Pakistan: Imperialism and the All-Party Circus

As if the catastrophic effects of terrorism, flooding, violence, the dengue plague and other innumerable disasters were not enough, the ruling elite and its brash media has hyped up the empty imperialist provocations and vague threats, adding to the mental trauma the masses were already suffering in Pakistan.

Hysteria has been built up to whip up chauvinism and create a nationalistic fervour with overtones of religious bigotry. If the Pakistani ruling classes create even greater distractions to divert the attention of the masses away from the intense socio-economic disaster they have to endure, the US elite has no less dread of the consequences of the economic mess they have made in America. The workers and youth of America are going through the worst crisis and tribulations for generations.

US imperialism is losing the war in Afghanistan. But the irony is that the defeat is not a short lived event that could end this bloodshed and devastation. It is a protracted war of attrition to which there seems to be no end in sight. In the process it is draining the blood and finances of American working class youth, the soldiers on the ground who are dying on the altar of the profits of corporate America and the imperialist insatiable lust for hegemony and domination of the planet. In this madness the devastation and bloodshed of the suffering people of Afghanistan and the adjoining areas of Pakistan is gargantuan. Innumerable innocent men, women, children are being slaughtered, which is deemed so-called “collateral damage” which nobody really bothers to estimate. The American writer and politician Gore Vidal once commented that the US is a republic with one bourgeois party with two right wings. The political elite are attempting to laugh away the economic crisis they cannot avoid or overcome and also the lingering defeat that is staring them in the face. A hue and cry about the involvement of Pakistan in the Taliban insurgency is being raised by the US generals in frustration at the consistent military failures they are suffering at the hands of a ragtag of fanatics who are propped up not only by drug money and sections of the ISI but also by some of the reactionary Arab despots, who ironically happen to be long standing allies of US imperialism.

Threats by US generals and the vague denials by the State Department and the White House expose the bitter conflicts between the different institutions of the US state. The threat of a full scale attack or invasion of Pakistan starting with North Waziristan would be extremely arduous if not catastrophic to execute for an already debilitated and demoralised US military. Firstly, when did the US strategists not know about the connections and links of the ISI with these obscurantist terrorist groups? It was in fact the CIA and the Saudi intelligence agency that designated and funded the ISI for the job three decades ago. They also helped to construct the networks of drug cartels and criminal mafias to finance the jihad. Since the US invasion in 2001 this has been more or less an open secret. The hysterical agitation of the right-wing US politicians calling for an end to aid to Pakistan to force it to cease its support for the Taliban, along with the fear-mongering on the part of Pakistan’s liberal elite about the calamity such a blockade of ‘aid’ would produce, is a deception and facade.

US ‘aid’ is always exclusively handed out for imperialist interests. In 1957 the US Secretary of State acclaimed Pakistan as a ‘bulwark of freedom in Asia’, but the Committee of Foreign Relations had no qualms about the purposes of the ‘aid’. Its report of 12 March 1957 said, “Technical Assistance is not something to be done, as a Government enterprise, for its own sake and not for the sake of others. The US Government is not a charitable institution... Technical Assistance is only one of the number of instruments available to the US to carry out its foreign policy and promote its national interests abroad... these tools of foreign policy include economic aid, military assistance, security treaties, overseas information programmes, participation in the UN and other international organisations, the exchange of persons programmes, tariff and trade policies, surplus agricultural commodities disposal policies and the traditional processes of diplomatic representation.” This has always been and always will be the real character of American aid, till and until the capitalist system and the imperialist foundations of the USA remain and are not overthrown by the American proletariat and youth.

The reaction of the Pakistan’s ruling elite and its state apparatus if farcical to say the least. Firstly, there was the usual denial of ISI involvement that reflects the culture of hypocrisy and deceit characteristic of our ruling classes and imposed upon a dearth ridden society. Then there was the so called “All parties Conference”, that was more of a circus of the political elite and the state institutions. It was a mockery of the highest order. It could never resolve anything or devise any serious policy guidelines. All parties present had one thing in common: they had the same economic agenda and programme of aggressive capitalism. The display of national unity was another flop. The curtailed and truncated nature of the Pakistani nation is proof of the historical failure of the ruling class and capitalism to complete its historical tasks. The national question and exploitation is a festering wound of this tragic land. It has not and cannot be resolved within the confines of the present system and the state. The anti-imperialist rhetoric was meek and deceptive. In reality it was a theatre of the absurd on a non-issue around which the political representatives of various sections of Pakistan’s ruling classes were gathered to portray a false gesture of a beleaguered unity. Never has an APC been called or attended by the elite politicians to discuss and resolve the real issues that afflict society. They do not discuss as they are aware that their economic policies and politics cannot even begin to resolve the problems of poverty, unemployment, heath, education, infrastructure, crime, violence, misery and the crumbling economy that is ravaging this tragic land.

The Islamists and the right wing are crying hoarse against Americanism not because they have any serious anti-imperialist agenda, but they are complaining of losing the status of “most favoured” from the imperialists. Being based on capitalism, no politics can break the yoke of imperialist slavery. It can only be done by another historical class, the proletariat, by the overthrow of capitalism in Pakistan which breeds germs of imperialist control. Only through a revolution can imperialist plunder be decisively abolished.