Posts Tagged ‘Zaid Hamid’

Allama Iqbal, Zaid Hamid, and Khalifat ideology

Friday, August 26th, 2011
Following Zaid Hamid’s recent appearance on Meher Bokhari’s show Crossfire, South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) announced that it was planning to file a libel notice against Zaid Hamid for accusations he made during the programme. Last night, to discuss the issue on his show Shahid Nama, Shahid Masood invited as his guests two individuals whose views could not be further apart.
cialis cialis cialis online cialis online cialis cialis levitra levitra levitra levitra levitra levitra viagra viagra viagra viagra cialis cialis buy levitra buy levitra viagra viagra viagra viagra
On the one hand was SAFMA co-founder Marvi Sirmed, a political commentator and journalist who holds Masters’ degrees in Political Science, Science Education and English Linguistics and has worked with Members of Parliament. She has also been the Institutional Development Specialist with the Ministry of Women Development, Government of Pakistan and as Policy Advocacy Specialist with National Commission on the Status of Women.
On the other hand was Zaid Hamid, a political commentator who has a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree in Computer Systems Engineering and the individual at the center of SAFMA’s complaint. Mr Zaid Hamid is the former host of the programme Brasstacks.
During the debate between Marvi Sirmed and Zaid Hamid one point of disagreement related to a claim by Marvi Sirmed that Allama Muhammad Iqbal was against the creation of an Islamic state. Miss Sirmed claimed that she had proof in a letter written by Iqbal to The Times newspaper of London in 1931. Due to the research of a reader of this blog, we are able to confirm that this letter was written. A photocopy of the letter is below:
Letter to The Times by Allama Muhammed Iqbal
The question is part of an ongoing debate about  the way that Zaid Hamid presents Allama Iqbal in his media programmes as an advocate of the creation of a new Khalifat. An example can be seen in this video clip:
But was this the view of Allama Iqbal? According to Dr Javid Iqbal writing in October 1987 issue of Iqbal Review, the answer is no. Justice Iqbal wrote that Allama Iqbal “has no hesitation in approving the establishment of a multi-party system or political groupings in modern Islamic Democracies, for, in his opinion, this was in accordance with the practice of early republican phase in Islam”. He goes on to quote Allama Iqbal as supporting an expressly democratic system of governance and rejecting an imperialist Khalifat as “failed in practice”.
Let us now see how the Grand National Assembly has exercised this power of Ijtihad in regard to the institution of Khilafat. According to Sunni law, the appointment of an Imam or Khalifah is absolutely indespensable. The first question that arises in this connexion is this – Should the Caliphate be vested in a single person? Turkey’s Ijtihad is that according to the spirit of Islam the Caliphate or Imamate can be vested in a body of persons, or an elected Assembly…Personally, I believe the Turkish view is perfectly sound. It is hardly necessary to argue this point. The republican form of government is not only thoroughly consistent with the spirit of Islam, but has also become a necessity in view of the new forces that are set free in the world of Islam*…In order to understand the Turkish view let us seek the guidance of Ibn Khildun – the first philosophical historian of Islam.
Ibn Khildun, in his famous ‘Prolegomena’, mentions three distinct views of the idea of Universal Caliphate in Islam.
(1) That Universal Imamate is a Divine institution, and is consequently indispensable.
(2) That it is merely a matter of expediency.
(3) That there is no need of such an institution. The last view was taken by the Khawarij.
It seems that modern Turkey has shifted from the first to the second view, i.e. to the view of the Mu‘tazillah who regarded Universal Imamate as a matter of expediency only. The Turks argue that in our political thinking we must be guided by our past political experience which points unmistakably to the fact that the idea of Universal Imamate has failed in practice. It was a workable idea when the Empire of Islam was intact. Since the break-up of this Empire independent political units have arisen. The idea has ceased to be operative and cannot work as a living factor in the organisation of modern Islam*…Such is the attitude of the modern Turk, inspired as he is by the reality of experience, and not by the scholastic reasoning of jurists who lived and thought under different conditions of life.
Would Allama Iqbal have supported Zaid Hamid’s desire to see “the flag of Pakistan fly atop Delhi fort”? Did he believe in “Two Nation Theory”? Unfortunately, Iqbal is not here to answer the question himself, and so we are left to debate our own interpretations and hypotheses about his beliefs. Debates about interpretations of the words and intentions of Jinnah and Iqbal will continue, and it is perfectly reasonable to debate these issues as a part of discussions about politics and history. But these debates should be based in the actual words of the fathers of the nation, and not fantasy re-imaginings of what someone might wish Iqbal or Jinnah had said.
Marvi Sirmed and Zaid Hamid are both entitled to their own visions for the future of Pakistan. But nobody is entitled to re-writing the past.
*Emphasis added

Freedom – and Responsibility – of Media

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Express Tribune includes excellent analysis by Saroop Ijaz, a lawyer and partner at Ijaz Co in Lahore, in a piece titled, ‘Shouting fire in a crowded theatre‘. Coming so soon after our posts on Meher Bokhari and Zaid Hamid as well as Geo‘s controversial interview with Hafiz Saeed, we thought Mr Saroop Ijaz’s observations brought an important perspective to the discussion of where to draw the line between freedom and responsibility of media.
The confusion regarding the freedom of speech remains at the centre of the non-regulation of the media. It is a case of horribly skewed priorities. Those making wild and licentious accusations can be held accountable not by the fragile coalition government but only by the media themselves. Aamir Liaquat Hussain and the sort should be asked to explain themselves not for petty indecencies but for sickening invocation to violence. The imam leading Taseer’s funeral has as much right to freedom of choice and expression as anyone else. Every time we decide to exercise prudence and hold our peace, we are cowardly relinquishing the only semblance of freedom that we have left. Mehr Bukhari, Zaid Hamid and many others are falsely and piercingly shouting fire in a very crowded theatre.
Every analyst and viewer is entitled to his own opinion, but nobody is entitled to his own facts. News programmes do not have to be dry and boring, but there is a line between entertainment and incitement that should not be crossed. As journalists, we should have an honest debate about this and determine where that line is drawn. If we do not, it may be someone else that decides for us.

Zeher Bokhari

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Meher Bokhari appears to have a formula for getting attention – say something so outrageous and sensational that people will have to pay attention. I regret that we will draw attention to her program again, but the episode of Crossfire of Wednesday night cannot go without response. The topic of the programme was allegedly Pak-India relations after 65 years. What viewers were subjected to, however, was an hour of hate and misinformation.
Claiming to speak for 187 million Pakistanis, Bokhari says that every individual wants to be at peace with India – but not at the expense of forgetting the atrocities of the past. First of all, unelected TV performers do not speak for the people. Second, if Bokhari stepped outside her elite media bubble for five minutes, she would know that while no one wants to forget about the past, neither are the people interested in wallowing in it. The reality is that all of the clips she played simply talk about keeping and maintaining good relations with the neighbors – something that 70 per cent of Pakistanis say they want. The 30 per cent who don’t, perhaps, are laal topi walas who make their money by projecting anti-India hysteria.
Speaking of which, Bokhari invites as her guest none other than Zaid Hamid whose failed TV show ‘Brasstacks‘ was built on the same anti-India hysteria. Zaid Hamid plays his role perfectly saying he was in a state of “shock” when he heard Nawaz Sharif’s speech calling for closer relations between Pakistan and India. When Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan (PML-N) tried to explain that the self-appointed defenders of the realm were making a mountain out of a molehill, he too found himself victim of Bokhari’s wrath.
Suggesting that Nawaz Sharif is soft on India is outside the boundaries of sanity. It was Sharif was ordered the first nuclear tests in 1998 in response to India’s testing their bomb, and it was Sharif who was PM during the Kargil War the following year. Whether you support Nawaz Sharif or you do not support Nawaz Sharif, saying he is soft on India is ridiculous.
Meher Bokhari says Pakistan wants parity with India, but forgets that parity is not enmity. Pakistan is and should be India’s equal, but that does not require it to be hostile or hateful. Just as Nawaz Sharif ordered the first nuclear tests to remove any doubts about Pakistan’s nuclear capability, he also signed the Lahore Declaration committing both nations to resolve differences with peaceful dialogue and cooperation.
Bokhari also repeatedly refers to India as a Hindu nation as opposed to Pakistani Muslims, creating a sense of religious conflict where none need exist. Once again, Meher Bokhari is wrong on the facts, and wrong on history. Actually, India is home to some 160 million Muslims. At the time of independence, there were more Muslims in India than Pakistan. And just as there are millions of Muslims living in India, there are 7 million Hindu Pakistanis also.
Meher Bokhari asks whether Nawaz Sharif has forgotten the blood spilt of millions of Muslims, seemingly forgetting that this is not a natural state of affairs. Hindus and Muslims have lived in peace and harmony in the subcontinent for hundreds of years, and in spite of attempts by some to continue animosity between Pakistan and India, most people are not interested in continuing tensions.
Through out the program Meher Bukhari continues to bash Nawaz Sharif saying that he forgot the contributions of our founding fathers when all Nawaz Sharif said was that Pakistan and India have several similarities, including cuisines. She consistently plays on the religious sentiments of people by inviting guests like Zaid Hamid and Jamat-e-Islami representatives.
Not content with merely bashing the PML-N chief, Bokhari then drags out an anti-American conspiracy theory, telling viewers that the Americans want us to think that the terrorists’ inside of Pakistan who are “a part” of Pakistan are the real enemy. Once again, Meher Bokhari gets her facts very, very wrong.
Many of the militants responsible for killing innocent Pakistanis are indeed foreign, but they are not American or Indian. Many are Uzbek, and just this week it was militants crossing the border from Afghanistan who killed an anti-Taliban tribal elder and his son in the Bajaur tribal region. Or perhaps it was the TTP and LeJ militants who were recently arrested armed to the teeth that Meher Bokhari terms “a part of Pakistan”?
Towards the end of the program she again shows an excerpt from Jinnah’s speech in which he mentioned talks about the two-nation theory. She forgets to mention that Quaid-e-Azam never said do not keep good relations with your neighbors. Jinnah also famously said that “in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.” It was always the goal of Pakistan’s founders that Pakistan and India would co-exist as good neighbors, not eternal enemies.
Jinnah with Ghandi
There is a difference between losing sovereignty and keeping good relationships with neighbors. Meher Bukhari wrongly projects that the current leadership along with PML (N), MQM and ANP are wanting to get back together with India when reality is, all of these parties want good bilateral relationship with India. Meanwhile, she conveniently ignores the ongoing violations of Pakistan’s sovereignity by foreign terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
This is not the first time that Meher Bokhari has stooped to jingoism. The timing of Tuesday’s programme must be noted as well as it aired just one day before a 20-member parliamentary delegation left for India. Certainly Bokhari’s programme will be dismissed in some corners as mere entertainment. But as we have shown before, there is a line between entertainment and incitement, and how can our parliamentarians expect to be received by their Indian hosts after such an introduction?
The 18th Century English poet Samuel Johnson famously said that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels’. Certainly there is nothing wrong with loving one’s country, and relations between Pakistan and India are a valid topic for analysts and commentators to reflect on. But what Dunya TV aired on Tuesday night was neither news nor analysis, it was an ugly reflection of a poisonous mindset desperate for attention. It’s time to change the channel.

Journalism…Or Jingoism?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Fasi ZakaFasi Zaka has a new installment in what appears to be a series on the treatment of Dr. Aafia by news media. If you will recall, Fasi made a startling claim a week ago that TV anchors were deliberately misreporting the Dr. Aafia case. This week, he continues his expose by analyzing several shows and asking an excellent question: “Is this journalism or jingoism?
Dr Aafia has been hijacked, and not just by the Americans, who had her flown to the US and gave her a dubiously excessive punishment for attempted murder, but by the Pakistani media itself.
Just recently Meher Bokhari conducted a TV programme on Samaa on Dr Aafia Siddiqui, and it was an atrocious attack on the idea of responsible, or even mildly responsible journalism. She opened her piece on the programme with an emotional plea about the “daughter of the nation” and how “time” would ask Musharraf about his actions. Is this journalism or jingoism?
If she had attached sideburns and worn flare pants she would be a shoo-in for deceased actor Mohammad Ali with a shout of “judge sahib!” inevitably coming our way. Guests on her programme were Dr Aafia’s sister, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, Senator Talha of the JUI and senior ‘analyst’ Zaid Hamid.
Zaid Hamid immediately went off on an amazing tale of why the Americans were after Dr Aafia. He explained that she was a neurologist who had biological weapons’ knowledge that the Americans were afraid of, and that her Indian MIT students were complicit in the frame-up and even went to question her in jail in Afghanistan. I like fiction, but this is too much. Dr Aafia’s two children are in the custody of her family, with one missing, but in the programme the killing of two children was being stated as fact.
To this hogwash Meher Bokhari said nothing, and it looked like she was ready to let things slide until Dr Aafia’s sister said that her sister has a PhD in education, specifically on learning by imitation. Senator Talha then, despite having just heard this, and having been on jaunts to the US on government money to see Dr Aafia in person, said Dr Aafia’s PhD was on lining up “discarded” children.
Again, Meher Bokhari had no interest in correcting anything or playing a responsible role. On a CNBC programme I was on, I mentioned this to Senator Talha when he repeated the same tripe (this was after the Samaa programme), after which a shouting match began where the guests were only interested in haranguing Marvi Memon, who was also present.
In all this, the only voice of sanity was Dr Fauzia. But no one was interested in her because it spoilt everyone else’s agenda. Meher Bokhari kept asking the rhetorical question, “What did Aafia do that cannot be forgiven?” clearly ignoring the issues prior to 2003 when Dr Aafia was on the radar for association with al Qaeda. The UN report never came up.
Zaid wants to use Dr Aafia for cutting off ties with the Americans, Senator Talha for cheap political mileage and Meher Bokhari for playing to the gallery. Dr Fauzia also presented a hypothetically logical reason for why the Americans have done what they have to Dr Aafia. But again, that was of no interest to Meher Bokhari and Co. Why bring logic into the equation? Frankly this particular programme of Meher Bokhari made Fox look good in comparison.
And now, the MQM – for ages not a word about the Aafia case until the Imran Farooq murder. Two pieces of information inconclusively suggested the murder may have been an intra-party affair, the first being a report in The Guardian and the second a vague statement by Scotland Yard. This was followed by a flurry of activity by the MQM for Dr Aafia.
Quite possibly the motive, entirely circumstantial at this stage, is to put the party on an anti-western front, especially with regard to their system of justice. And should things turn ugly in London, the championing of Dr Aafia’s ‘cause’ will serve as the pretext for pursuit of a criminal case – in a western court of law – against the party. After holding a rally for Dr Aafia, Dr Fauzia wryly remarked that it would have been better had it been held years earlier.
To get Dr Aafia back and to help commute her sentence will only be done by a more rational approach. That, however is unlikely to happen given the ways of the Aafia mafia.

Conspiracy Media Harming Pakistan's Image In The World

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
ReputationThe conspiracy culture in our media is a growing story in the international press, and it is harming Pakistan’s image in the world. This is something that needs to be addressed because it is more than simply a minor annoyance, it threatens to have far-reaching consequences for our nation. A nation’s media is often considered a reflection of that nation. If our media is dominated by fools, it does not reflect well on us as a nation.
The New York Times yesterday published a blistering profile of Pakistan’s media reaction to the Faisal Shahzad case. The Times reporter simply asks people for statements and allows their responses to speak for themselves. The result, when read outside the echo chamber of Pakistani TV shows and newspapers, is embarrassing.
Americans may think that the failed Times Square bomb was planted by a man named Faisal Shahzad. But the view in the Supreme Court Bar Association here in Pakistan’s capital is that the culprit was an American “think tank.”
No one seems to know its name, but everyone has an opinion about it. It is powerful and shadowy, and seems to control just about everything in the American government, including President Obama.
“They have planted this character Faisal Shahzad to implement their script,” said Hashmat Ali Habib, a lawyer and a member of the bar association.
Who are they?
“You must know, you are from America,” he said smiling. “My advice for the American nation is, get free of these think tanks.”
It’s funny, Hasmat Ali Habib’s reference to a ‘script.’ This is something that none of the conspiracy theorists can produce (the actual script), but every single one of them refers to in their statements. It’s almost as if…they are reading from a script.
Of course, what’s happening is that people like Zaid Hamid and Ahmed Quraishi come up with these wild conspiracies, and then people just repeat them without thinking. Actually, that is rather like a script, isn’t it?
Consider this video produced by The New York Times:
Notice all the different people repeating the same story, and yet none of them have any actual evidence for the claims that they are making. Actually, if you ask for their evidence – how did they come to this conclusion – they will point you to each other. “You must read so-and-so.” “You must watch the interview with so-and-so on Merey Mutabiq.” There is no evidence, there is only an echo chamber. People repeating each other’s words with no critical analysis, no research, no thinking at all.
Adnan Rehmat may have a good point that this problem is exacerbated by the Americans not doing a good enough job communicating with our news agencies, but that does not explain why someone like Hamid Gul would be interviewed about Faisal Shahzad, or for Zaid Hamid to appear as a guest on Dunya News.
The fact that a newspaper could run a front page story with a fake image and a false story about a New York Subway poster is humiliating. How hard would it be to verify this story? All the newspaper had to do was pick up a telephone and make one phone call. Apparently, that was too much work.
This is not the first time that the international community has noticed the growing problem with conspiracy theory culture in Pakistan. Remember the profile of Pakistan’s media in last December’s The Washington Times? Or the Reuters blog post about our conspiracy theory problem? Do you remember this video from last November that embarrassed many of our popular musicians?
The conspiracy theorists like Zaid Hamid and others are more than just fools to be ignored – their words and their messages, repeated and reprinted in mass media, contribute to the way the rest of the world sees us.
When people think of Pakistan, do we want them to think of our beautiful land, our rich and vibrant culture, our proud history? Or do we want them to think of people who can’t be bothered to make one phone call to check their facts; who are so naive that they will believe anything, no matter how unlikely and far-fetched; who are so stuck in a state of denial that their news sounds like it is read from rejected Bollywood scripts?
This lack of professionalism reflects badly not only on people like Zaid Hamid and the producers who put them on the air, it reflects badly on all of us. Mr. Thomas Friedman has written a famous book titled, “The World Is Flat.” In his book, he describes how technology has made the world a smaller place, where improved transportation, satellites, and the Internet have made us all more interconnected than ever before. People in the rest of the world now see our news websites, they see our TV shows on YouTube, they hear what our news anchors are saying, and they read the editorials written in our daily newspapers. If all they see is foolishness, how do we expect them to take us seriously?
This is our problem. We must take it seriously, or else the rest of the world will not grant us the same honour.


Friday, April 16th, 2010
Fasi Zaka’s satirical wit is truly a national treasure. His latest column for Express Tribune takes a light-hearted poke at that brass trickster Zaid Hamid.
Karachi: A student member of Brasstricks is writing to his friends on the net about the failed Pakistan Resolution on March 23 by Syed Samad Bond in Lahore at Al Hamra.
Dear friends in fashionable revolution,
Our army of mummy daddies made a massive show of strength today at al Hamra with the new Pakistan Resolution that shall Inshallah make Syed Samad Bond founder of Brasstricks-i-Hind quarters. All 37 of us there shall be remembered forever. We proudly announced we are the new-cons against the neo-cons.
Tragically, 99,951 of our members could not make it. The ‘Maria B complex’ was also seen in China promoting Islamic sleeveless at the time, a very important front in our geo-political-regional nexus against Jewish and Indian designs. God willing, our naked ambitions for total dominance will be achieved. Ali Dazmat could also not attend because he was fighting a jihad on Facebook, risking his life in a crucial game of Mafia Wars against the global Zionist media.
It is said he will go on one to one against neo-con Paul Phoenix in a game of Tekken on Xbox as Momin Marshall Law next. Our fearless leader made the correct decision to abandon the event because he greatly feared the ulema who had gathered outside against him. They claim he follows a false prophet, but we know that is not true, he only follows personal profit.
We were prepared for any contingency; most of us were wearing Ray Bans and LUMS t-shirts. The smellies from government universities were kept in the background, they make photos look bad. We all gathered on stage like FBI bodyguards with bandanas because we knew someone may try to assassinate our glorious leader, even though there was no audience and all the seats empty, but you know RAW and Mossad are invisible forces.
Luckily there was electricity at the venue and no loadshedding, so it is now confirmed that Wapda is not a Zionist organization. But the samosawalla is a paleed Jewish agent because he only had the aloo variety and no pyaz ka pakora. Inshallah, our new TV programme will begin, we are about to finalise as soon as auditions for a hot chick to ask questions from Syed Samad Bond are finished.
As you know, Syed Samad has knowledge of everything and will explain how he guided Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in Islam, gave speeches that started the revolt of 1857 and how he single-handedly brought down Israeli planes attacking Pakistan with a nine mm pistol. Thanks to Allah we were not born Yahoo-dis. We became what we are due to a fearless leader. Please do not try to contact him this month, he is in hiding, you know how angry mullahs are. We hate these fassadi mullahs for trying to expose our facades.
Your friend,
Jimmy ‘I do the shimmy’ Akhtar

Funeral For Zaid Hamid's Media Career?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Zaid HamidOne common misconception with media occurs when people believe that if someone is on TV, they must be representing the opinions of a large group of people. After all, there are very many people, but only a small few are given airtime on TV.
Zaid Hamid is a a media personality who can be found on more than one TV channel, as well as across the internet. Because of his constant media presence, there is often the belief that his views are popular. However, Hamid’s group of conspiracy theorists has begun to splinter recently, with groups like Pakistan Youth Revolution distancing themselves from him.
Recently, Mr. Hamid staged an event meant to be a large rally of his supporters, but turned out to be a funeral for his career.
Nadeem Paracha explains what happened, and what this means for Zaid Hamid’s media machine, on DawnBlog today.

Pakistani media and the romance with “Secret Map”

Monday, March 15th, 2010
This post from Anas Abbas the Let Us Build Pakistan blog contains a thorough rebuttal to the conspiracies that have been built around the “secret map” of the breakup of Pakistan.
Lately, Pakistani media has been propagating the perception that a secret map by U.S. military official Lt. Col Ralph Peters was issued in 2006  to safeguard Israeli security interest and to balkanize Pakistan.
This map has been quite frequently used by Zaid Hamid, journalist Ahmed Qureshi, DR Shireen Mazari, DR Shahid Masood and many others to highlight the American, Indian and Israeli conspiracy in balkanizing Pakistan. This eventually gave them a strong foundation to form their conspiracy theories in order to blame America and its allies rather than Taliban or local terrorists for the attacks in Pakistan.
The map is below:

According to these conspiracy theorists, the above map is a part of a secret plan devised to achieve Israeli security, American energy interests in Baluchistan and Indian long time desire for the disintegration of Pakistan.
Here is the link of a so called security report from Zaid Hamids’ website that is using this map as the best source of evidence against the so called enemies of Islam.
This second link is to a video where he  analyzes the map and highlights the Israeli security interest.
Also refer to this “DR”Shireen Mazari article where this map was again used as an evidence for Pakistan’s balkanization.
Rebuttal of this map hysteria:
Ralph Peters is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel, novelist and respected expert on military and intelligence issues just like experts in Pakistan such as General Hamid Gul,  Mirza Aslem Baig or Talat Masood. (About Ralph Peters)
Let us see how this map is in favour of Israeli security interest.
Before this, let me ask Zaid Hamid, his followers, and other conspiracy theorists the following questions:
•     Mr Zaid Hamid, et al, has anyone of you ever attended a math class in school?
•     What grades did you obtain in your technical subjects at University?
•     Do all of you have fake degrees just like the former minister for religious affairs in Pakistan (Amir Liaquat Husain)
Are all of you so blind in your misperceived patriotism and false pride that you have conveniently ignored a major section of this map by Ralph Peters?
Well my readers must be wondering why I am asking these questions
Hang on.
Can anyone tell me what a “map key” is?
I can find the best definition of map key here:
A map key is a list of words or phrases or colors — usually within a box in the corner of the map — that usually explains the symbols that that are found on the map itself. Also referred to as a “legend.” (
This is the accepted definition of a map key. I doubt that the conspiracy theorists interpret the map of Ralph Peters through the key provided.
Below is the key extract from the above map.

Now what is this key telling us?
It’s indicating that in this map, those countries that are named in black are gaining territory and those in red are losing territory. There are also those countries shown in the map in grey that neither lose nor gain territory.
Now the most blatant error that Zaid Hamid and Co. are making here is to miss out a fundamental point about Israel’s name in Ralph Peters’ map (Remember red means losing territory)
Please see below the extract from the map showing Israel’s name in red which means the country is losing territory.

How come this map is in favour of Israel and how is it possible that this is anywhere successful in achieving Israeli security (by Zaid Hamid) when the map itself is showing Israel losing significant territory to Jordon and Lebanon?
In other words how is Israel achieving its so called goal to balkanize Pakistan by simultaneously balkanizing itself?
This is typical of conspiracy theorists like Zaid Hamid and Shireen Mazari that they distort every piece of information and manipulate it to serve the interest of their paranoia. In this map they are only highlighting the balkanization of Pakistan, conveniently ignoring Israeli territorial loss
Full marks should be given to the gullible followers of the conspiracy theorists who can’t even analyse a simple map key and instead choose to blindly follow their baseless diatribe against this map.
Now let’s look at this article from Ralph Peters which came along with this map in the United States Monthly Military magazine in the year 2006. (Please read it)
In this article titled “How a better Middle East would look” Ralph Peters carried out an experiment by hypothetically changing the borders of certain countries in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa to address the concerns of the oppressed people in these restive regions. Some of these concerns are:
  • Baluchistan in Pakistan: the Baloch people have been deprived of their rights and fair share on local resources by the Pakistani Establishment. Not to mention the killings of thousands in army operations, extra judicial killings, kidnappings and mass tortures by the security forces which have added to the Balouchi peoples’ misery.
  • The Pasthun Durand line, which has divided the Pashtun tribes in two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan), has been a source of unrest and hostility for decades.
  • Gaza, West Bank and Golan Heights: thousands of innocent Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Security Forces through cluster bombs, chemical weapons, aerial bombardment and through brutal oppressive tactics like blocking the supply of electricity and water in the name of security concern by the Israeli forces. Also, many Israeli citizens have been a victim of suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings by Palestinian Movements.
  • Similar territorial issue’s in Iraqi region of Kurdistan which fought with Saddam regime on autonomy and has been a victim of a genocide called Al – Anfal campaign where Saddam Hussein’s regime massacred thousands of Kurds.
Ralph Peters map was merely just a recommendation based on his personal opinion rather than a clear directive of US Foreign Policy by Department of Defence or CENTCOM.
In fact the journal his article was published in has clearly stated its guidelines here: (Please read the “who we are” section)
According to their website “Armed Forces journal” is a military magazine where retired or current US military officers share their opinions, analysis and reviews on military policy, defence issues, technology, logistics and tactics. It is senseless to think that this journal dictates US foreign policy.
If it is assumed that Armed Forces Journal dictates American foreign policy then why the same journal has an article extremely critical of (War on Terror) Iraq war and the Blackwater security company (Now known as XE). (Iraq War) (Trail for Blackwater agents)
Also if conspiracy theorists label Ralph Peter’s map as a doctrine of US foreign policy then they contradict their most cherished claim that Israel and Jews rule America. This is because according to Peters’ map Israel is ceding its territories by withdrawing to pre 1967 borders
Interestingly, HAMAS, a political organization classified as “terrorists” by the US, demands the same territorial retreat from Israel as shown in the above hypothetical map. This demand is also accepted by Palestinian Liberation Organization’s chief Mahmoud Abbas and was also the recommendation of the UN Security Council resolution 242.
Please refer to these references for HAMAS’s stance and UN Resolution:
A similar article was recently released by a prominent Chinese based think-tank called China International Institute for Strategic Studies that caused massive uproar in the Indian media as the article advocated the balkanization of their country into different states based on several ethnicities.
However after mass hysteria in the media, the spokesperson of the Indian ministry of external affairs clarified to them that the article was representing only the personal opinion of an analyst rather than anything to do with the official Indo –Chinese bilateral relations.
Hence after carefully interpreting the Ralph peter’s map, we can safely reach the conclusion that the map was based on a hypothetical analysis, merely recommending that Pakistan, Israel and some other states give up territories in order to accommodate the demands of the oppressed people and to somehow bring peace in these restive regions.
If an opinion from an individual analyst, journalist or think tank is taken to represent the official policy of a country then how should one interpret former ISI’s chief General Hamid Gul statements in favour of balkanaizing India? Should this also be considered an official declaration by the Chief of Army Staff or the President of Pakistan?
Please refer to this many video of Hamid Gul legitimizing Indian balkanization
Also refer to this Hamid Gul’s article:

What A Tangled Web They Weave

Friday, February 26th, 2010
Conspiracy Spiders Weaving Their Tangled Web
Conspiracy Spiders Weaving Their Tangled Web
Ayesha Siddiqa’s column in Dawn today is an excellent review of the silliness that continues to waste time and energy – not to mention providing a distraction from important issues. Of course I am referring to the conspiracy theory industry. That’s what it is, really, an industry. These are people who have figured out how to make a lot of money by hawking ridiculous fantasies and dramatic stories. Obviously, they don’t need the same evidence or facts that a real journalist would provide. Just a juicy story about a secret enemy is all that’s needed.
I COULDN’T believe my ears when responsible quarters informed me of an American-Blackwater conspiracy to isolate Pakistan.

According to this heinous plan the objective will be achieved by infiltrating the media, specifically through placing people in responsible positions in the print and electronic media. These plants will then be made responsible for freaking out ordinary people.
While some Blackwater agents are said to be responsible for making people paranoid about a secret plan to destroy Pakistan and take away its ‘crown jewels’ — its nuclear weapons — others have been given the task of exciting the populace with the idea of fighting some kind of holy war against neighbouring states and more.
This is called psy-ops, the art of instilling fear in the hearts of citizens and making them lose touch with reality and faith in their own capabilities. The biggest tool of course is the rumour mill, which is constantly in action churning out half-lies and half-truths. Anyone who cannot be bought off by the company is immediately termed a foreign agent. Such tricks are also useful in hiding the fact that it is in reality these people, who are working to isolate Pakistan, that are on Blackwater’s payroll.
There is evidence of using psy-ops in the past against ordinary folks and making them believe in some outside force conspiring to destroy them. The Germans before the Second World War are a prime example. The entire nation had lost touch with reality to a point that they stopped using rational thinking to assess the behaviour of their own leaders and held a certain kind of people responsible for the malaise they suffered from.
Resultantly, there was the famous witch-hunt through which the Jews, the ‘gypsies’, the physically disabled, homosexuals and non-conformist intellectuals were killed or forced to leave. Very soon, the Nazi military machine managed to get rid of people who would have proved to be an asset for the Third Reich.
Apparently, one of the secondary objectives of the conspirators is to create an environment which kills creative minds and pushes them to leave, hence the brain drain. It didn’t occur to ordinary Germans that their leaders, who were responsible for the First World War as well, were caught ‘with their pants down’ in the process of using military power against the rest of the world, and as such were equally responsible for the tragic state of affairs. In fact, the real conspiracy was to take away the rational faculty of the ordinary citizen.
In Pakistan today ordinary persons are being fed fear and paranoia so that they cannot think about the mistakes made by their own leadership. This is not to suggest that other nations do not make questionable plans but the fact is that painting the world in shades of black and white is in itself a conspiracy against the people.
For instance, the story about the historic American let-down does not mention that our own leadership was equally responsible for serving the interests of foreign states in return for both ‘cash and kind’. Publicly asking Hillary Clinton questions regarding the control of the ISI, for example, is nothing but superimposing the idea of the Pakistani nation’s EQ (emotional quotient). So Washington — rather than Islamabad — decides everything in Pakistan.
I haven’t been informed as yet but I suspect that there is even a larger conspiracy afoot to impair the minds of Muslims all over the world. This is done through instilling the fear of some ‘foreign hand’ behind everything that happens in their countries. Spreading such rumours gradually weakens and ultimately deadens their capacity to think of themselves as people who can control their destinies.
According to this plan, the answer for everything bad or unpleasant lies outside. The bulk of the mentally de-capacitated citizenry then gradually looks up to a certain set of leaders as ‘knights in shining armour’ who will protect them and the state.
The absence of systems in what is called the Muslim world is an eye-opener. The conspiracy deepens since people are also made to believe that their lives will only improve through installing a certain kind of programme on their national hard drive.
The writer is an independent strategic and political analyst.

Zaid Hamid's Fantasy: Reality Check

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
The following column by Ishtiaq Ahmed, a most distinguished professor of Political Science at Stockholm University and a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and the South Asian Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore, presents a much-needed reality check to those who follow the wild conspiracy theories of Zaid Hamid.
These are very troubled times. Such times are a bonanza for conspiracy theorists because they know how best to simplify extremely complex situations while simultaneously grossly exaggerating the evil ingenuity of the plotters, and thus create thorough confusion. If such confusion can generate panic, then the conspiracy theorist has earned his living through real hard work. The art then is to top it off with an ending that results in the defeat of the evildoers. Such stuff is the bread and butter of writers of mystery stories and thrillers. Their works help shed everyday boredom, even if only for the moment.
Conspiracy theories and their authors become a cause for concern when they begin to hallucinate and can no longer distinguish between their own flights of imagination and the world around them. If such delirious moments only carry them into a world of make-believe, then the harm is limited. However, when they hijack a whole nation or community into another world, then they ought to be held accountable. When such characters appear in popular talk shows or, much worse, begin exploiting TV channels to present programmes full of war games and prophecies against a demonised group of plotters threatening the existence of a nation — nay, a universal community such as that of the Muslims — then I believe such persons should be held accountable for taking people on a ride with their yarns.
By now the readers must have guessed that I have no other person in mind other than Mr Zaid Hamid. Initially I was reluctant to comment on the farce he pedals in his talks and his TV programmes. The reason is that one can end up giving more importance to individuals than is due. On the other hand, the danger is that the angst and fears that run deep in Pakistani society will push our society even deeper into a pathological state of mind or national outlook. The daily bomb blasts by remote control or by suicide bombers, the galloping rate of unemployment and politicians who specialise in making a mockery of democracy and responsible governments have taken a huge toll on the spirits of the Pakistani people. Last year when I visited Lahore I took a long walk beginning from Anarkali up to Lohari Gate and then eastwards till I came to Mochi Gate. Then I walked down to Gawalmandi, from there I went down Nisbet Road till I came to Lakshmi Chowk. I can tell you that for the first time in my life I felt that Lahore was in mourning. People could not take any longer all the betrayal of hopes for a Pakistan without want and hunger.
Mr Zaid Hamid’s grand conspiracy has a happy ending, however. The Muslim world and the Islamic Ummah in general and Pakistan in particular are the victims of a Zionist-Brahminical-CIA-Mossad-RAW-MI5-MI6, and all the rest, plot, according to this celebrated defence and security analyst. Our only true friend is China. The latter of course is still wedded to Marxism-Leninism and thus to atheism, but that does not matter. Just as there are good and bad Taliban, there can be good and bad atheists. Is that not logical? Once upon a time, I remember, the Chinese with their special eye shape and high cheekbones, we were told, were the people that Islam would fight, also accordingly to some prophecies. That was of course when Pakistan and China had not become friends, whose friendship was later described as higher than the Himalayas. So, there is a season for prophecies — some come in while others go out.
Mr Zaid Hamid tells us not to worry. Pakistan is a nuclear power and the defeat of Hind (India) has been prophesied 1,400 years ago. It will not only be the end of India but Israel and the US and all other evil powers, including Russia. Pakistan and China and some true Muslims will triumph in the final father of all battles — the mother of all battles is dead since a long time, I believe. Hopefully then we will convert all the Chinese, otherwise what is the point?
What will happen to all the nuclear weapons that the enemies of Islam possess? Their total is in the thousands! Well, they will become un-useable or explode in their own countries so the Islamic forces will not be responsible for the genocide of billions of members of the human race. In any case, such details, which disturb the elegance of a simple but sensational conspiracy theory, have to be ignored. The green flag will fly atop the Delhi Fort as it should have had we not created Pakistan and denied ourselves that opportunity 63 years earlier.
Is there any chance that such prophecy may not hold or rather that no such prophecy has existed in the past and it has been manufactured by Mr Zaid Hamid to support his grand theory, which has already declared a Muslim victory? I think such questions should suffice to explain to interested readers to distinguish between conspiracies and conspiracy theories.
Attributing so much power to the Zionists or Mossad also makes no sense. The way Mossad has messed up its crime in Dubai when a hit squad was sent to assassinate a Hamas leader only shows that such an agency cannot sometimes manage even simple operations. RAW is even less likely to pull off an attack on Pakistan with impunity. Recently the Taliban killed a number of CIA operatives in Afghanistan. If Mossad-Raw-CIA were to join ranks, would they perform better or is it likely that in the absence of a common chain of command they can mess up things even more? I do not know. But I do know that neither Mr Zaid Hamid nor his theory allow for an error, and in any case whatever initial advantage these evil agencies and powers may have, our victory is a foregone conclusion. That is exactly a conspiracy theory.
Another thing to keep in mind is the following: conspiracies by their very nature are secretive and oftentimes catch their targets off-guard. ‘Et tu, Bruté?’ (Even you, Brutus?), exclaimed Julius Caesar, as his best friend joined other plotters and stabbed him to death. Of course his (Julius Caesar’s) wife, Calpurnia, had been seeing such a nightmare many times, Shakespeare informed his readers. So, maybe one can see visions about such happenings. In any case, conspiracy theories that have already exposed the culprits and punished them and defeated them are just flights of the imagination, or, could be deep dives into a bottomless void inside the belly of the earth.