OPINION | The Fourth Nail : The Unity of Pakistan & Islamic Radicalization

OPINION | The Fourth Nail : The Unity of Pakistan & Islamic Radicalization


OPINION | The Fourth Nail : The Unity of Pakistan & Islamic Radicalization by Rahul Guhathakurta
"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham Maslow

First Nail - Soviets in the 1980s, Second Nail - India in 1990s - Present, Third Nail - the United States as 9/11 - Present, Fourth Nail - The Pakistan itself and the story continues with the "hammer" of Islamic radicalization 

In the year 1954, both India and Pakistan were in the nascent stage of democracy and were taking baby steps towards fulfilling their role as sovereign nations towards their respective citizens. And then came, the dissolution of Constituent Assembly by Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad on October 24, 1954, which eventually decided the future of "Pakistan" and created a domino effect which is still influencing the events in South Asian sub-continent. This particular event started fanning anti-India fiery sentiments impregnated during the 1947 Partition and First Kashmir War within Pakistani psyche as a sole reason for their own survival as a nation. Let us understand and accept this as a fundamental truth - Pakistan has existed as a reactionary country on account of its inbuilt feeling of shakiness since the day it was conceived on Aug 14, 1947, particularly because of its animosity with India as latter's fabric being the predominantly made up of Hindus. “This is where the rightists’ conservative narrative comes from."- as quoted by Mohammad Jibran Nasir, a Pakistani peace advocate who has initiated a crusade to persuade his kinsmen to recover the nation from the clutches of religious radicals.

In the post-1965 War scenario, the Tashkent Declaration created greater fissures in the Pakistan-India dynamics, which resulted into molding the perceptions of each towards the other. At the same time, strategic thinkers and conspiracy theorists of the two nations launched dissident views against their own leaders both at political as well as military realms. While the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration were surgical post-mortems of the 1971 Bangladesh Crisis and the Kashmir issue (the 1990s) respectively – thereby, making diplomatic engagements for “quick-resolve” but making no significant leaps to enhance the confidence levels between Pakistan and India needed for future engagements. In this rubric of thought, it is a well-known fact that an anti-Indian doctrine is the only dominant factor which has kept Pakistan united since 1971- learning from the vestiges of the 1971 War and creation of Bangladesh out of Pakistan.

Next came, India's entry into nuclear weapons club to deploy a composite deterrence doctrine against China's nuclear policy was automatically became the default firewall protection between India and Pakistan for not involving a declared conflict in future. But, it simultaneously triggered Pakistan's nuclear weaponization program, which took huge undeclared leaps in 80's through Abdul Qadeer Khan's clandestine network with respect to nuclear technology acquisition by all means, by any means. Unlike India, Pakistan has no proclaimed convention and has embraced equivocalness as integral to their nuclearization strategy. The presence of small but potent "Tactical Nuclear Weapons" in their inventory recommend that a basic standard of conventional war does apply to alter the outcomes. This sets into movement a military element that gives the impetus to utilization of nuclear warheads and a reactionary improvement of a first strike capability, while the foe endeavors to produce a counter-constrain potential. Vagueness has been utilized as a counterbalance for ordinary mediocrity with the conviction that control over heightening is conceivable. This is so clearly a false notion because of the way of the weapon system is destined to be deployed in various theatre of conflicts. Moreover, the clandestine technology procurements combined with uncertainty of objectives and the mounting impact of radical Islamists through strategic angle, has expanded the dangers of utilization of such weapons with dubious precariousness.

With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the  ten-year war brought in a huge influx of refugees into Pakistan who was in turn armed with a most powerful weapon of the mankind - the ideology of vengeance in the name of "Jihad". First, the Soviet-Afghan War came to an end   with the withdrawal of the 40th Army under the command of Lt. General Boris Gromov through Afghan-Uzbek Bridge, creating the roots of a Jihadist  ideology. In this fall of events,   Pakistan, as a nation was caught in the quandary, caused with respect to the rehabilitation of such battle-hardened fighters attuned to the Islamic Ideologies of Jihad. Secondly, there was near about no-control on these elements since the Americans to have backed out to take the responsibility of the crop which has been sown by the seeds provided by various Arab countries. To save the northern belt of Pakistan from the fallout of splinter army of Islamic fighters, the doors towards Kashmir were opened as a part of nation's survival plan and the result was in the form Kashmir insurgency of early 90's on an unprecedented scale which Pakistani establishment itself did not anticipate the levels of effect and counter-effect at the first place. However, by the end of the 20th century with Kargil War adventurism – Pakistan eventually realized Kashmir is not Afghanistan and with the start of “War on Terror” at the beginning of century, they also realized – Afghanistan is not Kashmir, either. Gradually, these indoctrinated fighters spearheaded the essence of "Jihadist Solutions" to Kashmir youths and eventually created the concept of Proxy-War which integrated the hidden shades of enmity of neighbors as seen during Khalistan insurgency phase. 

The radical philosophy in Pakistan originates from the instructive doctrine adopted by the establishment to fight Soviets during the Afghan war, particularly the educational policy dictated by the military dictator Zia-ul-Haq to churn out required number ideologically brainwashed  Afghan militias to launch counter-offensive operations across the Durand line. But, in return, these very elements started influencing those at the grassroots levels who had no jobs, no educations, and no economic security within the nation. Free madrassa education, free living quarters with two-time supply of food which was meant for radicalizing the Afghans funded by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, was equally a magnetic offer for poverty stricken Pakistani people. So, the whole process became a "Reverse Osmosis" and this was the very moment , the ideology of Islamic jihad spread like a wildfire and the freethinkers destined to become a minority within their own country in coming years. Also, General Zia-ul-Haq realized that "Anti-India" sentiments coupled with "Islamic Covalent Bond" is the only way to deter another "Bangladesh" from happening. So within a decade, a radical philosophy became an undeclared national philosophy as the first line of defense against any Indian attack in near future - either full blown or surgical. 

What can be concluded is that either Pakistan will disintegrate as a nation by not harboring anti-India sentiments based on Islamic fundamentalism or it will get involved in an offensive formulated upon the various vectors of their own national interest which in turn will have various resultants based upon the undeniable facts, involving the complete annihilation of its own. In both scenarios, the country will cease to exist. However, there is a middle path which Pakistan is religiously following like any other nation should have been doing as part of survival tactics - keep the issue burning and keep it molten, forever.  

About the Author:

Rahul Guhathakurta is Curator of IndraStra Global and can be reached at his Linkedin profile.




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