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Counterpoint: Do me a favor; do me no favors

Mr Aakar Patel’s supposed ‘naivety’ caught me in amazement. What does he take the Pakistani media for? Fools? Venom smells venom, no matter how sweet you make it taste. Of course the ‘subject is difficult’ because it stinks to high heavens.

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Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Ahmadiyya Times
By Imran Jattala | March 12, 2012

This is the expanded version of a ‘comment’ sent to LiveMint.com in reference to a column published by Aakar Patel entitled “The apostates of Pakistan” on March 9th 2012 at LiveMint.com.

When Mr Aakar Patel started to write his article “The apostates of Pakistan” on March 9th 2012 in LiveMint.com, it was about why and how Ahmadis are persecuted at the hand of Muslims; and in Pakistan or other places. And he, probably to the best of his knowledge, presented the dogmatic difference and sticking points between the two groups that led to the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims. To that effect and considering he is not a Muslim, Mr Patel did reasonably well in his presentation except for some factual inaccuracies about the Ahmadi beliefs. After all, it would be unreasonable to expect Mr Patel to understand and articulate religious intricacies of someone else’s faith.

Mr. Aakar Patel sounded all reasonable throughout his lengthy column until he got to the end where, subliminally, his suppressed anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan sentiments crept in; and I would venture to say that he may not have even realized it himself. In the last two paragraphs, it appears, Mr Patel forgot why he had started out to write about Ahmadiyya persecution in the first place. Or, did he? For some unknown reason he took a U-turn and decided to stick it to the Ahmadis. Unconsciously, perhaps.

Mr Patel seems to have a repressed dislike of Ahmadi Muslims’ for being, in his words, “enthusiastic supporters of the two-nation theory, and of Pakistan.” Now, there are varying interpretations of the ‘two-nation theory’ and notwithstanding which interpretation was supported by Ahmadī Muslims – if they supported one at all – nevertheless, Mr Patel’s last paragraphs seems to suggest, he thinks, Ahmadis deserved the wrath they received – be it from their fellow Muslims – apparently because they supported creation of Pakistan.

You see, Mr Patel closes his article by accusing Ahmadis of ‘bigotry.’ Bigotary? Bigotry against whom?  He doesn’t say, but very likely, Mr Patel is alluding to the pre-partition India and the anti-partition crowd some of which eventually ended up in Pakistan.

Mr Patel also wants to take it out on the entire Ahmadiyya community for his belief that Pakistan’s Objectives Resolution of 1949 was, according to his claims, supported by Sir Zafrulla Khan, a prominent Ahamdi Muslim, in early Pakistani governance of 1949-50s. While Mr Patel correctly points out that Objectives Resolution added to the ‘Islamizing of Pakistan,’ he overstates it by saying that “Sir Zafarullah Khan championed” its cause. The facts about who championed the Objectives Resolution are well recorded and there is no need to again outline those here, but to say that Sir Khan ‘championed’ it, Mr. Patel will be laughed out of the room by the very mullahs who he knows persecute Ahmadis. Mr. Patel, it is quite apparent, is not used to keeping his facts straight after all. He seems to conveniently ignore the reputation Sir Khan had acquired for being an idealist about the sort of governance and separation of religion and state he continuously promoted for Pakistan.

Mr Patel also seems to have a suppressed dislike for the Ahmadiyya Muslims’ efforts to help Pakistan Army in the early Kashmiri struggle against Indian misadventures in the matter of Kashmir. But I don’t blame Mr Patel for his aversion to the Pakistani stance on Kashmir. He cannot be reasonably expected to see it from a Pakistani perspective. I am, however, troubled about Mr. Patel’s inability to agree to disagree. It may come as a surprise to him that Ahmadis, too, are well known for their loyalty to their homeland wherever they happen to be. In the case of Indian Ahmadis, for example, they are equally loyal to their homeland, India; a fact well recognized by the tormentors of Ahmadis in Pakistan, who accuse them for being ‘Indian agents’.

I have no Idea how in the world, Mr Patel concludes saying, “Such bigotry against other faiths usually invites punishment against your own. For the apostates of Pakistan, it has.”

So, again it begs the question, if it is not about Ahmadiyya support for the creation of Pakistan or loyalty of the Pakistani Ahamdis to the nation of Pakistan, which Ahmadiyya act, against any other group in the world, Mr Patel finds ‘bigoted’ in any sense of the word?

Mr Aakar Patel, whose bio at The Express Tribune says that he is a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar, complained in the beginning of his column at LiveMint.com that two Pakistani English newspapers – where he regularly writes – refused to accept his article. “This is the first time they’ve done this, and I see their point. The subject is difficult,” he wrote.

Mr Patel’s supposed ‘naivety’ catches one in amazement. What does he take the Pakistani media for? Fools? Venom smells venom, no matter how sweet you make it taste. Of course the ‘subject is difficult’ because Mr Patel made it stink to high heavens.

  — Counterpoint: Do me a favor; do me no favors
  — Ahmadiyya Times
  — By Imran Jattala

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