by: Tausif Kamal
Interesting and divergent insights about the future developments in Pakistan by Dr. Manzur and Kamran Shafi Saheb : one concluding that the military will continue with its Jihadi nexus unabated while the other forecasting the the military will have no choice but to completely eliminate every Jihadist/ Taliban groups in the country. Though I’ve high regard for their thoughtful analysis of the Pakistan milieu and their underlying love of the country, it seems to me that both these conclusions are apparently based upon not-so-accurate assumptions of military.
Dr Manzur seems to argue that once the military realizes that its own privileges, and the state of Pakistan are threatened and the country is stalked by lawlessness and a collapsing economy, the military ” will have no choice but to eliminate all Jihadi groups one by one. ” Kamran Shafi Saheb , on the other hand, says that ” It will be far too late by the time the brass hats of the Army realise that ALL Jihadi groups are bad Jihadis’ and take action against them.” I think both these opinions mistakenly assign too omniscient and omnipresent a role to the military. The Army is not the sole arbiter of Pakistan’s destiny ; the entire future of our country doesn’t lie only in its hands.
First of all, it’s a no-brainer to even a man on the street to realize that the country’s economy is near collapse (just look at the desperately impoverished condition of the people and country at large, galloping prices and inflation etc), prevalence of a state of utter lawlessness ( daily massacres of civilians and destruction of people’s property by Jihadist’s suicide bombings and attacks with complete impunity ) and the presence of a lethal and palpable danger to country’s existence and continuance in its current political and geographical shape ( large swaths of Pakistan’s own territory in Jihadists/ Taliban control). I’m sure the military , no matter how ‘futile’ it is as Kamran Saheb correctly points out, do indeed realizes these doomsday threats to the country , which are directly caused by the Jihadists/ Talibans.
Secondly, its assumed that the military will be able to” eliminate all Jihadi groups one by one” once it realizes that the doomsday conditions do exist in the country. Well as stated above such conditions do actually exist and the question arises that why isn’t the military trying to eliminate all Jihadi groups ? Perhaps, the short answer is that may be it can’t. May be the military is not up to the task of fighting and eliminating all the Jidadi groups. In my opinion our military is not geared up for it : it doesn’t have the ability and will , for whatever reasons, to decisively take on the Jihadi groups which are embedded not only in FATA and NWFP but also in every urban areas of the country.
So what is the final outcome, the endgame for our country? Most likely, the country will muddle through its existence like a sputtering vehicle with the assistance of a military and economic push by the U.S. now and then. Of course, there will be occasional fits of chest-thumping by the military in a show of hollow arrogance . However,the risk of the country coming to an abrupt standstill and violent implosion would always persist. It would be futile and in vain to wait for the military to mitigate or eliminate this mortal risk. In my view, only a people’s movement enmasse, along the lines of civilians’ struggle for restoration of the judiciary but only about twenty times larger and armed, would be able to thwart the Jihadist onslaught against Pakistanis and Pakistan.
Courtesy: Tausif Kamal & firstname.lastname@example.org, Fri Jan 8, 2010