In a compelling address at Ashok Club in Jaipur, noted author, commentator, and member of the National Security Advisory Board, Tilak Devasher, shed light on the pressing issues confronting Pakistan as a nation. He emphasized that while military security has been the traditional focus, the real security of any nation lies in the welfare and health of its people. The foremost concern that demands urgent attention is the scarcity of food and water. Pakistan’s consumption surpasses its production, and with a burgeoning population, the country struggles to meet its food demands. Even now, Pakistan faces the challenge of importing wheat to cater to its people’s needs. Additionally, the shortage of water poses a significant threat, with no major dams constructed recently and valuable water from the rivers being wasted into the sea.
Elaborating further, Devasher highlighted the dire state of education in Pakistan. A staggering 50% of children do not go to primary school, and among those who do, a concerning 50-60% drop out before reaching class 5. Unemployment also remains a significant issue, with a considerable proportion of the working-age population unable to find employment opportunities, leading some to gravitate towards extremist organizations.
The legacy of partition continues to cast a shadow over Pakistan, with its negative impact perpetuated during Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. Educational textbooks were altered to promote the agenda of an Islamized state, fostering a climate of animosity and hatred, pointed out the expert on Pakistan.
Discussing the current political scenario, Devasher turned his attention to Prime Minister Imran Khan, whom he characterized as one of the most vindictive leaders. His brutal treatment of the opposition and interference with army postings led to his downfall. Khan adeptly leveraged social media platforms, WhatsApp groups, and vlogs to garner immense support for himself,said Devasher.
Devasher was in conversation with a Senior publicist from Jaipur and Devasher’s batchmate from Mayo College, Jagdeep Singh. The interactive session was organized by Mayo College Alumni Association Jaipur and ‘Stephanians in Rajasthan’ (SIR). It is to be noted that, Devasher has written 4 books on Pakistan, which have been widely acclaimed – ‘Pakistan: Courting the Abyss’ (December 2016), ‘Pakistan: At the Helm’ (July 2018), ‘Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum’ (July 2019) and ‘The Pashtuns: A Contested History’ (September 2022). In addition, he has also edited three books titled ‘Pakistan Insights 2019’, ‘Pakistan Insights 2020’ and ‘Pakistan Insights 2021-22’ for the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). Devasher holds expertise in security issues, particularly in relation to India’s neighboring countries.