What the Independence Day Demands?
Although the 14th August which is celebrated every year as the Independence Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature internally and externally, which are not only worrying all the citizens, and are creating divisions among the federal and provincial institutions, yet are also putting the very integration of the state at stake. Besides, during this very day, Pakistan is in the state of war, being waged by the security forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists.
Meanwhile, India has started unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and Nakiyal sector. Pak Army and Rangers followed the suit in defence of the country. In fact, the main aim of India is to sabotage the peace process between both the neighbouring countries, particularly the proposed meeting between Pakistan’s Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Indian Manmohan Singh in New York next month on the sideline of UN General Assembly session.
However, it was due to the strong unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that Pakistan became a tangible reality. But that unity started declining after passing through various crises.
It is because of lack of unity among our politicians, leaders, security forces and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilising the country. In the past few years, nefarious designs of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad can be gauged from various anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to subversive activities and sectarian violence all over the country and separatism in Balochistan coupled with cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan side.
Particularly, US double game with Pakistan, pressuring the latter to do more against the militants by ignoring the internal backlash, intermittent drone strikes, accusation of cross border terrorism, perennial propaganda against Pak Army, country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) etc. clearly show future aims of the US-led India and Israel which want to ‘denuclearise’ Pakistan.
These anti-Pakistan elements have accelerated subversive acts in our country on daily basis through their affiliated militant groups, especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which have killed several people including personal of the security forces and law-enforcing agencies in various cities of the country, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi. As regards, Balochistan, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from CIA and RAW. Their militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province, while claiming responsibility for their heinous crimes. In fact, based in Afghanistan these external intelligence agencies are not only supplying arms and ammunition to the insurgents, but are also assisting them with money. While, the US seems determined to shift Afghan war to Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
On the one hand, these foreign elements have accelerated their conspiracy against Pakistan to complete their hidden agenda by supporting subversive attacks inside the country, on the other, by showing unrealistic approach, Pakistan’s so-called NGOs, human rights organisations and media started a deliberate campaign against country’s law-enforcing agencies, ISI and Pak Army. In this regard, without knowing reality, and by taking advantage of the judicial activism, these internal entities have manipulated various cases like memogate scandal and Mehrangate issue and case of the missing persons. In this context, let us know the example of the missing persons—a majority of these people include those people who were either kidnapped or killed by foreign-backed secret agents and their backed-insurgent groups. Many of the disappeared persons also went to Afghanistan for Jehad purposes, while some of them joined the Jehadi groups inside Pakistan. But these entities left no stone unturned in maligning Pak Army and country’s superior agency in this respect.
Notably, present drastic situation cannot be comprehended by the general masses and even the political leaders who abruptly change their opinion without logic. Therefore, they become unintentional victim of the external plotters who succeed in creating a rift particularly between the political groups, divided on ethnic and linguistic lines. These foreign enemies also seek to create a division between the political leaders and the armed forces of our country.
It is regrettable that on the one side, our multiple crises show that Pakistan is rapidly advancing towards a ‘failed state’ owing to the sinister designs of some external powers, while, on the other side, our media, particularly most of the TV channels conduct controversial debate between politicians and commentators, contesting internal politics. While speaking in the tone of anti-Pakistan elements, they have ignored the sacrifices of Pakistan’s security forces and ISI regarding the security of the country and against terrorism. Following the external media, and foreign blame game, our own internal entities have been implicating these security agencies.
At this critical hour, while deteriorating situation demands selfless unity, both our media anchors and some politicians manipulate every terror-incident or negative development against Pakistan. Accusation and counteraccusations have become their routine practice. In this context, they opine as to what the people want, but conceal as to what people actually need? Especially, it appears that a majority of Pakistan’s media anchors is on the payroll of external enemies.
Internally, Pakistan’s economic crisis has intensified, bringing about other-related problems like load shedding, unemployment, soaring prices of products and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, and IMF and World Bank for financial aid.
No doubt, today Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing multi-faceted internal and external threats to the national security of the country. Besides, our security forces and intelligence agencies are coping with suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and target-killings including sporadic battles with the militants in the tribal areas.
Nevertheless, the Independence Day demands true national unity. In the recent past, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who remained firm on his stand on non-interference in politics, has repeatedly insisted upon national unity. Recently, he stated, “Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country is not in national interest…the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists.”
The 14th August reminds that our political leaders must pledge that they will not exploit their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this context, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other.
They must avoid manipulating present thorny issues in order to gain the sympathies of general masses, and to increase the members for their parties. If any controversy has arisen between the judiciary and executive bodies or other political parties, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution. For this aim, in order to castigate the plot of the external enemies against the country, our political leaders must also stop exploiting any crisis against the security forces and ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external conspirators.
Besides, Pakistan’s media, especially TV channels must create national cohesion among various segments of society. For this purpose, the owners of these channels must detect and terminate the services of some anchors who are working on the payroll of foreign enemies. As electronic media attract more viewers, so Pakistan’s TV commentators should give a matching response to malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are leaving no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan, its army and ISI.
At this critical juncture, Pakistan’s survival lies in strong cohesion which is also essential for our political leaders themselves, as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a “war of all against all” in the sense of ‘Hobbesian state of nature.’
No doubt, the 14th August demands true unity which is not possible without the sacrifices of the all the citizens, political, religious leaders and media for the national integration of Pakistan. There must be real national unity among the public, politicians and the security forces so as to cope with the anti-Pakistan conspiracy.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations