by Asif Salahuddin
They have no tolerance. They speak, abusively if necessary, and desire little debate in return. They order and demand to be obeyed. They care not of another’s grievance or state of affairs, nor make any effort towards an understanding of such. They choose to remain ignorant of the world around and its realities that impact them. They wish their every whim to be met and every diktat to be followed by all. They are prepared to use violence – brutal, unrelenting and destructive violence – until they get their way.
Bearded, uneducated, warrior tribes from the North West reaches of Pakistan? No. The real extremists of Pakistan are the pseudo-intellectual, liberal elite dining away and making merry in the posh settings of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
For it is at their insistence that the might of the Pakistan army has been hurled indiscriminately at an entire civil populace, resulting in its wake the displacement of over 3 million people and the death of thousands. This now stands as the largest unsettlement of humankind caused by man since the Rwandan massacres in Africa fifteen years ago and further bigger than the migration during the Indian partition itself. All because of the US backed lie that a few thousand rag tag group of fighters could capture the capital and hence overrun the country.
These extremists sitting at the helm of the country have swallowed every instruction and propaganda issued by the Americans and in doing so have taken Pakistan down a path of self obliteration. The entire army now stands pitted against a major ethnic race in Pakistan and this in turn bodes only one outcome for the country – civil war leading to state level disintegration akin to the loss of East Pakistan.
Such individuals have chosen to completely overlook the fact that a major foreign power has shifted its entire focus on the region after having just meted out the same policy on Iraq where it has succeeded in destabilising the entire state and engulfing the country with ethnic and sectarian flames. They have ignored the fact that the USA has a brutal and dark track record of using its intelligence agencies to ferment such turmoil in countries and that these very agencies have now settled in Pakistan and have been given a free reign to run amok. The CIA and FBI are openly known to have offices in every main city, airport and a thorough presence in the capital Islamabad.
Such extremists, falling into two overlapping camps, are both drawn from the sitting and opposition political leaders, bureaucrats, elements of the so called ‘civil society’ and serving and retired military leaders. The first group has continued to grip the reins of power in the country and all the perks that come with it; essentially the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the USA for the trough from which only their snouts will gorge out of. The second group is a fanatically secular band that will turn vile the moment the words Islam and society are mixed in the same sentence.
Together, they have managed to execute quite immaculately the American plan to turn the US’s War on Terror into Pakistan’s War on Terror, since the people of Pakistan have simply refused to back the former.
But perhaps the biggest shame is that the real intellectual element of our society has gone along with this, or at best is standing idle at the wayside as silent observers, for it has been very easy to accept the mistruths churned out by the extremists.
The real truth – a lot harder to swallow – is that the US wishes to achieve complete domination in the region. It has to ensure that the planned oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia running through Afghanistan, down to the ports of Pakistan, remain undisturbed. Further it must guarantee that the waterways near the coast of Pakistan are never threatened by any other power and that the control of this vital Middle-Eastern oil artery remains completely under its domain. In doing so the US has concluded that the only real way to implement this is to militarily occupy the region and eventually carve up Pakistan into smaller, weaker and hence more manageable states.
However, this is something which the Muslim community in the ‘AfPak’ region have declined to play ball with as they simply refuse to be a subjugated people; they demonstrated this with the British over a century ago, they demonstrated this with the Soviets twenty years ago and they are now making this clear to the Americans. As long as these fighters attack the US troops in Afghanistan, and continue to disrupt their main supply line which comes from Pakistan, the US will not be able to achieve its materialistic objectives in the region.
After repeated drone attacks the US simply cannot stamp out this resistance. Nor has it been able to send its own troops across the border to tackle these elements, partly due to the immense anti-American public opinion in Pakistan. But what the US has now succeeded in doing is to get the Pakistan army to fight its war.
But how long will the sincere elements of Pakistan stand by and watch the country being torn apart for a foreign objective under the whims of such extremists? How long will the sincere officers in the Pakistan army continue to act submissively under the orders of their traitor commanders and continue with this utter madness that has gripped the country? They must act now and listen to the voices of reason around them that call them to a new future for our Islamic nation. They must act now otherwise very soon it will be too late and America would have won.