Pakistani Professors Must Stop Pakistan-Bashing

by Ahmed Quraishi

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, teaching defense and strategy to Pakistani students, calls Pakistan’s Founding Father and the national poet ‘homosexuals’.

And Prof. A. H. Nayyar, an alumni of the largest university in Islamabad, is asking followers to fake evidence against Pakistan’s founder in order to show him to young Pakistanis as someone who ate ham, which is prohibited for Muslims and Jews.

What’s eating Prof. Nayyar and Dr. Siddiqa is that there is a revival taking place among young Pakistanis, the single largest group in a population of 170 million. The revival is unprecedented and seeks to renew faith in Pakistan.  It is a reaction to anti-Pakistan reports and think-tank findings mainly in the United States over the past three years that sought to dismiss Pakistan as a nation on the verge of collapse. Pakistanis have also been galvanized by evidence showing Indians exporting terrorism into Pakistan from US-controlled Afghanistan.

The evidence against both teachers, presented here for the first time, indicates a major problem facing most Pakistani colleges and universities. A small but noisy group of professors is encouraging students to attack the very foundations of the Pakistani state.

This is alarming considering the timing and the regional instability resulting from America’s Afghan war.

Both Dr. Siddiqa and Prof. Nayyar have access to one of the most influential Pakistani seats of learning, the Quaid-e-Azam University in the heart of the Pakistani capital. Both of them are also known to hold what many describe as views more sympathetic to Pakistan’s regional detractors.

Dr. Siddiqa’s statement was part of a discussion she had with an Indian journalist on Facebook on Feb. 10, 2010.  A screen shot can be seen with this report. [Click here to see the actual conversation on Facebook].

Prof. Nayyar’s statement came in a discussion on Feb. 8, 2010 by members of an Internet mailing list called Socialist Pakistan News. A screen shot is provided.

Bashing Pakistan, its history, the Pakistan Independence Movement, the Founding Fathers, and the country’s military are common themes among some of these university professors. Coincidentally, most of them also happen to be very supportive of American and Indian criticism of Pakistan.  In Dr. Siddiqa and Prof. Nayyar’s cases, both of them are active members of so-called peace groups that explicitly embrace Indian hegemony in the region.

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