By Sajjad Shaukat
While observing Pakistan’s ongoing multiple crises, some political and defence analysts are saying that the country is under siege and some are opining that it is containment of Pakistan. Taking congisance of our present crises, even a layman can note that the country is in mess.
Besides facing multi-faceted economic crises such as high prices, load-shedding, unemployment etc., Pakistan and its security forces are coping with suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and targeted-killings including with sporadic battles with the militants in some tribal areas. Besides 30,000 innocent persons, more than 5000 thousand soldiers and several police men have become martyrs in this ‘different war’ in maintaining the integrity of the federation.
In fact, there are a number of external elements like US, India and Israel whose secret agencies, CIA, RAW and Mossad are in collusion to destabilise Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Besides other terror-incidents in various cities, these foreign elements are also fuelling sectarian and ethnic violence in Pakistan’s seaport Karachi and Balochistan.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a US military raid in Pakistan on May 2, this year, intermittent subversive events in the country coupled with the sporadic attacks of heavily-armed militants who enters Pakistan from Afghanistan have continued, killing several police men and paramilitary soldiers in wake of continued wave of drone attacks and American false blame game regarding cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. These anti-Pakistan developments clearly show that the US, India, Afghanistan and Israel are in connivance as part of a conspiracy to ‘destabilise’ Pakistan for their common strategic interests.
Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly been revealing that RAW, Mossad and other foreign agencies are involved in supporting insurgency and acts of terrorism in various cities of Pakistan, and separatism in Balochistan.
Unfortunately, it is due to lack of national solidarity among our politicians, leaders and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by weakening the country.
It is regrettable that on the one hand, country’s multiple crises reflect that Pakistan is rapidly advancing towards a ‘failed state’, while on the other, our politicians instead of creating national unity among themselves are not only manipulating the present drastic situation against each other, but some of them are also targeting the armed forces and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI so as to increase their vote bank. In this regard, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Nawaz Sharif and Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf have continuously been criticising the Pak Army and ISI.
While our media, particularly most of the TV channels conduct controversial debate between politicians and commentators, contesting internal politics. Like the foreign enemies by ignoring the sacrifices of Pakistan’s security forces and its superior secret agency, they malign Pak Army and ISI. In this context, some of our media anchors and most of politicians or political experts pay no attention to national solidarity and cohesion among various civil and military institutes of the country. At this critical juncture, while situation demands selfless unity, both our media and some politicians manipulate every terror-incident or negative development against Pakistan. On renowned TV channels, our politicians oppose their rivals for the sake of opposition. In this context, they opine as to what the people want, but conceal as to what people actually need? Particularly, it seems that a majority of Pakistan’s media anchors are on the payroll of external enemies.
However, severe implications of the ongoing precarious situation cannot be grasped by the general masses at large, who abruptly change their opinion without reason. Hence, they become easy prey to the internal politicians (exploiters), unintentionally benefiting the external conspirators who want to weaken Pakistan by creating a rift between our general masses led by politicians, and the security forces. Apart from it, foreign agents misguide the disgruntled elements that national institutions are not made to develop the backward areas, and policies formulated at Islamabad are not congenial to other provinces except Punjab.
Meanwhile, by ignoring public backlash in Pakistan, US high officials had intensified their pressure tactics by continuously insisting upon the country to ‘do more’ by taking military action against the Haqqani network. On the other side, taking note of the US coercive diplomacy, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership flatly refused to launch military operation against the Haqqani Network as remarked by the ISI Chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha in the All Parties Conference on September 29 this year.
Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, while taking note of the present critical situation on June 9, stressed upon national unity in wake of US pressure for military operation in North Waziristan. Kayani especially explained, “Any effort to create divisions among important institutions of the country is not in national interest…the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists.”
During her latest trip to Pakistan, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton agreed with Pakistan’s stance and pointed out, “Now US is realizing that launching new military operation in North Waziristan does not suit Pakistan’s situation.” She was also convinced to accept “other means for tackling the issue of militancy through intelligence sharing including the reconciliation process with the militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Nevertheless, it is due to a wave of ‘emotionalism’ instigated by some irresponsible politicians and media anchors that general masses have forgotten the services of our security forces and have started disgracing even army and ISI. In this regard stereotypes and prejudices have been created by the foreign enemies through a propaganda campaign which have been misguiding the people who have set aside innumerable services and sacrifices of the Pakistan Army during the Swat and Malakand military operations— resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), floods, desilting of canals (Bhal Safai)—particularly during the Earthquake of 2005, entailing restoration of law and order on many occasions. Since its existence, military personnel saved the countless helpless people by sacrificing their own lives.
On the other side, ISI has captured a number of renowned commanders of the terrorists, foreign agents and thwarted the subversive acts through pre-arrests of the militants. Despite its limited resources as compared to CIA, RAW and Mossad, it is owing to the services of ISI that it also provided pre-information about the foreign elements which have been conspiring against the integrity of Pakistan.
Nonetheless, at this critical hour, Pakistan’s survival lies in selfless national solidarity. For this purpose in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, our political leaders must avoid exploiting any crisis not only against one another, but also against the security forces and ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.
Especially, Pakistan’s media, particularly TV channel can play a key role. First of all owners of these channels should detect some anchors who are working on the payroll of foreign enemies. Then they must terminate their services. Notably, our media should give a matching response to vile propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are leaving no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan, its army and ISI. As unlike the printed media, electronic media attract more viewers, so or TV commentators must point out the collective collusion of CIA, RAW and Mossad in relation to their support to subversive acts inside our country and against Pak nukes.
Now, for survival of the country, all segments of the society must unite against the foreign enemies. And our national, provincial and regional leaders must stop manipulating various crises and disparities at the cost of federation, indicating hostility for the sake of hostility—which have blocked the path of national cohesiveness. In this connection, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other.
Nonetheless, the present adverse circumstances demands sacrifices of individual selfish interests. So, Pakistan’s survival requires a strong sense of solidarity—team spirit and shared aims among the general public, politicians, religious leaders and the security forces not only to resolve the present multiple problems, but also to cope with the external enemies.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations