by Farrukh Rehan
If Pakistan were a patient in a hospital and you were reading the chart at her bedside, the prognosis would look bleak. The Taliban occupy parts of the country. Close to two million refugees have been displaced from the fighting in Swat. And this is before the fight for the main Swati city of Mingora has begun – a fight which is likely to turn into a grinding house to house urban war. To the West, Osama and gang are thought to be holed up, and in Bauchistan province, a major insurgency is raging.
So why am I more optimistic than I was a week ago? Its quite simple really. I’ve always maintained that the battles being fought in Pakistan will be won or lost based on whether Pakistanis came to believe that this was their fight or whether they kept living in denial and insisting that this was America’s war and not theirs.
I wrote an article for Pak Tea House couple of weeks ago which Raza Rumi was kind enough to publish but not without a disclaimer that Pak Tea House is supportive of Pakistan’s military operation. Though article contained some criticism of the military yet it was limited to the manner in which the military operation started. The article could have been found wanting on a lot of levels but because of disclaimer, it seemed patriotism was what the article lacked.
On the face of it, the link between the disclaimer and patriotism appears far fetched, but believe me I have been branded unpatriotic for much less. The problem with patriotism is similar to the one with religion. As a religious hardliner brands anyone who does not pray like him a kafir, similarly a present day patriot would brand anyone unpatriotic who does not see eye to eye with him when it comes to current military operation. Unsurprisingly, in Pakistan, it is only the military issue which brings up patriotism. Continue reading
Filed under Army, Pakistan, war