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Terrorism and its effects on Pakistan and the region

Dr. Khurshid Alam

Dr. Khurshid Alam

Pakistan is on very shaky grounds. With each dawn the problems are getting worse and the country plunges deeper in its woven web. Since the terrorism has assumed the status of a vital organ of the State Structure the problems have increased manifold internally and externally.

Though the roots of terrorism goes back to Aligarh but it was first time tried in Qalat and then Kashmir in 47/48 respectively. When it was incorporated in the state structure as an undeclared policy of the State, as a remedy for both internal and external hitches by cunning Gen Zia; the multi organ failure of the State started. Everyone knew about it but none could say the “word”. It was under tremendous international pressure that accusing finger was raised at the Elephant in the room, as pointed out by Ex-Senator Afrasiab Khattak. The elephant cautiously agreed to take some steps. Will it materialize or not, is another question.

Initially this monstrous policy paid off in cash and kind but when it started stinging the perpetrator the realization of the recklessness was felt but it was too late for the US to contain, because of the sub-contractor colossal agenda was not yet complete. The Sub-Contractor started dragging feet. The chief of unipolar world was intolerant to his own created policy.

The 9/11 and subsequent losses of men in uniform turned the table on both. The US infamous doctrine to create a devil and then to act as an angel is known since Second World War. Pakistan invested heavily, the US and Saudi resources, in terrorist philosophy and Jihadi establishments. The US turned blind eye to the Islamic Bomb. There was no dearth of cash and kind. An inflated economy kept everybody silent. Pakistan’s dream to be the fortress of Islam and defender of ideological borders was overbearingness that the rulers were not ready to abandon in spite of losing the East Wing.

This doctrine damaged the country both internally and externally. Since the outside dealings were in the domain of the military establishment, it was but natural that the first casualty was the democratic process. It never developed roots in the country. Resulting in no institutional politics to evolve the concept of collective leadership. Who could formulate permanent policies internally or externally? It suited both sides. It was a lot easy for international players to deal with one person instead of a house of representatives responsible to the public. The mechanism was heavily in the favor of the military strategist providing them most dominant role in the State structure. The occasional civil spell were just change for the sake of change but the nucleus never changed its residence. The establishment captured all the peaks of strategic importance in the state Structure. Most of the political parties were born in the shavers of the establishment having the same mindset.

The economist instead of evolving economic policy were left to distribute the easy cash, according to the directives of the deep seated government and to accommodate the donor’s wish. Pakistan has never seen continuous economic stability.

Politics did not get rootlets to broaden the base of masses involvement, resulting in cretin or dwarf politicians. Politics cannot be only learnt from the books but one has to go through a process to harden the metal and create political acumen. Pakistan was not destined to have lea of Singapore. Incompetence invites corruption, it was the major factor in occasional civilian rule. In the establishment it was unaccountability to corrupt the higher brass. Corruption and good governance never goes hand in hand. Military dictators used corruption to buy the politicians and get recognition for illegitimate government, apart from Personal gains. Most of the Generals are landlords and industrialists and never retire.

Defense, foreign policy and finance, all the three important portfolio are under the establishment. Sometimes they do spare some time to educate the people about restricted democracy, Civilian incompetence and corruption but keeping the lid tight on military inside stories.

Foreign policy is a different art. One is dealing with a different nation with different psyche and different national interest. It is accommodation of each other’s interest. It is applicable; when the relation are on mutual respect and interest. In our case there was no foreign policy but one way investment in our armed forces and country. Our own economy was in a state that we could not afford to pay one third of the price of 7 F-16. On the other hand Saudi invested hugely in jihadi philosophy their investment and gifts were also not for free. In the process we lost both long term friends to India.

The terrorists arm was constructed to the extent that it needed a full four stars General to look after it. The country is in full grip of radicals. No establishment can afford to upset them. Their role in Fata, KPK, Baluchistan, India and Afghanistan cannot be ignored. They are as entrenched in the State structure as the army. We have dichotomy of power. The establishment has given so much free hand that they (Terrorists) are no more covert organizations but more overt with more liberty than some political parties. Every time we deny the presence of high value target we have been caught red handed with it. The virginity of the ground and airspace has been violated by the terrorists. It is no point to blame American for our each and every silliness.

Now the new doctrine unveiled by Senator Mushahid Husain to link the peace in Afghanistan with peace in Kashmir is surprising. His non-comprehensible logic that Peace could not be compartmental sounds great. Isn’t an Irony? It tantamount to accepts terrorism and fails to comprehend that Kashmir can be equated with FATA, KPK and Baluchistan not to a sovereign Afghanistan. We too, don’t want compartmentalization of Peace but the road to peace in both regions, originates from Rawalpindi. Stop sponsoring terrorism there will be peace in the region. I am sure if PML (Q) can use its good offices.

This cretinism and terrorism has diluted the case of Kashmir and has resulted in the international and regional isolation of Pakistan. Even China seems worried when it comes to terrorism. We should not be oblivious to the fact that our friendship with China is by default not the achievement of our foreign policy. We have one guiding rule, do opposite to what India does.

Unless the army gets out of politics and the supremacy of the rule of law is restored and the federal house is strengthened Pakistan viability carries a big question mark. Many CPEC will come and go but the breach between Punjab vs. three federates is bound to widen. Should we wait for a Messiah to solve our created problem?

Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam

The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at



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