Some Comments on Jim Mattis View on Pak Politics

Jim Mattis, the former US Secretary of Defense with a decade of experience in interacting with Pakistan leadership claims in his book “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead” that Pakistan’s political culture has an active self-destructive streak.

“Pakistan was a country born with no affection for itself, upward mobility and self enrichment were the key drivers, and there was an active self-destructive streak in its political culture,” he said, in the sense that everyone is working for themselves at the cost of the collective good and the State.”

Some Comments:

Taha Hassan: Accurate in the context of current discussions.

Sarwar Haseen: It’s a fact. Rather than being pure political, and depending on peoples opinion,
they feel safe to side with the Army and for this they go to any length.

Amjad Pervez: I think his analysis is based largely by his upbringing in the west where self independence is worshiped more than our culture. We are more of tribal/ bradri based society where the tribe and its interests supersede that of a nation. Our problem is that we see the state as the head of a collective bradarees/clans which must provide EVERYTHING to its members. In my opinion where we need to be is “Less government “ but more “What we can do for the state”. That’s a lot of cultural and structural shift.

Zaeem Siddiqui: I agree with all that has been said; in my two cents humble opinion and without taking a multidimensional approach, if we only focus on Police and somehow succeed to rectify the Pakistan Police, I believe our 50% to 60% problems will be resolved gradually then. The challenge is, we need to work in multidimensions (up and down streams) to achieve this because without the support of the establishment, politicians, and common people this won’t be possible.

S. Mahmud Ali: Pakistan was not alone in this experience. In addition – compared to the Mughal/British-fashioned “India”, Pakistan was created with no historical memory, association or self-awareness. Its initial leadership was provided by elites who arrived from Oudh and Mumbai or Gujarat – who were driven by the urge to forge a new Muslim but also modern/secular state. They lacked local roots or popularity or support base. Just read the book by the AMC Col. Bakhshi, Quaid-e-Azam’s personal physician, about Mr Jinnah’s return from Ziarat to Karachi to see how the rulers of the country he created treated him as he lay dying at the Karachi Airport. That is an aspect of Pakistan few talk about.

Mattis also termed Pakistan as the “ most dangerous” country in the world for its nuclear capabilities, government dysfunction and continuing radicalization.

Sharing an excerpt from a note forwarded today. Posting it here is not an endorsement but meant for discussions sake.

Mattis’ book –#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, was originally published in Sept., 2019.