Google+ Consumer Psyche: Open letter to the PM


Monday, December 29, 2008

Open letter to the PM

Scores of journalists have published details of the terror network including names and addresses and every time, the Pakistani government has brazenly denied them. Don’t forget it denied the existence of its nuclear programme, too, for years. How can you expect it to suddenly confess, when for most of the previous two decades, ISI and Pakistan’s army have nurtured jihadis to fight its proxy wars in Kashmir and Afghanistan? Today, the monster is so big that ISI can’t control it even if it wants to.

Even with the most sophisticated intelligence and security systems, history suggests that you cannot stop an indoctrinated suicide bomber. But that doesn’t mean we don’t put those systems in place, at least to serve as deterrents to many more who would otherwise be tempted to take a shot. Convince the nation, give us one good reason to believe that such an attack won’t happen again.

We don’t need a Rambo today, so please don’t attack Pakistan in the heat of the moment, for we all know the limits of hard power after the US misadventure in Iraq. Can you not pour money into technology and arm our security agencies (the Chinese spent $6 billion on security during the Olympics alone), invest in setting up a highly sophisticated counter-intelligence agency, get the Mossad to train our commandos, step up the diplomatic offensive at every forum to isolate Pakistan and, most importantly, come down heavily on corruption at all levels, starting with your cabinet? Can you not ensure simple reforms in the criminal justice system (which scores of committees such as Malimath have outlined) to ensure certainty of punishment for any offence from pickpocketery to terror? Can you not lead legislation to keep criminals out of politics and try to stem the flow of illegal money into campaign funding?

If not, then what use is it being a prime minister if, even after reaching the very top, you can’t do a damn in an hour of national crisis? Soon, all this will be forgotten and it will be back to business as usual. But then, history will judge you. If you have some conscience left, please do something. Don’t forget, “mind without heart, intelligence without conduct, cleverness without goodness are all tools, but only for mischief”.

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