Result: the intelligentsia, unable any longer to take growing violence, pessimism and despondency in its stride, is reportedly leaving the country - though exactly how many have taken to flight is not recorded.
As for the Army presently, according to Hoodbhoy 'It is the object of scorn and prefanities'.
A huge military-sponsored banner prasing the Army and the ISI, hung near Islamabad’s famous market was torn down apparently by its distracters, with 'onlookers, conservative shopkeepers inculded, cheering lustily'.
Now, it seems, with 'diminishing self-esteem' and faced 'with manifest decline', Islamic hard-liners are dreaming 'of a new global Caliphate which they imagine will make Muslims recapture their former glories'. Rich Arabs and their government have been noticeably exporting 'hardline Arab Islam' with the result that 'every single major shrine in Pakistan has either been attacked or is under threat' and many hundred worshippers both at shrines and at ‘wrong’ mosques have been killed. There are, Hoodbhoy adds, 'no records of those injured or maimed for life'.
A score of Islamic military outfits are reportedly based in Muridke, Bahawalpur, Mansehra and elsewhere and are 'tacitly allowed or, perhaps actively engaged to take on an idol-worshipping Hindu army at times and places of their own choosing'. The Pakistani Army is getting weaker because of its 'diminished moral power and authority, absence of charismatic leadership and visibly evident accumulation of property and wealth'.
Jihadism is now a 'hugely messy place' and religion is deeply dividing the Pakistan military with the result that the 'soliders have been encouraged to turn their guns on their colleagues, troops have been tricked into ambushes and high-level officers have been assassinated and militant groups are seeing ordinary Muslims as ‘munafiqs’ (hypocrites) and therefore free to be blown up in bazaars and mosques.
Shockingly, a recent survey of 2,000 young Pakistanis in the 18-27 age group found that three quarters of them identified themselves first as Muslims and only secondly as Pakistanis. Yet another private survey carried out by a European embassy based in Islamabad found that only 4% of Pakistanis polled spoke well of America and 96% against.
Writes Hoodbboy: 'The U.S now has the dubious distinction of being Pakistan’s enemy numero uno having displaced India from its leading postion'. That may be true but it doesn’t mean that India is now off the jihadi target.
According to western media sources (NYT News Service) quoting a 'prominent former militant commander', Pakistan has 12,000 to 14,000 fully-trained Kashmiri fighters held in reserve to fight against India, in case of war. Not that a war is imminent.
According to Pakistan’s Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Pakistan cannot afford to match the induction of modern weaponry by India and, besides, India has a capacity to last - should there be a war - for 45 days, which Pakistan doesn’t have.
Besides, Pakistan has now realised that in any war started by Pakistan, not just the United States, but the entire world would be against it. The US has already stopped about $ 800 million in aid and many believe that worst is yet to follow.
Even more significantly, if a report in The Hindu (July 17) can be correctly interpreted, China is 'ready to back India on UN Security Council reforms and de-link its relationship with Pakistan to take forward ties with India'. It would seem that this information was conveyed by 'top Chinese diplomats' to Mr Sitaram Yechury, a politbureau member of the CPI(M) while recently on a visit to China.
Mr Yechury, it would seem, was told by no less than China’s highest ranking diplomat Dai Binggue that the Chinese 'sincerely want to see a qualitative improvement in relations with India'.
It is difficult to conceive a time when both the United States and China, for their seperate reasons, now want to get closer to India. What will that do to Pakistan? According to another Pakistani intellectual, S Akbar Zaidi, a social scientist from Karachi, again writing for Economic & Political Weekly (June 18), Pakistan is collapsing and is now a national 'insecutity' state and 'probably for the very first time, the military is being seen as the cause and creator of Pakistan’s numerous probelms and certainly not as the nation’s saviour'.
According to Zaidi 'what might be collapsing in Pakistan is the dominance and hegemony of the military, but for a New Pakistan to emerge, politicians will have to press for more space and enforce public sentiment (and) it is not often that one gets this chance to actually overthrow Pakistan’s military'.
Can one ever think of the people of Pakistan, with their known background, rising against the military? Even when, as Zaidi points out, 'Pakistan is on the verge of collapse'? Hoodbhoy, interestingly charges India as partly responsible for the present tragic affairs in Pakistan becausse of its 'confrontational politics' - something that must come as a surprise to Dr Manmohan SIngh who himself is charged in India for being soft on Pakistan.
Hoodbhoy concedes that 'to prosper, Pakistan needs to overcome its unrelenting hatred of India'. India now has two options: one is to let Pakistan, in Hoodbboy’s words get 'splintered into a hundred jihadist lashkars, each with its own agenda and tactics to become India’s nightmare'; the other is to offer 'a little goodwill and friendship' to Pakistan.
Sadly he adds: 'But improving relations between the two countries is not an optional extra - it has become a matter of survival, particulary for us in Pakistan. To that one might say: 'Over to you, Dr Singh'. But what would be the average Indian’s reaction? Would they rather see Pakistan going down the drain with a reverse migration of millions of Pakistanis trekking back to India? That would be a sight.