Eye on Pakistan

Jemima Khan in Pakistan

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 11, 2009

Jemima Khan has recently published in the Sunday Times a long article on her recent trip to Pakistan. She (sensibly) avoids any attempt at political analysis, I was struck by the juxtaposition between a westernised and decadent upper class (this is not quite the portrayal she was aiming for, I am sure), the 2 million or so in refugee camps, and the common man’s denial that it is Muslims who are oppressing fellow Muslims in FATA. The pick of the article relates to this last point:

The next day I set off for the refugee camps close to the Swat valley, where the army is fighting the Taliban. Before I leave, Imran’s chowkidar (watchman) tells me that the newspapers in Pakistan are all funded by Yehudis (Jews). His Kalashnikov-toting commando…nods, adding that there are no Taliban. They are a fabrication by Jews and Hindus to destabilise Pakistan. He adjusts his belt of bullets.

She links this point, in the following paragraph, to her (cliched) belief that “Pakistan pulsates with conspiracy theories”, and misses the actual point, which is the unwillingness to accept that Muslims, pious Muslims, can do wrong.

Lastly, it is worth noting that she has written out the poverty, deprevation, class divison and ethnic tension. She is either blind to it, or thinks that it pales into insignificance in comparison to the current military action and the disastrous consequences for the populations of the affected areas. Probably a bit of both.

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