Pakistan and the Curse of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

More evidence is emerging that Pakistan’s security establishment is not an omnipotent presence, but rather the victim of what might be called the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice Syndrome,” from Goethe’s classic tale about the dangers of conjuring up proxies one cannot ultimately control. That some of the jihadi forces Pakistan has long directed to do mayhem against others have now turned against it is a predicament, which has important ramifications for the approach India’s new government adopts toward its most vexatious neighbor.

Read the rest of the essay at Fair Observer.

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One thought on “Pakistan and the Curse of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  1. Well I think the artcle by David Jkarl clearly re-maps what we know about militancy, extremism and terror networks in Pakistan, and in this part of the world.
    It was only after 9/11 that USA and Western nations started bearing the brunt of terror/militant action.
    We also know for decades that extremist groups fighting for a homeland or a cause have invariably found refuge and support in Western Democracies.
    Even dictators and crooks have found refuge in the Western Democracies, all with their siphoned off money and ill gotten wealth, living in posh neighbourhoods in these democracies with 7 star life styles.

    We also know that with respect to Pakistan and connected Afghanistan, the groups called now terrorists, militants and extremists were raised, trained, funded and supported by USA and Pak Govts in the war in Afghanistan against Soviet Occupation.Then they were freedom fighters!

    That really is the crux of the problem-today’s terrorists were and were/are somebody else’s freedom fighters.

    The world has not come to a commonly understood methodology to deal with such issues.Political and economic expediency and narrow national interests have dominated the way that such issues are dealt with.
    9/11 changed all that.It was no more a problem of the Third World alone and it had suddenly appeared in the door step of countries who lectured all on Human Rights, elected democratic systems and Western value systems.

    My litany in short is that, it is not the Pak Security establishment actions alone that has made it the victim of the “Socerers Apprentice Systems”.The world itself is a victim of the “Socerers Apprentice System” because of political and economic expediency, and follies of Security establishments across the World.

    Dwelling in the past serves little gains, unless it leads to change in attitudes and postures.At this time of writing it does not seem to have sunk in the World Capitals, that time is running out.
    It seems the world is still yet continuing with obselete notions of National Security as a geographically centered issue.

    The bloody carnage in West Asia just a few days back is a symptom of that.
    While the US displayed its traditional double speak on the Palestinian issue and the UN and Security Council continued to whistle in the dark, Israel instigated by some ineffectual rocket and missile firing Hamas, went ahead with a merry go round of no holds barred killing and blood letting that, that made the world sit up in shock and horror.
    Only when the toll of Israeli soldiers threatened to touch 3 figures, that Israel withdrew.
    Continued presence in Gaza and Rafa would have been suicidal given Hamas demonstrated capability to pick of 5 to 10 Israeli soldiers a day.

    Well in Pakistan, I reckon the Army and the ISI, will finally win the battle against the militants, terrorists and enemies of the state within.
    The genie that got let loose in the war against the Soviets may finally be persuaded to go back into the bottle!
    However I see decades of strife, suicidal bombings and bolder militant actions before that happens.

    In the last 6 months we have seen how strong men like Putin and Netyanhu having been pushed into a corner by their own actions.Starting any strong arm action is easy, but it needs the opponent to agree to a closure, it cannot be done unilaterally.

    While I endorse the “zero tolerance” to terror and hostile actions, I would not recommend that India unilaterally translate the posture into military action.
    What has been the policy of restraint exercised by successive Indian Govts despite serious provocations from the Pak side of the border both from non-State and State actors, will I think be continued with.
    Starting an across border punitive action, may not be controllable unilaterally.
    Once the non-state actors across the border gets involved, they will determine when it will end and not the two Govts.
    As Hamas has shown, these groups are not get overly concerned about, huge losses of innocent civilian life.

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