Our Brown Pundit Zachary Latif will hopefully share his perspectives on Pakistani Psychosis soon. Tarek Fatah gives a good synopsis of Pakistani Psychosis and Islamism in the above video. I am not an expert on Pakistani Pysochosis, and cannot validate many of Tarek Fatah’s perspectives on Pakistan. However, with respect to Islam, many muslims (including prominent religious leaders) privately share many of Tarek’s views, but the vast majority are too afraid to share their views publicly. Tarek Fatah is very knowledgeable about Arabic, Islamic scripture and Islamic law. If you have the time, please watch the entire video.
What is Pakistani psychosis? I am not completely certain and look forward to evolving my views with new information. To oversimplify, it is the combination of several things:
- A negation and rejection of:
- the traditional moderate Hindu influenced Islam that was common in Pakistan before 1947
- pan Hindustani Bharatiya Deshi Arya culture that greatly influenced the ancestors of modern Pakistanis in the 1940s. This culture still extends across and influences much of Asia now.
- An embrace and idolization of extreme Arab Sunni Islamist or near Islamist Islam, partly inspired by Ibn Taymiyyah. Specifically extreme Sunni interpretations from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Al-Azhar University Egypt and the Ikhwan (also called Muslim Brotherhood–a Salafi soft Islamist global organization.)
- Note that many Pakistanis who embrace this extremist Sunni Islamist or near Islamist Islam are not Arabic, Koranic, Hadith, Sira, or law jurisprudence experts and don’t fully understand or appreciate what they are idolizing and embracing.
- Extreme Sunni Arabs–especially Saudis–generally look down on Pakistanis as a type of slave subhuman untermensch. Imagine how many Americans in the deep south looked down on slaves in the early 1800s. Then multiply it by a hundred and maybe you get into the ballpark. Extreme Sunni Arabs don’t much respect Asians or Africans in general. [Not all Sunni Arabs are extreme Sunni Arabs.]
- Arab worship is why Pakistan embraces a type of pan global Islamism and takes great pride in her leadership over the Chechan fight against Russia, Bosnian fight against Serbia, Kosovan fight against Serbia, “Iraqi resistance” fight against Americans, Iranians, Iraqi Army, Shiites and Kurds; Libyan Jihadis, Syrian Jihadis, Kashmiri fight against India, Algerian Jihadis, Somalian Jihadis, Nigerian Jihadis, Filipino Jihadis, Thai Jihadis, Indonesian Jihadis, Afghan Jihad against Russians, Iranians, Northern Alliance, Afghan National Army, UN, NATO, US, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras. Pakistani jihadis play an important role in wars and terrorism across Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America and to a lesser degree parts of Latin America. There are allegations that Pakistani Jihadis have participated in attacks against Burmese.
- Extreme paranoia and conspiracy theories of everything Indian or Jewish for no reason other than it is Indian or Jewish. To a lesser degree this is also true of Afghanistan, Iran (despite Pakistan’s deep cultural and religious links with Afghanistan and Iran), Israel, Europe, Russia and North America. This is not based on a calculation of Pakistani values or Pakistani interests, and is irrational.
- A state within the state euphemistically called “Deep State” or “General Headquarters”-“GHQ” for short. They are opaque and ambiguous. Most of the people supporting it are useful idiots. Most of their leaders are confused. They see Pakistan as the nexus around which the world turns and believe that every action that foreigners take is somehow about Pakistan; reminiscent in many ways of the Ugly Americanism [we are the only influential powerful country . . . everything that happens to foreigners or that foreigners do is related to us] of the second half of the 20th century. They promote a type of confused unclear Pakistani nationalism that is fused with a type of global pan Islamic nationalism. They work hand in glove with Islamists; but many of them aren’t very religious or don’t have a deep understanding of Islamism or truly believe in Islamism. The irrational, confused, amorphous, mostly manic bipolar, psychotic state of their brains might sometimes be called the psychosis of the Deep State.
The combination of all four of these phenomenon might collectively be called “Pakistani Psychosis”.
It is important to remember that many Pakistanis are good people. Many Pakistanis are minorities who utterly reject the Pakistani Psychosis. Many Pakistanis are good muslims. Many Pakistanis are normal. Many Pakistanis are great sources of love and light. But they are fighting an uphill battle against Pakistani Psychosis.
These are the Pakistanis the world should try to help but rarely does.
I look forward to everyone’s feedback. I am sure my views on Pakistani Psychosis will evolve with new information and feedback.
[As a clarification to what is written above, a global pan Islam nationalist isn’t necessarily a practicing or believing muslim. Tariq Ali for example.]
PS. Please also watch this interview by Husain Haqqani that comprehensively covers most of these themes:
This video by Husain Haqqani as well:
Husain Haqqani additionally emphasizes the need of Pakistan for neoliberal economic reforms and opening Pakistani tourism, student visas, work visas, business travel, trade, business development. Open up with India, China and the West. Then Pakistan could become a self reliant developed rich country.
Husain Haqqani says that he is a Pakistani but also a civilizational Indian. Husain appears to celebrate the success and rise of India. I completely agree. The rise of India is very good for Pakistan much the way the rise and success of Pakistan is very good for India.
Madiha Afzal, author of “Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State” (Brookings, 2018), also covers many aspects of Pakistani narrative dysfunction:
40 minutes it Madiha’s research finds more support for extremism among Pakistani young people than older people–which she tries to explain. As an aside previous research has found support for extreme Islamism rises as education increases and as affluence increases.
Husain Haqqani is concerned that CPEC will saddle Pakistan with debt to China that Pakistan will not be able to service. [Might CPEC saddle Pakistan with about $60 billion in debt?] Husain Haqqani says that Pakistan is no longer even a semi democratic country, but a country where the military and intelligence services control decision making. And the media is under deep and strong control. The US no longer considers Pakistan and ally. It is not Imran Khan’s government. It is General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s government. No better person could have been found since Imran Khan during his Oxford days used to be called “Im the dim.” He gets to called the PM and someone else gets to call the shots. Doesn’t see Indian Pakistani relations going anywhere anytime soon.
The following is a great summary of Lashkar e Taiba, one of the main proxies of the Pakistani Army Deep State General Headquarters establishment. They avoid attacking Pakistani minorities (including twelvers, irfan, sixers, hindus, christians, sikhs, bahai, sufis, sindhis) inside Pakistan except when ordered to by the state; while engaging in attacks against other Islamic sects and other faiths outside of Pakistan:
I would recommend watching a spectacular summary of Pakistan by Christine Fair where she describes Pakistan as massively more dangerous to the world than Iran and implies that America should collaborate with Iran to manage Pakistani psychosis:
Many BP articles related to Tarek Fatah and Husain Haqqani linked to below.
Article first published March 26th, 2018. Revised January 23rd, 2019.