16th December: Will the Military Dons ever Jettison the Heinous Past Altogether Or will their strategic games continue indefinitely. Specially after scoring colossal policy failures both in Afghanistan and Kashmir, there ought to be a rethinking of the paradigm. A general feeler across Khyber Pashtunkhwa is that given the current direction and shape of things in the province and the federally administered tribal areas, there isn’t much hope for the Pashtun minority in Pakistan. That the erstwhile ignobly failed strategic non sense known as Strategic Depth hasn’t been forsaken by our policy makers for good. That the landfill to bury stinking bundles of verbose joggernautry and lies has been shifted from Afghanistan to Khyber Pashtunkhwa. Notwithstanding the fact that the province has already been reeling under collateral damage of wars for decades: beginning with America’s cold war on Soviet Union from 1980 to 1994, and then again during America’s war on terror from 2001 till date. But isn’t there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Fortunately enough, there is!
Information revolution spearheaded by Wiki leaks and the like have successfully exposed vested interest behind wars around the world on one hand and on the other, landing of Syrian and North African refugees in Europe has awakened people around developed world to the delicate mosaic of human demography and the devastating effects of wars. In the Middle East Iran and America have inked an understanding on nuclear energy issue after 10 years of exchanging threats, North and South Korea’s have started talking again. China and America have stopped arm fletching in South China Sea, Russia hasn’t behaved like a bully with turkey after the latter downed it’s bomber jet. In short the world is coming back to sanity and reason after almost three decades of lies and bullying by super powers. The world has matured over the past two decades. There is hope for the world.
How are we going to fare in Pakistan is quite a different question. Will the dominant majority of Pakistan allow the already stricken minorities of Pashtun and Baluch to have a breather after grilling them in the mill of proxy wars, religious indoctrination and planned marginalization into poverty and ignorance. There isn’t a sign of redemption signaled by the political government, the mainstream media or the military which is and has been the main protagonist and perpetrator of the will of dominant majority. Nor has a single gesture of hope and goodwill been relayed by any political parties or prominent civil society figures. Malala is an example, she is a Pashtun icon but she is inconsequential and meaningless in Pakistan, She doesn’t have a future here, like the ordinary Pashtun men and women and children don’t have a future here…
It seems that the plight of the Pashtun and the Baluch has successfully been concealed in an all encompassing narrative of Pakistan’s national disaster which doesn’t exist in Punjab and Sindh at all. However, the narrative is being projected to the world community and the benefits received in lieu of the sacrifices of Punjab and Sindh in war on terrorism have been limited to those provinces. The Pashtun has been sidelined as the terrorist entity and the Baluch as the new traitor to the national narrative.
16the December should’ve initiated a discourse across the nation if it were nation at all. Dictators and their collaborators should’ve been indicted, policy makers should’ve been brought before the law. The state should have resolved to reorganize and reform it’s structure, it’s vision and mission and its constitution. Nothing of the sort happened. The military sought more powers to strengthen their narrative. Terrorists and their supporters are being punished so as to appease the international community and redo the soft state image. In actual fact no retrospection at any quarter of the state has been undertaken. There isn’t any hope for suppressed minorities in Pakistan as there hasn’t been any since the first Martial Law.
16th December will come and go like any other day in the lives of Pashtun people. It has only added to their pain and suffering and will keep on doing so for ever and ever……
Writer: Jack Frost
The writer is the Editor-in-Chief of THE PASHTUN TIMES
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITH THE PASHTUN TIMES