Little by little, Pakistan is being hollowed out bit by bit

Little by little, Pakistan is being hollowed out bit by bit  

Amir Zia, 

Monday, May 12, 2014

The ruling elite still see opportunity to perpetuate rule and make money……….


Slowly but surely the violent non-state actors are pushing Pakistan towards the brink. Little by little we are witnessing the state’s writ being eroded. Gradually Pakistani society’s descend into lawlessness is gaining momentum. And step by step Pakistan’s status as an internationally pariah state is being paved and cemented.

Our rulers may not agree with this cheerless account of today’s Pakistan. They may still think that they hold all the cards. They may still believe that they remain firmly in control. But living in self-denial and a make-believe world – no matter how grand – can’t stop Pakistan’s one-way backward march.

The reality is grim and the signs of the times ominous, underlining the weakening of the state authority. Yet, our lords and masters do not seem to see the writing on the wall.

The latest drag for the state has come in the form of the spurt in cases of the polio virus – thanks to our so-called holy warriors who declare the vaccination drive against this crippling disease a ‘western conspiracy’ to make our future generations infertile.

As a result, the goal of a polio-free Pakistan – which once appeared within reach in 1999-00 – now seems unattainable. Fourteen years down the road, as Sharif completes the first year of his third term in power, Pakistan is one of the only three countries – along with Syria and Cameroon – that threaten the world by exporting this virus to other countries.

UN efforts to eradicate polio globally by 2018 are being torpedoed mainly because of our Islamic republic’s inability to carry out effective vaccination drives in many parts of its territory – especially in the troubled tribal region. The outcome of this failure is manifested through 59 new polio cases so far this year in Pakistan out of the total 74 in all the 10 polio-affected countries. 

Out of the 59 local polio cases, 46 have been reported in the tribal belt where despite frequent appeals by both government and non-government quarters, the militants do not allow health workers to administer polio drops to children age five years and below. The Afghan Taliban militants are better in a sense as they facilitate the anti-polio campaign by holding temporary ceasefires. 
6944677-big-thief-stealing-a-lot-of-moneywonder the WHO has now recommended polio vaccination a must for all Pakistanis travelling abroad. What does that mean for the country? It is not just simply a new obstacle for Pakistani travellers, but another triumph for the pro-Al-Qaeda local militants against the backdrop of the civil and military leadership’s near policy-paralysis on how to deal with the twin scourge of terrorism and extremism. It is another symbolic blow to this struggling state, which faces the greatest internal threat in its recent history.

The best our rulers have offered so far against this internal challenge remains half-hearted, incomplete reactive operations against militants and the self-defeating exercise of holding talks with them. There appears to be no roadmap for victory despite the immense sacrifices of Pakistani soldiers. There seems to be no urgency to end the prolonged conflict, which should have been the top item on the government’s agenda.

For all the different shades and colours of extremists, including the Al-Qaeda inspired militants, the triumph on the poliovirus front is not the first one against the Pakistani state. They have been expanding their influence and stifling the state called Pakistan in a gradual manner. For any country, this endless state of conflict is the worst case scenario as it results in fatigue and draining out of its resources. Our rulers seem oblivious to this age-old code of war and peace in politics.

The extremists, who have kept the initiative in this protracted conflict, have scored one symbolic psychological victory after the other as successive governments continued to debate and discuss whether to fight or not to fight.

The militants successfully banished international sports from Pakistan with the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team as our decision-makers tried to make a distinction between the ‘good and bad’ militants. The precarious state of security forced many western diplomatic missions to scale down operations and declare Pakistan a hardship posting but our successive rulers gloated over their ‘success’ of bringing in foreign aid, grants and loans – as they are doing now. 

Security concerns forced most foreign investors and businesspeople to stop visiting Pakistan, but our decision-makers claimed they had been reviving the economy. Footprints of almost every major incident of global terrorism led to Pakistan, but our politicians and decision-makers saw ‘a foreign hand’ behind many of our ills. Pakistan’s worst era of lawlessness and bloodletting at the hands of terrorists and extremists consumed thousands of lives, but our political parties kept arguing over whose war Pakistan has been fighting.

After sacrificing more than 4,000 soldiers in the northern tribal belt alone, Pakistani leaders still do not know the real enemy and remain undecided whether to fight or to talk.

While a segment of violent non-state actors and their foreign militant allies have taken on the state, creating their terrorist safe havens on Pakistani soil, many other extremists groups are waging their unholy wars against members of ‘rival’ sects or dissident voices within society.

The state and its institutions seem powerless as extremists commit one atrocity after another. It is the terrorists who are on the charge, while the ones who should be upholding the law remain on the defensive. 

Killing anyone by exploiting the sacred name of Islam is now easy. The government is surely to turn a blind eye towards the organised gangs of militants rather than provide justice to the victims and their families. It is an abject surrender by the state and its institutions.

The recent assassination of human rights activist Rashid Rehman in Multan is one more addition to the ever-growing list of victims killed because of their views. He was apparently killed for pleading the case of a man accused of blasphemy. His murder failed to create ripples in the society, barring a small vocal section of civil society members – many of whom themselves remain in the line of fire.

In the same long list of victims, we also have governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, who was killed by his own police guard because he too spoke about a controversial blasphemy case. The Pakistani state remains unable to prosecute his assassin in what is an open-and-shut case because of the fear of an organised minority. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We see confusion, polarisation and conflict escalating in the society, but the state appears unable to resolve these contradictions, which is vital for its own survival.

Perhaps for the ruling elite of Pakistan, the party is not yet over. There is still some opportunity to perpetuate rule and make money, but the state called Pakistan is being hollowed out bit by bit, little by little. 

There appears to be no political force in the ring that can turn the tide as gangs and bands of militants, terrorists and criminals hold sway. Tough times never seem to be over in the land called Pakistan.

Additional Reading

Destroying a Nation State: US-Saudi Funded Terrorists Sowing Chaos in Pakistan!


  • Destroying a Nation State: US-Saudi Funded Terrorists Sowing Chaos in Pakistan! 
    by Tony, via 
    [originally published in February 2013]
    Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwest Baluchistan province, bordering both US-occupied Afghanistan as well as Iran, was the site of a grisly market bombing that has killed over 80 people. According to reports, the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack. Billed as a “Sunni extremist group,” it instead fits the pattern of global terrorism sponsored by the US, Israel, and their Arab partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    The terrorist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group was in fact created, according to the BBC, to counter Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1980′s, and is still active today. Considering the openly admitted US-Israeli-Saudi plot to use Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups across the Middle East to counter Iran’s influence, it begs the question whether these same interests are funding terrorism in Pakistan to not only counter Iranian-sympathetic Pakistani communities, but to undermine and destabilize Pakistan itself.

    The US-Saudi Global Terror Network
    While the United States is close allies with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is well established that the chief financier of extremist militant groups for the past 3 decades, including Al Qaeda, are in fact Saudi Arabia and Qatar. While Qatari state-owned propaganda like Al Jazeera apply a veneer of progressive pro-democracy to its narratives, Qatar itself is involved in arming, funding, and even providing direct military support for sectarian extremists from northern Mali, to Libya, to Syria and beyond.

    France 24′s report “Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?” provides a useful vignette of Saudi-Qatari terror sponsorship, stating:
    “The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”

    A month later Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao [which had fallen to the Islamists] told RTL radio: “The French government knows perfectly well who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so-called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu.”

    The report also stated:
    “Qatar has an established a network of institutions it funds in Mali, including madrassas, schools and charities that it has been funding from the 1980s,” he wrote, adding that Qatar would be expecting a return on this investment.

    “Mali has huge oil and gas potential and it needs help developing its infrastructure,” he said. “Qatar is well placed to help, and could also, on the back of good relations with an Islamist-ruled north Mali, exploit rich gold and uranium deposits in the country.”

    These institutions are present not only in Mali, but around the world, and provide a nearly inexhaustible supply of militants for both the Persian Gulf monarchies and their Western allies to use both as a perpetual casus belli to invade and occupy foreign nations such as Mali and Afghanistan, as well as a sizable, persistent mercenary force, as seen in Libya and Syria. Such institutions jointly run by Western intelligence agencies across Europe and in America, fuel domestic fear-mongering and the resulting security state that allows Western governments to more closely control their populations as they pursue reckless, unpopular policies at home and abroad.


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