Who is Pakistan’s biggest victim?

Last Updated: Fri, May 24, 2013 00:12 hrs

Even though Pakistan is the smaller of the two countries, it is the aggressor vis a vis India. It captured PoK on the sly immediately after Independence. It encroached upon the Rann of Kutch in 1965 and subsequently waged an all-out war.

Its horrendous atrocities in East Pakistan led to a massive of influx of refugees in 1971 and India had no choice but to liberate Bangladesh. Pak also played the Kargil card in 1999. And of course, it has stoked the fires of militancy in Kashmir for more than two decades now.
But even though it has been the attacker in all these occasions, it has been the biggest victim in more ways than one. For one, all this has come at a great cost to Pakistan. 

Matching up to India in military matters is a very costly affair and has left the country impoverished in other sectors. In fact, after India's liberalization, India and Pak are no longer mentioned in the same breath. Its Indo-China vs Af-Pak!

Secondly, Pakistan's dependence on the Army has totally ruined democracy and left it powerless. Even when democratically elected leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif come to power, there is little they can do.

But the last decade has been especially brutal on Pak. To give you an idea, the official estimate of terrorism related deaths in 2003 was 164. After that it escalated and now thousands die per year and the total toll has crossed 30,000 since that year.

9000 Pakistanis were killed in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, which was their biggest till now, but the post-9/11 casualties have far exceeded that.
One estimate puts the terrorism-related losses close to US$70 in this period. Pakistan is now the home of the suicide bomber and one commentator even coined a term, "Kalashnikov culture". In fact, to give you a picture in one year, there were more than 2500 attacks, which translate into about 7 attacks per day!

Pakistan lost their former Prime Minister in the form of Benazir Bhutto in one of these attacks in 2007.

While Kashmir and Palestine are hot zones within a single country, the entire country of Pakistan could be called a hot zone. In some aspects, it has left even Iraq and Afghanistan behind.

In particular, the war in North-West Pakistan is the most intense. The Pakistan and US Army are fighting side by side against local militant groups. 
The attack started in 2004 and since then more than 5000 soldiers have been killed and more than 8000 injured.

More than 27,000 militants have been killed, most of them Pakistanis. That's a huge amount and almost like a civil war within the country.

Another cause of concern is the US drone attacks. There were 46 such attacks under the George W Bush administration from 2004-08. The so called man of peace Barack Obama upped that to 54 in 2009 and 122 in 2010, "The year of the drone".

2010 saw the first time when more than 1,000 were killed in drone attacks. The problem with them is that they are not really targeted well. Apart from killing militants, they have also ended up killing a huge number of civilians, including women and children.

The psychological impact of living in a drone zone is devastating and it has destroyed the lives of thousands of civilians. This has come under sharp attack from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Sectarian violence is another major problem that Pakistan faces, but that is by and large brushed under the carpet thanks to all of the above.

There is a big lesson here for India. Hundreds have been killed in Pakistan-backed attacks in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, while thousands have died in Kashmir. But as a result of their skewed terror policy, tens of thousands of Pakistanis have also died in their own country!

When they cannot save such a large number of their own citizens, does the Indian government really think that they will go out of their way to save lives in India?

Pakistan sends militants with impudence and China does incursions with impudence and all our leaders can do is give fancy speeches and hold talks and do little else.

It is high time India realized than no matter how much it talks, countries like Pakistan and China will do absolutely nothing to make matters comfortable for India.

It is time India took some tough unilateral action of its own, otherwise a day will come when it is too late and India will be just left frothing at the mouth.