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Pakistan’s Strategic Mummery

A while back, Charles Cameron had a post on the Ghazwa E Hind that served as my introduction to an oddball Pakistani agitator named  Zaid Hamid The colorful Mr. Hamid seems to be Pakistan’s fully militarized version of Glenn Beck fused with an Islamist George Friedman, with perhaps an astrologer and Rip Taylor thrown in for good measure. In discussing this figure, ZP commenter Omar offered:

….But this clown has serious backers. The deep state systematically uses these clowns to prepare the “information space” for their plans. ..and they are not kidding around. 

Zaid Hamid made a recent appearance in another post by Charles, so I felt inspired to look at him more closely and discovered that Hamid, who has a fondness for 4GW verbiage, has his own think tank, Brasstacks which publishes “geostrategic analysis”, largely about alleged “Hindu Zionist” (?) conspiracies to destroy Pakistan. These papers are fascinating, in a car-crash sort of way, much like a political intelligence letter from the LaRouchies. There is also a blog by Hamid, where his latest post remarkably declares Pakistan’s late dictator, the ruthless General Zia ul-Haq, a “shaheed”.

My question, since Hamid appears to stir controversy and criticism within Pakistan, is what is his real level of influence in Paskistani society? Comments welcome.

6 Responses to “Pakistan’s Strategic Mummery”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    I too hope to hear from Dr. Ali on the topic of Zaid.
    In the meantime, I was interested to note that the Jordanian Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre numbers him among the 500 most influential Muslims in both their 2010 and 2011 listings, though he didn’t appear in the initial 2009 list.  The 2011 listing describes him thus::

    One of the most influential television personalities in Pakistan, Zaid Hamid is a security consultant and strategic defense analyst by profession. He is also a popular political commentator, and is the founder of Brass Tacks, a Pakistani think tank on global politics. Hamid also hosts ‘BrassTacks with Zaid Hamid’ on News1 Channel Although he has been deemed by some as a conspiracy theorist, he maintains a substantial audience.

    I’m hoping to read his Armageddon 2014: Road to Ghazwa-e-Hind, subtitled The real possibility and the scenario of a major nuclear war between Pakistan and India involving all major civilizations shortly — and then, on Dr Ali’s advice, Allama Iqbal: stray thoughts, which opens with a reference to the newly canonized “Hazrat Nietzsche”!

  2. L. C. Rees Says:

    Looks like a Maine lobsterman trying to sell out of town tourists the “first catch of the day”.

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    Interestingly enough, his red headgear has come in for some criticism

    It was reported that wearing pure red is forbidden for men, but not for women, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade mafdam” (reported by Imaam Ahmad and Ibn Maajah, 3591). Mafdam is something that is filled with red safflower dye. According to the commentary of al-Sindi on Sunan al-Nisaa’i, mafdam is something that is filled with red. It was reported that if ‘Umar saw a man wearing a garment dyed red with safflower, he would pull him aside and say, “Leave this for the women.” (Reported by al-Tabari).

    I noticed something of the sort in passing while writing my post the other day: it’s just the sort of detail that intrigues me, and I didn’t have much trouble finding a suitable reference to it just now in writing this comment.
    But that’s really a side issue — the real question is the one Zen raises as to his sphere of influence.

  4. larrydunbar Says:

    Glen Beck, as a non-Christian, raised much of the same questioning, in the largely Christian community he occupied, that Hamid raise about structure of Islam in the Islamic community he occupied, i.e. Even though Obama is a Christian, he doesn’t follow the Christian path.

    In other word, Hamid, with his red hat, questioned, like Beck’s book of Mormon to Christianity, the structure of Islam.

    Perhaps Pakistan is an “out-liner” to Afghanistan’s center of gravity?

  5. Pundita Says:

    Zen – I think this Aug 20 report from NPR will give you insights — Pakistani televangelist is back on air, raising fears

  6. omar ali Says:

    I hope to reply in more detail at some point, but meanwhile these links should be of interest:

    1. Pakistani historian Manan Ahmed became intrigued about him at some point (Manan is an overseas Pakistani, I think he grew up in the Gulf. His Western-liberal-academic flavored knowledge about Pakistan is impressive, but real-life contact with Paknationalists seems to have been spotty). His query generated 256 comments which can be scanned to to assess Zaid Hamid’s reputation (positive and negative) among internet savvy Pakistanis 
    2. My own over-optimistic comments from 2010 http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/homistan/who_is_zaid_hamid.html/comment-page-2#comment-159130 
    (I say overoptimistic because it has since come out that the ISI has paid him millions just in the last 2-3 years, so for whatever reasons they, or some faction within “them”, still thought his level of idiocy is useful).

    3. A recent expose by his former account manage is worth reading: http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/04/16/zaid-hamid-a-moron-with-connections/

    I have to run, but I would say that his direct influence is limited now, but his past popularity (and the current popularity of Imran Khan’s party) both reflect the extent to which the educated Pakistani middle class (especially Punjabi middle class) is primed to accept pet Paknatioanalist themes. And this priming has been done via the school curriculum as well as via leaders of opinion in the media.
    And its worth keeping in mind that the horse came before the cart. This bullcrap is not driven by demand from the people of pakistan..it has been fed TO the people of Pakistan.
    For example, see this work by Dr Mujahid Kamran, VICE CHANCELLOR of Punjab University (oldest university in Pakistan and capable at one time of being at least the undergrad home of 2 nobel laureates; Dr Abdus Salam, Dr Hargobind Khorana) http://www.mujahidkamran.com/articles.php?id=40
    or this by a famous and well-regarded Admiral http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=141618&Cat=9&dt=10/18/2008
    and this by a well-regarded general http://gen-shahidaziz.blogspot.com/2012/12/on-whose-side-is-allah.html

    The major mistake of Western (and Western educated Pakistani left-liberal academics) is to regard this nonsense as so nonsensical that no sane person could possibly take it seriously. Policy makers may lie through both sides of the mouth, but they may still believe one side to be closer to the “truth” held somewhere deep in their heart. What Zaid Hamid is saying is just an extreme version of the mainstream Paknationalist framework..http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/05/08/a-vote-for-pti-is-a-vote-for-zaid-hamid/ 

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