What are the key sources of the current crises faced by Pakistan? Can any of these be traced to blunders committed years ago by Pakistani leaders?
Pakistan's Gen AK Niazi Signing Surrender in East Pakistan
Was it a blunder for Pakistan's founders to align with the United States early on? What was the alternative for a nascent cash-strapped state that faced imminent economic collapse? Who other than the United States had the deep pockets to help Pakistan in 1947 when the Soviet Union, Europe and Japan lay in ruins at the end of WW II? Would the construction of big dams and irrigation system in Pakistan have happened without the US help? Would the Green Revolution have come about if the US did not help?
US Aid in 66 Years
Was the passage of the Objectives Resolution in 1949 among the blunders of Pakistan's early leaders? Did it distract from framing an inclusive and unifying constitution of the nation-state? Did it promote religious discrimination and extremism in the country? Was the 2nd amendment to the 1973 Constitution declaring Ahmedis non-Muslims a logical consequence of it?
Did the failures of Pakistan's political class open the doors for military coups starting with the 1958 coup led by General Mohammad Ayub Khan? How did the military coups led by General Yahya Khan, General Zia ul Haq and General Pervez Musharraf impact Pakistan? Could these coups have been avoided?
What led to the loss of Pakistan's eastern wing and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971? Was it a political failure or a military failure? Was it orchestrated by India with the help of Shaikh Mujib ur Rehman starting with Agartala Conspiracy in 1960s? Was it a blunder for Gen Zia to join the United States and Saudi Arabia in support of the Afghan Jihad against the Soviet Union in 1980s? Did it promote militarization of religious fanatics in Pakistan? Was it a mistake for Benazir Bhutto to give birth to the Taliban?
Did Musharraf blunder by siding with the United States after Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks in America? What was the alternative? Would the porous Afghan-Pakistan border allow Pakistan to be a silent observer?
Azad Labon Ke Sath host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)