Pakistan Army unloading goods in Balochistan
by Nayyar Hashmey
Peter Chamberlin is not only a blogger but a world class writer as well. He picks up his pen to jot down highly readable, analytical and thought provoking articles. And as I already said in a previous note, his is the blog that’s one of my most favorites. Some days back he put up a sensational [not in the journalistic sense but an alarming one] report rather for all of us].
This report has been compiled by five different journalists each one of them sitting in the very nerve centre that causes to move different state and non state actors to mark the dots. They do say though they still need a lot of dots to connect, yet after going through their report, like a crystal gazer you can look through the glass and see so vividly how do these dots are put, moved, interlinked and above all where-these-dots-are, who-are-drawing-the-lines, and who-is-connecting-all- these-lines to land these into the very theater, where this whole drama of ruthless geopolitics, the great rich central Asian highlands is going to be staged very soon.
In the beginning [when I started editing this blog – it was in May/June 2008], I had a feeling that people who want friendly relations between India and Pakistan should not put up posts on their blogs & websites as this could further deteriorate the already tense situation that exists between the two.
I, therefore, kept the matter restricted mainly to tourism, history, heritage, art & culture. There used to be hardly 1 or 2 posts every month on politics. Contentious issues were not touched in principle.
Gradually, however, I came to realize that turning our eyes away from such differences and disputes would not solve the problem / s at all.
Because the machinations of respective governments, their spy masters including the top brass as well as the rank and file, groups with vested interests including the religio-mercantile-industry combine, notwithstanding the geopolitical players doing their job- disseminating the philosophy of terror, hate and animosity sometime in the name of religion, another time in the name of pseudo patriotism, and then also in the name of a word that is very fashionable these days ‘the national security’ were mostly profiteering from exploitations of the common people every where. The result therefore, has been more aggrandizement not only between the governments but also amongst the common public as well. To add fuel to the fire, such designs, such machinations, such strategies were and are continually being hyped up by the mainstream media.
I felt the need to highlight such issues so that people at large know all sides of a particular contentious issue; without any taint or color as Peter would term it “without sunglasses”. In other words, every issue, every dispute, every contention be seen in the broad daylight. It has been in this context that I decided to put up matter on such political issues as well, for I now believe that all machinations, all strategies, all conspiring by respective governments and their organs, vested groups, need be exposed as far as possible.
While writing these lines, I do understand: putting up contentious material on any medium does not and should not mean one has abrogated one’s true patriotism. Like any other Pakistani I love my country but my patriotism does not spring from a negative view of all those who may differ from us, neither is it based on animosity towards others, be they the individuals, communities, cultures, different religions and nations. On the other hand, putting up material on all issues, particularly the contentious ones to the general reader, enables him / her to adjudge what’s wrong, what’s right.
It’s in this context that I accessed [courtesy once again to Peter Chamberlin’s blog] a report compiled by Turkmenistan News Agency. The report reveals some startling as well as highly alarming facts on what the US-Russian-India combine is attempting to do in Pakistan.
Though in the initial part of their report, the authors try to avoid attributing the subversion in Balochistan by using BLA as a surrogate, to any government, in later parts however, they do conclude that it is most probably the CIA-RAW and Russian intelligence which of late have been joined by Iran as well [though partially].
The contributors conclude that by and large the people of Balochistan are as patriotic as their countrymen in other four provinces of Pakistan. However, as they say, a little spark needs a little of fuel, and it turns into a big fire, a fire that will not only burn the ‘les miserables’ but the whole body. Right now it’s our body, our corpus that’s at stake.
The happenings of late February / March this year have made our government celebrate the successes in having marginalized India in Afghanistan [at least it appears so] but question remains: success at what cost!
As we would increase the pressure on Taliban in Afghanistan our country being direct partner and a frontline ally of the United States of America, how could we then say [that’s what our government’s rhetoric is]. “It’s not our war, neither are we fighting this war nor we a party to it – we are trying to fight the terrorists who are attacking our people, our properties and our state institutions, we will defeat terrorism at any cost. It’s not America’s war, it’s our war”.
Contrary to such rhetoric’s, we are sacrificing our sons for purposes which fit precisely into the context of a larger geopolitical agenda of the world’s sole super power as her friend and ally. But as Henry Kissinger cynically would say “Being America’s ally is more dangerous than being its enemy”.
We are America’s ally and we are throwing ourselves into more and more dangerous situations than ever before.
To quote our rulers once again. “It’s our war” they say. But it is not our war, its America’s war, our country is at stake, our people are at stake, the people who are mired in an unending struggle to earn bread for their children. The people are least bothered who is wining, the Americans or their opposing forces. They want bread, they need education, healthcare and a livelihood for their families. Unfortunately they have none at the moment. But they are paying the price for what their rulers are doing in their name.
It’s high time now that we realistically look to ourselves and ask, where do we stand in this war on terror! By offering our sons as cannon fodder, Pakistanis pitted against Pakistanis, can we keep our federation intact. Can we think of a stable nation state of Pakistan?
I remember, late Khan Abdul Wali Khan of National Awami Party used to quote one Pashtu proverb that says ‘when the elephants battle, the frogs are pissed off’ and that’s what exactly happened with us. We jumped into the war of elephants and were trampled upon.
That war gifted us heroin, Kalashnikov and suicide bombers. What this new war on terror will bring us, can be gauged from events that are being staged right before us now. A super power was no doubt crushed in the first war, the US won but we and the Afghanis lost terribly. Now one is under the physical occupation of its major sponsor and we are if not physical at least under a virtual occupation of our erstwhile friend and sponsor ready to be ally for another war. I wish what Peter said in his article that the next drama is going to be staged now in Central Asia, even then, I do not foresee an end to the mess in our country for Pakistan with its Balochistan province is the most sensitive economical and important route not only for the oil supplies but also the military might that is or would be required to exercise a physical hegemony over these pipelines.
Question that irks me hence again and again, do we want to keep our federation or are we going to continue doing this “pangabazi” in Afghanistan and that too at the behest of the same industry military complex that dodged us at so many occasions.
They know our rulers are hungry for their dollars, first Gen. Pervez Musharraf mustered these from the US and now the Zardari Gilani duo is trying to. But we shouldn’t forget, once they give something, they take something too. What they take is a subject our rulers have written books upon. One time it was: we want ‘Friends not Masters” and another time it was ‘In the Line of Fire’. Fact however, remains ‘takers can never be choosers’.
At this juncture, I do wish to emphasize once again, no state can compromise its national interests, neither should we. But as we make hollow claims for the championship of an Ummah at the behest of a super power, our neighbor claiming the championship of democracy ignoring at the same time that some of its states are either claiming more rights based on provincial / regional identities or a secession straightaway from the Indian Union e.g. the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir [a legacy of the British Raj and simultaneously a part of the unfinished agenda of the 1947 partition of British India].
What we need is, to avoid the mistakes committed by the previous generations in both India and Pakistan. The peace in the subcontinent cannot be left a hostage forever to what happened in the past or what was made to happen then. Both countries need to sit together and solve their issues around the table [see Peter Chamberlin’s article in TANS blog]. Aggrandizement or India-centric / Pakistan-centric policies by two nuclear neighbors augur no good for them nor for the world.
Simultaneously we in Pakistan need also move towards making this country an economically independent, progressive state. If we continued finding military solutions to all our political maladies, the day may not be far away when we might see many other East Pakistans coming to the fore; in other words a balkanization of Pakistan which is very much there on CIA’s agenda and which unfortunately Russia and India may also want. And its the theme and findings of the report being uploaded right now.
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