Islamabad, Pakistan: The two major setbacks that Pakistan suffered on 16 December – first the country’s inglorious dismemberment and the birth of sovereign Bangladesh in 1971, and then the grisly and repugnant massacre of over 130 children of an Army-run school in Peshawar by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in December 16, 2014 – both trace their roots to the oppressive, intrinsically flawed, and largely self-serving policies pursued by the country’s military, according to European Foundation for South Asian Studies.
Meanwhile, Pakistan state through a combination of direct forcible takeovers of power such as its Army has held sway over the country through most of its existence undermining the other levers of the state.
On the other hand, Pakistan state has used one thread that has run constantly has been the single-minded focus on serving and enriching the military establishment, even if that meant the average Pakistani citizen and the taxpayer was made to suffer damaging costs in the process, according to European Foundation for South Asian Studies.
Meanwhile, the loss of more than half of Pakistan’s population and about 15% of its territory in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 was the result of the Army’s indulgence in inhuman oppression and deprivation in East Pakistan.
Further, the heartless terrorist attack targeting the children in 2014 was the fallout of the Pakistan military establishment’s conscious policy of the past several decades to actively promote extremism and terrorism as a means to protect and promote its own supremacy.
Earlier, misuse of religion by the Pakistani military establishment for political purposes was the key reasons behind one of the most heart-wrenching and harrowing terrorist attacks in modern times. On 16 December 2014, seven TTP militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar killing 141 people, 132 of them children.
Also, when it comes to the misuse of extremist and terrorist assets, the policies of the present day military establishment in Pakistan is hardly different from the ones that held power in 1971 or in 2014, according to European Foundation for South Asian Studies.
Further, as Taliban back in power in Afghanistan, with the Haqqanis holding important ministerial positions there, but the military has also surrendered before, and made peace with, the banned religious extremist group the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which justifies violence in the name of faith.
For the sake of the people of Pakistan, the country’s hybrid leadership will change the dangerous and chaotic course it is charting for the country before its policies lead to another calamity of the scale of 1971 or another tragedy of the nature of 2014, according to European Foundation for South Asian Studies.