Plunge & the leap of faith

As Hindu and Muslim protestors in New Delhi clashed and police encouraged violence against Muslims, a few miles away President Trump commended Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “working very hard on religious freedom”. He refused to discuss a controversial new citizenship law that set off protests across the country, saying that the matter was “really up to India”. Amit Shah made highly provocative speeches, where he said that each and every vote for the BJP will pass an electric current through the demonstrators. Incidentally, areas focused are the same where BJP ministers and politicians made provocative speeches during the elections. The communal pyres in India have been set alight and President Trump played the flute as the capital burnt. 

President Trump also chose to ignore the illegally annexed Muslim majority Kashmir under a brutal lockdown since 5 August 2019. Implicitly, the mediation and solution thereof means the Israel model. Was it a coincidence that Trump’s visit came   just short of the first anniversary of failed Indian strikes at Balakot and the humiliation it suffered at the hands of Pakistan? Even after Trump’s departure, the violence has not subsided. Arvind Kejriwal is critical of handling of the situation by BJP. He called the situation alarming and wants the military to impose curfew. The death toll has risen to 37. 

What religious freedom was Trump talking about? His visit to Mahatma Ghani’s memorial was a farce. The way the State Department and agencies prepare briefs, he surely knew that the Indian legend of non-violence was killed by RSS, the force behind BJP. He was certainly briefed about RSS, Saffron Wave and Hindutva along with the military mind-set that seeks to transform India into Vedic traditions. 

So what was President Trump commending? The only parallel in history is the carving of United States of American in late 19th and early 20th century. That’s when other races, creeds and competitors were eliminated and annihilated. Winning the West is certainly not a very bright chapter of history. Is it the same freedom that USA boasts for Red Indian Tribes from the Great Rockies to South, Hispanic settlers, Black Americans, South Americans, Chinese workers and Mormons? Such was the hunger for wealth and resources that, the cleansing brought the American buffalo to near extinction. Treaty after treaty was cantankerously violated resulting in near extinction of populations. In the final analysis, it was the Anglo Saxon God that won. This is what made “America Great”.  

US quest for broad spectrum dominance is a blue print of how the West was won. USA could not care less if Muslims, Christians and untouchables are discriminated and pushed back in India as long as India remains a cornerstone of its policy to face off China and Pakistan. 

India is a late entrant into this blue print. Earlier Latin America bore the brunt of US policies during the Cold War and even today. Monroe Doctrine may be historically dead but the partnership with countries in the South America is more in keeping with Monroe’s intentions. It is called Full Spectrum Dominance. Not just Americas but the entire Middle East has borne the brunt of this US strategy. Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran are just to name a few. Barricading Palestinians and promoting a single hegemon Israel in the region is part of this policy. The Muslim World that once dominated and educated Europe is a house divided by strife, intrigue and individual ambitions.  In the scheme of things, mention of Palestine and Kashmir by America’s most obedient vassals is sacrosanct. 

Pakistan finding itself in a corner is its own doing. Every country has a right to pursue national interests. Pakistan is the only exception. It is a hare that feels most comfortable running with hounds. It can create a niche for others but ignore its gains. Isn’t it ironic that Qatar now calls Pakistan to attend the final rites of Taliban accord? What do all those sacrifices over many decades mean?

Pakistan has been foxed by USA repeatedly. It is surprising that many in Pakistan take President Trump’s offer on mediation in Kashmir seriously. This is what the power of economic dependency can do to a nuclear power with a large battle hardy standing armed forces. The noose and the knot around Pakistan are effective despite sacrifices of its law enforcement agencies. Economics and FATF are forcing Pakistan to cede without fighting the battle. Who cares about attrition of national aspirations at the hands of economic manipulation? This is how politics works for a country not ready to stand on its feet. 

For over two decades, I have advocated that Pakistan needs to learn lessons from the Latin American history. The sponsored counter revolutions, drug mafias, bubble economies, dependence on international financial institutions, foreign sponsored coups and banana republics are punishments Latin America endured. Technology has made Eurasia the US sphere of interest and Middle East, Pakistan and South West Asia have become a frontier. 

The relentless fury will not subside till such time Pakistan becomes self-reliant and credible. Certainly, the pride and credibility will not come with political gobbledegook. It needs strong legs firmly gripped on home turf. An economy revolving around a three year support package will never grip its feet on ground. 

As written earlier, this is akin to a hurricane or a twister in frantic frenzy. With time it becomes super charged with high discount and interest rates, inflation and stagflation. Corporate interests of cartels that exercise influence over decision making and high energy costs create a piercing needle that points down below. What follows is the eye of the hurricane; the funnel or the vortex that acts like a vacuum to suck out blood from stones. This is what is actually happening. As long as priorities do not change Pakistan’s response will continue to lie in political rhetoric and nothingness. 

Taking the plunge and leap of faith is what Pakistan’s leadership is missing. They have no idea of where and how to begin the indomitable task of rebuilding the country. 

Pakistan in many ways is neither Latin America nor Middle East. It is into its fourth cycle of uninterrupted democracy. It has a homogenous inter related population, a common religion, all the seasons of the world, an industrial infrastructure looted, plundered and neglected for four decades, all the seasons of the world, river systems, arable land, natural resources and skilled manpower nearing retirement age. Its youngsters though largely doing petty jobs or unemployed are nonetheless recognised amongst the best entrepreneurs of the world. Its scientists, doctors and engineers are still engaged by the centres of excellence world over. The hardy population mostly comprising tillers and labour is completely neglected. Its best agriculturists are welcome world over but a taboo within Pakistan. To safeguard its frontiers, Pakistan has amongst the most efficient fighting machines backed by a nuclear capability. 

If this fairy tale is true then what stops Pakistan from taking this plunge into the known? The problem is that the ‘leap of faith’ is non-existent. Influential cartels, fly by night reformers and pseudo experts have polluted the pristine pond to an alligator infested marsh. 

A nuclear Pakistan with strong armed forces and economic stability is not what the doctor desires. Before we become hypercritical of others, we need a good peep into ourselves. This is where the real enemy is.

Samson Simon Sharaf
The writer is member of PQNK Group

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