Mubarik Haider’s Response:
I wish to appreciate the conciliatory stance taken by Mr. Waseem Altaf. Even worthier is his emphasis on evidential logic and on the need for intellectually honest discourse. Let me add another emphasis: correction of concepts through modest acceptance of error.
This needs self criticism and readiness to learn, which virtues are not available to those of us who have acquired exaggerated self image.
Those of us born and bred in Muslim societies, have an unconscious tendency toward narcissism and aggressive self assertion. This seriously retards objective thinking and hampers agreement.
Since Muslim masses and their intelligentsia lagged behind the world after about the 14th century AD and lost power as a result of their intellectual laziness, while retaining their high self image as the best of mankind, they, therefore, developed hostile attitudes to the world which they never tried to understand objectively. This gave birth to several ills including the assertive ego and quarrelsome styles of thinking . Almost all of us have these tendencies even when we have access to modern scientific ways of learning. This may, perhaps, explain why we readily accept a compliment but feel deeply hurt over a disagreement.
It is encouraging to see that many of us have started asking for solutions to the present crisis which is no more limited to Pakistan but spills over to the world from its borders.
Colonel Naeem thinks he has a solution. Mr. Butt thinks he has another. Mr. Arshad Mahmood believes his dismissal of all entities in Pakistan, except Nawaz Sharif, with a stronger debunking of PPP from Z.A. Bhutto to Asif Zardari is the solution. He seems to share his teacher’s (Mr. Butt’s) hatred of Bhutto and admiration of Ayyub Khan.
But perhaps there is no hasty solution possible. One simple reason is: we do not have the instruments to implement our proposed solutions?
I feel the maximum that we can do is to form a serious forum for intellectual change. This has its own requirements. But nothing seems to be attainable without thoroughly thrashed intellectual positions.
My dear Arshad Mahmood, who is doing apparently good work, seems to have an urgent commission. I feel he unwittingly supports those who are in a hurry to overthrow the present coalition in Pakistan. But unfortunately, this overthrow can bring no substantial relief to the crisis. The proposed solution of a new constitution, with Nawaz Sharif as the guiding star, will only reward us with a new military set up.
Although I have not known him for long, yet I do not doubt Mr.Arshad Mahmood’s integrity. But, judging by what he is writing in his columns, I have serious doubts about his political understanding and his concepts of social dynamics. Since he has an opportunity to express views in press, his responsibility grows manifold. I have a request for him: please balance your feet before you hit and carefully consider the potential outcome when you dismiss the available.