VIEW: Pakistan’s millennium curse

Discussion in 'Pakistan's War Against TTP' started by third eye, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. third eye
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    third eye ELITE MEMBER

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    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    Things in and around Pakistan are becoming particularly menacing at an alarming pace. The gathering clouds look ominous. I do not know what in the heavens did we do to deserve men like Osama bin Laden (OBL), Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the whole lot of their murderous band? Why men like Fazlullah, Muslim Khan, Hakeemullah Mehsud, the Haqqanis and their throat-slitting ilk were inflicted upon us? Why Laal Masjid (Red Mosque), Damadola, Waziristan, Mumtaz Qadri and other breeders of suicide madness and homicide had to be nailed into our land? Why should history have thrust us into the deadly neighbourhood of a perpetually warring country like Afghanistan? What could not be done by them, we and our successive leaderships did to ourselves.

    Look at the enormity of damage all these vipers in our backyard have done to our country and the people. Our intellectual and physical growth has been stunted. Our so very well adjusted belief canvas has been vengefully besmeared. Our psyche has been mauled down to a pathetic baseness. We have long since forgotten the mannerisms of a self-respecting friendly nation who facilitates and not impedes the neighbourhood. We are at war with ourselves and direly threatened by others. We are used like a Kleenex convenience and then discarded into the dustbins of political expedience by friends and foes alike without ever blinking an eye. The grace of positivity and helpfulness has been withdrawn from us lest we degrade them too. The capacity to be thankful for a favour done, express regret gracefully for a wrong committed or accept courtesy as a matter of natural goodness is becoming more and more scarce among us — just like a pack of wolves. The whole environment seems to be full of despair, fear and frustration. Why should it all happen to us?

    If it was within one’s power, one would indict OBL and Zawahiri of having subverted Islam and committing the cardinal sin of injecting their particular venom into people’s faith. Banish Fazlullah, Hakeemullah, Mangal Bagh, Mullah Omar and their followers forever from our country. If one could, one would root out with a deep plough all the nurseries of sectarian militancy and breeders of terrorism from Pakistan and use the strongest of pesticides to destroy the last of their larvae. We let them be and now we will have to root them out ourselves. These stem-boring pests are destroying our future. We must go down fighting and not cringe behind our doors and let the odorous bandits rule the streets. The courageous people of a village in Charsadda and those in Lower Dir and Matani had shown how to beat the bullying militants. Let’s all stand up and be counted. Let’s fight for our children, our liberty, our way of life and above all our right to live, believe and pray.

    Public accusations by senior US officials of our ‘complicity’ with their Afghan nemesis and specifically with those who attacked the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul are unprecedentedly direct. There have been threats of ‘all options being on the table’ referring to military action against Pakistan. An international campaign has been unleashed against Pakistan. We are required to be reduced to nothingness and the chorus is becoming louder and louder. See how this suave trade union of statesmen, diplomats, academicians/intellectuals/researchers, journalists/writers and so-called ‘conscientious citizens’ in the west in league with their fellows in other interest centres the world over operate. They demonise or eulogise individuals and entities at leisure to serve a particular set of interests. What was that bogey about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)? Where have those WMDs evaporated and who has ever apologised and compensated the Iraqis for the colossal losses and suffering as a result of the subsequent invasion?

    Unfortunately, the Americans have an endless capacity to shoot themselves in their own foot. They undermine their friends and underestimate their foes alike and end up losing both. Repeatedly they have failed to understand that not everything can be done through pressure and purchase. What is invaluable is in-depth knowledge of history, political sagacity and wisdom, which are the more powerful tools of statecraft. What is that inexplicable fog that blinds them to the collective sentiment of a whole people to what they want to impose upon them? Why do they want to play their own terrible poverty of civilisational heritage by disregarding what other nations and regions had for thousands of years? They should know they are torching down humanity no less than Attila the Hun and his Golden Horde. Their paranoid arrogance is just not understandable. A famous Arabian proverb applies: “The best response to insolence is silence,” but perhaps that works among a different breed of people who have a definite sense of worth. However, there is a complex system of causes that keeps the acrimony towards the US at such a destructive level among the Pakistanis.

    It needs to be understood that veiled and now open US threats, grudging admission of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and a pervasive disregard for Pakistan’s difficulties, losses and sovereignty by almost all the spokesmen in the US administration and Pentagon/military continue to confirm dark popular apprehensions that:

    a. Pakistan and its people’s sentiments, suffering and losses on the score of the war on terror do not matter much except as a convenience to the US. The seeping realisation of slowly being reduced to nothingness is telling.

    b. Pakistanis are not equal or allies but mercenaries for hire and are paid to fight. This unacceptable status is eating into an already scanty goodwill; that a dole-out of a few billion dollars is enough to keep their clamour down.

    c. Proxy regimes whether elected or otherwise propped up in Pakistan through undisguised manipulation by the US foremen implement a foreign agenda. That mostly runs contrary to the popular wishes and national interest. Pakistanis are left to suffer endlessly the consequences of the misrule of these interventions.

    e. US friendship is self-interest based and has an unenviable history of pulling out at the time of our need. Therefore, it will leave Pakistan in the lurch this time also. All our killed and wounded, toil and turmoil will be dumped by the wayside. We will be trashed once again.

    Interplay of these apprehensions and the apathy of US approaches over the years have created deep divisions in Pakistani society and politics, both vertically and horizontally. Disbelief, a sense of helplessness to shape their future and alienation between the state and the people exist. This state of affairs can have grave consequences for the country and the region. Under such implosive situations, state systems tend to crash and national boundaries are invariably redrawn with much attendant devastation. The State Department gurus should be able to understand what scale of chaos would follow in the region if that happens.

    After all, we have lived here since thousands of years in near perfect harmony and peace amongst diverse races and religions. No one ever persecuted anyone for his/her creed, caste or race. There was no inquest to intern, deprive or annihilate whole communities. Since ancient times we have been hosts to one of the world’s wealthiest highways for trade, commerce and talented men and women to prosper between the continents and regions. We have been the keepers of the landward flank of the world’s spice and frankincense sea lanes passing through the Indian Ocean. One of the world’s most accomplished civilisations evolved here and had the privilege of an equal place of honour with other great civilisations. It imbibed an enormous sense of worth and responsibility in our popular subconscious. Then how come we have degenerated to such unworthiness that other nations find it difficult to deal honourably and equally with us?

    We can and are still capable of reclaiming a part of our lost nobility of thought, our ancient national poise and sanity, and a modicum of responsibility and promise, but only if we are rid of these barbarians, only if we are treated with a little more respect and circumspection, only if we are allowed to evolve out of our dormancy and delirium in our indigenous and time-tested manner, only if our people’s collective wisdom is neither subverted nor ridiculed. The wish list is long and the storm is already gathering on the horizon.