Farah Adeed |
These are hard days for Pakistan. Pakistan is going to be placed in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-list in June this year. The Trump administration is frequently inconsistent in compelling Pakistan to present herself as a forced scapegoat in the Afghan war failure. America failed but its real failure lies in accepting this fact. Power is not made up to accept defeats and failures.
Modi’s India is increasingly becoming more extremist, more radical, and more anti-Pakistan. Extremists like Modi who are reluctant to accept the existence of Pakistan fail to understand that their denial is essentially what confirms, reassures and strengthens Pakistan and its existence. The more they hate Pakistan, the stronger it gets. This is not an observation of a writer but an admitted historical fact.
The theme of this paper lies in a single line; Pakistan is under threat not because of America’s high-headedness or India’s continuous hatred, but due to her own failures at home.
America and India will continue to use and misuse our own people if we do not get time to listen to what they want to convey. Every community in Pakistan needs to realize that they are a part of Pakistan and that the country belongs to them.
The Judiciary is under attack. Civilians are not safe. Military is targeted. Bureaucracy is abused. Civil society is not secure. Media is harassed. Dissenters are going missing. Or let me put it simply in Thomas Hobbes’s words “a condition of war of everyone against everyone”. This may seem out of context to many, but for me, it conveys the essence of the matter.
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Who is fighting against whom? Who is behind all that? Do we know our ‘common’ enemy?
I am sure neither India nor America can penetrate into a nuclear state to that extent.
Then who else?
The simplest answer I can offer at the moment is that the ruling elite is solely responsible for the mess they created. By ruling elite I mean top leadership of all the institutions working in Pakistan. These elites have always been in search of total power. This lust for total power leads them to go beyond their institutional jurisdictions. Whenever one institution interferes into another’s domain, it results into an unwanted institutional breakdown.
Our constitution has specified the roles and duties of all institutions and citizens of Pakistan. But for the attainment of narrow individual, institutional or political interests, elites manipulate the constitution and spread hatred against the targeted institution.
Let’s have a look at present-day Pakistan where military wants to control the entire political process, civilians want the judiciary to be their subordinate, civil society and so-called liberals are supporting the status quo, and nobody allows dissenters to voice against the atrocities being committed against their respective communities. This is what is happening in Pakistan. No one is willing to trust the other one, and no one is interested to work in their constitutionally defined framework.
These are hard days for Pakistan. Pakistan is going to be placed in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-list in June this year. The Trump administration is frequently inconsistent in compelling Pakistan to present herself as a forced scapegoat in the Afghan war failure.
Pakistan’s biggest challenge and an almost unmanageable threat lies in the state’s dictatorial policies in silencing people raising their voice against oppression and exploitation. We have people in Sindh, Balochistan, KPK, and FATA and even in South Punjab who want to be heard.
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They want, and demand, the state to end systematic ‘genocide’, economic exploitation and internal colonization. But the state responds in a shifted manner and those protesting on the streets are treated as terrorists or traitors. I do not want to indulge in any other debate at the moment but wish to put forward a simple question. What is wrong if some ethnic groups want autonomy, self-rule, and cultural protection? Do these demands make anyone a traitor?
The bitter truth is that elite groups are fighting with one another to capture as much power as they can, and nobody has time to look into what is happening in far flung areas of Pakistan. Leaders in Pakistan are mistaken when they believe all of Pakistan resides either in Islamabad or Lahore.
Pakistan seriously needs to maintain institutional balance in order to specify who will do what? Without clearly defined jurisdictions of the institutions Pakistan will continue to suffer and the process of state building will remain incomplete and utterly compromised.
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Moreover, America and India will continue to use and misuse our own people if we do not get time to listen to what they want to convey. Every community in Pakistan needs to realize that they are a part of Pakistan and that the country belongs to them. A sense of collective ownership of Pakistan is the only way forward for Pakistan’s national integration.
The writer is a visiting faculty member at the University of Punjab; he lectures on politics and international relations. He has joined Global Village Space as Research Associate. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.