The curious case of Rehman Malik

It’s official – everyone on earth hates Rehman Malik. You just have to do a search on Twitter or Google Blogsearch for “Rehman Malik” and you get caustic comments by Indians angry at his latest outburst (“India responsible for most terrorist attacks”). Then you have angry Pakistani liberals, who hate Rehman Malik because he says stupidly obvious things after terrorist attacks, like blaming them on a security lapse. Then you have people who just randomly express their hatred for Rehman Malik, similar to how people randomly express their loathing for Zardari. Something like, “AAHHH GOD, WE ARE A COUNTRY OF CROOKS!!1 WE DEZERVE REHMAN MALIKKKK”. Occasionally you will see a Pakistani nationalist happy that Rehman Malik has grown a spine by denouncing Indian involvement in Balochistan or something, but these comments are soon drowned out by the next wave of Rehman Rage.

In the general spirit of hatred for Rehman Malik, you might have seen this video of Talat Hussain calling on Rehman Malik to resign, circulating the internet:

If you watch it, you will see that Talat Hussain is extremely angry that Rehman Malik – the Interior Minister – is visiting places recently bombed by terrorists and wasting valuable security on himself. Now I understand feeling angry at Rehman Malik for any number of things, but really? Visiting a bomb blast location after a blast that has made international news? Anyway, according to Hussain there was a “spontaneous outburst of anger” against Rehman Malik and the video shows young students of the International Islamic University of Islamabad stoning Rehman Malik’s motorcade and shouting angry slogans as he passes by. Now I am sure students were angry that their university wasn’t provided with better security, but if you strain your ears, from about 2:25 onwards, what you hear is students shouting REHMAN MALIK!! AMRIKI AGENT!!. I don’t want to judge people who have just been bombed too harshly, but really. Amriki Agent?! That’s what you’re angry about right after being bombed by terrorists!? This reaction is depressing beyond words. Maybe it’s just me, but Rehman Malik’s presence isn’t the troubling part of this video compared to what the students were shouting. You see, in a way Rehman Malik is the perfect symbol of the Pakistani civilian government – bumbling, inept, hated by all, and a distraction from the deeper dysfunction that you have to listen a bit harder to hear.

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12 responses to “The curious case of Rehman Malik

  1. Rabia, this last line “You see, in a way Rehman Malik is the perfect symbol of the Pakistani civilian government – bumbling, inept, hated by all, and a distraction from the deeper dysfunction that you have to listen a bit harder to hear” is so brilliant I have reread it tens of times over now. And you make an excellent point, but the rampant anti-US sentiment and the horrendous amount of false stories doing the rounds about their ‘involvement’ has led to all this. What surprised me most – in a similar vein to the calls of ‘Amriki agent’ – was the GHQ attackers’ demand to ‘make Blackwater leave’.

  2. Pingback: Reads of the week and imploding dreams « erase and rewind

  3. stuka

    The attack on the Islamic University was a brilliant move by the terrorists. Keep in mind that the real enemy of the Taqfiri Islamist is not the liberal – it is the centrist. The Liberal is a kaafir who can be demonized in any case. It is the centrist who needs to be unhinged and cowed down.

    This current conflict within Pakistan has parallels not with Kashmir but with the Indian Punjab problem. Though Indians will bring up the Jaish / Taliban interplay which is true enough, the fact is that the Kashmir conflict also has the clarity of Muslim Kashmir versus Hindu India in it’s imagery. The Indian Punjab issue however pitted Sikh against Sikh. Though there was some Hindu versus Sikh imagery in the media, it was superficial analysis. The Hindu in Punjab was a cowed down frightened minority with no political voice – akin maybe to your liberals. Inconsequential at best. The conflict was between a Jatt Sikh dominated bureaucracy and punjab police versus a Jatt Sikh dominated militancy.

    Here too, whereas the Pathan Taliban versus Punjabi Army aspect get’s covered superficially, it is ultimately Sunni Muslim versus Sunni Muslim conflict with Pathans and Punjabis arrayed on both sides. It is a fratricidal war and America is simply a strawman used by both sides to imply the just and righteousness nature of the cause.

  4. Love it. Great post Rabia. Was trying to get around to writing a snarky post on Rehman Malik (Rehmy Sahib), so will def cite this.

  5. Rabia

    thanks for the nicecomments,Saba and Kalsoom. BTW I just read today that Rehman Malik wants all Afghan refugees to leave Islamabad within 72 hours. Unbelievable.

    stuka:
    I sort of agree with you. To be honest, I can’t understand the next move for “centrist” muslims like IIUI students or even people like Qazi. I read a really confused column by him a few days ago in which he kept saying that Taliban are American agents and then in the next paragraph that America better stop drone attacks or they will create an unstoppable stream of Taliban in retaliation. I mean, this is a real logical quandary, even for these guys. What’s their next move going to be?

  6. great post . i don’t get with these pseudo inteluctual cum anchors. their incoherent arguments and biased analyzes have created a great mess in the society. it was due to these anchors that in 2006 80% of Pakistani’s thought sucide bomber is premissble in Islam.
    and while Benazir gave her life mobilizing public opinion against talibanization of society and sucide bombing ,instead of realizing there mistake they started a new debate who the biggest benfactor of all after her death.

    forget about their biased analyzes sorry to say they are liars . i’m posting a link of najam sethi’s interview

    where he tells a story about Talat Hussain .

  7. Rabia

    thanks for posting those videos, Humza. I usually find Talat Hussain’s show quite interesting but sometimes he really loses it and goes really over the top with rightwing rhetoric. btw have you read nazir naji’s column of today about these rightwing analysts and columnists — it’s really funny!

    http://letusbuildpakistan.blogspot.com/2009/10/future-government-of-pakistan-by-nazir.html

  8. The last line….you said it Rabia!
    Truly, the whole point of criticizing the obvious moron Rehman Malik became invalid the moment you cited the exact nature of those slogans. The majority still loves to live in the delusion of Amreeka sazish in everything and deploy social hypocrisy towards everything we are entirely responsible for.
    It’s a sad state of affairs, very!

  9. yeah i read the nazir naji’s column it was good.
    i also sometimes find talat hussain’s show better than the others but i hope your watch the video of najam sethi , he was talking about talat hussain , the kind of shows he did to prove that baitaullah masood had nothing to do with BB’s murder was quite funny. he tried his best to prove Najam sethi under the influence of his newspaper owner wrote that masood had warned BB not to return .

  10. “You see, in a way Rehman Malik is the perfect symbol of the Pakistani civilian government – bumbling, inept, hated by all, and a distraction from the deeper dysfunction that you have to listen a bit harder to hear.”

    Maybe you are on to something here Rabia. Maybe they were taking out their anger at the perfect symbol of the Pakistani civilian government – sponsored, blessed and transplanted by the Americans and hated by all, again, also a distraction from reality?

    Maybe that’s what they meant by all that shouting? I don’t know, I am just asking.

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