Doing Enough: Pakistan’s New Security Doctrine

By J. J. Baloch


Accusing Pakistan of not doing more, the Trump administration suspended $ 2 billion security assistance to Pakistan in the opening month of current year. While addressing  Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2018 this month, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa unfolded the ethos of Pakistan’s new security doctrine. Head of Pakistan’s military took an esteemed stance by making it clear to the world that Pakistan has done enough and the global community needs to do more now. The security analysts at RUSI, UK, referred General’s candid stance as the “Bajwa Doctrine“. The doctrine underscored many elements of Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy which are highlighted in the following paragraphs.

Roots of Terrorism in Pakistan: Pakistan was a peaceful and progressive country in the 1960s but the 1970s decade proved disastrous for Pakistan as the events like secession of Bangladesh in 1971, followed by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Islamic revolution in Iran took place in late 1970s. The breakup of Pakistan did not affect our society as deeply as the cataclysmic changes in our neighbouring Muslim countries did! A war was inflicted on us on the grounds of religion and sectarianism; before this, we never knew that as a Muslims we were either Sunnis or Shias.

War made in the USA: With the help of Western free world, our Madrassas became centres of new ideological dozes under the new insertion of the exceptional clause of fighting in self-defence. Pakistan defeated al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban,  Bait-ul-Ahrar and other outlawed militant groups. Young Muslims were recruited, radicalized and then disowned when they won a success for us. Many people were empowered with wealth and power and we can’t just whisk them away as we are reaping what we sowed 40 years ago. It is naive to presume that the USA is not alive to this open secret.

Pakistan’s Sacrifices in War: Pakistan army has waged a bloody and relentless war against terrorism and extremism at the monumental human and material cost. Over 35000 Pakistanis have lost their lives and 48,000 critically wounded and its economic cost exceeds $ 250 billion US dollars. The only fraction of this loss has been shared by our global partners. Though this war has caused colossal damage to our society and statehood, yet it has redefined our resolve and has gone too far in uniting and cementing our nation. Many blocks of ice of isolation, alienation, desolation, violence, corruption, division and dearth are melting now in Pakistan, making the Indus saga fertile with the new spirit of sacrifice, new ideas, new patriotism, new social bonding and new hope.


Terrorist Sanctuaries in Afghanistan:  Terrorists have sanctuaries in Afghanistan, from where attacks are being coordinated against Pakistan. Afghanistan’s instability and internal insecurity hurt Pakistan because it is being used by the terrorists for carrying out their terrorist activities in Pakistan, misusing our hospitality. In 2017 out of 130 terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s areas bordering Afghanistan, 123 were conceived, planned and executed from inside Afghanistan. We do not blame them because we understand the predicament of the Afghan government, but all this is happening despite the presence of our strategic NATO alliance in Afghanistan.

Western Failure in Afghanistan: The causes of the failure of NATO strategy is not the presence of Haqqani network or Afghan Taliban but a pursuit of a wrong strategy that despite spending $ 1.4 trillion US dollars, the situation can best be described as “stalemate”. It is time to look into the causes of NATO failure and make exhaustive audit into the situation instead of the blame game. It is very important for NATO strategists and scenarioists to learn that there is no universal war strategy, that there must be a difference between eliminating terrorists and genocide or territorial conquests. It is really strange for a theorist to develop a framework of such strategy that is designed establish imperialism in the name of building peace or how a peace industry of the West works well in the impeace of Afghanistan where natives are still to understand the real meaning of peace and order.

Importance of Border Fencing: It serves two purposes; it not only prevent criminal elements to enter Pakistan from Afghan side but also deter same from Pakistan side. Pakistan is ready to cooperate for peace and stability in Afghanistan, however, joint efforts by all the countries to eradicate the menace of terrorism are the need of the hour. In this regard, Pakistan has undertaken fencing of its border with Afghanistan and that elimination of terrorism requires global cooperation. Afghanistan and Pakistan are two sovereign nations and have right to development and they must ensure that their soils are not used against each other.

National Action Plan: Pakistan is implementing National Action Plan (NAP), a national counterterrorism strategy under which actions have been taken not only against the terrorists but also against their financiers. Over 1100 Al-Qaida operatives killed in Pakistan and over 600 handed over to the US. Pakistan is instrumental in the war on terror as it has also brought diverse stakeholders on negotiating tables. No organised militant camp exists on Pakistani soil today.

Daesh Element: So far as we have been able to deny any foothold to Daesh (Islamic State) in Pakistan but Daesh militants’ regrouping in Afghanistan is going on and this is the threat for Afghanistan, Pakistan and global community as a whole. However, for time being our claim of Daesh having no foothold may not hold any longer as either political settlement of Islamic state with political regimes or their military defeats may drive them to Afghanistan or Pakistan that could be very challenging for us and we need to prepare for it well in advance.

Afghan Refugee Problem: There are 54 Afghan refugee camps housing 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan which are the major source of concern for Pakistan and there is the urgent need for their repatriation. Afghan refugee camps need to close now and National Action plan of Pakistan stresses this need. Confusion and indecision at the policy level are one of the many dysfunctions of our institutional approach to implementing National Action Plan provisions which is quite unequivocal in its diction to get Afghan refugees back to their country as Pakistan has done a lot for them.

Misconstructions of Jihadism: The only state can sanction Jihad and the clerics from all schools of thought in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world have issued a joint decree against terrorism and extremism in the name of religion. “There is no denying of the fact that a powerful concept such as Jihad can be easily misused for propagating extremism and terrorism, particularly as many Muslims world over are not only feeling alienated but disowned, targeted and devoid of positive expression.” “The present jihadism is a misnomer. Jihad is a high award concept that underlines struggle against the tyranny of all types. Muslims are taught that control of self is the most alleviated form of Jihad. There is also saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that the best of Jihad is a word of truth in the face of a tyrant ruler. On the other hand, Qital (fighting) and the aspect of armed Jihad comes at the lowest end of the spectrum of actions and beliefs that comprise the concept of Jihad and can only be sanctioned by a state authority and nobody else.”

Irrelevance of Caliphate in Pakistan: “The concept of the caliphate, which is more of a ‘nostalgic response’, rather than the actual possibility for most Muslims. In Pakistan, the notion of the caliphate has not found any traction.” The indoctrination of our vulnerable youth by Daesh elements on social media and internet cannot be ruled out and we need to ensure our stronger cyber control regimes by adapting to relevant legal measures, policy initiatives and enforcement mechanisms in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy: It is multipronged; it is not confined to military operations but includes generating public opinion against terrorists, placing better policing and prosecution, reforming education, curbing terror finance, controlling hate materials, cultivating religious and scholarly consensus on counter-narrative against terrorism, using media tool for disorienting the moral grounds the terrorists use, involving all stakeholders, offering complete cooperation to partners in war, gathering actionable intelligence and using reconciliatory tools wherever effective to diffuse volatile situations.

Analysing the speech of General Bajwa, Kamal Alam, a security analyst at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a leading British think-tank working in defence and international security, maintained “Pakistan has done more than enough to secure neighbouring Afghanistan, and is not intimidated by the threat of US funding cuts. Pakistan army under “Bajwa Doctrine” is biting back hard against threats issued by the American administration and far more confident than it was when the Americans threatened its then President, General Musharraf, to bomb Pakistan into the stone age if it didn’t comply with American demands. Pakistan army is now “battle-hardened after 17 years of war on its western frontier and regular skirmishes on its eastern border” and the world, in the shape of China, Russia, Turkey and Iran, have all come to Pakistan’s defence as America loses influence in Islamabad. Pakistan is now adamant that the time for American threats and directives is over. Days after Trump announced the freezing of aid, Pakistan announced it would trade in the Chinese Yuan, amidst reports that China was getting ready to open a naval base in Pakistan, its second overseas military base after Djibouti.”


“Our actions are constrained by capacity and not by will. Pakistan has played an instrumental role in destruction and dissemination of Al-Qaida from Afghanistan. The struggle continues but the threat is morphing”, the CAOS said closing his speech.  It is time for tit for tat and Pakistani nation should stand by their both civil as well as military leadership to take the decisions that serve our country’s interests. Enough is enough now.

The writer is the author of “Whiter than White” Novel and a Fellow of London School of Economics. He is a senior police officer at Police Service of Pakistan. 





Whiter than White by J.J. Baloch: Ratings, Reviews, Publicity and Availability

Whiter than White by J. J. Baloch is now available in every corner of the world. The author is receiving requests for its translations in different global languages. 

My Novel Cover Page

1. Russia

2. Netherland

3. United States of America

4. United Kingdom  

eBay wordery

5. Canada –

Indigo/ Rakuten Kobo

6. Belgium and Luxemburg

7. Germany

Whiter Than White

8. Spain

9. Denmark

10. Sweden

11. Norway

12. Estonia

13. Italy

14. New Zealand

15. Australia

at wounded women book and

16. Pakistan

Paramount Books




The Broken Windows Policing

J.J. Baloch


The Economist, January 27th, 2015, captions Broken Window Policing as “Cracking down on minor crimes are thought to prevent major ones”. The article further describes:

“The term ‘broken windows’ refers to an observation made in the early 1980s by Mr Kelling, a criminologist, and James Wilson, a social scientist, that when a building window is broken and left unrepaired, the rest of the windows will soon be broken too. An unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, they argued, and so breaking more windows costs nothing. More profoundly, they found that in environments where disorderly behaviour goes unchecked—where prostitutes visibly ply their trade or beggars accost passers-by—more serious street crime flourishes. This theory is supported by a number of randomized experiments. Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, for example, found that people were twice as likely to steal an envelope filled with money if it was sticking out of a mailbox covered in graffiti. What this means for law enforcement, Messrs Kelling and Wilson prescribed, is that when police officers keep streets orderly and punish even small signs of misbehaviour with a warning or an arrest, people will behave in a more orderly way”.

The surge in urban crime gave birth to zero tolerance on crime and on the causes of crime so describes the Economist report.

“When the “broken windows” theory was first published, urban crime was a seemingly uncontainable problem in America and around the world. But in the past two decades crime has fallen at an extraordinary rate. This change has been especially profound in New York City, where the murder rate dropped from 26.5 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 3.3 per 100,000 in 2013—lower than the national average. Plenty of theories have been concocted to explain this drop, but the city’s decision to take minor crimes seriously certainly played a part. While Mr Bratton was head of New York’s transit police in 1990, he ordered his officers to arrest as many turnstile-jumpers as possible. They found that one in seven arrested was wanted for other crimes and that one in 20 carried a knife, gun or another weapon. Within a year, subway crime had fallen by 30%. In 1994 Rudy Giuliani, who had been elected New York’s mayor after promising to clean up the city’s streets, appointed Mr Bratton as head of the NYPD. Scaling up the lessons from the subway, Mr Bratton found that cracking down on misdemeanour offences, such as illegal gun possession, reduced opportunities for crime. In four years, the city saw about two fewer shootings per day…“Broken windows”-style policing has arguably helped to reduce crime. But other factors have also helped”.

This model was first adopted by the New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, who was criticized for police killings of citizens. Broken window policing is used interchangeably with zero tolerance policing, implying the core belief that for controlling major and serious crimes like terrorism, serial killings, and street crimes, it is very essential to crack down on very minor crimes, the negligence of which leads to social non-conformity. This model emphasises on minor violations and their impunity cause bigger crisis and anarchy.

The police can play a key role in disrupting this process. If they focus in on disorder and less serious crime in neighbourhoods that have not yet been overtaken by serious crime, they can help reduce fear and resident withdrawal. Promoting higher levels of informal social control will help residents themselves take control of their neighbourhood and prevent serious crime from infiltrating. A recent systematic review by Braga, Welsh and Schnell (2015) found that policing strategies focused on disorder overall had a statistically significant, modest impact on reducing all types of crime. Not all of the interventions included in the Braga et al. (2015) review, however, are true tests of broken windows theory. Indeed, the broken windows model as applied to policing has been difficult to evaluate for a number of reasons.

First, agencies have applied broken windows policing in a variety of ways. A second concern is how to properly measure broken windows treatment. The most frequent indicator of broken windows policing has been misdemeanour arrests, in part because these data are readily available. Arrests alone, however, do not fully capture an approach that Kelling and Coles (1996) describe as explicitly involving community outreach and officer discretion. Third, the broken windows model suggests a long-term indirect link between disorder enforcement and a reduction in serious crime and so existing evaluations may not be appropriately evaluating broken windows interventions. Fourth, there is much debate over the impact of New York policing tactics on reductions in crime and disorder in the 1990s. Broken windows policing alone did not bring down the crime rates (Eck & Maguire, 2000), but it is also likely that the police played some role. Fifth, there is concern that any effectiveness of broken windows policing in reducing crime (where the evidence, as noted above, is mixed) may come at the expense of reduced citizen satisfaction and damage to citizen perceptions of the legitimacy of police.

Finally, there is also no consensus on the existence of a link between disorder and crime, and how to properly measure such a link if it does indeed exist. For example, Skogan’s (1990) research in six cities did suggest a relationship between disorder and later serious crime, but Harcourt (2001) suggested in a re-analysis of Skogan’s (1990) data that there was no significant relationship between disorder and serious crime. Hence, there is no clear answer as to the link between crime and disorder and whether existing research supports or refutes broken windows theory.

In Pakistan, we have seen this school of thought for zero tolerance policing which have been very touchy on minor violations or what we call civil or non-police matters that lead to tribal and community bloodsheds. It is famous saying in Pakistan that three things, which are civil in nature, cause all kinds of crimes include, Monetary issues, family honour taboos, and land disputes- the areas or the matters where the police are not to take direct cognizance as per the law in vogue. Such policing models have been adopted by Khyber-Pakhtoonkha province by establishing “Dispute Resolution Committees-DRCs” on the district level for resolving conflicts of civil and private nature so that they may not lead to some serious issues of social order and peace in the society. We don’t have statistical data to assess their impacts but they are generally believed to be very effective in resolving the conflicts and irritants.

Besides this, Police in Pakistan has been very active in getting disputes settled outside the court due to prolonged delays in court decisions. Very interestingly, 21st century Pakistan has witnessed an upsurge in Police encounters with criminals and also rise in police target killings. As a final consequence of all this deadly showdown and police loss of manpower and public reactions, crime and violence have remarkably reduced in Pakistan owing to zero tolerance measures taken by the police in the aftermath of National Action Plan and its implementation.

Picture1 (1)

Now a day, much focus is being put on predictive policing and law enforcement efforts aimed at discouraging and fighting all those factors and causes that lead to violence and crime. However, the broken window policing is somehow losing because it gets police engaged into unnecessary non-cognizable offences that are not always prone to result in bigger crimes; so many fear that empowering police with jingoism and naked authority would earn bad name for the police department  already having the track record of tainted reputation and maligned public image.

The Writer is a scholar, an educator, a novelist and a senior cop at Police Service of Pakistan…



The Ethical Dilemma of Post-modern State

By J. J. Baloch

ʎɐʍ ƃuoɹʍ

The postmodern state devalues human life in the name of preserving it, a very tragic trend that amounts to giving a killing medicine to an ailing patient by a doctor in the name of curing his or her disease.

The question as to how to fight terrorism outweighs the reasons as for why to fight it. Governments worldwide face greater pressures and public wrath for the ways they employ to fight terrorism than the terrorists for their acts of barbarism perpetrated on their opponents. It is perhaps so because the governments are supposed to show more responsibility, care, caution, and professionalism while using force and resources in countering terrorism than the irresponsible, careless, mindless and indiscriminate behaviour of the outlaws. The law enforcement efforts to curb terrorism impatiently results in the violation of Human rights which many civilized souls believe is criminal by all means.

Unlike some cultural aspects that are relative, violations of innocent people’s physical integrity, such as dropping bombs on them should be universally deviant and universally criminal. When the nations of the world begin to focus their power and resources on protecting and preserving human life rather than taking it, we will see the first true efforts being made to counter terrorism.

The modern civilization, despite its tall claims, is yet developing into a state where the so-called civilized mankind could be able to say terrorism is terrorism no matter who commits it against whom and why. What is better for the goose must be better for the gander. If freedoms and civil liberties are so dear to the Americans why it would not be dear to the Africans, Asians, or any other races or nations. Why we think that dictatorships are good for the Middle East and Africa since we, being civilized, have been in war with governments of the time for denying us our rights in the name of greater good and now in the name of counterterrorism.

The champions of human rights have been the champions of throwing nuclear bombs and raining drones on the innocent populations. Who would and who should really call anyone using violence for whatever reason terrorists? Why the elements of justice are not equal to elements of order and peace? Why the monopoly on violence rests with the state even if it turns to be the industry of violence or even if it becomes the agent of chaos and anarchism? Why citizens accept the state and its authority as legitimate since it seems to have lost the soul of establishing peace and order and no more remains the source of protection to human beings amidst hollow claims of the welfare of the humanity through so-called “world order”. Where the selective values of modern civilization in the garb of democracy and the rule of law put the blatant violations of human rights going on under their very nose? How strategic and economic interests of big brothers and so-called veto powers can guide them to go human, humane and humanitarian.


The postmodern world appears to be in a serious ethical dilemma of how the wrong can bring the right and how far it stands right to establish right. Why don’t we think what is better for our own people, living within the premises of our own devised systems, is equally better for all those living outside? How long humanity could bear the brunt of “theirs, yours, others etc” since its soul reflects only “ours”. If we commit the violence, we feel it is in so-called self-defense; but if they commit violence forwarding the same streak of logic, common sense and rationale we are hell-bent on declaring it violation, violence, and offence. The way we are divided; the way we are selfish; the way we are we nurture our notions of being humans; the way we get into the winning games of power and pelf and the way we are roped into groups speak volumes of our withering “ourness” and our dying inhumanity. If one percent or less population among us is criminal or involved in spreading violence and mischief that does never sanction that state to spread violence against already victim 99% population living within or outside the territorial jurisdiction of that particular state. Similarly, this argument does never mean to exempt or protect or justify the inhuman actions committed by the criminal or terrorists.

The leading claimant of human integrity and self-esteem, democracy goes down the drain of the inequality inherent in its accomplice “capitalism”. Modern civilization’s biggest of all tensions is to work out the built-in tensions between democracy and capitalism and also tensions between socialist states and their human rights conditions. The ideological irregularities causing human conflicts is still true with what has been witnessed as the systematic growth of warfare that knows no ending and no winning but continuing and losing by all involved whether directly or indirectly.

My request to the greatest of all politicos in the post-modern world is to think beyond democracy which should not be considered the full stop in the process of the growth of human consciousness about their being the super creature. The most fundamental tension of democracy appears to be getting too older by now to address the issue of inclusiveness in a proper fashion. Even if we take the example of world-leading as well as largest democracies, we would very tragically find that on average the flawed electoral systems produce no majority governments but rather the governments of the handful of some influential and resourceful people whether it is the United States or India or any other democracy.

If you don’t buy my argument, take your calculator and start counting and calculating the total votes registered, total votes casted, total votes obtained by the wining party, that would be forming the government, in terms of total population living within that territorial jurisdictions or electoral constituencies, even in the most idealist conditions you would find that the winning political party might not have secured the support and votes of more than the 30% of their total population but since it secures greater votes in terms of vote cast, it forms the government. As a matter of fact, I can’t call such government, representing the handful of people, as a majority rule or truly representative government.


As a consequence of the non-inclusive systems of governance and its resultant economic impacts, the inequality, poverty, lack of education, religious persecution, radicalism, economic turmoil, social suppression, and oppression of refined liberties and freedoms, especially of minorities, sow the seeds of terrorism, and thus counter-terrorism. Both the terrorism and the counterterrorism have proven the death knell to the legitimacy of the state in modern times. The most commonly utilized counter-terrorism tactics, such as extrajudicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and political imprisonment is, in fact, themselves acts of terror. To terrorize in the name of combating terrorism is ironically hypocritical, self-contradictory and hence self-defeating. When counter-terrorists use the tactics of terrorists in order to counter terror, they descend to their moral level and just add more terror to the world. And if that were not enough, when counter-terrorists terrorize people, they generate more terrorists.

Great critic of modern times, Noam Chomsky states: “counter-terrorism is terrorism by another name”. We must counter counter-terrorism, in order to uphold human rights and give weight, resources, and priority to it. Military, police and clandestine agencies unilaterally function from a consequentialist point of view, with a modus operandi that denotes that their goals, professedly productive, be accomplished by any means necessary, even if those means are themselves directly counterproductive. Gone are the days when ends justified the means and hardly anyone should justify their criminal acts in name of establishing peace.

Rather than countering terrorism, the governments of the day should work collectively and implement new domestic and foreign “right-based” policies that adhere to the dignity and integrity of their citizens and also the citizens of their fellow states who are their partners in peace, not their allies in war. There is much beyond military, police, and other punitive actions to restore the ailing elements within the humanity and society. The best ways to fight terrorism are the non-violent means.

The modern politics get into the ethical dilemma when it begins to terrorize the innocent and non-combatant people in the name of countering terrorism. Therefore, let us shut down the counterterrorist show that places more restrictions on citizen’s freedoms and takes more lives annually than the ghost of terrorism because there is no greater right than the right to life.

The writer is a policing educator, a novelist, an author and a senior cop at Police Service of Pakistan… 




Whiter than White: A Book Review

Reviewed By: Faahid Shoukat Ali


It was just by chance that I happened to come across J. J. Baloch’s novel Whiter than White at one of the posh bookshops (Liberty Books) of Karachi. Its revealing title page attracted me in the first place and then I hurriedly skimmed through the novel, to get an idea about its theme. I admit that once I started reading the novel, I could not take it off my mind for a moment (even during the time when I was not reading it) and finished it in just two days’ time.   

2. Whiter than White is a scathing criticism of the gender bias against women that is firmly entrenched in our culture, traditions, policing, jailing and criminal justice system. The writer, a senior police officer of sterling professional credentials, has got to the heart of the reality and exposed the seamy side of the system that treats woman nothing more than an article of daily use. J J Baloch has created a very powerful novel out of what sounds like a mundane theme. His graphics and captivating depiction of the routines and realities of our life reminds the reader of the tradition of realism in modern British drama that started with John Osborne’s famous play Look Back in Anger, which was staged on 8th May 1956 in London’s Broadway Theatre for the first time. No reader can miss the pronounced tinge of verisimilitude that pervades the novel from beginning to the end. 

3. Hoor, the heroine of the novel, suffers immensely at the hands of the inherently hostile system and its cruel custodians. And the result is a heart-curdling tale of trials and tribulations. She is a frail person, but only in terms of her physique. By no means does she give an impression of frailty in the sense in which Shakespeare meant it in his frequently quoted phrase in Hamlet – “Frailty, thy name is woman”. Shakespeare’s hero laments feebleness of female character in the context of his mother’s involvement in the killing of his father in a bloody display of power politics. Clearly, Shakespeare’s idea of frailty, in the context of Hamlet, is pretty inclusive: it includes not only the lack of physical strength that women folk are heir to but also the weakness of moral and psychological nature as well. However, J. J. Baloch’s heroine presents a complete contrast to the Shakespearean depiction of

4. woman in Hamlet. Hoor is beautiful in the body as well as in soul in the best of proportions. Her beauty of body and soul is very well supplemented by the immense courage and God-gifted mental strength. All these components combine together into an exquisite whole, to enable her to conquer everyone she comes across: she is the embodiment of Truth, in the sense that John Keats describes it – “Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.” Her valiant character comes to her rescue quite often during the novel. However, besides adding spice to the story, the novelist has used all these events and incidents (displaying her courage) as a characterisation technique. She is even more courageous than Jibraan Khan, the great feminist writer and women rights activist who not only fights successfully for Hoor’s release and introduces her to the world at large but also marries her. For example, when she and her newly-wedded husband are on the plane to flee the country with a view to avoiding life threat received from a terrorist outfit, she does not mince words and tells him categorically: “Don’t you think we are cowards, who are leaving their homeland to escape death which could catch us anywhere anytime, even on this plane? Do we presume that a miracle will happen in our country and angels will descend from above to bring our country back on track? Thus, even death cannot deter her from the principled stance she has on priorities in life.

5. Whiter than White also carries a message, like most world-class pieces of literature, do – for example, nearly every novel written in the 18th century in England entails a message. J J Baloch does identify a serious social malaise of our society (that is, gender bias against women) but he does not leave the reader in a state of helplessness and despondency: instead, he also suggests, with the subtle touch of a great artist, the solution to that problem. And, interestingly, the solution, in essence, lies within the women discriminated against: they need to know their strengths by continuous introspection and prepare themselves mentally to face even the worst moments in life and retain their innocence in all situations and at all cost. Alexander Pope, the famous 18th century English poet, succinctly puts this phenomenon as “Know thyself” in one of his universally remembered poems. Clearly, Hoor has risen in life owing to self-knowledge and recognition of her strength as a woman through continuous soul searching. If other women measure knee-high to Hoor in terms of introspection, self-knowledge, courage, mental toughness and strength (albeit a Herculean task in the context of our social milieu) their woes would not take long to vanish.

 6. Whiter than White is the superb exhibition of J. J. Baloch’s art of characterisation. He has used a couple of popular literary techniques to reach the innermost recesses of his characters. One can literally feel the heroine walking across the pages of the novel, situation after situation. Soliloquy is the principal literary technique that the novelist has used to put the inner selves of his character in front of the reader. Hoor’s soliloquies lay bare, shade by shade and layer by layer, the hypocrisies that afflict our society and its “man-made system”, as the novelist puts it frequently. This is reminiscent of Hamlet’s famous soliloquies: Hoor and Hamlet bear striking resemblance in that. Symbolism is the other literary technique that the novelist has employed for portrayal of his characters. The title of the novel, for example, symbolises innocence, flawlessness and perfection. It explains all that Hoor stands for, as Jibraan Khan explains: “Whiter than White is an English idiom or idiomatic expression which is used as an adjective and which means innocent, clean, flawless, perfect and pure.”  This symbol looms large all over the novel. In another context, the jail doctor says “I believe and have studied that more than 60% of inmates who are sent to jail are whiter than white and are victimised by our own follies.” Even lesser characters such as Meeral, the villain, and Rohi, the rich and powerful lady whom Hoor befriends during short sojourn of the former in jail and who orchestrates Hoor’s early exit from jail receive quite a bit of J J Baloch’s attention in terms of characterisation. 

7. All in all, Whiter than White is J. J. Baloch’s magnum opus that not only portrays the plight and pain of the disadvantaged woman of the Pakistan of our times but also suggests a way forward to her out of this apparent impasse. And it may well be a great idea to render the novel into a film, to get J J Baloch’s message far and wide. 

The writer is a graduate of Warwick Business School and currently, serves in the Federal Investigation Agency. He can be reached at

Hunting the Freedom

J. J. Baloch


The strong elitist culture of governance continues to hunt the freedoms of the general masses in Pakistan. The political freedom-hunt has a long history in sub-continent which began before our birth as a nation.  The power mafia has grown to unimaginable levels of monstrosity and still struggles hard to drag the nation into the traumatic past. So much so that in Pakistan today the packing of the vested interest groups has become one of the daunting challenges to the protectors of freedom to take their motherland out of the shadows of the past rotten in colonial and authoritarian legacy.

Governance faces grave challenges in 21st century. Communities living in a highly connected globalised world wherein the democracy, as being the best system of governance claiming its faith in the human capacity to rule themselves, is under serious attack of being a failure in addressing the core issue of socio-political and economic non-inclusion. The third world countries, especially Pakistan, are yet to reassemble its parts of politics and power structure on democratic lines.

However, specificity of particular contexts in creating gaps of accessibility as well as the participation of all and sundry in making their fairer choices for dignity, privacy, integrity, liberty and prosperity unveils unique formations, dispensations, and equations of the power balances and so is the case with the perspective of Pakistan’s political landscape.

An autopsy of our statutory structure in Pakistan reveals in an unmistakable way the long list of genetic defects in political structure of Pakistan that go unattended to cause the chronic diseases of injustices, disorder, crime, extremism, public uncertainty and anarchy, rolling the sheets of the rule of law and public peace and haunting everyone including the public, media, academia, and public policy stakeholders in our country.

The form and structure of the state and the modes of its governance always reflect the essence of society’s culture. However, the human culture is the most ancient and the most powerful influence on human thinking about the perspectives of living and is the moving spirit behind the civilisation. The fundamental fault-lines in our society’s power structure as well as in the formations of our multi cultures continue to trouble the development of the system of good governance in Pakistan.

The elitist power structure is the core issue in addressing the very fundamental irritants in our political structure and governance culture which is lampooning in the power and nuisance game of all those feudal mindsets who wish to make their fortunes out of the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the writ of the power in Pakistan.


“The control over the power structure in Pakistan has consistently passed into the hands of politicians with a feudal mentality, aided by civilian and non-civilian bureaucracy”, aptly says Syed Mohib Asad, a retired inspector general of police. In aid to politicians stand the religious groups and business tycoons thumping their chest for doing anything to secure their positions in power structure of our society.

The problem of elitist dominance in power structure dates back to Muslim rule in India. Babar Ayaz a veteran journalist is of the view that ‘these are those elites who had been eyes and ears of Muslim rulers in India and who had made their fortunes by serving to their masters in the shape of getting big landholdings and best education (In the Persian Language) for their off-springs’.

The descendants of the Persian-speaking educated gentry passed on to British colonialists in India where they reorganised themselves and regrouped under the shadow of Aligarh class of English-speaking gentlemen who again not only got closer to British rulers but also crafted a new narrative, using Islam as their political identity and way of life only to work out their best interests by jumping into the bandwagon of English people and distracting from their brothers in belief who were general masses and who responded their call for unity, so claims Babar Ayaz, an intrepid Journalist in his marvellous book (2013), “What is Wrong with Pakistan”.

The Muslim elites in India convinced even Jinnah who was the Ambassador of Unity in India for Muslim separatism, genuinely fearing the Hindu mentality which was set on the mode of settling scores with the Muslims for having been under their subjugation for more than six centuries. Babar writes that when in 1936 elections All India Muslim League suffered defeat, Allama Iqbal wrote a letter to Jinnah in which he referred Muslim League defeat to its being away from general masses and also it’s wearing the brand of traditional conservative Islam.


Hardly anyone can doubt the genuineness of the demands of Pakistan as a country to escape Hindu nefarious designs yet the issue of Pakistan’s being rotten at the core of its national base is with the claims and controls of this Muslim privileged elite of India who spread all our Pakistan after its creation to establish their feudal fiefs and made entries into league to control the properties, sources of income and production, and political power.

As a result, our independence from British Raj transmitted to our subjection to our own elite Raj which still continues uninterrupted and the common man in Pakistan is still sweating for rights and freedoms. After their Muslim Identity, these elites have taken shelter under the shadow of democracy-a business of general masses- which is being traded among the elitist of this country and which is yet to attain popular roots in the forms of the empowerment of the most underprivileged classes and which is yet to allow middle class, a spinal cord of any nation, in our country.

These elites as written by Syed Mohib Asad being hand in glow with power brokers on the horseback continue eat into the vitals of a free democratic Pakistan but rather making fortunes in the business of politics and governance, dominating and monopolizing national narrative, discourse, policy and source of income as well as power within the state apparatus.

Political Interference for consolidation of elitist interests in public domain and departments especially political, economic and criminal justice institutions goes unabated. In Pakistan, the entire governance system has been adversely affected by politically motivated policies and practice designed to weaken its structure. Those who maintain the integrity and resist tooth and nail to deny dancing to the tunes of politicians and all others who one way or the other matter in the power structure in Pakistan are either transferred or removed from the service through engineered allegations and concocted departmental enquiries. The rule of law and true democratic ideals are yet to make their way to dent the iron sheets of elitist culture in Pakistan.

Besides this, the environment of serious mistrust within the government institutions is the primary trouble that exists at the heart of governance in Pakistan. Politicians consider our armed forces as their rivals and cast serious doubts on our superior judiciary for their meritorious and unsparing approaches in the matters of national and public importance. While our military establishment has serious national security concerns and does not trust politicians as the cleanest, trustworthy and reliable to be left completely independent to deal with the issues of national security on their own. So, as the guardians of national integrity, and ideological frontiers, our establishment keep on watching all those at the helm of affairs. This is what Pakistanis have witnessed in yester years. As a consequence, Pakistan does not have any good precedence of cordial civil-military relations which, too, is one of the genetic issues of our polity. However, either military or politicians are in power but general masses still stand alienated and segregated from their rights to have rights as citizens of Pakistan.

Therefore, the people of Pakistan are yet to matter in the power structure of Pakistan. They got independence from their foreign masters but they are still struggling to stand free in making their political choices. Elitist-clone governance is the leading and fundamental genetic problem in Pakistan which has taken deep roots and which is yet to be done away with!

The writer is a policing educator and a novelist.

“We” Versus “They”

J. J. Baloch


All humans belong to one ancestry of humanity. Basics of life are common in them. All take birth. All die. All live on same one planet earth. All live their life in accordance with certain principles limiting their lives for sustenance and survival. This is but natural, acceptable and understandable for all. This is what they are destined-origin and the destination is the same and the one. But despite being the same, why all have never ever been the one? Why are they divided into “we” and “they”?

Very pestering question for human beings all along has been knowing and understanding as to whether the divisions on the basis of race, colour, creed, gender, caste, age, region, wealth and culture are natural or artificial. Are these divisions inevitable? Can humans live without divisions? Can we not sustain life on our just being humans? What strength and power come from our being Arabs and non-Arabs or for that matter Aryans and Dravidians, or White and Black or Man and Women or Eastern or Western? What kind of pride is this which forces us to stay blatantly divided?

We as humans are told very interesting stories of our not being only humans. The builders of the cage called society make us believe in shallow senses of being beautiful, wealthy, elite, superior, martial, ruler and the master. Silver spoon brands nurture the tales of elitist births and royal grooming. While the slaves of reason construct their narratives of self-making. Strangely, the victims of the ignorance advocate their innocence. However, the have-nots mourn the pangs of their poverty.

The disadvantage of any kind is ascribed to destiny while the advantage is credited to the system which human mind and wisdom produce. The unseen controls destiny. The seen one claims the controls of the system. Unseen is blamed for injustices, inequalities, disparities, incapacities, and all disadvantages beyond human control. Who is born where in what conditions and what belonging is the game is said to be the game of unseen while what someone achieves in the world is attached wisdom and work.

Who blames whom and why is something humans have failed to determine perhaps because of the human limitations. Their artificial divisions and their conflicts on the basis of their divisions, they kill, destroy, devastate, disturb and make their life on earth a hell. They kill not for equality, justice, and peace that all should share equally but they do all this to sharpen and deepen the divisions on a different basis. They kill their fellow beings for land, money, pseudo honours, pitiable pride, annoying arrogance, virulent vengeance, aggrandisement, projection, publicity, promotion, and so on.

Humans keep conflicting and fighting. All humans systems have outlived to stop any kind of human fight for things that actually belongs to none nor yet anyone takes anything when he or she leaves this mortal world. Science and Art are yet to guess the level of human greed. Human culture is hoodwinked by the human desire for recognition and fame. Reason blocks emotions. Power enchains conscience. Desires zip truth. Criminality overpowers humanity and devil invites evil. Life becomes a hell.

Life value starts varying on different grounds; it no more remains equally valuable. The global refugee crisis in the wake of insurgencies and wars is a glaring example of how humans treat humans in trouble. Your problem is yours and my progress is mine; they cannot be exchanged in the name of humanity. Your sufferings are justified because you are you and not from us. We write for us, not for you. We are right in our own right. you are wrong because of your own wrongs not because of my rights or my wrongs. You are you and I am me.

Your words are not my words. My voice is not your voice.  Your tone matches not my tone.  We convert you into bones because we are power-clone and you are poverty drone. We will not even offer you what we think is our own.

Humans appear to have never lived in peace. The system they have developed has been very taxing on humanity. The eternal wars of destiny and systems have destroyed everything human on earth. Even human discourse has become very inhuman. Literature and philosophies are yet to take a leave from the circles of the system they are produced and they have produced in. The architects of destiny pity on the claims of the system which is the product of human mind, ideas and cultures.

However, this virtual war of the system with destiny is still to be over, the human life keeps crawling its worldly ways. In modern times what sharpens the differences between “we” and “they” is the same old struggle for power and pelf which is bound to continue until the universe faces the big bang.

The bitterest of all tastes or cruellest of all tests of human civilisation remains to get rid of “we” and “they” mindsets. The success of anything whether a team, a firm, an organisation, or an institution cultivating the unity on whatsoever grounds of common interests could save all members of that particular group of people from falling apart and from getting ruined. If we as humans have failed to remain human, at least we can retain as robots of the uniform system under one rule working with unity to achieve common ends.

Let us be The one as we are the same humans. We are with same faculties, same features, same origin, same destination. Only different interests and different ways of living on the basis of culture, creed, and geography should not blur our vision of humanity. Togetherness is the answer to our all questions. United we stand, divided we fall. We are perhaps the fallen ones. Only the feeling of “we are we” can save us and retain us what we are in the literal as well as the figural senses of our superlative value of being humans well welded in the eternal union of humanity.