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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Soul Searching about Pakistan

Among the crowd of writings that have emerged since the Pakistan emergency, the following one caught my eye. I think we need more sincere analysis of the situation and not be carried away by statements of Ms. Rice and others from the US Government. It has been repeatedly stated in the news reports that the current state of Emergency was declared with the blessings of the US Government and with the co-option of Benazir. I personally suspect that the noises being made about the 'Pak Nuclear Arms falling in wrong hands' is pressure sales man tactics being applied on the Indian Government for the Nuclear Deal. It has already surfaced in the media. Unless the Pakistan State is dis-engaged from the American War On Terrorism, it looks unlikely that the state will remain stable. We have had the world tell us repeatedly that Kashmir is the prime issue for normalizing Indo-Pak relations, I think now we need to state that the delinking of Pakistan state from sustaining the American Supremacist P(r)ogram(me) is essential for Peace in Pakistan and normal relations with any of its neighbours including India.
"It is easy to condemn the imposition of yet another martial law by Musharraf. But I have yet to see one iota of solution coming out from any brilliant, or dumb, analyst on how to deal with the situation that has developed in Pakistan over the last seven years. It is always easy for liberal democrats to abuse the men in uniform. That is easy, and highly popular among the English-speaking middle class in Pakistan. But, the crisis in Pakistan today is a direct result of the US' and NATO's ( the bastions of democratic world) insane policies in Afghanistan. To begin with, bombing of southern, central and eastern Afghan villages killing innocent civilians, who happen to be Pushtuns, has eradicated the distinction between the Taliban and Pushtruns. The so-called Taliban and the other bad guys have long moved over to Pakistan's FATA, Balochistan and northern territories waiting for the "foreign troops" to leave. In Afghanistan, of course, everytime a Pushtun get killed, the individual is labeled as a "Taliban" by the West. That sells well in West, but neither in Afghanistan nor in Pakistan.

The situation in adjoining Pushtun areas in Pakistan is no different. Americans and the Europeans -- the old colonial guys with white skin-- have arrived again to take control of Afghanistan. This time they are waving Bernard Lewis' books to justify their arrival. They are taking care of evil Islam, that is what the invaders say.

The mistake that Islamabad made, and now Benazir and the other liberal democrats have plunged right in, is to agree to the war on terror when it was known in 2001 that in order to succeed in this venture, the Pakistani army will be needed to wage a full-fledged war against its own people. That was a huge mistake, and the Americans, Europeans and all those Pakistanis who hate "bearded lunatics", joined in this false campaign. And, most disgustingly, even today they do not point out that Pakistan west of River Indus may well merge with Afghanistan in its fight against the US, NATO and Islamabad because these Pakistanis have been identified as enemies of Pakistan and the west..

The result is the threat of a breakdown of Pakistan's military-- the only institution that the Pakistanis reach out for when kleptocrats and fundie-appeasers move in and make mess things up royally.

In other words, the crisis that has been created by the United States and NATO, and because of Musharraf's willingness to go along with it, hoping he would be able to outsmart them, is huge. Hugging Benazir Bhutto, or democracy, will not do. It is time the Pakistani literates stop their knee-jerk reactions and address the source of this crisis for a constructive future.. - Ramatanu Maitra in the South Asia Discussion Group

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