In the last few months, especially after the manner in which the Raymond Davis matter unfolded, I have been saying to friends that Pakistan (unfortunately) has a commodity to sell called “Security” which is now not going to be bought by the international community. The commodity called “Security” sells like this. The world is under threat from terrorism. Pakistan neighbours Afghanistan which is a harbor of global terrorism. You need Pakistan to control this problem. Don’t support civilian governments. You need military and intelligence support. Without us, you are nothing.
Whenever the world wants to support Pakistani civilian setup, something untoward happens. In the last three years there have been quite a few incidents. Let us look at some of them now:
- President Zardari in October 2008 said “India has never been a threat to Pakistan. I, for one, and our democratic government is not scared of Indian influence abroad.” He also ended up calling the Kashmiri Mujahideen as “Militants”. The Security Establishment shot back such explicit plans for normalization of relations with India through the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Who gained the most from the attacks? It was India that was able to label Pakistan as a supporter of terrorism and the Security Establishment which was able to impress its supremacy
- Just one year later in October 2009 came the infamous “Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act” that looked to give Pakistan civilian aid of up to USD 1.5 billion every year. How could civilian aid come to Pakistan? That was not in the interest of the Security Establishment. Ghairat became a national issue and all efforts were made to shelve this plan. Hillary Clinton had to say “You don’t want the aid, don’t take it!”. It was only in March 2010, that General Kayani in Washington led the Strategic Dialogue with the US saying that trade and aid is what Pakistan needs. Off course, just six months earlier, the Corps Commanders meeting, expressed concern at the Kerry Lugar Berman Act!
- The concept of national ghairat took center stage again earlier this year when the Raymond Davis saga unfolded. A deliberate effort was made to make the civilian government a scapegoat and the security establishment as the innocents. The national ghairat in the end was sold for PKR 200 million only, courtesy of the wheeling-dealings of the security establishment.
In my opinion, the Raymond Davis saga affirmed one thing in the eyes of the world. The Security Establishment of Pakistan cannot be trusted anymore. They are not reliable. They say something and then do the other thing. They promote hatred towards US to gain petty favors. Whether Raymond Davis was on the trail of now “Shaheed”, in the eyes of ghairatmand media, Osama Bin Laden or not, the fact that OBL was located in the garrison city of Abbottabad, just a few yards away from the Pakistan Military Academy is enough to shun the Security Establishment and its paradigm forever.
I personally feel that in order to enhance their value, albeit in a bid of desperation, the Security Establishment will conduct another adventure soon that will be enough to make Pakistan a terrorist state.
Till yesterday, it was quite likely that a desperate “coup de-tat” could have been made in Pakistan on the pretext of taking control over the “nuclear arsenal” in light of the US action against OB:, however, Hilary Clinton’s statement that cooperation with Pakistan’s civilian leadership will continue may have just foiled this adventure.
In my humble opinion, we have reached a tipping point where our staple commodity called “security” is now outdated and our Security Establishment not trustworthy. The world now needs to deal with the civilian governments of Pakistan only. Similarly, an internal operation has to take place that purges the Security Establishment of supporters of terrorism.
Already the world has begun to question Pakistan’s motives. Senator Joe Lieberman has said that “Pakistan needs a lot of explanation to do” adding that “unfortunately Pakistan at times is playing a double game and that is very troubling to me.” Last thing we want is that sanctions are imposed on Pakistan for the doing of a few mindless men. Pakistan needs to sit back and reflect on its Security Establishment and the paradigm in which we have been living. This is probably the best time ever of burying this mindset forever.