‘Duffer’-E-Pakistan: Not a Bad Idea, After All

Gulmina Bilal Ahmad
Tuesday, 24-July-2012

 

Our self-appointed defenders council has a 10-point agenda, from pressurizing the government to withdraw India’s MFN status to pressurizing the government to stop NATO supplies again
I cannot decide what infuriates me more this week, the fact that ‘Duffer’-e-Pakistan has its own Facebook page, which has 2,461 likes, or that it has 300 followers on twitter. Actually, the latter pleases me, as 300 is not a significant number in today’s era of ‘followers’. This reminds me of a joke whereby a young man asked another if he was a follower of God and his prophets. The reply came, “Are they on twitter?” I digress with apologies, dear readers, but one has to speak about Duffer-e-Pakistan in short spurts to maintain one’s sanity.
The ‘Duffers’ recently took their case against the NATO supply to Chaman. I had the pleasure of going to Chaman last year when the NATO containers were whizzing through. I intentionally use the word ‘whizzing’ because those huge containers were driven by drivers who would nonchalantly lean out of the window at every check post, with money in their hand, briefly caress the guard’s hand, disguising it as a brief handshake, and without stopping would just whiz past. I was told that the going rate was Rs 50 per person, which I thought was quite low, but then was reminded that there were a number of check posts. Anyways, the money at check posts was general baksheesh since the real money had already been delivered to the agencies in charge with a separate head for the local tribal Malik. If nothing else, the distribution of ‘safety money’ seemed to be quite fair.
The container markets of Chaman are also quite well stocked because of the NATO supplies just as Peshawar’s Hayatabad market is. Gone are the days when containers would be stolen. Ever since the Americans started sealing the containers, our people, ingenious as ever, kept the seal intact but simply removed the whole door, took out the goods that were most in demand and re-fixed the door. Chaman is, of course, also the place where the Taliban cross to Afghanistan in the morning, and before four in the afternoon; when the border gate legally closes, they walk back. They mostly hail from the Pishin district of Balochistan with temporary abodes in Chaman, and this is one of the legal ways that is used to cross the border.
So, from Islamabad the Duffers took the party right to Chaman where, actually, the indirect beneficiaries (direct being the legal transporters, etc) of the NATO supply opening live. In a place like Chaman where there is a heavy presence of the Frontier Corps as well as the local government, not to mention the intelligence agencies, may one ask how was it that members of banned organizations that make up the DPC made it to Chaman? I went to meet government officials and had to answer so many questions from the agencies. How and why was the DPC experience so different? Am I incorrect in then assuming that the DPC carried out their work with the approval of the Frontier Corps? Or, at least, not with their active disapproval? Has it been forgotten that the DPC comprises banned organizations?
Let us also look at the agenda of the DPC. Our self-appointed defenders council has a 10-point agenda, from pressurizing the government to withdraw India’s MFN status to pressurizing the government to stop NATO supplies again. Who has given the council this mandate, especially given the fact that parliament collectively represents the will of the people, and who has entrusted the DPC with the responsibility of defending the country? That too a council that has banned militant organizations, former military personnel who have been labeled as the ‘Godfathers of terrorism’, not to mention political actors who once ran militant training camps for young boys to be used as cannon fodder in Kashmir. Apart from all this, I have a branding issue. For 65 years, the military has espoused that they are there to ‘defend us’ against foreign enemies, but most practically against political leaders. Now there is another council defending us, using the tagline of the army. Should the image managers of the army not be concerned at this ‘competition’ as any organization would? Or perhaps, ‘Apne hi bachai hain’
(They are our own boys)? Speaking of branding and marketing, in addition to the Facebook and Twitter presence, the Duffers have a very professionally managed website. If God forbid one has not heard their venom in a rally, all the speeches from their rallies are available on their website, and latest news related to their concerns and issues are updated continuously. Obscenity, granted, has many definitions and means different things to different people. While the Supreme Court is most concerned with pornography, is the DPC not obscene too in its venom? Granted, this submission of mine can be dismissed as the irrational ranting of a confused liberal, but can we easily dismiss the fact that banned organizations are openly carrying out their work? While the Supreme Court is obsessed with letter writing, pray where and what should I write for anyone to take notice of the DPC?
Sympathizing with my frustration that I just expressed, a friend suggested that we join the DPC and volunteer to plan a DPC rally ourselves in front of the American Embassy at Islamabad. Hordes of the DPC followers would definitely come. However, we will be rid of them, as instead of attending the rally, all will be queuing up to get an American visa.
Not a bad idea, after all.
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad is a development consultant



    

Top Stories

Black Cap Williamson banned from bowling

WELLINGTON: New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has been banned from bowling his occasional off-spin in international cr...

Punjab govt. seeks four-month time for LB polls

ISLAMABAD: Punjab government has sought four-month time from Supreme Court (SC) for holding local bodies election in the...

Car bombings kill at least 33 people in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A new wave of car bombs ripped through commercial areas in the Iraqi capital and areas to the south Tuesday, ki...

Altaf, Zardari discuss law & order in Sindh

KARACHI: Muttahidat Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and former president and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Pa...

White House weighs petition to deport Justin Bieber

WASHINGTON: As if Barack Obama didn't have enough problems to deal with already, his administration now is being asked t...

Sindh CNG stations reopen after 24 hours

KARACHI: CNG stations across Sindh including Karachi reopened after 24-hour closure at 8:00 AM today (Tuesday), media re...

Gas leakage blast kills 1, hurts 3 in Quetta

QUETTA: An explosion occurred at a house due to gas leakage, killing at least one person and wounding three others here ...

Ministry of CAD decisions put students,teachers & parents in a fix

Islamabad:Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) indecisive attitude put the students as well as paren...

10-year-old maid allegedly tortured to death in Lahore

LAHORE: A 10-year-old girl, who works as maid, was allegedly tortured to death in Lahore, medi reported.Sources said tha...

Five friends voluntarily embrace death: police

THATTA: Police after initial investigation claimed that five friends, who were allegedly killed in Noori Jam Tamachi, vo...

Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries: PM Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all the neighbouring countries....

IHC dismisses Musharaf’s pleas; verdict issued

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued 11-page detailed verdict over the intra-court appeal filed by f...

Pakistan to get $550m after IMF review meeting on Dec. 19

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) first quarter review meeting on Pakistan’s loan programme will be held on...

Kayani thanks Corps Commanders for extending support

RAWALPINDI: The 166th Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters on Thursday.   Outgoing Chief of Ar...

3 women held captive for 30 years: UK police

LONDON: Three women have been freed after spending 30 years held captive in a south London home, including one woman be...

Iran has slowed work on atomic facilities: IAEA

NEW YORK: Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials s...

Young Frenchman too heavy to fly will go home by ship

NEW YORK CITY: A young Frenchman who weighs 230 kilograms (500 pounds) and was deemed too heavy to fly on a jetliner ar...

Ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf released

ISLAMABAD: Adiala Jail authorities have formally released the country’s former military strongman General (retd) Pervez...

Bolivia coca ambush leaves 4 security force members dead

LA PAZ: A weekend ambush and hostage-taking involving police and Bolivian coca growers has left four people dead, offic...

Muslim pilgrims ritually stone devil as hajj nears end

MINA: Throngs of Muslim pilgrims took part in devil-stoning ritual for a second day Wednesday in Saudi Arabia's Mina Va...


Feature / Analysis

  • Does Israel know the meaning of

    The siege of Gaza is entering its third week and the Palestinian death...

    Read More »

  • What Are You Trying To Hide, Mr. Obama?

    Western leaders and their media would have us believe that Russian-bac...

    Read More »

  • Blinded by Israel, Visionless in Gaza

    The Power and the IgnominyThe US Senate votes unanimously to defend Is...

    Read More »

  • The Israeli Pogrom of Gaza

    Political BestialityLet’s start with terms: “bestiality,” bestial is m...

    Read More »


Opinion

  • Opportunities Lost With Election Delays

    This year's election has dragged-out longer than any other similar pro...

    Read More »

  • Exclusive: A US-backed militia runs amok in Afghanistan

    Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human rights abus...

    Read More »

  • Terrorists Still Thrive in Pakistan: NDS

    Afghan intelligence officials have maintained that the recent offensiv...

    Read More »

  • Hinduism in a Tizzy

    Muslims are least interested in what happens to the latest Dharmayudh ...

    Read More »