Men at their best

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL -

THEY cer­tainly have rooms with the best view. Only if they could rid their win­dow­panes of the lenses they have been us­ing since decades. The world has changed, so should the view. They must know it well for they are not Mike Harding's Waz­zocks. Why is it that the more things are chang­ing, the more they are look­ing ex­actly the same? The lenses. They cre­ate un­nec­es­sary ob­struc­tion in as­cer­tain­ing the full view. Cut­ting this fog by clean­ing the lenses might help. Con­sider.

Be­fore go­ing to the fan­tas­tic apho­risms on strat­egy, lets de­ci­pher the enigma of 'na­tional se­cu­rity' to­wards which any strat­egy should serve. The view from the win­dows our men have, might only show the troops wear­ing flaw­lessly ironed uni- forms and an arse­nal fes­tooned with most mod­ern and lethal weaponry. The re­al­ity might be a lit­tle more com­plex. You have to have an im­pec­ca­ble and well-equipped force to fight in the hour of the need. Fair enough. But does the na­tional se­cu­rity end here, is the real ques­tion.

Na­tional se­cu­rity as a func­tion of na­tional power has mil­i­tary prow­ess as an im­por­tant el­e­ment but does not solely de­pend on just this. The aspects of so­cial, political and eco­nomic spheres - e.g., en­ergy, nat­u­ral re­sources, en­vi­ron­ment, a re­spon­sive democ­racy, a pro­gres­sive so­ci­ety, an ed­u­cated (as op­posed to a lit­er­ate) pop­u­lace, an aware cit­i­zenry, a so­ci­ety sans in­tel­lec­tual poverty, an in­tel­li­gentsia en­riched with dis­sent, an un­com­pro­mised but free me­dia, an am­bi­ence of free­dom and in­ter­nal dé­tente, and so on and so forth - all con­trib­ute to a com­pre­hen­sive no­tion of na­tional se­cu­rity.

Ev­ery sin­gle artist when s/he goes out to work - in the far off lands - con­trib­utes to na­tion's pride, which in turn adds a di­men­sion to na­tional power. Ev­ery sin­gle girl adds to this power when she goes out to tell the world she was bat­tered by mon­sters but still stood up to them. She is ac­tu­ally telling the world that Pak­ista­nis are fight­ing back. Ev­ery sin­gle ac­tivist when comes on the street de­mand­ing rights, s/he is adding to na­tion's pride by telling the world Pak­ista­nis are awake and are hold­ing their free­doms dear.

Ev­ery time a scholar dis­sents with the main­stream view­point, s/he is ac­tu­ally en­rich­ing the discourse open­ing new av­enues of thought that would only help the in­sti­tu­tions in longer run. For the in­sti­tu­tions are not about petty egos, they are about a hind­sight span­ning cen­turies and fore­sight be­yond decades. And that is what needs to be se­cured for achiev­ing zenith of na­tional power and na­tional se­cu­rity.

Now, let's see what's ac­tu­ally hap­pen- ing on ground in the name of na­tional se­cu­rity. Ev­ery time an ac­tivist is jibed for be­ing a for­eign agent get­ting dol­lars to dis­re­pute the coun­try, an inch from the na­tional se­cu­rity hori­zon dies silently. When you are dis­cred­it­ing her/him, you are ac­tu­ally telling the world that Pak­ista­nis are per­fect ro­bots hav­ing no think­ing ca­pac­ity or con­science and would only dif­fer from state discourse when se­duced with money and power. Think.

Swim­ming against the tide is done by the no­blest and the most honourable. Dis­sent, may I plead, is a very re­spectable and coura­geous thing to do. It is like oxy­gen for a non-stag­nant world­view of na­tions. Any­thing and any­one try­ing to de­plete this oxy­gen should be con­sid­ered a na­tional se­cu­rity threat. Any­one who re­viles dis­sent con­fus­ing it with un­healthy dis­cord or con­flict is cer­tainly not do­ing any ser­vice to the na­tion. Think.

And now a lit­tle peep at strat­egy Tsars like Sun Tzu and Carl Von Clause­witz. The for­mer says, "fight and con­quer in all your bat­tles is not supreme ex­cel­lence; supreme ex­cel­lence con­sists in break­ing the en­emy's re­sis­tance with­out fight­ing". With­out fight­ing would mean with­out re­sort­ing to flaw­lessly ironed uni­forms. How about hav­ing a flour­ish­ing econ­omy that en­gulfs all other con­sid­er­a­tions? The econ­omy is sur­vival for ev­ery na­tion, even for the en­emy. How about be­com­ing an eq­ui­table mar­ket cov­eted for global in­vestors - all of them? Think.

Would this econ­omy and mar­ket be pos­si­ble if in­ter­nal se­cu­rity is at risk and political sta­bil­ity is per­pet­u­ally un­pre­dictable? Would it be pos­si­ble when ev­ery­one knows a cer­tain ' Inc.' has un­chal­lenge­able mo­nop­oly on re­sources, busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and mar­ket open­ings with un­beat­able com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage? Or when as­sorted 'as­sets' gone rogue have un­hin­dered op­por­tu­nity to play havoc with any out­sider in the name of ei­ther re­li­gion or ' pa­tri­o­tism' or xeno­pho­bic anti-West-ism? Think.

In his Art of War Tzu says, "The art of us­ing troops is this: When ten to the en­emy's one, sur­round him; When five times his strength, at­tack him; If dou­ble his strength, di­vide him; If equally matched you may en­gage him; If weaker numer­i­cally, be ca­pa­ble of with­draw­ing; And if in all re­spects un­equal, be ca­pa­ble of elud­ing him, for a small force is but booty for one more pow­er­ful." And here our only elu­sion seems to be nu­clear. Is it enough? And am­ple? How about de­plet­ing en­emy's arse­nal of diplo­macy and of moral higher ground? With in­sist­ing to carry on with decades old hack­neyed and over­spent prox­ies, haven't we given moral higher ground to the en­emy on a plate? Think.

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