Why Pakistan is failing, What should India do, Why the World needs Pakistan
Some Indians appear happy at the current state of affairs in beloved Pakistan. They are paying for their Karmas as we say in Bharat. Spiritually speaking we should not gloat on the condition of our adversary.
So why is Pakistan in this sorry state? Will it fail? Importantly, will the world allow it to fail?
As I was reflecting on these thoughts an article appeared in the Express Tribune, where a retired Paki Airforce Officer praised India, Modi in particular and suggested that Pakistan should “recalibrate its policy with India and create a tri-nation consensus with China focusing on Asia to be the spur for wider growth and benefit.” The column esp. India’s achievements has got traction from Indo-Pak observers. Some joined the praise chorus.
When a respected intellectual of a long-time adversary praises you do not get taken in but wonder!
Actually praise from within and across India’s borders should be humbly accepted and work to go on as such because India has a long way to go to realise her potential.
My mind goes back to 2004 when many bragged about the India Shining Campaign and we know what happened in elections thereafter. In fact, so important was Pakistan in our domestic political calculations then that the late Pramod Mahajan is said to have advised Prime Minister Vajpayee to prepone the 2004 elections just because India was supposed to have an upper hand against Pakistan.
At the outset I must state, that though Nayyars hail from Jullundur district, the majority of my forefathers come from modern day Pakistan. In fact Dad was born in Lahore and Ma in Bhopalwala (district Sialkot). Notwithstanding that I wrote What stops me from loving Pakistan
Why Pakistan is in its present state could be subject of a book but here are some reasons
In 1965, the then Pakistan prime minister Bhutto said, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.” Pakistan has got the bomb so his prophecy might just come true. And now the reasons.
1. A nation born out of hatred for another read Dharma cannot sustain itself.
2. Pakistan is obsessed with religion and Islamic identity. Thus, economy, development and democratic institutions took a back-seat. The creation of Bangladesh proved it is not.
3. Pakistan made export of terrorism an instrument of State Policy.
4. Columnist Aaakar Patel wrote in 2012 in the Mint that the current situation in Pakistan is because of an imbalance in caste. The situation arose because there is no mercantile caste in Punjab after the Khatri-Arora combine migrated to India in 1947. Source Pakistan and the art of trading castes.
5. A former diplomat who was once posted in Pakistan said, “Pakistan sought “Unity in Uniformity” whilst “India respected Unity in Diversity.”
6. Again till about the year 2000 Pakistan had this air of superiority about India.
Whilst India’s Information Technology companies were helping the world deal with Y2K its government was grappling with the Kandhar Hijack in December 1999 in which Pakistan was a key player. Y2K changed the way the world looked at India.
This feeling of superiority was partially fuelled because it regularly defeated the Indian cricket team since ties were resumed in the 1980s. However, when Saurav Ganguly’s boys defeated Pakistan in Pakistan in the 2003-04 series, the tide turned in India’s favour and has ever since.
Perhaps the Pakistani establishment took the words, ‘Muslims ruled India for 800 years’ seriously when the reality is different. Read Did Muslims actually rule India for 800 years
7. In 1941 Ambedkar justified partition because the Pakistan area contributed little to the exchequer but was the main recruiting area for the then Indian Army (Table 1 from his book, Thoughts on Pakistan Pg.94.)
The main contribution came from Hindustan. However, the Pakistan provinces received a great deal courtesy revenues of Hindustan.
8. The failure of democracy and dominant role played by the Army.
The seeds for a dominant role were sown by the British. Those from the Northwest helped the British suppress the 1857 Mutiny in which the Bengal Army was involved. The Bengal army was replaced by a Punjabized army.
The British believed that a Muslim dominated army would counter the forces of Hindu agitation for wrestling political power from the British. Also, Punjab became a buffer state between British India and Afghanistan and a base for British operations in Afghanistan so need for a Punjabised army.
9. Secularism in India has meant that the importance of Indic Civilization as the reason for India being democratic is rarely spoken. V.I. Sreenivas wrote in the Bhavan’s Journal (31/3/2021 issue), “Although democracy has gained ascendency in modern times, the principles of rule of law (an important part of democracy) was extolled by our sages since antiquity. Dharma shastras made it clear that the king exists for the welfare of the people and not the other way around. In other words, the ruler was not sovereign but the law was.
”So will Pakistan change its approach to India?
The deep state within Pakistan sustains itself out of hatred for India. So nothing will change even though at a people to people level relations shall be good because we are of the same stock. Be it in Dubai or France Pakis have always met me warmly.
For seventy five years Pakistan has targeted India and spread terrorism. Now that it is down it reaches out to India and seeks to improve relations. India must IGNORE.
It has taken long for India to delink Pakistan from eminence in its foreign policy. That should continue because our enemy is China, Pakistan is a pawn and tool to box India in the sub-continent.
Pakistan can create roadblocks in India’s quest for becoming an economic and military power but cannot stop it.
According to a January 17, 2023 Indian Express report, “Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif called for ‘serious and sincere talks’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on ‘burning issues like Kashmir.” By bringing in the K word means that Sharif has learnt nothing. The only thing to discuss is return of Indian territory occupied by Pakistan, including what is ceded to China!
Why the World needs Pakistan?
1. Desire for Gwadar Port and its investments in CPEC would mean Pakistan has to survive. After all Pakistan is one of the few friends China has.
A senior retired diplomat says, “China is Pakistan’s “all-weather friend”. Pakistan is China’s main weapon for “low-cost containment of India.” Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and missiles are all designed by China. A huge proportion of its defence equipment is from China. It backs Pakistan in all international meetings. And its economic assistance to Pakistan is substantial. Beijing will remain a supporter of Pakistan in all international forums.” Having said the above, Pakistan will find it difficult to service China’s debts.
2. Pakistan is located in a region where the U.S. and China have strategic interests.
It shares borders with Afghanistan, Iran, India and China. If India were to get control of Gilgit and Baltistan it could be her gateway to Central Asia and change the regions geopolitics forever. China will never allow that to happen.
3. The West particularly the U.S. needs someone to do its dirty work for e.g. make ammunition for the Ukraine War or Missile strikes into Afghanistan or Iran.
Now that the U.S. has withdrawn from Pakistan, it can no longer be blackmailed and shall keep that nation on tenterhooks to make it do what it wants.
4. The Pakistan Army has provided protection to its Royal Family and perhaps to Saudi Arabia itself. The army also trains the Saudi Army.
5. Saudi Arabia has positioned itself as the head of the Muslim world (since Holy Mecca lies in its territory). It has to reiterate its standing amongst Islamic Nations by supporting a Muslim country (fellow Sunni Muslim) that might fail.
Again, it shall keep Pakistan hanging to get what it wants.
6. Pakistan is the only Islamic country with a nuclear bomb. The West would not want the technology to pass on to Iran or terror groups.
7. It is possible that donors, be it the International Monetary Fund or the United Arab Emirates have made improved relations with India, a condition precedent for loan disbursement. Hence, the latest Sharif statement on talks, better relations.
How should India respond to the Pakistan situation?
No emotion. Pakistan needs to fend for itself. No talks till Pakistan stops exporting terrorism and punishes those responsible for 26/11.
We must observe, be alert and keep the powder dry.
Hindus in Rajouri, Poonch, Kishtwar and Bhaderwah of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to be killed so that area is devoid of Hindus. The Pakistanis know that they cannot snatch Kashmir, terrorism is where their expertise lies.
India must focus on becoming an economic and military power and she has to do that without Pakistan.
I am grateful to my father for moving from Lahore or I would have to change my name, like Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien’s cousins did, to say, an Abdul Hameed Nayyar. Nevertheless, pray that peace and stability return to Pakistan.
Every country must look within, reflect and change. The Pakistani retired Air Force Officer has done that well. Perhaps, it is too late.