Set the priorities right Mohammad Jamil
Set the priorities right Mohammad Jamil


Government of Pakistan, our armed forces and people of Pakistan were flabbergasted, stunned and shocked on the violation of Pakistan territory by the US because they had least expected from an ally. Of course, there was tremendous trust deficit between the US and Pakistan, and we have been stressing this point in these pages that Pakistan should not lower its guard, and political leadership and military leadership should remain alert.

Our leaders, media and the people should understand that intelligence agencies like the Mossad, RAW, KGB and CIA have in the past seen intelligence failures. Secondly, brave nations take their intelligence failures or defeats with quiet dignity. However, both the president and the prime minister should not leave the country and sit at home to prepare for the new security threats in-the-making with intensive deliberations with the officials and extensive consultations with cross-sections of the political strands. A consensus action plan they must evolve to face up to these emerging threats. It is true that Pakistan depends on the US for economic and military aid, and that without Americaís nod the IMF and the World Bank would stop funding. Pakistan can indeed live without American aid, but efforts have to be made to make Pakistan a self-reliant economy.

Anyhow, unilateral action by the US Special Forces in Abbottabad killing Osama bin Laden without sharing information has added to the trust deficit between Pakistan and the US. Already, violation of Pakistanís sovereignty by drone attacks that killed hundreds of innocent citizens just to take out a few dozen Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, had exacerbated anti-American sentiments. People of Pakistan have been enraged by American adventurism and utter disregard shown to Pakistanís sovereignty. They vociferously demand to disengage from US on the basis of its unilateral action in Abbottabad, instead of issuing warnings our military and air force should go into action, if another attack is made. Americaís arrogant behaviour provides ammo in the hands of those who are already against the cooperation with the US. Pakistan military and Foreign Office have already warned the US that another act of violation of Pakistanís sovereignty could lead to a catastrophe. Pakistan has been protesting on drone attacks for quite some time. A few days before attack in Abbottabad, America had reportedly insisted that it would continue its covert operations, and if the need be overt operations in Pakistan.

In the history of mankind, there have been many instances when a nation faced the dilemma of choosing the right course of action for the solution of their problems. Unfortunately, both the state and the society remained clueless and do not understand as to how to capitalize on these rich resources, release the immense latent energy and reach the ultimate goal of spiritual emancipation, prosperity, social cohesion and solidarity of the people. The question arises as to what should be done to rid the society of inertia and corruption? Can Platoís managerial meritocracy help? It may hold good in services but political exigencies demand far greater than what is provided in that discipline. Leading the people in their pursuit of political freedom, self-governance, economic independence, evolution of a vibrant society and progress in the fields of science and art requires different category of leaders. Pakistan today finds itself at the crossroads. To meet the internal and external challenges to its security, it is imperative that the nation is united, and all and sundry work to convert moribund society plagued by corruption, immorality, inertia, factionalism into a progressive, vibrant and dynamic organism brimming with vitality and creativity.

Pakistan, indeed, is rich in resources, and is the only nuclear state in 55 Muslim countries. Arab countries might be having oil wealth, but Pakistan has distinguished scientists, professors, strong and disciplined army; and above all, Pakistan has very hard working people who have the will and determination to make it a self-reliant country. But where did we go wrong? Pakistanís ruling elite, civil and military governments of the past have made many mistakes, rather blunders. The first one was joining the defence pacts with the US and the West that provided opportunity to America to use Pakistanís soil to violate the USSRís sovereignty when the U-2 took off from Pakistanís base and was downed by the Soviet Union. It was in this backdrop that former Soviet Union had backed India to violate Pakistanís sovereignty by invading the then East Pakistan. The second one was joining the Afghan jihad, when Osama bin Laden and thousands of jihadists were allowed to Ďviolate our sovereigntyí and use our soil to violate Afghanistanís sovereignty. Anyhow, this is the third time that our sovereignty has been violated by our so-called ally many a time.

The question is whether any other Muslim country in the world would allow the jihadis from all over the world to assemble there, and arm them to wage jihad. Would Saudi Arabia or Iran have ever done it? Will Saudi King ever tolerate jihadis in his kingdom? Unfortunately, our political and religious parties in the past have been inspiring people to constantly protest for the cause of Palestine, the Arab and the Muslim world. And inspired and motivated by the US and Arab countries they waged jihad against infidels. By the way, who was Osama, and who had permitted him to come and violate our sovereignty and use our soil to violate sovereignty of another neighbouring country. Since the inception of Pakistan, those who had opposed Pakistan later wanted to enforce the law based on Quran and Sunnah. Despite the fact, that Objectives Resolution was passed, and no law can be passed against the dictates of Islam, yet there is constant bickering and debating over the issue, which is hijacked by people like Maulvi Fazlullah and Sufi Muhammad and others of their ilk. Acts of terrorism and sectarian conflicts often create law and order situation with the result that nobody is willing to invest in Pakistan.

Therefore, Pakistanís civil and military leaders should sit together and set their priorities right. First of all they have to eliminate extremism in every form and manifestation, and there should be zero-tolerance towards any of the groups. Secondly, they should review Pakistanís foreign policy, as the political landscape of the world has changed after the end of Cold War. Thirdly, they have to work out a fool-proof system to meet challenges to Pakistanís internal and external security. Fourthly, people of Pakistan should be given a fair deal, and plans should be made to provide them education and health facilities to the poor sections of the society on urgent basis.

However, to implement the plans and programmes to strengthen defence, Pakistan needs to increase its revenue. Improving law and order situation should be at the highest rung of the priorities, which will attract investment and help increase tax revenue. Nevertheless, taxes should be levied on every business, vocation and profession including tax on agriculture. Finally, Pakistan should stop being thakedar of Islam and Muslim Ummah, because America as well as Muslim countries have benefited more from Pakistan in different ways than what they have given in the form of aid and grants.