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A Taste of Total Turmoil

by Newsweek Pakistan

Louai Beshara—AFP

The world is united at last—by misery, extremism and never-ending internal conflicts

As men of wisdom advise Pakistan to stay out of the long-running Iran-Saudi Arabia vendetta in the Gulf, Sudan has been compelled to break with pro-Tehran Doha and send additional troops to Yemen to replace the ousted Qatari ones. Why did Sudan suddenly forget the favors done it by Qatar, like the crucial topping up of its foreign exchange reserves when President Bashir had to buy food for his hungry nation?

The favors done to Pakistan and to the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Kingdom are even more compelling. But Pakistan’s intent to send troops to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf kingdom’s internal defense can’t hide the fact that Sharif is also personally beholden to a Qatari prince for evidence in an ongoing case of money laundering being investigated by a Supreme Court appointed joint investigation team.

It’s not only the Saudi-Iran conflict that has tilted the Muslim world into turmoil; other states are also not doing well in maintaining order within their borders or among themselves. In these states, the Muslims are tormentor and tormented alike, because they are wedded to extremism. But even outside Muslim-majority nations, the situation isn’t too rosy. The world continues to marvel at the way America is wiggling out of Pax Americana under President Trump, who defiantly commits laughable blunders of conduct without affecting the votebank that brought him to power.

Trump leads the popular Western disenchantment with globalization embraced in the past decades as the “correction” without which, according to Adam Smith, capitalism will not fulfill its promise of universal prosperity. In the United Kingdom, people voted in a referendum to break away from the larger market of the European Union and want the statist solutions rejected long ago as bad economics following the collapse of communist states in the last century.

Meanwhile, despite Pakistan showcasing the negative impacts of a religiously motivated state in South Asia, “secular” India has decided to go Hindu by voting into power the Bharatiya Janata Party and its policy of Hindutva. As a result, vigilantes are killing innocent non-Hindus even as state institutions turn a blind eye to atrocities that put Pakistan to shame even with its abysmal record under the controversial blasphemy law. Add to that the continent of South America where states like Venezuela have been plagued by months of unrest and you have an entire world going to pieces on “great public demand.”

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