How Pakistan fools the world
Written by The Indian EXPRESS   
Monday, 23 September 2002
How Pakistan fools the world
Over the past five decades, Pakistan has done everything that should have put her in the bad books of the world. Repeated coups by army generals, widespread drug trafficking, arms trading, brutal killings of Shias and Christians, burning of churches, widespread lawlessness, open support to terrorists and mercenaries, corruption at the highest levels and draconian laws curtailing basic human rights, are but a few reasons why it should have been declared a terrorist state a long time ago. 

There is a time-tested methodology behind trigger happy Pakistani generals styling themselves as presidents. Each of them used Kashmir as a political tool to remain in the hot seat. What is shocking though is that even those nations that champion the cause of democracy have repeatedly turned a blind eye to their bizarre acts. Indeed, there has been some adverse media coverage. But for some strange reason both the BBC and the CNN, as indeed other media organisations, have managed to fall short of coming up with full-fledged exposes.

In its special report on civil liberties in an August issue, The Economist quotes Amnesty International to suggest that Pakistan has been involved in only one area of human rights violation, viz erosion of rights at trial, in comparison to the European Union, India, Australia, Canada and USA, which have been found guilty on eight counts. It is, therefore, important to understand how Pakistan gets away with its transgressions in the eyes of the world.

Pakistan’s biggest strength lies in its public relations machinery. Evrybody, from the ambassador to the most humble official, is trained and funded by the ISI to cultivate useful people across the globe. The strength of its network can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan has been able to successfully push under the carpet the participation of its own soldiers in the war against the US forces in Afghanistan. The subsequent silence not only of the media barons but, more importantly, the US government, indicates the depth and effectiveness of this network.

Its second strong point lies in its ability to change colours faster than a chameleon. It is inherent in the Pakistani character to switch sides. Even after joining hands with the US in its war against terrorism, the ISI continued supporting the Al Qaida, harbouring hundreds of Taliban cadres inside its territory. Even the dreaded duo, Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, are suspected to be hibernating somewhere in northern Pakistan. Street smart that he is, Musharraf realises their ever-rising exchange value and is therefore able to successfully extract his pound of flesh from the US, much to India’s chagrin. He pleases the Americans by making tall statements and escapes through the ‘need more time’ route, leaving in his wake enticements in the shape of Taliban cadres. In the bargain, Musharraf reduces the US roar to a meek mew, even as he snuggles up to terror groups by fermenting trouble through mercenaries across the LoC.

Thirdly, Pakistan draws strength from India’s divided polity, indecisive leadership and its grossly abused democratic character. Despite being the most populous democracy in the world, backed by a disciplined armed forces, the leadership first lets a petty Pakistani dictator escape due punishment and then seeks the world attention by shouting that India has been assaulted. It pays little or no attention to the nuances of public relations, does not meet aggression on a war footing and instead seeks solace in Mahatma Gandhi’s doctrine about not hearing, seeing or speaking evil. Any nation worth its salt would have retaliated with full force after the attack on its Parliament or, for that matter, after any wanton massacre of its innocent citizens by goons from across the border.

By running each time to the US to sort out the problem, India has let Musharraf know its mettle. While the opposition leader is a cause of great comfort for India’s rulers, they should know that their own conduct of foreign policy has been a great source of comfort to the general next door.
< Prev   Next >