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Archive for September, 2011

Geo-political somersault

Despite being a front line State, Pakistan fell from grace in the very hour of the free world’s victory against Soviet communism. The Soviet edifice had started crumbling internally (the fall of the Berlin Wall was only symbolic) in the face of the fierce Afghan freedom movement, aided and actively supported by America’s CIA through Pakistan’s ISI operatives, hundreds of whom lost their lives and lie buried in unmarked graves throughout Afghanistan. The Gulf War was hardly over when President Bush Sr, failed to certify to US Congress Pakistan’s abstinence from seeking nuclear capability, triggering the Pressler Amendment, imposing military and economic sanctions against Pakistan. Pakistan was lucky in 1992-93 to escape being equated with Libya, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, etc in the US-made “terrorist states” list, the fallout of the Afghan freedom struggle notwithstanding, viz (1) 3 million refugees, of which more than 1 million never did (and will never) go back (2) a massive proliferation of drugs and guns symbolized by heroin and the Kalashnikov, within Pakistan more than 6,000 bomb blasts took place in that decade, many Pakistanis died and/or were maimed (3) a major breakdown in law and order, with lasting damage to the fabric of society with rising ethnicity and sectarianism (4) widening disparity been the desperately poor and new, mostly illegal wealth (5) corruption force-multiplying through the body politic of the country (6) even reaching deep into the Armed Forces (7) a proliferation of terrorist cells with disparate aims, supported by RAW, KGB and KHAD (8) a vibrant economy becoming addicted to easy aid instead of trade, most aid duly siphoned off by bureaucrats and (9) heavy debt acquisitions which became more complex for the country with time. Pakistanis could not be blamed for their 1981-89 fantasy that their future would remain bright as the darlings of the west. An internecine quarrel ensued between the Afghan Mujahideen factions till the Taliban gained ascendancy, not because the masses of Afghanistan wanted them and/or their extremely conservative brand of ideology but because they wanted the others even less. By the time of the Chagai nuclear explosion on May 28, 1999, we had already been on the receiving end of ostracization for many reasons, viz (1) suspected nuclear intentions (2) a haven for drugs manufacturing and smuggling and (3) suspected ISI support for terrorist activity. Things improved internally after the Oct 12, 1999 military coup, internationally they became worse for a short time, after the cold war military regimes were out of fashion. “Democracy” sanctions were super-imposed on “nuclear” sanctions against Pakistan, the Commonwealth suspending our membership and even the European Union (EU) holding back aid. A depth of integrity and sincere intent more than any grand plan has brought this military regime goodwill (and this far) in the face of adversity, destiny marking the leader of the regime as a man twice blessed. Fortune smiles on the brave, there is no man luckier in this world than Pervez Musharraf. Quite a lot has rubbed off on Pakistan lately.