In the article (https://www.thefridaytimes.com/message-and-medium/ ) the former Chief Minister of Punjab and a prominent journalist of Pakistan Najam Sethi has said that mainly the military establishment of Pakistan (Miltablishment) is responsible for the current problems of Pakistan which has surfaced in view of likely power grabbing by Taliban where the imminent defeat of the West (led by the USA) has triggered a blame game against Pakistan which may even lead to sanctions etc against Pakistan and which will put the people of Pakistan in extreme difficulties due to mistakes (perfidy as per the West) of Pak Miltablishment.
This article says that over thirty years of distrust and lack of credibility in Western capitals towards Pakistan is due to - [General Hameed Gul, that great strategist of the Pakistani state once publicly boasted, "Our ISI has defeated the Russians with the help of the Americans in Afghanistan and now we are going to defeat the Americans with the help of the Americans". The parting shots of Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and best friends with our own General Ashfaq Kayani, that the "Haqqani network was a veritable arm of the ISI". President Trump tweeted accusing Pakistan of "lying and deceiving the US while receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid", and President Bidenís reluctance to make a courtesy phone call to the Prime Minister of a "strategic ally"].
Nobody can defend Pak Miltablishment because it has committed many mistakes during 74 years of its existence but it is unfair to say that it is the main culprit for the present problems of Pakistan especially when the civilian leadership of Pakistan is more responsible for these problems as explained below:-
(1)- The Pak civilian leadership (Jinnah etc) with the civilian leadership of India (Gandhi, Nehru, Patel etc) engineered an impossible partition of India because there was no provision of population transfer in ‘Indian Independence Act 1947í though communal riots had started before partition . But the Pak civilian leadership too did nothing to rehabilitate about 20 % forcibly displaced population of both West & East Pakistan in their motherland . This has communalized the Indian subcontinent thoroughly (because the communal elements got emboldened due to forced population transfer) which is one of the major reasons for military tension between India and Pakistan.
(2)- As if this was not enough, the Pak civilian leadership (Jinnah etc) did not ensure plebiscite in united J&K as per resolution of the UN by making the Pakistani side of J&K outsiders free. On the contrary Pak civilian leadership left it to Pak military to take the Indian side of J&K militarily from much bigger India. This is the main reason that Pak Miltablishment is behaving the way it has during the last 74 years but people instead of blaming the civilian leadership blame Pak Miltablishment (though it certainly does not absolve Pak military from its various over-reaches like coups, interference in electoral process etc).
(3)- The Pak civilian leadership (mainly from Punjab of West Pakistan) did not want to share power with Bengalis of East Pakistan that is why Z.A. Bhutto refused to accept Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as Prime Minister though Sheikh got majority in Elections. This ultimately resulted in separation of East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) from West Pakistan (present Pakistan) in 1971. This separation of East and West Pakistan could have been easily avoided if democracy was not adopted by Pakistan but the Pak civilian leadership on one hand adopted democracy and on other hand did not allow the majority leader to become Prime Minister of united Pakistan. (it certainly does not absolve Pak military from atrocities it committed on Bengalis)
(4)- The Pak civilian leadership (Jinnah etc) instead of going for plebiscite in Balochistan used Miltablishment to take its ‘Instrument of Accessioní under military pressure and which is the cause of on-going militancy and lot of unnecessary bloodshed, missing persons etc in Balochistan.
(5)- As far as accusation of the various authorities of the USA against Pakistan about complicity of Miltablishment with Taliban including -[The parting shots of Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and best friends with General Ashfaq Kayani, that the "Haqqani network was a veritable arm of the ISI"] - it is surprising that nobody is asking a simple question. If Admiral Mullen believed what he said then why he did not ensure that it was brought to the notice of the then US President (the supreme Commander of Armed Forces). If the US President knew it then why did he not take military action against Pakistan which was allegedly helping the Taliban in taking the lives & blood of the soldiers of the USA and its allies including NATO. At the top of it why the US Congress (that too in a country where legislative is superior in hierarchy over executives in the Constitution of the USA) did not initiate impeachment proceedings against the then US President for not taking said military and related actions against Pakistan which was allegedly causing loss of lives and blood of military of the USA and of its allies including NATO.
(6)- One more thing the Pak civilian leadership has to answer. When they are convinced that 2018 elections have been manipulated by Miltablishment (directly and through Judicial coup as was reported in national and international media when Nawaz Sharif was removed from the office of Prime Minister and was even not permitted to contest the election and to head his party PML-N) to illegally bring Imran Khan in power then why the opposition in the first place entered Parliament etc and then after starting agitation (by constituting ‘Pakistan Democratic Movementí the PDM) did not carry out demonstrations & fill the prison movement and on the contrary during 2021 Senate elections almost dismantled the PDM. In this regard the civilian opposition leadership of Pakistan has behaved irresponsibly as Republicans have in the USA. Trump and the GoP accused fraud in 2020 elections but their elected representatives all took oath for office and the party never came on road to protest against it as mentioned at https://chauthiduniya.com/nothing-can-be-better-argument-in-favor-of-chinese-democracy-than-a-political-party-in-turn-enjoying-electoral-support-of-about-half-of-the-usa/ or https://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/3835
(7)- Therefore instead of merely blaming the Miltablishment the civilian leadership of Pakistan should do the following which will not only solve the problems of Pakistan but will also remove undue pressure (which is causing its abnormal behavior) from Pak military:-
(i)- Talk to India and Bangladesh in order to get ‘dual citizenshipí to about 160 million people (Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims) who (or their parents) were forcibly and illegally displaced during partition
(ii)- Talk to India about plebiscite in united J&K and in Balochistan after getting both free from outsiders.
(iii) - Free mind (sine-qua-non for progress of modern & science including social sciences & technology) is possible only in secular democracy. In Afghanistan stability could have been easily brought during about 20 years of US stay in Afghanistan by enforcing a secular democratic constitution in Afghanistan. On the contrary the results of last elections were not announced for months because they were rigged hence two candidates (Ghani & Abdullah) were allowed by the commanding power of the USA to take oaths for office. At the top of it now the USA is coming out of Afghanistan in a way which has triggered civil war in Afghanistan and has further strengthened militant Jihadi Taliban (which happens in a non-secular theocratic constitution). Hence the civilian leadership of Pakistan should ask the USA to constrain the Afghan government to adopt secular democratic constitution and then for adequate manpower for the UNPKF and for ‘UN Election Commissioní (in which Pakistan can also contribute) for carrying out elections under UNEC supervision in Afghanistan after getting the electoral list prepared (including of Afghan refugees who are presently in other countries). It goes without saying that first the civilian leadership of Pakistan should adopt secular democracy in Pakistan.
The Pak military establishment of-course committed mistakes and over-reach but these are much less in comparison to what the civilian leadership of Pakistan did. Hence it is hoped that the civilian leadership of Pakistan will discharge its political responsibilities properly (as mentioned above) so that the military establishment of Pakistan can behave in a normal way which will be good not only for Pakistan but also for the peace & prosperity of the entire Indian subcontinent (SAARC region).
Hem Raj Jain
(Author of íBetrayal of Americanismí)