Emperor’s Clothes

Courage is to raise one’s head in a crowd, unmindful of its possible disapproval or condemnation of what one stands for. Such defiance of possible odds against one’s position comes not from blindness of the situation one is involved in, nor from the combative zeal one is possessed with to fight the critics of one’s cause (although that is needed in situations of strong and unpopular convictions), but the strength comes from the belief in the principles behind the cause one stands for.
Nineteen U.S. Congressmen stand for the principle of stopping the state-run international terrorism, which is operating devastatingly all over the world from its base in Pakistan. They no longer want to remain under the stupor of diplomatic niceties and moral infantilism, they want to call the Emperor without clothes to be what it is – naked.
Pakistan is a country which never grew up. From three decades of military dictatorship to crass opportunism of its politicians, it is the story full of betrayal, greed, and blindness. It is one of the most backward countries in the world. In recent era it has become one of the bastions of international terrorism, to grease the pockets of some and soak the religious fervor of others. The rape of Kashmir is a case in point. This beautiful and tranquil region of India has been held as a bounty for decades in front of Pakistanis, since its inception as a state, by its political leaders to divert their attention from their mammoth problems of hunger, poverty, disease, and disorder. Pakistani engineered and financed terrorism has devastated Kashmir economically, politically, and culturally. Also, it has rendered 300.000 of its Hindus refugees in their own country.
Terrorism has become like natural disasters: it is unpredictable, cataclysmic, and unstoppable. But it does not have to be like that. It is created by human beings and it can be stopped by human beings. All we need is a conscience to speak about it.
Last 10 years have witnessed the proliferation of terrorism around the world. With the burgeoning and the ripening of the world-wide democratic movement, it is perplexing to see how an anti-democratic human behavior has mushroomed into a powerful force to reckon with. The roots of this aberrant human behavior lie not in the nature of the democracy surrounding it, but in the reckless expression of its sister-culture, individualism. Unfettered individualism has, at times, led to beliefs and actions contrary to common human interest. Turning the head away from the rising epidemic of terrorism has sustained its growth and power.
We can not sit idly, harboring misgivings, seething with anger and repugnance, and let the sword of terrorism inflict a thousand wounds on mankind.
Most of the terrorism has roots in politics and religion. For the civilized countries to sit on the sidelines, on the grounds of the decency of non-interference in the affairs of other countries, is a dereliction of duty, a denial of conscience, an invitation to disaster. The world is now an interconnected mosaic, a political catastrophe in one part quickly travels to other parts. One has to be judgmental about certain basic human values like democracy and peace, cultural tolerance and human rights. We have to protect these basic conditions of human existence, wherever they are in jeopardy. A cancer in one part of body may travel to others.
We applaud and salute the courage of the nineteen Congressmen who have written to President Clinton to declare Pakistan a terrorist country. They have not turned their heads away from one of the bastions of world terrorism, but they want their country and the others to do something about it. We cannot let the progress of civilization be impeded by the insane behavior of some countries.
Congratulations Congressmen. History will make your action unforgettable and mankind will be ever grateful to you.

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