On Monday I also met John Kerry along with a small group of journalists in Serena Hotel, in Islamabad. I will share what he said and what we discussed and what are my impressions, in the next few hours but lets first respond to Mr. Ajay Kumar’s comments, analytically and respectfully.
Mr. Ajay Kumar posted this long comment on my last Note, “We must welcome John Kerry…but we must not be afraid”, he thinks we are mostly debating palliative measures and not real solutions. I think we should examine his argument dispassionately and respond. His comment is produced below in full _ Moeed Pirzada.
Ajay Kumar @ Moeed Pirzada…..This is in reference to your panel discussion on News Night with Talat. All the solutions suggested by yourself and other participants on the present crisis are nothing but palliatives and not a cure. The entire poltica…l and defence establishment of Pakistan is indulging in nothing but tactical moves to come out of the present jam but do not show any change of heart. If this kind of obfuscation continues further Pakistan will very shortly reach the point of no return with US.
Pakistan is on the cusp of history at this moment. If right conclusions are drawn, lessons learnt and necessary actions were taken without any double crossing, then Perhaps you will be able to pull back from the precipice otherwise, this slide into total destruction of Pakistan will not be very far.The following lessons need to be learnt both by Pakistan as a country and Pakistanis as a nation;
1. A conscious decision must be taken that all human beings are equal and there is no need to teach Jehad to your young generation. Your Madrasas are teaching hatred towards the whole world and are factories producing suicide bombers. In fact wrong education and rabid religious indoctrination is the root cause of extreme level of intolerance in your society. I find nobody in Pakistan is discussing the need for making the society a moderate one and most of the discussion is based on taking revenge with the whole world in one way or another. The society must be taught to be tolerant and peaceful towards others and not call them Kafirs. That is why there is urgent requirement to make Pakistan a secular country.
2. Pakistan must abjure terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Terrorism cannot be permitted at government level whatever be the cause. Even if you are fighting for Kashmir, let there be an open war once for all. But terrorism will ultimately make your country a pariah in the world and you will end up killing each other. Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and not a strong nation. Pakistan has not been able to harm India or its secular democracy and economic progress by pursuing terrorism. It has created a Frankenstein which is now eating up your own nation.
3. Pakistan must take a conscious decision to exterminate all Jehadis and terrorists on its soil whether they are fighting US or India or Afganistan. You can not differentiate between terrorists fighting India or terrorists fighting US. Terrorism as a policy has to abjured. In fact the terror activities started by Pakistan against India have now transformed into terror against the whole world. If SFsirPakistan has to survive as a nation in the world it has to act as a responsible country and not as a loose cannon. On the one hand you are crying about American drone attacks but on the other, you are not controlling the Taliban or other terror outfits of Siraj Uddin Haqanni. The US has to carry out drone attacks to deny safe havens to terrorists in your country if you are not willing to remove them. In case Pakistan understands this basic thing and declares all out war on the terror outfits in Pakistan whole world will come to your support. All your present crisis with the US will come to an end and there will be no drone strikes.
4. Pakistan should limit its geopolitical vision to its size and capability. In fact, the reason for extreme dependence on the armed forces in Pakistan is due to its faulty geopolitical vision. Pakistan has grand designs about its geopolitical clout. Against whom you are collecting all these weapons and nuclear bombs. Pakistan is spending 40% of its budget on defense forces and 40% of the budget is going for servicing the debts. There is hardly any money left for the public good. Pakistan has no threat from India. All the wars between India and Pakistan were started by Pakistan.You can listen to Air Marshal Asghar Khan and even Najam Sethi on this issue. India will never attack Pakistan. Democratic countries do not wage wars only dictators do. Similarly, Pakistan’s desire for securing strategic depth in Afganistan is another unnecessary geopolitical desire which is now causing maximum damage to Pakistan. So much so that Pakistan and US have almost become enemies. Afganistan must be allowed to exist in peace not be treated as a vassal state of Pakistan. And it should have the right to have good relations with any country it desires.
Mr. Ajay Kumar posted this long comment on my last Note, “We must welcome John Kerry…but we must not be afraid”, he thinks we are mostly debating palliative measures and not real solutions. I think we should examine his argument dispassionately and respond
5. Pakistan must limit its spending on defense. Large defense forces or nuclear stockpiles do not provide security against internal unrest if the whole population is reduced to poverty. Look at Bangladesh. It has no defense forces worth the name yet it is secure from India, despite pursuing anti-India policies for most of its independent history. Now the same country is making tremendous economic progress so much so it has left Pakistan far behind. This is all because of its focus on the economic progress and not having any unrealistic geopolitical designs.
6. Pakistan should open trade and commerce with India with which it shares such a long border and partake in the economic progress of India. Pakistan will save almost 40% of the cost of its imports in the shape of freight alone if it trades with India. In case Pakistan is able to establish rule of law and ensure a peaceful environment, large scale investments will come from Indians and millions of jobs will be created. Don’t forget if Pakistan opens its borders to Indian goods it will also get a market of 120 crore people. Your exports will zoom and you will regret for the lost decades wasted in fighting India.
7. Whatever your plans for war against India please do not forget that India can not be defeated by Pakistan. We are not living in a medieval age and all wars cannot be won by the sword. India has gone light years ahead of Pakistan in defense preparedness, economic progress. Today India is having a surplus of 300 billion dollars whereas Pakistan is begging IMF and the even US for a couple of billion dollars to remain afloat. If any war is imposed by Pakistan on India it will be the last one and Pakistan will cease to exist on the world map in this age of nuclear weapons. So war is not an option.
8. Last but not the least, Pakistan must make a conscious decision to break with its past policies of running with the hare and hunting with the hound. Otherwise, you will have no credibility left in the world.
Sir the crisis staring Pakistan in the face is not an ordinary crisis. The whole nation must look at the options available and have an informed debate on the issue. Otherwise, the matters will keep drifting and the drift to total destruction will end very soon.
Moeed Pirzada is prominent TV Anchor & commentator; he studied international relations at Columbia Univ, New York and law at London School of Economics. Twitter: MoeedNj. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy. This piece was first published in Moeed Pirzada’s official page. It has been reproduced with permission.