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Editorial: Unending blame-game

Pakistan is not learning from the mistakes that she has committed since inception in 1947. The absolute power had made the powerful military establishment of the country corrupt. Military in Pakistan is controlling the foreign and internal policies of the country. Ministry of Finance is also under its tight control. Therefore, all the three ministries are seen at the same page. The military establishment is less than a percent of the total population but controls destiny of 180 million people. Thus, it has been made corrupt by the power that it maintains with stick. The extra-constitutional power, activities and a strong force of free mercenaries have emboldened Pakistani military. That is why it is always in aggressive mode—from toppling of civilian governments to attacks in the neighboring countries. History is littered with examples of those who were made corrupt by absolute power.

The unchecked military power in Pakistan is not only a headache for the civilian government of that country but also for Afghanistan and other countries in the region. SAARC, SCO, NATO and EU have repeatedly urged Islamabad—directly and indirectly—to stop nurturing terrorist outfits. As Afghanistan is suffering most from terrorism exported by Pakistan, it again and again approached Islamabad to trash the strategic depth policy that is destabilizing the region. Since 2002 the Afghan leadership made several ventures to convince Pakistani generals that they should support the Afghan-led peace process. Both Afghan presidents, Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, went to Islamabad with clear message—stop harboring terrorists that are destroying Afghanistan and destabilizing the region.

Boycott of the SAARC summit was announced after all the efforts to convince Islamabad to dismantle the Taliban and Haqqani Network went in vain. However, Pakistan is stick to its draconian approach and not fixing its destructive policies. It seems that Islamabad will always stick to its policy of using terrorists as strategic assets. What Pakistani security and policy policymakers do best is to blame the neighboring countries for the problems faced by the regional countries. They are not good in this as they think because the international community has seen this drama time after time. Spokesman of Pakistan Foreign Ministry Nafees Zakaria the other day blamed India and Afghanistan for spreading terrorism in his country. He said that India was using Afghan soil to destabilize Pakistan.

There is nothing new in his statement. First, there is no ground for the statement to stand on. Every country on the world map knows that who are supporting the terrorists. Of course, it is Pakistan. Second, Afghanistan is a sovereign country and its foreign policy is not controlled by a state actor or foreigners as we see in the case of Pakistan. Afghan leadership repeatedly told Islamabad that Afghanistan’s foreign policy is no one’s business. Therefore, Pakistan should stop blaming the neighbors for the problems that she has created in the region. India is biggest donor in the region that has helped Afghanistan to stand on its feet. On the other hand, Islamabad is exporting terrorism to Afghanistan. Thus, such statements will not garner international support but isolate Pakistan further. There is need for concrete actions to eliminate terrorist groups in Pakistan. Without visible and productive measures Pakistan cannot prove its sincerity in the war against terrorism.

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