OK, i have to try. I have had well respected and highly knowledgeable people tell me after reading my Boko Harami post that we are better off in imperfect Pakistan than under the Khalsa. Since I had not claimed otherwise (in fact, had claimed exactly this) I must have been very unclear. I am going to try and explain. Anyone not concerned about this scenario building and hypothetical argument can relax and move on to the next post.
So, here is what I had written:
1. IF the army fails to change direction, Punjab will have a short but terrible religious apocalypse. It’s inevitable in Punjab because Pakistaniat and Islamiyat are widely established and there is simply no armed group that can match the Jihadis if the army is gone. But post-apocalypse, we can be saved by the Khalsa. By that I don’t mean the literal Khalsa of yore, I just mean that once shariah law and jihadi rule is discredited (as it inevitably will be), Sikh rule may be the nearest palatable alternative, perhaps under overall Indian control. We can all hope and pray it does not come to that.
I thought it was pretty clear that these are NOT my wish list of some sort. These are all things that MAY happen AFTER the shit hits the fan, if the Pak army does not change course. I am not the first one to say that the Pak army should have taken the chance (and the money) to actually change course in 2001. The course we were on in the 1990s was one that would lead inevitably to a massive war with India (desired by the course creators) and Islamic revolution in Pakistan (desired only by the BokoHaramist faction of the army, but unwittingly facilitated by the moron faction in their eagerness to win objective number one). I should add that massive war with India (problem enough, given that both countries have large, if not always competently led, nuclear-armed armies) would not have been confined to India. The conflagration being prepared (and not widely known; “need to know basis”) would have involved central Asia, Russia, China and the worldcop of the day in various combinations.
Anyway, so I made it as clear as I could that we are talking here about things that may happen IF the army does not change course. I continue to hope (and even to be somewhat optimistic) that the corrupt ruling elite of Pakistan will not prove suicidal and will actually adjust to “ground realities” (of course, they can lie and dissemble along the way, that is par for the course for ANY corrupt ruling elite). But, just as a POSSIBLE scenario; what would happen if the army were unable to cut away from the Jihadis and in time became so internally confused etc etc that they actually give up (or join the Jihadis)? Well, there are four major ethnic/cultural divisions that are recognized and familiar in Pakistan. Without worrying about details (for example, New Sindhi versus Old Sindhi) what, or rather who will establish law and order in these states if NOT the jihadis? (or after the Jihadis have their fill and go up in smoke)?
THEN, I pointed to 4 different possible scenarios. And I have no great illusions about any of them. Just as a random example, an educated and well established Khalistani Sikh once told my father (in all seriousness) that Giani Zail Singh (then President of India) used to have sex with Indira Gandhi and that is why Zail Singh was loyal to her. Sikh religious fanatics and their fights over beards and calendars and what not are well known, as are their own internal divisions and extremely variable levels of Hindu-phobia. Sikh efforts to enforce blasphemy laws against those who insult Sikhism are less famous (justifiably, since other people are less affected by them) than Islamic blasphemy laws, but are, if anything, more competent and effective. And so on and so forth. In any case, the Islamic apocalypse that would precede any Khalsa rescue would be reason enough to regard this as a VERY unpleasant and undesirable path to salvation. So please, this was not meant as some utopian fantasy of Punjabi nationhood and greatness. It was much simpler than that. Ideas AND armed men hold nations in place. Left wing Americans owe their existence as Americans as much to the US army as right wing nuts. So, to sum up, here are the steps in that line of thought:
1. SUPPOSE Pak army fails to secure Pakistan.
2. There is no armed force or ideology in Muslim Punjab that can resist a go at full Boko Haramism in that case.
3. Boko Haramism will destroy the place, either as internal collapse or (more likely) as internal disorder followed by external war.
4. POST-apocalyptic Punjab (a messy, murderous mess) will need someone to re-establish order.
5. Sikh rule will be more palatable and practical than almost any other.
It was a scenario. The way Mushie and his generals played “war-games”, we can play ours. It was neither a desire nor a prediction that this is bound to happen. It was a “what if”…