A thousand cuts bleed Pakistan to death

Balbir Punj

The Government, the Army and the Mullah-backed terror groups are working together and in conflict for power in that country. To ignore this factor, and merely condemn the butchers of Peshawar, will serve no purpose
Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has gone on an emotional overdrive with the claim that the 132 school children brutally massacred by the Pakistan Taliban in Peshawar are “my children”. However, there was not a word of condemnation from Islamist terror merchants like Hafiz Saeed.  Instead, the hawks in Pakistan were busy finding scapegoats and even blaming India for the ghastly massacre .
So, what do we make of the Pakistani Prime Minister’s grief and his repeated declarations that his Government will fight terrorists when only a few days earlier, this same regime had looked askance when Saeed had organised a massive public rally with state  support.  Sharif’s Government was a service provider for that rally. Special trains brought members of the public to Saeed’s rally, wherein the man who had masterminded the horrible massacre of innocents in Mumbai in 2008, declared his determination to carry out similar attacks and kill as many innocents in India.
Saeed, about whom the Pakistani Government had assured India that he would be prosecuted for the 26/11 massacre, is a free man now who claims to be Pakistan’s unofficial ambassador to India. Obviously, the Pakistani establishment is in cahoots with those responsible the for Mumbai carnage. Either Mr Sharif and the Pakistani establishment are insincere or they are hypocrites or both.
Ironically, such is the state of Muslims in Pakistan, a state that was carved out of British India so as to provide a homeland for Muslims who supposedly would not be safe in Hindu-majority India. Today, in Pakistan, not only are religious minorities, like Hindus and Christians, unsafe and publicly and legally discriminated against, even many Muslim sects are frequently targeted.
Yes, even Muslims are subject to terror attacks – Tuesday’s massacre by the remorseless Taliban, who are using terrorism to establish a caliphate, is just one of the several, almost daily bombings of Sunnis and Shias alike in Pakistan. That country, almost ever since it was created amidst unprecedented blood letting, has  now become victims of its own ideology and religious zeal.
Pakistan has seen more military dictatorships than civilian democratic regimes – especially since 1971 when the then Prime Minister ZA Bhutto declared a permanent war against India that was to carried out by inflicting a thousand cuts. His declaration was, of course, meant to divert the attention of his people from the core problem of Pakistan as a state. The Peshawar massacre exposes the core problem of a state that is caught between the military, the mullahs who represent an uncompromising religious orthodoxy, and the elected civil administration – all of whom are convinced that what is good for the people is known only to itself.
This situation has arisen, as several independent studies about Pakistan have shown, because the people there have been brought up on a hate-India diet. Both, the Islamic religious schools (madarssas) and the state-run educational institutions demonise non-believers (mainly Hindus) and India. No wonder a percentage of such students end up as terrorists and suicide bombers!
The Pakistani state also fattened the military (falsely pretending to fit itself into Washington, DC’s global aims) which, in turn, assumed that it had the mandate of the people to fulfill their Islamic aspirations, as set against an India that was constantly seen as much larger, much more capable and better at integrating its diverse population. Whenever the civil administration was seen as compromising with India, as, for instance, in 1998-1999 when Prime Minister AB Vajpayee appeared to smoke the pipe of peace with Mr Sharif, the military sought to frustrate the Government’s efforts by assuming power itself.
At some point in time, when the military ruling Pakistan, wanted to soften the democratic aspirations in that country, it encouraged the mullahs to tighten their leash on the people, by narrowing the purpose of Pakistan to just this: Destroying a ‘Hindu India’ and this country’s ageless pluralistic value system. The strongest step in this direction was that of military dictator Zia-ul-Haq who nailed the Constitution of Pakistan to sustaining and promoting a single version of Islam. This came in handy for the mullahs who wanted to get the better of the military. The virus of hate and bigotry introduced into the public life of Pakistan has since become its signature tune.

BALBIR PUNJeditorial article1Pakistan to death
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