Freeing Islamabad From American Clutches

Posted by Ahmed Quraishi on Dec 7th, 2010

Freeing Islamabad From American Clutches

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Freeing Islamabad From American Clutches

If Gen. Kayani is going to turn the tables, it will have to be a clean break and we have to be ready for the consequences.


AHMED QURAISHI | Monday | 6 December 2010 | The News International


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—There is a link between Pakistan’s future and the award-winning Emirates airline. Let me explain.

Today Pakistan is like its national airline PIA, talented but bankrupt, uncreative and miserable. This same failed PIA groomed nascent Emirates three decades ago. Unless we find a way to turn this PIA into Emirates, time won’t wait for us. Pakistanis have already begun swapping loyalties. Many of us prefer to fly any airline to flying the national carrier. What’s true for airlines is also true for nations.

Emirates, the country and not the airline, did it without democracy, elections, or laws. They still don’t have democracy today. But they have laws, discipline and a good life. Most Pakistanis, whether urban, rural or tribal, love to live in the Emirates. The point is that just having democracy won’t give us anything. The last three years are proof. We are having the wrong debate. What we need is creativity, prosperity, and then elections. And no, this is not a call for military intervention. The military is an important stakeholder and has a crucial role but not the only one. Pakistanis will have to pitch in. It’s their homeland.

Without major changes in Islamabad and a leap in Pakistani strategic thinking, nothing is possible. The leaked US embassy cables are colored by the views and the limitations of those writing them. But they confirm one thing: how foreign meddling in Pakistan is at its peak today, starting from around 2005 onwards. It’s useless to talk about an elected government whose principals owe their jobs today to a deal brokered by two foreign governments.  What is unfortunate is that our military was dragged into this by a former president-slash-army chief and now finds itself cornered. The worst part is to see members of the ruling troika and other politicians conducting their politics through a former US ambassador. Today, all political parties conduct direct relations with foreign governments to the detriment of national interests.

Not all Pakistanis probably understand why this is happening. Foreign interference will continue as long our politicians and the military continue to abide by commitments made during Mr. Musharraf’s government. Pakistan desperately needs to break away from those disastrous commitments. But we can’t pick and choose. We can’t ditch the 2007 US-brokered BB-Mush deal alone. The deal is apparently tied to other conditions that have to do with serving US interests in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gen. Kayani was Mr. Musharraf’s interlocutor with BB and the Americans on the deal and NRO. I don’t know his personal views but as a soldier he was bound to either resign or follow the COAS orders. I am sure Gen. Kayani continues to uphold the conditions of the deal like all the other parties to the secret understanding. That’s why PPPP is still in power and the current political setup is intact. But even if Gen. Kayani wanted to opt out, which people like me would strongly urge him to do, it is not possible to do so without also breaking our word on other commitments that Mr. Musharraf had made with the Americans and we are stuck with now. A decision to turn the tables on the deal alone is not possible. If Gen. Kayani is going to turn the tables, it will have to be a clean break and we have to be ready for the consequences. Dealing with this situation is what statecraft and men’s mettle is all about. To be fair, it is a very difficult call.

Except Pakistan, every country involved in our region has reviewed and changed policies in the past eight years. We are the only country strictly following the American diktat. We can’t even stop ourselves from telling Washington no on transferring enriched uranium abroad. We never intended to do so but couldn’t tell the former US envoy no, as one US diplomatic cable shows. There is no way we can ensure the emergence of a strong, proud and prosperous Pakistan in the remaining nine decades of this century with this kind of mindset where our entire foreign and military policies are tailored around one or two foreign countries and where our elite is scared to undergo tough times without foreign handouts.

Pakistanis want to see a strong, prosperous and independent Pakistan and are willing to pay the price. But our decision-makers will have to level with our people on the pressures they face and take the nation along. It’s either this or chaos ahead. Right or wrong, the WikiLeaks have shown our leaderships to be weak and insecure. This could embolden future rebellions against a State seen in the same light.

A The News International column. Reproduced with permission.

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8 Responses for “Freeing Islamabad From American Clutches”

  1. Abulkhair Sarhandi says:

    Well the foundation to put Pakistan in Westren camp not as partners but as a commodity to be sold was layed down in the 1st few days when our Ancient and Islamic Sindh was restablished as Pakistan ( East Pakistan was but an attachment ). I remember my mother saying to my father ( who had worked in Sindh for Pakitan movement ) “where is your Pakistan when the head of the state becomes servant to a frangi king and the chieves of armed forces of this islamic state are frangies as well”. After the murder of our first and only true prime minister Liaqat Ali Khan the country went to dogs as the saying goes.
    Our languages are corrupted,, our culture Westrenised and our unity has become vague. From Suiz Crises in 1956 to this day to this day Pakistan is the mostt loyal “Yes Sirrrrr” of any pigeater alcohelic najus that looks at us in a masterly fashion.

    And it will not be long before we see the following advertisements in the tourist magazines,
    ” Come to Pakistan for the unique Human Hunt. Discounts availbe according to number and days. Any currency accepted. Please apply to President House or Prime Minister House Islamabad Pakistan. Alternatively any Pakistan Embassey”.

  2. neel123 says:

    It is not so simple about “weaning off foreign aid or loans”, it is about pay back of the tens of billions of dollars in direct aid and loan write off on several occasions in the past.

    You Pakistanis mortgaged your sovereignty for the F-16s, the Side winders, and the tens of billions of dollars …… now you have to pay back to get back your sovereignty …. !

    You have to decide what price you are ready to pay, because you can not have your cake and eat it too ………. !!

    • Tariq says:

      The US has to pay reparations, $1 million dollars per person they murdered globally, and then compensation for the dirty work of its cia, when you add this up it means the US has to pay us $ billions.

      Secondly, most of these ‘loans’ were given without authority of the people, and were designed to hold us to ransom. if they want payment they should bankrupt the leaders that took them without our permission. Stolen wealth of the people does not belong to foreign banks, it still belongs to the rightful owners.

      Islamic law does not permit such illegal loans, therefore we will not pay them anyway

      you americans owe the world your life, stealing the worlds resources and enslaving the world powereless people, shame on you devils

  3. M Saleem Chaudhry says:

    I ,broadly agree with you and endorse the thought process.However I,think that weaning off foreign aid or loans is not impossible,though very difficult,as you yourself mentioned.Any leader,worth his salt can do provided, he/she is ready to meet one pertinent parameter of precedent-setting by foregoing personal privileges and comforts as Khumeini and AhmedNejjid have done,then galvanizing public support will be no problem.We need a leader with a set of requisite positive traits.

  4. Abbasi says:

    I was moved by the prayers of an innocent Pakistani that appeared on heading of your item. All such Pakistani national nationals do not have to cheat, lie or misbehave because more than that is done by our politicians.

  5. Parvez Amin says:

    There is no need to be despondent. We have to work to get ourselves out of the mess we helped others to put us in. I quote the email I sent out to another group on the same subject. Here it is:
    feel certain that I have the outlines of the answer (not an answer) and am currently engaged in writing in a form that is easily understood and accepted as a good (perhaps the best) way forward. I am creating the answer from several angles that include:

    · Statements of intent on various issues

    · An explanation and justification of the chosen path

    · Details of how to implement the system

    · Details of how to monitor implementation

    · Details of how to collect and interpret results

    · Details of how to take corrective action

    Much of the many systems have been thought through and I am now laboring to set them in writing and setting up an office with full time employees to speed up execution, propagation, and soliciting membership of Madadgar Pakistan. All this is preparatory work.

    One part of the work is registering Madadgar Pakistan as a new political party. Another is launching a newspaper in (hopefully) all local languages to project the Madadgar Pakistan system of governance with perpetual replacement of leadership on merit.

    So all is NOT lost. Offer to help in finalizing the system. If circumstances do not allow that, then don’t just standby – tell me what I must do to bring each of you on board. Pakistan is going to surge out of the present imbroglio and come out shining as one of the best places on the planet for Pakistanis (and perhaps others) to live in. Be a part of the team that is going to make that happen.

    Thank you for bearing with me.

    Parvez Amin

    SB Mech E MIT ‘56; FRSA

    Chairman, Madadgar Pakistan

    Gulkalee, Harbanspura Road


    • Saeed Iqbal says:

      Thanks for spreading the light of hope. I totally agree with you in saying that all is not lost. God bless you in your endeavour to bring about a positive change into our lives. Let us know how we can joint Madadgar Pakistan; specially those living abroad.

      B. Regards

Leave a Reply to Abulkhair Sarhandi