When Prime Minister Modi reached out to the people of Pakistan — differentiating between them and their government, and gave a call for war against poverty & unemployment, many believed it to be just another way of showing restraint after the Uri attack. Of course, the Surgical Strikes have nullified that presumption. Then what was the reason for addressing the people of Pakistan. For that we need to dissect his later argument. Modi said, “ that day is not far when people of Pakistan will take to streets to wage a battle against the rulers of Pakistan and against terrorists.” While attacking the misleads and misdeeds of Pakistan leaders, he urged Pakistanis to ask a question to their own leaders, “why India exports software and Pakistan exports terror while both the countries got independence at the same time”. After using the deadly weapon of terror through Mujahideens on both Afghan and Bharatiya frontiers, the entire Pakistan society is fragmented and frustrated with its own system of ‘terror’ production. People of Pakistan are the worst sufferers of their government’s terror policy. They are not only infused with the values of extremism and violence but also denied development, human rights and democracy. The State, controlled by Army and ISI, is still in a denial mode which can be fatal to Pakistan and the world at large. Leave aside the position taken by Bharat, even if we go throw the narratives by Pakistanis themselves, there are at least ten ways through which Pakistan is acting against its own people explains K Aayushi
Heaven for Terrorist Organisations
Pakistani based terrorist groups have been responsbile for numerous terrorist attacks all over the world. Some of these terror groups include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Jaferia, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Al Badr, Harkat ul-Ansar, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Jamaat ul-Fuqra and Muslim United Army
Why doesn't Pakistan arrest Hafiz Saeed?
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of JuD has been declared as a terrorist by the United Nations, India, US and several other countries. He is also alleged to be the mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. He is on the NIA most wanted list and US has even placed a bounty on his head. Why doesn't Pakistan arrest him? On the contrary, Pakistan provides him security inside the State
1 Abusing Minorities
Minorities in Pakistan chose to stay back after creation of the new State in the hope that they would get equal rights. In 1947, almost 23 per cent of Pakistan’s population was comprised of non-Muslim citizens. As per the latest census the number is dwindling down to approximately 3 per cent. The distinctions among Muslim denominations have also become far more accentuated over the years. Muslim groups such as the Shias who account for approximately 20-25 per cent of Pakistan’s Muslim population, Ahmadis who have been declared non-Muslim by the writ of the state, and non-Muslim minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have been the targets of suicide bomb attacks on their neighbourhoods. Many are forcibly converted to Islam and had their houses of worship attacked. While much of the “cleansing of the population” took place in major events (Partition, around the 1965 and 1971 wars), there has also been a steady rise in incidents involving attacks on both Christians and Hindus in the last decade. Especially after 1986, under the rule of Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan officially adopted the terror promotion policy. Pakistan’s infamous “Blasphemy Law” has targeted religious minorities on a regular basis. Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman from Punjab, was the first woman in Pakistan’s history to be charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death. The small and ever-decreasing Hindu minority has faced a steady barrage of forced conversions and kidnappings, often for ransom. In the last few years there has been an increase in the number of Hindu families migrating or seeking asylum in neighbouring India. One incident of forced conversion of a young Hindu woman that garnered a lot of media coverage was that of Rinkel Kumari. She was abducted with the help of a ruling-party lawmaker and forced to marry and convert to Islam. This is just one case of abduction and forced religious conversion in Pakistan, with around 20-25 kidnappings and forced conversions of Hindu girls in Sindh every month according to a report by the Asian Human Rights Watch. There is a constant migration of Hindus from Baluchistan and Sindh region towards Bharat. The state policies and laws are directly responsible for this and it coincides with the terror policy.
2 Human Rights Violations in Baluchistan
Frustrated at not being able to annex the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan invaded and occupied Baluchistan on March 27, 1948. It’s record of human rights violations there is dismal. There have been 5 waves of full blown Baluch uprisings against the Pakistani state since 1948- 1948, late 1950s, 1970s, late 1990s and the ongoing one since 2006 after Pakistan used F-16s to bomb and kill Nawab Akbar Bugti. Baluch activists in Europe raised this issue over the past few months at various international human rights conferences and protests. However, neither international nor Indian media gave it almost any coverage.
Speaking at the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 11, 2016 Baluch Republican Party (BRP) representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Abdul Nawaz Bugti said that since the beginning of this year, Pakistani forces carried out military operations in Dera Bugti, Panjgur, Sibi, Turbat, Mastung and other parts of Baluchistan. 12,232 Baluch political activists and civilians including women and children were abducted while 323 people have been killed in custody and their mutilated dead bodies were discovered. Security forces kill previously abducted students and political activists and dump their dead bodies during military operations, after labelling them as
militants. “In year 2015, Pakistani forces confessed to have conducted 2,000 military operations in Baluchistan implementing the inhumane National Action Plan where 204 people were killed while 9,000 people were arrested. The real number of the victims is much more than these official figures as no independent media and human rights groups are allowed to report from there.” Pakistan had barred international journalists including Declan Walsh, who was the Pakistan bureau chief for The New York Times, and many others from visiting Baluchistan.
3 Atrocities in Occupied Territories
Pakistan has had a long and chequered history of usurping territories and treating it as fiefdoms. In the aftermath of the bloody Partition, it sent its Kabaili tribesman in a bid to capture Jammu & Kashmir. The timely intervention by Indian Army thwarted this nefarious design, but the few areas that fell in Pakistan’s hands face a bleak and uncertain future to this day. Termed as Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) by Bharat and ironically named ‘Azad Kashmir’ by Pakistan, it treats this region as its dumpyard. The place is turned into a nursery for jihadis, with training camps littered all over. Even the pretentious semblance of democracy that was precarious maintained so long, fell apart after the recent surgical strikes on it, when Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif called for an emergency high-level National Security meeting on October 4, minus the ‘elected’ representative of the very region where the strikes took place. In the words of Tariq Naqash, one of the eminent journalists of PoJK, “The dispute is over Kashmir, but it’s surprising to see that PoJK PM is not among the invitees”. The case of Gilgit-Baltistan (called Northern Areas) by Pakistan is worse. This region is neither ‘azad’ nor a part of Pakistan. It is like an illegitimate child that no one accepts but everyone exploits. Its abundant treasure of natural resources comprising of huge reservoirs of gold, precious stones, uranium, copper, natural gas, fresh water, has become a curse for it. It is being ruthlessly exploited by Pakistan and its ally, China, to whom it has leased large tracts of this region. Even the (in)famous CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), the modern avatar of the fortune-spinning ancient Silk Trade Route, runs through this region. Despite the umpteen benefits, the region is not an ‘official’ part of Pakistan. The story of atrocities and human rights violations in these occupied territories is a never ending saga.
4 Discrimination against Mohajirs
Mohajirs, that is immigrants, is a group who chose Pakistan as a homeland by choice. After 68 years they are still struggling to get out of secondary citizenship. Mohajirs continue to face persecution by the Pakistan government and, therefore, live battered lives in the land they chose after Partition, claims Mohajir activists. They are still considered as “outsider/foreigner” in Pakistan and they were target of planned genocide attacks in 1965. The Pakistani census claim that 7.2 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan after the Partition. They often accused the Pakistani government of not paying any heed to the plight of Mohajirs during the riots of 1985 and 2011, which claimed thousands of lives. Riots broke out in the country in 1985 when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) called for equal rights and identity and in 2011 over 900 were killed in Karachi itself following ethnic and political tensions. The Mohajir groups claim that over 1.3 million people have died in Pakistan in targeted killing of the Mojahirs. MQM is still a very prominent Karachi based group that fight for the equal rights.
5 Denial of Democracy
Military coups in Pakistan is a regular feature. Since 1958 there have been three successful attempts and Pakistan has spent more than three decades under military rule (1958 – 1971, 1977 – 1988, 1999 – 2008). Besides this, there have also been numerous unsuccessful attempts notably in 1951, 1980 and 1995. In 1995, Dr Charles H Kennedy, renowned expert on Pakistani politics, wrote the essay ‘A User’s Guide to Guided Democracy’, in which he sarcastically outlined ten ‘steps’ that could help any new ruler of Pakistan's to consolidate their rule. Otherwise also, though Pakistan overtly adopts the democratic structure, the real control rests with the Army and intelligence agency, ISI. Instigating anti-Bharat sentiments, promoting radical ideology and keeping the service delivery system in the apathetic condition especially under civilian government are the common tactics of military elites. As one of the analysts from Pakistan explained in a blog, “While the army is accused of using political parties in setting their own agendas, our politicians are more than willing to align themselves with anti-democratic forces at the first hint of lucrative benefits. Sham rebellions have been a regular occurrence in the years before coups, as was the case with the anti-Bhutto movement in the ‘70s, and the anti-Nawaz/Benazir movements throughout the ‘90s. The method is simple: manufacture instability, then step in to remove it.”
6 Institutionalised Corruption
After every coup or any other political development, a story of ousted leader taking exile in Dubai or London is common in Pakistan. The Pakistani military's “welfare foundations” run thousands of businesses worth tens of billions of dollars, ranging from street-corner petrol pumps to sprawling industrial plants, says Ayesha Siddiqa, the author of Military Inc: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy, highlighting Army’s role in private enterprise. Siddiqa says the military's private wealth could be as high $20bn, a “rough figure”, she says, split between $10bn in land and $10 in private military assets. Recently, at least six high-ranking Pakistani army officers, including a lieutenant-general and major-general, have been sacked amid corruption allegations by the Army Chief. That is also believed to be put pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is under scanner in Panama Papers controversy. There have been anti-corruption voices but the systemic frauds are so entrenched that any move for correction lead to instability, many Pakistani scholars believe.
7 Socio-economic losses
The precarious economy of Pakistan has never seen a double digit growth rate in its entire history. But what it does witness regularly is abysmal growth rates, sometimes as low as 2.0. Researches highlight the negative relationship between the number of terrorist incidents in a country and the GDP Per Capita growth and Capital formation. For example, according to Barth et al Report, the higher the number of terrorist attacks per million population, the lower the real GDP per capita growth and lower the capital formation as a percentage of GDP. This logic precisely applies to Pakistan. Whenever, there has been a rise in radicalism, as indicated by the growth and reach of activities of ISI-backed Mullahs and Maulvis, Pakistan has seen a steep slump in its socio-economic indicators like FDI inflow, stock market, industrial output, agricultural productivity, infrastructural development, employment generation, purchasing power & standard of living of its citizens. To make matters worse, Fiscal deficit and foreign debt is on the rise. Guaranteed Income generators like the tourism industry also collapses during turbulent times where an environment of fear and insecurity prevails. When terrorists strike consumer and business confidence weakens. “Sales slump, production tumbles and investment stops,” says Ashfaque Hasan Khan, a former special finance secretary. Exports also decline, he adds. Some of these things are already taking place. Exports have plunged 19 per cent to $4.635 billion in the first quarter to September of the current fiscal from $5.711 billion a year earlier. The total cost of War on Terror is estimated to be $ 102 billion, which excludes illegal terror financing. The ultimate economic woes of all this terror venture has to be faced by common people of Pakistan.
8 Human Losses
The greatest casualty to the inferno of terrorism has been precious human life. It is sad to witness the killing and maiming of millions of able-bodied men, who could prove to be valuable human resource if channelised towards nation building. While the physical scars of this long-drawn war on terrorism are for all to see, the psychological implications are even more deeper, dangerous and far-reaching. The indoctrination of a few generations will have a multiplier effect. Weaning out the jihadist bug from Pakistani DNA is going to be atleast a century-long concerted effort. Barbaric acts like the killing of adolescent children of Army Public School in Peshawar is not a blot to Pakistan alone but to entire humanity. Erasing such horrendous episodes from public psyche and rebuilding the confidence of Pakistani people in themselves as well as the international community at large in Pakistan and its people, will take ages. Putting a monetary value to some of these damages is impossible. What value can one put to human trauma, lost generations, mutilated bodies and scarred souls? As per the conservative estimates the total losses of human lives in Terror related acts are 35,000 in Pakistan since 2001.This excludes the deaths of irregulars sent by Pakistan in other parts of the world.
9 Infusion of violence & extremism
The curricular changes were not only in the religious schools but also the secular ones. An entire generation of Pakistanis studying in public (and secular) schools has grown up viewing not only non-Muslim minorities but also Muslim minorities as “the other,” as “unpatriotic,” and as “not Muslim enough.” The many textbooks published in Pakistan under the title Pakistan Studies are particularly prone to the omissions, embellishments, and elisions that often characterise historical narratives designed for secondary level social studies classes. Under the orders of General Zia-ul Haq social studies – a combination of history and geography, was replaced by Pakistan Studies. Curriculum changes institutionalised during Zia’s Islamisation campaign, required that all students also take a series of courses under the title Islamiyat, the study of Islamic tenants and memorization of Quranic verses. Committees formed under Zia’s guidance began to systematically edit the textbooks. The University Grants Commission (UGC) issued a directive in 1983 that textbook writers were, “To demonstrate that the basis of Pakistan is not to be founded in racial, linguistic, or geographical factors, but, rather, in the shared experience of a common religion.” A move to establish the ‘ulama as genuine heroes of the Pakistan Movement and an emphasis on ritualistic Islam, together with the rejection of interpretations of the religion and generation of communal antagonism has completely radicalised the society which is taking Pakistan on self-destructive mode.
10 Ashamed identity
The Express Tribune of Pakistan in one of its stories reported that many Pakistanis in the US are pretending to be Indians. Strange it may sound but as the quote of Asghar Choudhri, an accountant and chairman of Brooklyn’s Pakistani American Merchant Association, goes, “A lot of Pakistanis can’t get jobs after 9/11 and now it’s even worse. They are now pretending they are Indian so they can get a job.” This clearly raise many questions about the relationship between Pakistan as a State controlled by the elite in Army and ISI and common Pakistanis who struggle to meet their both ends meet.
This clear reveals the pattern and reasons of alienation of people from Pakistan as nation. The terror policy of Pakistan has certainly contributed in that. Imposition of a particular version of Islam in diverse region, which were parts of Bharat at one point, and using territories to promote terror across the world are the root causes of increasing dissent within Pakistan. Perhaps the petition filed by US Congressman Ted Poe, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, in H.R.6069, through the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act summarises the state within Pakistan aptly. It says, “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror”. In short, myopic ambitions of the elite (decision-makers) of Pakistan comprising of Army top-brass, Mullahs and a few political families, is pushing Pakistan to the brink of disaster. The blind race for self-aggrandisement and political power amongst the elite is resulting in the annihilation of its people. All and sundry have realised it, including the people of Pakistan. Some even dare to voice their opinion at public forums, risking their lives. It is ONLY the elite and their beneficiaries that remain in denial mode – a ‘deadly denial’ that might cost them their very existence.