The birth of Pakistan started with a skewed narrative of two nation theory based on religious grounds which is not an essential denominator for a nation state to grow and survive in the modern times. Yes, it use to happen in the medieval period as a compulsions to ensure loyalty for the raiders across the Kyber pass in an alien land and it was an entirely different political mechanism in those times. The religion per se is a faith and not a reason for carving out a political entity in the mid twentieth century and that too in case of a harmonious cultural milieu of multi ethnic, multi religion, and multi lingual India under British dominion. The script writers of division of Hindustan were the British under Churchill much before the officially known declaration in 1947, if the story of partition is to be believed as shown in the movie “ Viceroy’s House’’ by Gurinder Chaddha and Paul Mayeda Berges.
The Islamist lobby under leadership of Jinnah, hailing from a converted Gujrati Hindu family barely one generation back, sought a separate nation for Indian Muslims based on apprehensions regarding their security in a Hindu dominated India. Such a rationale and logic had no grounds looking at the atrocities being heaped upon Muslims, by the Muslims in the Muslim countries all through the period under review which continues even in the present times despite modernization of the societies. Pakistan is a sub nationality of larger historical and cultural Indian socio-political entity. Except for commonality of the religion, Pakistan does not have requisite similarities and ingredients of a nation state in order to sustain a long term political buoyancy. No wonder, Pakistan continues to be politically unstable, economically weak and strategically vulnerable all through her history since her existence.
It is beside the point that larger number of Muslims chose to remain in India who are comparatively more secure, prosperous, enjoying a vibrant democratic voice and an have proved to be effective national assets. Therefore, Pakistan as it stands today is the product of an apparently wrong concept and manifestation as an expression of personal ambitions of few individuals on the political scene in those times. The irony is that their unethical legacy is being believed as the gospel truth and Pakistan is trapped in her own narratives of pseudo ‘’Political Islam ‘’as the central spine of national values and principle directives.
In that, they have permitted the rich Islamic nations to intrude into Pakistani socio-political space to push their violent Jihadi agenda. In order to show case their loyalty to these rich nations with an eye on financial support from them, Pakistan has indulged in complicity in spreading Wahabi radicalism and militancy across the world. As a result, Pakistan does not have good relations with none of her neighbours as their conduct is synonym with deceit, duplicity and dubious dealings. Pakistan as on date is known to be the sanctuary of terrorism instead of a modern state which had such rich Indian cultural moorings and abundant resources with tremendous potential for economic growth.
Pakistan in order to be different chose to even change their Indian heritage and history by linking their origin to the foreign raiders who indulged in atrocities of indescribable dimensions on their ancestors including thrusting their culture and religion on them. Nothing can be more preposterous than shying away from your own cultural heritage and factual societal happenings of the past. How do you explain the origin of dark skinned former Indians from UP, Bihar, Punjab and Sindh linked to Arab, Turkish, Afghani or Central Asian blood in them. It obviously is a mockery of anthropological and historical evidence which Pakistan is propagating in their self created false narratives. Pakistan, obviously, is on the wrong side of the history.
The historical evidence suggests fratricidal tendencies amongst most of the societies and India was no exception with her multiplicities of all kinds in the mid forties in post war political flux. However, formation of a nation state purely on an orchestrated religious smoke screen by the British was a notorious game plan. The British, in a similar pattern, resorted to manipulation of political composition in most of their colonies and conquered areas in the West Asia and Africa wherein the artificial boundaries carved out by them prior to their departure continue to be the cause of political confrontations even today. Therefore, the genesis of confrontation between India and Pakistan lies in the British policies and not in the religious domain which was chosen to be the excuse to divide the Indian nation.
Pakistan army has chosen to create skewed narratives so as to retain predominance in the matter of governance in Pakistan. The most significant narrative is Pakistani claim over Kashmir which has not permitted the Pakistan to grow as the focus continues to be on negative politics instead of economic growth and nation building. Soon after independence, Pakistan sought to merge Jammu and Kashmir and Baluchistan being the Muslim majority states on periphery of Pakistan through military means. Pakistani military action was in defiance to the rule position laid down by the British government wherein the Maharaja chose to cede state of J&K with India on 27Oct 1947, plus non withdrawal of Pakistani army from the state as a precondition for conduct of UN sponsored plebiscite for which India had agreed. Accordingly, Pakistan violated both British government rule as well as UN directions, besides indulging in use of force to annex the state illegally by sending her army prior to any decision by the ruler. Therefore, it was a case of trespassing legal jurisprudence on three accounts by Pakistan and they continue to pursue their lie and duplicity even today.
The factual position is that Kashmir is all about control over water for agriculture based economy of Pakistan, especially the Punjab province. The argument of Religious majority happens to be the media to achieve their national aim. Accordingly, the Kashmir narrative has been coined which has become the rallying point for the entire nation. The illegal claim of Pakistan over Kashmir has given rise to other narratives which have further entrapped Pakistan in a bind of their own choosing. Such narratives include military threat to the existence of Pakistan as a nation state from India, besides suspicions of diverting waters of rivers by Indian authorities in contravention to Indus water treaty. On the contrary it is Pakistan which has embarked upon initiating four wars on India and lost all of them in the face of superior Indian response. Whereas, India has been magnanimous to return 93000 prisoners of war in 1971 Indo-Pak conflict without any humiliating conditions for the sake of peace and provide space for Pakistan to mend her ways.
It has, indeed, exposed professional incompetency of Pakistani military leadership and as a result Pakistan army has deep set insecurities. In consequence, it is a compulsion without compromise for Pakistan army to continue anti India narrative lest the civil society starts questioning them. To do that, they upgraded the Islamic angle in Kashmir to the next level by initiating insurgency in J&K in late 80s with the help of insurgents from Afghanistan front. The Islamic appeal alongside Kashmir narrative possibly cannot be contested by any self respecting Muslim and a nationalist in a theocratic country. If there is any voice of dissent by any individual or a group , they would be deem to be anti national and anti Islamic and deserve to be ridiculed and punished. Therefore, there exists a national intransigence when it comes to reconciliation with India on J& K issue. It is likely to continue that way given the level of antipathy amongst both the countries.
Further to above, the narrative of Indian hegemonic designs is being used by Pakistan as an excuse to create depth on her Western borders inside Afghanistan. With this self created strategic narrative, Pakistan has taken upon herself to destabilize Afghanistan by using Taliban which they created alongside US for their campaign against Russian occupation of Afghanistan in early 80s. Once Russia went back in 1989, this force of non state actors under control of Pakistan army and ISI is being used to retain political influence in the Afghanistan.
To do that, Pakistan is playing a double game by supporting Taliban on one side and doing bidding for the US in their fight for GWOT, an outright display of deceit and duplicity in face of US interests as on date. The US on their part have dual compulsion of logistics sustenance of their forces inside Afghanistan from Pakistani ports, plus reach out to Taliban for reconciliation with the help of Pakistan. Pakistan has been exploiting this strategic compulsion of the US for financial and military aid.
The Afghanistan narrative is also impacting on Chinese and Russian interests as success of CPEC scheme for China, and access to warm waters of Indian Ocean by Russia, a strategic ambition since czarist era cannot be met till Afghanistan gets stabilized. In order to facilitate these interests, Pakistan has to move away from her Kashmir narratives as Afghanistan in their perspective is linked to Indian threat and that unlikely to happen looking at Pakistani designs. If, somehow, it does happen then the Pakistan loses out on her political leverages with the big boys, US, Russia and China. Therefore, Afghanistan narrative has to go on for sustenance of Pakistani higher priority India centric narratives, besides her relevance in the strategic space in the region.
Further to above ,Pakistan in their strategic narrative have permitted China to intrude into their geographical space for their CPEC scheme apparently for enhancing her military deterrence against India, besides economic reasons. Now that China is physically present in Pakistan with her biggest political investment for her global economic expansion, she is unlikely to move out of Pakistan ever. China , is likely to intrude into Pakistani political space also impacting on their sovereignty in case they see any negative synergies in Pakistani conduct impacting on Chinese national interests.
Accordingly, Pakistan is in a trap of their own design for their myopic anti India obsession and quick economic recovery which is nowhere in the sight soon. The pressure on Pakistan to repay Chinese loans is mounting in exponential manner, whereas they have no money for the debt servicing. Pakistan is in an economic mess and needs a bail out which is also unlikely to come easily. In the given circumstances, there seem to be no way out but to make compromises to toe Chinese dictates in times to come.
Pakistan is nation which is trapped in her own narratives which are based on illegal parameters to start with, and has indulged in blatant deceitful manipulations of internal as well as external environment with high duplicity and dubious content perpetuated by the Pakistani army. This in turn has created a cascading effect on the entire political thinking and the social milieu of Pakistan. There seem to be no hope of reconciliation by Pakistan on her claims over Kashmir as this has been the biggest political investment by them since independence, albeit on legally incorrect and politically unsustainable grounds.
Pakistan army which is the main arbitrator in that country is unlikely to give space to the elected civilian authorities in dealing with these narratives and facilitate course correction for overall benefit of the nation. Unless there is a maverick statesman who can convince the army brass to give way to sensible discussions and move away from intransigence of acrimony of seven decades, Pakistan would continue to be in economic stress and the political back waters. The key to prosperity of Pakistan lies in reconciliation on false narratives of the past and usher in a new dawn by resolving all issues with utmost seriousness, sincerity and sensitivity. There is always a hope of a new beginning.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CENJOWS.