So, the ‘sovereign’ Parliament has constituted a panel to oversee the establishment of new provinces in Punjab.  Instead of devising new methods to unite, they have been tasked to come up with new tricks to divide. 

Who gave them the licence to dismantle what they have not built?  But for Pakistan, they all may have ended up being underlings to Brahmins.  Unity – one of the prescribed foundational pillars of Pakistan – what happened to it?

The most-acclaimed movie of 2011 was the Best Foreign Picture Oscar winner from Iran (“A Separation”), wherein family members are desperately striving amidst conflicting pressures to avoid separating from each other. In 2012 in Pakistan, politicians are doing their utmost to seek separation. 

When America was facing secession 150 years ago during its civil war, the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln – the man most responsible for saving the Union – declared: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” 

One may query whose agenda is being served? An impartial diagnosis of the 1971 debacle, along with identifying who stood to benefit from it, would have prevented today’s plague of provincialism.

A column in the Wall Street Journal of March 9, 2011, is worth citing and pondering.  It advocates, to quote verbatim, “rearranging the basic building blocks of Pakistan…….This means backing provincial autonomy and linguistic identify as an alternative to the centralised pan-Islamism.”

The drive for new provinces will not just halt there.  It could be a pathway to a polarised polity, which may well be irreversible. 

In 65 years, after being unable to liberate Kashmir – despite applicable UN resolutions – from the illegitimate hold of India, some, it now appears, are playing proxy to foster separatist sentiments within Pakistan.

There is the example of a shattered Yugoslavia.  And, in the Muslim world, there are two significant examples: of East Timor, being detached from the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, and South Sudan, sliced away from Sudan, the biggest nation in Africa, both through referendums. 

Then, there is this illusion of important democratic process underway back home.  A third-rate setup cannot be expected to produce first-class results.  It is hollow with an empty style of democracy without the solid steel of governance.

The dangers of letting loose a locust-like swarm of separatism and sectarianism are not being fully grasped.  Then, too, the so-called “champions of change” have chosen to go with the flow.

Are the steps currently underway to fragment the nation into smaller units in furtherance of the Quaid’s concept of unity? Those partaking in any panel or plan to sub-divide the nation shall be joining the everlasting roster of shame. 

In testimony on February 8, 2012, before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the US Congress, Ralph Peters, a US military analyst, said: “We need to ask honestly why Balochis are not entitled to a Free Balochistan, why the Pashtuns…….are not entitled to a Pakhtunkhwa for all Pashtuns…….it’s time to abandon Pakistan and switch our support wholeheartedly to India.”

The poisoned environment of Fifth Column obscurantism prevents the march toward clarity and quality.

The “friends” of Pakistan must be laughing hard.

 The writer is an attorney-at-law and policy analyst based in Washington DC. He is the first Pakistani American member admitted to the US Supreme Court Bar.Email: mowahid@aol.com