From Rohrabacher to the (great?) firewall of Pakistan, we have endured a lot of palaver, a lot of kerfuffle about Pakistan’s hopeless future. A country full of challenges and yet, our deep state and society remain fixated with control freaks like Maya Khan and those sitting in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Pemra. Something is eerily wrong with our mindset and we know it.
It was thanks, first to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s capitulation to the religious right, and then Ziaul Haq and his successors’ sustained campaigns of religious chicanery that have landed us in this thick soup. Jonathan Swift once said that when a true genius appears in this world, dunces form a confederacy against him. Unfortunately, the dunces in this country have formed a federation, not against any genius, but against common sense.
Common sense dictates that you do not light a match in an ammunition depot. We did just that by supporting an insurgency in Afghanistan in the name of jihad, while being fully cognisant of the fact that our country is packed with the seeds of radicalism. Today, despite repeated suicide attacks carried out in the name of faith, our political class is united in further indulging the monster that has become our religious right. Even though lasting peace still eludes us, the PML-N, the PTI, why even the PPP, all remain in favour of engaging in dialogue with the terrorists.
While we are too happy to talk to the terrorists, we develop speech impediment when it comes to talking to the Baloch dissidents. It seems that Pakistan has a roadmap for Afghanistan. I wish it had one for Balochistan too. We are experts on other countries and yet cannot master our own domain.
Our politicians seldom compute the consequences of their actions and choices. Today, the opposition is so united in the aim of ridding us of those abominable rulers that they will fraternise with any devil to achieve this goal.
While this tug of war continues, the terrorists plan to pulverise the very moorings of our nation state and transform it into a global jihadist movement. Our brothers in Balochistan inch away from the federation.
It is commonplace to blame the government for all the economic and social chaos. But have you thought that it could just as well be the state’s meltdown, as is evident from the malfunctioning of jet engines and railway locomotives to a police clueless about Osama’s presence in the country? A faulty industry and an illiterate human resource have to be someone’s concern. Where are the shadow cabinets, where are the party programmes to put an end to all this misery?
Perhaps, Brahamdagh Bugti is right. Perhaps, we are slaves of others and our own baser instincts. Balochistan is not the only occupied territory, the whole of Pakistan is occupied. Occupied by an inept, ethically corrupt political elite. This country could be freed of such oppression but unfortunately the liberals and the moderates who represent the masses are too busy saving their own small share of the spoils.
Why talk about an independent Balochistan or Sindh when we can have an independent Pakistan one day? Divided, this country, will at best, become another Afghanistan. United, we can build a great nation. But will anyone listen? Maybe not, because in the federation of dunces, madness is the only method that usually prevails.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.
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