Friday, May 8, 2009

Pakistan caught in its own trap


Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao (Retired)

Pakistan that has emerged as failed state has to blame itself for the present situation. Its pathetic existence for the last 60 years on the globe has seen prolonged military dictatorships, assassinations, hanging of own Prime Minister chaos and confusion. The tragedy is that it has not learnt the lessons even today and toes the policy of hatred and deceit. Its founding is the result of hatred towards non believers and inability to co exist after loosing supremacy in the sub continent. Its formation is unnatural and has not done any thing all these years to unite the various warring provinces. Its inability to detach religion from politics has been the greatest drawback and the root cause of the trouble. Fundamentalism by the leaders and bearded Mullahs has taken the toll and they expect to take back the country to the times of Prophet ( PBUH) in the matter of dress, policies, mental get up, philosophy and governing. Taliban and fundamentalist Mullahs dream of Islamic warriors in white flowing robes and turbans riding horses with raised swords and ravaging the lands of kafirs with loot, urders, rapes, killings and conversions as done in the medieval times delivering death and devastation to the inhabitants of such lands. The aspect of Shariat and much misguided Jihadi philosophy has clouded their imagination and is unable to wriggle out of the mullah inspired policies that is surely going to land the nation in dire straits.
In fact, Pakistan has its own element of trouble. The provinces are clamoring for autonomy if not independence immediately. However independence by these provinces was in the backdrop all these years and at the call of Islam they are however holding precariously together. Baluchis, Pakhtoons, Sindhis and Punjabi Mussalmans have their own differences, inner hatreds and identification. They can not get on well and results are infront of the world. Waziristan their own North western province has been out of control and the government writ does not run there. The weird, lawless tribals live in utter poverty and breed with gun culture. Fundamentalist Islam flourishes in this area and it is completely out of control although for name sake it is in Pakistan. A nation that is born out of hatred can not survive for long and Pakistan is the living example. Their past time has been Kashmir till date and probably would continue till they exist pathetically as a country among failed states; infact leading them. They have stoked passions and hatred on the issue of superiority of Islam over others and generation after generation in Pakistan have grown with anti Indian euphoria and still continue to do so. Their Madrasas are innumerable and factories of hatred and jihad in the guise of religious schools.
All these years, Pakistan has been the pampered child of USA and in order to contain India and as a check mate in Sub continent USA has propped up Pakistan in the region. It has given billions of US dollars as aid, military hardware, Tanks, fighter air craft apart from turning a blind eye to their rush towards developing nuclear weapons. Pakistan attacked India four times on its own while USA watched. It has used Pakistan as a strategic partner in driving out Russians from Afghanistan. Pakistan has created Taliban in their Madrasas and waged war in Afghanistan without realizing that one day same Taliban would be hacking at their roots.9/11 and subsequent war on AlQaeda has made Pakistan more important to USA due to the strategic location of Pakistan. USA believed that Pakistan would eliminate Taliban and AlQaeda in its lands once they escaped Afghanistan. Alas! It did not happen. Pak leaders i.e General Musharraf has taken Americans for a wild goose chase since 2001 after swallowing billions of US money. In fact Al Qaeda and Taliban have grown strong and regrouped and are even threatening Afghanistan with a take over. Taliban have strong effect in some of the border districts of Afghanistan and Hamid Karzai the Afghan ruler is finding hard to ward off Taliban. Americans all these years have paid Pakistan large sums of money without taking care of accountability. Large sums have obviously spent in wrong direction towards Jihadi actions against India. The results speak for themselves.
USA has no interest to directly interfere in Pakistan, another sovereign country. It has been pressurizing Pakistan through various measures all these years without much success. The present President of USA Barack Obama has even spoken of American intervention in Pakistan during his election speeches. Now Obama has become a reality after departure of George W Bush. The drone attacks in Pakistan by NATO forces have no doubt become more pronounced resulting in killing of more civilians than terrorists. In the past Pak army lost many soldiers in their operations against Taliban and they signed a peace agreement. Taliban have become bold and have occupied Swat valley and have entered Buner and demonstrated their strong presence in the area that is hardly 60 KM from Pak Capital. The world countries were shocked watching the development while Taliban closed in. Taliban threat to Pak is thus clearly established. The point of contention is why Taliban was allowed to come so close to Rawalpindi? Why Army did not act having great capabilities? What prevented them?

Pakistan no doubt has a government that has no credibility. There are warring groups and the recent show down between Zardari the President and Nawaz Sheriff clearly indicate that Government has no control over the matters. Pak Army is counting days for the situation to become worst that would be great alibi for a coup. There is no doubt that a military coup as usual is round the corner and it is only a matter of time before Army strikes. Another aspect is the safety of nuclear weapons that are stock piled in Pakistan. Can a country that has no control on itself be able to protect the weapons from falling into Islamic fundamentalists such as Taliban and Al Qaeda? How safe they are? Can Pak army be trusted in present state with nuclear weapons. The questions that arise are:

1.Can Pak army fight off Taliban and save country from them?

2.Will a section of army side with Taliban and ditch the country?

3. Will Taliban be able to lay hands on some nukes and make it an Islamic bomb?

4. Is Pakistan edging towards balkanization and break up

5. Is army coup around the corner? Why General Kayani is still waiting?

6. With army take over will the Taliban be stopped?

7. Will USA interfere directly in Pakistan and save nukes

8.Will Pakistan realize that its main enemy is Taliban and not India?

9. If Pakistan breaks up who will have nukes?

10. Will the Pakistan areas remain eternally under turbulent conditions?

These are the most important questions facing the world to day. The situation is very complex at present as the Pak army is battling Taliban in Buner. Pak army will be fighting Taliban now on the ground of enemy’s choice and would find extremely difficult to eliminate them. Tanks can not be used effectively in mountainous regions and soon it has to be infantry operations aided by artillery strikes and probably with air strikes too. Pak army is complex in structure and is also influenced by Jihadi Islamic philosophy. We have to see whether such fundamentalists would fight the Taliban who are committed Islamic soldiers that they demonstrate in attire and show up and in commitment. The Islamic card would soon play and one would not be surprised if a section of soldiers refuse to fight them. Such actions happened in past immediately after Prophets Death. What will Pak government do in such scenario? Pakistan is no Turkey and neither Pak army is like Turkish Army that is preserving democracy in the country and kept religion out of the main stream. The past President Zia ul Haq systematically bred Jihadi philosophy in army. For Taliban, any one who does not subscribe to their Wahabi thought is a non believer and has to be put to sword. The day army aids Taliban one should reconcile to the arrival of dooms day in Pakistan. It is essential for USA to reconsider its policy on Pakistan. There is no point in pumping economic aid to Pakistan without accountability. They must account for every dollar. In the event of a catastrophe of Taliban taking over Pakistan it must act and take over nukes without delay and destroy all nuke capabilities in the country. How smoothly this has to be done is a big question. USA must take India into confidence for any precipitating action in Pakistan. There is however general wishful thinking that USA must aid Pakistan in fighting Taliban. Pak army is not determined in fighting Taliban in the country and probably they are waiting for them to arrive at Rawalpindi. Why army allowed them to come so close to national capital is a big question. This has boosted up the morale of Taliban that itself is a great victory for them. In nut shell Pakistan has become a big cess pool and as the days pass it is dragging itself into the depths of the pool only to disappear soon. God can not bless such nations that thrive on hatred towards others. Pakistan is surely one and at top of the list.

Dr K Prabhakar Rao

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