By Mahboob A. Khawaja
Pakistan bears the hallmarks of the US-British roadmap for Iraq with massive killings of the civilian population, destruction of its socio-economic infrastructure as the foreign implanted leaders have adequate share of their fortunes for looting its irreplaceable natural wealth, time, human and economic resources. Dean Nelson of the UK Telegraph (October 07, 2009), made a pinching observation and asked: “Has Pakistan lost its honour?” The article referred to Dr. AK Khan’s much appraised Urdu write up “Ghairat” – honor a reflection on the current bloody affairs of the nation. Could any official of the ruling clan dare to answer that question? Ordinary folks believe that General Pervaiz Musharaf, late Miss Bhutto and Zardari have sold the country to foreign interests to maintain their own relevance and foreign bank balances.
To entertain the anti-Islamic Washington-based lobbyists, America carries out its own attacks on the civilian population inside Pakistan. In clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and international law, the daily American predator drone attacks kill innocent people in South Waziristan but no one can dare to question the might of the US control over Pakistan’s internal affairs. President Obama talks about peace and harmony with the Muslim world as face lifting postulation to shield the American worldwide moral, political and financial bankruptcy but appears determined to send more troops to Afghanistan to increase the deaths and destruction of the war torn country. He and his advisors never been to a war front but want to fight new wars against Muslims.
The US never identified the 9/11 perpetrators as being Afghans or Pakistanis - the inherent lies in the US policy on the current revamped war on terror. It further signals intellectual bankruptcy amongst the US policy makers. The aggressive military nuisance must be stopped. American and British have no purpose to be fighting in Afghanistan or Pakistan. The Bush led War on Terrorism was bogus and it destroyed America not just its history and values but as superpower to be credible in global governance. The people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan never threatened nor posed any threats to the security of the United States. To pursue the Bush war on Muslims, American policy makers searched for moderate Muslims and invested almost 10 billions to keep afloat most corrupt authoritarians like the former General Musharaf and Karazai.
It was not time and money well spent but to rekindle the anti- American reactions in view of the massive warmongerings in Iraq and killings of almost 2.5 millions civilians for no other reason except to satisfy the insanity of the few actively waging bogus war on Islam. Political irony overwhelmed the American expectations that General Musharaf could deliver tangible goodies to Bush and the neoconservatives. Corruption knows no other motives except to institutionalize itself. The General came to power to eradicate corrupt politics until he transformed himself to be one of them. In the process, Pakistan lost precious time and opportunities for change and political reformation and future-building. Time and opportunities lost, are never regained. If and when the General is held accountable, he will never admit of doing anything wrong. He used to claim that “Pakistan comes first, not democracy.”
The self-proclaimed president made Pakistanis looklike beggars to American so called economic aid. The advanced nations of the world are striving to envision the promising future for their survival, whereas, some political factions are engulfed with political madness and extremism of killings, perhaps not of their own origin but implanted by the foreign masters. Today, retired General Musharaf owns costly villa in UK worth 1.4 million dollars and is protected by the British secret service. Where did he get the money from? What official entitlement facilitates the British security protection to a corrupt and retired General? Pakistan has history of corrupt leadership.
Late Ms. Bhutto and her husband Zardari with 15 known criminal court cases of money laundering, financial embezzlement and Swiss bank case of 60 million dollars of bribes money, killings and fraudulent businesses and Nawaz Sharif - twice removed as PM on corruption charges no angel either, and so many before them were all self-centered naïve and corrupt who institutionalized the corruption and drained out the positive thinking, abilities of the nation and lifelines of the future generations of hopeful young Pakistanis for change and development. Only ignorant and stupid people could hope for anything good out of them.
After the American bloodbath in Iraq and extended war to Afghanistan, Pakistan was next to be crippled with political chaos and killings of the civilians, enabling Zardari and the Generals to profit from the daily bloodbath of the innocent civilians. The on-going war seems to have undermined the very integrity of the Pakistani nation.
Islam does not preach extremism but peace and harmony for a balanced life. The radicalization of Islam stems from ignorance and arrogance. Islam is peace and peace represents logic of reason and understanding of normal human values and respect for life. Those who call themselves Taliban must learn that Islam does not allow public scolding and beating of the females/males as a staged show and part of the law and justice system approach but instead focuses on education and reformation of the individual and collective well being of the Muslim society to be obedient to God. If they resort to force as means to introduce “shariah”, it is ignorance (jahalliya) not Islamic ways of life.
Though emotions appear to override the people’s reaction in the tribal belts of Afghanistan-Pakistan against the brutal military action, and that is not the solution but a reason for new emerging problems which Pakistani army is not equipped to deal with. The prevalent situation warrants fresh thinking and new strategy away from the military action to reason the unreason.
The forty years of military dictatorship in alliance with corrupted politics of Bhuttos and Sharifs has given rise to such volatile problems of exploitation where ordinary citizens lack basic amenities of life (education, health and security) and where the ruling elite class lives like kings and queens of the poverty stricken nation. The nation seems to have failed to create leaders except the traitors. Islamic scholars should have taken the lead initiatives to speak out against the obsessed ignorance perpetuating the reactionary attacks on civilian life and elsewhere. Islam has no place for extremism as evolved by the few self-centered radical preachers in the tribal areas. Ironically, today Muslim scholars are confined to the boundary of the masjid, not concerned about the decaying moral and political affairs of the Muslim Ummah. Military action was not the proper answer but a comprehensive intellectual dialogue with the few who call themselves Pakistani Taliban.
Yet, those alleged are forced to react to American predator drone attacks and troops engagements being used against the people who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack in the US. Imagine if there was just one company or a battalion of Afghan Mujahideen or Iraqi soldiers stationed in Washington or New York, would their presence comfort the American people to get peaceful sleep or go to normal daily activities? When we think comparatively, we seem to get more rational answers.
American politicians would never think in such realistic terms. The policy makers pretend to help the victims of the so called Islamic extremism or Taliban but do not understand that they are part of the problem, not a solution. So far, for the last eight years according to reliable sources, American led War on Terror has killed 2.5 millions people in Iraq and destroyed countless human habitats under the false pretext of terrorism and insurgency.
Simply put, you went there to kill people and in return the Iraqis are defending their lives and property, they are not the insurgents but defenders of their lives, homes and honor and certainly not the extremists. You are the aggressors, and they are the victims of your atrocities in plain English language, if you can comprehend that reality and wrap up your military aggression without the phony UN paperwork, it will be in your interest and a proactive strategy for face saving to undo the ultimate defeat.
For long, Pakistan was projected as the emerging entry of the failed states and distinctively marked as the most dangerous place on earth. General Musharaf and late Miss Bhutto and Zardari have helped Pakistan to become helpless. They were bought and bribed to make Pakistanis look like ‘terrorist’ and undesirable people in the world political arena and allowed the American and British mercenaries to plan killings of the innocent citizens to instigate extremism so that they could enlarge their bank accounts and lives more comfortably abroad. They are the real enemies of the people of Pakistan, who have compromised its integrity in return for individual gains in London and Dubai – splendid homes built like palaces, not thinkable by ordinary Pakistanis.
Who would hold them accountable for their crimes? For over forty years the stupid Generals exploited the masses with the laws of jungle. In nutshell, Islam is being used as revulsion against the atrocities of the few Generals and corrupt politicians in Pakistan. In summer 2007, MMN) “Pakistan: how to make sense out of nonsense”, noted that: “General Musharaf and Ms Bhutto are nothing more than seasonal frogs often making ugly sounds in a rainy day and vanish on their own soon after a short span of life.” Once again, concerned Pakistanis are asking the same from Zardari, how soon would he leave the presidency?
With dismantled public institutions, missing honest leadership accountability, crippled system of law and justice, the Bhutto-Zardari ruling elite will fly away once there is any storm by military action or organized civilian uproars. Despite massive daily killings of the innocents with the complicity of the ruling elite to get favors from the new US aid package, public patience has its own limits.
There are loud voices of reason calling Zardari to step down from the US facilitated Presidency and make ways for a government of national unity to deal with the extraordinary warlike situation in the country. Pakistanis need competent and honest leaderships and security, not the US aid or the forged presidency of Zardari and the PPP government – an insult to common sense and disgrace to conscientious Pakistanis. The foreign planned war has destabilized Pakistan and ruined its economy, resources and futuristic prospects of normalcy.
Thinking people of the nation must THINK and foresee beyond the obvious for change and a new viable political system to encourage educated and honest members of the young generation to assume leadership roles and responsibilities. It is their future not of the Generals, not the Bhuttos and not Zardaris or Sharifs - they are the shameful history of the dead past, not a hope for the future. Pakistanis living abroad view a larger picture of the unfolding political problems stalling the nation and undermining its existence. Many educated and visionary Pakistanis could contribute much needed intelligent and transformational leadership role to safeguard the country from the current turmoil and bloodbaths. The former colonial masters failed to learn from the history that they no longer can and will “divide and rule” the people of Pakistan. The NEED is desperate and Urgent to think, plan and act for a navigational change. More than anything, the people of Pakistan need intellectual security to safeguard their integrity.
Zardaris, Bhuttos, Gilani and Sharifs are not the hope for the future but dark forces of the dead past. Nation-building is not the child play that few military Generals or corrupt politicians could deliver. The onus is on the educated and conscientious Pakistanis scattered around the globe to come to terms and realize that they owe lot more to Pakistan for what they are, their happiness and success and should take initiatives to help free the besieged nation at a difficult juncture of its survival.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution, and comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of many publications including Muslims and the West; How America Lost the War on Islamic Fundamentalism; To America and Canada with Reason; “Pakistan: Enigma of Change”, “Pakistan: Leaders who could not lead”, “Pakistan: how to make sense out of nonsense.”