House in disorder
A crisis-ridden country, Pakistan has to begin from the basics
HORIZONS BY NAYEEMA AHMAD MAHJOOR
When your house is in disarray, rather putting the blame on each other or diverting attention towards other issues it is better to look deep inside, accept reality and find a solution. Unfortunately, Pakistan has never followed this basic principle.
Pakistan may be the only country in the world that is cursed by its own people and outsiders simultaneously. Though the leadership is in constant denial of the menace created by its internal and external policies, the people have a deep feeling that they have got trapped between the invisible ‘insiders’ and powerful ‘outsiders’. The security and safety of the common man (who has nothing to do with Taliban or Nato) is always under threat while the elite (mostly political) have begun to pack up their bags again to leave for safe heavens in Europe or the Middle East.
The country is on the verge of collapse socially, economically and politically and internal forces (created to harm others) seem bent upon to cripple it and reduce it to the status of a non-entity. Those who were cared, fed and nurtured for other ‘objectives’ have turned against their masters. The guns given to fight the enemy have changed their aim and are pointing towards the masters now.
People living in Pakistan are dreading the worst. Pakistani expatriates abroad avoid telling their nationality or connections to their homeland fearing intimidation by other communities who harbour suspicions against them. With other communities in the West, nationality has never been an issue as it has become for Pakistanis even if other communities are known for their drug trafficking, money laundering or terror activities. Nobody at home or abroad feels responsible about the situation the country is caught up in. The Government seems at loggerheads with the Army, the judiciary blames the Government and the Army curses both.
What has gone wrong in Pakistan can be everybody’s guess these days. Is it excessive alignment with or dependence on the US? Is it its continuing animosity with India or its ambition of playing a bigger geo-strategic role at the expense of its own population or is it the lack of vision on the part of the leadership that has brought it to such a critical phase of its existence? Hundreds of such questions are being analysed by think tanks and intellectuals throughout the world with a strong feeling that the country has become dangerously unstable.
Not a single leader has so far found a respectable place among its institutions or population. Either he or she is killed or exiled. The current leadership are out of touch with reality and as usual divided and disintegrated. On the one hand many of the country’s institutions are dependent on American aid and assistance. On the other hand, eighty percent of the population is living with deep resentment against the US and its big brother role. A lot of confusion and contradiction has made the country more fragile and unsure of itself. According to a reliable source more than seventy six branches of intelligence agencies operating inside the country, which claim to know the minute details of every soul that crosses the borders, ironically had no knowledge of the presence of the most wanted person who was living close to its defence academy with an entourage of two dozen people including three wives and children. Its most sensitive Mehran base is taken over by a few militants and it doesn’t know how they entered, what their number was and who they were. If an Army of half a million personnel with five hundred billion rupees annual budget is not capable of apprehending a few militants or having any clue of their planning operations, how can a country of 170 million expect its security agencies to defend it against India, Afghanistan and NATO watching closely on its borders.
‘It is a game of few hours for India to bring Pakistan to its knees because of its poor intelligence, incapable armed forces and corrupt leadership. People are again let down by its institutions’, said a Pakistani analyst on national television recently.
People often blame military dictators for all their ills, and for making Pakistan a satellite station for superpowers by providing air bases and logistics. Equally responsible is its political leadership which has never been happy to perform a constructive role when in opposition and which has always wanted to be in power. They have exploited the country’s strategic significance to the extent that they have preferred to become tools in the hands of enemy nations in order to regain power.
It is beyond doubt that it is the dictators who have thrown Pakistan into chaos, introduced the gun among the population and exploited religion. Zia’s adventurism against the Soviets in Afghanistan and Musharraf’s alignment on the war on terror and letting violations of sovereignty have brought Pakistan to its present state. The civilian leadership have robbed the people of their dignity, safety and future. And, the irony is most of the policy makers are still in denial of everything they created, nurtured and supported.
Pakistan needs a revolution to save it from extinction. Nuclear bombs do not provide safety in this volatile world: they make nations more vulnerable and fragile. For countries like Pakistan, the nuclear bomb is a big burden to command and control in a situation where the state is being attacked from all sides: Taliban, India, NATO and ethnic militants.
India is not being respected for its nuclear assets but for its economic, social and political policies and the new industries in which India is gaining prominence. (No doubt, Kashmir has seen the worst of its democracy) Instead of closing their eyes to reality, Pakistan’s leadership need to wake up and save the vision of its founder before it is too late. It is also in India’s interest to encourage a stronger federal Pakistan. An economically strong Pakistan which is invested in peace, trade and development will encourage greater economic growth throughout South Asia.
Time has come to let go of the policies of becoming ‘Godfather’ to other Nations. The wisdom lies in the fact that the priority should not be to create hype of Kashmir or other issues again in order to divert the attention from its internal mess and raise false hopes of those who have lost three generations in constant turmoil.
(Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OPINION
Islamabad (Anantnag), June 7: A laborer was killed and three others, including two women, were injured when a shell exploded in Shangus area of this south Kashmir district on Tuesday. Witnesses told More
- Srinagar City
NO LET UP IN CURTAILMENTS FOR NON-METERED AREAS
GK CITY REPORTER
Srinagar, June 7: Notwithstanding government claims of paying extra attention towards the Shahr-e-Khaas development, the old City is facing worst of the power woes putting the dwellers of this congested More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Srinagar: To boost cultural activity and preservation of the State’s rich heritage, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is all set to open its branches in Jammu and Kashmir. Making the announcement More
IT EXPO SOON
Srinagar, June 7: As part of its initiative to implement the National e-Governance Program in J&K, the government is planning to host a mega IT expo in near future and rope in MNCs. Minister for More
New Project To Roll Out Soon
New Delhi, June 7: The Passport Seva Project, an ambitious e-governance programme that aims at passport delivery in three days, has entered its most crucial stage. The rollout of 77 Passport Seva Kendras More