In the mid-fifties, the Pakistan Army General Ayub Khan and his policy makers decided to become part of the alliance against Russia. They managed to convinced the West that they would work to stop the spread of spread of communism. America promptly supplied them modern weaponry as well as dollars, and then a decade after this, these weapons were used against India, in a war started by Pakistan. At the time, the Communist brigade of Pakistan was pretty hard core, and influential. These communists, who were part of the anti-communist alliance, continued to describe their friendship with China as higher than the Himalayas. In the middle of the same year, Russian forces entered Afghanistan with the purpose of crushing the rebellion against the Afghan government. The policy-making generals of that time created the narrative of Muslims being attacked by infidels, and encouraged the “Jihad mandatory on all Muslims” slogan. America and Saudi Arabia were also included in the funding of this Jihad, and dollars, riyals started flowing in. This money was made to work for Jihadi centers across the country, in many places with a front of Madrassa, and millions were trained in these centers. Pakistan became the nursery for Jihadis from all over the world.
In the background of this Jihad mongering, Pakistan policy makers were planning a double game. They started to work on their nuclear program by stealing formulas and equipment from around the world. To facilitate this, money made through smuggling of drugs and then laundered through illegal means was used. The world powers, who no doubt were aware of the nuclear program of Pakistan, kept a blind eye towards it while the war was going on. The responsible people were taken to task by the west after the war was over, and the country is still paying for that.
Another drama which started after the Afghan war, was gathering more funds by using the Jihadis which returned home. For this purpose, they were assigned the task of liberating Kashmir. Innumerable Jihadi organizations were formed and donations were collected in the name of Kashmir Jihad. The established Jihadi centres aka Madrassas were expanded, and students from different educational institutes were also recruited to be sent to Kashmir. When India protested on international forums, the response was that it is the Kashmiri people who are fighting the occupying forces and we have nothing to do with it. This also led Pakistan head first into the fire of sectarianism. Simultaneously, Taliban were formed when remaining Jihadists in Afghanistan were joined with Pakistani Madrassa graduate Afghan leaders. This group was supported in every way and imposed on Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of 9/11, USA attacked Afghanistan. This time it was not an attack on Islam but on terrorism, because Pakistan sold those own citizens the US which they had prepared for Jihad earlier. The public was explained that among the Taliban, there are the good and the bad Talibans. The bad ones were sold to make money, and the good ones were settled in Pakistan, and given resources to attack the USA. In other words, the good Taliban were also funded by the US as the dollars taken from them were spent on the boarding and lodging of the ‘good Taliban’. The Americans could see what this double game, but their troops were in Afghanistan and their supply route was through Pakistan. During this period, the Pakistan Army Generals usurped million of dollars for their own benefit. After the US forces left Afghanistan, the US started punishing Pakistan for a double game. This punishment that brought the state to its knees, but the end ‘beneficiaries’ of these punishments are not the policy makers or the Army Generals, but the general public.
In the meantime, the politicians of the country developed economic and strategic relations with China. An agreement was reached under CPEC, with the main objective of making a road corridor between China and Central Asia. This would have resulted in compromising the business of Arab and Iranian ports, and the strengthening of Chinese supply chain into Europe. At the same time, the Army was not going to earn anything from this development. They had run out of the dollars by now, which has always been their singular point of interest. So a retired General Asim Saleem Bajwa took over the charge of CPEC. He had previously invested all the money he had looted during his tenure pre retirement in the USA. He usurped all he could from CPEC too, and made an empire for himself in the US. Pizza chain Papa John’s was a part of this empire. The Chinese projects were thus compromised, and all Pakistan was left with, were the large loans they had taken from Chinese banks. At the same time, the Pakistan Army historically pulled back their 75 year old official narrative to free Kashmir.
At the same time, the policy-making generals also realized that Imran Khan, their pawn who they launched after working on it for 10 years turned out to be completely bogus. After sending the Chinese investments packing, Imran Khan sabotaged the remaining economy of Pakistan and ruined the international standing of the country by continuously displaying ignorance. At this point, the country was unable to fund the salaries and pensions of the Army, let alone give them opportunity to indulge in financial corruption. Around this time, one group among the generals struck a deal with the TTP and allowed the militants to re-enter Pakistan. This resulted in intensifying the rift within the Pakistan Army over rehabilitation the TTP in Pakistan as well as on the matter of Imran Khan. The top cadre wanted to settle TTP and re engage politicians, while the lower cadre insist on supporting Imran Khan as their saviour. The judiciary was also hand in glove with Pakistan Army in bringing in Imran Khan to govern the country to hell
The latest double game of the Army policy makers is to bring in old politicians like PML and PPP into governance, and still manipulate them to make them do what benefits the Army, not the country. On one hand, the government is making an agreement with Russia to import cheaper oil, while on the other, Ukraine is being supplied with arms by Pakistan. Not just this, war mercenaries are being sold to Ukraine Army as Pakistan has these in plentiful.
On one side, the Pakistan Minister of Energy is announcing good news of the agreement with Russia and the arrival of Russian oil, and on the other, the military generals are provoking Russia by sending arms and fighters to Ukraine. Politicians are in the process of re-establishing ties with China and restarting CPEC, negotiating with Saudi Arabia and trying to make Pakistan part of the new geo-strategic policy of China and Saudi Arabia, while certain groups within the Army are trying to please America. Due to self interest preceding anything and everything else, Pakistan will always be stuck with one foot each in two boats. The time is not far when these double games will snatch the boat from underneath them altogether.
(This article includes analysis by Junaid Malik)
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