Pakistan Sinks Into A Blackhole

Developing Just Leadership


Rabi' al-Thani 06, 1444 2022-11-01


by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 9, Rabi' al-Thani, 1444)

At a time when one thought Pakistan could not sink lower, such a misplaced assumption was quickly laid to rest. The last six months were bad enough with a deliberately-engineered political crisis that has also caused irreparable damage to the economy. Then came news of the murder of a senior journalist Arshad Sharif. It sent shockwaves throughout the country.

He was forces to flee the country in August because he had interviewed Dr Shehbaz Gill, chief of staff to former prime minister Imran Khan in which the latter said Pakistan army officers should not obey illegal orders. Gill was arrested, stripped naked and tortured by hooded army personnel. Sharif was also threatened and forced to leave the country. He ended up in Nairobi, Kenya where he was murdered on October 23. The circumstances of his death clearly point to foul play.

If people believe that the army and the country’s intelligence agencies have a hand in this criminal act, there is good reason for it. After all, behind every crisis, one finds the men in khaki. Not particularly bright, the morons in uniform have completely messed up the country. They interfere in every policy by dictating what the elected government ought to do. They get away with it because they have the guns. Those that point to their unconstitutional conduct are threatened, kidnapped, tortured and, as in the case of Arshad Sharif, murdered even if they leave the country. Why? Because the army wants to silence all voices critical of its illegal acts.

If the army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa has even an iota of decency left in him, he would resign and leave the people alone. He continues with his thuggish ways and appears hell-bent on destroying Pakistan. His term as army chief ends on November 29 but most people fear that this American agent may have something else up his devilish sleeves.

Since Bajwa and the small coterie of generals around him engineered Imran Khan’s ouster as prime minister in April 2022, at the behest of the US it must be emphasized, Pakistan’s problems have mounted, both internally and externally. Internally, the country is in turmoil. People are fed up of the bunch of criminals imposed on the country. Prices have skyrocketed and life for an average person has become extremely difficult. Massive rallies in support of Imran Khan clearly point to people’s preferences.

Externally, few countries are willing to provide loans to Pakistan, seeing it as a basket case. The army-backed prime minister Shehbaz Sharif is a crook and acts as a clown. He has reduced Pakistan to a laughing stock of the world. Relations with the Taliban have nose-dived. With an implacable enemy on the eastern border—India—creating another enemy on the western front is bad policy. The army has allowed US drones to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. The Taliban have expressed deep anger which could lead to serious trouble resulting in the unnecessary death of Pakistani soldiers. In recent weeks, several soldiers have been killed on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the service of US imperialism.

It is, however, the army’s brutal policy toward journalists and politicians who expose its wrong-doing that gives serious cause for concern. Attacks on journalists and politicians have escalated. Some have disappeared while others have been arrested and tortured in jail by hooded army operatives. And now we have the brutal murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.

These army goons think they own the country and are above the law. They had played no part in the creation of Pakistan but have come to assume a larger-than-life role in its affairs. Despite consuming the bulk of the country’s budget as well as enjoying other perks, they have not won a single war against arch-rival India. So why consume such huge resources depriving other sectors, such as education and health, from much-needed funds, when they cannot perform the primary purpose for which they are hired?

The military has also prevented other state institutions from performing their proper role. Every institution is made subordinate to its whims. This has resulted in stunting Pakistan’s growth. Countries that gained independence at the same time as Pakistan or soon thereafter have made immense progress. Pakistan lags behind only because of the military’s constant interference in politics. True, most Pakistani politicians are also corrupt but if civilians were allowed to work out their problems, there may have emerged a system whereby state policy would be more stable.

Take the case of neighbouring India that has an army twice the size of Pakistan's. There has never been a coup in India and the generals do not dictate policy to politicians. Indian politicians are no angels; many are hardened criminals but they do not sell their country down the drain or to foreign powers.

Why should Pakistan remain permanently subservient to the US when the latter is totally unreliable? The number of times the US has used and then discarded Pakistan is very high. America is nobody’s friend. It is a selfish and brutal entity that only exploits others.

Pakistan’s tragedy is that it has a large number of generals and politicians who are willing to sell their souls and the country for a fistful of dollars. They won’t allow sincere people to come to the top to help the country and its long-suffering people. Imran Khan’s ouster is a case in point.

On its present trajectory, there are grave fears for Pakistan’s very survival. American policy-makers have actually published studies in which they talk about the division of Pakistan. Colonel Ralph Peters in an article in the Armed Forces Journal (June 1, 2006) had talked about redrawing the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan to create an independent Balochistan state.

Insurgencies in Iran and Pakistan, backed by western intelligence agencies, point to this diabolical plot being enacted. The Pakistan army’s brutal policy against its own people is feeding into this criminal conspiracy.

If the people of Pakistan do not take matters into their own hands and get rid of these criminals, they may not have a country in a few years. It would then serve little purpose to cry about it.

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