December 4, 2022

Root causes behind the debacle of Pakistan

Source: Wikipedia

In view of the perceived animosity towards India, Pakistan is spending huge sum of money on defence hence education, healthcare, communication etc. remained neglected. Because of lack of modern education, the masses lagged behind the world. Not only this ISI with malicious intention involved in drug smuggling in India but it also caused several damages to Pakistan

By Jai Kumar Verma  

The economic and political condition of Pakistan which was carved out from India in 1947 is becoming bad to worse. It has population of 227 million which is fifth largest in the world, however its economy is 24th in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity. In March 2022, the public debt was around US$248.7 billion which is about 80.2 per cent of its GDP. As Pakistan’s economy is based on loan, borrowings, and assistance, the external debt increased to US$130.2 billion in June 2022.

Pakistan which was passing from a difficult phase was ruined because of unprecedented flood which submerged one third of the country. It affected more than 33 million people and more than 1,400 people lost their lives. Properties and articles worth US$30 billion were devastated. Schools, colleges, and hospitals were destroyed.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Pakistan and after seeing the destruction stated: “I have seen many humanitarian disasters in the world, but I have never seen climate carnage on this scale. I have simply no words to describe what I have seen today.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif while delivering speech in United Nations (UN) tried to raise sentiments of delegates of different countries so that more financial assistance can be obtained. Sharif blamed global warming for this catastrophic flood.

After asking for money, he came on Kashmir issue and alleged that “India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, to change the internationally recognized ‘disputed’ status of Jammu and Kashmir and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory further undermined the prospects of peace and inflamed regional tensions”. He mentioned that India has deployed 9,00,000 troops in J&K and stated that “The serial brutalisation of Kashmiris takes many forms: extrajudicial killings, incarceration, custodial torture and death, indiscriminate use of force, deliberate targeting of Kashmiri youth with pellet guns, and ‘collective punishments’ imposed on entire communities.”

He also claimed that India is making demographic change in J&K and trying to convert Kashmir into a Hindu majority area. He raised Kashmir issue forcefully in UN as he wanted his countrymen to know that he and his government is making sincere efforts to win over Kashmir. Indian representative contradicted statement of Pakistani Prime Minister vociferously.

Pakistan which was passing from a difficult phase was ruined because of unprecedented flood which submerged one third of the country. It affected more than 33 million people and more than 1,400 people lost their lives. Properties and articles worth US$30 billion were devastated. Schools, colleges, and hospitals were destroyed.

Although there are several causes behind the debacle of Pakistan but following are the fundamental reasons behind the same:

Animosity towards India

Pakistan was created on two nation theory which is already failed in 1971 when Pakistan was split and Bangladesh was created. However, Pakistan has not left its hatred towards India as well as with regard to Hindus. Pakistan’s current defence budget was Rs. 1,523 billion which was 11 per cent more than the last year’s budget. The defence expenditure is second largest element after the debt payments in the country’s budget. The details of the defence budget are not disclosed to public. Islamabad spends such a huge amount on defence as the administration claim that Pakistan faces threats of invasion from India and the latter would destroy it. Pakistan army shows itself as the saviour of the country.

Pakistan also claims that it would create Khalistan in India and it would be a revenge of 1971 in which Pakistan was bifurcated. The defence budget includes expenditure on Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) which has launched a low intensity war against India. In view of the perceived animosity towards India, Pakistan is spending huge sum of money on defence hence education, healthcare, communication etc. remained neglected. Because of lack of modern education, the masses lagged behind the world. Not only this ISI with malicious intention involved in drug smuggling in India but it also caused several damages to Pakistan.

According to UN office on Drugs and Crime, Pakistan has 6.7 million drug users and out of them about 2 million are addicts. In fact, it is one of the highest numbers in the world.

Religion

There are 57 Muslim countries in the world but Pakistan has an obsession with religion. Pakistan feels that it is an Islamic country hence all other Muslim countries should give preference to its citizens in all aspects especially in giving jobs, visas etc. Islamabad also claims that as a Muslim country, rich Muslim nations should constantly give financial assistance to it. There are about 72 different Firqa (Sects) of Muslims in Pakistan and several of them issue Fatwas against each other. Normal Pakistanis also believe that one day a messiah would come and all problems of the country would be vanished and he would kill all the enemies. This blind faith is a big hurdle in the progress of the country. The condition of minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadis, and Shias is pitiable.

Merger of Kashmir

Political parties as well as Army have projected in the country that as Kashmir is a Muslim majority state hence very soon it would be merged in Pakistan. This false propaganda has generated a mania in public about Kashmir. Recently when Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of flood victims, Pakistani leaders stated that they would not accept any assistance from India until the Kashmir problem is resolved. ISI which has launched a low intensity war against India is constantly infiltrating terrorists in Kashmir. It is training large number of terrorists and suicide bombers, few of them are infiltrated in India while few others remain in Pakistan and involve in terrorism as well as assassination of people of other sects.

Pakistani leaders stated that they would not accept any assistance from India until the Kashmir problem is resolved. ISI which has launched a low intensity war against India is constantly infiltrating terrorists in Kashmir. It is training large number of terrorists and suicide bombers, few of them are infiltrated in India while few others remain in Pakistan and involve in terrorism as well as assassination of people of other sects

Possession of Nuclear war heads

Pakistan has a great sense of achievement about possession of nuclear bombs. Several countries of the world possess nuclear bombs but no country boasts so much about it. Former Interior Minister of Pakistan Sheikh Rashid mentioned that Pakistan has PAV PAV BHER KE BOMB (Bombs approximately 1/4 Kilo Gram). All the time they threaten India and sometimes Pakistani leaders also claim that there would be catastrophe if these bombs fall in the hands of terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda, Islamic State etc. Hence the world must give them financial assistance so that the country does not become a failed state and they continue to function. Islamabad also demands financial assistance so that the nuclear bombs can be safeguarded. The powerful army was convinced that they can continue with the terrorist activities in India and New Delhi would not take any decisive action because they have nuclear warheads. However, India has broken this myth when Indian Air Force bombed terrorist hideouts in Balakot.

Search of Strategic Depth in Afghanistan

Although Pakistan’s total area is 8,81,913 square kilometres, it is narrow in width. Pakistan already fought at least three wars with India and have false apprehension that India would attack Pakistan. India has big depth hence Pakistan also wants strategic depth and for that it has selected the neighbouring nation Afghanistan. More so, Islamabad wanted to stall puppet regime in Afghanistan and thus helped Taliban especially powerful Haqqani faction to overthrow the elected government in Afghanistan. Although Taliban have refused to obey Islamabad’s directives but in the process of assisting Taliban, ISI has created a big network of terrorists. Now the terrorist outfits especially Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is attacking Pakistan security forces and wants to establish Sharia in Pakistan. Afghan Taliban are assisting TTP which is commonly known as Pakistani Taliban.

Although Pakistan’s total area is 8,81,913 square kilometres, it is narrow in width. Pakistan already fought at least three wars with India and have false apprehension that India would attack Pakistan. India has big depth hence Pakistan also wants strategic depth and for that it has selected the neighbouring nation Afghanistan. More so, Islamabad wanted to stall puppet regime in Afghanistan and thus helped Taliban especially powerful Haqqani faction to overthrow the elected government in Afghanistan

Democratic institutions were not allowed to grow

Another major reason is democratic institutions were never allowed to grow in Pakistan, the Pakistan army was behind it. There public gave more importance to individuals instead of institutions. The masses thought that one day a Messiah would come and he would solve all the problems of the country. When the leader mentions that he would solve the problems of the country, public do not ask about their plan, policies, or strategy. They believe the leader may be a civilian or a military general.  

Pakistan suffers with identity crisis

Pakistan watchers claim that the country, which was whittled from India, suffers with identity crisis. Pakistanis want to show that they are descendants of Moguls, Mongols, Arabs etc. It is ridiculous that Pakistanis with surnames of Bajwa, Kohli, Chauhan, Sethi etc. draw their lineage from Moguls or Mongols. They kept the names of their missiles on the names of invaders like Abdali, Ghaznavi, Gauri, etc. These invaders looted both Hindus and Muslims alike but as Pakistanis want to associate themselves with these looters, they put the names of their missiles on their names.

Pakistan army

Pakistan army is also responsible for the miserable condition of the country. The defence forces continuously usurp the assets of the country in the name of defending Pakistan from Indian aggression. Pakistan cannot afford such a large army.

Rampant corruption

There is widespread corruption in army as well as in civilian institutions. Large number of Pakistanis possess passports of Pakistan and one more country. They have invested their ill-gotten money outside Pakistan. On one hand their loyalty is divided and on the other Pakistan is losing huge sum of money.

There may be several other reasons for the debacle of Pakistan which includes overthrowing of civilian governments repeatedly, feudal culture, absence of middle class which takes the country towards progress, maltreatment of minorities including Ahmadis, Shias, Sufis, and others. Punjabi domination, all other nationalities are treated as second class citizens in Pakistan. Initially US and later China used Pakistan for their national interests.

The leaders and army generals of Pakistan should realise that all of them should work unitedly for the progress of the country and they should try that Pakistan becomes self-sufficient. All foreign aids are with some strings. They should leave the path of terrorism and should try to be friendly with the neighbours. Both India and Pakistan can be benefitted if they start trade directly. Islamabad has no danger from peaceful India hence they must curtail the defence expenditure. More emphasis should be given to provide relief to flood ravaged areas. The education system and healthcare should be improved. Technical education including computer training in the country should be emphasised so that country’s economic condition improves.

(Jai Kumar Verma is a Delhi-based strategic analyst and Life member of United Services Institute of India and member of Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. The views in the article are solely of the author’s. He can be contacted at jaikumar.verma909@gmail.com)

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