Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Feb 2018 10:20:31

It is Pakistan’s own policy of appeasing and promoting terror groups and terror masterminds that has come back stinging it with an unstoppable force and intensity.

Pakistan is not only growingly getting isolated in world affairs due to its bloody history and an unfathomable, directionless present, it is also losing credibility and staring at an uncertain future. It is also losing the plot with forces like IS making rapid inroads and holding the country to ransom.

AMIDST the din roused by American President Donald Trump’s tough stand against Pakistan, a report has recently found that the Islamic State (IS) militant group poses a major threat to Pakistan and is alarmingly increasing its presence in the country. Pakistan has been denying that ISIS had an organised presence in the country, even though the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for several other attacks in Baluchistan in recent years. The security report by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) says, “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaatul Ahrar and others with similar objectives perpetrated 58 per cent attacks, while 37 per cent and 5 per cent of the attacks were carried out by nationalist insurgents and violent sectarian groups respectively.” The report noted the alarming increase in the footprint of ISIS, especially in Balochistan and northern Sindh as it carried out the deadliest attacks in those provinces. It said that footprints of IS were increasing and it “killed 153 in 6 deadliest attacks.” At least 370 terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan (in 2017), killing 815 and injuring 1,736 people, making it one of the most volatile, violent and insecure regions of the world. 

Pakistan is not only growingly getting isolated in world affairs due to its bloody history and an unfathomable, directionless present, it is also losing credibility and staring at an uncertain future. Its economy and polity are in doldrums and it is not losing its own people to uncontainable violence, it is also losing the plot with forces like ISIS making rapid inroads and holding the country to ransom. It is Pakistan’s own policy of appeasing and promoting terror groups and terror masterminds that has come back stinging it with an unstoppable force and intensity. It is Pakistan’s years of negligence and obdurate obstinacy to accept a fearful reality that it is paying the price of. India, the worst sufferer of Pakistan’s myopic policies, has been warning the country again and again to mend its ways, because the consequences of a bad and wrong action are borne by everyone.

Violence and terror doesn’t see nationality, race, country or religion. It is an untamed juggernaut that mauls anyone and anything that comes its way. Once the Frankenstein is born, it doesn’t listen to even its creator. Once it tastes blood, it lives for blood. And blood has only one colour. It doesn’t differentiate between nations or religions. Pakistan had ample time in hand. It had promise and possibilities. India surged ahead, Pakistan continued to sink in the dungeon of illiteracy, violence and poverty— all of which are connected to each other in a vicious circle. Had it been right minded and got out of the Kashmir obsession in time, Pakistan could have worked together with India for global peace as sister nations.

The countries, sharing each other’s history and cultural similarities, could have innovated, cooperated and chalked a trajectory of economic and scientific development, which could stand as a formidable force in the South East Asian region, acting as a counterforce to Chinese or American hegemony.  Instead, it’s uncouth, undemocratic, archaic and regressive political system and equally short-sighted leaders ditched its own people and snuffed its development story even before it could take off. Today, there is little hope of any redemption or resurrection. Today, Pakistan is a story of hopelessness, dejection and a lost civilisation. It is trapped by the Taliban and now ISIS on the one side, and by China on the other. The young and educated are jobless. They want peace and progress but these are like fairytales today. The firmament is bleak. The political leadership is spineless and the army overbearing.

The national policy is directionless and guided by unfounded obsessions, fears, suspicion and a poverty of ideas. Its problems are getting more convoluted and complicated with changing global priorities. Pak’s natural ally America is now wary and trying to leave the country to its fate. China, like a shrewd hawk, is doing its best to further kill the Pakistani economy and make hay.  Pakistan has reached a point of no return. It cannot do without China anymore because China will use all its pressure to keep Pakistan tamed because that forebodes well for its expansionist plans. Eventually, if the Taliban or ISIS make greater inroads, it would be worse even than China. China will not fight the Taliban or ISIS. America has suffered and China won’t risk such an effort because the losses will far outweigh the gains.

China will simply leave Pakistan and in tatters at that. In times of danger and grief, no one lends even a shoulder. Sooner or later, Pakistan is going to be a Taliban country or a perennial hotbed of terror like what the Middle-East has become by the spread of ISIS.Its people, its institutions, its culture and history will be ravaged. Perhaps Pakistan is not realising the import of such a development and its implications on its very existence as a society. There is still time for the Government of Pakistan to bury the hatchet, end mutual skirmishes for a larger good, look forward, uphold humanity above bloodshed for a lost and jaded cause, and draw a new roadmap. Development and unity of civilian powers are the keys to end the influence and penetration of terror groups. If democratic values rise and act, the power of savagery diminishes. If there is any country that can stand by Pakistan in times of need, it has to be India.

Pakistan must realise this. There can be no country culturally, geographically and historically closer to Pakistan than India. China and American interest in Pakistan is squarely for their respective personal strategic and economic gains. India has never had any such motive. She just wants peace, friendship and unity. India stands for relationships that rest on human values, mutual trust, understanding, warmth and universal progress. India stands to lose nothing by losing Pakistan. She is too vast and her priorities and ambitions too diverse and progressive to be affected much by Pakistan’s misdeeds. It is Pakistan which is going to lose much by following a divisive policy towards India. Pakistan’s occupation basically revolves around India.
Anything happening or not happening in India is closely followed in the military and political circles in Pakistan as also by its public.

Only if this surreptitious interest is converted into a positive hobnobbing between the nations and their people, things can look up for the whole region and a new era of progress can be ushered in. By the way, the ball is in Pakistan’s court. It has itself suffered a lot due to its policy paralysis and wrong objectives. It has to take the final call. There is still time, however little, to mend its wrongdoings and take a stand against terror. There is still a little chink of sunshine peeping in, which can light up the dank and derelict corridors of hope.