Addressing the unheeded woes of Pakistan | By Brig Muhammad Asif (R)


Addressing the unheeded woes of Pakistan

SINCE its independence, Pakistan has been faced with overwhelming challenges to its existence by default.

In addition to its inherent and inherited vulnerabilities, it became a target of the vicious campaign against its existence due to the flawed policies of its rulers and policy-makers.

The text of the Pakistan Resolution unambiguously points to Muslims’ apprehensions about the protection of their “life, property, honour and faith”, in the united India dominated by the Hindu majority as the sole reason for demanding a separate country.

However, adding the “Objectives Resolution” as a preamble to the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan, besides projecting a newborn Muslim country as an Islamic theocratic state, in disregard to the very spirit of the Pakistan Resolution, caused to obstruct its growth as a secular democratic republic.

Islamization of Pakistani society, which was reinforced both by the later civilian and military rulers right from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1971-77) to Imran Khan (2018-22) for political and personal gains, aided to its dumping as an undesirable commodity by the secular democratic countries.

In addition to Pakistan’s Islamic ideology, the nuclear capabilities it acquired in the 1980s and strategic ties with China induced the Capitalist Bloc to discard it as a persona non grata.

Chinese interest in Gwadar, a deep-water port, contributed to further strengthen Pak-China relations, which clashed with the US efforts to contain the ever-expanding influence of China.

Pakistan’s Islamic ideology, nuclear capability and strategic relations with China facilitated India to team up with the US, Israel and the UK against Pakistan.

Irrespective of who is in power in Pakistan, the global powers hostile to a nuclear capable Islamic State having strategic relations with China and strong defence forces, which rank the 10th most powerful military force in the world, will keep on trying to remote control it via international monetary agencies.

Pakistan has been paying dearly to acquire and safeguard its nuclear assets, which the entire Pakistani nation considers inexorable to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their motherland.

The global powers will never let Pakistan progress unless it agrees to renounce its Islamic ideology, capitulate its strategic assets and distance itself from China.

For Pakistan, opting to prosper like Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, etc., on these conditions, implies accepting the status of an Indian State or a colony like rest of the South Asian countries including Bangladesh.

But come what may, neither the people nor the defence forces of Pakistan will ever agree to accept the Indian domination.

Pakistan has been trapped in the pecuniary web created by means of international monetary agencies for refusing to accept the terms and conditions dictated by the sole superpower of the unipolar world and its allies.

Since it is very well known to all the stakeholders that the defence forces of Pakistan cannot defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national assets without the support of the people of Pakistan, they have launched a well-planned operation to create a wedge between the people and defence forces of Pakistan.

Grossly distorted and misleading facts and figures about the 1971 Indo-Pak War are quoted by our internal and external enemies to create doubts in the minds of Pakistani masses about capabilities of their defence forces to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of their country.

While trying to depict the separation of the erstwhile East Pakistan as a result of military defeat, the anti-establishment politicians and their hired media personnel, intentionally ignore the ground realities.

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who commanded the Indian army during the Indo-Pak 1971 War, when asked by Karan Thapar, a famous BBC anchorperson of Indian origin: “Did you win because Pak Army proved to be incompetent in the 1971 War”, replied, “No it’s not true.

Pak Army fought very gallantly but they had no chance; they were 1000 miles away from their base; I had almost a 50:1 advantage”.

He also added; “circumstances were not in favour of the Pakistan Army … I had eight or nine months to make my preparations”.

No doubt the blunders committed by the military top brass also served to create misgivings among the people about military establishment.

But we must understand that it’s the institutions not the individuals that matter, because individuals aren’t indispensable for any institution(s) that are national assets owned by the entire nation.

On the other hand, political parties, in our country, aren’t much different from private or family property owned by the corrupt individuals which is one of the major causes of political instability and meddling in political affairs not only by the Army but all other national institutions.

The security agencies have to exercise caution and restraint while handling the political groups and individuals, having deep roots in public, who are actively involved in mobilizing people against military establishment on the behest of intelligence agencies of the hostile countries.

Other national institutions, especially the Judiciary and the Election Commission of Pakistan should, therefore, ensure that the political platform is not used by the anti-state groups and individuals.

Notwithstanding their formidable combined military might and machinery, financial resources and hybrid technologies the US, NATO and their other allies, were made to flee from Afghanistan by the Afghans with the support of the people and the security agencies of Pakistan.

The Indians, who had invested billions of dollars in Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan by using Afghan territory to carry out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, also suffered huge humiliation and losses.

Humiliating defeats of the (erstwhile) Soviet Union, USA and India in Afghanistan did not adversely affect the morale and confidence of the people of these countries, because their political leadership and media instead of condemning their armed forces praised them for the sacrifices they made in Afghanistan.

But in our case, instead of acknowledging the sacrifices made by military personnel and fighting gallantly despite unfavourable circumstances, as admitted by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, discrediting the Pak Army for the East Pakistan Debacle, has caused irreversible damage to the morale of the people and defence forces of Pakistani.

To address the threats posed to Pakistan, besides discouraging exploitation of religion for political purposes, efforts be made to remove misgivings among the people about the military establishment.

A balanced approach be adopted to maintain friendly relations with China and the US.

Addressing the concerns of the US and the West about the safe custody of Pakistan’s nukes and establishing diplomatic relations with Israel may also help dilute the India-US-Israel-UK nexus against Pakistan to some extent.

—The writer is contributing columnist based in Islamabad.


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