In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

Exposing Some Myths About Pakistan

By an Anonymous Poster on Grandestrategy

Living in Pakistan and reading about it in the Indian press can sometimes be quite a disorienting experience: one wonders what place on earth
they're talking about? I wouldn't be surprised if an Indian reader going through Pakistani papers has asked the same question in recent days. Here are some common assumptions about Pakistan and its citizens that I have come across in the Indian media...

Pakistan controls the jihadis: Or Pakistan's government controls the jihadis. Or Pakistan Army controls the jihadis. Or ISI controls the jihadis. Or some rogue elements from the ISI control the Jihadis. Nobody knows the whole truth but increasingly it's the tail that wags the dog. We must remember that the ISI-Jihadi alliance was a marriage of convenience, which has broken down irrevocably. Pakistan army has lost more soldiers at the hands of these jihadis than it ever did fighting India.

Musharraf was in control, Zardari is not: Let's not forget that General Musharraf seized power after he was fired from his job as the army chief by an elected prime minister. Musharraf first appeased jihadis, then bombed them, and then appeased them again. The country he left behind has become a very dangerous place, above all for its own citizens. There is a latent hankering in sections of the Indian middle class for a strongman. Give Manmohan Singh a military uniform, put all the armed forces under his direct command, make his word the law of the land, and he too will go around thumping his chest saying that it's his destiny to save India from Indians . Zardari will never have the kind of control that Musharraf had. But Pakistanis do not want another Musharraf.

Pakistan, which Pakistan? For a small country, Pakistan is very diverse, not only ethnically but politically as well. General Musharraf's government bombed Pashtuns in the north for being Islamists and close to the Taliban and at the same time it bombed Balochs in the South for NOT being Islamists and for subscribing to some kind of retro-socialist, anti Taliban ethos. You have probably heard the joke about other countries having armies but Pakistan's army having a country. Nobody in Pakistan finds it funny.

Pakistan and its loose nukes: Pakistan's nuclear programme is under a sophisticated command and control system, no more under threat than India or Israel's nuclear assets are threatened by Hindu or Jewish extremists. For a long time Pakistan's security establishment's other strategic asset was jihadi organisations, which in the last couple of years have become its biggest liability.

Pakistan is a failed state: If it is, then Pakistanis have not noticed. Or they have lived in it for such a long time that they have become used to its dysfunctional aspects. Trains are late but they turn up, there are more VJs, DJs, theatre festivals, melas, and fashion models than a failed state can accommodate. To borrow a phrase from President Zardari, there are lots of non-state actors like Abdul Sattar Edhi who provide emergency health services, orphanages and shelters for sick animals.

It is a deeply religious country: Every half-decent election in this country has proved otherwise. Religious parties have never won more than a fraction of popular vote. Last year Pakistan witnessed the largest civil rights movements in the history of this region. It was spontaneous, secular and entirely peaceful. But since people weren't raising anti-India or anti-America slogans, nobody outside Pakistan took much notice.

All Pakistanis hate India: Three out of four provinces in Pakistan - Sindh, Baluchistan, NWFP - have never had any popular anti-India sentiment ever. Punjabis who did impose India as enemy-in-chief on Pakistan are now more interested in selling potatoes to India than destroying it. There is a new breed of al-Qaida inspired jihadis who hate a woman walking on the streets of Karachi as much as they hate a woman driving a car on the streets of Delhi. In fact there is not much that they do not hate: they hate America, Denmark, China CDs, barbers, DVDs , television, even football. Imran Khan recently said that these jihadis will never attack a cricket match but nobody takes him seriously.

Training camps: There are militant sanctuaries in the tribal areas of Pakistan but definitely not in Muzaffarabad or Muridke, two favourite targets for Indian journalists, probably because those are the cities they have ever been allowed to visit. After all how much training do you need if you are going to shoot at random civilians or blow yourself up in a crowded bazaar? So if anyone thinks a few missiles targeted at Muzaffarabad will teach anyone a lesson, they should switch off their TV and try to locate it on the map.

RAW would never do what ISI does: Both the agencies have had a brilliant record of creating mayhem in the neighboring countries. Both have a dismal record when it comes to protecting their own people. There is a simple reason that ISI is a bigger, more notorious brand name: It was CIA's franchise during the jihad against the Soviets. And now it's busy doing jihad against those very jihadis.

Pakistan is poor, India is rich: Pakistanis visiting India till the mid-eighties came back very smug. They told us about India's slums, and that there was nothing to buy except handicrafts and saris. Then Pakistanis could say with justifiable pride that nobody slept hungry in their country. But now, not only do people sleep hungry in both the countries, they also commit suicide because they see nothing but a lifetime of hunger ahead. A debt-ridden farmer contemplating suicide in Maharashtra
and a mother who abandons her children in Karachi because she can't feed them: this is what we have achieved in our mutual desire to teach each other a lesson

Vision Without Glasses


Anonymous said...

Let me expose some of your myths-
1. Pakistan does not control the jihadis: It definitely supports (if not controls) the jihadis for the so called "Kashmir cause". Other wise how come all the banned terrorist organizations are allowed to continue to operate in the same building with just a different name??

2.Pakistan is a failed state: You just said Pakistan is not a failed state and then you go on arguing Pakistani government is not in control of either the terrorists or the army. That exactly is the definition of a failed state - state where no one is in charge.

3. Pakistan was rich and India was and is poor!
Oh my god.. I can't stop feeling the hatred and jealousy here. Yes, in 1980ies India had was poor that is because we did not have America giving us billions of dollars of financial as well as medical aid. India had to develop on it's own. We have done a lot of development and of course there is a lot more to do. But you don't even mention any of the development that has taken place in India. No wonder you talk about Pakistan in 1980. Let us talk about Pakistan and India in 2009. So what is Pakistan without american, chinese, saudi and IMF loan?? Yes it is taking long time for India to fight poverty because we are trying to eradicate poverty by creating wealth, not by borrowing or by begging or by blackmailing!

4. Pakistani's don't hate India: The fact that you did not mention a single good thing about India and you are bent upon proving your point that India was always poor and will always remain poor shows nothing but hatred. Open your eyes and please go and read Pakistani text books and what children are being taught in Pakistan.. even better just go to some so called religious or rather hate schools in Pakistan and you will find a lot of hatred and nothing but hatred for India.

Anonymous said...

Its the high time .......India launch its version of bleeding Pakistan by a thousand cuts by waging a covert war.

Baluchistan the next battleground. ......lets see

Khuamir said...

I would disagree with you where you say that india is not hated. We hate India because they hate us. Every day the Kasshmir media service rele3ases teh names of those either missin g or shot by the Indian thier HIndu media fails to publish these. They have elections adn during thecampaign leaders are jailed, mosques closed and during th eelcection people are ordered not to vote(BBC)! Some election!
There are violent crimes including burning Christians and Muslims alive and even the dumbasses dont bother hiding that.
Plus Indian (though we were at fault as well) is responsibvle for the most cheap adn ghatiya insurgency in human history- 1971 Bangal. yes we hate Indians for violating theinternational border in 1965; we hate them for the slaughter in 1947, we hate them for sending troops to Kashmir, for blackmailing and tricking the nawab of Hyderbad-Deccan, for stealing all OUR water, for making dams on thethree rivers that are technically 'Pakistani', for illegally taking the roads to Kashmir by changing theRadcliffe award incase of Pathankot, Gurdaspur and ferozepur. We hate them for insulting our flag in their "patriotic" films and for using teh 'Bande mataram' We hate them for refusing all our attempts at peace and blaming us for everything whether it is the (Justified) sikh aprising, Indira's murder or bombay atttacks. Raw's involvement in the Marriot bombings was crystal clear yet our government gave pririty to good international relations over national security. and that's how you repay us?
Murg Murg murg ba Hidustan.

As far as Anonymous's war against Pakistan is concerned I would like to remind him that Pakistan had no chance of winning against India, thus our atttempts are going to be givving India a pyrrhic victory; that means frying you off. The 'maximum' people that pakistan can loose if India comes to its cheapest, most aggressive form would be 50 million. India can loose 450 million people plus most of its industry, Dehli, Bombaie, Banglore and calcutta, reduced to ashes.

"aey watan teri hurmat pey qurban!!!"

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