Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mind your country

Yesterday, Pakistan's crown prince Bilawal Bhutto Zardari fell on the old tried-and-tested formula of rousing up a rally by boldly proclaiming that he will seize Kashmir from India. Far from the Pakistani position that Kashmiris should be given the right of self-determination, he went ahead and did that determination for them, determining that they were as much a Pakistani province as say, Balochistan. His party, bereft of any real form of opposition to Nawaz Sharif and in fact, being forced to side with him by the reckless forces of Imran Khan, is clearly out of ideas.

Of course, it's not like there's any shortage of problems in Pakistan. Last week saw the unimaginable attempt by some Pakistani Navy officers and crew to hijack the PNS Zulfiqar, certainly a new low for a force that has been long infiltrated by the likes of Al Qaeda and is stopped in its tracks by only its fear of being sunk by Washington, as it was once sunk by Delhi. But while jihadists might be just now showing their prowess in the Navy, the Army has long been the fountainhead of radicalization in the country, covertly through their support for madarsas and militant camps in PoK, or overtly through programs such as Zia-ul Haq's restructuring of Pakistani textbooks, which are still very much in use.

Clearly, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is the future leader of a failed state, a state which is slowly moving towards the abyss and which could self-destruct anytime. In Iraq and Syria, it was ISIS which overthrew the military and civilian leadership; but in Pakistan, it might just be the militants who simply marry the army - the civilians are already subdued. Pakistani politicians might have failed to steer the nation to a better future, but the truth is that Pakistan itself has never gotten over Partition first, despite what happened in 1971, still believing that they can somehow overcome a country so far more superior than them as India. The falsehoods of Partition, of some ancient divine right of Muslims to rule India, still linger in the Pakistani psyche.

Mr. Bhutto-Zardari had better think of keeping whatever provinces his country has together before he tries to get more. In his great zeal to take back every last inch of Kashmir, he may just have the last inch of Pakistan taken away from under his feet. Not by India, but by the Army's own militants. 

No comments: