Monday, October 17, 2016

Pakistan - 'We are on verge of global isolation', Pakistani media warns government and security agencies

 International isolation "appears to be looming over" Pakistan all thanks to its inaction against terrorism, said a blog post in The Nation today, a view shared by many of the country's bloggers and social media users,

This is particularly significant, because The Nation is a newspaper considered close to the Pakistani government as well as the military establishment. And in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparing no efforts to continually highlight cross-border terror attacks - yesterday he alluded to Pakistan as the " mothership of terror+ " - Pakistan's own media running opinions that rap its government's knuckles could well be a sign that civil society there is rattled, following the Uri attack in India and its global condemnation.

Citing the fact that even Pakistan's so-called strategic ally, China, has expressed concern about inaction on terror, the editorial says that the government needs to indiscriminately crack down on all non-state terror actors, and back its words with action.

"Modi's statement shows just how committed New Delhi is when it comes to isolating Pakistan globally. From cancelling the Saarc summit to boycotting Pakistani artistes, the Modi regime is hell-bent on weakening Pakistan at every international forum... When and if isolated, the impact would be drastic, and Pakistan would never want that," says the blog post.

The newspaper directly lambasted the Pakistani government and the security agencies, who it said "should at least have the decency to admit that Pakistan still isn't 100 per cent sure which non-state actor is good or bad." It added that just days earlier, even a ruling party lawmaker demanded action against non-state actors who happen to be the very ones that New Delhi has alleged Islamabad is sponsoring+ .

"The current political scenario calls for Pakistan to clearly define its policies to its allies; not just define but act on them as well. Pakistan has to realise+ that what really is in its national interest is the complete elimination of nefarious elements, without any discrimination; the civil and military brass should at least have the decency to admit that Pakistan still isn't 100 per cent sure which non-state actor is good or bad," the blog post in the Pakistani newspaper said.

It also referred to a recent, controversial piece of reportage+ in another newspaper, Dawn, which said that the civilian Pakistani government clashed with the military over the latter impeding efforts to crack down on terror.

"Instead of clarifying its stance on non-state actors, however, the federal government placed the name of the reporter of the story, Cyril Almeida, on Exit Control List...The decision to ban him (a decision that's been since revoked ) reflects the immaturity on part of the federal government, and Almeida's story was never, as both the civil and military brass claim, a 'threat to national security' ", said the blog post.

Just last week, The Nation, in another hard-hitting editorial, ridiculed talk about "national security" and asked why why action against Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was a "danger" to the country's security, as the government and the military told the Pakistani media.

"Worry a great deal about Pakistan's image abroad - some of our actions and inactions as a country are indefensible - everyone knows it, no matter how much we may pretend otherwise," the blogsaid.