Islam , Jihad and Pakistan
Before the Partition of India in 1947, all the communities in India including Muslims, had been living together for hundreds of years in great harmony with each other. Their economic interests were coinciding with each other. That’s why, the Muslims even didn’t want to participate in any agitation that could lead the country to partition.
But the brainchild of the British, the All India Muslim League (AIML), started to use the name of Islam to bring the Muslims together against the Indian National Congress (INC) because it was the agenda of the British Empire at the time.
So to use their famous formula of divide and rule and to rule them, the British wanted to create differences, among the various Indian communities. The struggle for Pakistan by Muslim League, was not against the British imperial and colonial rule, but against the Hindus in the name of Islam. Jinnah and Liaqat Ali had requested the British, to stay in India as much as they wanted, promising that the Muslims will be with them.
The territories, in which the Muslim League leaders were residing, remained in India. They came to Pakistan, which was established on the land of Afghanistan, India, Bengali, Baluchistan and Sindh. So an artificial, unnatural state came into being which even couldn’t survive for 24 years and disintegrated in 1971. After facing repeated electoral failures in India, the secular leadership of the Muslim League, started trumpeting the slogan that “ISLAM WAS IN DANDER”.
It recruited religious scholars like Shabbir Ahmad Usmani to spread fear of the prospect of a “Hindu majority rule,” after Britain withdrew from the subcontinent.
The biggest losers in this great game of divide-and-rule , were India’s Muslims. In the name of Islam, they were divided into three separate parts, and cut off from each other. Ironically, this division was done in the name of unity. Muslim segregationist movement, that splintered India’s Muslims into three countries , celebrate this catastrophe as a victory.
Pakistan was born , as a nation of contradictions. Religion would have nothing to do with the business of the state; it would merely be a matter of personal faith for the individual.
The phrase “state of Islam” deﬁnes the condition of a Muslim, in how he or she imbibes the values of Islam to govern personal life and uses faith as a moral compass.In contrast, the “Islamic State” is a political entity: a state, caliphate, sultanate, kingdom, or country , that uses Islam
as a tool to govern society and control its citizenry.
So the Muslims of Pakistan live in an Islamic State while Muslims of India live in a state of Islam as in other normal secular countries. ( Tarek Fateh)
Muslims are told incessantly that true Islam can only prosper under the protection of an “Islamic State,” but the facts suggest that the ground reality is different.
Muslims living as religious minorities in secular societies like South Africa, India, Canada, the United States, or Britain—are able to speak their minds, live under the rule of law, and get equality of citizenship.
On the other hand, Muslims cannot even dare to imagine such rights in present-day Islamic States , like Pakistan.
The 190 million Muslims of Pakistan have become the recruiting grounds for Al-Qaeda, not just on its own territory, but among its diaspora in the world as well.
The world Muslim community need to reﬂect on this dilemma about Pakistan.
Ruling elites have made their countries a disgrace to Islam and the memory of the Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH).
From its bloody birth in August 1947 to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, Pakistan’s history has been a ground of turmoil, war, and civil strife.
Army , judiciary , bureaucracy and Pakistan’s elites turned the country into a graveyard of its indigenous culture and languages. History was murdered on the altar of religion. As a result Pakistan become an orphan state culturally , linguistically and Historically.On the name of Islam and Pakistan the Pukhtuns, Baloch and Sindhis were snatched from the cradle of their cultures and great civilizations and made permanent refugees under the hegemony of Punjab.
Unlike India, where ethnically -base communalism, tends to prevail but ethnic tension in Pakistan tends to take the form of sub-national freedom movements , direct against the central power.
The autocratic nature of the central government, is viewed by these movements , as evidence of Punjab domination over the other nationalities of Pakistan on the name of Islam.
Pakistan’s running and ruling classes are Punjabi.
As a result ,the subordinate classes have the least to gain from the politics of ethnicity and have tended to support radical and religious movements instead.
Pakistan was founded on the principal of Muslim nationalism. But it has always been a very weak force in Modern Pakistan.
But only Punjabi define their identity as true Muslim for whom Pakistan was created.
And other nationalities think themselves the hostages in the hands of Punjab. Punjab is the dominant province of Pakistan in terms of its economy, population and representation in government.
For Punjab the rest of the country is territory to which they can export their problems. It is in the Punjab interest to keep Pakistan united with the help of powerful Punjabi Army , bureaucracy and judiciary. In the real sense Punjab is Pakistan and Pakistan is Punjab . That’s why, there is no major regional movement in Punjab.
The dominance of the Punjabies within central government , has led to an authoritarian system where the absence of the political negotiation has compounded the sense of Alienation, felt by subordinate ethnic group and they want to get rid of Pakistan as soon as possible and make it a part of history.
Pakistanis in Islam are standing naked in the middle of the town square and the whole world is watching.
The anti-Americanism of the Islamist in Pakistan , is not only about the United States, but reﬂects their contempt for the liberal social democratic society , the world has built and its emphasis on liberty and freedom of the individual itself.
But in Pakistan a vibrant democracy , was strangled by the egos of authoritarian dictators, both civilian and military.
When Lord Mountbatten , the last viceroy of British India , tried to explain to Jinnah that under Pakistan’s interim constitution, the governor general was a ceremonial head of state and real power lay with the prime minister but Jinnah told him curtly, “In Pakistan, I will be the Governor-General and the Prime Minister will do what I tell him.” And that is how history would record his one year in ofﬁce.
After having revoked the authority of the Muslim League parliamentary group , Jinnah chose the country’s new prime minister liaqat Ali Khan.
He also named his prime minister’s ﬁrst cabinet for him, and if that was not enough as governor general also sat in cabinet, presiding the cabinet meetings which was the responsibility of the Prime Minister and not that of the Governor General.
Jinnah broke another sacred principle of democracy. He dismissed the duly elected provincial government in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now Khyaber Pukhtunkhwa , which borders Afghanistan.
Dr. Khan Sahib, the chief minister of the province, had a comfortable majority. First Jinnah told to the Governor who was British , to dismiss the NWFP government but he replied that it was against the democratic norms but Jinnah replied , don’t say me any thing about democracy. And then NWFP government was toppled on the order of Jinnah.
Jinnah installed his own party as the government, but when it failed to get a vote of conﬁdence, he arranged to have all the dismissed members arrested , creating an artiﬁcial majority. Before Jinnah was called the great killer of the people, great infidel but then he was called the great killer of the Democracy.
From Pakistan’s inception, the people of the NWFP—the Pukhtoons—, were treated like the riff-raff of society, and that alienation , has left scars. Until the 1970s, this alienation, contributed to Pukhtoon nationalism. Later, this sentiment, would be tapped by Islamists under the cover of Pakistan intelligence organization ISI , to create the Pukhtoon Taliban of today who could crush the Pukhtun nationalism and their sentiments to get rid of Pakistan and annex their motherland Afghanistan.
Nine months after dismissing the NWFP government, the ailing person, skeleton Jinnah, demonstrated his arbitrary power again. This time he dismissed the government in the province of Sindh, which belonged to his own party, the Muslim League.
Mixing religion and politics is not only a disingenuous political tactic but its results are catastrophic?
In less than a year of the nation’s existence, the man who had created Pakistan as a democratic state for the Muslims of India, had gone against the grain of democracy and invoked Islam to bring discipline among those who protested.
Mere weeks before he passed away, declared to the country’s majority Bengali population that their language was not worthy of being the nation’s national language as it was not a “Muslim” language. So before he died, he had sown the seeds of the country’s breakup.
The language riots that broke out after Jinnah’s “Urdu Only” speech, were the ﬁrst step towards the ultimate secession of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s indigenous languages were all sidelined and the language of 3 to 5 % of refugees from India who had betrayed their motherland India and migrated to Pakistan, was imposed as a national language on the indigenous people of Pakistan by force.
The ethno nationalists wanted the system that could guarantee the protection of their cultural , ethnic, linguistic , economic and political identity , but Pakistan better say Punjabistan , never wanted it at all. Punjabis hate those nationalities in Pakistan who love their history, language and culture. They destroyed the history, language and culture of the Pukhtuns, Baloch and Sindhis. As a result Pakistan became a culture less country.
Due to th post colonial mindset , the inherited Pakistan bureaucracy, has suppressed the societies of the Pukhtuns , Baloch , sindihes and minorities rather than to organize them for development.
Therefore, the society of Pakistan has been divided between two segments, the Punjab dominated army , civil military Establishment and jihadists are on one side and the oppressed nationalities , the pukhtuns, Baloch , sindhies and minorities on the other side. And these two segments feed each other in opposite directions which have generated the nationalist freedom movements in Pakistan since its birth.
After Jinnah’s death in 1948, from top to bottom, authoritarian model grew in strength. If the Father of the Nation, had set the precedent of arbitrary rule who would dare stand in the way?
Instead of leaving behind institutions of democracy, Jinnah left a trail of authoritarian precedents that are invoked and implemented to the nation’s detriment even today.
When Pakistan’s ﬁrst Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, endorsed a proposal to make Islam the ofﬁcial state religion,
the first Hindu law minister of Pakistan, Jotandar Nath Mandal realized that his days were numbered. In October 1950, he ﬂed to Calcutta to take refuge in India.
In his letter of resignation, he slammed Jinnah’s successors for disregarding the rights and future of minorities in Pakistan. And he was right. In 1947 , the Hindues were 19% of the population but now it has squeezed to 2%.
The ﬁrst test of democracy came in May1949 during a by-election, in the constituency of Tangail in then East Pakistan.
To the shock of the ruling Muslim League, the party lost the election to the nascent opposition. Stung by the loss and taking it as a personal insult, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan , declared the result null and void . And the newly elected member of the constituent assembly was jailed along with numerous other opposition activists.
As the country was celebrating the founder’s birthday on Christmas Day, 1954, the governor general Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the Constituent Assembly. If Governor General Jinnah , could dissolve provincial legislature, surely his successor argued, he could dissolve the federal legislature.
The country’s politicians knew the value of Islam as a political weapon and they were not about to surrender the goose that lays the golden egg.
The strategic partnership of Britain and the United States put Pakistan in conﬂict with its Arab friends. When Israel, Britain, and France invaded the Suez Canal in 1956, Pakistan’s government based on Islam , shamefully backed the invading armies instead of Egypt.
Pakistan has always been, a hotbed for the terrorist ideology, often referred to ,as Jehadism. It is an integral part of Pakistan’s foreign policy since 1947 till now.
The core ,this ideological foreign policy rests on a particular perception of Pakistan’s security environment.
All the roads lead to Pakistan in the context of planning, training , recruiting and orchestrating , regional and global terrorism in the name of Jihad.
Pakistanis believe, that India is existential threat to Pakistan. It is another question that all the wars with India, were initiated by Pakistan and was terribly defeated , including the humiliating surrender of 93000 Pakistan Army to Indian Army in no time in Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh.
Islam and Islamic unity were not only the principal drivers of the ideology of foreign Policy of Pakistan but Pakistan has always been using it to crush the nationalists movements in Pakistan on the name of Islam and Pakistan, and gave the Pukhtuns, Baloch and Sindies , in the hegemony of Punjab as its hostages because more than 80% of Pakistan Army , judiciary and bureaucracy , belong to Punjab.
But above all ,the ideology of Islam was also used just as a tool to create Pakistan by the so called founder of Pakistan , Mohd Ali Jinnah, who himself was not even a non-believer, but far away from Islamic values. He was not a politician but a lawyer.That’s why , Pakistan is an artificial, and unnatural state which does not represent the reality on the ground.
Pakistan tried its best that Islam could be a substitute for nationalism as the basis of Pakistani identity. Pakistan’s Islamic identity would thus be an “ ideological safeguard”, protecting its territorial integrity but it failed terribly and got disintegrated.
Pakistan’s Army and Establishment with the close nexus with the religious organizations , tried to suppress the Bengali nationalism and the Pukhtun nationalism on both sides of the imaginary line , Durand line, but As a result East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971and the Durand line is on the way to be vanished as soon as possible for ever.
The Pukhtuns , Baloch and Sindhis, have been struggling for their freedom from Pakistan since 1947 till to date.
Pakistan’s leaders have always been consistently worried about ethnic and linguistic nationalism and trumpeting Pakistani nationalism but it did not succeed. As a result the other nationalities except Punjabies, better say to themselves the Pukhtuns, Baloch sindhies rather than Pakistanis.
Instead of bringing them in the mainstream of life, Punjab dominated Pakistan Pushed the Pukhtuns , Baloch and Sindihs to radicalism and excluded them from a legitimate role in their country’s governance
Punjab is not ready to share power with any one. They didn’t do it with 54% Bengalis where the Punjabies were 25% of the total population of Pakistan at that time. Therefore, if the 15% Pukhtuns, and 7% Baluchies think that they will be given their rights in Pakistan, are living in fool’s paradise .
Geography and history are key factors in shaping the foreign policies of most nations but Pakistan’s policy-makers emphasized ideology as the third dimension because Pakistan does not have any its own geography and history.
Punjab dominated Pakistan Army , civil and military establishment , have always been perusing a policy of creating a unitary state national identity of Pakistan and negating the existence of the multi ethnic and plural reality of the society.
And this identity crisis as it appears from the center, is not being appreciated and supported by non centrist secular and nationalist perspectives.
As Pakistan was created on the name of religion, so the growth of Religion in governance , policy making and its implementation, specially in relations with India and Afghanistan and crushing the ethno nationalist identities , has strengthened the religious content of the Pakistan identity question.
Islam has been used as a tool of Policy by Pakistani state throughout its existence. It has been used both in foreign and domestic policies. The example of the foreign policy is the interference of Pakistan in Afghanistan and infiltration in Kashmir on the name of Jihad and in domestic policy is the suppression of the Pukhtun and Baluch nationalism.
Pakistani establishment has always found Islam a good tool in its Indian Policy and in crushing the Pukhtun and Baloch nationalist separatist movements wihin the country.
Punjab dominated , Pakistan army and Establishment , have always considered secular, nationalist and democratic forces a challenge to its hold over power. This provided the base for the alliance between the religious organizations and Army.
And thus army came direct into the power politics of the country , both in foreign and domestic politics. It assumed the responsibility of guarding the Islamic ideological identity and frontiers of the country. Projection of threat of India and Afghanistan is fundamental to the survival of Pakistan establishment , both civil and military.
Pakistan has put the Kashmir issue at hot burner overtly and Durand line issue with Afghanistan covertly.
Crafting a Pakistani identity , was considered a matter of national survival.
Further , the religious based identity feeds the conflict with India and crush the nationalist and separatist Pukhtun and Baloch movements in Pakistan. Religious rights in Pakistan has considered ethnic nationalism as an enemy just for the survival of Pakistan.The military and mullahs regarded those Pakistanis who professed the secular , ethnic and cultural nationalism, as their enemy.
Pakistan is a heterogeneous country with ethnic , linguistic and regional diversities and socio-economic disparities. But accommodating these identities in the national main stream, Pakistan failed terribly.But a monolithic notion of national identity and authoritarian political culture was established against these identities and their interests.
As a result a fragmented Pakistani society came into being. Pakistan didn’t learn any lesson from East Pakistan.
Pakistan army and establishment, tried to forge national identity on the basis of religious symbolism and centralization of authority. But ethnic nationalism was not defeated .
This constructed ideology- driven identity , has both an internal and external dimensions.
Internally , Punjab dominated Pakistan Army, establishment and Judiciary, have been using Islam as a tool to crush the nationalist freedom fighters to keep Pakistan intact. And externally, they have been looting Pakistan on the name of existential threat from India and Afghanistan with whom Pakistan has territorial disputes. In Pakistan to be Pakistani , you have to be anti-India, and anti – Afghanistan.
You have to define yourself in opposition to the others. That is the reason that with its neighbors , India, Afghanistan and Iran , the relations of Pakistan have always been extremely tense.
The wish , to see the Kingdom of God , established in a Muslim territory, was the moving idea behind the demand for Pakistan. Therefore , using the holy name of Islam , it is Pakistan’s compulsion to fuel Jehadism against Afghanistan, Kashmir and India just to keep Pakistan intact.
That’s why , if the international community thinks ,that Pakistan will quit the Jehadism, terrorism , extremism and fundamentalism, they are terribly mistaken.The terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism are the consequences of failures of nationhood and Pakistan does not have any nationhood.
In an interview in April 2008 , former President Bush said that Pakistan had now become the most likely place where “ Al Qaeda had established safe havens and was plotting attacks against United states.
President Obama once said that Pakistan and Afghanistan, were the “ central fronts in our enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism”.
Since 2001, due to the minimal achievements of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations ,skeptics accused Pakistan of not being serious about eliminating Islamic militants.
Both domestic and transnational issues complicate, Islamabad’s decision-making ability.
Islamabad’s instrumental use of Islamic groups to achieve political and strategic objectives, allows Islamist to become intertwined with the state.Strategic successes of the military-militant nexus, created deep-rooted sympathies toward Islamic militants that make implementing counterinsurgency policies problematic.
Fearing the Pukhtun Nationalism , Pakistan made the Pukhtun tribal leaders unprotected against radical elements.
The Mullahs growing strength, upsets the balance of authority within the tribal government system.
Pakistan has been using Islamic militant groups , as a foreign policy tool against Afghanistan and India over the past 67 years.
Joining the United states War on terror , Pakistan has been reluctant to conduct counterinsurgency operations which has increased America’s skepticism toward Pakistan.
Pakistan got substantial aid in exchange for assistance in building Afghan security. With such a large Military and American assistance , Pakistan has not eliminated militant groups because Pakistan does not want it. Pakistan has always been thinking these militant organizations as its asset for their Proxy wars in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India.
Washington’s policies regarding the “ War on militancy, have direct consequences to Pakistan.
The Existential threat of India toward Pakistan, is a deep-rooted fear inscribed from partition.Delhi’s collaboration with Kabul has heightened Pakistani concern.
The US pro-Indian foreign policy has alarmed Islamabad. That’s why ,Pakistan continues to do the minimum toward counterinsurgency in along its western border.Pakistani military has used Jihad rhetoric to mobilize Militants in Afghanistan and India as a proxy force to assist in achieving strategic victories.The Islamic nature of the state creates natural assumptions that state supports Islamic militant groups operating with the state.The Military and ISI’s ties with militant groups contribute to this assumption.Pakistan has been using these links with the militants as proxies in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India.
As Pakistan also uses these militants, to crush the nationalism of the Pukhtuns and Baloch, Islamabad has always been challenged with separatist movements, both in the Pukhtns and Baloch areas.
Since partition, a separate Pashtun state of Pakistani tribes along with all Pukhtun territory till to Indus River , has been solicited by Afghanistan to rejoin Afghanistan.
Pakistan has become obsessively concerned with its territory after the secession of East Pakistan. That’s why, Pakistan military has intervened in the tribal areas with regular forces to warn the Pukhtuns , living in the other parts of Pukhtunkhwa.Here Pakistan has two goals, one on the name of the operation to get money from America and second to warn the Pukhthun freedom fighters who want to get rid of Pakistan and annex their motherland Afghanistan.
The Pukhtuns , living till the Indus River, consider Pakistan as an occupier which could aggravate a dormant separatist movement or face a united tribal society.
The ungoverned territories of FATA for insurgents, under the cover of Pakistan military and ISI , reorganize and launch offensive operations in Afghanistan .
With India , aiding state building in Afghanistan , the existential Indian threat to Pakistan now exists on two fronts. Pakistan fears a strategic envelopment by India which would cause political and security problems for Pakistan.
That’s why , Pakistan has been supporting Afghan Taliban , Haqqani network and even groups like Let, to undermine India’s position in Afghanistan.
Islamabad sees the Delhi-Kabul relationship as a zero-sum game with Islamabad that may have dire consequences for Pakistan.
Two main issues are centered on the Durand line , one is that Kabul does not accept it internationally and second is the reawakening of the Pukhtun secessionist movements.
The Puhtuns tribes have been an autonomous tribal society all the time. Under the British , the Durand line was imposed on Afghanistan to divide the Pukhtun tribal areas and weaken their power. However, the Puktun tribes never paid attention to cross the Durand line back and forth freely without the fear of retribution.
With a majority of the Afghan population , the Pukhtuns, and subsequent afghan regimes , have attempted to incorporate the Pashtun area, from Durand line to the Indus river , in Afghanistan.That’s why ,Pakistan supported the Taliban to establish an Islamabad friendly regime in Kabul and Put an end of Afghanistan demand of its territories occupied by Pakistan. But Pakistan did not succeed. All the Regimes in Afghanistan, including the puppet govt of Taliban also, have never recognized Durand line as an international border.
Due to Pakistan support and encouragement , Militants of Jihadi organizations are highly motivated which makes it difficult to change their mindset. Because many of them know no other vocation besides the Jihad.
Failing to acknowledge Pakistan’s double cross game , America fostered a benevolent attitude toward thwarting militant activity.
As a result , Pakistan thought that it would keep these militants for their proxy war against Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops , because Pakistan was sure that US would abandon Afghanistan in 2014.
Pakistan also does not want to dismantle the Al Qaeda terrorist infrastructure for fear that Pakistan’s importance would be devalued within US security strategy.
An ineffective counterinsurgency strategy has allowed the militant groups to regain influence. The appeasement over the past decades have allowed the militant groups to gain control of FATA (Federal Administered Tribal Areas) and surrounding areas. The support of Pakistan Army and ISI , has emboldened militants to a great extent.
Selective action by the Pakistan state and army , has been taken against particular groups of Islamists who have turned against the state.
Pakistan has been supporting those militants who are fighting against the Afghanistan government and calls them the freedom fighters.
The linkage of Islam and Pakistan is explicitly tied to the state. Islamic Ideology is closely linked to Pakistan’s military and is used by the Army to promote its political agendas. Pakistan security services maintain connections with Islamic militants not for ideology but for their strategic calculation.But Islamic militants directly tie Islamic ideology to their agenda.
Due to the nexus of Pakistan army ad militants, the Islamist politicians bolster political power by alienating secular parties.
Pakistan has always been considering India and Pukhtun Nationalism , the security threat for Pakistan.
The Oligarchy , comprising the corrupt politicians, corrupt civil servants and corrupt Army officers that run Pakistan saw the Islamists as the barrier against the potential tide of ethnic nationalism which they saw as a threat to Pakistan’s integrity.
Pukhtun separatist movements will be addressed to establish the rationality for Pakistan’s concern.
However, the military’s primary orientation remains toward India. But Pakistan cannot afford to fight a two front war which makes Pakistan a very delicious sandwich between India and Afghanistan.
Pakistan thinks how to minimize fears of possible abandonment by United states of America which would leave Pakistan vulnerable, to an Indian , regional, hegemony.
Indian threats dominate Pakistan’s focus. The Kashmir dispute remains unsettled and continues to be a source of controversy as the LOC remaining a de facto state border.
The state’s and military Islamic ideology affinity is too much radicalized. The use of a direct military approach in counterinsurgency operations, represents the leadership’s parochial mindset towards conventional warfare.
America offered to provide US.military training to Pakistan’s regular military forces but the offer was not accepted by Pakistan Army chief.
Since its birth, Pakistan has been using Islamic militant groups on the name of Jihad as coercive tools to promote its foreign policy.That’s why , Pakistan army and ISI deliberately have never been serious about eliminating Islamic militant groups.
Indo-Pakistan security competition is a structural problem as state proximity to one another, is a key variable in interstate conflict.
Some times the conflict was deescalated by political means. Pakistan recognized that the nuclear umbrella did not provide protection against India’s military capacity.India’s new doctrine , called Cold start , is designed as a high intensity short duration armored strike to seize limited swaths of terrain that could be used in post conflict negotiations.
Pakistan thinks that it must protect the vulnerable Punjab plains because it does not think about the Pukhtun Baloch and sindhi areas. They will quit Pakistan any way. So instead of crushing the insurgency on the western border, Pakistan military maintains a majority of its forces along its eastern border to counter an Indian threat.
Punjab dominated Pakistan thinks that they will be trying to keep intact the Pukhtun, Baloch and sindies area to Pakistan for how long they can. But Pakistan will be terribly failed as in East Pakistan .
Although Pakistan army thinks that it will treat the Pukhtuns , baloch and sindies in the same way as they had treated Benglis in 1971 , but this time the war against Pakistan will be in the streets and roads of Punjab as the great leader and founder of Afghanistan , Ahmad shah Durrani , had been doing in 18th Century.
Pakistan considers the militants on the western border as their asset to use them for proxy war to destabilize and destroy Afghanistan as before. But the America’s change in its Afghan policy signaled to Pakistan a strengthened US commitment to the region , particularly to Afghanistan.
After that Pakistan started to rethink its policy about Afghanistan overtly , but not covertly. Because covertly Pakistan has completely different policy about Afghanistan which is the complete destruction of Afghanistan.
Pakistan cannot afford to fight a two front war without foreign assistance, so for the time being Pakistan’s mercenary army, took money from America to start so called operation against the militants in North Wazirstan. But before starting the operation the Haqqani network and Pakistani favourite Taliban had been warned already to leave the area.
Pakistan promoted Islamic fundamentalism to achieve political and strategic objectives.
Pakistani leaders accepted those militant groups that continued to align themselves with Islamabad’s objectives.
Ex-president ,Gen.Pervez Musharf, on one side was appeasing the united states and on the other side religious militant groups.
Islamic militants are used instrumentally to further Pakistan’s national interests specifically in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Pakistan identifies the manipulative power of Jihad to organize Jihadi groups as a foreign policy instrument to achieve strategic objectives.Pakistan first used them in Kashmir in 1947. The tribesmen of Khyber Pukhtunkwa were recruited under the fabric of Jihad at that time.
During the 1971 Bangladesh crisis , the Pakistan military used Islamic groups Albadar and Alshams ,to intimidate East Pakistani secular leaders against challenging the West Pakistan political regime but terribly failed. And now Pakistan has been using the similar militant groups for the same purpose in the Pukhtun, baloch and sindies areas.
The inter-Service intelligence’s Directorate ISI considers these militants fearless fighters and malleable to Pakistani desire.Young Pakistanis and Afghan refugees were militarized and indoctrinated into a jihadist culture through a flourishing Madras network.Many of madrassas teach a fanatical form of Islam. Some of the institutions are reported to give a measure of military training.
Further , the religious based identity , feeds the conflict with India and crush the nationalist Pukhtun and Baloch movements in Pakistan.
Pakistan, under Gen Zia-ul-Haq, not only volunteered to become the main conduit for supply of arms to the mujaheddin but also facilitated the opening of thousands of religious seminaries in Pakistan and Afghanistan , where the militants were indoctrinated with radicalism.
The rise of religious extremist organizations in Pakistan was a logical corollary to the hyper-patronage of the Afghan mujaheddin.
During Afghan Jihad , Brigadier Malik emphasizes how instilling terror is essential to waging successful jihad campaigns on both sides of the Durand Line
After the withdrawal of Soviet Army from Afghanistan , instead of disarming these jihadists to bring them in the main stream of normal life , Pakistan started to use them to fuel civil war in Afghanistan and infiltrate them in Kashmir and India. These jihadists were not only funneled into Kashmir to supplement indigenous Kashmiri separatist groups , but Pakistan also used these jehadists against those separatists who didn’t want to join Pakistan.
However for Pakistan, Islamic ideology was not a requirement but only an instrument to mobilize militant action.
Pakistan used the Pukhtuns, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan to crush the Pukhtuns and Pukhtun’s nationalism on the name of Jihad. That’s why in 1978 when Afghan refugees from Afghanistan came to Pakistan , at that time there were about 48 various organizations including a lot of Pukhtun Nationalist organizations among those refugees but Pakistan banned the nationalist organizations and supported the seven religious parties to participate in the Jihad on the name of Islam and not on the name of Afghan Nationalism. Because Pakistan knew that if these nationalist organizations would be succeeded to defeat the Soviet Army then they could also demand their territory occupied by Pakistan.
Pakistan hoped that a transnational Islamic identity would diminish secular Afghan leader’s platform to recapture lost Afghan territory from Pakistan. But Pakistan failed terribly. In spite of all these type of dirty games , played by Pakistan, the Afghan nationalism both in free Afghanistan and occupied Afghanistan , Pukhtunkhwa, arose more vigorously.
As using these Islamic militants against the existential threat of India and the strategic interest of Afghanistan , Pakistan has been calling them freedom fighters and that’s why , Islamabad is hesitant to act against them. Pakistan has the seventh largest military in the world but Pakistan has not eliminated militant groups because Pakistan has always been considering these militant groups as its asset for proxy wars in Afghanistan , Kashmir and India.
Pakistan has been OPPOSING those militant groups who are threat to Pakistan , SUPPORTING those militants who are involved in the insurgency in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India and IGNORING those militants who are involved in the insurgency in Europe and other parts of the world.
At the same time both military and civilian regimes use Islamic parties to strengthen their political base. The right-wing mobilization pressurized President Ayub Khan’s ouster.Learning from Ayub Khan’s mistakes , Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gave Islamist political concession and promoted a state’s Islamic ideology. Bhutto sought economic equality under the guise of Islamic socialism to appease Islamic Parties.He used the state’s Islamic Identity to develop foreign policies with other Islamic states.
But Bhutto could not break Military-Islamist nexus because Islamists were well entrenched in the army.
The military action, authorized by secular and populist Bhutto, against the Pukhtuns and Baloch nationalists in 1970’s, is the same as now Nawaz sharif government authorized the army, to crush the Pukhtuns and Baloch.
If you are secular, liberal or religious whatever but you will have to accept and obey what Pakistan army , military and civilian Establishment want to do, otherwise you will be out of office in no time.
Even the secular elites in Pakistan assumed that they would continue to lead the country while rallying the people on the basis of Islamic ideology but religious parties saw the Pakistan’s Islamic identity as a victory against the secular elites.
After Bhutto, Zia ul haq allowed the Jumate islami to infiltrate into governmental institutions.
This practice continued with Nawaz Shrif as head of the Islami Jamhoori Itihad (IJI) who had explicit ties with Jumat-e-Islami (JI).
Shia Banzir even supported the Sunni oriented Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan to bolster her position against the opposition party Pakistan Muslim League in the mid 1990s.
And as this trend to use the Islamic parties to maneuver against their political opposition continued, Musharaf also aligned, his king’s party Mutihida Majles-e-Amal ( MMA) in a preplanned rigged election by Musharaf government ,both in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Balochsitan. MMA was also known as , Military Mullah Allies.
And there was no doubt that many of these parties candidates who were elected to the provincial and national assemblies were former militant commanders who fought in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Supporting MMA , Musharaf had two goals, one to use the MMA to neutralize its political opposition because he saw secular politicians as his primary rival for political power . And second to black mail the USA that if he will not be supported , then the Mullahs can create problems, in the Afghanistan bordered provinces , Pukhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. The MMA,s association with Islmic militant groups and increased power , allowed the MMA to politically oppose counterinsurgency operations.MMA was now in a greater position to influence the assembly and block legislature soliciting adverse action against the Islamic militant groups.
Just as Ayub Khan was able to convince successive US administrations that without him Pakistan would slide into communism, Musharraf convinced George W. Bush that without him, Pakistan would become one large Red Mosque teeming with jihadis trying to whip the nation into an Islamist nuclear power.
But what he fails to disclose, of course, is that the arming of the Red Mosque could not have happened without his government’s full knowledge. There’s no way that machine guns, rocket launchers, and ammunition could be taken
into the heart of Islamabad, next door to government ministries, without arousing the suspicion of the country’s omnipresent security agencies.
It is time to learn a lesson from the experience of Pakistan and come to the conclusion that the myth of an Islamic State can only serve the interests of Islamists and not its citizens, or Islam, and deﬁnitely not its non-Muslim populace.
The Pakistani army has no love for those Islamic extremists in Pakistan who turned against the state but it supports those Pakistani Taliban who are fighting side by side with Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan .
And Pakistan sees this nexus of Afghan and Pakistan Taliban as a potential ally in a pro-Pakistan Afghanistan .
Red mosque in Islamabad was supported by the zia ul haq government of Pakistan and the Mosque was providing mujahedin recruits to fight in the Afghan and later in the Kashmir Jihad.
The Mosque’s leadership enforced Islamic standards through violence.
According to Bruce reidel ,United state relationship with (to) Pakistan, is one of the most dysfunctional bilateral relations the US has with any country in the world. Since 9/11 Pakistan got 25 billions dollars from United states. After giving 25 Billions dollars post 9/11 , Skeptics accused Pakistan of not being serious about eliminating Militants.
America had given this aid in exchange for assistance in building Afghan security and help America to fight against Al-Qaeda . But Pakistan had been playing double cross game.
Osama bin landen was in the safe house of a garrison city Abbot Abad with unusual security.
Pakistan set up an investigation team to find out “how America found Osama bin Laden , not how Osama was in Pakistan .” But even then Paksitan is getting the aid from America in billions of dollars till now.
Pakistan is a key state for training and indoctrination of Al-Qaeda recruits for abroad and for the training and support by al Qaeda for those indoctrinated and radicalized elsewhere.
ISI and leT are one entity, it is intertwined deeply which leads state sponsor terrorism in the world. That’s why , Pakistan supports the groups like LeT, Jashe Mohd, Hizbul mujahideen, Afghan taliban and the haqqani network. These are instruments of ISI.
ISI controls their safe havens, media house, and are providing them assistance in funding to get weapons. However, Jaish-i-Mohammad and Lashkar-i-Toiba, are on the list of foreign terrorist organizations of the state’s Department.
Pakistan’s Army continues to give in to the rise of religious extremism in the society and state. Which makes the military the dominant , terrorist, fundamentalist , extremist and occupying force in Pakistan.
Also known as Daoud Gilani , David Headley ,is an American citizen who has been implicated as an alleged conspirator in the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008.Headley’s connections to Pakistan run very deep. His father was a Pakistani diplomat, and his American mother once owned a bar in Philadelphia that she named the Khyber pass. Headley anglicized his name , spent several months in India conducting reconnaissance for the assault on that Indian resort city Mumbai. He was allegedly working for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba also know as LeT. Let is a Pakistani Jihadist group with links both al-Qaeda and the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).Responsibility for the Mumbai attack lies with LeT.
Haqqani network, works with the Afghan Taliban , al Qaeda , Lashkar I Jhangvi , Jaish-e-Mohammad, LeT and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. This syndicate of jihadists & terrorists works with al-Qaeda, and at least shares a partial ideological affinity.
The Pakistani favoriteTaliban in the eyes of Pakistan, have also been playing its negative role.
All these organizations are working under the cover of Pakistan intelligence organization ISI. And Pakistan has been using these jihadists and terrorists for their proxy wars not only in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India but in the world as well.
Pakistan is the epicenter of global Jihad. There is no nexus on earth more favorable to al Qaeda’s current leaders and Afghan Taliban leaders than radicalized Pakistan.
The Jihadists, are coming from throughout the world to Pakistan. They are being trained in Pakistan in Al-Qaeda and other training camps and then sent back for the terrorist activities in the world. That’s why, Pakistan, is called the capital of the terrorist world.
Pakistan has made, Federal Administered Tribal Areas ( FATA) region, safe haven for Islamic militant groups that are interfering in America’s state-building operations in Afghanistan.
But now as some Pakistan’s favorite good Taliban , became the bad Taliban,the spread of radical fundamentalism outside the FATA region forced Islamabad to react a little bit which will give Pakistan time to make fool from the international community again.
On the other hand , as both occupying states Russia and Pakistan have been cornered by the international community, they both come together to cooperate with each other and to plane some disasters in the peaceful world as they had done in 1979 in Afghanistan. Whereas China and Iran are also standing with them , side by side.
Therefore, American policy in the region must take special account of this specific, daunting political-military challenge.
The relationship of Pakistan and USA is a bad marriage. Four marriages and four divorces with the same person is just ridiculous but even then, 5th marriage is around corner.
Pakistan became a curse word and a burden that they and their future generations would have to carry , through no fault of their own.
No community has suffered more at the hands of Pakistan’s military and its mullahs than the poor yet digniﬁed people of NWFP now Pukhtukhwa. They were divided in four parts, the Trible area FATA, Khbyer Pukhtukhwa , a part of Baluchistan and attack & Mian wali were snatched from Pukhtunkhwa and annexed with Punjab.Pukhtuns are the people who got nothing but sorrow and suffering in return.
But now , it is the need of time to do soft balkanization of Pakistan peacefully like Yugoslavia , if not , then Pakistan must be denuclearized, demilitarized , isolated completely, and strike to force it for balkanization. The Pukhtun’s territories must be integrated to their motherland Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Sindh should also be given freedom. Otherwise , the international community, must expect any thing terrible and disastrous from Pakistan any time any where in the world.
Mashal Khan Takkar
Editor in Chief
THE VOICE TIMES