is a dearth of unbiased reporters, the scenario turns out to be quite dangerous.
What our liberals do not realize is that when they target the entire institution, they crush the morale of that soldier fighting from the front, taking the bullet of the enemy fearlessly. It really takes courage to do that. We, sitting inside our comfy homes can hardly empathize with those soldiers.
Whenever I pass by a security check post, the first thing that comes to my mind is; what if, God forbid, a suicide bomber tries to cross the check post and is caught? He would blow himself up right away. Such is the kind of threat that is bravely faced by the personnel of our security agencies on daily basis only to realize at the end of the day that they are part of a hated institution. Some people even have the audacity to say that they are paid to risk their lives and hence, it is all worth it. I simply fail to understand how a human live can ever be priced!
A journalist once interviewed family of a martyred army officer in a TV show where the child of the martyr very inquisitively asked:
“My father was a dedicated and hard-working patriot who gave his life for the country! Why do people always keep criticizing Pak Army?”
A million dollar question indeed!
Pak Army is stretched across the country defending the land at all fronts at the moment; from FATA to Balochistan to Karachi – not to mention the increasingly hostile borders too. They are also required to serve during floods, droughts or any other similar chaotic situation; sometimes even for a safe and secure election as well. Everyday our army-men are sacrificing their lives at some corner of the country in the line of duty. But we never find any word of tribute for those brave souls, let alone getting to know their names. Can we imagine how it feels to be part of an institution that is maligned every now and then by your own people?
We have seen recently how after the exposure of Axact scandal, the big names associated with its sister concern Bol resigned from the channel. The rationale behind their resignation was simple; they did not want to be part of an entity that was getting famous for all the wrong reasons no matter how heavily they were being paid. Imagine what would happen if our men in khaki started doing the same. We would not be able to maintain the required number of soldiers for the defense of the motherland. Can we afford that in the highly volatile circumstances that the country is facing right now?
There is no denying that black sheep are present everywhere, but to defame the entire army for the wrong-doings of the few only shatters the morale of every individual associated with the institution. In these extremely tough times where there are many internal as well as external threats, such baseless conspiracy theories won’t serve any other purpose than that of the enemy’s; which is something that only either a foolish friend or a clever enemy can do.
PS: This article originally appeared in Pakistan Today