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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Pakistan: Grim internal and external situation

Brig ® Asif Haroon Raja

During his maiden visit to Washington, Bush expressed his concern over unproven ISI linkage with the Taliban and pressed PM Gilani to control it. The visitor didn’t have the guts to shoot back that that he had ample proofs of CIA’s linkage with RAW and RAM, both engaged in carrying out sabotage and subversion against Pakistan from Afghanistan soil since 2003.

He could not muster courage to tell him that CIA was actively involved in the unholy game to destabilise Pakistan. He did not deem it necessary to point out that US media was traditionally anti-Pakistan and has made it a habit to paint Pakistan in black. On the day Bush was assuring Gilani that Pakistan’s sovereignty would be respected, a US drone attack in Fata had taken place.

This year, so far eight attacks have been launched by CIA controlled drones on suspected targets in FATA killing scores of innocent men, women and children. Gilani preferred to keep mum instead of reminding his host that contrary to his assurances, USA was repeatedly violating the sovereignty of Pakistan.

Gilani could not counteract for he knew that President Musharraf had given no objection certificate to Washington way back in 2006 to make use of drones whenever it had any actionable intelligence available. Other than ground attacks all kinds of aerial attacks were allowed. The Gilani led government is now all set to kow-tow American directives on all matters and to even allow ground attacks in FATA as pledged by Benazir.

Despite his out-and-out policy of appeasement, Gilani failed to make his mark in Washington. His mumbling made him a laughing stock. It was generally opined that he lacked intellectual depth, vision and desired dynamism. The home audience was equally disappointed for he could neither express their aspirations nor defend the cooked up allegations made against Pakistan. Nor could he extract any benefits from USA. One of the reasons of his unimpressive performance is that he is being remote controlled by Zardari and is under the over bearing influence of unelected persons holding key appointments and is a figurehead PM. This dichotomy has seriously undermined his confidence as well as credibility of the PPP government.

It is strange that the PPP govt takes decision in a flurry on all matters which are in its interest, but drags its feet infinitely on issues which are in national interest but not in party leadership’s interest. It announced decisions on abandonment of Kalabagh Dam project, on dissolution of NAB, on Pakhtunkhwa, on bringing ISI under Interior Ministry arbitrarily and without taking other stakeholders in confidence. It keeps harping on supremacy of Parliament. This slogan is a complete farce since all decisions are made in Zardari House or in Washington and not in the parliament.

The elected leaders have betrayed the nation who had high hopes in them. They have failed to restore the 60 honourable judges who sacrificed their tomorrow to protect the constitution and rule of law and have instead accepted PCO judges who had sold their souls to retain their seats. They are blindly following the unethical dictates of NRO dry-cleaned and unelected leaders like Zardari, Rehman Malik, Farooq Naek, Hussain Haqqani, Mahmood Durrani and Salman Taseer. They look the other way to ever growing meddlesome role of USA in our internal affairs. It has taken them four months to reluctantly agree to impeach Musharraf. People have become so sceptical that they see in it another betrayal.

Inflation has broken all records while prices of gas, electricity and daily commodities have skyrocketed. Flour shortage has still not been overcome while six-hour load shedding persists. Foreign exchange reserves are fast depleting, stock exchange is crashing and rupee is losing its value. Law and order has gone from bad to worse while the security situation is in a dismal state. Dissident Sardars in Baluchistan are seeking help from India, Afghanistan and USA to help them in gaining independence. BLA based in Kabul which has been declared as a terrorist organisation by Pakistan and UK is fully supported by RAW-RAM-CIA-Mossad axis. In FATA and settled districts of Frontier province, the militants are up in arms against the security forces for the last five years and the fight is still going on without any side achieving any results. In Karachi, the MQM’s mayor Syed Kamal has audaciously declared that Pakistan’s frontiers could be changed thereby reinforcing earlier inclinations of creating Jinnahpur. In rural Sindh, the nationalist parties have no love lost for Pakistan.

On the external front, our adversaries based in Kabul are earnestly working upon a chalked out agenda to destabilise, de-Islamise and de-nuclearise Pakistan, disintegrate or balkanise it, and turn it into a client state of India. They are busy fomenting chaos in FATA and Baluchistan. Our enemies have succeeded in penetrating into each and very department by cultivating the right kind of people working in various official and sensitive departments and have also succeeded in creating cleavages between various communities residing in Pakistan and accentuating inter-provincial disharmony.

They have unleashed a vicious propaganda campaign against the ISI which is blamed for having links with the Taliban and for masterminding the suicide attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul on 7 July. Simultaneous to this blame game, the western border and have been deliberately heated up. CIA has started to violate our airspace using drones more frequently and at times firing on suspected targets. LoC in Kashmir has also been activated where three skirmishes have taken place in July. These events have clouded the Indo-Pak peace process. Reportedly, the Pentagon has been given green signal by White House to go ahead with a coordinated military operation in FATA in September.

Our leaders are least concerned with the gloomy internal and external situation. Their priorities are how to save their ill-gotten wealth, how to keep the President, Establishment, USA and India in good humour so that they could continue with their merrymaking unchecked. They are quite happy with the judiciary under pliant Dogar since it does as told to do. They are least interested in judges of integrity since they would challenge their wrongdoings and may even nullify the ill-famed NRO. They have done away with NAB and destroyed all the incriminating material against them so that they could recommence their orgy of loot and plunder without any fear of accountability. Already talk of underhand money deals has gained currency. They are desirous of cutting to size the ISI so that all such organs which could pose some danger to their nefarious activities are brought to heel. There is no change in the regal lifestyle of the elite while the poor continue to grind in poverty. Cases of suicides because of acute poverty are on the increase.

PML-Q on the other hand is feeling joyous at the fast declining popularity of PPP and the growing rift between coalition partners. It is hoping that the PPP-PML-N coalition would sooner than later fall apart and thus pave the way for it to snuggle into the corridors of power. President Musharraf too is fast getting out of his mood of aloofness and depression and has started to give aggressive statements. Talk of application of article 58 (2)(b) and end of parliamentary form of government is making rounds. Musharraf’s fans are now speaking more openly that there was greater political stability and economic prosperity during his era and that whatever the weaknesses of Musharraf, his patriotism is beyond any doubt. People have started to listen to such rumours and talks attentively because of their utter frustration and disappointment with the PPP led government. Musharraf’s assertiveness has antagonized Zardari and propelled him to impeach him..

Brig ® Asif Haroon Raja is a defence and political analyst.

- Asian Tribune -

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