Pakistan: Suicidal Proclivities of a State
The other day, Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was candid enough to admit that Pakistan is showing signs of a failed state. What is surprising is the suicidal proclivities displayed by a state leading to anarchy in most parts of the country. By adopting an ostrich like approach of denial of terrorist groups beyond the control of the state and some bred by it, the ruling elite of the country is consuming the cyanide pill fed by the likes of Dawood Ibrahim, Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah.
See the action on the ground. Evidence provided by Indian authorities through US and UK has also been rejected by Islamabad. Post Christmas, winter fog characteristic in most parts of the north in the Sub Continent was penetrated by the wheels of military vehicles and rumblings of tanks on the borders in India and Pakistan. Media reports were rife with movement of military in the deserts in Rajasthan to the fields of Punjab. 'Whatever movement is being reported is normal for this season,' an officer at Indian army headquarters was quoted by the Daily Telegraph, 'This is the time when we have exercises and a certain amount of movement takes place.'
The Border Security Force the trip wire had observed what was called as 'unusual movement' on the other side in Rajasthan. And as television channels flashed photographs of smartly turned out Indian Air Force pilots entering cockpits of fighter aircraft, the Pakistani side reacted with air sorties on their own cities, raising the beat of war. It was a strange move by Pakistan Air Force, signaling war to its own people an obvious attempt to create hysteria.
As Hermann Goering said, 'Naturally the common people don't want war; ___. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ____ . All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.'
Reports of move of Pakistani formations from the Western borders to Sialkot and Lahore were also circulated. An Associate Press reporter even counted the vehicles, 40 moving out of a particular camp in the West. Of the 100,000 Pakistani troops in the tribal areas, 20,000 were being redeployed. In New Delhi, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met thrice on 28 November, 21 December and 26 December, if media reports can be deciphered accurately as these were categorized as meetings by the Prime Minister with the defence chiefs in the presence of ministers of External Affairs, Defence and Home. The Defence Minister is holding regular meetings with the Chiefs of Staff, an oddity in the Indian system for though such a meet is mandated at least once a week, in normal times, Service Chiefs as a body is unlikely to get an audience with the Defence Minister on a regular basis.
In Pakistan similar meetings are being held by the Prime Minister with the service chiefs, unusual too for Islamabad where the Army Chief has been in power over the past decade or so just a few months back and the Director General Inter Services Public Relations, a two star army general has the tacit authority of overruling statements by cabinet ministers. Even the defence minister surfaced in Pakistan, not many people knew he existed; such is the aura surrounding the Army brass.
But where is all this taking the country. As the troops from the tribal areas moved out, the militants are celebrating. In Swat, Switzerland of Pakistan schools for girls have been banned and the News International reported that the militants have assumed control of the area. Thirty-four, including four children, were killed in a suicide attack on 28 December at a polling station in Bunir district, NWFP just as rest of the World was celebrating the Christmas and New Year holidays.
A few days back a blast in Lahore caused many casualties and the poor attempt to place the blame on an Indian, named Shukla failed when an extremist group claimed the same. But the troop movement on the Indian border to divert the attention from the build up of terrorist groups seems to continue.
Zardari and Gillani seem to be hostage to the Army brass led by Kiyani. Suicide pills are normally taken by individuals, this is one of those times when a nation seems to be consuming poison by spurning offers of assistance to rein in the terrorist groups and criminals operating under government tutelage by the global community.
Some governments as the United States seem to be overlooking the gaping security holes in Islamabad which the army is not able or willing to fill. Washington could thus well be abetting Pakistani suicide at its own peril.
India needs to watch out, for a fragmenting Pakistan is a dangerous prospect for the many Baitullah's there would have easier access to the by lanes of Delhi and Hyderabad.
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Col. Rahul K. Bhonsle
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