[아시아엔=나시르 아이자즈 <아시아엔> 파키스탄 지부장, PPI 전 편집국장] 지난 8월 14일은 파키스탄의 69번째 독립기념일이다. 파키스탄은 영국 식민지 인도에서 이슬람-힌두 분리원칙에 의해 분리됐다. 래리 콜린스와 도미니크 라피에르(Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre)의 <자정의 자유>(Freedom at Midnight)라는 책은 장막에 쌓인 대영제국의 음모를 추적했다.
영국은 분리정책을 실시하면서 ‘래드클리프 라인’(Radcliff Line)이라고 불리는 국경을 일방적으로 설정하여 양국간의 갈등의 씨앗을 뿌리고 세차례 전쟁을 유발했다. 마침내 동파키스탄은 방글라데시로 독립하며 끝이 났다.
1979년 발발한 소련-아프가니스탄전쟁으로 인해 파키스탄에 폭력과 편협함이 뿌리내렸다. 미국의 대리전은 파키스탄을 병영화 시켰다. 오랜 기간 쌓여온 공존과 관용은 사라지고 칼라시니코프(AK45 소총)와 탈레반이 자리잡았다. 9·11테러와 ‘테러와의 전쟁’은 파키스탄을 새로운 전화에 휩싸이게 하였다. 연이은 군부정치와 사회혼란·빈부격차로 테러조직은 세력을 키웠고 자살테러는 파키스탄 사회의 일상이 되었다.
일부는 최근의 테러에는 파키스탄과 중국의 밀월관계를 경계하는 외세의 개입이 있다고도 주장한다. 중국의 西進에 위협을 느끼는 서구열강이 파키스탄과 중국의 신장 위구르 지역에서 이슬람 극단 세력을 지원하고 있다는 주장이다. 이러한 위기 속에서 독립기념일을 맞는 파키스탄은 테러 위협에서의 자유와 경제적 번영을 꿈꾼다.(요약번역 윤석희 기자)
A nation virtually in state of war since seven decades
Pakistan completed 69 years of its birth on August 14, 2016. During these seven decades, the country had been experiencing upheavals, and for that it always remained plunged in a state of instability. Since its inception in 1947, the nation was told all the time by the rulers be it a civilian or the military one that ‘Pakistan is passing through a very critical situation’.
Pakistan was carved out of Indian subcontinent on the basis of two-nation theory ? the Hindus and Muslims.? The new country consisted of two wings ? East and West Pakistan. The present day Bangladesh was then East Pakistan, which existed about one thousand miles away on other side of India. The West Pakistan was composed of four provinces namely Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (formerly North West Frontier Province).
Surprisingly, none of the two new nations ? India and Pakistan, knew their border lines, as the colonial British Raj handed over the sealed envelope containing the controversial demarcation map (Known as Radcliffe Award- the map of boundaries prepared by Sir Cyril Radcliffe) much after the ‘independence’ with deliberate intention to sow a seed of never ending conflicts among ‘freed colonies’. The British rulers demarcated the frontiers in such a way that Pakistan and India had been in conflict over the territories sliced with ill-intentions.
The conflict over the territories, lack of mutual trust, foreign interference in the internal as well as external affairs of Pakistan and India, and certain other factors caused three wars between the two countries ? first over the Kashmir issue soon after the independence, and then in September 1965 and last one in December 1971 when Pakistan was dismembered and East Pakistan (East Bengal) became Bangladesh. It was a very brief period of hardly 23 years and a few months that a new born country faced breakup, as had been planned by the British, a conspiracy that transpires while going through a book ‘Freedom at Midnight’, authored by two British writers Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in 1975.
Fortunately, there had been no formal war between India and Pakistan since then but virtually they had been at war with periodical clashes, cross-border firing and strained relations ? accusing each other of infiltration and espionage and at a later stage in the post-9/11 era, the terrorism, most horrific phenomena that had engulfed the world.
The two countries are victims of terrorism but Pakistan has suffered a lot as compared to India, being at the fore front of ‘War on Terror’. For its strategic geographical position, Pakistan had been used by the USA and its western and middle eastern allies as ‘Springboard’ to counter ? first the influence of defunct Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and then the militants, previously known as ‘Mujahideen’ (The Crusaders) and later the ‘Taliban’ (Religious Students), both being the creation of their unholy alliance.
The soviet Afghanistan war was the most critical event responsible for spreading militancy and intolerance in Pakistan. A fundamental change that altered the very character of Pakistani society occurred after the US launched its war against the soviet backed communist regime in Afghanistan through the so-called Mujahideen using the Pakistan land. The aftermath of the soviet withdrawal exposed the damage, transformation of violence and Weaponization into Pakistani society. It ultimately plagued Pakistan with a new trend commonly referred as “Kalashnikov Culture” and “Talibanization”. This was perhaps an end to our long established pluralistic culture and values. The result was a wave of the vicious cycle of Sectarian and Inter-sect and Interfaith violence/terrorism.
And then begins the post-9/11 era, which has proved to be a catastrophe for Pakistan. Since the beginning of ‘War on Terror’ launched by the USA after the 9/11, over 50, 000 innocent people including the soldiers have been killed in Pakistan. The suicide bomb attacks have become order of the day, which are being carried out by the Islamic militants as a part of their so-called Jihad or crusade against the America but surprisingly none of the Americans ? soldiers and the installations have been targeted during this ‘crusade’ that makes people think that the so-called ‘crusaders’ are just puppets fighting the war on behalf of certain other forces to destabilize Pakistan.
Today’s Pakistan is facing democratic turmoil. A path chartered by the military regime of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan then of Zia-ul-Haq was altered by yet another military regime that of Musharraf. All these regimes produced political instability, poor governance, institutional paralysis, by passing the rule of law, socio-economic downfall and so on. These fragile conditions along with deteriorating law and order situation have provided a fertile ground for terrorism to grow.
At present the gravest problem that Pakistan is facing is terrorism. It has become a headache for federation and a nightmare for masses. Though it is a global issue but Pakistan has to bear the brunt of it. Pakistan’s involvement in the War on Terror has further fuelled the fire. We are facing war like situation against the terrorists. This daunting situation is also caused by several factors. These factors include social injustice, economic disparity, political instability, religious intolerance and also external hands or international conspiracies. A handful of people who have their vicious interests to fulfill has not only taken countless innocent lives but also distorted the real image of Islam before the world through their heinous acts. Terrorist acts like suicide bombings have become a norm of the day. On account of these attacks Pakistan is suffering from ineffaceable loss ranging from civilian to economic. People have become numerical figures, blown up in numbers every now and then. Terrorists have not spared any place – bazaars, mosques, educational institutions, offices, hotels, no place is safe anymore. The recent deadliest attack, the terrorists, carried out was on August 08 last, hardly a week before Independence Day, which killed over 70 people including 60 lawyers.
It’s said that the fresh wave of terrorism has its links to certain powers opposed to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Through the CPEC, China is reviving the ancient trade routes known as ‘Silk Routes’ and since western powers are scared of China’s growing economic and political influence in the region, they are encouraging ISIS and Taliban to speed up their inhuman activities penetrating the Pakistan and the Chinese regions of the Muslim population.
But despite such a grave situation, Pakistan is determined to fight and crush the terrorists and make a way to a new era of economic progress and prosperity. The nation celebrated the 69th Independence more vigorously this time to show its zeal to defeat the enemies of humanity.