An expectant nation waited for days before PM Imran Khan’s
maiden speechat the UNGA on the 27th of this month. A young anchorperson said
thattowards the end his eyes were filled with tears. So many others expressed
the same emotion.
The speech was hailed as “historic” by many a media house in Pakistan. From that
young anchorperson, Osama Ghazi, to the ‘Chairman Standing Committee of the
Senate on Foreign Affairs’, Mushahid Hussain and a famous commentator Dr. Shahid
Masoud, everyone seemed visibly moved by the speech. The heart-rendingstory of
the oppressed Kashmiris suffering untold atrocities at the hands of the Indian
occupation forces was bound to stir those emotions.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on taking over had warned the world
about the Nazis who were not only a threat to England, but the entire humanity
including a far-flung United States. He was right. Imran Khan did the same. His
speech was not a hate-spewing, war-mongering rhetoric. He was expressing a
genuine worry, a global concern posed by another fascist.Modi’s arrogance
continues unabated. That is pushing us to the edge of the precipice.A war
between two nuclear powers is very much a possibilitywith itsinfinite
repercussions for the entire world. That is what the PM said and said it with
all the sincerity.
Some avowed IK antagonists did murmur disagreement, meek and apologetic.Perhaps
they, according to Hazarat Ali (RA), were compelled to speak the language of the
wealth that controlled their pens and tongues. Similarly, the political
opposition on the whole lacked passion and convictionand was found even below
parits usual mediocrity. Bilawal has a subtle sense of humour. He made everyone
smile by saying that he was not satisfied with the speech. The rest, including
the Indians’ counter speech at the UNGA were amereroutine.
The most important aspect is the impact a speech creates. The experts say that
it is not the knowledge that a speaker gives but what his audience perceive that
matters. This impact is unpredictable and unquantifiable, an intangible like,
honour, peace andcalm. This intangible is also controlled by God. “Oh Allah…You
honour whom You will and You humble whom You will”. (3:26)
All those who pursue a normal career and achieve a position that is not
inherited know that success does not result from hard work alone. Destiny or
luck plays a predominant role in shaping careers of successful men and women. It
is that invisible hand that seems to move ahead clearing all the minefields,
removing all the obstacles and bridging all the gaps in the way of the ultimate.
This is neither predestination nor luck. These are the mysteries of the
No ‘luck’ by astrological definition can remain constantly favourable. It is the
grace of God that bestows power and honour and makes people rise beyond their
potential. Those who realize this truth and are gratefulto God while in
power,acquit themselves with honour. The ungrateful meet with repentance and
disgrace.In some professions people become consciousness of the ultimate power
sooner than in others. Soldering during conflict is one. Professional sports are
another. One is constantly on trial. Every moment of consequence seems to open
new vistas of belief and wonder. Other professions also have the element of the
unknown, but it requires greater wisdom and sensitivity to realize the truth.
Small warning signs escape attention and often it is too late in the day to make
amendments. That is why soldiers and sportsmen seem addicted toexclamations like
‘Inshah Allah’, ‘God willing’ and ‘if everything went according to the plans’,
etc., more than a politician or a diplomat. It is because they learn that ‘if
you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans and if you want to further amuse
Him, tell Him how strong you are’. The power of the intangibles makes the wise
conscious of their limitations.
The wise is always alive to the powers of God. Heconstantly invokesHis blessings
and never sounds as cocksure as the ordinary often do; like someone saying, ‘we
will kick this government out’. God is God, the statement will not fail to amuse
even a poor mortal.
Like the physical laws that govern the functioning of the universe, the
spiritual laws based on ethics, morals and scruples play an equally important
role in the life of individuals and nations. Those who ignore the spiritual come
‘There is no God but God’, is a conviction that is universally admitted asan
indomitable and unparalleled motivating factor.Itturns man into a true
vicegerent of God on earth, fearless, independent truthful and honest. IK’s
strong expression of his beliefs inspires the people of Pakistan.
The crucial question is, what next? The veteran soldiers rule out the use of
force because of our obvious disadvantages in the conventional comparative
strength ratios. Pakistan’s strategy is defensive. But if provoked we will
respond strongly. However, the existence of nuclear arsenal on both sides cannot
be easily brushed aside. At the same time men in uniform have known other covert
and overt methods to put physical pressure on the enemy. Nothing stops Pakistan
from adopting one or more of such methods.
Exterior maneuver built on diplomacy, and techniques of fifth generation
warfareis a viable option. There is no ready-made roadmap so to speak. The
government will have to create a think-tank,in or outside the Foreign Affairs
Division based on genuine intellectuals, similar to the one established by the
British Navy in World War Two to find an answer to the menace of German U-Boats.
Modi’s fascism needs to be countered with more than conventional mechanism.
(Major General (retd) Askari Raza Malik is author of the book, ‘Pakistan in
Search of a Messiah’)