Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary, has warned the Government of India against pinning much hope with Nawaz Sharif coming to power in Pakistan, for at present he is not in a position to translate into action his positive statements and announcements with regard to India; he has a lot of problems to face: maintaining rapport with the army, deciding afresh the framework of foreign policy, devising new policy after the exit of Nato forces from Afghanistan next year, controlling anti-India circles, dealing with anti-India circles, etc…. But to the Indian commentator the biggest challenge before Nawaz Sharif is the rising “Islamism” in Pakistan, which, to the commentator, is dangerous for Nawaz Sharif, for democracy over there, and for the Republic of Pakistan itself. Kanwal Sibal has termed this “Islamism” other than “Islamic terrorism”. While talking of “Islamic terrorism”, the commentator has mentioned Taliban, Tahreek-e-Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Jhangwi, and Sipah-e-Sahaba, etc. while terming the leaning of Pakistanis towards Islam as “Islamism”. (The Hindu, 3 June)
This is not first commentary
And, this commentary of former Foreign Secretary on the recent developments in Pakistan is not the first commentary. Many commentaries of such kind have found place in the Indian media. There had been discussions on channels as well. The tone of all of these is that there should be cautious approach towards Nawaz Sharif and there is general agreement here that Pakistan should be stopped from going into the hands of Islamic extremists at any cost. Indian commentators have the same approach towards Bangladesh; this is why they support every act of oppression perpetrated by the Awami League government against practising Muslims and their organisations. These commentators fear that after the exit of Nato forces from Afghanistan, that country would once again go into the hands of Taliban. These commentators are also expressing concern over the soft corner emerging towards Islamic principles in Maldives following the exit of Nasheed and coming to power of the new government over there. It should be clear that they use terms like “Islamism” or “Islamists” as something very much disliked. The heading of this commentary of Kanwal Sibal is the same: “Nawaz and Islamic Gauntlet”.
Today this approach is apprehensible
This attitude of the educated in this country towards Islam and its followers is of course due to ignorance and unawareness. Although this attitude was present to some extent twenty years ago also, this attitude has become more apprehensible now after this country has gone under the influence of America totally and after its falling in love wholeheartedly with American culture, views and ideologies, and political and economic policies. And as one of the important principles of foreign policy of “super power” America is opposition to Islamic way of life under the pretext of “war on terrorism”, so these people too maintain the same attitude without knowing what Islam really is, who is staging the drama of terrorism in the world, who is really responsible for terrorism in Pakistan, who has launched terror groups there, wherefrom have they been getting aid and guidance. Anyway, this is also a big challenge, along with other issues, before the Muslim leadership of this country. It should keep at the top of its priorities and course of action that it has to get every section of Indian society acquainted with Islam and its reality.
07/06/2013 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf