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Saturday, September 12, 2015

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Peace Pieces in Pakistan - Can these atleast be Imagined?


Sometimes back, one of my Facebook friends wrote his recommendations for peace in Pakistan. He lives in US and Pakistan alternatively. His three recommendations are (I am including below the key message)

1. It is about redistribution of resources - A detente of sorts is needed between USA and China that involves Russia as well. The superpowers will fight for redistribution of resources through proxy wars. China needs a corridor through Pakistan to reach middle-east. USA will make it more and more difficult. Till some sort of equilibrium is reached it will not be possible to have peace in Pakistan.

2. It is about redistribution of resources (inside Pakistan). Pakistan is an oligarchy - run by a minuscule coterie of people who have amassed great wealth. A new social contract between the state and the people of Pakistan has to be established. The constitution must be amended to fulfill the basic needs of the people. These amendments must address basic issues like creation of a level playing field and diversion of resources towards education, health and job creation as a top priority.

3. Army and Politicians need a viable formula to run the state. Under ideal conditions, the army must be answerable to the civilian authorities but considering the peculiar circumstances prevailing in Pakistan due to both inner and outer compulsions, Pakistan army has been inextricably involved with managing state affairs.

My response was to add some points to the first three. If we have to imagine “peace” in Pakistan what should be changed was my trigger. I came out with following six to add to his three points.

4. Pakistan will have to wriggle out of being the front end state of superpowers for their "experiments in war". This is easier said than done. The problem lies with "deep state" getting so used to being Frontend state since Zia-Ul-Haq’s time, when USSR came to Afghanistan that it is almost impossible to change, unless the reins that deep state has on everything are shattered. They have become so use to easy money from outside, side business in poppy trade and playing the game of the gun that everything else looks like a joke to them.

5. Pakistan should be very serious about changing its Identity. The country has this "Not India" identity artificially imposed on itself. This has once again to be re-done and embedded at the grassroots level. De-link religion from state. That is easier said than done. As with "religious" identity come the easy money from Saudi and other such religious identities. The natural cultural identity of Pakistan, if I may, was to be "like India" not "Not India". It may look strange now, but Pakistan should work towards harmonization of its natural cultural, social, political and governmental identity as "Like India".

6."Cleansing Pakistan" from its 'deep state" will require "cunning foxes" who can outfox the deep state. These cunning foxes should have a more clear national agenda of connecting Pakistan with the world and its natural identities and eliminating all self-imposed artificial identities fueled by outside powers.

7. If the intentions are clear, comprehensive and complete and above all unambiguous, what I see of India today, Pakistan will find its greatest friend in India. China in becoming a superpower that is copying exactly what the sole superpower did so far is going to use Pakistan on its New Silk Road Strategy like the US "Marshall Plan" - a potential result being subjugation of Pakistan to the Chinese momentum on its superpower design.  On Chinese twin silk roads please looks at the article at

8. Robert Axelrod performed an experiment on a specific game theoretic construct called Prisoner's Dilemma. He called the tournament iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Playing the tournament many times - the results were published in a book of the same name as well. It is interesting to note that the best strategy in a two person game came out to be "Tit for Tat" (TFT). In the long run of many iterations of the game, it seems TFT lead to evolution of Cooperation. It is evident that the “Deep State” continues to pull up a bogey of Indian Threat to arm itself and keep its "control" fangs on the population. Unfortunately "NOT India" identity on which Pakistan was created has become so ingrained that discourse is on how to destroy India rather than how to build Pakistan. Pakistan will have to change the discourse by recognizing the "elephant in the room".

9. Pakistan has to get out of the irrational nuclear arms race. Discourse and mindset of India in India has shifted to how to build India for many decades now. However, it is now getting enforced with we have to build India and eliminate all or any forces - outside or inside - which will be interested in destroying India. India has not been built to destroy other nations as you would have seen historically. TFT was not used by India for last 40 years or so. However, as we start TFT now, there seems to be Jitters in "deep state". How many nuclear bombs are needed has been a remarkable evolutionary spiral of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine till the cold war superpowers realized the futility of prisoners dilemma. Still the relics continue to hold on to huge number of nukes. Pakistan Nuke status was known since 1980s - to make it overt and show the hypocrisy of US and China to being blind to Pak nukes - the Indian nuke tests were conducted in 1998. More nukes that Pakistan makes or more nukes the world has more chances of they escaping to the wrong hands and evil minds. Hope Pakistani rationality helps to remove the cobwebs of hatred on which Pakistani identity was created, given new fire in 1971 and simmering through Zia Ul Haq's radical islamicization of Pakistan which gives Kargil adventures of 1999 and series of attacks including 2003 Parliament attack or 2008 Mumbai attack. Hope there are more people to counter the discourse perpetuated by the deep state.

Peace in Pakistan looks a distant dream today, however, as my facebook friend did, there is no harm in imagining it. Hope our dreams of a peaceful world become true. Indeed, that’s what dreams are about – hope!

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