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The Deep State is not alone in its enterprise of trying to fool all of the people all of the time for its own ends: it is aided and abetted by various and varied ‘elites’, most of whom have either occupied positions of high authority in government; are media ‘stars’; even Captains of private enterprise. All of them, of course, say what they do to amplify the Establishment’s views, to therefore, snuggle ever closer to it.
Some of these ‘elites’ are dishonest and hypocritical to boot, trying to be all things to all people: hawks to our own because that is the preferred attitude of the Deep State and its handmaidens in the ultra-right media which dishonestly moulds public opinion to its masters’ preferences; reasonable to the West where, incidentally, they spend most of their lives in their luxurious homes, returning to Pakistan for a few months before flying off again to spread more Deep State-inspired confusion in the various think-tanks and study groups.
On the Urdu media they flaunt Pakistan’s bums, saying in the context of the present difficulties with the United States that we should show confidence because we are a nuclear power; in the English press they go softly, softly, and become ‘reasonable’.
Case in point: the views of a former ambassador to the United States and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom as expressed on an Urdu TV channel and, a few days later, in an opinion piece in an English language newspaper. In the TV interview appearing alongside the great hawk, strategist, and ‘victor’ of Jalalabad, Hamid Gul, invoking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons; in the article advocating quiet diplomacy, and the need for both countries to make up.
This is absolutely appalling. Leave the world’s most powerful country aside, how can the reiteration of Pakistan being a nuclear weapons state help in talking and negotiating with any nation? Could the threat of nuclear bombs be a negotiating tool for any country, leave alone a desperately poor one like ours with barely a friend in the world; a country that barely keeps its head above water with periodic handouts from the IFCs and other donors?
Do we (yet!) not know that our so-called ‘deterrents’ are more like several massive, and very dead albatrosses around our country’s collective neck rather than weapons we can scare other countries with? In any case, how precisely do those that flaunt our ‘bums’ suggest Pakistan use them to its advantage? Threaten to nuke Kabul? Delhi? Bagram? Sheer madness, and yes, utter hypocrisy, for they know perfectly well that it can never be. Yet they will strike impossible attitudes.
For, despite the great game-changer introduced into this wholetamasha just last week by the Afghanistan-India Strategic Partnership Agreement, our brilliant strategists go on pinning their aspirations of one day ruling Central Asia on Pakistan’s geographic location alone. They fail to realise that Pakistan is like the spoilt little brat — whilst I used this example many years ago it holds true to-date, our strategists not having learnt a thing — who sits atop a tree flinging stones at passersby with his catapult, thinking he is beyond reach.
All it takes to fix the brat is for one of those he hits with his catapult rather hard, to one day roll up his sleeves, climb the tree, haul the whippersnapper down by his ear and give him ‘two tight slaps’ as we say in the subcontinent. I mean, look at where we are standing today, as I said before, with nary a friend in the whole wide world!
Nary a friend, did I say? We have even been reduced to whining about Turkey hosting a conference on Afghanistan in November without a-by-your-leave from us! AND inviting India to it, to boot! AND not waiting until we had used up all of our machinations trying to influence the so-called peace talks with the terrorist Taliban! The wooden-headedness, the plain mulishness of our Rommels and Guderians baffles one most completely.
And what do their propagandists do, quite shamelessly? Target the few people who do good for Pakistan, who fight its battles as best they can; who are true to their country and try to talk sense to those who call the shots?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, 50-60 ‘students’ of the ‘Ziaul Aloom’ (fitting name, eh?) madrassa in Satellite Town, carrying iron rods, broke into the Committee Model High School for Girls located in the neighbourhood and beat up the girls and their teachers for not heeding their instructions to wear the hijab.
What is to be noted is that the local police official first said the police had been told not to react, later changing his story and saying what the hooligans did was not an ‘offence’ since they were protesting the conviction of Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin. So there! The Taliban are on the March again, my friends … surely sanctioned by the powers that be … for they are part and parcel of the Jihadist ‘assets’. Remember Swat?
And now for those who quote Iqbal saying Afghanistan is the heart of Asia, possibly as a means of supporting the Deep State’s seeking the holy grail of a, what is the word I want, subservient(?), Afghanistan. Let us quote the stanzas in whole, which go like this:
‘Aasia yak paikar e aab o gil ast; Millat e Afghan dar ander aan paikar dil ast; Az kushaad e oo kushaad e Aasia; Wo az fasaad e oo fasaad e Aasia’. Tr: ‘Asia is the body (made of water and dust); (but) Afghanistan is the heart; In the ruin of the heart lie the ravages of the body; In Afghanistan’s peace (and) prosperity lies the peace (and) prosperity of Asia’!
It seems to those of us who have lived the Taliban horror through the 1990s that what the Pakistani Deep State is doing/is trying to do in Afghanistan can only bring ‘ruin of the heart’ to an already ravaged body.
Have a heart, sirs!
P.S.: Kudos to Raza Rabbani and his Committee for refusing to go to GHQ to be briefed by the COAS and the DG ISI. Generals go to parliament, not the other way around. You can’t keep a good man down…
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2011.
Some comments from ET:
If (and that’s a real big if) Pakistan ever comes out of this gigantic pile of mess, it will be because of brave soul Journalists like you, not because of short-sighted chest thumping Deep State. There is a decent number of sane voices still alive and loud in your country, Mr. Shafi with .. Nadeem F. Paracha (dawn) just to name a few.
The crusader speaks again. Hats off to another fearless and flawless piece of commentary. The “media stars” do indeed seem to be toe-ing establishment line and hood winking the broader nation in flagging the dead horse..aka “Strategic depth”. The very same “media-stars” or one of them went to such extent in one of his recent columns as to convince us in believing what “Siraj Haqqani” had to say about his fighters not present in Pakistan but rather based out of Afghanistan..I thought that was so insane it was in the realm of comedy !! We are trying to fool Americans by quoting the very Haqqani they are after and hoping that they will buy our lies..!
I commend you on writing so well, succinctly and without the fear of retribution nor the expectation of any brownie points or rewards from some quarters.
Well done Sir. This nation needs more of you !
I have been reading your columns for the past 5 years. You have been on almost on every count, if you think back.
You were right when you said dealing with Sufi Mohammed is a bad idea, you were right when you said Pakistan’s pets they call Strategic Assets will come back to haunt it.
You will be right once more. I cannot pick any holes in your argument.
Had the Lal Masjid episode, OBL episode and Mehran base attack occured in a sane country, there would have been serious effort to fix the problem, a lot of people would have lost their jobs, goverment would have been pulled down, the armed forces would have been overhauled.
If a journalist would have been kidnapped and killed, the media would have put so much pressure on the system, that Govt would have caught the perpetrators….but then its Pakistan.
A Governor gets killed…and the case drags on, any normal country who would have a lost a prominent Goverment representative would have outlawed many organisation and turn the heat on this organisation, but sadly the people who are meant to to do this act as advocate for Taliban.
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