Tag Archives: Pakistan
Will the Indian elite go for the jugular or just light more candles and scream at the formless/ nameless political class before TV cameras?
12 steps to shock-and-awe Pakistan’s economy
December 11, 2008 I did not anticipate the huge response my inbox received for the article slamming Pakistan. Many of those who wrote in have sought concrete steps to tackle the Terror Central. The terror attack on world citizens at Mumbai has created revulsion and outrage all over the world. It is imperative that India seize the opportunity provided to destabilise Pakistan. A stable Pakistan is not in the interest of world peace, leave alone India. Army controls the country and owns its economy. A significant portion of its GDP is due to army-controlled entities (See: Military Inc – Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy, by Ayesha Siddiqa; OUP; 2007). One can easily say that Pakistan economy and its Army/ISI are synonymous. Unless this elementary fact is internalised, we are not going anywhere. This implies we should stop talking of a stable Pakistan since a stable Pakistan means multiple attacks on many more cities of India by that rogue organisation ISI, which is the core of the Pakistan Army and the heart of Pakistan’s economy. Let us not even assume that Zardari is in control. Poor man — he did not trust his own investigators to probe his wife’s assassination — he wanted Scotland Yard to do the job. Now he blabbers that if his investigators are satisfied, then he will initiate action against terrorists sitting inside Pakistan. Periodically, the Pakistan Army likes to present some useful idiots (as Lenin would have called them) as elected representatives and we swoon over such events. India should take the following steps to destabilise the economy of Pakistan:
1. Identify the major export items of Pakistan (like Basmati rice, carpets, etc) and provide zero export tax or even subsidise them for export from India. Hurt Pakistan on the export front.
2. Identify the major countries providing arms to Pakistan and arm twist them. Tell Brazil and Germany (currently planning to supply massive defense items to Pakistan) that it will impact their ability to invest in India. Tell Germany that retail license to Metro will be off and other existing projects will be in jeopardy.
3. Incidentally, after the arrival of Coke and Pepsi in China, the human rights violations of China are not talked about much by US government organs. Think it is a coincidence? Unless we use our markets to arm-twist arms exporters to Pakistan, we will not achieve our objectives.
4. Tell American companies that for every 5% increase in FDI limit for them, their government needs to reduce equipping Pakistan by $5 billion. That is real politics, not whining. Let us remember that funds are in desperate search of emerging markets and not the other way about. Let us also remember that international economics is politics by another name.
5. Create assets to print/distribute their currency widely inside their country. To some extent, Telgi types can be used to outsource this activity. Or just drop their notes in remote areas.
6. Pressurise IMF to add additional conditionality to the loans given to them or at least do not vote for their loans.
7. Create assets within Pakistan to destabilise Karachi stock market – it is already in a shambles. 8. Cricket and Bollywood are the opium of the Indian middle classes. Both have been adequately manipulated/ controlled by the D-company since the eighties. Chase the D-company money in cricket/ Bollywood and punish by burning D-assets in India instead of trying to have them auctioned by the IT department when nobody comes to bid for it.
9. Provide for capital punishment to those who fund terror and help in that. We have the division in the finance ministry to monitor money laundering, etc. It is important that terror financing is taken seriously and fully integrated into money laundering monitoring systems and this division is provided with much larger budget and human resources. And it should coordinate with RAW.
10. Encourage and allow scientists/ academicians/ elites of Pakistan to opt for Indian passport and widely publicise that fact since it will hurt their self-respect and dignity. There will be a long queue to get Indian passports — many will jump to get our passport — since they will not be stopped at international airports. It is rumoured that Adnan Sami wants one. Do not give passports to all — make it a prized possession. Let it hurt the army- and ISI-controlled country. This one step will destroy their identity and self-confidence.
11. Discourage companies from India from investing in Pakistan, particularly IT companies, till Pakistan stops exporting its own IT (international terrorism).
12. In all these, it is important that we do not bring in the domestic religious issues. The target is the terror central, namely Pakistan, and if there are elements helping them here then they also should be punished — irrespective of religious labels. If Pakistan is dismantled and the idea of Pakistan is gone, many of our domestic issues will also be sorted out.
Will the Indian elite go for the jugular or just light more candles and scream at the formless/ nameless political class before TV cameras?
It is going to be a long haul and may be in a decade or so, we can find a solution to our existential crisis of being attacked by barbarians from the West. We need to combine strategy and patience and completely throw to the dustbin the ‘Gujral Doctrine’ by that mumbling prime minister about treating younger brothers with equanimity. The doctrine essentially suggests that if we are slapped on both the cheeks we should feel bad that we do not have a third cheek to show. He, according to security experts, seems to have dismantled our human intelligent assets inside Pakistan, which has resulted in the gory death of thousands of Indian citizens in the last few years. Such is our strategic thinking in this complex world since our political class is not adequately briefed and the elite don’t think through issues. Better to be simple in our talks and vicious in our actions rather than the other way. Hopefully, this November attack will create a new vibrant India capable of taking care of its own interests.
The author is professor of finance and control, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and can be contacted at email@example.com. The views are personal and do not reflect those of his organisation.
December 10, 2008
It is no more about bombs being thrown at bus stations or trains getting blasted. It is no longer about only Nagpada or Govindpuri residents losing limbs and lives. Terror has now climbed up the value chain.
As the new age entrepreneur Kiran Majumdar Shaw told a Bangalore newspaper, “So far, the terrorists targeted common people. Now the society’s elite, the business sector, is the target. What happened in Mumbai is a loud wake-up call for all of us to do something to protect ourselves.”
Corporate India did not bat an eyelid when Mumbai train blasts took place, or when Sarojini Nagar was burning on a Diwali day, or Hyderabad was weeping two years before.
But today, every corporate captain is angry, and so are the celebrities who people Page 3 of newspapers, due largely because the attacks on the three top hotels were directly aimed at those who frequent these places, for business or pleasure (contrast this with the scant coverage of the carnage at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, for example, where commoners were involved).
All the same, the bleeding-heart liberals would be back to their routine ways after a few days. They will lament that the captured terrorist has not been given his favourite food and not allowed to watch TV or use his cell phone; they will say his human rights are violated. Just wait for the chorus.
Of course, this time it will be between Page 3 and the jholawalas(activists) and that should be an interesting match to watch, but that’s another story.
In the last ten years, not a single session of any seminar sponsored by the CII or Ficci or business/general journals has focussed on terrorism. When this writer once broached the importance of talking about it, a senior business captain said it is for the government to deal with.
Many of those seminars gave importance to Musharraf and now Zardari, as if they are going to provide any solution when they are a part of the problem.
Now, at least, terrorism is being realised as a problem facing the country.
Let us summarise what the real situation is and what the corporate sector should do if we are serious in fighting terrorism on our soil.
1. Recognise and treat Pakistan as a terrorist state. The state policy of Pakistan is terrorism and their single-point programme is to destroy India. This needs to be internalised by every business baron including the owners of media.
2. Now, the elite of Pakistan are more angry, since India is growing at 7% and they are given CCC rating and stiff conditions for borrowing from the IMF.
Many an academic from that country, who I have met in global conferences, has openly lamented that nobody talks about Indo-Pak relations anymore, but only Indo-China or Indo-American, etc. They want to be equal but they are in deep abyss.
3. Pakistan is the only territory in the world where an army has a whole country under its control. This is an important issue since studies have found that a large number of corporates in Pakistan are ultimately owned by the Fauji Foundation (FF), Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Bahria Foundation (BF), Shaheen Foundation (SF) all owned by different wings of armed forces (See paper presented by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa-Agha on ‘Power, Perks, Prestige And Privileges: Military’s Economic Activities In Pakistan’ in The International Conference on Soldiers in Business — Military as an Economic Actor; Jakarta, October 17-19, 2000).
Hence, do not try to think of Pakistan without its army, irrespective of who rules that country temporarily and nominally. At least 70% of the market capitalisation of the Karachi stock exchange is owned by the army and related groups.
4. There are three groups in India, who are obsessed with friendship with Pakistan. One is the oldies born in that part before partition and who are nostalgic about the Lahore havelis, halwas and mujras. The second is the Bollywood and other assorted groups, who look at it as a big market. The Dawood gang has financed enough of these useful idiots. The third is the candle light holding bleeding heart liberals (BHLs) who cannot imagine India doing well without its younger brother taken care of.
All three have been proved wrong hundreds of times, but they are also opinion makers. Shun them, avoid them and ridicule them.
5. We should categorically, unambiguously, unequivocally boycott Pakistan in all aspects for a decade or more. Be it art, music, economy, commerce, or other hand-holding activities. That army-controlled state has to realise that it has done enough damage to global civilisation.
More than 100 acts/attempts of terror recorded in the world since 9/11 have had their roots in Pakistan. More than 40% of the prisoners in Guantanamo are Pakistanis.
6. We should recognise that it is our war and nobody in the world is going to wage it on our behalf. What the Americans are thinking, or what the Britishers are going to do, will not help. A determined country should have a sense of dignity and independence to fight its war.
We should stop interviewing leaders from that country who mouth the same inanities that “you have not produced any proof.” The Government of India should perhaps create a museum of proof between India Gate and North Block.
I am amazed that a country of a billion is required even to furnish proof. If one-sixth of humanity says that the terrorist state of Pakistan is the root cause of global terrorism — it is factual. Let us not fall into the trap of providing proof to the culprits.
7. We should realise that a united Pakistan is a grave threat to the existence of India. Hence, we should do everything possible to break up Pakistan into several units. This is required to be done not only for our interest, but for world peace.
8. We have made a grave blunder by suggesting in the international fora that “Pakistan is also a victim of terror.” That is a grave error and it will haunt us for decades. They are perpetrators and our government is in deep illusion if it tries to distinguish between organs of power in that country thinking it is like India.
There is only one organ, namely its army (with ISI as a sub-organ) in that country, which owns and controls at least 70% of the GDP in that country.
If we want the world to treat Pakistan for what it is, then we should start practising it. Always call it the ‘terrorist state of Pakistan’ and never have any illusion that it is going to be any different.
If corporate India, including electronic/ print media, starts practising this, we should see results in a few years. Are the elites listening?
The author is professor of finance and control, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org. The views are personal and do not reflect those of his organisation.
Published: December 2, 2008
By Thomas Friedman
On Feb. 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?
After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets.
So what can we expect from Pakistan and the wider Muslim world after Mumbai? India says its interrogation of the surviving terrorist indicates that all 10 men come from the Pakistani port of Karachi, and at least one, if not all 10, were Pakistani nationals.
First of all, it seems to me that the Pakistani government, which is extremely weak to begin with, has been taking this mass murder very seriously, and, for now, no official connection between the terrorists and elements of the Pakistani security services has been uncovered.
At the same time, any reading of the Pakistani English-language press reveals Pakistani voices expressing real anguish and horror over this incident. Take for instance the Inter Press Service news agency article of Nov. 29 from Karachi: “ ‘I feel a great fear that [the Mumbai violence] will adversely affect Pakistan and India relations,’ the prominent Karachi-based feminist poet and writer Attiya Dawood told I.P.S. ‘I can’t say whether Pakistan is involved or not, but whoever is involved, it is not the ordinary people of Pakistan, like myself, or my daughters. We are with our Indian brothers and sisters in their pain and sorrow.’ ”
But while the Pakistani government’s sober response is important, and the sincere expressions of outrage by individual Pakistanis are critical, I am still hoping for more. I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of “ordinary people” against the Mumbai bombers, not for my sake, not for India’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake.
Why? Because it takes a village. The best defense against this kind of murderous violence is to limit the pool of recruits, and the only way to do that is for the home society to isolate, condemn and denounce publicly and repeatedly the murderers — and not amplify, ignore, glorify, justify or “explain” their activities.
Sure, better intelligence is important. And, yes, better SWAT teams are critical to defeating the perpetrators quickly before they can do much damage. But at the end of the day, terrorists often are just acting on what they sense the majority really wants but doesn’t dare do or say. That is why the most powerful deterrent to their behavior is when the community as a whole says: “No more. What you have done in murdering defenseless men, women and children has brought shame on us and on you.”
Why should Pakistanis do that? Because you can’t have a healthy society that tolerates in any way its own sons going into a modern city, anywhere, and just murdering everyone in sight — including some 40 other Muslims — in a suicide-murder operation, without even bothering to leave a note. Because the act was their note, and destroying just to destroy was their goal. If you do that with enemies abroad, you will do that with enemies at home and destroy your own society in the process.
“I often make the comparison to Catholics during the pedophile priest scandal,” a Muslim woman friend wrote me. “Those Catholics that left the church or spoke out against the church were nottrying to prove to anyone that they are anti-pedophile. Nor were they apologizing for Catholics, or trying to make the point that this is not Catholicism to the non-Catholic world. They spoke out because they wanted to influence the church. They wanted to fix a terrible problem” in their own religious community.
We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective. That is what is needed here.
Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.
We had a Sikh ruler (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) who was even feared by the Afghans and there is a Sikh leading India now who cannot proceed against Pakistan without taking permission & approval from the West and then a nod from Ma’am Sonia. Somewhere a Pakistani told me that India is not US and they are not Georgia to be run over that easily. This same stigma has made our leaders a group of eunuchs. India has existed for more than 5,000 years without the help of any Western power. We are more than capable of dealing with terrorism and the domestic problems. All we Indians need is self belief…..Yes! Self belief. The days of the “Raj” robbed us of that and twisted our way of life. We are 20% of mankind; everyone must remember that. They need us more than we need them. God bless India!
Jai Hind! Jai Maharashtra!