Islamabad: An editorial in a Pakistan daily has said the Pakistan Army’s adoption of the doctrine of jihad and its creation of non-state jihadi warriors has permitted more centres of power than the state can sustain.
The editorial states that the civilian ruling elite in Pakistan is innovative about the dysfunctional India-centric aspects of nationalism, but it is not able to interfere in the gradually hardening religious ideology of the state.
Neither they nor the Pakistan Army can prevent the ideological leadership of the state from passing to the Taliban and al Qaeda, it adds.
Fear of the Pakistan Army once informed the thinking of civilian institutions; now fear of the non-state actor trumps that fear and lowers the Pakistan Army’s stature, the editorial states.
According to the editorial, Pakistani nationalism, like all nationalisms, is based on the ‘group feeling’ that people living inside a state must possess. It is used by the state to create unity, solidarity and patriotism, which must result in a national effort to create prosperity and good life.
But each nationalism has some exceptional aspects. To create internal unity, states may use the threat of an external enemy or even create an external enemy if it is not present.
It states that Pakistani nationalism has two exceptional aspects, both aimed at creating internal unity and cohesion: fear of India as ‘external enemy’, and religion. And both tend to be coercive. This affects the quality of the ‘social contract’ behind the legitimacy of the state by rendering it partly non-voluntary.
The editorial states that the Pakistan Army today is repository of Pakistani nationalism. It dominates all the institutions of the state and has taken longer to effect an internal reconsideration of its India-centred nationalism than the civilian political elite.
The nationalism Pakistan has adopted, positing victory over an undefeatable India, can only cause it to damage Pakistan further, the editorial added.