Monday, September 25, 2017

The blunders that have made Pakistan what it is today.

I happened to listen to the popular and much respected Najam Sethi of Pakistan who is known for his incisive analyses on what ails his country and must confess that I've started following his observations. He speaks about the 10 blunders that Pakistan has committed, over the years, to bring it to the pathetic state that it is in, today. He calls them blunders because they're turning points that took the country on an irreversible course to its present state. So, without much ado, here I go:-

 1. The Decision to Align with the US.

     Soon after independence, with Jinnah running the country, the civil-military establishments                 decided to have a strategic relationship with the US and ended up being its stooge instead. It
     was flawed right from the start because it was an unequal partnership!

 2. The Dismissal of the Constituent Assembly in 1954.

      Governor General Ghulam Ahmed's dismissal of the Constituent Assembly in '54 under the
      clause of 'Law of Necessity' was the next suicidal step that paved the way for future martial
      rule in the country! The sad part was that the Federal Court also supported it.

 3. The Formation of East and West Pakistan in 1954.

      Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Bogra makes two composite units of the country viz. East
      and West Pakistan. The basis seemed to be because of geographic separation and the glaring
      inequalities between the regions was overlooked. Ayub Khan, on taking over the country, sealed
      the decision.

 4. Not Accepting the Election Verdict in East Pakistan.

     President Yahya Khan's decision in '70, not to accept the election verdict in East Pakistan
     which was won by Sheikh Mujibhur Rehman and his Awami League party. Bhutto, went along
     with the military rulers and consequently, the birth of Bangladesh was inevitable.

 5. Bhutto's Political Assassination.

     Bhutto's removal from the national scene saw the rise of dynasty politics, politics on the basis of
     'Shahadat' and a total lack of issues between competing parties in elections.

 6. The Civil War in Afghanistan post Soviet Invasion.

     Till the early '80s, Kabul used to be the holiday destination for many Pakistanis. The Americans
     were called in by President Zia-ul-Haq to foment trouble in Afghanistan and the over thirty years
     of destabilising that country brought about the sectarianism, Shia-Sunni conflicts and the call for
     Jihad by Pakistan for its misadventures in Kashmir. Once unleashed, these forces were beyond

 7. The Kargil Misadventure.

     Completely misreading the Indian response, Musharraf had, with the knowledge of a limited few
     senior officers, launched the Kargil misadventure by launching regular troops masquerading as
     'jehadists'. This was his idea of countering Nawaz Sharif's bus diplomacy with PM Vajpayee. The
     outcome, as we know in India, was that it could not claim the bodies of their soldiers to give them
     a decent burial which had to be undertaken by the ethical Indian Army!

 8. Post 9/11 and the War on Terror.

     The US told Musharraf and his guys that 'you're with us or not with us in the war on terror'.
     Looking forward to get dollars and military hardware, the Pakis warmed up to the idea but was
     actually two timing the Americans by taking a soft attitude towards the Taliban and the other
     terrorist groups. The Americans were quick to understand this perfidy and it embarked on its
     own intervention in Afghanistan, sidelining Pakistan completely.

 9. Musharraf's Removal from the Scene.

     Sometime in '06, Musharraf had taken the extreme step of dismissing Iftikar Mohammed
     Chaudhary, the Chief Justice of the top court on the basis of very silly reasons, weakening the
     judiciary. The derailment of peace with India and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto weakened
     him and his overthrow was just a matter of time.

10. Zardari becoming President.

      Zardari's insistence on becoming President threw away all the chances of a rapproachment
      between the political parties and the resulting instability is there for everyone to see, even today.
      Zardari had taken that unwise step with the fond hope of sorting out his legal problems but it
      was not to be.

These were the blunders as accepted by the respected Pakistani journalist.


If you're to ask me, the first blunder was when Jinnah had decided to secede from India in 1947! Pakistan had begun its journey to ignominy!!




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