Pakistan’s perpetual dilemma….

By Rafiq Jan – Doha Qatar

Pakistan, under its new “populist, progressive minded and reformist” Prime Minister Imran Khan, is surrounded by unique and apparently insurmountable issues of political instability. A continuous tug of war between political stake holders is entering a rather dangerous state, where the country can further fall into another abyss of uncertainty.

However, Pakistan is not alone in the list of countries facing such issues.

The political crises that the world’s two leading democracies in form of UK and the US are beset with are unprecedented this time around. The hullabaloo in the power corridors has clearly revealed a lack of credible leadership.

However, even with these economic problems, our neighbor, India, has been faring well for the past few years.

India, despite its internal political turmoil, has not faced economic or diplomatic issues in recent years. The only reason behind this is its smart and shrewd thinking, both home and abroad, irrespective of the regime changes in Delhi and the faces in the forefront.

There has been a marked role of religious disharmony, which too is aptly capitalized by fanatic Hindu politicians to woo the voters.  It had a solid, well prepared, and a long-term national security and economic development plan right after partition in 1947.

We must not ignore that keeping Pakistan unsettled and in the cross-hairs was the most important clause of that doctrine which had a detrimental outcomes for Islamabad. The seeds that were sown to never let Pakistan get off the hook had many features, but the most effective of all was to invest in keeping Pakistan engaged on its borders.

India has been successful in influencing all the new comers in the US White House by its well-timed, perfectly orchestrated and pragmatic diplomatic approach. Hence the good diplomatic work, meticulously done decades ago, enabled it to get from White House what it wanted for its national interests, while proudly ignoring the implications on its neighbors.

India has worked its way well to corner Pakistan on all the fronts. Since partition, it played its cards sagaciously on all the international forums to malign its neighbor Islamic state (Pakistan). The list of such moves by India is long, but swaying the oil rich gulf countries in its perspective to build a potential economic blockade against Pakistan tops the list of latest endeavors. Huge investment in Iran’s Chabahar port to counter the impact of Gwadar port is another example.

If Pakistanis want to regain their lost respect and glory, they need to reconsider their foreign and domestic policies. All powerful and legendry thrones are being shaken by a spate of unusual unrests, and this period is a blessing in disguise for Pakistan to play its cards wisely and go an all-out war against the lethargy and procrastination in Islamabad.

It must shed the unwanted burden on its weak shoulders to find the new ventures. In this time of 5th Generation Warfare, it has to follow unconventional strategies to alleviate poverty and encourage “disruptive innovation”. Time is ripe to convey its message to the world that “we are with the international community to support humanity with the best of our yet unleashed potential.”

Pakistan’s dilemma is “who to follow”, but in the hindsight of the ongoing political Tug of War, the answer is self-explanatory; killing our traditional love for disgraced and tested political families to embark upon a new journey of success. Knowing that the success never comes without a cost, the cost is nothing more than just “changing our mindset”.

Pakistan’s enemies, in recent years, have done enough to put the country in a corner. It is now up to its people to decide whether to continue living a wolf’s life or recoil like a cornered tiger. Recovering from the brink of devastation needs a vital ingredient in form of a “change in mindset”.

Rafiq Jan, Qatar based freelance writer and blogger.

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