Democracy, Accountability and Defence
09 June, 2011
By Amjad Malik
Sometimes Bharat Verma the Editor of Indian Defence Review writes that ‘new Delhi is its own enemy, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic state on its borders,” and the other times hostile Western media when it predicts the revolution in Pakistan post Abbotabad disaster of 2 May. As long as Indian mindset and western pro democracy pundits keep on dreaming the disintegration and weaker Pakistan, it will survive as a viable state and will get an opportunity to prosper as the very negativity serves the purpose of knitting this crowd of 200 million smart street men and women into a nation. The state of Pakistan emerged as a result of a successful struggle for independence by millions of Muslims of India who felt that two nation theories is the only viable option to preserve and protect each other’s identity and core values. Independence was snatched on the basis of fundamentals of the modern day democracy, ‘one man one vote’ principle and majority of Muslim populated areas vowed to join the newly established idea of ‘Pakistan’ where they saw security, identity and a peaceful enjoyment of civil and political rights, and a freedom of religion, culture and values.
Lot of criticism on all sides on its army, intelligence agency and rightly so, as it will filter and enhance capacity and capability by erecting review and accountability. But one thing is undisputed, that keeping politics of it aside ISI is protecting the national security of Pakistan and combating any viable threat to its borders from outside and since 1971 from within. It may fail on occasion but with limited resources the pass rate is never known, and that is the beauty. It is not different to the work of the CIA, KGB, RAW, Mossad, and MI5 & MI6 who work day in day out to avert any threat to the security of their own respective countries. The passionate work of this institution though is hardly in the public domain but is paramount when the threat is looming from its neighboring country on east and west on its borders, heavy presence of a foreign force on its western borders, and the presence of groups like ‘Makti bahni’ which are promoted, financed and cultured inside Pakistani bordering areas by its enemy. The need of their passionate work become more imperative when the corrupt elite of the country wish to derail the sovereignty of the country and endanger the security of the state by forging an alliance with super power in lust for power putting aside national interest.
Pakistan army unfortunately has spent around 4 decades in power corridors and no other but indecisive & corrupt politicians who lack political will, weaker institutions, tame judiciary and selfish & unprofessional bureaucracy is cumulatively responsible for not erecting a viable democracy where rule of law, good governance, justice and constitutionalism holds sway. As long as all stake holders do not sit on one table and see eye to eye with each other and have a joint aim to safeguard the national interest, promote supreme parliament concept and produce a good governance. In the absence of a failure of the implementation on COD and negation of 18th Feb mandate, I am afraid we will keep seeing illusions everywhere.
Pakistan no doubt, is in a very critical situation as Osma is found in the Abbotabad on 2 May 2011 and ISI and its army is being asked many questions and unilateral air strike post Rayomond’s release has posed trust issues with the state and its people. Naval base attack destroying 2 Orion planes is an icing on the cake in a turmoil but needless to say that Pakistan and its forces are expert to get out of snare using its faith, discipline and unity and that is the way forward.
Pakistani leaders need to decide whether they wish to move forward democratically or are ready to cave in meagerly at the hands of US pressure as matters have gone ahead of drone attacks now. Extremism has given new twist to international information sharing process, and India has rightly advantaged this weakness. Their aim is to weaken the country and do not allow it to flourish an economic or military power. They also wish it to remain weak on political front with a military run regime where legitimacy always question their viability as a state.
I think ISI made Pakistan stronger in the wake of emanating threats from around since 1971 and no doubt, it has advanced in order to meet the 21st century requirements and has developed from human intelligence to scientific knowledge. It’s a high time that people see ISI separately than army rule and ISI uses this an opportunity to enhance professionalism and accountability in its ranks. If it does not enact some serious check and balances, any further air strike and or terrorist act on air force and or Parliamentarians will further weaken the confidence of those 200 millions on its premier agency to safeguard national and public interest. Pakistani media must also go one step ahead and understand the greater design, and seek accountability by keeping the organizational structure and capabilities of its organization intact, thus a voluntary enforceable code of conduct in their ranks is a civil way forward. We must discourage army led rule, by bringing the state organs under constitutional parameters, but not by demolishing it completely and later seeking help from foreigners to rebuild if we are attacked.
Pakistan rightly quests for peace and stability in the region. It has played twice a major role in the region once to stop Russian invasion against Afghanistan which resulted in Russian disintegration and secondly, as a non NATO ally against Al-Qaeda, an unfaced menace to the world. Its liberal & conservative mixture is its beauty which has a capacity to house many languages and cultures within an interesting heritage. Disintegration of one state, will be followed by others as it will set a principle that no components can survive in a Federation in the region, in return in the world. The world saw Russian disintegration as a result of an unlawful invasion, which is a lesson for all especially Americans who led a wrong invasion of the principles of state sovereignty on 2 May.
This is further to hot pursuit concept and will leave a wrong example for the future super powers who will use it cruelly for their own use whether it is western block, Chinese or Russians. Economic stability is not the only key to survive in a statehood, as trust, treatment and neighbors guarantee the future sovereignty of any state. Both India, Pakistan and USA are at a crossroad, they must learn to live with each other in the community of nations. They should live fairly keeping their own strategic positions intact on ‘live and let live principle’ as a little shift in equilibrium, will generate destabilization process overall. 200 smart men and women of Pakistan can defuse, defter and defeat any greater design along with their utmost desire to have transparency, accountability and strong civil dispensation in Pakistan.
West must not see them all as ‘Taliban’ and or must not attempt to turn them in one as that is what happens when trust deficit looms in and proxies are fought at foreign lands in the form of Raymond Davis, drone flights and unilateral Operation Geronimo. These proxies sometimes are counterproductive in results on the international scene. Pakistan as many other countries on the world map is there to live despite lapses, meager economy, weaker infra structure but the decision needs to be made by its stooges and their masters whether they wish to live with it, or have their own little Pakistan on their imaginative maps and keeps on dreaming to destroy it. Strong Pakistani Nation must accept the challenge and defend and rebuild Pakistan by supporting democracy, accountability, and defence that is the core of ‘two nation theory’.