The three cancers of Pakistan

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, May 17 (ANI): Pakistan is dominating the foreign policy agenda of the Obama administration these days.

Ever since the aborted terrorist attempt at Times Square, the Obama team is, in a calibrated manner, losing no opportunity to voice its fears and alarm about Pakistan's role in the spread of terror internationally.

The first to speak was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who made a call for an improvement in the level of cooperation being extended by Pakistan in fighting extremism and warned the country of "severe consequences" if an attack on US soil is traced back to its soil.

She also alluded that some officials in the Pakistani government are aware of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and other militant leaders.

This statement by Clinton has been validated and further strengthened by none other than President Obama himself during his meeting with the Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai at the White House.

In a very candid and forthright manner President Obama has articulated the need for Pakistan to get over its obsession with India and fight the cancer within.

President Obama's views about the cancer are endorsed, but what needs to be understood is that not one, but three cancers afflict Pakistan.

The first and foremost is the Pakistan Army, which is not ready to shed its dominance despite the establishment of a democratic government.

To sustain this domination the Army depends upon a unique kinship of arms which transcends all other political, religious or social attributes and ensures unquestioned obedience to its own hierarchy only.

Its motivation comes from the fact that the officer strength is drawn from the middle class intellectual segment of society, which has a very low opinion of the feudal and intellectually compromised political class.

This opinion leads to a sense of superiority developed over time due to continuous military rule and, as a result, the Army officers hold a belief that none other than them can safeguard national interests.

The rigidity that Obama attributes to the State of Pakistan is in fact, existing only in its Army, which is steadfast in its anti-India policy. The reluctance to cease proliferation of terror, build up of conventional arms capability, derailment of the peace process is all directed to this end.

The second cancer is the ISI. This organization was created for the express purpose of proliferating terror in India.

Of late, this mandate has been expanded to covert engagement of the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban.

The ISI receives funds not only from the Army and the government but also from various other conduits like the narcotics trade and countries interested in the spread of Islamic fundamentalism.

This has made it quasi-independent and has given to the many rogue elements within its ranks an opportunity to follow separate agendas of their own.

Thus, while Pakistan is at war with the Taliban the ISI is busy hiding the Talib leadership or organizing arms shipments for them, the Pakistani government gives assurances of eliminating terror hubs from its soil but the ISI provides protection to these very terrorist organizations, the list of such covert operations by the ISI is endless.

The next group is the militant organizations that function with impunity due to tacit support flowing from both the Army and the ISI.

Instead of closing shop, these organizations are planning to expand their area of influence in view of the impending withdrawal of the Americans from Afghanistan which will give them a free run to once again establish their writ not only over Afghanistan but also over the Eastern frontier region of Pakistan.

This cancer is causing maximum consternation but it is in fact the easiest to handle, cut the flow of blood and it will automatically wither away.

President Obama has correctly discerned the cancer. Now, the body parts have to be identified and urgent surgery needs to be performed so that the infection does not spread to an extent that the body crumples. By Jaibans Singh (ANI)

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