Pakistan Receives First of 18 Lockheed F-18C Fighter/Bombers for which it paid nearly $2,000,000,000.00

October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy
October 13, 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman of the Pakistan Air Force shows off the country's new toy

Woman & her 3 daughters commit suicide – cause: unbearable poverty

10-22-2009_51457_lThe article points out that “According to sources, Muhammad Sharif was a poor man and leading hand to mouth life with his spouse Zahida Bibi and three minor daughters while the couple would scuffle on an on due to poverty. Yesterday, Zahida Bibi together with her three minor girls committed suicide over being emotional by dint of poor living conditions, sources said.”

The relevance of a nation, the legitimacy of its government, the professionalism of its military and the allegiances of its elite are judged by the welfare of its weakest citizens. As this mother dies, her children with her, I question the relevance of the government, these deadly toys, the professionalism of the military and the allegiances of the elite.

Most post-colonial nations (and I mean most, not all) have chosen a path of purchased modernity – a propensity to believe that simply buying new toys, clothes, college degrees and properties in foreign lands would bestow upon us a European modernity. We are desperate to display it, mimic it, consume it and be equated as being modern. The mimicry of the material is balanced by a determined erasure of the human and the just. I believe that Europe herself has failed her own intellectual and philosophical legacy – as Frantz Fanon argued in his masterpiece The Wretched of the Earth:

Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe.

… but nevertheless, it is this legacy that is completely ignored by us. We want the toys, not the thoughts. I accept that we don’t know our own legacies of humanism, tolerance, justice, equality and service. After all, our education systems, particularly those provided to the elite, are principally Euro-centric, teaching us mostly European literature, arts, history, and else.

To be modern, as understood by our leaders, elites and the military, is to be materially rich in the products, behaviors, and tasts that mirror the European/West. Even our politics simply mirrors their priorities.

We are nations of small ambitions. As our citizens die death not worthy of dogs, as we ‘best’ and most educated, gloat about the opening of a new BMW dealership in Karachi, but remain silent in the face of real scandals that are occasionally printed on the back pages of local newspapers.

I wish for a day when a Pakistani government would collapse not because it was less willing to fleece its people or pander to imperialist interests, but because a mother and her 3 children were forced to kill themselves because of the negligence and indifference of a government that was supposed to protect them and their welfare.