Those who have been dreaming and hoping for a liberal and a secular Pakistan can now start getting serious about packing up their bags and moving to another country. The days are not far when this country will become a jungle as the animals that should be kept in cages may be roaming free very soon. The already handicapped state has pulled the ax over it’s head and is about to hit it on it’s second leg.
It can all make sense once the dispersed dots are linked with each other. The govt-Taliban talks are becoming friendlier and more clearer by the day and recently, Taliban have clearly stated their motive, slightly giving indications for what they are ready to let go and what not. Starting with prisoners, the Taliban have agreed to let go of Prof. Ajmal Khan in return for two of their prisoners who tend to be animals belonging to the banned outfits of Pakistan, but they are not ready to let go of Shahbaz Taseer and Haider Gillani? The picture gets clearer when it is observed that the world’s best intelligence agency, the I.S.I. failed to counter a bunch of thugs with big beards and rugged shalwars. This leads to only one conclusion, if we assume that the Taliban are just a bunch of thugs. The Taliban are emerging as a power that would be even stronger than it was before the ceasefire (proven by the failure of civil law enforcement authorities in countering the Taliban). The case may seem complicated but in fact it is a strand of the same narrative that has been portrayed by the establishment, state and government (where actually it is the Army). Here, from what seems evident, is that the government will eventually accept Taliban as a legitimate, competent political entity and they may even win a few seats in the National Assembly. Because almost all the major political parties i.e. PPP, MQM, ANP and to an extent PML-Q have developed an anti-establishment (anti-army) sentiment, the army would need some political players of it’s own through which it will become very easy to keep up with the strategic depth that has been there since 1947 in some form or the other. That strategic depth may be maintained via PML-N but contrary to the common perspective, PML-N is not as pro-establishment as PTI, which, on the other hand, is already posing as a strand of Taliban which means that it accepts the Taliban as a political entity but has lost it’s political glamour due to failure in it’s own government. There is no other option for the army to proceed with. It is not a certainty, just another possibility. If it’s Pakistan, anything’s possible.
If, what is stated above, becomes true, then it will not be an issue for the Taliban to gain popularity among the masses. But from what seems to be in a continuity, it is very likely that it is not going to happen. At least not in decades. Instead, one can expect Pakistan to attain similarities of any brutal African state till then. If you have ever been to Africa, you know that the two sides of an extreme, i.e., peace and stability on one hand and the extreme opposite on the other operate well in countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar.
The Pakistani mentality deserves salutations and they way it is manipulated is even more amusing. In everything, masses play a very passive, yet an affirmative role. Pakistanis have this habit of adjusting to anything that comes their way. In history as well, the people from the sub-continent have always accepted things of others, never really retaliated in harsh means. Whether it’s the Greco-Persian invasion, the annexation by Mohammed Bin Qasim, the colonization of the subcontinent by the East India Company or any other point in history. Now, Pakistan is being culturally invaded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other gulf states and it’s accepting it. Arab culture is being legitimized slowly, one does not need references for that. The rogue elements in the Pakistani establishment believe that Saudi Arabia is their brother and it is not just for the strategic depth or national interest, it is the legitimate acceptance of their mindset internally.
With all that being said, those who really care for Pakistan must start searching for the truth and must start accepting it. It doesn’t matter as to how sovereign Pakistan gets internally, it will always be in the hands of a few generals and bureaucrats.