The Myth Of The Innocent Left

“These violent delights have violent ends.” – Westworld

If the Pakistani liberal was a sea creature, it would definitely be a goldfish. It is colorful but useless, those who say they have tasted it say it is disgusting, and its most well-known property is its short-term memory issues. Let’s give them a history lesson.

Pakistani Left’s glorious past

The year is 1981 and Pakistan is not yet familiar with Arab-funded terror outfits like LeJ, SSP and TTP. In these clear waters, there is one Arab and Afghan-backed terror network to rule the political seas. On 2nd day of March 1981, it manages to hijack a Pakistani Boeing 720, kill a Pakistani officer on-board, dump his body on the tarmac, and then fly away to a friendly Arab country. The outfit is Al Zulfiqar and it is aligned with the left, not the right.

In the following decade, Al Zulfiqar became the most notorious domestic terror group with links to many high profile terror attacks and bombings throughout Pakistan. Al Zulfiqar later split into many Communist-back terror factions responsible for the biggest terror attacks in the 80s, like the ’87 Karachi and Lahore bombings which claimed more than 72 lives and injured 250.

This is the same terrorist organization that Nadeem F. Paracha so fondly remembers in his romanticized articles about left’s glorious past.

Similarly, Baloch insurgents (who routinely kill busloads of Punjabi migrants) enjoy virtually unanimous support from the liberal left, from 70’s London Club to the recent support for Mama Qadeer.

Liberals are smart enough to understand that injustice done to ZAB and the Baloch is one of the causes of these terror outfits, however they are dumb enough to think that the same cannot be true for others that they don’t like.

Commitment to Human Rights

In the early 2000’s, when Musharraf’s government was sending planeloads of Pakistanis and Afghans to Guantanamo without any due process, he was being applauded by the Pakistani left for doing so. It was a principled stance of the left that Pakistan is far less powerful than the mighty USA and we must give in to their illegal demands.

When Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef, a diplomat protected by domestic as well as international laws, was being handed over to the Americans, the Pakistani liberal, that can turn its ‘human rights switch’ on and off like a power outlet’s, was blackening the English newspapers with arguments principally against the Geneva conventions. These desi ‘peaceniks’ cheered on a war that was to plague Pakistan for the next two decades and cause thousands of deaths.

These intellectuals are so audaciously stupid that they are now claiming that no one from the right-wing has ever been kidnapped by security agencies extra-judicially, while the fact is that during 2001-2008, hundreds if not thousands of people have disappeared without any due process and have never returned to their families. Some of them were only guilty of having a beard and being outspoken against the forced US-Pakistan alliance. (Maybe some of them were actually terrorists, but since none of them has ever been produced in court we will never know for sure.)

Missing Persons: “Mine and yours”

The fact is, the Pakistani left uses its outrage selectively. They do want human rights and freedom of speech, but only for ideas and people that they like. For everyone else, ‘drone attacks are not so bad’. Their people, when they rarely do go missing, are always called intellectuals and activists irrespective of their actual activities. When the left speaks against missing persons, they are exclusively for the leftist terrorists of Balochistan from outfits like BLA, while maintaining a decided silence for people like Afia Siddiqui.

But…What makes them so dangerous?

If cheer-leading a war is not enough, we should also remember that these are the same people who were the staunch defenders of illegal drone attacks on Pakistani soil. A senior TV journalist Mehr Bukhari is on the record stating that in one of the mainstream ‘liberal’ media outlets she worked at, it was against the editorial policy to speak against drone attacks.

They were such vehement defenders of this war that when people like Imran Khan spoke up against the wholesale murder of Pakistani tribals and advocated a peaceful settlement, he was given the title of ‘Taliban Khan’. It was indeed the desi left that pressured the government against peace-talks with the tribal militants both nationally and internationally. The usual suspects were always ready to write articles in support of the continuation of war in local papers as well as foreign ones. Anyone who was in favor of negotiated peace was labelled a “Taliban Sympathizer” by these open-minded ‘intellectuals’ while US would ensure drone attacks made all peace-talks fail.

In return, Pakistan’s NGO sector has been rewarded with billions in USAID since 2001.

Far from neutral and objective, desi liberals have continuously poisoned the intellectual well with ideas paid-for by foreigners. Far from advocates of human rights, desi liberals have proven to be partisan and selective in their outrage. If, after doing all that, they think they have no blood on their hands they are mistaken.

However, desi liberals don’t understand history or that their actions taken under the influence of the dangerous narcotic known as the US dollar, have serious consequences. They do not understand that if they condone some illegal actions by the Govt, their condemnation of some other illegal actions by the same Govt has no meaning. True activism, they fail to comprehend, is defending the ideas and people you don’t actually agree with everything else is just drama.

Waqas Ahmed

Waqas Ahmed

Waqas Ahmed is Editor, Digital Media, at Daily Pakistan Global. You can reach him at