Pakistan: A Teenager in the Family of Nations
by Dillon Freed
December 15, 2011
In the last ten years, the United States has bequeathed The Islamic Republic of Pakistan with twenty billion dollars in aid; in return, our South Asian "ally" allowed Khalid Sheik Mohammed (it was in Pakistan he beheaded Daniel Pearl), Osama bin Laden (killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan) and Umar Patek (orchestrator of the 2002 Bali Bombings and captured in Abbottabad a mere five months before Osama was killed there) to, in effect, not only be honorary citizens, but placed them in their terrorist protection program.
This impecunious Indus Valley nation also, their largesse not yet depleted, have only captured terrorists when it came time for the United States Congress to vote and decide the size of the aid package that would be given to them. The money the United States donates to this not just Failed, but Poisoned State, has helped it be the home of the world's fastest growing nuclear arsenal. (The world cannot merely worry about Iran's nuclear program).
The uncomfortable fact (uncomfortable because we live in a post-modern era in which a simple truth cannot exist) remains that if Pakistan (not its people, but the country I have many good friends from Pakistan, who would have been great men and women had they been born somewhere else, and I feel awful for those fighting for freedom within the nation despite the overwhelming odds that such freedom will never exist in their lifetimes) were to disappear from the earth, the world would not currently feel it much at all; in fact, it may be argued rather successfully that the world might have been better had Pakistan never existed. For instance, if Pakistan had never came into being many nations would not have nuclear weapons which currently do (cf. AQ Khan's nuclear swap-meet), and a huge swatch of Islamic fundamentalists would have a hard time existing (i.e., no safe haven).
Right now, the nation does very little for the world despite enormous potential. For instance, it is a nation that has a media age of about 21 years old, and a population of 180 million people as of 2010. And yet with all this youth and vim Pakistan's economy has no vigor. Pakistan, in its entire history, has had 46 patents the American state of South Carolina had 70 in 2010 alone, California 27,337. The GDP per capita in Pakistan is only $2,500.00 - about the monthly salary for an entry level job in the States.
If Pakistani's ever acknowledge the painful plight of their Poisoned State, they blame the past, they blame the West, they blame all but themselves.
But it is not past British and American imperialism that are the main causes of Pakistan's downfall (a falling down and down which seems to not have reached its nadir yet), but the philosophical operating system the hardware of this nation is run on. (After all, had this region of the world had a better philosophy, it would have diminished tribalism and expanded freedom, these in turn, would have led to a better material existence, which would have led to a stronger military, which would have led...etc., the upshot of which means the West probably could not have colonized them to begin with. I have yet to hear any Pakistani or other nation so treated ask, "Why were we not able to colonize them?" This is, in no way, a defense of imperialism, just an observation.)
Pakistan's problem are more internal than external. Consider that its legislative system is part common law, three parts Islamic law; consider that they treat the minds of their women like the Chinese used to bind their women's feet (a mere 36% of its women above age 15 can read and write); consider that their children cannot get a secular education very easily; and consider that it's a place where anyone slightly progressive is removed from earth by dynamite.
For instance, the story of one-time potential President of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto is telling she was just seeming to have amended her pro-Taliban ways and thus was becoming someone Western powers could support when she was assassinated. But her assassination is actually less important than the assassination attempt prior to the one that killed her. That attempt tells you more of about the ugly problem with the philosophy of the people.
In the attempt before the successful one, assassins mingled in a crowd of Bhutto admirers who were shaking her hands and letting her kiss their children. The assassins had a baby for Bhutto to kiss too except their baby's outfit was outfitted with a bomb belt. The baby made it to Bhutto's reach, and just as she was about to cuddle the child, one of her bodyguards (the job title seems to have more meaning in that part of the world) noticed a wire coming from the child's wrap. Bhutto got away just in time as the baby was detonated and blown into uncountable pieces and globs.
Now, even if the story is not true, as some claim that it is not, the problem with Pakistan is that it wouldn't surprise you if it were true now would it? If you consider this story, with the rest of what I wrote, I think it tells you most of everything you need to know about the nation: no respect for life, women, children or freedom of any kind. How can a nation succeed with such belief systems. Yet, they hate the West and blame America for their condition.
I suppose the most unattractive aspect of Pakistan's aspect is the simultaneous demands to be treated like an adult (national sovereignty and all) and at once it begs America for money. It demands independence, but cannot support itself. It has immense pride and vociferously screams victim if you tell it to be self-sufficient. To put it mildly, it is, within the family of nations, a teenager constantly threatening to run away, throwing flag-burning tantrums unless they are given more autonomy, and in the next breath, under their breath perhaps, asking for a little cash "so they can at least live." When will they grow up?