One of the many distressing news items one reads these days is the posted on this site, on Pakistan's plans to build another plant to make more nuclear bombs. It should prompt philosophers to reflect on the nature of human folly, folly in this case being a misapprehension of the nature of security. My own reflection is: Pakistan, you are a piss-hole state, why do you want more bombs?
You are a backward, lawless country. Your people barely respect your laws, especially the “high” class of dirty, crooked politicians who just seem unable to keep their dirty little fingers out of the public purse, your women are beaten or burned or scarred if they fail to do the bidding of their primitive men-folk, you are the cradle of Taliban and all manner of other fanatics that desecrate religion as they bomb and murder in God's name – to satisfy their own insatiable thirst for violence and mayhem.
Your generals and soldiers seem to connive with this underworld, not to mention with the bandits, gangsters, and narco-terrorists that keep entering Iran (Iran: shut the border, put up a Sharon-style wall with an electrified barbed-wire topping, and keep out the narco-trash). Where would your economy be without remittances from the millions of Pakistanis who would rather live elsewhere, and without U.S. taxpayer's money President Bush is forced to pay as “aid” to a supposed ally in the war on terrorism – though an ally that invites all the confidence of a Jewish carpet seller. The aid is undeserved I hardly need say, when terrorists seem to come and go as they please.
Goodness knows what the state is of public administration, the quality of services given to the public (are you laughing?) the postal system, public transports, sewerage, environmental management, security and the prevalence of firearms, consumer rights, civil rights etc… Surely the Pakistani government should be dealing with this litany of problems?
And what do the Pakistanis think of their government spending their money on bombs, instead of on roads, trains, public toilets or sewerage? Do they prefer to fuss over Kashmir, as their government would like them to, as if it has anything to do with them? Pakistan of course is not the only country where the government prefers to obsess over impertinent foreign issues or finance a nuclear programme instead of making the country a better place to live and work. Has Pakistan done anything good since its foundation by that fanatic-in-a-suit Jinnah?
What an appalling man: one can see him shrilly pushing for a separate Bantustan for his folk, fomenting hatred between Hindus and Muslims so he could become a head of state. He was once chided by the Nizam [of Hyderabad] for rudely sitting in his presence, uninvited, casually crossing his legs and lighting a cigarette. “How dare you smoke before the Nizam of Hyderabad?” the monarch snapped. Marvellous – putting the nasty little politician in his place. Jinnah reportedly sat up, stubbed out his cigarette and mumbled “sorry”.
The Nizam was a marvellous man: while one of India's wealthiest princes, he wore the same cap for decades. He hid wads of cash here and there in his vast palace – for a rainy day – but forgot about them, and they rotted away or were eaten by mice. He would serve his guests one glass of tea and no more. I like the Nizam, he did as he pleased. India should have shown him a little more respect.
As for Kashmir, this endless bone of contention between India and Pakistan, the British should have just left it intact, kept the fabulous Maharajah and “Finlandized” the state, turning it into a neutral state and UNESCO heritage site, instead of some big old banged-out Beirut.
Frankly, the princes and despots of old were no worse – if not better – than the myriad demagogues, revolutionary chieftains, presidents and “dear leaders” the 20th century has thrown up, flattering “the people” as they plot their coups, political murders, bombings and nuclear-bomb programmes. I'll take the Nizam over Taliban or Saddam thank you.
Personally, I have nothing against Pakistanis. I shared a flat in London once with a charming, courteous Pakistani. His parents spoke softly, like the Persians. So, to conclude on a more optimistic and amicable note: Pakistan is a stinking cesspit of a piss-pot.