With voters either not turning up to vote- that shocked Ms Bhutto once, or uneasily voting for the lesser of the two evils in exclusion of the fresher Imran Khan, its ordinary mortals didn’t quite mind military takeovers.
With unity and popularity, both, streaming out of hostility towards India, almost reminding Gandhi’s unusual support for Caliphate movement, its ruler’s moral support for Kashmir struggle, even by democrats like Benazir, aided in attaining and maintaining governess. But then, almost as a side effect, its army logically took a lion’s share of the budget- for the needed defence.
Although this maintained territorial integrity of Pakistan, its inland integrity was quite different. Forgetting majority/minority or democrat/army issues, Pakistanis made a triad of ruling western elite, tradition followers and the religious extremists.
Although seeing immediate need, not future, Taliban’s lesser of the two evils, USA, ‘mistakenly’ used the latter against Russia, and Pakistan cites that to accuse USA of bringing trouble to its soil, Pakistan isn’t entirely innocent. Forgetting itself as the lesser of the two evils, while its elite group used American aid to prop up Islamic jihadists against the then USSR, if not that cash- as occasionally reported, it used that emotion to prop up Kashmiri struggle against India.
As if tracing ‘USA pays and India doesn’t’, and airing root cause, while all its residents resent India- enough to make its ex PM Nawaz Sherif caution against it, and lesser mortals alone loathe America, the madrassa products loathe even other Muslim sects. With religiosity being important now- as if matching Islamic republic, while namaz defaulters and minority Muslims get bombed, its safer, yet bottom in the piety scale, elites, get resented for the triad of leading a western lifestyle, sleeping with the Great Satan and actually killing its cadres.
Although its elites are still safe, unless they venture into the wrong masque or criticise blasphemy law, as a minister sadly ‘came to know’, rest don’t feel safe. With it becoming a dangerous place to live, in comparison, the danger scale sees USA suffering the least, India coming second and Pakistan itself suffering the most. Suddenly, Pakistan’s complaint of victimhood doesn’t look so misplaced.
Although paying USA and not-paying India and Afghanistan, along with its own people expect and urge Pakistani rulers to find and punish the terrorists, bombing goes on and ‘guilty’ roam freely. Although, its army kills terrorists in remote areas, it is the not nabbed leaders in the cities that air its supposed inaction. Although, rest even get annoyed with this supposed inaction, the question is, can Pakistan contain terrorism? Although some argue ‘Terrorism is a means of cash flow to its elite’- for the inaction, even if the elite willed, the question still is; can Pakistan fight terrorism?
With it not having a unified but a conglomerate power structure, airing opposition to Islamists resulting in death- as shown by the blasphemy law incident that forced a status quo, and judges acquitting apprehended terrorists- fearing their own safety, Pakistan possibly isn’t able to contain terrorism. Although its minister’s, ‘India is yet to supply evidence on Mumbai attackers’ is a good defence, its defence against terror, isn’t good.
Although it doesn’t look like Iraq yet, this land of pure that proudly countered nuclear India by producing its Islamic Bomb, serially lagged in economy, security of its people and then of its security agency- the army (Karachi attack)- which was its pride. While this suggests Pakistan cannot deal with the terrorists, it also suggests that the nation needs international help- both for the safety of its people and its nuclear arsenal.
Although its pride is wounded from many sides, besides international help, Pakistan has to help itself in the fields that it can. In this, while following its ex PM’s sane advice to disregard India as an enemy enhances its democracy and aids diversion of funds from new missiles to badly needed economy, a Sino-US deal like business deal with India can convert painful hostilities to beneficial healthy competition.
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