What really gets my goat is when the Deep State’s leaders and their various mouthpieces speak about our country as if it was willed to them, and them alone by their ancestors, to the exclusion of other Pakistanis. This is specially true of the senior generals of the Pakistan army, particularly those posted in the intelligence agencies and who strut about wearing the cloak of uber patriotism, imaginary halos around their heads.
It is simply not so. We lay Pakistanis, the vast majority of us ‘bloody civilians’, own this country too; we too have a stake in it: to use a development-set buzz word we too are ‘stakeholders’ in it; to use a great term used by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when arguing bail in the murder case that subsequently led to his judicial murder, we too “have sprung from it”; our elders: grand-parents and mothers and fathers and brothers and friends too are buried in its earth, as we will be.
So will the Deep State-wallahs at least get off that particular pony? And respect us for the equal citizens we are of this country which is going to be difficult considering how few of us can ride about in fully-loaded BMW 7-series motorcars as they do. And respect our views of where this country is headed, for we too have lived all our lives and seen it all, felt it all. Actually felt it all far more than them for we did not have the comparatively comfortable and safe cocoons of army cantonments to shelter in.
As an aside, it is a measure of the ineptitude, and more than that, the greed of the people we speak about, that even cantonments are not safe and beyond abuse any longer. The reason, must we spell it out: selling real estate to all comers: extending from the Parade Lane, Rawalpindi, massacre, to the extreme case of the terrorist Osama bin Laden living in Abbottabad cantonment!
Right then, to go back to our argument of ordinary Pakistanis also knowing a thing or three about the world and what goes on in it, may one point out that the India-centric approach of our brass is now losing appeal? That, first off, our ‘defenders’, instead of being only India-centric, should be any-country-that-might-threaten-Pakistan centric! Why do we flog the horse of ‘arch-enemy-India-about-to-attack-Pakistan’ all of the time, a recent effort at writing by a propagandist of the Deep State coming to mind immediately. According to this narrative India will attack Pakistan before the Americans withdraw from Afghanistan. Why will India attack a country of 200 million people (surely we are that many by now considering our galloping population growth), a country that has many, many bums and their delivery systems which we show off more often than we should; Masha’allah a great big army; an air force that has some of the finest war-planes and a navy to boot?
Does India have nothing better to do than attack Pakistan militarily? Are we that weak that India will simply walk into our country? And if it does take over Pakistan and occupies it, will the rest of us Pakistanis sit on our hands and not do anything about it? Can a nuclear-armed country start a war with another nuclear-armed country as easy as a 1-2-3 in this time and age? What absolute nonsense is this?
When, pray, does our Deep State think the Americans will withdraw from Afghanistan’ anyway? Does it know something the rest of the world, including the Americans, don’t yet know in the tumult of the Afghan situation with all sorts of actors doing what they will, when they will, some directed others not?
What the arbiters of our so-called security narrative must understand is that their compatriots have seen through the falseness of their stance; their striking of fake attitudes. We understand that having an enemy, even inventing a bug-bear to put the fear of God in the general populace is critical for a military machine used to pelf and comfort and accustomed to having its every desire fulfilled.
It is time this stopped and the security debate opened up to all Pakistanis who wish to participate in it. It is time that the Deep State reached out to us the people, its real assets. This is specially so after the debacles in Abbottabad and Karachi, to name the most recent. Also, if one is reading the situation right, the chances are extremely bright that more bad boys will be taken out by the Americans in the near future. This has become imperative in my view, after the barbaric killing of Rabbani Sahib, coming on the heels of ‘frank’ meetings between Kayani and Mullen and Petraeus and Pasha.
As one who has always felt that there are, simply, no good terrorists, the security services should immediately cut their links with this lot and get rid of the lot. Or at the very least starve them of succour and support.
And, as to the great JI/USIP Report, it has now been loosed upon the general public through the exertions of some ‘core-professional’ diplomats who, hook, line and sinker went along with all of the ‘perceptions’ of the ‘foreign policy elite’ of our poor, unfortunate country. All these ‘elites’ have to look at is the massacre of innocent Shia pilgrims in Mastung, very near Quetta, on their way to Ziarat in Iran.
This is the work of those demented terrorists who are the keeps of the security establishment of the Land of the Pure. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves to sit by when our own countrymen and women are thus slaughtered in cold blood, as my friend Mohammad Taqi put it, in a turkey shoot.
“So, please remove your knee from the jugular of our good country, you Rommels and Guderians, and let it breathe. Give up your fancy lifestyles so that some of the moneys you purloin are diverted by the elected government to education and social welfare so that you have REAL assets, i.e., educated, healthy, fit-for-war Pakistanis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.