STATE OF THE STATE OF PAKISTAN
It is normally ‘khilaf-e-tazeeb’ [contrary to cultural norms] to criticize a country whose citizens are invited to be members of the Group. I wish to assure my Pakistani friends
that my intentions are farthest from denigrating it. Indeed, as Pakistan is India’s closest neighbour, I am motivated no less by a sense of deep concern. I shall try merely to highlight significant issues.
Abbottabad Commission Report prepared under the chairmanship of its SC judge, Justice Javed Iqbal, and submitted to the PM of Pakistan relates the sequence of events concerning Osama Bin Laden [OBL] until his assassination by US marines.
When the adversaries of Pakistan allege that Pakistan govt, ISI or sections of its military connived with Al Qaeda in providing OBL with a safe house, the citizens of Pakistan should actually thank them, for this implies that the land and its resources are still under some control, that the state knows what is going on there, that AlQaeda did not fool the entire state, all the time.
Unfortunately for them what turns out, in this report, is far more devastating. It appears that there was an all round failure, on virtually every front: administrative, political, military, intelligence, surveillance.. And that this rot has seeped deep down the administration such that even detection and fixing responsibility and accountability may have become well nigh impossible.
The Defense Minister is said to have come to learn of OBL assassination when his daughter called from New York after watching this on her television. Does this tell us about the state of governance there?
I quote from an article of TimeWorld:
‘As we find out, the property was bought through a fake identity card. The construction of a third story was illegal but went unchallenged. No tax was paid, and at one point, the heavily occupied house was even declared uninhabited. But it may have been more a case of serial snafus than sinister scheming, the report suggests. “Either OBL was extremely fortunate to not run into anyone committed to doing his job honestly,” the report notes, referring to bin Laden by his initials, “or there was a complete collapse of governance.”’
‘In one of its hardest-hitting passages, the report says: “It is a glaring testimony to the collective incompetence and negligence, at the very least, of the security and intelligence community in the Abbottabad area.”’
I shudder to think that this nation
a. is sitting on a stockpile of nuclear arms, and simultaneously
b. is being pulled apart by Shias and Sunnis, Fanatics and Moderates, Feudal Lords and proletariat et al.