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… but when will we reciprocate in kind?
- Two anti-Pakistan Danish journalists were allowed entry into Pakistan this week
- A visiting US scholar secretly slipped into Balochistan and was deported but Husain Haqqani granted him a visa again
- It is high time the military realized that the US is no ally but a hostile state that has need of Pakistan and its military right now
By THE NATION
Thursday, 2 September 2010.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—After being abused willingly by the US on many occasions post-9/11 on the pretext of security, like so many other segments of the Pakistani state and its leadership, the Pakistan military finally chose to refuse such treatment henceforth – and high time too. That is why one welcomes the stance the Pakistan military delegation took when it was subjected to inappropriate behaviour by US security officials at Dulles International Airport – merely because some passenger found their conversation “suspicious”. The delegation simply cancelled its meeting with CENTCOM and returned home. Of course, the usual apologies were offered by the US Defence Department, but what use are these once Pakistanis have been insulted? Whatever the official position, Pakistanis are being singled out for abuse in the US. After all, this was an official delegation going for an official visit so where was the official protocol that we turn out every time any US official visits Pakistan?
Meanwhile, what do we do with US nationals travelling to and residing in Pakistan? We give them visas on demand and in haste; and allow them to ride roughshod over all our laws, including injuring and killing Pakistani citizens on the roads. We also provide them with extra access to bypass our normal security procedures when they travel, as witnessed by many Pakistani travellers at our airports. Were we to report every US citizen as “suspicious” at our airports, it would provide a good lesson to the Americans in terms of reciprocity – that is if our authorities would ever find the guts to take a nationalist position.
It is high time the military realised that the US is no ally but a hostile state that has need of Pakistan and especially its military right now. But to pander to US goals is debilitating for our own national security and regardless of the personal equation between our COAS and the US military leadership, there is a need to distance ourselves from the US and its increasingly questionable agenda in this region – especially the underlying nexus it has with India.
Nor is it just US citizens who are given privileges not enjoyed by Pakistanis in these countries. We have just had an official Danish delegation arrive with two journalists who were deported from Pakistan earlier for suspicious activities and were blacklisted from ever entering Pakistan again. But under pressure from the Danish government, the Pakistani authorities undermined their own laws and actions and allowed these two controversial figures to enter the country again. This is a repeat of the case of an American journalist posing as a scholar who was deported for suspicious activities in Balochistan and then given a visa to visit Pakistan again. No wonder foreigners feel they can abuse our laws and decisions at will just as their governments and nationals mistreat and abuse our nationals as they please. In this context, the military delegation’s actions must be appreciated; but what is more important is when will reciprocate in kind?
Editorial by TheNation.
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