There is only one problem with Pakistan.
It's not that India is out to get Pakistan. It's not that India keeps attacking Pakistan. In fact the reverse is true.
A better way to phrase it would be...
Pakistan's biggest problem is it's obsession with India.
The common Indian citizen gives two hoots to the common Pakistani citizen. He has enough problems of his own. He has enough dreams of his own.
Maybe that's exactly the case with the common Pakistani citizen.
The Indian Government gives two hoots to Pakistan. It has enough problems of its own. It has enough plans of its own.
However that is not the case with the Pakistani government. It's only problem seems to be India. It's only plan seems to be against India.
A look at what all Pakistan has lost over its obsession with India...
Before 1947 both Pakistan and India were India. They were of the same stock and lineage. They shared the same fears and aspirations. They shared the same culture and cuisine.
In fact it should come as no surprise that Bollywood films are so popular in Pakistan and Pakistani TV serials are so welcome in India. At heart we are the same people.
Then why did India become the world's largest democracy and Pakistan a dictatorship? Zulfikar Bhutto was executed. Benazir Bhutto was ineffective. Nawaz Sharif was ousted and is ineffective even today. The Army has ruled Pakistan directly or indirectly from the 1958 coup.
The truth is that when you can convince that a large hostile neighbour is out to destroy you, it's easier to believe that only an Army general can save you and not a democratically elected head of state.
All the generals of Pakistan have plunged the country into endless wars and worked only for the welfare of the officers and soldiers and not the citizens of Pakistan. East Pakistan was lost solely due to the brutality of the Pakistani Army.
2. Foreign policy.
Every country looks to safeguard its interests. Not Pakistan. It just looks how to counter India. Its relations with America have ruined it, but it had to counter India-USSR ties. With China it was simply: An enemy's enemy is a friend.
The Taliban was created in Afghanistan only as a way to encircle India. The Taliban has since migrated to Pakistan and started destroying it from the inside.
Looking at the last budget of Pakistan, defence affairs and services is allocated 17% while 4% goes to military pensions. That's a whopping 21%! Even developed countries cannot spend that much and what hope is there for a developing country on the verge of being a failed state?
Both armies are equally matched on the Indo-Pak border. The nominal GDP of India is about ten times that of Pakistan and so you can imagine the strain on the latter! Internal terrorism and strife is a big wrecker of the economy.
When it comes to foreign trade, it matters more if you are perceived as an enemy or friend than a better trading partner.
Pakistan hated India so much that they wiped out its Hindus. Then they went after the Ahmadiyyas. Now they are going after the Shias. There is no end. Pakistan is falling deeper and deeper into a cycle of violence.
Taliban was created to counter India. Terrorist groups were created to destabilise Kashmir. What happened? All these groups have got together and attacked Pakistan from the inside. Post 9/11, 50,000+ Pakistanis have been killed in terror related activities!
5. Their own provinces.
In the Pakistan Declaration titled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?”, it was stated...
"At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian statesmen are laying the foundations of a Federal Constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN - by which we mean the five Northern units of India, Viz: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan.”
Well, they didn't get Kashmir. The British refused to give it to them. The Maharaja of Kashmir said no. The popular leader Sheikh Abdullah said no. But they declared themselves the self-appointed guardians of Kashmir and in the process set out on a path of self-destruction.
Perhaps Pakistan should rename itself as paKistan, to show its single-minded obsession.
In the famous story, Voldemort marked Harry Potter as his equal.
In the real world, Pakistan marked India as its destroyer.
Everything moved along the lines of that prophesy and it eventually became a self-fulfilling one.
India has not destroyed Pakistan.
The fear of India has.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.