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Sunday, 30 March 2014
Kashmir Has Benefited Its Elite: Is Kashmir A Sweet Poison That Pakistan Needs To Deal With?
A country seeded by Sir Iqbal, materialised by Jinnah, made religious by Gen Zia, militarised by America, united by enemy Hindu India and in love with a burning Kashmir, Pakistan, shows more signs of problems than solutions.
1. Religious 2. Political 3. Economic 4. Legal 4. Social 5. Kashmir
1. RELIGIOUS PROBLEMS:
Though West predicted Pakistan with strong monotheism would progress and polytheist India would disintegrate, almost airing 'monotheism gone wrong', Pakistan sees the consequence of mono's 'my way is right'. First the non Semitic minority Hindus felt the pinch of 'not one of us', then with the rise of Islamic identity even the people of the book - Christians felt the pinch as 'the others' or even as 'of decadent West'. And when the purity scale arrived Ahmadiyyas and then the Shias found themselves on the wrong side of purity. But then, despite passing the sect test, the safest majority Sunni, couldn't claim immunity either. The westernised among them, who traced the father of the nation, and the cricketer Sachin praising reporters were not pure enough, and awaited persecution. With the coming of drones, however, the ones who felt purest of the pure, and who dictated who wasn't Muslim enough - the AL-Qaida group - didn't feel safe either. Feeling the pinch, suddenly, they felt forced to secretly talk with the state.
In the triple inherited values of Indian, Islamic and British roots that it shares, neglecting the first yet almost showing a clash between the 2nd and the 3rd, it finds itself torn between the duty of following Sharia and the temptation of tracing British philosophies. No wonder, despite freedom, while the struggle for Ummah isn't seen, that which is seen is an illusion - neither here nor there assertion, 'Nothing will be passed against Islam'. On the other hand, almost as monotheism gone wrong, religious Pakistan finds itself struggling with forced conversions and bombings of temples, churches and mosques.
2. POLITICAL PROBLEMS. Like the non-matching of 'Sir' and 'for Muslim' of Sir Iqbal, and 'for Muslims' and 'secularism' of Jinnah - unless explained by divide and rule, Pakistan's principle of origin has been on a little shaky ground. While the lonesome death of the nation's creator, Jinnah, showed the power struggle at the start, it also heralded the country's future course. Though united by hostility towards India, almost tracing that end of Jinnah, there has always been a clash between the civilian and the army. Making American double standard easy, it has seen more army rule than democracy. And when democracy did get chances, while powerless ones dint vote as Ms Bhutto once bitterly found out or voted the same corrupt parties, powerful ones dint respect the majority verdict of East Pakistan (Seikh Mujib).
Although internal squabbles haven't benefit it, external ones certainly have. Even airing opposite poles attract, while China's squabble with India made it China's buddy, America's squabble with China/ Russia brought an American hug. Enhancing hostility, these external squabbles, however, lessened internal ones.
3. ECONOMIC PROBLEMS:
Being the recipient of cash from USA, China, Saudi and the IMF, Pakistan always had a good amount of cash in its coffers. In fact, once its currency even boasted better value than the Indian Rupee. But then, as if following 'What goes up must come down' its value has fallen. While instead of share prices its rich and poor gap has skyrocketed, reflecting that, its stock market value total's less than that of India's Ambani brothers. This is despite the country being endowed with intelligent hard working people, good natural resources and scenic beauty. Although it has a fare share of refugee to deal with, almost reminding global warming, that tragedy is man-made e.g. rampant terrorism and corruption, ethnic tensions, distinct ruler-commoner split that disregards popular needs and illiterate populace. While its 'ghost schools' offer no education, its Madrasa education offers no productive force. And productive ones don't pay taxes. Although, it receives enormous foreign aid (it is said Britons pay Pakistani's tax), the army takes most of it, elite's corruption takes most of the rest and ordinary folks take most of the accompanying troubles!
4. LEGAL PROBLEMS:
Despite the apparent disarray in the state, it does have both constitution and the law. Being used to and in love with the British Laws, like India, it doesn't change even archaic laws. Despite loyalty to nations not quite asked by Ummah, it shies away from Sharia with an almost rhetorical, 'Nothing will be passed against Islam'.
But then, implementing Sharia isn't easy. Leaving whip-lashing to the Taliban, it clings to Hudood laws that seeks 4 witness from a rape victim. Then again, while implementation of this law doesn't help its rape epidemic, non implementation of other laws don't help progress. In addition to delay and corruption in justice delivery as in other nations, as if tracing raped women fearing humiliation in its courts, its judges fear convicting terrorists. Though this shows powerlessness, its 'They haven't supplied evidence' to the alleged terrorism in India, shows the nation’s power. Either way terrorists get a green light, become untouchable and roam fearlessly. And the killings continue.
5. SOCIAL PROBLEMS:
Despite harbouring famous archaeological sites - Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, it remains divided on ancestry - Middle Eastern and Indian. Albeit, ME origin does not bring dividends from Saudi, where Pakistanis aren't treated well, it certainly helps in the hostility towards India. Ethnic identity is, however, stronger and governs people's ways. While Punjabis rule the army, and Sindhis rule business, ungovernable remote NE has been busy with just being 'proud people'. Although, 'no to Pakistani and Indian rule' ones are just silent in Azad Kashmir, the noisy Baloch who face humiliation as by having few Baloch in 'Baloch Regiment', simply get persecuted. In general, however, almost like the split in ways of its founding father and his followers, its social structure is also split into western ways following elite and conservative rest.
Like the following of law, not helping rape epidemic, the non following of law on alcohol prohibition hasn't helped rampant alcoholism either. Distrust of fellow Pakistani is quite high. While tired of forced conversion of their daughters the minority Hindus try to flee to the Hindu east (India), tired of the rest majority Muslims try to flee to the non Islamic West. Almost aired by bombing of his residence, either way Jinnah's dream has failed.
It's not that Kashmir is Pakistan's biggest problem because it has brought wars and economic hardship, it's because, it has brought a huge amount of benefit. With the sweet poison thus formed, Pakistan may not live without Kashmir but it could die because of that sweetie pie.
THE BENEFITS KASHMIR BRINGS:
1. National unity 2. Misplaced nostalgia 3. Domestic politics 4. The army factor 5. The external factor.
1. NATIONAL UNITY:
Almost like the British carving out artificial nations in the Middle East, merging people of different ethnicity, language, religion and culture on the basis of majority, Muslims leaders artificially carved out Pakistan out of South Asia. Not brought about by people's revolution like India, its weakest point has been its unity. It therefore uses all means available towards this goal, and if it offers benefit, it is loved. To this effect, while it made very few understood, Persian focused Hindustani derivative Urdu as a common to all national language, it made Hindu India as a common enemy uniting all. Not being a Sanskritized derivative of Hindustani like Hindi, which is used in India, Urdu also adds to hostility and unity through 'we are different'. Though, the use of anti-Hindu/India text in schools adds to hostility, use of Kashmir struggle adds more and unites Pakistanis most.
2. MISPLACED NOSTALGIA
Although the rulers of parts of India were Muslims, and some were emperors, they were not local Muslims but foreigners. Leaving the surviving unconverted Hindus to pay Jijya tax, the ruling foreigners converted many local Hindus to Islam. Far from being rulers or even in the ruling class, these converts, however, were not given the respect due to them by the ruling Muslim elite - as Saudi Arabia does today. Albeit a still standing Hindu India, unlike Zoroastrians less Persia and Christians less North Africa few decades following Islamic conquest, has baffled the Islamic world, it does entice the need. Silent on killing of African Muslims by Christians through Ummah, it, thus is vociferous on the Kashmiri plight. Furthermore, either by instinct, trick or just nostalgia, common identity with foreign rulers as Muslims is brought in to invoke 'We ruled over the Hindus'. Uniting all, this nostalgia even boosts psychology. A dream is thus strengthened and Kashmir lends the way.
3. DOMESTIC POLITICS:
Being the only trusted institute that fights against the enemy, the army has prestige and ego. Being the chosen people, almost like the Jews, politicians don't feel any less either. While the latter, at times, have outsmarted the former in taking Pakistan to war to settle that ego, being a voter garner, they have invoked Kashmir at peace times too. Not realising its effect, while the senior Bhutto said 'We will eat grass, but get the Atom bomb', possibly unknown to the West, his Oxford educated sibling - the 'Daughter of the East', openly supported terrorism in Kashmir. Kashmir simply brought votes, and organiser ISI was not loved less than by the army.
4. THE ARMY FACTOR:
With partition seeing a genocide, its army was needed right at the start. When hostility towards India gained national recognition, its need as defensive institute enhanced even at peace times. When its cadres sacrificed lives in war, it added respect, even if the war was lost. And when corruption engulfed the nation, it became the only trusted institute. And when it put Pakistan under its (army's) rule with little opposition, it had everything.
The army’s need for the country is such that, without noise, it silently takes the lion's share of foreign aid aided budget. While, this itself brings prestige, irrespective of the joy of kickbacks, its buying of jet brings in the needed national pride vis-a-vis India.
With tension through Kashmir thus bringing all the goodies, the temptation would be to make it a perennial source of conflict - a golden goose. Getting a green light from politicians, who equally need it, it thus wouldn't mind abetting Jihadist infiltration in Kashmir - using all supported powerful ISI. And when additional funds arrive, recycling its Jihadist, it even makes a killing of the Western heart.
5. THE FOREIGN ARMS SUPPLIERS:
With 'divide and rule' bolstering the weaker, and strategic location bolstering the front liner, as a product of divide and rule and located strategically, Pakistan gets a double whammy of interests. This is even from seemingly opposite poles - USA and China. With Pax Britannica is slicing weaker free dominion - not a free nation, as a part of divide and rule, and non aligned India's flirtation with communist Russia irritating Pax America, Pakistan suddenly felt loved by the great powers. In addition, strangely, while Pax America still sees it as a frontline nation against Communism - China, China sees it as a frontline state against India. Though love by the opposite poles is strange, unless sex is involved, when arms sale is included in the equation, it isn't. Almost as a win win situation for all, while arms selling states are happy (not to mention pride in denigrating buying fools), receiving aid, arms and kickbacks army gets elated. Being bought and not constructed, the formed pseudo-ego vis-a-vis India adds to bliss. Arms race thus escalates and ego inflation traces currency inflation. Hot Kashmir is, thus, good for all.
THE PROBLEMS KASHMIR BRINGS:
The hostility brought by Kashmir is such that losing precious lives and properties in wars with India, it has even lost East Pakistan in one. Though, these wars have sent the country back several decades, its elite remained immune.
2. PEACE TIMES:
It's not that no loss is made in between the wars- the peace times. Creating a cold war, it is spent on preparation for the next war- hardware shopping and the rest. Unlike the West finding cold war enhance science and technology too, being buyer and not researcher, it finds itself massively spending massive funds alone. Although this brings 'made fools by big players', the cash back, army's importance and bolstered pseudo-ego against India disregard it. For a focused mind, hostility with India matters most. Parallel to swelling of the Pakistani chest, its debt, foreigners pocket and rich poor gap swell too, and entrepreneurship sees no light at the end of the tunnel.
2. JIHADI INFILTRATION:
The cold war isn't entirely cold here, for Kashmir is made perennially hot through infiltration. Like USA not seeing itself as the 2nd enemy after communism, its westernised elite don't see themselves as the 3rd enemy of Jihadist after Hindu India and the USA. Seeing, however, USA's amber light (not against us), it gives green light to its training facilities in the east. Less known to its convent educated elite, while its state schools churn out brain washed anti Hindu students, Madrasas churn out action men to do jihad. These indoctrinated ones, either find their way to Afghanistan or get sent to Kashmir as freedom fighters, after training. Supported by politicians - even by the popular 'Daughter of the East', this is organised by, both army and politicians favoured, ISI. While this keeps both Kashmir and hostility through it alive, killing of the civilians of 'the other party' fulfils revenge.
Although, USA is blamed for all its ills, including for spousal splits - as a joke airs, when rightly paid, it doesn't mind offering a friendly cheek to the Great Satan. Closing its eyes to the Satan's drone droppings in its western front, baffling both the Great Satan and the 'greatly' religious, it opens its eyes to its army's sporadic droppings to target the abetted Jihadists. Although, the latter airs West's dirty work done, like a doc draining abscesses, it brings the glamour of being part of 'fight against terror'. Additionally, with the recycling of Jihadist (creating and killing) bringing money, Taliban to the negotiating table, a fulfilment of revenge in Kashmir, and a playing field to rule over the confused Jihadi and American minds, it forms a win win scheme. This pawn like use of the pious by less pious (elite) simply looks brilliant. But then, forget the no receiving of cash, the rest live and die in pain. In fact, with the routine hostility/bombings, almost chronologically, enlisting fear in the hearts of Hindus, Christians, Ahmadiyyas and then Shias, as aired by Jinnah's house bombing, this playing with fire has brought fear in the hearts of less practicing Sunni elite too. Suddenly, while inside the country, its citizens feel more fear than Kashmiris, whom they want to liberate, outside this 'land of pure' is regarded as exporter of terrorism. While frustration and fear forces outward migration, as if pluralism is erasing hostility, earning need forces migrants to baptise restaurants with the enemy- India name.
3. LOSS OF MARKET:
Albeit, gene study's 'Indian's share origin' includes Pakistanis to solve Indian/ME origin dichotomy isn't certain, banned Bollywood using Urdu's sanskritized brother Hindi is certainly changing it and uniting both, at its cost. Forgetting wars that take it decades back, the big chunk of budget flow to the army and elite, and terrorism at peace times leaves its economy in tatters and products become few. The few products and considerably more exportable talent that it has gets no Indian market due to hostility enticed wars, mutual suspicion and restricted permissions.
4. NO TO SOLVING KASHMIR:
Whereas, human rights violation from both sides - army and terrorists -in Kashmir is clear, them voting for parties, enjoying more property rights than other Indians and living much less fearful lives than terror effected Pakistanis is also true. With it having scenic beauty and not lucrative 5 rivers as in Punjab or petrol, large group wanting independent Kashmir and even larger group wanting to remain Indians, getting Kashmir could just amount to a troublesome Baluchistan. It may not mind another slice, but solving it fully or even getting all of Kashmir that adds land but curtails perennial source, isn't an option. The repeated attempts to solve it, therefore, either could be a game by both parties or dimness on the part of India. Obama proposing to bargain only shows innocence of Americans. Sadly, the saga just continues.
Despite bringing frustration, migration, wounded pride and a messy economy Kashmir is still sweet for the elite, and therefore is the biggest problem of Pakistan. Though gene study can settle 'origin' issue, solving Kashmir that lessens hostility against India, as a national policy, can alone solve the problems of Pakistan.
While humane, pluralistic and non hostile teachings through it could produce productive students, and cooperation induced inflow of tourist and outflow of products to SAARC market could bring cash, reduced army budget could save earned or borrowed cash- even enhance democracy. In the dichotomy of fully Sharia or fully democratic paths; with Islam vouching for both 'My God is right' and 'My sects is right out of 71' only Abu Bakr like strong Sharia rule that brought deserters and Ali's supporters under him can bring internal peace in Pakistan and help Ummah. 2nd Abbasid period could come. But then, international outcry won't allow it - as would democracy loving Pakistanis, and hostility with India won't lessen. Furthermore, the neither here nor there and deceptive 'nothing will be passed against Islam' hasn't helped its men, much less women. In this scenario, emphasizing Muslim community identity and not Islamic religious identity as envisaged by Jinnah that aimed at treating minority well, could inject pluralism and aid inter sect - faith and - nation hostilities. Like energy, its present hostility can then be transferred to sports, products and economic competition that should restore its dignity.
In relation to this, Nawaz Sharif airing the futility of F16s is a good start. Amazingly however, even if it is not heeded to, like the cessation of war between USA & USSR - even making Fukuyama see a warless boring world, its Atom Bomb that came out of intense hostility, is going to stop war through international outcry, anyway. Although not quite the Nehru's 'don't need army', making acquiring F16s futile, this will lessen army's role. Silencing 'They haven't given us the proof' that absolves it from alleged terrorism, high-tech aided intelligence could make planning of attack itself futile. Additionally, addition of night vision cameras could make Kashmir insurgency futile. If India alone changed as said and burning Kashmir got extinguished, hostility would follow suit anyway. Either way, even if present is bad, it looks like Pakistan's future isn't!