Polls in Pak just a sideshow of the ruling military-dominant civilian leadership: Tarek Fatah
New Delhi, April 10 (ANI): Mr. Tarek Fatah, a Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin, an author and a journalist, said on Wednesday that the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan should just be seen as a sideshow of the ruling military-dominant civilian leadership, adding that it wouldn't matter who wins or loses, as political power will remain in the hands of Pakistan's armed forces and its intelligence wing - the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
Speaking to ANI in an exclusive interview here, Fatah said: "For the Pakistani ruling establishment, which is the military civilian complex that rules the country ,elections are a side show at the federal level. Who wins and who loses, power will still remain in the hands of the Pakistan armed forces and the ISI."
"This has been the case for a long time, because of U.S. Congress restrictions. Even if the military stages a coup, they (the U.S. Congress) can in an instant, immediately stop all military and civilian aid," Fatah said.
"Elections will have a greater impact at the provincial and not much at the federal level. Take for example the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the Awami National Party (ANP) is in power. They have been decimated and systematically assassinated by the Taliban and other Jehadi groups that are funded and supported by the Pakistan military. The real question is what will happen if the ANP is overthrown and defeated in the next election? Then, there is the 2014 withdrawal of U.S. troops and other foreign troops from Afghanistan, which could mean that the Pakistan-based Taliban will take over Kabul. That is a broader strategic issue," Fatah said.
Commenting on developments in the south of the country i.e. Balochistan, Fatah said there was a rift between Baloch nationalists, Akhtar Mengal and the national party of Bizenjo.
There are leaders like Harbiyar Marri , Mehran and Brahamdagh Bugti who have declared the elections invalid because the Pakistan Army is still picking up Baloch youth and dropping them from helicopters, Fatah claimed.
"The latest is they are stealing organs of dead Baloch youth and selling them in markets. So, there is a division in the Baloch nationalist vote, but I think Akthar Mengal of the BNP has some understanding, therefore, he is popular and will form the government in the province. He will, however, face restrictions because the Pakistan armed forces will be on the margins, watching his every move and decision," Fatah said.
The Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin author and a journalist further said that Pakistan is a country that has been living under the shadow of gun since its creation in August 1947.
"Since 1953, Pakistan is been under military rule or military authority. The difference this time is that there is widespread insurgency, that has resulted in sectarian killings, and where every political party now has their own armed wings. Previously, politicians used to campaign in jeeps or trucks with few supporters. Now, they have to move around in armed convoys. So, Pakistan will always be under a gun, and it is not some foreign gun, it is their own military guns, plus their own creation of Jihadi groups like the Pakistani Taliban, which in the end, will cause Pakistan to self destruct," Fatah said.
Commenting on the situation prevailing in Punjab in the east, Fatah said that the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) or PML-N, appears to have emerged as the best manager of the administration and the economy in comparison to other parties.
"They have a threat from Imran Khan, who has linked up quite openly with the Jamat-e Islami. People fear that he is a populist that can turn into a Fascist overnight, something similar to the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto like rule. It really doesn't matter at the federal level who wins. The People's Party is going to lose the elections, that we know. The fact that they survived five years is victory enough for them, because it is the first government ever to complete a full term of office. That itself Is a laurel that they can rest on, but they cannot form the next government," Fatah added.
He also described Pakistan's former President General Pervez Musharraf as a "court jester' who has seen too many Bollywood movies.
"He (Musharraf) is the Gope (Gope Kamlani, one of Hindi cinemas most popular comedians) of the 1950's. He is simply there and playing for someone's constituency, which I can't figure out, but he is the entertainment that will be seen around. He has absolutely nothing to do with Chitral, he has nothing to do with Karachi. He is a complete rogue, a person who should be tried for treason by a military court because he overthrew not the civilian government, but the commander-in-chief. He is the general who overthrew the chief of army staff. So, he is there for entertainment purposes. He can't win, he can't lose," said Fatah
Fatah said that as of now he saw the PML-N probably winning the most electoral seats because of its better administrative skills and its management of the economy.
However, he cautioned that its partnerships with radical Jihadi groups could go against it.
He also described President Asif Ali Zardari as the smartest politician, "because his term of office continues, the chief justice would have gone, the army chief, General (Asfaq Pervez) Kayani would have gone, and who knows, Mr. Zardari can pull up a coalition with the PML-N as the leading partner and PPP as the junior partner."
"In Pakistan, politics is not based on priciples or ethics, which shouldn't surprise India. You know how it is," he said.
Fatah described Imran Khan as "just a pretty old face".
"He is a cricketer. He has no political past. It took him 40 years to understand the genocide that took place in East Pakistan. He didn't have ability to say that he has just now learnt that three million people died. He is filling the vacuum in a certain space. Pakistanis need a white knight every few months, with shining arms and comily dressed. Sometimes, it is Ayub Khan, sometimes it is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and sometimes it is Moulana Qadri. It is a very feural mindset that hopes that someone will deliver them, as if Sallahudin Ayubi is coming to take the crusaders out of Pakistan. It is not going to happen. He (Imran) might win about 20-30 seats, but cannot go beyond that," Fatah said.
"Pakistan was created on a lie. It is a fraudulent concept, which never had a standing, by any rational means anywhere in the world. Islam is not a nation. When a Bengali can't talk to a Kashmiri, what sort of a nation is it? You don't find Turks mingling with Somalis, it's simply not true. Mr. (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah pulled off a fraud, and, the very existence of Pakistan is based on that lie, and if there was any evidence needed, then the 1971 war with East Pakistan, and the creation of Bangladesh, proved that there is no two- nation theory," Fatah said.
"Everyone in Pakistan harps about the two-nation theory. I don't think that they either have the courage to face the truth, that it is based on a permanent wound that would keep on providing victims, people will keep on dying to keep the theory right," he added.
"Pakistan was created to stop the advance of the Soviet Union towards the Arabian Sea. The Soviet Union is dead. Pakistan is still alive, but in a fractured form. It is a state that was created for a purpose that is no longer needed. It is like a worker in a factory that has stopped production, still around, but has nothing to offer. Pakistan was not created for Islam or for Muslims. Indians might believe that. Pakistan was created by an Anglo-American enterprise to stop the Soviet advance towards the warm waters of the Indian Ocean," Fatah claimed.
He also said it would be naive of Indians to think that greater people-to-people contact between the two countries would encourage moves for peace.
"It's not going to change the predominantly Pakistani contempt for Hindus. The widespread education of over two generations is not just disgust, but hatred or a superiority complex; that they ruled India for a thousand years, and they will go back and conquer Delhi again. The only reason that (feeling) has lessened today is because of Arab money flowing into Pakistan. The Arabs want them (Pakistanis) to hate America more than they do India," he said.
He added: "As long as Pakistan is in its current form, as a militarised state, the military is not going to give up its wealth creating machine by saying we should have peace with India. No, there is a need to have war with India to sustain the military-civilian establishment. Number two as long as Pakistan's Punjabi majority, which has a serious inferiority complex about their own identity, is unwilling to acknowledge the fact that they are Punjabis of Indian ancestry, not of Arab, Turk or Persian, this identity complex will play out in hostility towards India. The moment hostility towards India stops, there is no reason for Pakistan to exist. So to sustain Pakistan, you have to hate India, and to hate India, you have to demonise Hindus."
Asked what would be the situation prevailing in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops, he said that it all depended on who formed the next provincial government in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"If the Pashtun nationalists lose the elections, there is 100 percent certainity that Taliban will take over Afghanistan, if in the next Pakistan elections in May, the secular nationalist Pasthun wins, there is less of a likelihood," he said.
He concluded by saying that elections in the NWFP will be of significance for the whole world, because, "the moment secular nationalists lose, the Taliban will win".
He described Pakistan as the Taliban and the country's armed forces as Al Qaeda.
"The enemy that the world is fighting is not the Taliban, Al Qaeda, it is the Pakistan armed forces, it is the Americans who fund the Pakistan armed forces, and it is the Indians who pay respect and do trade with those who seek to destroy India. It doesn't matter who wins in Islamabad, it is who wins in NWFP that will matter," he said. (ANI)
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