Pakistan: The deepening Crisis

The Nato strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers a week ago and Pakistan’s hostile reaction point to twin contradictions. For Pakistan, siding with the US and its allies in their war on the Taliban, tutored and launched into Afghanistan and the wider world of geopolitics by none other than Pakistan itself, amounts to hunting with the hounds while running with the hares. For the US and its allies, the contradiction lies in waging a battle against Islamist militants relying on the help of the Pakistani army, sections of which are deeply committed to securing strategic depth through the very same militants being targeted by the uneasy alliance.

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SPONSORING TERRORISTS, WHILE FIGHTING THEM PLAYS OUT

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ET Bureau

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Note for WoP readers:

A very valid point indeed [raised by the writer in this brief report]. My very dear Peter Chamberlin also vets it in full. But there is another aspect to this whole scenario. If, as the ET bureau suggests, the Pakistani authorities follow point by point what the US administration says and wants, would be as much suicidal as fighting against the United States, and that too for nothing.

 As the war in Afghanistan, at least in its present form is going to end two years from now, US forces will no more be there. Afghanistan where a mix of Northern Alliance, the Taliban, Afghan warlords and the heroin smugglers will rule the roost, in that hotchpotch of regional administrators and warlords, could Pakistan afford to have majority of Afghanistan’s Pashtuns as an adversary, where we already have all anti Pakistan forces collectively reigning in Kabul!

Will it be pragmatic to turn the major Pashtun faction of Afghan population against us when we have more Pashtuns here in Pakistan; who are patriotic Pakistanis and who whatever you may believe or may say are ethnically the same as their brethren in Afghanistan. Should Pakistan sacrifice its own national interests for sake of America?

Whereas mostly in terms of this so called war on terror, Pakistani and the US establishments are in sync, its here that the  clash between the US and the Pakistani interests props up  and as far as a choice between Pakistan’s supreme interests is concerned, US aid or no aid, this country has to tread its own course especially when we see that in contrast to the Taliban of Afghanistan who are fighting against US occupation, the Pakistani Taliban pampered by the same US are fighting against the state and the people of Pakistan, so how could Pakistan decide to blindly follow what Washington wants and demands it to do. As far as the US money  being doled out to the ruling elite of Pakistan [coming at the cost of US tax payers and which directly goes to fill the pockets of these plunderers], be better stopped, sooner the better. [Nayyar]

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The writer is making a valid point, that it would benefit Indian interests if Pakistan/US relations worsened.  Like so many of us have been saying, Pakistan is facing a choice that it must make–resolve the conflict or face self-destruction.  Does the Army run your democracy?  Every nation must learn to live with less military, less war, in order to take care of its own real needs. [Peter Chamberlin]

The Nato strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers a week ago and Pakistan’s hostile reaction point to twin contradictions. For Pakistan, siding with the US and its allies in their war on the Taliban, tutored and launched into Afghanistan and the wider world of geopolitics by none other than Pakistan itself, amounts to hunting with the hounds while running with the hares. For the US and its allies, the contradiction lies in waging a battle against Islamist militants relying on the help of the Pakistani army, sections of which are deeply committed to securing strategic depth through the very same militants being targeted by the uneasy alliance.

Pakistan has been good at managing contradictions for quite some time. It is both a democracy and a state where the real power vests in the armed forces. It sees itself not only as Islam’s fortress (to use a phrase favoured by Gen Musharraf ) but also its force for modernisation, yet depends on the worst forms of regressive zealotry to protect the fortress . It is a nuclear power, yet requires massive amounts of American aid to keep itself going. It sees India as a perpetual enemy, yet its people love everything Indian: from music, films and saas-bahu shenanigans to the Indian Premier League.

Ultimate resolution of these contradictions lies completely in Pakistani hands: the deepening of democracy to a degree where it can redefine its nationhood in terms other than hostility to India. This seems a wild hope, given the current crisis in the country. Yet, that very crisis holds out the possibility of reform. When bomb attacks by militant groups become a regular occurrence within Pakistan, it is a sign of contradictions running out of anybody’s control.

When the choice is between self-destruction and resolution of the conflict that posits the choice, resolution should prevail. Islamabad might rattle its sabres but will ultimately make up with the US. The alternative is to become dependent on the Chinese, a course that will give US re-engagement with Asia, a new, South Asian thrust that could involve Iran, besides China and Pakistan, and draw Washington and New Delhi even closer.

Related Posts:

1. Attack on Salala Check post in Mohamand Agency 2. Days of rage 3. Imran Khan explains “War of Terror” and “Pakistani Taliban” 4. China seeks military bases in Pakistan to counter Chinese Muslim rebels ….! 5. 5. After US, now Chinese bases in Pakistan! 6. 6. China to keep Pakistan Embrace at Arm’s Length [2 of 2] 7. China to keep Pakistan Embrace at Arm’s Length [1 of 2] 8. Between Hope and Fear [1 of 2].. 9. Between Hope and Fear [2 of 2] 10. U.S.-Pak relations: Divorce is not an option
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Pakistan is on the edge and its confrontation against India on Kashmir is futile. The demand of Kashmir on religious ground is no more realistic since population of Muslims in India is almost same as the population of Pakistan and Kashmir belongs to them as well. The crisis in Pakistan can further deteriorate if difference between India & Pakistan continue in the next decade as well. Pakistan’s foreign policy needs to be recast so that both India and Pakistan live in a peaceful, prosperous environment, otherwise the subcontinent will be exposed to a grave situation posing a great threat to the world peace.


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