It's time Pakistan got slammed for harbouring terrorists
Tue Dec 2, 2008 03:52 IST
Army-controlled as it is, the country will not mend its ways unless forced to
The three-day-long terror strike on the country's financial capital
was devastating in terms of its reach and impact. It has left
Corporate India badly shaken and the elites numb.
It is no more about bombs being thrown at bus stations or trains
getting blasted. It is no longer about only Nagpada or Govindpuri
residents losing limbs and lives. Terror has now climbed up the value
chain. As the new age entrepreneur Kiran Majumdar Shaw told a
Bangalore newspaper, "So far, the terrorists targeted common people.
Now the society's elite, the business sector, is the target. What
happened in Mumbai is a loud wake-up call for all of us to do
something to protect ourselves."
Corporate India did not bat an eyelid when Mumbai train blasts took
place, or when Sarojini Nagar was burning on a Diwali day, or
Hyderabad was weeping two years before. But today, every corporate
captain is angry, and so are the celebrities who people Page 3 of
newspapers, due largely because the attacks on the three top hotels
were directly aimed at those who frequent these places, for business
or pleasure (contrast this with the scant coverage of the carnage at
the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, for example, where commoners were
All the same, the bleeding-heart liberals would be back to their
routine ways after a few days. They will lament that the captured
terrorist has not been given his favourite food and not allowed to
watch TV or use his cell phone; they will say his human rights are
violated. Just wait for the chorus. Of course, this time it will be
between Page 3 and the jholawalas (activists) and that should be an
interesting match to watch, but that's another story.
In the last ten years, not a single session of any seminar sponsored
by the CII or Ficci or business/ general journals has focused on
terrorism. When this writer once broached the importance of talking
about it, a senior business captain said it is for the government to
deal with. Many of those seminars gave importance to Musharraf and now
Zardari, as if they are going to provide any solution when they are a
part of the problem.
Now, at least, terrorism is being realised as a problem facing the country.
Let us summarise what the real situation is and corporate sector
should do if we are serious in fighting terrorism on our soil.
1. Recognise and treat Pakistan as a terrorist state. The state policy
of Pakistan is terrorism and their single-point programme is to
destroy India. This needs to be internalised by every business baron
including the owners of media.
2. Now, the elite of Pakistan are more angry, since India is growing
at 7% and they are given CCC rating and stiff conditions for borrowing
from IMF. Many an academic from that country, who I have met in global
conferences, has openly lamented that nobody talks about Indo-Pak
relations anymore, but only Indo-China or Indo-American, etc. They
want to be equal but they are in deep abyss
3. Pakistan is the only territory in the world where an army has a
whole country under its control. This is an important issue since
studies have found that a large number of corporates in Pakistan are
ultimately owned by the Fauji Foundation (FF), Army Welfare Trust
(AWT) Bahria Foundation (BF), Shaheen Foundation (SF) all owned by
different wings of armed forces (See paper presented by Dr Ayesha
Siddiqa-Agha on "Power, Perks, Prestige And Privileges: Military's
Economic Activities In Pakistan" in The International Conference on
Soldiers in Business-Military as an Economic Actor; Jakarta, October
17-19, 2000). Hence, do not try to think of Pakistan without its army,
irrespective of who rules that country temporarily and nominally. At
least 70% of the market capitalisation of the Karachi stock exchange
is owned by the army and related groups.
4. There are three groups in India, who are obsessed with friendship
with Pakistan. One is the oldies born in that part before partition
and who are nostalgic about the Lahore havelis, halwas and mujras. The
second is the Bollywood and other assorted groups, who look at it as a
big market. The Dawood gang has financed enough of these useful
idiots. The third is the candle light holding bleeding heart liberals
(BHLs) who cannot imagine India doing well without its younger brother
taken care. All three have been proved wrong hundreds of times, but
they are also opinion makers. Shun them, avoid them and ridicule them.
5. We should categorically, unambiguously, unequivocally boycott
Pakistan in all aspects for a decade or more. Be it art, music,
economy, commerce, or other hand-holding activities. That
army-controlled state has to realise that it has done enough damage to
global civilisation. More than 100 acts/attempts of terror recorded in
the world since 9/11 have had their roots in Pakistan. More than 40%
of the prisoners in Guantanamo are Pakistanis.
6. We should recognise that it is our war and nobody in the world is
going to wage it on our behalf. What the Americans are thinking, or
what the Britishers are going to do will not help. A determined
country should have a sense of dignity and independence to fight its
We should stop interviewing leaders from that country who mouth the
same inanities that "you have not produced any proof." Government of
India should perhaps create a museum of proof between India Gate and
I am amazed that a country of billions is required even to furnish
proof. If one-sixth of humanity says that the terrorist state of
Pakistan is the root cause of global terrorism - it is factual. Let us
not fall into the trap of providing proof to the culprits.
7. We should realise that a united Pakistan is a grave threat to the
existence of India. Hence, we should do everything possible to break
up Pakistan into several units. This is required to be done not only
for our interest, but for world peace.
8. We have made a grave blunder by suggesting in the international
fora that "Pakistan is also a victim of terror." That is a grave error
and it will haunt us for decades. They are perpetrators and our
government is in deep illusion if it tries to distinguish between
organs of power in that country thinking it is like India. There is
only one organ, namely its army (with ISI as a sub-organ) in that
country, which owns and controls at least 70% of the GDP in that
If we want the world to treat Pakistan for what it is, then we should
start practising it. Always call it the 'terrorist state of Pakistan'
and never have any illusion that it is going to be any different. If
corporate India, including electronic/ print media, starts practising
this, we should see results in a few years. Are the elites listening?
The writer is professor of finance and control, Indian Institute of
Management - Bangalore, and can be contacted at vaidya@iimb. ernet.in.
Views are personal.
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