“Moderate Pakistan, if such a thing ever existed, is dead”
Kapil Komireddi, writing in the Foreign Policy magazine, says:
Moderate Pakistan, if such a thing ever existed, is dead
Below, excerpts from a thought-provoking piece titled, Take Pakistan’s Nukes, Please (emphasis added):
..The attack on Sunday, May 22, by Taliban fighters on the Mehran naval air base in Karachi — its audacity, the foreknowledge it implied, the militaristic precision with which it was executed — carried a message: Pakistan is no longer a contested territory; it is now emphatically their turf. The reins of official power may not be in their hands yet, but the men with whom they rest dare not challenge the extremists’ conception of Pakistan. The battle for hearts and minds is over. Moderate Pakistan, if such a thing ever existed, is dead.
It is inconceivable that this attack could have materialized without insider support. It was always known that a substantial number of Pakistan’s armed forces — 30 percent, by some estimates — sympathized with the objectives of the forces they were fighting.
…the world must now acknowledge the fact that Pakistan’s military is so deeply riven, its loyalties so thoroughly fractured, that it is incapable not only of defending Pakistan but is also dangerously unfit to be the custodian of its nuclear arsenal. It is time for Washington, Pakistan’s principal paymaster in the West, to pursue the option of comprehensively denuclearizing Pakistan.
..in reality Pakistan’s nuclear program was in response to the loss of East Pakistan in 1971. Founded as a safe haven for India’s Muslims, Pakistan ended up perpetrating, over nine bloodcurdling months in 1971, the single biggest genocide of Muslims since the birth of Islam, slaughtering 3 million Bengalis, displacing 30 million, and turning half a million women into sex slaves. Pakistan has never offered an official apology, but at the peak of their inhumanity Pakistan’s leaders persisted in presenting their country as a victim.
…For a people conditioned to view in their country’s creation a celestial affirmation of their own superior evolution, the crushing humiliation of defeat was impossible to endure. In 1972, Bhutto assembled Pakistan’s top scientists and demanded a bomb in three years, according to British author Gordon Corera. He then flew to Tripoli, Libya, and, in the name of Islamic solidarity, persuaded Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi to fund the program. “Our resources are your resources,” Qaddafi declared in 1974 to a Pakistani crowd gathered in an imposing sports stadium in Lahore dedicated in the Libyan leader’s name. The same year, Bhutto authorized a young Pakistani metallurgist working on nuclear plants in the Netherlands to steal sensitive information…Pakistan’s acquisition of the bomb was an improvised effort, involving high-level theft of data and undetected procurement of material by flouting Western export controls.
..Nuclear weapons have earned Pakistan the illusion of prestige, but not security. Yet Pakistan latches on to them. Why? There are two reasons.
The first is India. Pakistan’s sense of itself as the authentic home of India’s Muslims cannot be vindicated as long as India remains a secular state encompassing the Muslim-majority province of Kashmir. Pakistan has waged three wars to wrest Kashmir from India, but the experience of defeat led Islamabad to wage low-cost terror warfare. Pakistan has repeatedly dispatched highly trained mobile teams to attack high-profile Indian targets — from the attack on India’s Parliament in 2001 to the bombing of its embassy in Afghanistan in 2008 and the siege of Mumbai the same year — but India’s ability to retaliate, even with surgical strikes on terrorist headquarters, is severely restricted by the threat of an all-out nuclear war. The nuclear weapons shield Pakistan from accountability.
The second reason is aid. Pakistan’s ruling elite believes that America, terrified by the potential cost of dealing with nuclear Pakistan’s failure, will always pay the price for its survival. It’s an extraordinary pattern: Pakistan commits a crime, threatens instability, evades prosecution, and receives a bribe.
…If incentives fail to move the generals in Rawalpindi, then Washington must be prepared to threaten Pakistan with isolation through U.N. mechanisms, including travel bans on its military leaders. Finally, Pakistan must be made to understand the cost of nuclear warfare. If a single nuclear warhead falls into the wrong hands — or is pressed into service by the right hands — there will be no Pakistan. Only denuclearization can now save Pakistan from itself — and the world from Pakistan.