Nadeem Farooq Paracha chuckles at the collective delusion of Pakistanis who express admiration for the Saudi state.
And then we return to Mr Shafi for an interview with LUBP, as he outlines opposition to the Pakistani establishment; what he calls the Deep State. Here's Mr Shafi's view on how those people with voices look up to the army too much, along with the last two questions he was asked:
Q: Why is “mainstream Pakistan” so reluctant to speak up when journalists such as yourself, Umar Cheema, Marvi Sirmed, and more recently Lala Hameed Baloch of Balochistan are harassed and attacked?
K.S. Because large parts of the media are in the pay of the ‘agencies’; the chattering classes are in awe of the army and hate politicians, and the poor are too scared.Q: What is your prediction for the next few years in Pakistan?
K.S. It will go from bad to worse to far worse – I fear greatly for our country, bless it. There is no way anything can improve so long as the army and its agencies call the shots.
Q: What, in your opinion, will be the impact of the end of the Afghan war on the already fragile domestic political situation in Pakistan?
K.S. There is no “end” of the Afghan war in sight. Forget domestic politics, it is the geographical integrity of the country that I am worried sick about. The Taliban are not going to go all peaceful if and when the war ends as Taliban apologists like Imran Khan and Hamid Gul suggest. Far from it. As I have said earlier, this is a creeping coup with the aim of establishing an Islamic Emirate of Pakistan, with all the obscurantism that goes with it.
What fascinated and angered me was the idea of religious fanatics who want to overthrow not just the state, but the "Deep State". There is no Wikileaks coming for Pakistan that can directly expose the fanatics here. The wiki-dump came from America, which was assessing the Pakistani state, which in itself is in contact (but not control) of the fanatics. Pakistanis need a plan to replace the Deep State with a democratic state; and prevent the Jamaat/Lashkar/Taliban types from trying to swoop in and fill the vacuum.