While discussing various threats facing the Ummah at large, including terrorism in form of the ISIL, the Saudi Gazette’s Editor, Khaled al Maeena, who has been in Pakistan covering the Afghan war, raises very pertinent questions in his article, “Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the Arab world? ‏” Though this addresses the Arab world, yet the dangers for Pakistan loom large. He says the Arab Spring, which promised salvation, failed to deliver. The total political and social paralysis ushered in extremist organisations like ‘Daish’ or the so-called Islamic State (IS). He says the Arab world cannot absolve itself of blame for the current impasse, nor deny its responsibility for the social ills that contributed to the sectarian divide.

Given his experience and observation, Khaled’s fears need to be taken seriously. It is a forewarning that steps need to be taken, since the Middle East has been chosen for perpetual war by the weapons manufacturers and their proxies. Take Iraq for instance, he says, the support for the Shia and the Kurds, the momentary allies of the West, created a Sunni backlash and the ISIS was born. The US is back in Iraq. Once the IS is bombed, the US will start wooing the Sunnis. There will soon be a Shia backlash. The cycle will continue.

In the US where the Republicans and the Democrats do not see eye to eye on anything, they are unanimous in sending troops to the Middle East. The WW2 lasted seven years. Afghanistan has been at war for 30 years and so is Iraq. Arabs will always be controlled, in Syed Wajahat’s words, as long as they are dependent on wealth for their existence. He suggests that all wealth should be brought together to invest in impoverished Muslim countries, with the purpose of improving the quality of life, rather than spending on manufactured material from the industrialized nations. Only a strong diplomacy, full of political wisdom and statesman’s acumen, can avert the dangers that loom large.


Lahore, November 11.