Let there be no asha for the Pak demon
It is important to recognise the fact that Pakistan is one of the few places where the army runs the country. The army also owns its economy. This is important since studies have found that a large number of corporates in Pakistan are ultimately owned by the Fauji Foundation (FF), Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Bahria Foundation (BF), Shaheen Foundation (SF), all owned by different wings of the armed forces. At least 70 per cent of the market capitalisation of the Karachi stock exchange is owned by the army and related groups.
Also, a significant portion of its GDP is due to army-controlled entities and one can easily say that Pakistan economy and its army/ISI are synonymous. This implies we should stop talking of a stable Pakistan since a stable Pakistan means multiple attacks on many more cities of India by that rogue organisation ISI which is the core of the Pakistan Army.
Recently some noises were made by a newspaper group as well as Bleeding Heart Liberals (BHL’s) about resuming dialogue with Pakistan. There are three groups in India which are obsessed with friendship with Pakistan. One consists of the oldies born in that part before Partition and who are nostalgic about Lahore havelis, halwas and mujiras. The second category has Bollywood and other assorted groups who look at it as a big market. The third is the candlelight holding bleeding heart liberals who cannot imagine India doing well without its younger brother being taken care of. All the three have been proved wrong but all of them are in the important opinion maker’s role. Shun them, avoid them and ridicule them.
These Wagh Candle Kissers either do not understand the economic power structure of Pakistan or naively hope that it will not be an issue. Their constitution — 1973 version visualises — to quote from its preamble “Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.”
It is the army which is the chosen instrument to implement the will of the god. This was recently clearly enunciated by its COAS General Kiyani. Protecting Islam and Pakistan is one of the sovereign duties of the armed forces. Recently the UN (appointed by President Zardari) team probing the death of Benazir Bhutto could interview all civil leaders including the PM and president but not the army brass. When the army objected to the Kerry –Lugar Bill the president had to bring in Kerry himself to talk to COAS.
The candle kissers are doing great disservice to India and to Pakistan since that state has visualised itself as the protector and promoter of the God’s vision. One dimension of that vision is to train the suicide bombers to terminate the unbelievers inside and outside Pakistan. The so-called peaceniks naively believe that that army will go away or the foundations of the state of Pakistan will fade away.
When recently the FICCI produced a well-documented study titled “National Security and Terrorism” to deal with terrorism originating from that country, the Karachi Chambers of Commerce protested. And now the candle kissers want to have a business meet at Karachi. We do not know what results such a meet will produce.
Almost all terror attacks in any part of the world in the last decade have a link with Pakistan. Terrorism is funded by Saudi Arabia, planned in London and executed by Pakistani foot soldiers globally. Its strategic ally, namely the USA, wants to body screen every Pakistani entering the US and also wants to open their entire luggage particularly if it has been packed by them. Its other mentor namely Saudi Arabia has a system of issuing visas to Pakistanis after severe verification.
China is worried about Pakistani role in the Xinxiang uprising and quietly hangs the rebels, many of them from the PoK. Currently Pakistan is in abyss and it would be beneficial if it is split into many countries — not only for peace in India but also all over the world. The candle kissers are completely wrong in their agenda and timing. One only hopes that the Indian state is not taken in by their sentimental nonsense.
Will the Indian elite go for the jugular or just light more candles and scream at formless /nameless political class before TV cameras? It is going to be a long haul and may be in a decade or so we can find a solution for our existential crisis of being attacked by barbarians from the west. We need to combine strategy and patience and completely throw to the dustbin the ‘Gujral doctrine’ — treating younger brother with equanimity. The doctrine essentially suggests that if we are slapped on both the cheeks we should feel bad that we do not have a third cheek to show. Such is our strategic thinking in this complex world since our political class is not adequately briefed, nor do the elite think through issues.
If we want the world to treat Pakistan for what it is then we should start practising it. Always call it as Terrorist State of Pakistan and never have any illusion that it is going to be different. Completely and comprehensively cut off all our relations with them — economic/cultural/sports and all other aspects.
South Africa was treated for its Apartheid; so should Pakistan be punished for practising terrorism as a state policy. Unless we start completely boycotting Pakistan we cannot ask others to do it. Will corporate India start practising it? Then we can see some results in a few years. Otherwise when the next Mumbai attack happens the senile peaceniks may order more candles and try to generate more asha for the demon.
(The author is professor of finance and control, IIM-B. Views expressed are personal. E-mail: email@example.com)