Archive for August, 2008

At a crossroad

August 21st, 2008

The situation that Pakistan finds itself in today is perhaps the most precarious that it has ever experienced. Many years ago the traumatic events of 1971 had left us as a devastated nation reduced to ashes, almost literally. The present and the foreseeable future look even grimmer.

Recovery from of the events 1971 would not have been possible but for a man called Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Whatever his detractors may say, in one context or another, it was his leadership and ability to mobilise a lifeless and fallen nation due to which we actually survived to become the Pakistan of today. He also nurtured the military back which found its lost morale all over again. It was also under him that we embarked on the road to becoming a nuclear power and this ensured that we would be safe from external aggression. This is what needs to be done once again in 2008 and with an even greater sense of urgency. The PPP of today has the gigantic task of living up to its past legacy (or it risks losing everything) – especially now that General Musharraf is no longer on the scene.

Coming back to the present situation let me say that whenever an army, howsoever powerful and resourceful, is over extended or stretched to limits it can potentially lose its military balance and eventually collapse under its own weight. This is true for the Pakistan army today and will be true for the US army in the coming years if not months. Because of the manner in which we are forced (through the machinations of hostile foreign intelligence agencies) to deploy all over the length and breadth of NWFP and Balochistan, the army is in no position to defend Pakistan’s borders should a conventional war break out. What prevents us from being attacked is hence our nuclear deterrence and the fact that charging across international borders with armoured divisions in the lead has now gone out of fashion.
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