On the edge of the Abyss

Pakistan is not a materially rich country, but is rich in culture and history. It’s poverty though strikes at many levels from material to resources to politics and morality and education. It is also fractured along religious and cultural lines which is worrying for a nuclear armed state.

The current flood disaster has helped emphasise how fragile the Pakistani state is and how the polices of governments (past and present, civilian and military) have failed the nation as a whole.

The Pakistani state has been set up seeing India as the main threat to it’s survival. It has waged a proxy war in Indian controlled Kashmir for decades under both civilian and military governments. Neither government type has tried to strengthen civil society, and this has lead to the current fractured state we see today.

The military governments bolstered the primarily Pashtun Federal administered areas to the west. These areas formed the spawning grounds of the Taliban and their cultural influence straddles the uneven and very porous border areas. This quite overt handing of the city gates (effectively) to a grouping that is inimical to the ideals of the original state of Pakistan has of course come back to bite the country right in the sphincter as these areas are now the home to many groups who wish to see a wahabi style jihad not only against the West but also anyone Muslim who does not meet their religious requirements.

This in turn has lead to a secular underground war in Pakistan between various Islamic sects and of course events like the Mumbai attack. The complete non-acceptance by the Military and Civilian government of the threat to the state from these groups. This threat is not only a direct threat to govern the country but also bringing into play risks of attacks against foreign states which may bring retribution (anyone who does not believe that India was willing to flatten Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks is living on opiates).

The State has been more willing to spend money on either grand projects or military spending or both. Basic infrastructure is poor and the people just don’t believe in their leaders, thanks to the corruption of the political classes and the failure of the state to protect them, keep them healty and educate them.

This leads us to the current issue. Tens of millions of people in dire straits, the government powerless to act and into the cracks are now stepping Islamic ‘charities’. My second thought after thinking ‘this is going to be bad’ when the initial reports of the flooding happened was “where are the nukes’.

Lets face it even a first world country would at first be hammered by such a major event as this, however iot could be argued that as our infrastructure is allegedly better we can recover quicker, look at recent large scale floods in Europe for example. However it is clear that neither the government of military really know how to act. Considering the area is renowned for natural disasters you’d have thought by now the military would have an operational plan…

I’d lay good money that alot of the military is still awaiting an Indian attack and is prepared for that not for helping their fellow countrymen & women. This further weakens the state and it wil be something the Islamic groups will play on to their upmost. They will be the first to get organised (and allegedly already are), and will be spreading a hard propaganda line about the failiure of the government to help the people and the people should ‘Follow Allahs will’ etc, etc. Once the flood waters have receded these groups will be in a very strong position, and the irony is that from recent reports alot of this will be carried out using western aid. The West and its various aid agencies are usually the biggest donors and quickest however it will be the Islamic charities that will reap the glory.

There were already many displaced people in Pakistan due to the militaries much belated attempt to stem the tide of the Taliban rise to power. This was causing a fair amount of discontent especially when they were pushed back to their homes even thought they were not secure.

In the ruins of Pakistan after the floods it will become much, much harder for the state to actively defend itself against the Taliban and their allies and you are bound to see additional infiltration of the armed forces and also discontent amongst the junior ranks. And that brings forward the day of either a coup backing the Taliban or a few nukes going missing….

Either way my friends this natural disaster could not have happened in a worse place at a worse time.

By the way this should not be seen as a request not to aid those suffering in Pakistan. Please support groups like MSF, Red Cross/Red Crescent etc etc to bring aid to those hit by this disaster.

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3 Responses to “On the edge of the Abyss”

  1. chazfh Says:

    Interesting it seems that according to lates reports the army is wining the propaganda war as is being increasingly seen as being ‘effective’ of course how much of this is true is another matter…

  2. Bangar Says:

    What’s the bet that if Pakistan is overthrown (or even a serious attempt) by fundamentalists that mushroom clouds quickly follow before the Pakistan nukes are accessed.

  3. chazfh Says:

    Mate if it looks like the fundis are going to take over either the yanks will have to try and remove the nukes…… or India will strike first.

    neither will have good results although the former is likely to be slightly better that the latter.

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