Sunday, November 11, 2012

“Pakistan – A Hard Country” – A critique

It seems that this book was written with just one purpose, to present an alternative point of view of showing how good Pakistan is, in the guise of a balanced well researched treatise and be a big hit in Pakistan and colonial guilt ridden liberal West (So-called). It so devoid of truth that it seems like it was written about a fantasy land in the authors mind rather than the real country of Pakistan. What is most obnoxious is the style. The author writes in a tone that is similar to a theoretical analysis of a hypothetical society and gives tons of scholarly advice to the policy makers. It hardly contains any fact.

So far I read only the introduction and glanced through the chapter on religion. The following sentences from the introduction scream for an explanation.
  1. “When terrorist groups attack India, or Western forces in Afghanistan, their actions enjoy a degree of instinctive, gut sympathy from a majority of Pakistanis – not because of Islamist extremism, but because of Muslim nationalism and bitter hostility to the US role in the Muslim world in general and Pakistan’s region in particular.”
    Then the author goes on explaining how this is not religious but rather hostility to the West. But he never bothers to explain why attacks against India are so popular. Also, as far as I know, The West is always a friend to Pakistan rather than an enemy. America and Britain actually helped Pakistan to stand on its feet defend itself against India, developed its economy, infrastructure and military, poured in billions of dollars of aid. Then why are attacks against the West and Israel are so popular in Pakistan?
  2. “Nonetheless, tough they are; and unless the USA, India, or both together invade Pakistan and thereby precipitate its disintegration, the likelihood is that the country will hold together, and that if it eventually collapses, it will be not Islamist extremism but climate change – an especially grim threat in the whole of South Asia – that finishes it off.”
    Remarkably fantastic! Where in the whole world did the author get the idea that either the USA or India is even remotely interested to invade Pakistan? Why? The last thing, the USA wants to do is to invade a “on the face” friendly country without any natural resources and land in the biggest mess of their military history, even if there is imminent threat of the nukes falling in the hands of Jihadists. They will rather bomb them to dust than put soldiers on the ground. As for India, there is no military or strategic interest or political dividend to attempt such madness. Pakistan to India now is an irritant rather than a threat. And gone are the days when attacking Pakistan will win a party an election.
  3. “Finally, Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons and one of the most powerful armies in Asia. This means that the option of the US attacking Pakistan with ground forces in order to force it to put pressure on the Afghan Taliban simply does not exist – as both the Pentagon and the Pakistani military have long understood.”
    This statement contradicts the suggestion put forward in the last point. Let’s analyze the conclusion. Pakistan has a powerful army. As far as I can tell, Indian army is one of the most unorganized, under trained, ill equipped army in the world. Pakistani army, armed with superior American arms compared to the Russian supplied Indian army, looses against India repeatedly, even when their numerical strengths are same. They always lose against the Taliban, Baloch rebels, even when they apply the most ruthless and savage repressions against their own civilians. They cannot defend their own establishments in their own country against the terrorists. This shows the strength of Pakistani army. Judging from the Iraqi defeat in two weeks, it seems to me that Pakistan will not last more than two days against a determined US attack. Now about the nukes. What good are they against a US invasion? Even if I assume that Pakistan has weapon grade nuclear device (very doubtful), how can they used it either against America or their allies? They only two types of delivery system they have are mules and Jihadists. They cannot strap a nuclear device to either of them and send them to Tel-Aviv. If America can ensure that they will shoot down every plane out of Pakistan, which they are quite capable of doing, that will ensure that all nukes will explode inside Pakistan.
  4. I have just glanced through the chapter on religion. But so far I could not find any discussion about the brutal persecution of religious minorities like Hindus and Christians. Forced eviction of non-sunni Muslims like the Sufis, Bahais, Ahmedis, Shias. It does not try to explain why the liking of the anti-blashphemy-law minister was so popular in Pakistan. It does not talk about the Mohajirs. It just tries to gloss over and justify Pakistan as an ideal radical and extremist Islamic state. An oxymoron.

1 comment:

sujit sah said...

referring to your first point..i still don't understand the difference between Islamic terrorism and Muslim nationalism. Aren't they two sides of the same coin??

Whom is the author trying to confuse?? The general Madrasa educated Pakistanis??