Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Pakistan At 70 How The Islamic Republic Turned Into A Failed State, Minhaz Merchant -
Pakistan At 70 How The Islamic Republic Turned Into A Failed State,
“Pakistan is pre-programmed to fail.” With those words, my father, an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, left a thin, gangling fellow-student, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in a bad mood.
It is not the Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had envisioned 70 years ago. Jinnah, like Bhutto, was a reluctant Muslim. A Gujarati Shia Khoja, he ate pork, drank Scotch and married a Parsi. Bhutto married an Iranian and at Berkeley had partied hard. Neither man would have fitted into the fundamentalist Islamic version of today’s Pakistan.
Musharraf cooperated. But like every Pakistani general before (and after) him, he ran with the hares and chased with the hounds. The US paid Pakistan an average of $3 billion every year to fight terrorism in Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak). The Pakistani army, a business organisation which controls a third of Pakistan’s gross domestic product, used most of the money to fund its unhinged jihad in India and salted the rest away in foreign bank accounts.
When my father told Bhutto in 1950 that Pakistan was pre-programmed to fail, he didn’t realise how precipitous that failure would be. Bhutto himself fell victim to Pakistan’s lawless theocracy 29 years later when he was hanged by General Zia in 1979. His daughter Benazir – who created the Taliban that today ravages Afghanistan and has turned the brave Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand line implacably hostile to Pakistan’s Punjabi-led army – fell to an assassin 30 years later.