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Little Ado about Shia Zardari’s Delhi Stopover
|by K. Gajendra Singh|
“We have a number of issues and we are willing to find tactical, pragmatic solutions to [them],” Prime minister Manmohan Singh after the stopover.
"The Afghanistan-Pakistan entanglement is an issue so vexed and complicated that it would have tested the wisdom of the greatest leaders and strategists of the past. It is not totally fanciful to imagine Augustus, William Pitt the Elder, Bismarck or George Marshall pondering over a map which detailed the lands that stretch from the Bekaa Valley to the Khyber Pass. None of them would have liked what they saw. Look at the distances, the awful topography, and the willingness of the other side to accept appalling casualty rates –“Prof Paul Kennedy on southwest and west Asia.
(This was written two years ago before the Arabs revolted against their pro US dictators. But Washington with Saudi and Qatari petrodollars has begun subverting the people’s revolt even encouraging take over by extremist Muslim groups like Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood as was done in 1950s and 60s against Col Gamal Nasser and other socialist, nationalist and patriotic leaders in the Arab world.)
Taking advantage of the puppeteer and demanding ally Washington with poodle London, both (now bankrupt and in decline) licking their economic and military wounds from strategic blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have violated international laws and committed human rights crimes, rebuffed from central Asia and held back from creating mayhem and destruction, so far, in Syria as in Libya; with Islamabad’s relations with Washington at nadir and Pakistan’s internal situation in a state of flux, in the wake of the bully military’s lowered prestige since the US assassination of Obama ben Laden on Pak soil, brutal US air attack on a Pakistan frontier post (no US apologies yet and hence no permit for war material to Afghanistan via Karachi) and at Pakistan naval facility by home grown terror groups and a revived judiciary asserting itself against the military and the political class, Pak president Asif Ali Zardari and his coterie’s desire to look for something positive and reassuring like beginning the process of normalization of relations with neighbor India, used as a bug beer to maintain military and Punjabi elite’s hegemony and dominance in Pakistan, used the pretext to pray at Sufi saint’s shrine at Ajmer, India for a stopover for lunch and talks between the Pak president and Indian PM Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, the first such visit since 2005 by wily president Gen Pervez Musharraf, now in exile. Pak political leaders are either in exile abroad (US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Dubai) or in jail (Zardari –seven years ) when ousted from power. MM Singh's government immersed in scams and military/civil differences blown up by anti-national Arms lobby accepted the invitation to glory in visiting his pind (village of his birth) in Pakistan.
Before we look at the stopover and meager results, let us look at some of the bare facts of history, geography and psyche of south Asia and its immediate neighborhood.
India-Pakistan Geo-political mold
As for the geopolitical template of Hindustan or South Asia, the people now dominating Pakistan, i.e. the Punjabi Musalman in Lahore or Islamabad have throughout history been envious of the rulers of Hindustan with their capital on Yamuna in Delhi or Agra with their vast territories for revenue, even without Deccan. They invited the Moguls to invade Hindustan when Afghans were ruling in Delhi. Later they invited Afghans and Iranians when Moguls were ruling in Delhi. The religion of the rulers in Delhi was immaterial. For its strategic defense, Hindustan should control Kabul if not Kandahar as was done by early Moguls. Once Kabul and Kandahar were lost, Hindustan became a plaything of invaders. And the Punjabi people joined in the loot and robbed the invader if he failed.
The same strategic paradigm is operating now. It is the outside powers, first Britain, then USA and China, which are behind Pakistani aggressive confrontations against India, beginning with 1947, then 1965 and Kargil among these instances. In the process Pakistan has been afflicted with Kalashnikov and opium culture (in whose contraband cultivation and trade, Pak elite specially elements in the military and ISI are involved both for financing their activities and for personal gain) and culture but remains envious of the economic progress India has made.
Great speculators in metaphysics and matters of soul, with inward looking world view like frogs in a well, throughout history Indians have rarely shown much strategic acumen and the ruthlessness to implement strategic decisions. Something goes wrong in the sycophantic climate of Delhi and Hindustan, whether the leaders are Hindus or Muslims. The few rulers with strategic thought and skills were, Mauryas who with their capital at Pataliputra stationed the crown prince at Ujjain to counter the ingress from the Hindu Kush and meet the invader on the route chosen; Sind-Gujarat or Punjab and the Himalayan foot hills. So were the early Moguls, Akbar having built his luxurious capital at Fatehpur Sikri near Agra spent a decade near Lahore guarding against Mongols and others assembling across the Hindu Kush. In modern times we had Indira Gandhi, who instead of mopping around the world (as current leadership is doing after 26/11 rape of India's financial and cultural capital) against refugee influx from East Pakistan, took advantage of the situation and broke up Pakistan into two. There were a few others like Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Tippu Sultan but their canvas was much smaller.
A wag remarked that except for the legendry King Porus who put up a valiant fight against Alexander the Macedon, the area between Peshawar and Panipat has always remained 'porous' for invaders from North West. Survival against all odds is the quality of the people of the region. They are dynamic, hardworking and good managing directors but not perspicacious enough to be the chairmen of the board. They have rarely established large kingdoms, as Rajiv Gandhi pointed during the Pakistan supported insurgency in Indian Punjab, adding that the only major state in the region was founded by Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore.
Throughout colonial rule and after the partition of India, the British following the divide and rule imperialist policy, used Hindus against Muslims and vice versa. Their lasting false legacy is the brainwashing of Pakistanis that they are braver than Indians and Hindus. Of course this myth has been ornamented by some Pakistani claims of having originated from central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and Arab lands. For siding with the Firangi colonials, when the people of Hindustan rose against the British East India Company in 1857, they were classified a martial race and be fodder canon for the empire as a reward for their treachery. Journalist and historian S. Khuswant Singh recalled how Punjab was conquered by the British with Indian troops from Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Most of the Pakistanis and Muslims in India are converts from original Hindustanis and Deccannis.
A comparable false example of foreign origins elite is in the Turkish Republic. Those who came from central Asia i.e. Turkmen and other Turkic tribes and established Seljuk and Ottoman empires in Turkey known as Anatolia and Asia Minor, number between 12 to 15 %. Ironically most of them are Alevis following a Shia form of Islam, based on in their central Asian catholic outlook with respect and inputs from all belief systems in their religion, beginning with the Turkic sky god Tangri and their Shamans, Buddhism, Christianity and finally evolving a humanistic Sufi version of Islam. Alevis are treated in Turkey no better than Ahmedias, Qadianis and even Mohajirs (migrants from present day India) in Pakistan. They face pogroms by Sunni Turks from time to time.
Now let us look at the raison d’être of creating Pakistan. The importance of petroleum in warfare and economy had become obvious even before the World War II. By 1940s , the British who dominated the Middle East and still ruled over India, realizing the importance of oil and the strategic importance of Middle East as lifeline to India, had created military alliances with most of the countries of the Middle East including Iran to its protect oil wells from the Soviet Union.
So when forced to leave India after WWII the British created a weak and dependent Pakistan that functioned as a bulwark against any USSR overture into the Gulf and South Asia. From the very beginning the British mid-wife state was doomed. In 1972, when the author was posted in Ankara, the Turks were not surprised at the break-up of Pakistan.
A former Indian diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila, in a well-researched book 'The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition', based on British documents, uncovers the truth that, after the 2nd world War, realizing that London had to relinquish India, the British leadership across the political spectrum, Conservatives and Labor, intrigued, told lies and finally partitioned the Indian subcontinent creating the state of Pakistan. Because with Mahatma Gandhi with his opposition to violence and war and Jawaharlal Nehru 's non-strategic idealism and the vision of creating friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of the world, New Delhi would not join Western military pacts to protect the oil fields in the Middle East from the Soviet Union.
Britain’s ultimate objective was to retain at least some part in the North-West of India, for defensive and offensive action against the USSR in any future dispensation in the sub-continent. And Britain knew that this could be best achieved by having a willing and subservient Pakistan as its client. So the only way was to use Jinnah to detach areas of India, which borders Iran, Afghanistan and Xinjiang and create a new state there. Sarila documents in detail how after the end of World War II in 1945, the new Labor government of Clement Attlee and Wavell decided to divide India and used Jinnah and political Islam to protect their strategic interests.
A top-secret telegram of Lord Wavell, then Viceroy, to the Secretary of State in London dated February 6, 1946, suggested the lines on which British India could be divided. On June 3, 1947, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, while addressing the Labor Party's annual conference, spilled the beans that the division of India "would help consolidate Britain in the Middle East".
Sarila also traces the roots of the present Kashmir problem and how the matter was handled in the UN to favor ally Pakistan. That India should have no direct land access to central Asia, even via Afghanistan, motivated Western perfidious policy on the Kashmir Question has also been brought out in the book “War and Diplomacy in Kashmir 1947-48' by another Indian diplomat C Das Gupta.
Read: Anglo-American Monkeys Keep Sub-continent Cats Squabbling
Can India and Pakistan make Peace!
Utopians in India are jubilant that Pakistan has made peace with India. Nothing in reality can be farther from the truth.
The recent sudden angelic desire on part of the Pakistani establishment to make peace with India has nothing to do with any major shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy written in the Pakistani military headquarters popularly known as the GHQ.
The Pakistani apparent shift is merely a tactical response to extreme confrontation with the US over perceived US view that Pakistan is playing a double game in Afghanistan.
This is similar to Musharraf’s flirtation with India from 2000 to 2007 which in reality was a gambit to prevent a two front war with Afghanistan occupied by the USA and a hostile India in the east.
The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan.
This will be the time when the Russians, Iranians and Indians will have no choice but to support the Northern Alliance against Pakistan sponsored Taliban who regard all Shias, Ismailis, Non-Pashtuns, and moderate Pashtuns as infidels who deserve to be massacred.
The Pakistani politicians area compromised manipulated lots who are under firm control of the Pakistani military thanks to the politicians own massive financial corruption. They will do what the Pakistani generals tell them whether it is the PPP, PML or any new party like Imran Khan’s Tehrik i Insaaf.
Pakistan will remain the same state run by an army rather than a state with an army. The Pakistani generals will control Pakistan’s politics and foreign policy and Pakistan India relations will remain a mix of an uneasy and an unpredictable peace.
Pakistan will remain embroiled in an ever continuous civil unrest. Baloch will be gunned down by the Pakistani military while Pakistan’s politicians will remain the puppets of the military that they have been since 1977.
Terrorism will remain a tool of foreign policy while the Pakistani military runs the Pakistani state under a facade of PPP or PML or Tehrik i Insaaf.
By that time Pakistani military will be hoping to achieve all its objectives--
There is no doubt that Pakistan will be a semi-autonomous Chinese province by 2030 or so. Its relations with India will be run on two basis; Pakistani military retaining its nuisance value based on the much trumped and misused Indian threat and secondly Pakistan as a Chinese pawn acting as Chinas western bastion in West Asia. Pakistani Baluchistan by 2030 would be a completely Chinese run show while Pakistan’s military and corrupt politicians will control Pakistan’s corrupt par excellence economy.
Xooxs like Man Mohan Singh will remain dupes that they always were. The region will remain unstable because instability is custom made to suit the Pakistani elite both military and civilian.
India’s budding middle class wants to make peace with the Pakistani establishment because they want to have a good time.
Manmohan Singh is a cheap social climber with no strategic vision. This means that the common man in both India and Pakistan will both come to grief.
Pashtuns and Baloch will remain pawns of Pakistani establishment with Baloch regarded as Red Indians and Pashtuns regarded as good cannon fodder to be launched like fools in the name of Islam. Pakistan’s economy will remain centered to serve the good of Pakistan elite and prosperity will remain confined to the triangle Pindi- Multan- Lahore and Karachi-Hyderabad.
The Pakistani Supreme Court will remain an arm of the Pakistani elite who turns a blind eye when any one challenges Pakistani military in the courts.
Pakistan shall remain a mirage which serves a 5 % elite and the region will remain unstable and a hostage to nuclear brinkmanship.
Pakistan’s pensioners will die like stray dogs! Pakistan’s youth will be gunned down by the corrupt Pakistani police for money! Pakistani intelligence will continue the kill and dump policy all over Pakistan and especially in Baluchistan!
This is not about Islam! This not about Pakistan! This is all about a 5 or 10 % establishment that has controlled Pakistan since 1948.
All that these elite want is to preserve their unfair advantage! These are the new Banias, the new Muslim Banias of Pakistan!
In 1947 Muslims of Pakistan got rid of Hindu Banias but the idea of the Muslim elite was that the Muslim masses need to be buxxered not by the Hindu Banias but by Muslim Banias from Gujarat, Chiniot, Chitin (later Saigalabad) and the elite feudals who had joined the Muslim League by the 1946 elections.
Third rate Pakistani lower middleclass young men will continue to pass the CSS exam and join Police, FBR and DMG to become billionaires with houses in posh DHA Karachi or Lahore within ten years of passing the CSS exam!
Pakistan does not have hawks with aristocratic backgrounds like ZA Bhutto nor visionary generals! It is run by carpetbaggers, robber industrial barons, arch intriguer feudals and generals who are NCOs sons and are just simply ambitious!
This means that Pakistan’s political economy of exporting terrorism as a foreign policy tool, massive corruption at home and the resultant ever growing reservoir of economically deprived youngsters who will fill ranks of extremists and suicide bombers will continue.
We salute the age of West Asian strategic anarchy!
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