By Waseem Altaf
Nov. 25, 2011
It is now high time for the Foreign Office to thoroughly brief every diplomat to function for the promotion of Pakistan military’s corporate interests rather than Pakistan’s.
Whoever in the history of Pakistan mistook the military establishment as subservient to the civilian set up ultimately suffered at the hands of those in uniform. Hussein Haqqani is the latest causality who has been removed under pressure for he is perceived by the army as working against its interests. Sherry Rahman is Pakistan’s new emissary to Washington who is already holding pro-army seminars at her newly-established Jinnah Institute. The perception being developed by the media is that Mr. Haqqani was conspiring against the state (read army) whereas one can also argue that the army was conspiring against the state (read civilian government.). However, being in possession of trained soldiers and sophisticated weaponry the political government had to succumb and army’s writ was established. Presently the foreign office is being run by the army and the ISI; unfortunately Mr. Haqqani failed to realize the reality on ground and asserted his own authority on various issues.
During Musharraf’s regime Mr. Haqqani had written articles against the army. He had also written a book titled “Pakistan: Mullah military nexus”. He is also perceived to have facilitated the inclusion of certain clauses in the Kerry-Lugar Bill which tended to establish the supremacy of the civilian authority over the military junta. He is also looked upon by the military as unfriendly as he demanded an impartial and public probe into OBL affair at Abbotabad on May 1, 2011. He also advocated an independent and pragmatic policy towards the USA and Afghanistan for which he was targeted by the army. Recently Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, being henchmen of the military establishment, called for a stringent action against him.
Prior to this Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman who was the leader of the party which won the 1970 elections was arrested by Yahya Khan for he was considered a threat to the hegemony of the military and was declared a traitor. Later in 1977, an FIR lodged against Z.A Bhutto was retrieved and the murder case was vigorously pursued by the state against him and finally he was hanged by Zia-ul-Haq considered him a threat to his military rule. Nawaz Sharif, the elected Prime Minister was also arrested by the military in 1999 as Pervez Musharraf took him for a threat to his military dictatorship. Similarly, during Pakistan’s entire history whichever political leader tried to improve relations with India had to face serious consequences; right from the political government of 1958 to Mujib, Bhutto, Benazir and Nawaz Sharif. As loyalty to the nation is determined by the military on the basis of the level of hostility towards India, any leader found “guilty” of improving ties with India faces the wrath of the military.
Mr. Zardari abandoned Haqqani the way he abandoned Salman Taseer for political considerations. The rest of his aides have also followed suit as they all know that any support for Haqqani would not be viewed favorably by the army.
It is now high time for the Foreign Office to thoroughly brief every diplomat to function for the promotion of Pakistan military’s corporate interests rather than Pakistan’s for Pak Army is the new paymaster of the Foreign Office.
Waseem Altaf is a social activist.