Dilemma of people of Pakistan

Pakistanis usually laugh it away embarrassingly and admit that India has indeed made great strides in building an international image. Pakistani diaspora is reputed to be hard working; of course nowhere near the brand of Indians, but their ability to integrate well within other societies is always suspect because of the image that goes along with them.
Pakistanis visiting India in the Sixties brought along various foreign goods and a unique water pumper called Rahber. They were immensely proud of their quality of life and looked down upon us Indians in socialist India. Today, one can see Pakistani artistes wishing to settle here. If anything, they are fully aware that despite all its limitations, India aspires and works towards the betterment of its common citizens. There may be corruption, poverty, overruns of projects and too much bureaucracy, but at the end of the day the Indian citizen can legitimately aspire for a better life.
An Indian enjoys high international reputation. Worldwide, people speak of India’s century along with that of China. The old world hyphenation of India with Pakistan is now transformed to hyphenation with China. Pakistani citizen may have to wait nine months or more for a visa to visit Hong Kong because being Pakistani is synonymous with being reasonably undesirable and alien to civilized society. That would be worth examining because Pakistanis themselves would be interested to find out.
At the outset we need to go back to 1977 and the Zia mission. It was all about the planned retribution by the Pakistan Army against India, for the loss of its eastern segment (now Bangladesh). General Zia knew that to take on India, he needed to do two things; one, go nuclear and two, exploit India’s ethnic, religious, caste and regional fault lines through a low cost, long term proxy war.
Pakistan went covertly nuclear in early 80s. On the second front, it started with Punjab and moved on to J&K before targeting other parts of India. Pakistan’s military establishment, not the government, thinks it is still winning the low intensity proxy war that it commenced in the 80s and continues to support it. Zia had no qualms in radicalizing the Army because radicalism in his vocabulary meant total support from the moneyed elements of the Middle East.
Pakistani citizens need to know and so does the rest of the less-informed world that the tenuous hold that Islamic radicalism has over the world today can be squarely placed at the altar of Zia and his advisers of the ISI and the Army. It also attracted the much needed funding for Pakistan on the pretext of the Afghan refugees and the trans-national Islamic mercenaries. The Zia Plan continues to the day, followed by his successors. What it has succeeded in doing is to keep the ‘terror sponsor’ label closely affixed to Pakistan’s national persona.
It is China’s national interest which gives the Pakistan Army the scope and gumption to exercise power and employ the much discussed and condemned strategy of ‘good terrorist bad terrorist’. US perhaps is the one single entity most responsible for bolstering the confidence of the Generals in Pakistan. The long standing relationship going back to the CENTO/SEATO days has been an enduring one, not the least because of the US realization that Pakistan occupies the world’s most crucial strategic space.
The tragedy of the Pakistani people is that the control over their lives is not alone in the hands of the Army but equally in the hands of a radical clergy and it’s more than equal radical followers.
The Army used the clergy at one time to establish its own control. Now it cannot dismount from the proverbial tiger. That is why this situation will persist and India has to be prepared for that. Peace processes will meet their end after fits and starts and the charade will go on.
In a few years the already yawning gap between India’s economy and that of Pakistan will have a telling effect of the citizens of Pakistan. That is when things will begin to happen, from within the people, unpredictably and therefore dangerously.

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