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Pakistan uses Islamic militants: Rashid

Pakistan has become an "abnormal" and ISI-driven entity which uses Islamic militants to pursue its defence and foreign policy goals, Ahmed Rashid said.



Washington: Pakistan has become an "abnormal" and ISI-driven entity which uses Islamic militants to pursue its defence and foreign policy goals, an eminent
Pakistani writer has said.

"Pakistan has become an abnormal state that uses Islamic militants, jihadi groups, non-state actors in addition to diplomacy and trade to pursue its defence and foreign
policies," Ahmed Rashid says in his forthcoming book.

The book `Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan` by Viking of the Penguin Group is slated to hit the market on March 19.

In his book running into more than 230 pages, Rashid says that these non-actors, who are groomed and sheltered by the
ISI, have deeply antagonized Pakistan`s neighbors, all of whom have at one time or another, felt the pressure.

Rashid argues that to win trust at home and abroad, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani needs to immediately reform the ISI.

"Pakistan must act as a normal state, rather than a paranoid, insecure, ISI-driven entity whose operational norms are to use extremists and diplomatic blackmail. The ISI has become a state within a state and must be put under civilian control," Rashid says.

A normal state would put civilians in charge; it would employ diplomacy, nuance, and flexibility; it would view its own national security as interconnected with that of its neighbors and allies; and it would, as its first and primary task, deradicalise its own society, he writes.

"But normality is not what we have in Pakistan. To function as a normal state, Pakistanis desperately need a new narrative from their leaders, one that does not perpetually blame the evergreen troika of "India, the United States, and Israel" for its own ills," Rashid says.

Rashid, who has written several books including `Descent into Chaos` now being considered as one of the standard
reference books on the region`s recent history, in his latest book writes that the ISI continues to allow the retired
military class and a handful of extremist intellectuals to publicly advocate near lunatic ideas.

PTI

From Zee News

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