What is the home-ground ‘end game’?

So, how fares the state? Would failing be a fair description?

Amina Jilani September 23, 2011

Mid-month September saw a flurry in our press of attacks on and justifications of the report authored by the United States Institute of Peace (Washington) and the Jinnah Institute (Islamabad) entitled “Pakistan, the United States and the End Game in Afghanistan : Perceptions of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Elite”.

The title is off-putting. The ‘end game’ to which Pakistan is blind, always overplayed by those who feel they have a functional crystal ball before them, and then, this country’s foreign policy ‘elite’. Well, considering the state of the foreign policy which is as chaotic as is the internal policy, the term ‘elite’ would seem to be somewhat over the top. If it is this self-styled ‘elite’ who have been spurring on and influencing the foreign policy, then would it not be fair to say they have fluffed up? How stands this policy in 2011?

Elite, in the sense in which it is used, in this particular context, denotes as any good dictionary will tell one: “The choice part or flower (of society or anybody or class of persons).”

What do we have for a choice for our ‘choice part’ of the body of persons who dictate and frame our foreign policy? Well right now, if we are to go by what we read and hear and deduct, the ‘elite’ is General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani and his body of generals — certainly not the Foreign Office or anyone connected with it — and to some extent Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington who has to hold the fort that is the key to whatever foreign policy Pakistan’s elite brass may subscribe. A completely irrational and self-damaging 64-year-old obsession with India and its designs and desires, plus decades of dreams of glory, known as ‘strategic depth,’ as far as Afghanistan is concerned, with forays into the doings of other Islamic countries with fantasies of Ummah leadership, has resulted in how Pakistan is now regarded by the world — a bloody nuisance.

Now, how do we see the other ‘elite’ who guide the internal policies of this unfortunate country? If what we have right now is the ‘choice part,’ then heaven help us because if this truly is the best Pakistan can do for itself then its ‘end game’ may not be far out of sight. Awash with nuclear assets and Birkin bags, the state is unable to cope with the flooding of 22 out of the 23 districts of Sindh and the ‘elite’ in the form of a superstitious party co-chairman who doubles as head of state, with his tailor’s dummy ‘elite’ prime minister, can do nothing but appeal to the outer world, i.e. the US of A, for help.

Press advertisements exhort the people, the citizens, to contribute to funds such as the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund. Well, would we all not like to know how many of the ‘elite’ have put their grubby hands into their even grubbier pockets and made their contribution? Could they let us know — the two main players, plus their Monticello doctors and Maliks with millions.

And the state? On September 13, the Taliban coldly murdered four children and an adult in a Peshawar suburb, wounding 18; on September 15, they killed 27 attendees at a funeral in Lower Dir, injuring 67; on the 19th they were in Karachi bombing and killing in an ‘elite’ area, and in Peshawar doing the same in a market. On September 20, near Quetta, their pals, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, shot and killed 29 men of a conflicting sect. Apart from all this mundane activities, the Taliban regularly blow up schools in the north. They have a free rein.

What does the leadership do? It ‘condemns.’ It has no other reaction. So, how fares the state? Would failing be a fair description?

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th,  2011.


amina jilani | 10 years ago | Reply @Meekal Ahmed: Hey Meekal You are the ultimate IMF expert so will have to take what you say without the proverbial pinch of salt. If we are rocking, as a nation, then I am stock still. And yes, definitely angry. But it helps not so might as well try and have a laugh. Am looking hard, very hard. Vashington is not Pakistani land so you see things in a somewhat different light from us. OK, let's see what tomorrow brings. Meanwhile, cheers. AJ
Nadir Khan | 10 years ago | Reply

Scathingly apt as usual! Shared it on facebook, twitter and +1'd it !!!

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