Pakistan: The F**ked-Up Country

Pakistan, half a year after closing a supply route for NATO’s Afghan mission, in petulance over the accidental killing of 24 soldiers, may now be willing to reopen it. But for a fee, estimated to reach $1 million per day.

That’s on top of billions of annual U.S. aid,* a bribe to keep Pakistan friendly. But, as the old saying goes, “with friends like this ….”

Pakistan is a nation with a major birth defect: hived off from India at independence in 1948 as a “Muslim homeland,” like separating conjoined twins; much blood was spilled. Making matters worse, Kashmir was left in limbo between the two, an ever festering sore of conflict.

And as if one bloody separation wasn’t enough, Pakistan suffered another in 1971 when its eastern part broke away to become Bangladesh, again amid great carnage. Only India’s military intervention saved Bangladesh. Pakistan was displeased.

So this is a traumatized country, in the grip of an over-mighty army together with the secretive and sinister ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), whose whole raison d’etre is enmity with India. To sustain that, Pakistan has repeatedly sponsored provocations, including the horrific 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. Given that India is hugely bigger, with nuclear weapons, this deliberate Pakistani policy of twisting that tiger’s tail is completely deranged. Thank goodness India is more sane.**

Pakistan has been an on-and-off democracy, governed more by generals than elected governments. Just as well, perhaps; the political parties are mere feudalistic patronage machines, maximally feckless and corrupt.

Zia Ul-Haq

It gets worse. One military ruler, Zia Ul-Haq (1977-88), was (or posed as) a Muslim zealot and infected the country with a bad case of the religious extremism virus. How bad? Non-Muslims are routinely massacred. Apostasy and blasphemy get the death penalty. One academic, Dr. Younus Sheikh, was sentenced to death for “blaspheming” that before his vision Mohammed was not a Muslim. We managed to save Sheikh’s life. But not that of state governor Salmaan Taseer, gunned down by one of his own bodyguards in 2011 because Taseer advocated moderating the blasphemy law. The killer was hailed as a hero and showered with flower petals.

In Pakistan, rape also carries the death penalty – for the victim. A thirteen year old was stoned to death. And when a man was convicted of adultery, the sentence was gang rape for his sister.

This is a f**ked-up country.

It did produce one politician who may have had the vision and courage to change things. Benazir Bhutto too was murdered by Islamic extremists, whom the government made a point of not trying to catch.

Pakistan is plagued by such armed fanatics and their bloody mayhem. This is Pakistan’s real enemy – not India (which is actually no threat at all). But the army is schizophrenically divided between fighting the insurgents and playing footsie with them. And as to the similar baddies we’re fighting in Afghanistan, it’s mainly footsie. Pakistan sees Afghanistan’s Karzai government as aligned with India, while a putative friendly Taliban regime would provide “strategic depth” against India. (Again Pakistan’s myopic craziness vis-à-vis India.) So our supposed ally Pakistan is really trying to make us fail in Afghanistan. (And the Obama administration acts like it’s trying to oblige.)

There is no smoking gun that Pakistan connived to protect bin Laden. But Pakistani officialdom certainly didn’t help us get him; and all those Pakistani individuals who did help have been jailed. (One, a doctor who helped with DNA identification, has just been sentenced to 33 years, for treason.)***

This is the nation we try to keep sweet with billions in aid (more than any other country bar Afghanistan itself). Yet nevertheless, polls show Pakistanis to be among the world’s most rabid America-haters.

We should tell Pakistan: F**k you. I say this in absolute seriousness. If Pakistan is our enemy – which it certainly is – at least let’s have moral clarity, so we can deal squarely with their perfidy. Bribery may make sense when you get what you pay for, but not when you keep getting the finger. What little we actually get from our relationship with Pakistan is not worth soiling ourselves, pandering to these %&!#s. If Pakistanis hate America so much, let them try life without our support and our billions. Maybe they’d come to their senses.

Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

* You might think it would be simple to google the exact number. It is not. But we have given Pakistan a total of about $30 billion in all.

** India distrusts Pakistan too, obviously with more justification. But when Pakistan suffered devastating floods, I thought India missed a golden opportunity to change the dynamic by mounting a big relief operation. However, Pakistan probably would have refused the help.

*** UPDATE (JUNE 3) — When criticism erupted, Pakistan changed its story, now saying Dr. Afridi was actually convicted for involvement with a terrorist group. But no details are offered; these Pakistani courts are secretive. And if Dr. Afridi was pro-terrorist, why would he have helped the U.S.? It isn’t credible. (Meantime Pakistan, also in murky trials, has acquitted four men charged with complicity in New York’s Times Square bombing attempt.) We should deploy Seal Team 6 to rescue Dr. Afridi. Seriously. It would send an important message that America takes care of its brave collaborators.

 

9 Responses to “Pakistan: The F**ked-Up Country”

  1. Lee Says:

    Indeed, we too easily aid militaries around the world if they claim allegience to ours. I say, when they ain’t a democracy then humanitarian aid should be all that we give, no matter how much their military claims to be aiding ours.

    [FSR comment: Most nations would in fact be far better off without an army (like Costa Rica). National armies in too many countries do 99% mischief and 1% defense. Pakistan is a poster-boy for this. I've often thought the US should encourage such nations to get rid of their armies, and offer them "defense insurance" policies at modest premiums to replace them. Of course, few such armies will cheerfully dissolve themselves. Getting rid of all these anti-functional armies is one of humanity's great challenges.]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Nice to read your mindless rant. Have you tried getting some therapy??

    [FSR comment: Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.]

  3. Anonymous Says:

    ‘the rational optimist’ haha what a joke of a title. Pakistan doesnt want to have anything to do with dirty americans a huge percentage of them dont even know who their father is.

    [FSR comment: I am glad to hear that Pakistanis know who their fathers are, which obviously is the principal criterion for being a wonderful country. If you want nothing to do with us "dirty Americans" then please stop taking our billions in aid.]

  4. Anonymous Says:

    a pakistani here from pakistan: yesterday, out of frustration for not having access to youtube for over a month now (after the recent ‘anti-islam’ movie debacle and bullying from the followers of the religion of peace) and with no clue when i will get it, I wrote my FB status mentioning my country as ‘f**ked-up republic of pakistan’. i was told to get the f**k out of here and harassed in a way i thought i have signed my death warrant. despite of paying taxes and putting up with the shit that a common man has to while being unfortunate enough to find oneself in this hellhole, I can’t even speak my mind if its not in line with mainstream bullshit without getting threatened. here the rule is: buy our mindless lies or shut the f**k up otherwise … we are sending you to hell, as if i am not already in one.

  5. rationaloptimist Says:

    Dear Pakistani– I sincerely thank you for your comment. I know there are many people like you in Pakistan, maybe even a majority, who are the victims of the extremism. I have nothing against the Pakistani people; I want everyone in the world to be able to enjoy the kind of good life we have in America.

  6. Faye Says:

    I am sure this article has touched all the internet users, its really really nice article on building up new blog.

  7. Hamza Lutaf Says:

    Yeah Pakistan and its inhabitants are fucked up, do hell with’em, there just some other dickheads, killing in the name of their religion and fucking harlots for a huge nation.

  8. Alee Says:

    I am a Pakistani and honestly I find this article very true! Pakistan is a complete mess. Despite taking billion of dollars in, from not only the US but also the whole world to fight terrorism, Pakistan fueled religious fanaticism and provided safe haven to world terrorists; trained terrorists and blatantly blamed drones for the growing extremism. And Zia was the worst leader Pakistan ever had. Pakistan and Saudi are not just the enemies of the US (ironically both are close allies of the US. Are leaders of US stupid?) but to the whole world- Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

  9. rationaloptimist Says:

    Dear Alee, many thanks for your comment. Again, I know that many Pakistanis understand what’s happening to their country. And how difficult it is to combat fanatics with guns.

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