Saturday, November 07, 2009

A view of Pakistan by a Muslim from India: Giving thanks

A medieval state
Zafar Agha
October 16, 2009

Thank God, I am not a citizen of the Islamic state of Pakistan. Imagine if my parents had been enamoured of Jaswant Singh's newfound hero Mohammad Ali Jinnah and migrated to the Islamic State of Pakistan.

What a tragedy could have befallen my family and me! I could have either myself turned into a bigot or my kids could have taken up guns in the pursuit of a puritanical Islamic state like Saudi Arabia. I am extremely indebted to my parents for sticking to their roots in Allahabad and happily accepting the citizenship of 'Hindu India' instead of saltanat-e-khudadad-e-Pakistan (godly kingdom of Pakistan. Ironically, there is nothing godly or saintly about Pakistan today. Pakistan could never become a modern republican state. So the state eventually withered away and got out of everyone's control. There was a time not too long ago when the world believed that it was the Pakistan army whose writ ran the country. How naive was this understanding.

Once considered the most powerful power centre, the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi is now under attack from Pakistani jihadis. The world also thought that the Punjabi elite had a tight grip over Pakistan establishment. Now the Punjabis themselves are not secure in their beloved town of Lahore where terrorists' strike at will.

Who then controls Pakistan? Is it the democratic establishment led by Asif Zardari? No, not at all! There is no consensus between Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif, the two leading rival democratic parties, even in these moments of grave internal crisis. Are the executive and judiciary now acting as the watchdog? Well, both sympathise with the likes of Hafiz Saeed and nuclear technology smuggler AQ Khan more than the state of Pakistan. Saeed and Khan are the two ideological masters of Pakistani jihadi philosophy.

All the Pakistani terror groups revere them. So it is neither army, nor the Punjabi elite that controls Pakistan any longer. Instead it is men like Saeed and Khan who do, ideologically at least.

You cannot arrest Saeed in Pakistan because he is the ideological pope of jihad. You cannot prosecute him either. The police would make such a weak case that it won't stand in a court of law for a minute. The judiciary would let him walk out because of his 'heroic services' in 'destabilising India'. And even America cannot harm Khan.

After all, he delivered a nuclear bomb to the insecure Pakistanis, stealing and smuggling nuclear technology from all over the world. The world is convinced that he smuggled dreaded technology to North Korea and Iran. He is the last hope of the jihadis who believe that Khan would one day deliver them a nuclear device to destroy their hated enemy, America.

Pakistan is today controlled by the syndicate of Taliban, al Qaeda and Punjabi terror outfits like Jaish e Mohammad. But why is it that Pakistan has failed in modern sense of the word state? A modern state in the post renaissance and post industrial revolution world is essentially run by the will of the people through democracy.

Pakistan has nothing to do both with renaissance and industrial revolution. Its ideological frontier very soon after its inception was a medieval Islamic state whose only function was to destroy India.

So the people were always kept at the margin of state affairs. Pakistan elite facilitated the military takeover of the establishment to fight India and 'liberate Muslim Kashmir from Hindu hands'.

When the entire Pakistani establishment failed to harm an emerging modern Indian state and got truncated in 1971, it vengefully came up with the idea of jihad against India 'to bleed India in Kashmir'.

A jihad genie like Jaish e Mohammed was created with the ideological training from men like Saeed and Talibani madrasas spread across the tribal belt of Pakistan to harm India. The genie is now out of the bottle consuming the state that created it.
A medieval Pakistani state, run by an army and ideologically driven by myopic people like Saeed and terror outfits like Jaish, has had to finally come to this pass where no one now understands who runs Pakistan.

Pakistan shunned renaissance wisdom and post-industrial democratic institutions. Such a medieval state has had to run out of steam sooner or later. So it is now imploding and being consumed by the medieval and tribal hatred it nurtured against India.

Thank you mom and pop, for not migrating to Islamic state of Pakistan because I would have also exploded if not imploded by the jihadi forces that are consuming Pakistan now.

The writer is a commentator on political affairs
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