‘India produced JRD Tata, Pakistan philanthropy flowed to Madrassa & mosques’: Dawn article laments   


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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 28: Imploding Pakistani economy is now making soul-searching voices more visible with laments growing against social and political patronage of madrassa and mosques in place of scientific temper. Pervez Hoodbhoy, a leading columnist, wrote in Pakistan’s prominent daily Dawn: “Philanthropy in Pakistan means donating to madressahs, mosques, and hospitals.”

“In cultured societies, elites take delight in scientific and academic matters. They endow universities with chairs and professorships. Institutions bearing their names immortalise the donor. Named after J.R.D. Tata, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research is the proud flagship of Indian science. But you can fruitlessly scour all of Pakistan for someone who will donate for science or the arts,” Hoodbhoy, who delved in Pakistan’s toxic marriage with terror.

Hoodbhoy sought to convey laments of the Pakistan intelligentsia on the collapsing economy of the country, which were echoed by another columnist Shahbaz Choudhary a few days ago while writing for The Express Tribune of Pakistan. Hoodbhoy further stated that “without Pakistan’s help, the Taliban monster and terrorism wouldn’t have existed”.

The columnist, who is also a leading Islamabad-based physicist, sought to examine the current Pakistani trend to bash the elites and the rich in the country. The Pakistani elites have become the target of the middle-class of the country for taking the country to the sorry state of the affairs with their complicity in political and military corruption.

Hoodbhoy contrasted in his opinion piece the rich list of India with that of Pakistan. He counted Gau­tam Adani (power generation), Mukesh Amb­ani (pet­rochemicals), Shiv Nadar (IT), Cyrus Poon­awalla (vaccines), and Radhakishan Damani (retail), while crediting them for pioneering contributions in critical sectors. “No wealthy Pakistani with businesses in the country has made it to the Forbes list but reportedly the five richest are: Mian Mansha, Sadruddin Hashwani, Asif Ali Zardari, Malik Riaz and Habibullah Khan. How they made their billions is not for me to know. But what exportables have they produced? Will Pakistan forever rely on bedlinen, underwear, and footballs to earn dollars?” asked Hoodbhoy.

Shahbaz Choudhary too had struck the similar theme, while making a case that “India is now more Asia than South Asia”. He too paid rich tributes to the economic strides made by India in the last few decades, while asserting New Delhi is now a global power.

“Who created the vast countryside network of Jihadist organisations aimed at installing fanatical forces in Kabul and liberating Kashmir? But for FATF (Financial Action task Force, the agency that tracks terror funding), hafiz Saeed would still be strutting around Pakistan instead of cooling his heels in prison,” argued Hoodbhoy.

Stating that Pakistan doesn’t need an external enemy for collapse, Hoodbhoy further argued that “its civil and military elites have hollowed out their own house”. “In the 1990s, the federal national curriculum required sixth class children to know about India’s evil designs against Pakistan and to make speeches on jihad and shahadat. Why the murderous TTP is so attractive to large swathes of Pakistanis is not hard to see,” added Hoodbhoy in the article.

Commenting on “low level of vitriol from Indian leaders”, Hoodbhoy said: “From their point of view: why spoil the fun? Just wait and watch as the unforgiving, amoral law of gravity asserts itself.”

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