Fixing up

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Force has been called ‘the midwife of history’ by Marx; this ‘midwife’ however needs to be used judiciously in resolution of conflicts because time and again it has not only proved useless and dangerous for the users but also destructive for them. Yet, they never desist from its use.

Probably an intrinsic flaw in the psyche of the powerful pushes them inexorably towards seeking solutions based on use of force. Resolution of contradictions by force becomes second nature for them, simply because they have very easy access to overwhelming force which they can and do use indiscriminately on the flimsiest of pretexts, the basic principle in their creed being arbitrary ‘fixing up’.

This ‘fixing up’ trend is as much in vogue today as it was in the past, but has now become more meaningless, more immoral and more vicious. The powerful annihilate opponents at the slightest of perceived provocation. This attitude towards the weak justice seekers has led to the bizarre polarisation of the world into two camps, the ‘fixer uppers’ and those ‘being fixed up’.

The world has seen a lot of ‘fixing up’ being brutally practised in recent times. The US tried to ‘fix up’ the Vietnamese in the 60s and 70s but ended up themselves being ‘fixed up’. France tried its hand in Vietnam and Algeria but was brought to its knees by the valiant people’s resistance. The Soviet Union staked its future in Afghanistan and lost; leading to the break-up of its Federation. Milosevic tried subduing the components of former Yugoslavia and died an under-trial war criminal in The Hague. They never seem to learn.

We too have had our fair share of this misfortune. The rulers here tried ‘fixing up’ the people of East Bengal and lost a valuable human, cultural, economic, social and political asset, with irreparable loss not only to the country’s identity but also to its moral standing. Attempts to ‘fix up’ the Baloch in 1973 had devastating consequences for the rulers and the country.

Sadly, once again ‘fixing up’ of the Baloch and Pashtuns in the form of military action against so-called ‘miscreants’ in Balochistan and the on-off war in Waziristan continues at a great political cost to the federation. General. Pervez Musharraf in his address on 20 July said that the Baloch rebel Sardars are ‘to be fixed’. Our General doesn’t tire of threatening to ‘fix up’ the Baloch. 

Today on the international scene Israel, is busy ‘fixing up’ the people of Lebanon by bombing them and the infrastructure there on the pretext of fighting Hezbollah. All credit to Hezbollah who have traded punch for punch for a month now with an enemy who massively outweighs them. It is also busy ‘fixing up’ Hamas, read the Palestinians, in Gaza (and the West Bank), destroying every facility and utility there in the ‘collective punishment’ policy reserved for those who dare to defy it. Aided and abetted in its criminal mission by the bogus upholders of democracy who in a sham display of outrage at the Qana massacre are satisfied by calling it ‘awful’ and advise it to take ‘utmost care’. 

The US itself is spending billions of dollars ‘fixing up’ the Iraqi people but isn’t yet through with it; however the reverse effect is clearly being observed. Its handmaiden, NATO is busy ‘fixing up’ the people of Afghanistan as if the ‘fixing up’ they suffered at the hands of the Soviets and then the Taliban wasn’t enough. 

Apart from the above mentioned instances of present day ‘fixing up’, we see that the Russians are busy fixing up the Chechens, the Indians the Kashmiris, the Chinese the Tibetans, the Turks the Kurds. The list is endless if we include the numerous indigenous populations being fixed up in Latin America and other places. 

Naturally one cannot expect the US and its Allies to raise a voice because they lead the aggression against the world, disguised as the ‘war against terror’. They are the leaders of ‘fixer uppers’ in this polarised world. Sadly it is the West in general and Muslim countries in particular who have remained deafeningly silent on these aggressions and thereby given these aggressors a free hand.

The anger of all justice loving people is naturally directed at the filthily opulent and heartless rulers of the Muslim world who not only play second fiddle to the aggressors but also aid and abet them on all fronts. Predictably not a word of protest has come from these spineless and cold-hearted rulers of the much extolled Ummah at the aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Lebanon and Palestine. They who do not even have the spine to stand up for Muslims cannot be expected to raise a voice for injustice elsewhere or to refrain from committing it themselves. 

Incidentally this being the state of the Ummah in particular and the world in general at such brutal aggression all over the world, it would be sheer fantasy to expect that anyone will move a finger if our General decides to go ahead with his plan of ‘fixing up’ the rebel Baloch and Pashtuns. Of course, the Baloch and Pashtun people themselves being the sole and natural exception. 

With so much ‘fixing up’ going on, one is forced to wonder who in fact needs ‘fixing up’? ‘Fixers’ or ‘fixed up’? Most people would agree that the ‘fixers’ stand in a desperate need of being ‘fixed up’, because only then the world will become a safer and a sensible place, a place holding promise for the future generations.

If the people of the world do not unite now, the situation may become irreversibly unfavourable for all the democratic forces and oppressed nationalities and groups in the world. The people of this polarised world will have to learn to resist injustices and outrages whereever they may occur. 

Ernesto Che Guevara in a 1964 letter to a lady from Spain whose family name too was Guevara and wanted to know if they were related, said, “I don’t think you and I are very closely related, but if you are capable of trembling with indignation each time an injustice is committed in the world, we are comrades, and that is more important”. The people of this blighted world need to cherish, esteem and adopt these sentiments and principles if justice and freedom are to survive the onslaught of those bent upon ‘fixing up’ all who dare to defy them.

The world is all but lost if the feelings of camaraderie and solidarity that Che Guevara believed in and practised, do not flourish among those who are at the receiving end and the sensible people in the aggressor countries. This arbitrary and immoral ‘fixing up’ knows no boundaries, physical or moral, and is bound to affect and visit all, sooner rather than later. So a world-wide resistance movement needs to crystallize through the efforts of all who want justice to prevail. The world has to defiantly stand up to the ‘fixer uppers’ and defeat them. Let us start today; it is never too late to pursue the cause of justice. 

I suppose I am asking for the impossible from the world which remains immorally quiet on massacres in Qana and meekly accepts the blitzkrieg that is being inflicted on the Lebanese and the Palestinians. But the impossible has to happen if we want to live honourably and peacefully.

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He can be contacted at

This article was first published on 12 August 2006 in The Post

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