No tragedy happens as such; it is always preceded by events, if ignored, tragedy bound to happen. Pakistan international isolation has deep roots; the present military dominant civil set up, accelerated the process. Country is internally fragmented and externally stands alone in international community. Everyone looks at it, from his own angle.
To some it is a Sick State, viability in question. Mr. Obama thinks; it is a complicated state to handle; with pathological obsession about India. To some journalists in the west, it is not a country but a conduit of strategic importance. Everyone is entitled for an opinion. Our rulers have provided them the logic.
Now-a- days; the burning issues are two. Pakistan’s international isolation is due to its non–existing and non-coherent foreign policy. Internally; it is under the siege of home- grown terrorism and fragmented on ethnic and sectarian basis.
Hilary Clinton once remarked; that you can keep and feed snakes in your backyard, but can’t expect them to sting the neighbours only. It is not its nature. The State Department thinks, non-dependable ally.
The initial snub by Liaquat Ali Khan, to shun USSR invitation and go for the USA was one of the biggest folly to make enmity with the next door super power and opt for a super power, 12000 miles away. The irony was not to stop there but to join SEATO and CENTO, to encircle godless U.S.S.R. The after effects are still existing, so for none of the president of USSR and Republic of Russia has ever visited Pakistan. The recent invitation by our government to Mr. Putin was turned down having no substance to discuss.
An Indian official told me in a function that we were almost near a solution with Musharraf; the reason for backpedaling was non-existence of institutions. No country can bid on an individual. If Afghanistan has to sort out border mechanism, who they have to talk to P.A. of Khyber or Ch. Nisar? The recent interview by Mr. Modi pointed finger to it.
The state of Pakistan lives in a state of denial and in deep intellectual and historical vacuum filled by delusions phobias, obsessions, since its creation, though unfortunate, it is inherently a sick state with sick government. It owes its present state of condition to its creation, predicted by many, but notable is Maulana Azad.
Every country has certain geographical and demographic demands and tailors their policies accordingly; internally or externally, as it suits their national interests. The leader’s sort out political priorities and technocrats go for economics. The top priority of any new country is to put its house in order and realization of ground realities. Foreign policy is the reflection of internal political and economical stability. No one accepts liability. Our rulers opted for easy option to ignore, decided to tailor their delusion and impose it on realities.
The two nation theory was basically flawed; no schism allows religion to be the basis of nationhood. If one takes that for granted; then the deviation from Allah-Abad Khutba and Jinnah speech on Pakistan resolution and invention of “Ideology of Pakistan” were catastrophic. The concept of ideological borders, intolerance to minorities, free hand to theocracy. India centric phobia, Pakistani nationhood, nuclear deterrence in the name of Islamic Bomb, Kashmir an integral part of Pakistan; all are the offspring of the deluded concept. Neither Jinnah nor Gandhi was of this opinion. No doubt both camps were having few radicals like Patel in Congress, Liaquat Ali Khan and Khaliq-u-Zaman in League, fanning hatred in masses on religious basis but overall situation was not that bad as it is now or better say, after Gen. Zia take over?
The take off the new state was not so brilliant. Jinnah, being the ceremonial head of the State used to sit in constituent assembly and issuing orders. He was surrounded by the so-called non- practicing Islamists who were determined to use Islam as a political ploy internally and externally and use the country as a spring board.
Just before partition Shabir Usmani was asked for his support of Muslim League. He said; “suppose I am going for Hajj, in a steamer belonged to Hindu, will you ask me not to go? One can peep into their mind.
Liaquat Ali Khan and Khaliquz Zaman went to see Mr. Jinnah in Ziarat, where he was resting as a terminal case of T.B. When they left him; He asked Fatima Jinnah, “Where are they?” Fatima Jinnah replied, ‘they are down stair having a drink.’ Jinnah whispered. “They came to see, when I am going to die?” (Ref; Tale of two Guajarati’s by A. Sheikh).
In the same year; Nehru while responding to students question about reunion in Aligarh, said; we have a lot problems in India, can’t take Pakistan’s problems. Even Jinnah expressed his desire; he will spend his last days of retirement in his home in Bombay. On the other hand Gandhi expressed his opinion; it is like a brother opts out of joint family.
The bloodshed after partition left scars on the minds of masses. (India Vs Pakistan by Mr. Haqqani Ex. Pak Ambassador to USA). Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) wrote to Liaquat Ali Khan from prison cell, I quote, “I feel the Kashmir problem will get more complicated with the time; if you allow I will go to India, if we can find some solution.” Liaquat Ali Khan contemptuously laughed and retorted; “Look at him, we got rid of one father of the nation, he wants us to make him.”
Yes; we blame army for adventurism in politics but it was initially politician; who appointed Gen. Ayub Khan as defense minister; paying the way for fist Martial Law. The positions and attitude started hardening on both sides when Pakistan used tribal people and northern princely states militia to attack Kashmir in 48; capturing the present Pakistan held Kashmir, G.B. and other northern areas. My father was commanding Swat Militia. Nehru was forced on backpedal.
The wars of 65 and 70 further hardened the stance; the later exposed our ruler’s intentions and complete disregard for the sanctity of ballot. Right from the early days it was abundantly clear that imported leadership has no interest in collective leadership or institutions. Instead they wanted to run the country on whims on “day to day” adhoc basis.
The absence of institutions, political and intellectual corruptions eroded the prematurely born state. Taking advantage of the vacuum the Military and Mullah joined hands to capture the power. The early manifestations were in the form of Al-Shams and Al- Badar in East Pakistan. The courtier around Jinnah stripped off English suit from Jinnah to dress him to be acceptable to the Muslims. Jinnah cap and Shirwani became the symbol of plutocracy and Islamism.
Behind the screen script writers were waiting for the time to hit hard when the iron is hot. Gen. Zia toppled his mentor, killing him before in “Kal Kotri” and hanged the dead body in spite of the Christian hangman protestation, (Wolf and the Fox by Dr. Ali), to put the prophetic prediction of Maulana Azad into action. Radicalization of the society started, across the board.
Education, health, syllabus, military and civil institutions were radicalized, criminalized and fear instilled. Fear; paralyze logical thinking and induces individualism, one feels lonely in the crowd. This old trick is being used by terrorists now-a-days. Pakistan was a launching-pad for Pan-Islamism by using force and fear. The realities started manifesting itself, why Shabir-Usmani was going for Hajj in Hindu owned ship?
The top priority was Islamic Bomb, building nuclear capacity, extension and strengthening of ISI and its veritable long arm, terrorism. The cunning Gen. revived the policy of ideological borders, strategic depth, direct support of Jihadist institution in Afghanistan, Khalistan movement in India, Liberation of Kashmir, interference in Assam, protection of Arab Sheikhs against Shia Iran, victimization of Shia and Christians in the army was an open secret.
He started looking beyond the borders where he could possibly interfere. The “OJRI CAMP” tragedy was his biggest proof to sabotage Geneva Peace Accord. He openly supported Ghazi Institution; Abu Hanifa Seminary, in the middle of Islamabad. Pakistan Military establishment joined hands with the U.S.A. to contain godless U.S.S.R. Under this umbrella his designs were totally different. It was proved after dismemberment of USSR, when he came out against peace.
Followed by a brief interval of army subservient civil rule; Gen. Musharraf took over; who not only continued it but gave it new dimensions. While C.O.A.S. he attacked India on Kargil sector causing great embarrassment for Pakistan internationally. The country was given on rent to the USA having free access to all Air-force and military facilities, earned the name of a renter country and surrogate army in the free world. Even our facilities were used against Iran during war with Iraq; a country which provided us strategic depth in 65 and 70.
The country economy was run; on milking the geo-strategic and geo-political cows to arm the forces to the teeth; all institution were made irrelevant, economy was put on back burner, the social fabric of the society were destroyed, education was designed to produce terrorists instead of scientists. Safe havens were made for terrorists of all shades; enjoying the full patronization of the state, with more privileges than then citizen of Pakistan.
Resulting in a sick dependent state living on financial subsidies; with a revised code for patriotism, to consider India and Afghanistan as enemies, Kashmir an integral part of Pakistan, support nuclear build up, not to criticize the sacred cow. The F.P. was never ever principle-based. The motto was; do opposite to what India does; was the guiding factor. The old game of “Duality and Deceit” commonly used internally, was used against the USA, Iran, India and Afghanistan. Every time we denied; were caught red handed, whether it was OBL in the Garrison town, or the death of Mullah Mansoor in Baluchistan or the death of Mullah Omar in a hospital in Karachi. We kept on cheating in the name of war against terror but mourn their death.
Nothing is for free in this world. Every country looks after its national interest except our country’s rulers. Gift of one billion from Saudi was followed by demand, which we couldn’t meet; resulting in losing it to India. We are the only country surrounded by self created inimical neighbors. The U.S.A. invested in billions in our establishment but due to duality and deceit policy; we lost most of the ground to India. Discriminatory elimination of terrorism was the main factor of upsetting the USA. If China is our friend, it is by default.
For our failures on every front we make the Afghan refugees and border mechanism issues to divert the public opinion, if it has any relevance to the rulers.
Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
THE PASHTUN TIMES