Pakistanis might be weary of Pervez Musharraf’s presence, yet many a foreigners are not. Yesterday, a Turk general (and what knowledge does a Turk general have on Pakistani matters I ask you) claimed that Pakistan would Talibanize if Musharraf left. I have long started believing that our foreign Muslim friends are nothing but a liability for us. Not only do they never seize to drag Pakistan into international moral dilemmas where we have to take a clearly partisan approach, damaging our own diplomacy in return, but also actively play their own politics inside Pakistan.
The sectarian wars of 1990s were brought to us courtesy the proxy struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Tell me why should we pay any heed to the Muslim causes when almost all Muslim countries brandish the credentials of a butcher when it comes to Pakistan. Pakistan does not need any foreign advice supporting dictators in the country. Let us take the opporunity to point out that even Turkey is a destabilizing force in Iraq and not quite stable enough for integration into Europe. Any further integration of the country into European Union and NATO would only jeopardize the security and stability of these two unions. The only way to integrate it seems is through invasion.
These friends are requested not to insult the intelligence of the Pakistani people again or otherwise they would earn eternal enemies in the country. We are already weary of the Iranian intellectuals who while supporting the pipeline talks with Pakistan, keep arguing that Pakistan is an unnatural state and should be brought to an end. Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and the so-called Muslim countries, if you believe in any God, for its sake stop punishing us for being a Muslim.
And now let me focus on some serious issues? Immediately after 9/11 when the west feared that resistance may rise in Pakistan Army against Musharraf, India brought its forces on our borders to indirectly pressure the generals to ensure their support to Musharraf. That pretty well worked. It now seems that the neo-cons may again seek Indian help to bring the new army chief on his knees and to ensure that the retired general stays in power till the November elections in the US. Consider this:
A few weeks ago the caretaker interior minister claimed that a perception was growing that the US and Afghanistan were sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Interestingly Islamabad already repeatedly had claimed that the Indian intelligence bases in Afghanistan were behind the instability in our country.
Last week, Islamabad all of a sudden decided to release Kashmir Singh, who returned with a heroâ€™s protocol quashing the allegations of his being an Indian spy. However upon reaching India he claimed that he was a spy and had managed what he had gone to do. As if that was not enough, India curiously decided to send back alone the dead body of a Pakistani prisoner. The state owned channel magnified this crude diplomatic act. Anti Indian rhetoric is systematically being whipped up in Pakistan through the state institutions since then and thanks to the Indian governmentâ€™s crude attitude the civil society here is failing to counter the new spate of jingoisim.
It was evident the very instant when Hanif Khalid, a journalist who is often used by the government to plant stories or raise the questions that it wants to answer, today asked whether there was any foreign hand involved in todayâ€™s terror attacks during the interior ministry press meeting. While this time the spokesman refused to comment, it is a common hunch here that by the evening some government functionary would blame India.
Now what can happen is a possible terror attack in India and some counter allegations from the Indian side would start. If that happens both sides like in the past may bring the forces back to the border. In that fire and fury Musharraf would effectually hijack the popular mandate by rallying support for the PPP dissident Amin Faheem, the election commission and his cronies in the agencies and continue to rule the country ensuring a neo-con return to Washington come November.
If Pakistan goes to war Musharraf will become new Saddam and will leave only after the colonization of this country. Indian and Pakistani media, civil societies and even armies need to be conscious of such conspiracies that would only weaken the countries and the democratic processes there. Musharrafâ€™s departure in the current scenario will only weaken the Taliban and the terrorists not strengthen them. Pakistan meanwhile also needs to shakeup its intelligence chiefs immediately.
The author is a Pakistani television journalist and commentator on security and media affairs. He can beÂ reached through his website www.pitafi.com/weblogÂ