We don’t know how the United Nations’ 6th annual World Happiness Report calculated that Pakistan is ahead of India, China, Iran, and Afghanistan in its rankings. But ask anyone on the Pakistani street and you will be hit with more unhappiness than anywhere else in South Asia. If you watch the TV channels in the region, the lack of joy in Pakistan will overwhelm you. And “unhappy India,” killing innocent Pakistanis across the Line of Control and harassing Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi through its secret agents, adds to this suffering. The world is actually enjoying all this, secretly.
After the recent Senate elections, Pakistani media—call it “merdia” the way it indulges in fanning the fires of discord—has succumbed to depravity as Pakistani politicians go for each other’s throat and the establishment herds them around at will as the “rejoicing third party.” This unnamed party is pulling the political rug from under the feet of the dysfunctional state and is all set to booby-trap the coming June general elections. Nothing like this happens in the rest of South Asia. Pakistani self-hatred is expressed on the street where people now address each other insultingly like Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif exchanging defamations on TV.
India can get away with anything because it is not internally troubled and no terrorism radiates from it to the outside world while Pakistan faces sanctions for harboring terrorists. No matter what India does to punish Pakistan it is with the tacit approval of a world sick of Pakistan’s lack of internal sovereignty, with 60 percent of its territory without the writ of the state. The political parties are morbidly entangled in their vendettas, siding with the “third party” to bring each other’s government down. In the coming elections, the tertium gaudens (rejoicing third party) will lay down the new political chessboard of lack of joy. Wait for what comes next after unhappiness.