Friday, May 10, 2013

Pakistan's Future With or Without Taliban?

Someone somewhere is pulling the strings and pushing the nuclear armed Pakistan towards extreme right to bring in power the forces who should stand for the military-specific security goals of the state after the May 11 general elections. The threat perception is not very much visible in the West at this stage but a majority moderate Pakistanis are concerned about their country's future more than ever before. The consequences will ring alarming bells in Washington DC, western capitals, New Delhi, Kabul and even Beijing if the polls results empower the born-again post-9/11 militant Islam in Pakistan. The final month-long campaign race has already divided the political forces into two clear groups-pro-Taliban and anti-Taliban. 
Taliban and their supporters are mainly responsible for drawing a line of divide. The Pakistan-based Taliban movement (TTP) has issued threats in the very beginning of the election campaign and said the suicide attackers would bomb three parties-the nation-wide Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pashtun secular party Awami National Party (ANP) and Urdu-speaking Muttahidda Qaumi Party (MQM). They were the coalition partners in the previous PPP-dominated government.
The TTP threats provided an upper hand to the country's major right-wing and Islamist parties-Pakistan Muslim League (N) led by conservative Punjabi leadership of Sharif brothers, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan also known as Taliban Khan for his soft corner for Taliban, Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-F (JUI-, led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman who is considered the spiritual father of Taliban and Jama'at-e-Islami (JI), led by Syed Munawwar Hasan, known for radical views against liberals and US.  
The right-wingers were free till last day of the campaign and crisscrossed the whole country for attracting voters. However, none of the secular parties-PPP, ANP and MQM, managed a rally nor their leaders visited their constituencies due to security regions. The secular parties leaders have said certain forces want to impose a kind of mind-set over the 180 million people and enslave the masses.   
The polls surveys so far suggest electoral successes for the right-wingers. In that case a five years rule of the Islamists would take out all the bad genes out of the bottle. 
With a military internationally known for defending the state in accordance with the religious ideology and religious fanatics-Taliban, Mujahideen and Fidaeen, a future government dominated by the religious right-wingers would be a double-edged south-Asian democratic facade in Pakistan. And at stakes are the  secured withdrawal of the US-led forces from Afghanistan in 2014, a reasonably stable and democratic Afghanistan, a somewhat capped terrorism, regional stability, nuclear arms safety and Pakistan existence as a nation.