Pakistan: Where is it Heading?

As the turbulent war against ‘the terror’ escalates in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border, Pakistan is going through the worst of its times. Pakistan is facing the unmerciful wrath of Frankenstein which it had fed so well to fight a surreptitious war against the Indian forces. Over the years it became a terror factory which has manufactured some of the most lethal weapons that fuelled the machinery of Islamic terrorism. Unsurprisingly, the identities of terrorists being identified or caught all over the globe is in some way or another found to be linked with the troubled republic. Either they are Pakistani born or are trained in some clandestine training camps being operated in the country. But as the tide has turned, news of dreadful attacks killing scores of people in parts of the troubled state is hogging the newspapers all over the globe. It is clear that the terrorists after suffering a setback in the NWFP are resorting to covert terror attacks that will stretch the war to a catastrophe. Leaving aside terrorists, Pakistan’s elite intellectual Dr. AQ Khan’s name as a nuclear trafficker has been established, and baffled by this image; Dr. Khan is frequently spilling the beans about Pakistan’s nuclear programme, further tarnishing the nation’s image. Where is our neighbouring state heading to? For the year 2009, Pakistan was an outright contender as the failed state, being ranked 9th among 177 countries in a survey conducted by the Foreign Policy Magazine. Is it the beginning of the end for the country whose history has seen as many ups and downs as Himalayas in the past?

Right now the leaders of Pakistan, who have freshly got the helm from a dictator, do not seem to enjoy full public support as people in Pakistan are largely divided on the opinion about the ongoing war, which many think has been unwillingly imposed upon them by the US to destroy the Islamic civilization. People despise America with as deep hatred as they have despised India with, since independence. This was evident by the debate over ‘The Kerry Lugar bill’ which was passed into law by the Obama Administration last month. It is a civilian aid through which Pakistan will get $1.5 billion per year for the next five years. The American government clarified that the above aid has been provided to help Pakistan out of the difficult economic crisis it is going through. The bill met with multitudes of contradictory responses all over the country. It sent the Pakistan government and army at loggerheads. The president’s spokesperson quoted that the criticism of the bill all over the media was irresponsible and the bill was a blessing out of nowhere. On the other side, the Army complained that the bill was inappropriately worded and they were being driven to the wall. While majority of people are still looking at it as a major controversy to trample with the nation’s sovereignty, they have failed to see that Pakistan is facing the severe crisis while the other developing nations in its league are recovering from the great economic depression. It’s the last straw to get some life into the country’s pallid economic growth.

It seems that tumultuous economic growth and a flaccid administration are far from being a lesson as the same old rhetoric of the Kashmir issue continues at the same frequency. As the war on the western border intensifies, Azad Kashmir secessionists are apparently afraid that Pakistan may lose influence on the whole affair as it is not able to concentrate simultaneously on both borders. While some time ago they seemed to entertain no third party in the discussion over Kashmir, it was only recently that they have claimed that China, out of nowhere has a stake in the region. To keep the proxy war going, some powers in the troubled country are still busy classifying terrorists as good and bad ones. It was only recently that the western media was agitated when the intelligence services alleged that the ISI had rescued a wanted terrorist Mulla Omar from Quetta and has provided him sanctuary in Karachi from where he has begun operating again. Furthermore, Pakistan has virtually refused to act against terrorists whom India identifies as perpetrators of terror attacks in Mumbai last year, and only a few phony steps have been taken.

It is time for all the hate hearted people in Pakistan to understand that only a whole hearted war against extremist terrorism can save the day for Pakistan; otherwise the present hypocrisy is going to plunge them deeper and deeper into trouble. India was never a threat to peace in the region, but an unstable Pakistan will only add to the instability in the subcontinent.

Abhishek Sharma

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