"RESTRUCTURING PAKISTAN?" WHY NOT DISSOLVING PARTITION ALTOGETHER?
THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW THE PERENNIAL FORCE EMBODIED IN KORAN TO ANNIHILATE THE HINDUS ON EARTH, STILL THINK OF HAVING THE ISLAMIC WOLF WRAPPED UP IN WHITE SHEETS, NEXT TO A FLOCK OF GENTLE HINDU "SHEEP".
WE HAVE TO IMAGINE TO BE LIVING IN 712 AD, THAT IS THIRTEEN HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
AFTER THE LOSS OF SINDH, THE REST OF INDIA THOUGHT, "BY COMING IN CONTACT WITH THE HINDU CIVILISATION, THE MUSLIMS WILL BECOME CIVILISED VERY SOON."
.................THEN WHAT HAPPENED IN 1947?
THANK YOU. WE BELIEVE THAT THE WRITER OF THE BOOK (SEE BELOW) IS LIVING IN THE HOPEFUL WORLD OF HINDUS JUST AFTER THE SACKING OF SOMNATH TEMPLE IN 1026 AD.
"O NO! NO USE CHASING THE "BASTARDS" RIGHT UP TO GHAZNI. THEY HAVE TAKEN A LOT OF GOLD, SILVER AND HINDU MAIDENS TO RELISH THEM FOR THE NEXT THOUSAND YEARS. JUST RELAX AND SIT DOWN."
THEN WHAT HAPPENED IN SOUTH KASHMIR IN 1989? WHY ARE ALL THE HINDUS OUT?
.............Restructuring Pakistan: A Global Perspective.
..................By Major General Vinod Saighal.
...Manas Publications. New Delhi. 2002, pages 244. Price Rs 595.
This book on the present and future crisis of Pakistan as a nation goes far beyond an analysis of Indo-Pakistan conflict and the post September 11 Islamic Jihadism operating in the Indian subcontinent and the world as a whole. It is clearly states what is still not openly and squarely admitted that the dream of a modern Islamic democracy on which Pakistan was founded, lies shattered. Pakistan has transformed gradually into a Jihad state in service of the Islamic brotherhood of the world. As a result, the future of Pakistan itself is now at stake. Not only for the sake of resolving sub continental conflicts with India and Central Asian states, or for ending terrorism in the global arena, but a for the very future existence of Pakistan, the country now needs for be Reconstructed.
The onus lies not only on Pakistan but above all on the EU-America combine. As Vinod Saighal notes in the Preface "For much too long the destinies of countries in Asia have been fashioned and unleashed by the West. Whatever other ills, one of the more promising developments in today's world has been the growth of democracies." Pg 7. The book is also a plea for the confinement of belligerent sections of Islam by democratic forces under pressure from the West as they have assisted its growth so far for their own short-term political gains.
The West fought Communism in the Islamic world "through an appeal to religion: a blunder that could haunt both America and the Islamic world for a long time to come." Pg 7. But just as Communism sank under the declining vigour of its own ideology, the author warns, "The tragedy of Communism must not be revisited on Islam in the 21st century." Pg 7.
In effect, the book dwells as much on reconstructing Islamic states and Islamic doctrine as on Pakistan. The author, in my opinion, should be warmly congratulated for seeing the larger problem not just as of Pakistan but also of other states of the Faith and the clash of the classical Islamic doctrine with values of the modern world. All should read it carefully, particularly the sentimental intellectuals of Leuten's Delhi who have sought solutions to Indo-Pak divide through the kitsch of 'Punjaabiat', 'saanjhi-virasat' and such other ethnic gimmickry.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I contains an introduction of the problem of jihadism, Islam in cul de sac, deconstruction of Pakistan and it's Restructuring. Part II puts things on the wider canvas about the global uncertainties that prevail in the entire Islamic world and the West vis a vis Islam.
Vinod Saighal thinks that Talibanization is still a threat and places it in a historical context by pointing out that it is another face of the fanaticism that India has been facing for a thousand years. He advises to confront it squarely and strongly and not give concessions to persons in Pakistan who claim to be bastions against fundamentalism but actually do little to root it out. Such persons have always provided a smoke screen and done nothing, he says. The fundamentalists have risen again and again and brought untold misery upon the populations of Hindu-Kush and the Punjab through centuries.
"About seven hundred years ago, Islamic civilization suffered a severe regression in its ability to acquire science and there have been no significant efforts at a recovery since." Pg 18. The threat to Islam from within, not from without. It has again being pushed into sterility by radical elements that have made it difficult to emerge and speak for the idea of Allah as the Merciful. The Muslim Ummah has also been reduced to a hostage by these elements. The total absence of the wealth of the rich Gulf being used for reform in the lives of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent is ample proof of this. The superior attitude of the Arabs in treating Muslims from other states is too glaring to be ignored. A Muslim from India can be a servant but seldom a relative. Saighal further adds:
"There is a more fundamental question that needs to answered when talking of Muslim brotherhood. How is it different form the brotherhood of Man?" Pg 37. An answer to this question can bring end to many conflicts and a shying away from this perpetuate the current ones and create many more. The silent Muslim majority is has not asserted itself, the intellectuals of Islam have negligible influence over their Umma and the fringe elements of obscurantism continue to act and promote conflict. "The fight in Kashmir is ostensibly a fight between Pakistan and India. In reality the fight in Kashmir is between a humanistic creed and obscurantist beliefs that should have disappeared in the Dark Ages" Pg 39.
According to Saighal a deconstruction of Pakistani state is almost complete as the army has total control over all democratic institutions. The conversion of a huge section to jihad mind set and of a fair section into jihad activity has been also achieved. "The jihadis outnumber the Pakistani military by a ratio that could vary from 3:1 to 20:1. To this significant disparity must be added the number of supporters in the army itself who are silent backers of the radical Islamists." Pg 55. In other words the dividing line between the army as the ruling class and the groups operating independently as armed jihadis and terrorists is virtually non-existent. The danger of nukes falling into wrong hands or being smuggled to other rogue states is an increasing possibility.
As a solution Vinod Saighal sees only one way, that is to nurture democracy in Pakistan from the fresh and in a way so that the military is never be able to come back in any form. He is clear that this cannot come about through the agency of the army and its generals. The author also gives us analysis of the case of Kemal Attaturk, which the Pakistani generals uphold as a model. Pakistani generals, Saighal points out, have never been true leaders of the people as Kemal was before he took up the apex authority, nor have they ushered in social reforms, or smashed the mullah impact which Kemal had done. Musharaf can only dream on and deceive the USA.
Thus we see that this book has boldly delineated the real cause of conflict between India and Pakistan --- not chunks of land or water, nor the validity of process of accession of Kashmir to India, but the failure of the establishment of a modern Islamic state in Pakistan and its later slide into medieval jihadism. The most significant contribution of the book is to press home this point to the policy makers and opinion moulders in India and Pakistan as well in the political and public forums of the West.
International leaders and politicians and the senior editors of the media are living under the illusion that the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan is the Kashmir issue and a bilateral or mediated resolution on this piece of land shall restore peace in the region. Saighal's book should make it clear that no territorial redistribution of Kashmir between Indian and Pakistan shall bring about a lasting peace unless a stable democracy with modern functioning and liberal climate becomes a way of life in Pakistan. Therefore, before egging on the two countries to come to the negotiating table for Kashmir, the USA, EU, Russia, and China must join heads to initiate a stable democracy in Pakistan. This is not just for India and the region around it but also for the Globe as Pakistan has been a jihad-factory for too long.
In Part II. Pakistan is analyzed as nation seeking survival post Sept 11 with little credibility and perpetual suspicion of its neighbors and the world players. In the chapter "The Way Forward" the writer proposes that a 25 year status quo is maintained in J&K, the armies of India and Pakistan are taken back from the LOC by 50 kilometers , and active trade, tourism and media exchange is undertaken. An intensive ecological package for Demilitarization of the Himalayas as an Environmental Imperative should also be worked out between the two nations.
Major General Saighal ends his book with a detailed account of the interests that neighboring nations of Pakistan have in its Restructuring into a democratic society. He also argues that the AmEu forces are going to be staying in Afghanistan for a long time to come as the terrorists network are not likely to be dismantled soon enough to assure the USA of no WTO repeats in the future. Though Saighal does not state so, it follows that democratization of the region at the earliest is most desirable solution, otherwise the Americans shall find themselves into a bitter confrontation with the Pakistani people. From Saighal's account of how the closely the Americans have worked with Taliban in the past it is disappointingly clear that changing mindsets in Pakistan, if not a wait till Qayamat, is a few decades away and hence so is the return of peace in the Indian subcontinent. But let us hope a miracle happens.
Associate Professor, Delhi University,
PO Box 8518, Ashok Vihar, Delhi 110052 INDIA.