Canada’s National Post columnist, Lawrence Solomon advocates the breakup of Pakistan

Lawrence Solomon: Pakistan would work better in pieces

by: Lawrence Solomon

Pakistan would be a more stable and peaceful place if its four component nations were unstitched from one another

Since Osama bin Laden was found living unmolested in a Pakistani military town, debate has raged over how to deal with this duplicitous, faction-ridden country. Should the United States and others in the West continue to provide Pakistan with billions in foreign aid, in the hopes of currying at least some influence among elements of the Pakistani leadership? Or should we get tough, and declare it to be the state sponsor of terrorism that it is, knowing this course of action could cripple our efforts to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and drive Pakistan further into the Chinese sphere of influence?

Neither course would be satisfactory and neither should be adopted. Instead, the West should recognize that the muddle it faces stems from Pakistan’s internal contradictions. This is not one cohesive country but four entirely distinct nations, having little in common save their animosity toward one another, a predominantly Muslim faith and Britain’s decision to confine them within the same borders in partitioning the Indian subcontinent more than a half century ago. The West’s only sensible course of action today is to unstitch the British patchwork, let the major nations within Pakistan choose their future, and negotiate coherently with new national administrations that don’t have impossibly conflicted mandates.

The first A in the word “Pakistan” represents Afghania, a province (since renamed North West Frontier) predominantly inhabited by Pashtuns, the same tribal peoples who live in much of adjoining Afghanistan. They mostly share the same Pashto language and culture as well as religion, and they trade among themselves largely as if a border didn’t separate them.

And, they look out for one another, leading Pashtun factions within Pakistan’s intelligence service to serve interests among their cross-border brethren. In fact, a chief source of conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan stems from the separation of the Pashtuns by a British divide-and-conquer stratagem. The North West Frontier should be hived off Pakistan and allowed to vote for independence or union with Afghanistan, a more natural home.

South of North West Frontier lies Balochistan (the “t-a-n” of Pakistan), the largest and poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces, despite providing the country with 40% of its natural gas, as well as oil, copper and other minerals. Balochs, a largely secular and proWestern people with their own language and customs, have repeatedly tried to break away from their forcible incorporation into Pakistan. The most recent attempt, begun in 2005 with rumoured assistance from India and the CIA, has to date been suppressed by Pakistan’s military, by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and by the many Taliban fighters that Pakistan hosts in Balochistan’s capital, Quetta. Human rights reports, which detail numerous instances of torture and the disappearances of some 5,000 Balochs, peg the number of internal war refugees in Balochistan at 240,000. Balochs, who consider the federal Pakistani govern-ment to be an occupying force, would welcome independence and freedom from their religiously militant Taliban oppressors.

Sindh (the S in “Pakistan”) is one of Pakistan’s two industrialized states, literate and economically developed. With a 7,000-year history, one of the oldest on Earth, Sindh also has its own language and customs, profound grievances with the federal government and a separatist movement. Like industrialized Punjab (the P in Pakistan), which likewise has its own language and customs, an independent Sindh would be a coherent country that could develop without the many contradictions that come of needing to live within an incoherent federal structure.

With the possible exception of Punjab, which is now the top dog in the Pakistani pack, the new nations to emerge from a breakup of Pakistan likely would soon become more prosperous as well as more free, leaving them better off. This breakup of the Pakistani federation would almost certainly be preferable from the West’s perspective as well.

Under the status quo, the monstrous hybrid that is Pakistan for decades has been one of the greatest forces for instability in the world. Apart from its role as a breeding ground for terrorism, Pakistan has been the single biggest proliferator of nuclear weapons technology, its A. Q. Khan network having made or helped make nukes available to North Korea, Iran, Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

In dealing with a Pakistan that has careened from one unstable government to another, most of them dictatorial and with no genuine national interest, the West has had no effective basis for diplomacy apart from bribes, aimed at securing short-term goals, in the form of foreign aid and military hardware. Once Pakistan is broken up into entities with true and distinct national interests, grievances that give rise to strife and terrorism would abate and the problems the West now faces in Pakistan would become more manageable.

Lawrence Solomon is managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and a founder of Probe International. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com

Courtesy: National Post

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/05/15/lawrence-solomon-pakistan-would-work-better-in-pieces/

4 thoughts on “Canada’s National Post columnist, Lawrence Solomon advocates the breakup of Pakistan”

  1. I M New Comer Christian From pakistan I Want To Move This Country B.Coz I Know It If I Will Announce loually so many People could be kill Me So I Want Make Me Safe Frist And I Want Move Other Country Can U Do Help Me In This Way

  2. I stress, very rightly pointed out that time has (indeed!) come for the division of India

    Assam+Tripura+Himachal Pardesh should be first of all made Independent as per their geography, odd annexation with India should be seceded.
    Sikh Punjab should be made Khalistan.
    Kashmir as per resolution of UN should be included into Pakistan.
    West Bengal should be included in Bangladesh for natural and cultural reasons.
    Junagar and Munadir should be included in Pakistan.
    One more muslim state should be created in Central India for stabilization of subcontinent.

    Trust me, it would do a world of good should the vision expressed by the author comes true!

  3. Every word written, view expressed is worth its gold.

    The author has very, and I stress, very rightly pointed out that time has (indeed!) come for the division of Pakistan.

    Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP go their own ways leaving the nasty one’s tied up in Punjab.

    Trust me, it would do a world of good should the vision expressed by the author comes true!

  4. “Union of Afgahnistan and Pakistan”.
    By M. Akram Khan Niazi,Karachi,Pakistan
    The only solution to the present problem of instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan is in the Union of these two countries based on principles of Democracy and Federalism.
    In history, Durani Empire was composed of all the areas in which today’s Pakistan and Afghanistan are located, and during the Mughal Empire together they were a single country. In the initial period of the British Empire, they were also the same country.
    Later, some forces that had vested interests kept a distance between these lands. Consequently, border areas between these two countries became hiding places for criminals of both countries, thieves of automobiles and other stolen goods. They are stored in this region. This large uncontrollable area is a base for many evils.
    Here narcotics are grown; addiction is destroying the youth and humanity. Because the region is not developed and poverty is rampant, people are attracted to extremism and militancy.
    Union of both countries will make the single government more responsible in stabilizing this region and in satisfying the nationalistic pride of its inhabitants. People will be able to serve humanity as other large nations of the world do. Otherwise, this region will always remain a nuisance for the world. It destroyed Soviet Union. It may also take down the western world, which will be a great blow to the development of Science and Technology, especially Medical science.
    Advantages to the world:
    Control of terrorism:
    Instability in this region is causing great damage to humanity. Soldiers of many countries are sacrificing their lives just to eliminate terrorists from these countries. In the presence of a unified government, it will be easier to control terrorists.
    Control of extremism:
    As a unified nation composed of multiethnic groups such as the Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis, Pashtuns, Urdu speakers, Tajiks, Persians and Hazaras, and as a multisectarian society such as Sunni and Shiites, it will become impossible for any ethnic group or religious sect to find any future in extremism.
    Stabilization of the region:
    Although it is now that the problems of this region have gained attention, it has suffered from instability for a long time. People here are finding no hope, no future for themselves, partly because of interference from foreign countries, such as the British Empire, Soviet Union, USA, China and India. When they were unified under the Durani Empire, the region was stable. The same was the case during the Mughal Empire.
    There are three main groups in Asia, i.e. the Chinese, Hindus and Muslims. Chinese and Hindus are satisfied with their states of China and India. The Muslim population in Asia is greater than the Chinese and Hindus combined. However, having no comparable state of their own they experience the stress of inferiority. That element too is causing instability and irritation amongst common Muslims. By creating a unified state of Pakistan and Afghanistan, a sense of satisfaction, pride and respect of having a national state will be achieved. That might lead to normalization of relations with the rest of the world and stability.
    Solution to economic problems
    At present, both countries are burdens on others, and pose barriers in exploring the resources of Central Asia by the world. After stabilization, it will be useful not only for Central Asia and for the World, but also for the new unified nation itself.
    Advantages to Pakistan:
    It was the vision of Quaid-e-Azam, the Founder of Pakistan, to unify the regions of West Pakistan, Afghanistan, East Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. That probably needs time. It took many centuries for Europeans to realize that they shared a common goal.
    • By unification with Afghanistan, areas, which are included in Pakistan, will stabilize, and migration of people from disturbed areas will stop.
    • Smuggling of weapons across the borders will end, and Law and Order will be established.
    • Similarly, illicit drug trade will be minimized.
    • Whole areas of Pukhtoons (Pashtuns) speaking population will unify, and that will help the development of culture and language of that group which is now divided in two nations.
    • Expenses for Security measures on the borders will be minimal. The resultant balance can be used for the welfare of people.
    • Interference of other nations in this region will subside.
    • Due to unique historical importance for Buddhists and Hindus, tourism industry will flourish and business activity in the region will increase.
    Advantages to Afghanistan:
    • Through unification, Afghanistan will cease to be a land locked country. The union will promote freedom of people of Afghanistan to travel and engage in economic activity,
    • Extremism and terrorism will come to and end, as the people will become more engaged and involved in adjusting themselves in the new union. Utilization of raw products of Afghanistan will increase.
    • Security and military expenses will minimize.
    • Doors to Pakistan will open to Afghanis who look for jobs in Pakistan.
    • Shortage of food products in Afghanistan will decrease and it will increase the utilization of raw products of Afghanistan.
    • Linking Central Asia via Afghanistan to the rest of the world will generate extraordinary development.
    Based on above observations, suggestions and predictions, it is clear that unification of Pakistan and Afghanistan will be fruitful for everyone in the region and for the world at large.
    Written By:
    Mr. M. Akram Khan Niazi
    Karachi,Pakistan.

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