December 01, 2007

Balkanization, Not Talibanization, is the Real Threat Facing Pakistan

Yousuf Nazar - 12/1/2007

Pakistan’s establishment and sections of its media have perfected the art of projecting the most irrelevant topics as national issues of paramount importance. Uniform is one such example. Some newspapers even published comments to the effect whether it was the beginning of a drastic transformation. Really; transformation to a completely failed state from a ‘failed state’? Another general? So what?

Hitler was not from the Army. He never really wore a general’s uniform. So he never had to take it off. But that did not alter the fact that he was a dictator whose third Reich led to Germany’s worst defeat and complete destruction.

Ayub Khan took off his uniform in 1962 but ruled for another seven years as a military dictator without many problems. He was the most ‘moderately enlightened’ of all generals. He introduced private enterprise to the Army as well as to his family. He wore fine dinner jackets to the state dinners in Western capitals and swam with beautiful British call girls [see photo of Christine Keeler left] in his leisure time. But the extreme inequalities and regional polarization caused by his misrule led to the dismemberment of Pakistan (presided over by another general) after two years, eight months, and twenty two days of his exit as the President of Pakistan. So much for the stability that his ‘economic achievements’ had supposedly brought to Pakistan.

One would think that Pakistan’s elites (although intellectually depleted to a debilitating degree due to massive brain drain over the past three decades) having lived most of their lives under military dictatorships, would have learned that only two generals in the modern history brought about any positive political change, Napoleon and Atatürk. And they would therefore focus on more substantive issues. Is this too much or too rational to expect?

Let us now look at some real issues: The history teaches us that all generals behave in exactly the same manner when they have power. They protect their own power and the military’s institutional interests. It is of little consequence if they rule with or without uniform. Or with ‘rubber-stamp’ parliaments or without even the pretense of having an election or a parliament.

Musharraf’s both coups were desperate acts of a man who saw his career coming to an end. Both the coups showed complete and contemptuous disregard for the constitution and the interests of the country. He acted with impunity in a brazen display of naked power that showed no regard for any other consideration other than his self. What really led to his ‘dismissal’ by Nawaz Sharif was his misadventure into Cargill; a historic blunder whose sole purpose was to sabotage the peace process initiated with Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A peace process that could have led to a period of greater stability and development in the sub-continent and a reduced role of the military.

After eight years of his misrule, what has Pakistan really achieved?

* Not only Pakistan does not have a democracy, it does not have even a chance of holding free and fair elections that would be at least as ‘fair’ as they were twenty years back in 1988.

* Pakistan is as corrupt, if not more, a country as it was on October 12, 1999. The biggest loan defaulters and arguably the most corrupt family in Pakistan’s history – the Chaudris of Gujrat – are Musharraf’s principal backers and lead the ruling party.

* Pakistan has been declared the most dangerous country in the World by the Americans, his best friends.

* Pakistan’s judiciary had a tainted record but it still operated with some semblance of respect. Now it stands completely destroyed.

* And the economy? The massive inflow of funds (over $65 billion) during the eight years has been a wasted opportunity. The greatest beneficiaries have been the generals, bankers, stock brokers and their friends without any real development, whatsoever, in the country.

* The general was shrewd to utilize the 9/11 to end his own international isolation but in his desperation to undo the blunders committed by the generals (himself included) that earned Pakistan the reputation of a ‘terrorist state’, his regime has made the biggest compromises on Pakistan sovereignty and independence in the country’s history of; compromises that may ultimately lead to Balkanization, and not Talibanization, of Pakistan.

Why Balkanization? A major fallout of the prolonged periods of military rule (1977-1988 and 1999-to date) since the break-up of Pakistan in 1971, has been that the country no longer thinks nationally. For example there is no real national Party. The PPP which once played that role was squeezed out of that role by the Army and its minions, like Nawaz and Chaudris, with the slogan “Jag Punjabi Jag” and mindless repression and persecution of its followers.

The ANP,MQM,MMA and PML(N) are either purely ethnic Parties or at best Provincial entities. Similarly on issues such as Kalabagh Dam, division of assets, etc; the discussions, regardless of which Government is in power, are conducted on the basis of provincial rather than national interests. Musharraf says that the Army provides the glue to Pakistan’s integrity but implicit in this dangerous argument is the admission that nothing else holds the country together.

In any case as the situation exists, Baluchistan is in the midst of a war for secession, and the Northern territories of Pakistan are on their way to forming autonomous entities with their own justice system, tax collection regime, police force, and fairly effective militias.

From a Federation we seem to be evolving into a de facto confederation which is usually a prelude to independence. The question may no longer be whether this slow motion disintegration of Pakistan can be stopped but whether it can be managed peacefully.

This is the question Pakistan faced in 1969-1971 and failed. The apologists for the Field Marshals and Generals dismissed the possibility then. They are again ignoring such warnings now. But history and conditions do not seem to be on their side, never mind the ‘pragmatism’ of the Busharraf followers, moderates, realists, etc. The threat of Balkanization is not an issue of ‘idealism’ or ‘morality’. This threat has never been so real since 1971.

Yousuf Nazar is an economist by training and an investment professional by practice. He worked for Citigroup for 18 years and was the head of emerging markets public investments in 2005 when he left Citigroup London. In this capacity he helped manage its proprietary equity portfolio of over $2 billion across Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2001-2005. Before that, he was the director and chief strategist of Citigroup’s Emerging Markets group, in which capacity he dealt with the financial crises in Mexico, Asia and Russia during the 1990s. He represented Citigroup on the board of directors of portfolio companies. He did his masters in international finance and investments in 1987 and a bachelors in administrative studies in 1986 from Canada’s largest business school at York University. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of United Kingdom Society of Investment Professionals. He has travelled extensively throughout the developing world and advises his clients on international strategy and investments. He also writes for Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper DAWN and has appeared on TV (including CNBC) as current affairs analyst.

1 comment:


What I am saying is very simple. Urdu-speaking people living in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and other cities in the province of Sindh (Pakistan) deserve their own country. An independent country for Urdu-speaking people will solve their economic problems on one hand and provide an environment of freedom from the military dictatorship of Punjab province on the other. Time has now come that the cruel domination of Punjab must end by all means. The Punjabi military has been ruling Pakistan ever since its inception. The Urdu-speaking great leaders who had struggled for the freedom of Pakistan were brutally murdered as part of the Punjabi conspiracy to hijack the country. It has become inevitable now that Punjab should no longer be given the right or power to continue its control on other smaller provinces of Pakistan. At least Sindhis, Pathans and Balochis have some of their regional identities but the Urdu-speaking people have been compelled to become Sindhis which is not possible. Urdu-speaking people have their own identity and worth. It is not possible for Urdu-speaking people to become part of Sindh. This attempt to make Urdu-speaking people part of Sindh has always failed. This fact that Urdu-speaking people are independent in their thinking and are able to represent themselves more effectively if they are independent, should be accepted and recognized by the whole world. One cannot force a French person to become German or a Czech citizen to become Spanish or a Polish citizen to become Russian, similarly, one should also not force an Urdu-speaking citizen to become Sindhi. Urdu language is much different from Sindhi language. Not only language, there is glaring difference in terms of culture, traditions, national character, vision, approach, mindset and above all religious thinking. Indeed Sindhis are brothers of Urdu-speaking people in their joint effort to get rid of Punjab's political domination through achieving independence of Jinnahpur and Sindhudesh. Urdu-speaking people cannot be forced to stay with Sindhis forever and without their own right of freedom. Both Urdu-speaking people and Sindhis deserve their respective identities through formation of Jinnahpur and Sindhudesh. Both these nations are not ready to remain under the umbrella of socalled Pakistan which is nothing but a political colony of Punjab. This colony must, therefore, disintegrate without any further delay.

If other separatist movements in the world are accepted and acknowledged worldwide, movement for a free and independent state for Urdu-speaking people currently living under dictatorial siege of Pakistan army should also be embraced by the United States of America and other Western nations. If Kosovo can get independence in 21st century, why not Urdu-speaking people of Pakistan can get their own country called Republic of Jinnahpur. Urdu-speaking people are also intelligent, educated, hardworking and politically sound to fight for their independence in the 21st century. Urdu-sepaking people should not be under estimated or considered as any regional minority of Pakistan. Urdu-speaking people represent the most educated class in the presently undivided Pakistan. When it come to educational statistics of Pakistan in the field of education, the contribution of Urdu-speaking people is upto 80%. It must be noted that Pakistan without Urdu-speaking people is nothing but a jungle of illiterates from Punjab and people in uniform who have hijacked this country for the economic betterment of military dictators along with Punjabi bureacracy and their families.

Republic of Jinnahpur shall be an economic capital of South Asia which will beat Dubai and Singapore on one hand and become a great place for foreign investment on the other. The deserving people of Republic of Jinnahpur will have job opportunities because of billions of dollars of foreign investment which is at present hindred because of terrorist activities sponsored by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other military sponsored organizations. Such terrorist activities conducted by Pakistan's ISI and other military sponsored militant organizations have rather blocked the economic progress of Karachi which in turn have created hurdles for the deserving educated Urdu-speaking class to invite foreign investment into Karachi. It is only possible if Karachi gets its independence and formation of Republic of Jinnahpur shall ensure that the deserving Urdu-speaking people will get their right of progress and prosperity under the banner of an independent country called Republic of Jinnahpur.

Pakistan has been declared a failed state and therefore remaining part of Pakistan means declaring ourselves as failed too. Urdu-speaking people of Karachi cannot be classified as failed because it is due to them that Pakistan has been surviving so far. Had there been no educated class making contribution towards Pakistan's economic growth in the last 60 years, Pakistan would not have reached to the level where it is now. However, due to its political failure and its inability to remain as a sovereign state, Pakistan is very close to its disintegration. In such a situation, it would not be ideal for Urdu-speaking people to remain intact with Pakistan. Rather, it is important that Urdu-speaking people should initiate their fight for freedom while Pathans, Balochis and Sindhis should follow suit. Republic of Jinnahpur can establish a precedence for freedom of all nations currently suffering under the military siege of Punjab.

When I say "Punjab", I do not intend to include those great people of Punjab who consider themselves as Ghulaman-e-Ahl-e-Bait (Servants of Holy Prophet Muhammad SA, His beloved daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatima AS, His loyal son-in-law Hazrat Ali AS, His beloved grand sons Hassan AS and Hussain AS) and also the Seraiki nation who were wrongfully made part of Punjab province by the cruel Punjabi politicians in order to gain monetary gains by manipulating the total population of Punjab province. Even after 60 years, the Seraiki belt has been economically kept backward while poor Punjabi servants of Ahl-e-Bait were deprived of their constitutional right of serving in the Pakistan Army because of Wahabi-oriented policies made by Asian Hitler called General Zia-ul-Haq back in 1979 which kept Shia and true Barelvi Sunni Muslims away from army jobs. The doors of Republic of Jinnahpur shall remain open for such Punjabi brothers forever.

As for the Pathans, Balochis and Sindhis, I would like to convey my message to them that they should also get up from long sleep. The Punjabi military killed several Pathan freedom fighters, Baloch freedom fighters and even stabbed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who had brought back home 90,000 Punjabi Prisoners of War. The brutality of Punjabi military can be evaluated on the basis of their one single act that they stabbed and killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was their rescuer from Indian prison. Not only this, the Punjabi military recently killed Benazir Bhutto in order to wipe her off from the political scene to keep the status quo alive. The murder of Bhuttos should be sufficient for the Sindhis to wake up and get their own independence from Pakistan by forming Sindhudesh. Similarly, independent Pakhtoonistan and Balochistan should also appear on the world map in the nearest future.

The Urdu-speaking people are peace-loving people in true perspective. They dont want any confrontation, however, they have their right to defend themselves against the brutality of Punjabi army. The Urdu-speaking people shall not become victim of yet another Operation Cleanup which was once conducted by Punjabi army in 1992. Nawaz Sharif and his Punjabi political team of hypocrites cannot succeed in their conspiracy to regain substantial power again although they have just swallowed a bitter pill of shaking hands with Asif Zardari, a Sindhi man and spouse of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. It is important that Asif Zardari should immediately understand conspiracy and hidden agenda of Nawaz Sharif and his political team of hypocrites who do not possess any sympathy or love for any nation otherthan typical Wahabi minded Punjabis. Nawaz Sharif is only waiting for the right time to confront Asif Zardari and as such Nawaz Sharif will definitely attempt to get into Pakistan's National Assembly through a by-election and thereafter challenge Asif Zardari and Bhuttos' Sindh-based political party called Peoples' Party. I cannot accept for any reason that Nawaz Sharif or his political team of hypocrites would ever accept any Sindhi, Pathan, Baloch or Urdu-speaking person to become Pakistan's prime minister. This is impossible for any Punjabi hypocrite like Nawaz Sharif to extend his hand for cooperation or affection towards any Sindhi, Pathan, Baloch or Urdu-speaking person in the name of socalled political reconciliation. I ask all the politicians from Pakhtoonistan, Balochistan, Seraiki belt and Sindhudesh not to believe Nawaz Sharif and his false promises of mutual cooperation or other similar sweet slogans. A snake is always a snake. Nawaz Sharif cannot be trusted.

The Last Word
I want all Urdu-speaking people living in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and other parts of Sindh to become active members of JINNAHPUR LIBERATION MOVEMENT. This movement shall be non-militant and non-violent in reality. This movement shall be run by Urdu-speaking intellectuals, educationists, workers, students, businessmen and politicians. This movement shall be peaceful and totally committed for creating international awareness about the great demand for an independent state called Republic of Jinnahpur by the Urdu-speaking people living under military siege of Pakistan army.