Dr. Umar Khan
Dr. Khan heads a Lahore based Think Tank. 9-7-07
Strange Official truths
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates taught his students that the pursuit of truth could only begin once they start questioning and analyzing beliefs they ever held dear. If a certain belief passes the tests of evidence, deduction, and logic, it should be kept. If it doesn't, the belief should not only be discarded, but the thinker must also then question why he was led to believe the erroneous information in the first place. Whose purposes it would serve? We are routinely given information and facts of all kinds by the government which we are expected to believe but believing them can be difficult. These strange unbelievable facts released by the government resulted in the popular saying that there are lies, white lies and then the government figures.
If we judge the official facts we are told by our governments by Socrates standards we risk getting bewildered and cynical. No wonder we have become a nation of skeptics and apathetics because we are expected to believe outright lies. Let us analyses a few recently announced official facts, which are hard to comprehend,
Ø An Army that takes hours to take over an entire country has not been able to take over a seminary and girls school for over 6 months.
Ø A government that doesn’t hesitate bombing schools full of children killing 100s is soft enough not to interrupt even the power supply, water or gas of the rebellious school.
Ø A seminary openly challenging the writ of the government for months isn’t even cordoned off. It is allowed to arm itself and kidnap people openly without any retribution.
Ø The President working hard to persuade the journalists not to report undesirable news about the country for the sake of its image openly exaggerates the threat of fundamentalism and terrorism in the heart of our capital.
Ø The 2 rebellious mullah brothers were allowed to become kind of celebrities attending social functions and media events without being disturbed whereas the ex Prime Ministers are exiled after spending time in solitary confinement.
Ø MNAs are jailed for years but these rebel Mullahs keep on enjoying freedom, telephones and other facilities.
Ø Firing in Lal Masjid commenced without attempting attrition as if bloodshed is sought. As if some pagan deity is calling for human blood.
There is nothing new about our government feeding us dubious information as facts as this destructive policy has been followed ever since the early days of independence. To enumerate a few past official truths,
Ø In 1971 the country broke into two due to politicians whereas the military ruled uninterruptedly for 13 years.
Ø Desecrating the constitution and breaking of the oath serves national interests.
Ø Education is our priority whereas the international agencies confirm that we are spending the least on education.
Ø Pakistan is prospering despite phenomenal increase in suicides and mental stress due to poverty.
Ø Pakistan is a strong sovereign country with nuclear bombs, but foreign powers can attack it, kill or kidnap its people without any fear of reprisal.
The above mentioned facts are repeatedly forced onto us by the people in power but are difficult to believe. They stand no chance to pass the Socrates test of truth. Then the question arises who wants us to believe these lies and why? The possibilities of benefits people might get by convincing of absolute deceit can be very bothersome if not outright shocking.
I request all my readers to help me understand what is going on. Should we believe all this is called the official truth but intelligence forbids us to believe? Or is the truth as painful as the facts suggests? Should believe it and keep on fooling ourselves by apparently conceding to the men in power?
But then if we could believe in parting of River Nile, believing this should not be that difficult.