Three days from today, I was fortunate enough to participate in an event by Pakistani American Congress PAC at Rayburn Building in Washington, D.C. My friend and President PAC Asad Chaudry and his team deserved credit for arranging such an amazing event. Although, many notable guests participated in the event the most important were honorable Sheila Jackson, who is also Co-Chair of Congressional Pakistan Caucus, respected Congressman Donald Norcross and honorable Congressman Thomas Suozzi. All three lawmakers are close friends of Pakistan and have been advocating for a better democratic situation in the country. These US legislators have also suffered a lot of criticism from the American Indian community due to their support of Pakistan.
On August 09, 2019 Congressman Thomas Suozzi wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing concern at the current lockdown and communication blockade in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Suozzi sought the prevention of confrontations forecasted in the coming weeks as a result of the revocation of the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir during which an indefinite curfew was instated, political leaders were detained and tens of thousands of additional troops were dispatched to Kashmir. Since then reports have emerged of midnight raids where women are molested, and young boys have been abducted by the security forces, taken into custody and beaten. Paramilitary forces have, with impunity, maimed and blinded nearly 140 and killed 18 in Indian-occupied Kashmir within the last four years and continued in the last two weeks. Kashmiri-Americans believe the impending confrontations will deteriorate into a bloodbath.
American Indian community is strong in the United States with the majority doing jobs in computer technology-related sector.
The moment this letter went public there was a huge reaction from the American Indian diaspora. Local Indian fundraising organizations based in the local constituency of Congressman Suozzi put the immense pressure on the democratic leader to withdraw his stance over Indian aggression in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Congressman Suozzi mentioned in his address at PAC event that we have been pouring millions of dollars in Afghanistan to build their military but now the problem is that the Army doesn’t let democracy flourish and create problems like the present situation in Pakistan. I had told respected Congressman that soon I will write an article in which I will address this critical issue with facts and figures.
Since Pakistan become independent in 1947 the only institution the nation has combined built is of Army. There are plenty of hardships, struggles and sacrifices that went into the creation of it’s present form. Meanwhile, there are a lot of negative conspiracy theories against the Pakistan Army because of the strategic location of the country in South Asian region. The fact is that it is the only upward mobility source available in the country. Pakistan Army is an example of it’s own because in the whole world there is not any sort of even single professional force available which could survive in a challenging economy. After the war on terrorism, Pakistan Army not only has defeated terrorism but also is in full control of all territory. There are a number of intellectuals which have questioned about the commercial interests of the military and even have their books published. In every western country, federal jobs are given to veterans on priority bases. Due to a certain deficit in the economy, government of Pakistan is closing off several organizations and with the enormous population the situation is not so good. Army Welfare Trust AWT was established in 1971 and is the welfare trust of the Pakistan Army and it is providing jobs to not only serving and retired officers but also to civilians. Even delegates from the World Bank and IMF acknowledged the framework through which AWT conduct it’s monetary operations. AWT is playing a vital role in the economy of Pakistan and it encourages other small businesses to follow their footsteps. Prime Minister Imran Khan when asked the Pakistani American community to invest in Pakistan few leaders replayed that other than Defense Housing Authority DHA we have trust issues. Therefore, the present Imran Khan government has launched one window operation in Punjab to protect real estate assets of overseas Pakistanis.
Pakistan army is a major disaster management organization in Pakistan. In floods, earthquake, and tsunami army protects citizens. At least 60,000 people have been killed in Pakistan due to terror attacks since the beginning of the war on terror, while the economic losses have been measured at $120 billion.
In 2008, when Pakistan People’s Party PPP took Prime Minister office, Army Chief Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiani immediately withdraws all uniform officers from civilian offices to their duty positions. I was the youngest member of the Foreign Affairs Committee PPP and got a chance to personally visit the important federal government ministries. I was a regular visitor to Minister of Commerce Late Makhdoom Amin Fahim and discussed various projects with him. In any of the federal ministry, I had never seen any uniform officer. Yes, there were lot of governance issues between PPP politicians and bureaucrats. Similarly, PML N leader and longest-serving Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif got full control of his authority. Often, he had made awful decisions of wasting public money on disastrous projects but no one stopped him. There is a large gap of necessary skills in Pakistani politicians and with the passage of time, this problem will be solved. I urge all the democratic forces in Pakistan to respect the mandate and accept the election commission results. Present Imran Khan government is facing a bunch of challenges because he himself protested against the election results.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extreme superiority ideology require weak neighbors in South Asia. It might help the Indian government to attract its voter base but this is not a viable approach for peace and stability. Thereupon after a lot of discussion with various Middle Eastern affairs experts in Washington, D.C. we have concluded that in Islamic countries societies are divided into religion, race and cultural differences. All such statuses led to norms of the tribal mode of governance. In a tribal society, the ruling class should hold a very strong and powerful authority. Often such authoritative regimes bring brutality and fear but overall guarantee stability. Few of the examples are former Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussain government in Iraq and Qaddafi’s rule in Libya.
Pakistan is an important country due to its nuclear program. The U.S. Defense Department already confirmed that nuclear arsenals in Pakistan are safe and secure. Indian lobbyists have already made a lot of efforts to cut Pakistan’s military aid and even successfully let their narrative reached President Trump administration. Many Indian scholars working as International correspondents have continually recommended slow rate economic growth of Pakistan. Whereas, they don’t realize that such tactics will further delay The Afghan peace process. Pakistan stability is in favor of more prosperous Afghanistan.
India welcomed the cancellation of U.S.-Afghan Taliban peace talks in Doha. India’s Afghanistan policy is not driven by ideological or humanitarian concerns. It is driven by a desire to limit Islamabad’s influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan security agencies have ample evidence of New Delhi diplomatic missions employing terrorists to attack a civilian population as well on the military of Pakistan. India got a strategic alliance with Moscow and also with Tehran. Indian Afghan strategy is further complicating the Afghan Peace Process.