One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Magnificent Delusions: Part 2

While reading the first chapter of the book, I felt like I am watching the "Games of Thrones TV series". I felt as Game of Thrones is not just a fiction. It is real and it has happened and is happening. The very familiar historic figures turned to appear mostly as the two characters of the series, Littlefinger and Varys. Varys who believes in the "Realm" and tries to protect it and Littlefinger who thinks of Realm as a shadow on the wall and has a Social Darwinian outlook. I felt as Littlefingers were the dominant drivers of the history in the Af-Pak region and it is just the combination of historical-geographical tragic continuity that provide a fertile soil for Littlefingers. There is a scene in the series, where Varys and Littlefinger has a conversation and Littlefinger tells Varys, “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but refuse. They cling to the realm, or love, or the gods…illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is. But they’ll never know this. Not until it’s too late.” I felt as Littlefinger's explanation describes very well most of the history and current situations (of course, the players)...

OK, let me come out of my feelings, and explain a little bit, why I felt so... Let me begin with Afghan story as chronologically, it comes first. This unfortunate land has never seen a period of peace. All her history, it was a battlefield. But why? The simplest answer is that, it is not a natural country, with a natural boundary. It was created via plays of superpower aka great games and is maintained by great games. Just the players have changed, nothing else. Haqqani briefly mentions the great game which created her modern boundaries: "......During the nineteenth century Britain and Russia competed for influence in Central Asia in what came to be known as the Great Game of espionage and proxy wars. Britain feared that the Russian empire would expand southward, threatening its control over India, the jewel in the British crown that had been progressively acquired at great expense over more than a century. The two empires settled on recognizing Afghanistan as a buffer between them, thus saving them from military confrontations with each other. Previously, the British had lost precious lives in their effort to directly control Afghanistan. But by accepting a neutral and independent Afghan Kingdom, they sought to pass on the burden of subduing some of the lawless tribes to a local monarch, albeit with British economic and military assistance...." Then Amir acted as a Littlefinger in subjugating the "lawless tribes" for strengthening his throne and used Afghani nations against each other which resulted into a historic animosity and distrust between Afghanistan's nations and it is still dominating her political landscape. It is the same mistrust that Afghan Loya Jirga approves US-Afghan Security Pact, to prevent the come back of Taliban and civil war, but Karzai acts as a Littlefinger and rejects their approval and calls US warning of complete withdrawal as a bluff (just for a little while to bargain for more: the ladder is real). Using the fear of Taliban for bargaining at home and outside is Littlefingers real bargaining tool both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In short, this region has been and is the real land of Westeros and Essos.

Mr. Haqqani mentions about ideological and economic troubles that baby Pakistan was facing but in lines also mentions about two early Varys and Littlefingers: "The need to justify their country at an ideological level was only one part of the challenge Pakistan's founding fathers faced; they also needed resources to sustain the country. Although some men like Liaquat and Abol Hasan Ispahani gifted some of their property to the new state and had no plans of returning to India, for several years after independence some of Pakistani elite acted as if their country was temporary. For instance, Jinnah told India's Prime Minister Nehru, through India's ambassador to Pakistan, that he wanted his house in Bombay kept in good condition so that he could retire there. Pakistan's first ambassador to India, Muhammad Ismail, assumed his responsibilities without migrating to Pakistan and at one point claimed that he had not ceased to be an Indian national by becoming Pakistan's diplomatic representative. And well-to-do Muslim politicians and officials went back and forth, trying to figure out where their careers might prosper more; some wanted to become Pakistani without losing the benefits of being Indian. It took several years for Pakistan to define its citizenship laws in regard especially to migrants or Indian refugees."....

And about US-Pak relations: "...After asking probing questions about Jinnahâ's plans for the new nation's constitution, Bourke-White sought his views of relations with the United States. Jinnah replied that America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America. He then told her: Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed, and went on to state, the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves . Russia is not so very far away. He spoke of America interest in arming Greece and Turkey and expressed the hope that the United States would pour money and arms into Pakistan as well. .......... This account of Pakistani thinking within weeks of its creation offers perspective into the vagaries of US-Pakistan relations over the last six-and-a-half decades. Amid frequent Pakistani charges of American betrayal, few Americans remember that Pakistan initiated the US-Pakistan alliance primarily to compensate for its economic and military disadvantages.".... Reading this commentary about the relation of Pak-US soon after her creation and reading today's Pakistani newspapers, I don't see anything has changed. Imran Khan (PTI) is protesting against US drone attacks by blocking NATO supply lines, launching FIR against recent drone attacks and unmasking CIA chief in Islamabad, BUT his government is also receiving aid from US more than any other province in the country.

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