Pakistan needs to act now


THE matter of present timing in South Asia reminds us one famous quote of Leon Trotsky: “You may not
be interested in war, but war is interested in you’. America is facing multiple challenges in Asia especially with opening up of China through CPEC. The US and India signed a strategic agreement in Obama’s period; Why! Since that time America and all pro-America western powers have accorded India the status of Rising Regional superpower; sure most of you have heard these keywords (Rising Super Power) from the Jingoistic Indian Generals. Lo & behold; everyone knows that Pakistan humiliated this ‘Rising Superpower’ in Feb 2019 after Palwama Nattick. Now, if US fails India in this present hour of need, the strategic alliance agreement would fall on its face, denting American reputation as the Super Power in a big way. Hence it is the first test of that strategic treaty between the two countries.
Now the dynamics emanating from this background: For India to be the regional hegemon, India needs to have a sphere of influence with no challenging peer power short of China. Pakistan is the odd country out whose defensive power (defence forces and nuclear arsenal) doesn’t match up with the socio-economic power. Notwithstanding any semantics or moralities, it is imperative for America that India comes out on top in this first Indian test since getting the status of ‘Rising Superpower’. Next question that arises here is the apparent Chinese ambivalence in the current scenario. China fully understands this matrix but still wants to try to take India out of this American cobbled Containment Alliance for China. The secondary Chinese objective is to bring Pakistan into her sole area of influence which Pakistan has resisted thus far (and rightly so) for multiple reasons. The expectation or prediction: India is riding a historic moment to justify her role as a regional hegemony at par with China. India is being fully assisted by US-Israeli technology. India is not going to budge from convincingly punish Pakistan to avenge its humiliation . This is a moment of make or break for India (as a regional hegemony). To bring on major punishing offensive against Pakistan, but India needs time for two reasons; 1. Logistics and support from within and abroad 2. Punish Pakistan economy first by keeping in war phase. The good noises emanating from USA or few European countries are to this effect. So the prediction is no matter what Pakistan does to satisfy other nations, it must expect war, in Leo Trotsky’s narrative, War is interested in us, we may like it or not.
Yes there’s a need- for Pakistan to act now and go for some out-of-the-box solution! Pakistan’s economic, political and Security situation had never been as dire as it is today. It is a nuclear state that Indo-US nexus would want to see disarmed. It is a state made bankrupt by massive theft, institutionalized corruption, anti/terror spending, criminal mismanagement and external actor’s conspiracies. It is a state that has not the resources to pay back its debts any more. A state that submitted its economic sovereignty to international donors, for mere 6bn US $. It’s a state that at least now the US led Western alliance would like to be made subservient to its arch enemy, India or face the dire consequences. It’s time now the powers that be; should be more concerned about saving the state, than saving the existing “system”- nizam, that has become a threat to the state itself and is directly responsible for bringing us to our pathetic present pass. In trying to save this version of nizam; we risk the state getting its centre of gravity shacked. This is a moment of critical decision — a moment for the frog in hot bowl to jump. It remains now to be seen which way this abrupt decision goes without wasting precious time. Has the forest been missed for the trees, or can they (state powers) see the forest smouldering in the distance?
We are in war, this whole mess is to be cleansed out. This critical situation is to be overcome with time specific set goals as top priority. So is there a way out, most of the dross is required to be filtered out? Pakistan is already going under worst type of eco-asymmetric war, and it’s time to act very simple. It only needs commitment, imagination and courage. The powers that be; stripped of details, it require only a three step operation: One; immediately impose national emergency for one year. Yes, we already are in war against internal and external enemies; the economic war (terrorism) is shaking our foundations, courtesy our friendly enemies. Without this there is a Zero chance of shaking the nation for national security and economic revival, also getting back any of our stolen assets, which will be a shot in the arm for us, given our parlous present state.
Two; enact an Ordinance to the effect that special military courts – as for terrorist trials- to hold speedy trials for financial terrorism – it’s a real emergency & national calamity (money laundering & mega corruption) throughout the country. Yes; with warning time for 80% of all looted/corrupted money-assets beyond means be returned to state by a specific date/time- failing which quick trial and decision to follow. Three; charge all the “enablers” among the bureaucrats and the police and get them out of the system pending trials and cleansing, otherwise there will be sabotage by them. A handful of officers from highly reputable outfits are kept reserve to fill the gap, in case blackmail protests by bureaucracy are held like Save Ahad Cheema scenario. It’s the sovereignty of Pakistan being challenged on many fronts, our military with their machines on ground have already stood alert to the First Stage of Alertness. The Decision Makers, the political leadership must not sit back and face the series of punches on internal front. It must react now.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.

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