Monday, September 22, 2008


The news from Pakistan this evening is not very encouraging on two counts. Firstly, the Americans sent in helicopter gunships into the Waziristan area in Pakistan to hunt down the terrorists. These were fired upon by the Pakistani troops. The President, the PM and the Chief of Army staff have all made announcements to the effect that they would defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan. This is probably the fifth US incursion in the month of September. This is worrying.
The second count, even more worrying, is the demand from a certain section of Pakistani society for ending the chaos in Pakistan by bringing in the Army. This is a very delicate scenario. The civilian government's future looks very uncertain. Military has ruled Pakistan successively for many years with brief interludes of civilian rule. The last army rule ended with General Musharraf hanging up his uniform after over eight years in office. Military rule has ensured that Pakistan has no viable civilian institutions that can govern the country. The coalition of the PPP and the PML(N) suffered a blow with the Presidential election announcement and thus the civilian government lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the people themselves. The people of Pakistan have only seen the corrupt face of the politicians. They seem to trust the military more than they trust their politicians. In this scenario, it is quite possible that the military may make a comeback with a new General incharge.
This would not be a healthy situation for Pakistan, and for India too. Pakistan and India both need a stable Pakistan, governed by a democratically elected government. Army rule may seem to be the most expedient at this juncture but would not bode well for Pakistan and India in the long term. Hope the situation resolves soon, before the people lose faith once again although I have my doubts that it would do. Hoping and praying that it does, for the sake of humanity on both sides of the border, and the world at large.


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Jatinder!

Excellent and thought provoking post!

Americans are once again proving their will power to quell terrorists. In fact Musharraf was forced to support the Americans during the Afghanistan invasion because Bush made it clear to Musharraf that Pakistan will not exist if they don't support the Americans.

Now the Americans want Pakistan to stop breeding the terrorists. If Pakistan attacks the Americans Air force there will be no Pakistan and we Indians should celebrate because we should have done this job long back. We lack the courage.

President Bush should be congratulated and honoured for doing our dirty job.

I enjoyed reading your view point.
Thanks for sharing!

Have a nice day!

J P Joshi said...

Hi Joseph, Thank you for your comments.

I believe that it is very easy to destabilise a country, or a region, with the kind of military and other wherewithal that is available with the US. It is not very easy though to stabilise the same country thereafter. We have the example of Afghanistan and Iraq - two countries that have been attacked by the US in its war on terror. Mind you these were relatively small countries in terms of population. Pakistan has about half the population of the US and is thus a relatively large country.

Howsoever much that we may want, we cannot change history and geography. The US forces can go back to North America if the next President so decides and it is India that will have to live with the instability in the region. Instability in the region is never good.

It is therefore in India's interest that we have stable and democratic neighbours, specially Pakistan. Wars are just a means to an end. They are not ends in themselves. The ends are always political. If you can achieve the same ends without a war, you are that much better off.

Anonymous said...

I like your Gandian approach to life Jatinder, but i agree with Joseph...we have to be ruthless just once to set things right..and first we must start with setting our own house in order.

J P Joshi said...

Anonymous: Agree with you on the putting our own house in order.....we definitely need to improve our law and order situation. The law of the land should be meticulously enforced, everytime, and always. Once this is done, everything else will automatically fall in place. No one should be above the law. We all need to safeguard the rights given to each citizen, by our Constitution.

I am an ex-military person. When I was serving, I was always ready for war, but now that I am out of uniform I have come to realise the futility of war...the less we indulge in it, the better. Our aim should be to progress economically so that we can atleast provide 'roti, kapda aur makaan' to all our citizens.