The recent attack on IAF’s Pathankot Airbase by suspected Jaish Fidayeen who have been nurtured by the ISI (which is a euphemism for the Pakistan Army) exactly a week after Modi’s surprise halt at Lahore to visit Nawaz Sharif on his birthday should not be a concern for India alone but for all the sane and civilized countries of the world.
Let’s jog our memories back to the recent past where the implosion of a boat 365 miles away from Porbandar (Gujarat) after being accosted by the Indian Coast Guard, another example of continued hostility in disguise.
The evidence suggests had this boat had sailed from Ketki Bunder, Karachi and appears to have been equipped by Pakistani wireless equipment including intercepts by NTRO which confirm being in touch with handlers in Pakistan is but another example of Pakistan displaying that its only aim is to export terror.
Ever since it was founded, again on a premise which itself perhaps has sowed the seeds for its recurring degeneration. The premise appears to be a self-inflicted perception of being bullied by India seen with a prism of Muslim victimhood.
History clearly indicates that Pakistan lacked and continues to lack the capacity to define a vision for itself and its people. Military coups in Pakistan began in 1958 (a mere ten years after it was founded) and there have been three successful attempts. There have also been numerous unsuccessful attempts since 1949. Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has spent several decades under military rule (1958 – 1971, 1977 – 1988, and 1999 – 2008). There have been 4 indirect interventions and 5 unsuccessful coup attempts in addition to the three successful attempts!
The constitution which should ideally act as a preserve against military interference in the political realm of Pakistan has repeatedly failed to do so. Martial law was imposed in 1977 by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Soon, an overwhelmingly powerful executive brought the tinge of autocracy, and the balance maintained by the separation of powers under the constitution vanished almost entirely.
This take-over and the subsequent imposition of martial law was challenged in the Supreme Court. In the case — Begum Nusrat Bhutto vs. Chief of the Army Staff — the petitioner, Bhutto, argued that the detention of leaders from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was unconstitutional. This petitioner was dismissed under the “doctrine of state necessity,” however. This adjudication as seriously flawed as it is was again invoked when a case was filed against General Pervez Musharraf!
If we continue to expect that there will be any trial (fair or otherwise) against the perpetrators of the 26/11 massacre at Mumbai, then we are clearly deluding ourselves. The judiciary has been and can be tampered with and usurped at will. Recently Lahore attorney Saad Rasool writing on judicial failure in The Nation had this to say:
“If we were to dispassionately assess the reasons behind the prevalent national consensus of establishing military courts in Pakistan, it would be discovered that the real cause for this demand does not stem from the scourge of terrorism (which is usually dealt with by Anti-Terrorist Courts). Instead, it is the absolute inability and decadence of our constitutional courts to perform their requisite functions in regards to terrorism that has compelled our nation to resort to this extreme measure.”
It is not without reason that India believes that Pakistan uses terror through proxies as an instrument of state policy. Pakistan has given enough and more reasons over decades with the 26/11 massacre qualifying as a their most brazen act of war.
It suits the United States and the rest of the Big 5 to keep dismissing Pakistan as a bilateral issue that India has to resolve (India surely is the single largest afflicted party and therefore the onus of fixing this has to be led by India) but the truth is that Pakistan is tacitly and overtly aiding and abetting terror across the globe.
That Osama Bin Laden was found hidden in a fortified compound in Abbottabad (inside Pakistan) should have certified Pakistan as a rogue country but for perplexing reasons did not have the world and even India hammering this to isolate and disenfranchise Pakistan at every world.
How does one rationalize that Doctor Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who spied for the Central Intelligence Agency to locate Osama bin Laden, was jailed for 33 years by a Pakistani court on charges of treason.
Treason is when a citizen undermines the integrity and interests of his/her own country so convicting this doctor of treason is tantamount to stating that the interest of Pakistan is aiding, abetting and perpetrating terror. Pakistan had officially joined the war on terror (a euphemism for the Bin Laden hunt) and the doctor’s act only helped the war on terror would have been a logical surmise except in Pakistan.
After the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, many prominent Afghan figures began being assassinated, including Mohammed, Ahmad Wali Karzai, Jan Mohammad Khan, Ghulam Haider Hamidi, Burhanuddin Rabbani and others. Also in the same year, the Afghanistan–Pakistan skirmishes intensified and many large scale attacks by the Pakistani-based network took place across Afghanistan. This led to the United States warning Pakistan of a possible military action against the Haqqanis in the FATA region. The U.S. blamed Pakistan’s government, mainly Pakistani Army and its ISI spy network as the masterminds behind all of this.
It would be pertinent to recall what Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (United States) had stated:
“In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence. They may believe that by using these proxies, they are hedging their bets or redressing what they feel is an imbalance in regional power. But in reality, they have already lost that bet.”
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, told Radio Pakistan that “the attack that took place in Kabul a few days ago, that was the work of the Haqqani network. There is evidence linking the Haqqani Network to the Pakistan government. This is something that must stop”
The mockery of India by Pakistan is evident in the manner in which all evidence (including DNA evidence) provided by us in the 26/11 case has been dismissed as insufficient and when contrasted with a fair trial by a mature and civilized country (United States) had this outcome:
The LeT operative David Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani) in his testimony before a Chicago federal court during co-accused Tahawwur Rana‘s trial revealed that Mumbai Chabad House was added to the list of targets for surveillance given by his Inter Services Intelligence handler Major Iqbal, though the Oberoi hotel, one of the sites attacked, was not originally on the list.
On 10 June 2011, Tahawwur Rana was acquitted of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks, but was held guilty on two other charges. He was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on 17 January 2013.
David Headley pleaded guilty to 12 counts related to the attacks, including conspiracy to commit murder in India and aiding and abetting in the murder of six Americans. On 23 January 2013, he was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. His plea that he not be extradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark was accepted.
What perhaps went unnoticed post the kargil war ( where Pakistan kept denying any role just as they kept stating Kasab is not Pakistani) is that Eleven years after the Kargil War, the Pakistan Army which has been denying its role in the conflict has quietly included the names of 453 soldiers and officers in the battle on its website.
If numbers tell a story, then the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranks Pakistan at #3. The GTI if modified to quantify the terror attacks caused by its export factory would see Pakistan climb up to the top slot.
The constant refrain by Pakistan that they are victims of terror needs to be shred to pieces.
India has had several casualties over decades due to naxal violence but we don’t blame Pakistan for that as it is a domestic issue. What needs to be isolated and propagated repeatedly at every forum by India is that Pakistan exports terror, India does not.
Pakistan suffering terror casualties in its confines is its own doing and that neither does entitle them to any sympathy nor a ticket to be seen as fighting the Global war on terror, period.
Every instance is a reflection on Pakistan having no scruples about the honing its primary passion of being a terror factory of the world not even after their in breeding of terror outfits and proxies came back to bite them with the massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar recently.
The suspected terror boat implosion off Porbandar was after the Peshawar attack. Does this reflect any believable action by both Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Army that they shall introspect, learn and desist from terror in any form?
The casual diffidence with Lakhvi (key perpetrator of the 26/11 massacre at Mumbai) was granted bail then detained is just one of the instances where India and the world should start isolating this vile concoction from spreading itself further.
The priority for any country should be the prosperity and welfare of its people. It is hardly surprising that the Pakistan economy has been floundering given the unhealthy focus on terror and Muslim victimhood. “Pakistan is facing serious economic challenges. Overall vulnerabilities and crisis risks are high, with subpar growth and unsustainable fiscal and balance of payments positions,” said Nemat Shafik, the IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair. The IMF had to approve financial assistance of $6.7 billion to prevent it from a brink of economic collapse.
It is also time to start telling the world that what good is a so called elected leader (Nawaz Sharif) when key pillars like the constitution and judiciary (coupled with a defunct economy) have been and will continue to be subverted at will by the Pakistani army.
It is also perhaps time to stop distinguishing the Pakistani people from the Pakistani army as they have shown little signs of revolting against the hell hole that their so called country has become since inception.
The people of Egypt braved the military and tanks to revolt and continue to fight to give Egypt a truly bright and democratic future. Pakistani citizens have shown little gumption to stand up to the Army in spite of the Peshawar school massacre.
The Economist declared Tunisia as the Country of the year 2014, “Tunisia, which in 2014 adopted a new, enlightened constitution and held both parliamentary and presidential polls (a run-off is due in the latter on December 21st). Its economy is struggling and its polity is fragile; but Tunisia’s pragmatism and moderation have nurtured hope in a wretched region and a troubled world.”
Pakistan shows little hope.
With every effort India has taken getting undone by Pakistan, it is time that India led the charge globally to quarantine Pakistan and prevent its deadly mix of terror and Muslim victimhood from spreading further and in doing so it will be doing itself and the world great service.
Prime Minister Modi, MEA Sushma Swaraj and NSA Ajit Doval are best placed to do so, and if they indeed do so, all Indians and history would be grateful to them.
The author is a technologist and an avid follower of current affairs.