Pakistan’s Army and Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) are among the most professional in the world. Their experience of saving Pakistan from being totally destroyed by terrorism in the wake of the Musharraf era ought to earn them a place in world history as valiant forces of a legitimate state that worked to eliminate a multi-front, foreign funded scourge of terror. Although Pakistan’s toughest battles against terrorism have been won, the war is not over.
The recent attack by BLA terrorists on a luxury Gwadar hotel proved yet again both the danger of foreign backed terror groups and also the professionalism of Pakistan’s security services who rapidly neutralised the heavily armed terrorists. Pakistan’s leadership is well aware of who funds and aids the BLA and why. Yesterday, Eurasia Future published a piece exploring the best way to deal a final blow to the terrorists while using legal means to put their foreign backers on notice.
But beyond this lies an overriding reality in which domestic political forces are not only endangering Pakistan’s security through their obstructionist provocations but are actively retarding the economic progress of the country.
There are only two things standing between the shores of Gwadar and a Dubai or Hong Kong style super-city. The first thing is time itself. In time, according to present plans, Gwadar will indeed rise to become a supercity due to the sustained efforts by Pakistan, China and other partners. There is however a caveat to this. If Pakistan’s agitating liberal trouble makers prohibit the security services from busting the scum and clearing the terrorist debris from Balochistan and neighbouring KP province, the progress of Gwadar’s modern development will be hindered and all of Pakistan will suffer both economically and in terms of its global image as a result. Such obstructionists ought also to keep quiet about their perverse love for the enemies of Pakistan that rule Afghanistan. Instead, such people ought to promote the fact that the security rampart being built on the Durand Line will save thousands of lives in the future.
Although Pakistan’s liberals are treated well when they make provocative and salacious speeches in western capitals, they are but pawns in the hands of those who want to keep Pakistan dependent on bodies like the IMF as opposed to those who wish Pakistan to develop an independent economic position of strength alongside all weather partners like China and others.
But for those in the wider world who are either ordinary investors in the private sector or even just ordinary tourists, one tends to favour countries with the most economic potential and not countries with the most annoying agitation groups whether loudmouth opposition parties or devious cutthroat foreign backed “NGOs” intent on destroying Pakistan’s state institutions. This is why Singapore is a popular investment and tourist destination. One knows that in Singapore, one’s money will be safe, one’s life will be safe and that the infrastructure is both modern and inviting.
Gwadar has every potential to attract the same kinds of positive investment and tourism from abroad as do places like Singapore. Ensuring sustainable security is the key to achieving this. Pakistan’s Army and ISI have every ability to do so but they must first be unleashed by a venal, greedy and at times wicked political class who are willing to see places like Gwadar suffer through underdevelopment from the confines of their heavily secured mansions in Islamabad or Lahore. Such people in any society are the enemies of progress. They are a small group of political/business oligarchs who themselves stand to lose their power over society if clean money from abroad pours in as it does on a daily basis in cities like Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Clean money will ensure that the oligarchs in their mansions no longer rule Pakistan but instead, the people having been subject to heavy inflows of foreign direct investment will be able to take the future into their own hands as leaders of a new anti-dynastic middle class.
Therefore, the oligarchs have made a direct pact with liberals and separatist agitators to tie the hands of the country’s protectors so that Pakistan must be forced to fight terrorism by inflicting a thousand little blows rather than by allowing the Army and ISI to wage total and uncompromising war against the last remaining packs of terrorist rats who threaten Pakistan.
Pakistan has external enemies, but the liberal elite are doing their job better than the foreign enemies of Pakistan ever could do. Such agitators are both openly and privately conspiring against those who will make Pakistan safe and prosperous and they are conspiring against the protectors of Pakistan in a more cunning way than any foreign enemy ever could do.
Pakistan’s ordinary people must open their eyes. If the Army killed every last terrorist and if as a result ever more foreign investment would pour in, people would visit and continue to invest in Gwadar in the same way that they have for years done in the UAE, China, Singapore and beyond.
Gwadar must be cradled by two powerful arms. One is that of the heroic Pakistani Army and the other is that of Chinese economic might. Together, Gwadar can be made great and serve as a model of the future development of Pakistan. But in order for this to happen, PTI must realise who its friends are and who its enemies are. The political enemy within is far more dangerous than anything or anyone in Kabul or New Delhi. Imran Khan proved that he understood thus during decades of campaigning. Now he must transform this knowledge into action.