Monday 18 May 2009

US is after Pakistani Shalwar

Two media headlines reminded me of the picture that I saw in the aftermath of Taliban terrorist attack on the Police Training Academy in Lahore. This was the image of an alleged terrorist arrested by security forces during the operation. Immediately after overpowering the suspect the security agents removed his Shalwar [traditional trousers worn in South Asia] so that the accused is then more worried about saving his dignity and trying to cover up rather then attempt an escape or continue to resist or fight.

The two headlines that reminded me of this picture were:
Looking into the details of these news stories both stand out as examples of diplomatic bullying at its worse and can only be successful when you have a nation in headlock with its Shalwar pulled down.

US has been trying to push for access to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear programme for quite sometime on the pretext that they would like to find out more about the network that was responsible for nuclear proliferation in the 1990s. Dr.Khan has been under house arrest for the last few years under American pressure. Had the rulers in Pakistan not been aware of the level of high esteem ordinary Pakistani people hold for Dr. Khan they might have relented a long time ago - even the all powerful dictator General Musharraf couldn't contemplate this. Now the American administration is attempting again, this time by linking the release of military and economic aid, which is primarily to fund the war against Taliban and Al Qaeda, to a financially weak political government.

On a smaller scale, for sometime now the UK foreign office has been bullying Pakistan foreign office into agreeing to selling to UK a prime Kabul property [which used to be Pakistan Embassy before an Afghan government orchestrated attack rendered it insecure] owned by Pakistan. When facing resistance from Pakistan the British High Commission had the cheek to react by saying that London would be ‘highly disappointed’. Apparently the British have now succeeded into getting their hands on this property.

Almost a century ago the national poet of Pakistan Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal said in one of his poems "hay jurm e zaeefi ki saza marg e mafajat" literally meaning the penalty for the offence of weakness is unexpected undignified death. The message that sounds so pertinent now for Pakistan as a nation. Being a nuclear power and having one of the most well trained professional armies in the world it is not weak militarily perhaps, but definitely weak morally. with foreign and national policies with no roots among its people or democratic institutions, corruption at levels in the government and society and lack of good governance has brought the country to such a level of moral bankruptcy that international bullies are now able to corner us into agreeing to demands that no self respecting nation would ever agree to. I don't blame US, UK or for that matter India for trying to get what they consider to be best in their national political and diplomatic interest. I hold Pakistani leadership of last sixty years for bringing us to these cross roads. We have ourselves allowed US, UK and India to pull our Shalwar down.

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