New Age Islam Edit Bureau
27 September 2017
When Will Pakistan Open Up To The World?
By Qamar Cheema
Culturally Corrupt, Morally Malicious
By Munir Ahmed
Political Stability Is A Prerequisite
By Foqia Sadiq Khan
Notes to a Modern-Day Political ‘Princess’
By Dr Haider Mehdi
Charging Into The Graveyard Of Empires
By Akbar Ahmed / Col Lawrence Wilkerson
Thank You, Theresa May!
By Wajid Shamsul Hasan
Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau
When Will Pakistan Open Up To The World?
By Qamar Cheema
Nobel Laureate Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai had more bilateral meetings than Pakistan’s elected Prime Minster at the side lines of 72nd United Nations General Assembly session. Malala had more diversification in terms of discussions and meetings than her Prime Minister. Exchanging views with Hollywood and Bollywood actors to world leaders and rights activists, Malala has benefited our diplomatic mission more than the government itself. Our leadership annually visits the UN in September but from their engagements they do not seem like a global forum. Every Prime Minster has its limited engagements in term of meeting world leaders. Pakistan enjoys good relations with some states and only those leaders are seen meeting our leadership. Picking up a schedule of the Prime Minster of Pakistan every September won’t show us anything new in their engagements. This year, the US President was not even in the meeting list of PM Abbasi and he got US Vice President Mike Pence, lowering our diplomatic engagements with a crucial partner.
Our leadership has limited its meetings to the Chinese, British, Turkish, some European countries, Arab states and couple of regional states. Moreover, the agenda is always limited to discussing the security environment, and the Pakistani leaderships international schedule ends there. All of Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Australia, Eastern Europe, Caribbean States and now even Western Europe are off the radar of the Pakistani foreign office. The American educated Prime Minister of Pakistan did not prove to be different in terms of his diplomatic engagements despite having international exposure.
Pakistan’s diplomatic lens needs to move away from security as the world is realigning itself and regional and international agendas are shifting
Our neighbour, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had tremendous bilateral, trilateral and multilateral engagements with international dignitaries and entrepreneurs. She even met with Muslim world leaders of the Arab world whom the Pakistani Prime Minster and his delegation ignored. Her meetings and the way she was engaging with the international leadership showed her country’s regional and international ambitions and India’s rising stature at a global stage. The world is taking India seriously not because of its rising political and security stature but its mammoth population which is a market for everyone. Despite having abdominal poverty, India is making global footprints because of its booming market and proactive foreign policy. The Indian Foreign Minister met with world leaders and urged them for support counter terrorism even though, India is the largest human rights violator. Their media is an extension of the government in terms of pursing foreign policy goals whereas ours is busy grilling the ruling party. They have a sizeable middle class and a huge population speaks English which lets the international audience know what’s happening in India. In Pakistan, we do not have a single English private channel so the international audience actually does not know what’s happening and the international media portrays our image in a compromise manner.
Pakistan’s diplomatic lens needs to move away from security as the world is realigning itself and regional and international agendas are shifting. Our diplomatic posture should be global as debates are also shifting. The content of PM Abbasi’s speech was not global in nature but very traditional. Do we actually know how the debate on global warming is taking place and what should we need demand from the world and multilateral forums in terms of raising our infrastructure regarding renewable energy? Since we did not implement universal development goals, the world has now reached Sustainable Development Goals. Importantly, where is Pakistan on South-South cooperation, China is an active member in boosting South-South cooperation but we haven’t investigated how to use global institutions in the south to counter western institutional hegemony.
Pakistan should have been leading a debate regarding terrorism at a global stage because of the losses we have faced and the economic price we have paid which is around $120 billion. Instead, India is leading this debate. Despite loses and huge sacrifices we have failed to sell our story of victimhood. The nation needs to think deeply about it rather than just use traditional rhetoric. We may have to lose elements with whom we have been playing as it’s not a loss of anyone or someone’s ego but of 207 million people who keep hopes in their leadership. We need to assert our case and we can only do so if we move away from the existing narrative on terrorism. We need to open up to the world on this or else our sacrifices would go in vain.
We are living in digital age and states are fighting their wars in the digital landscape by using the tools of digital diplomacy. Pakistan does not have effective tools of digital diplomacy. Our foreign office spokesperson is followed by just more than hundred thousand people where as there is no account of Pakistan’s foreign minister officially. PM Abbasi’s speech in the United Nations was not given any extra ordinary response by our electronic and print media whereas the Indian media fought for the Indian government’s case and against Pakistan as well.
Our leadership needs to be innovative by meeting entrepreneurs. Years of diplomatic experience must help Pakistan in improving its image. Why doesn’t our leadership does meet administrations of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, YouTube and many other multinational corporations. At the same time Hollywood actors should be invited to meet to make them aware about Pakistan. Our leadership must move beyond the security paradigm and open up to the world in every sphere.
Culturally Corrupt, Morally Malicious
By Munir Ahmed
Pakistan was ranked the fourth most corrupt country in the Asia Pacific a couple of months back by the international anti-graft rights group Transparency International based on the results of a survey. The survey took about 18 months for the collection of data and opinion from a 20,000 common people in Pakistan, its compilation and simulation.
The survey showed that Pakistan ranks fourth with an overall corruption rate of 40 per cent. Nearly three-fourths of the survey participants believe that the police is corrupt. The survey revealed that 7 out of every 10 people who had to deal with either the police or the courts had to bribe them. That means 70 per cent of the people dealing with the justice system have to pay a bribe just to process their cases. The situation shows endless severity and ruthlessness. The ironic part is that those who could do something about it have unfortunately remained unshaken and unmoved.
Although TV channels and print media have discussed this, the news was discussed like a routine news item. Moreover, the results did not create any commotion in the judiciary or any relevant departments.
When the practices of people engaged in the justice system are questionable, how will the country be run on fair grounds? A general perception in Pakistan that has been to prove that all the high profile extreme corruption cases in the courts need proper acquittals in a shorter amount of time. For the general public, this has the reverse effect. If they take up cases with the courts, it takes years and even decades to receive a decision from the courts.
In the prevailing situation, corruption watchdogs in the country have an immense role to play by consistently raising voice against malpractices
The culture of corruption is deeply rooted in our society, and the pace of its spread is alarming. Brutality is used by those who are supposed to dispense or facilitate justice. Bribes vary with the degree of corruption in a case. The real-estate tycoon Malik Riaz of Bahria Town admitted in an interview that, ‘every person in society has their price which can be told without any discrimination of their profession. They can be from the media, bureaucracy, army and judiciary. According to the status of the person, bribe is the key of smooth running of my projects.’
The confession of the estate-business tycoon reveals the ways in which business is carried out in Pakistan. There has been talk and hundreds of complaints against his projects including murders of the forest guards by his gunmen, encroachment on the government lands, long delays in delivering properties to its owners, and so on. However, the reputable authorities of Bahria Town dismiss all these as ‘allegations’.
When the common people are starving for rightful justice or facilitation of civic amenities, what option is left for them other than to bribe the concerned authorities. The same goes for employees of government departments and autonomous bodies. Thousands of cases are lingering on in the courts and Federal Services Tribunal. Poor people who cannot afford to bribe or those who don’t want to, suffer a lot. Their misery creates revengeful emotional crises. In many cases, severe social reaction occurs which further criminal activities or add to the culture of corruption.
In many cases, corruption has led to a brain drain as well. Those who could not get jobs on merit have left the country to search for better fortunes elsewhere. They have been quite successful after some struggle and hard work. Many industrialists and businessmen have left the country because of the bribes taken by the government officials or the ‘protection money’ by the gangsters of political parties.
Undoubtedly, the weaker social and legal justice systems lead to higher corruption and malicious practices. Political influence further negates social and legal justice, and weakens the societies norms, ethics and practices. In the prevailing situation, the local watchdogs have an immense role to play by raising voices against malpractices and corruption. Civil society shall keep on working and putting in the effort required for a transparent and accountable governance system in its place. They will also force political parties to take stringent steps against their corrupt leaders even those who are facing allegations. Many would question if watchdogs and the civil society would be able to put in place mechanisms to root out corruption or dent the corruption mafia. Though there may not be sufficient answers to such questions, I strongly believe such efforts do bring about change. The process may be slow but it is sure to deliver positive results. Positive thinking people need to team up,in the same way the corrupt gang up.
Political Stability Is a Prerequisite
By Foqia Sadiq Khan
I recently attended two talks that emphasised catching-up with growth and pro-poor economic growth in Islamabad. Both talks in different ways underscored the need for planning to promote economic growth, particularly keeping in mind the welfare of the less privileged. A look at the Planning Commission site informs us that there are planning documents available such as the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2013-18), Annual Plan (2017-18) and Vision 2025. However, it is obvious that some of the leading economists are not satisfied with the planning agenda and want more robust and well-thought out planning based on best available policy literature, debates and practices available in the world, particularly learning from examples of those countries who have been able to successfully catch-up with economic growth and reduce poverty levels.
The answer lies in the affirmation of political stability as a prerequisite. Even the Vision 2025 underlies its importance as follows: “If we look at the successful experiences of Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, China, India and Turkey, political stability and policy continuity emerges as a common prerequisite for development. No country has developed with instability and chaos”.
Economic literature informs us that when there is political instability and uncertainty, governments are run on the basis of short time horizons. In other words, the vision to plan long-term and deliver on planning requires long time-horizons, political stability, continuity of policies and certainty that political governments will complete their tenure.
The vision to plan long-term and deliver on planning requires long time-horizons as well as continuity of policies and certainty that political governments will complete their tenure
If we look at Pakistan’s history or even contemporary history since 2008, sadly political governments were not fortunate enough to enjoy long-term time horizons ensuring sanctity of their mandate to complete their terms as well ability to get re-elected if they perform well. The sort of economic planning whose need was emphasised by economists is missing because those kinds of debates seldom take place in policy circles in contemporary Pakistan due to political uncertainty.
The PPP government completed its tenure from 2008 to 2013. However, the informal buzz about the government then was that it plans and functions on a day to day basis as it is not certain whether it would stay afloat the next week, month or year. If somebody were to watch the political talk shows during the era of that regime, there was much more chatter about the government falling soon rather than staying course and completing its term. Towards the end of PPP government, the Prime Minister was disqualified and replaced by another one.
If we view the present government from 2013 till present, a similar story of political instability grips it. Discourse on election rigging started as soon as the government assumed office and it culminated in the famous dharnas (sit-ins) in 2014 that lasted for many months and even led to violent clashes promising overthrow of Nawaz Sharif’s government using force. Once the election’ rigging saga came to an end, the Panama Papers saga started. It led to the disqualification of the Prime Minister, a controversial judicial decision in July 2017 and a new Prime Minister is at the helm of affairs now. Elections are due in 2018, yet calls for snap polls have begun.
In other words, if we assess contemporary politics from 2008-2017, two successive political governments with a wide array of provincial governments and coalitions did not enjoy the policy space in an environment of political stability.
Census results have shown the frightening levels of population explosion in Pakistan that requires not only effective government plans for population control but also absorption of millions of youth in the job market every year. Pakistan’s exports are falling and the debt level rising. The plans to spur economic growth to deal with these challenges by planning for economic growth, industrialisation and pro-poor planning are simply missing.
It is high time that civilian and political forces include perseverance of political stability as our prime national interest. Any set of institutions who are continuing to deprive Pakistan of its political stability are acting against Pakistan’s national interest. Political governments will only plan well when they know that not only will they be able to complete their respective terms without being challenged every so often and they might even be re-elected if they perform well. And if they don’t perform well, they will be voted out. Unless such policy space is allowed to political governments through ensuring stability, political governments will not be able to plan long-term economic growth or deliver on such plans.
Notes to a Modern-Day Political ‘Princess’
By Dr Haider Mehdi
September 26, 2017
We, humankind, are an amazing marvel of nature with many fascinating inherent qualities. For instance, the interconnectedness of ideas in our thought processes is a wonder in itself. Think about one of the most interesting aspects of human contemplation: when we are concentrating on some particular matter, abruptly and unconsciously we are driven to thinking of something else, whether it is sublime or even dismal in nature. The switchover may be a connection of some kind of association or simply a divergence of thought to a specific inquisitive retrospection and reflection about an issue central to our existential experience at the time. I have had such an experience recently.
While browsing through the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of the Lord), part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (400 BC-200 AD), I discovered with absolute surprise that it is a continuous dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his charioteer Lord Krishna, who counsels the prince about his duties as a warrior and to ensure establishing Dharma.
Suddenly, I switched over to thinking about the Pakistani nation confronted with the continued dramatic political saga of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, most particularly his daughter, seemingly the “heir apparent” to his political legacy as well as leadership of the country — and their planned continued hold on political power now and in the near and far-off future.
Of course, I thought: is, metaphorically, the former prime minister the modern-day “Lord and Charioteer” counselling his “heir apparent” daughter and the manifest warrior, the modern day political “princess,” in the art of political behaviour?
At that same moment, though, I also thought of Machiavelli, the 16th-century Italian philosopher, who contended that in the skill of political management, “political expediency is placed above morality and the ruler should use craft and deceit to maintain authority and carry out (his) policies,” and control over political power.
It is self-evident that the role of the former PM is “Lord, the counsellor” to “the Princess.” However, it also appears that Dharma has been thrown aside, and Machiavelli’s ideological premise seems to be the driving force in the political behaviour of the former prime minister and his heir apparent.
Let us carefully examine the political stance of “the princess” as “heir apparent” to the former PM and to the PML-N leadership.
It appears that “the princess’s” claim to political inheritance and power rests on several debatable assumptions that she seems to believe are an absolute necessity to the future political management of Pakistan. For example, she might hold the opinion that political stability in the country is fundamental to Pakistan’s survival and its future socio-economic, cultural and technological-industrial development. And this goal can only be assured by the Sharif family.
I can only guess what “the princess” might say in support of her contention: most likely that the Sharifs have the required political management experience to do the job well, the PML-N under the Sharifs’ leadership is a well-organised party, and its political management credentials are far better as compared to any other political party in the country.
The counter-claim is that, although it is absolutely true that Pakistan needs steadfast and political stability to go forward, the idea that such stability in the country is only possible through the Sharif family’s dynastic succession to political power is without any merit. This is so because the notion of dynastic politics is inherently opposed to the idea of a democratic state. History is witness to the fact that democracy and its institutions have flourished only when status quo-oriented political institutions have been continuously replaced through an on-going process of change and by the dynamics of the force of change implicit in that political process.
Sadly, after holding on to political power for over three decades, the Sharifs have nothing new to offer. “The princess,” as such, is the epitome of status quo. The question is, how can anyone promote the argument that status quo continuity is a viable modern political management model suited to a truly democratic future?
Furthermore, she might also believe that the present political culture in Pakistan and its accompanying infrastructure must be strictly maintained at all costs in order to support political economic stability. This process pertains to permanently holding on to the leadership of the party.
The counter-argument to this belief, however, is formidable. The necessity of preserving the present political culture for economic stability is a charade, a perception management campaign of false propaganda, outright lying and manipulation of symbolic and emotional rhetoric. Let us state the facts as simply as they are: The prevailing political-economic status quo and the contemporary political culture in the country (organised, supported, and consolidated by the vested interests ruling elite) is the fundamental problem and a hurdle to the country’s overall development. In fact, it is the main cause of the country’s political, economic and socio-cultural backwardness. It appears that the Sharif family’s devastating contribution to the country’s multifarious problems has been made abundantly clear by the Supreme Court’s judgment disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.
Under normal circumstances, self-defence and self-promotion is an intrinsic part of human nature; the heir apparent “princess” cannot be an exception to this rule. Almost certainly, she would tell us that she has had three decades of extensive training in national political management by none other than her father, the three-time prime minister of Pakistan. Hence, she is fully trained to take over the reins of power.
No matter how true this assertion is technically, in the context of national politics, this is an unconvincing argument. The problem is that all societies undergo constant changes over a period of time. This, in itself, is an evolving and evolutionary process inconsistent with the status quo paradigm. The heir apparent’s extensive personal training becomes irrelevant because there is no real evidence to suggest that the “trainer” or the “trainee” in themselves have undergone appreciable re-orientation in the art of conducting political management of the country by an evolutionary process or theory. Sharif politics has remained dogmatic, ultra-right wing and non-evolutionary, and diametrically opposed to the fundamental necessities of a fast-changing society.
In fact, the PML-N leadership, in absolute terms, adheres to ideological capitalism as the only possible driving force behind the advancement of society. The allure and attractiveness of the said system for Pakistan’s ruling elite is in its perverse system of rewards. Whereas the modern welfare state system is based on the notion that everyone in a society should have moderate well-being, and that the state is responsible for every citizen’s health, education, security, employment, etc, the prevalent capitalistic school in Pakistan proposes that the aim of life is to get rich, and that anyone can get rich. Certainly, we all know how political power is used in the service of massive economic gains by vested interests.
Above all, the Sharifs have been scandalised beyond any reasonable possibility to be redeemed politically, ethically, or as genuine trustees of the nation’s interests — not even the “heir apparent.”
So “princess,” I am sorry to say, now is not your time. The winds of change are in control of our existence — just in case you have not noticed!
Charging Into the Graveyard of Empires
By Akbar Ahmed / Col Lawrence Wilkerson
September 26, 2017
Despite President Trump’s unveiling of his Afghanistan strategy on August 21, which involves committing several thousand additional American troops, the reality is that the war in Afghanistan, the longest in US history, is effectively over.
A victory at this stage for America would mean simply maintaining an American presence in the region, as a military victory is now virtually impossible. Yet even this will be increasingly difficult given the uncertain relations between the US and other prime nations with a stake in Afghanistan — Pakistan, India, Russia, Iran, and China.
Several US presidents have recognised both the importance and the volatility of South Asia. President Bill Clinton during his presidency called South Asia “the most dangerous place on earth,” and President Barack Obama described the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region as “the most dangerous place in the world.”
Recognising the challenges in dealing with the region, US presidents in recent decades have traditionally approached South Asia by establishing alliances across the region — namely, with Kabul, Delhi, and Islamabad — that promoted regional dialogue and harmony. Whenever a president would visit India, for example, he would balance it with a visit to Pakistan, as President George W. Bush did in 2006. Demonstrating his own awareness of the importance of such a regional approach, President Obama saw Afghanistan and Pakistan in terms of a unitary “Af-Pak” region. Washington has thus long sought to create a role for itself in the region as a kind of friendly umpire. A key motivation for this attitude developed when both India and Pakistan became nuclear weapon powers and, from time to time, looked as if they might be contemplating an exchange of such weapons.
President Trump, however, has upended all of this. In particular, his response to Pakistan has been irritable and changeable. It began with a friendly call to Pakistan’s prime minister when Trump was president-elect. Trump called Pakistan “amazing” and “fantastic,” and said he wanted to find a solution to outstanding problems such as Kashmir. Now, however, as President he has reprimanded Pakistan for harbouring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror.” As if to rub salt into the already- smarting wounds of Pakistan, Trump did not have time to meet the Pakistan prime minister formally at the United Nations in September while meeting the Afghan president.
Pakistanis, for their part, have continually pointed out that they have lost some 60,000 people to terrorist attacks after becoming allies of the US in the so-called war on terror. The economy and politics of Pakistan have been profoundly affected by this seemingly endless war. Pakistani anger and frustration can be easily understood by anyone with the least empathy.
It is a critical component of sound foreign and security policy that world leaders, including those in Washington, not lose sight of the fact that every state must project a foreign policy conforming with its own interests. Trump and his foreign policy advisers must understand that when Trump openly suggested in his speech that India should play a role in Afghanistan, Pakistan was only alienated further, as Pakistan has a paranoia about being encircled militarily by India. This fear also plays into how the other powers in the region respond both to the US and Pakistan.
Let’s take China as a prime example. For the Chinese, Trump’s threats to their country over North Korea affect how Beijing behaves towards the US in South and Central Asia. Tellingly, the Chinese, who have pursued a number of economic projects in Pakistan over the past several years, immediately defended that country and effectively reprimanded the US, the day after Trump’s provocative speech claiming that Pakistan was guilty of harbouring terrorists.
If the US strategy is to bring peace to Afghanistan, the Trump administration is set on doing the opposite. It is encouraging further unrest and drawing India and Pakistan into heightened conflict, with daily confrontations between the two nuclear-armed nations at the India-Pakistan border once again becoming far too common.
If Trump hopes to get out of the quagmire the US has created in Afghanistan, he needs to begin to understand the importance of foreign policy to any American presidency. He needs foreign policy advisers who are capable of seeing the region in a larger, broader context of US interests. He also must recognise that while he sorts out his administration’s internal affairs, the powers of the region — India, China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran — are all fishing in the troubled waters of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is known as the “graveyard of empires” for a reason. War there is deceptive. An invading country might think it has won in this fraught theatre when it has actually lost. This realisation may not come until it is far too late. Today, the majority of the country has sided with the Taliban and the US is all but irrelevant to the big picture. This is a tribal war, and the Afghan tribes are not going to stop fighting, as by definition, tribal leaders and their followers will not allow an occupation of their lands. It is a question of the tribal code of honour and they will continue to fight no matter what the cost.
In order to preserve US interests in Afghanistan — which might include a reduced but long-term US military presence in accordance with a mutually agreed Status of Forces Agreement — the US needs to maintain also a strong diplomatic presence centered in its Kabul embassy, fund educational and development projects, and use its influence to increase the sense of legitimacy all Afghans feel about the government in Kabul.
Moreover, the US should be striving across the region to promote its core values — democracy, human rights, and civil liberties. We believe the vision of America’s Founding Fathers has great relevance and is the strongest representation of America not only at home, but also abroad. America must therefore adopt a compassionate, intelligent, and wise diplomacy and carry this vision from Kabul to Calcutta.
Thank You, Theresa May!
By Wajid Shamsul Hasan
It was definitely a momentous occasion for Prime Minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi to be making his maiden speech at the highest international forum. It was also an opportunity to set the record straight over President Trump’s diatribe against Pakistan followed by threats of all sorts. He had accused Pakistan of hosting safe havens for terrorists who constantly destabilise ever tottering regime in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif got so pressurised that he blurted out that Pakistan will have to do something more to eradicate this hostile perception. However, Prime Minister Abbasi put it right that Pakistan would not allow itself to be made scapegoat for failures of others.
In this back ground Prime Minister Abbasi’s speech in the UNGA was awaited anxiously. It offered him highest podium to defend Pakistan’s case, to counter allegations of it running with the hare and hunting with the hounds and to draw attention of the international community to the colossal losses in men and material in the global war against terrorism.
May’s speech should serve as an eye-opener for the overly biased, anti-Bhutto PML-N leadership, the establishment and others in cahoots. By mentioning the colossal Bhutto tragedy, May encapsulated ugly manifestations of terrorism and its catastrophic impact on human beings world over
Usually such occasions are ceremonial, ritualistic than realistic, rhetoric is the order of the day, and substantively there is more of repetition of past speeches since no old issue is resolved. Only top of the order world class statesmen make a difference. Unless one is a leader of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto’s stature, one cannot expect anything worthwhile. SKA’s speech was drafted by the Foreign Office experts and it reflect issues related to Pakistan such as Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine and currently genocide of Muslims in Myanmar.
Regretfully Pakistan’s foreign office lost its glory after General Ziaul Haq’s coup against Prime Minister Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto. As we all know during Zia’s ten years followed by General Pervez Musharraf’s with interregnum of quasi-democratic governments — Foreign Office lost all its professionalism. It became an extension of ISI, foreign policy got usurped by the intelligence and security apparatus.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif brought the cat out of the bag. It was an intelligent move by him not to have a foreign minister. Foreign policy became glaringly a reserve of the military. He acknowledged this Praetorian suzerainty by offering space to the army chief by not appointing a foreign minister for four years. Throughout, foreign policy was handled by General Raheel Sharif who had assumed the role of a powerful foreign minister as well.
Prime Minister Abbasi’s speech was more of routine than anything extra-ordinary. Its criticism that it was hastily drafted is matter of opinion. However, if a Kashmiri leader of repute such as Dr Syed Nazir Gilani says that there was much amiss in the Kashmir portion of his speech, then it must be. His presentation was as good or as bad as could be. He strongly criticised India for its human rights violations in IOK and increasing cross-border skirmishes. Any false flag incident could get converted into lethal conflagration — to say the least-both the countries being nuclear.
Indeed, the credit for genuinely defending Pakistan’s role in war against terrorism in UNGA goes to British Prime Minister Theresa May. Portion of her speech in which she remembered her friend — martyred Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto — mother victim of all terrorism — Ms May gave what could be called inadvertently an effective reply to President Trump’s accusations against Pakistan.
In an emotional speech Ms May — her country becoming victim of frequent acts of terrorism — reminded the world of her friend Benazir Bhutto who was martyred by terrorists. “This year is the tenth anniversary of the death of the woman who introduced me to my husband, and who was known well to many of us in this United Nations. Benazir Bhutto was brutally murdered by people who actively rejected the values that all of us here in this United Nations stand for.” Recalling Bhutto, who was killed in a terrorist attack in December 2007, she stood aloft against terrorism “in a country that has suffered more than most at the hands of terrorists.” She was “murdered for standing up for democracy, murdered for espousing tolerance, and murdered for being a woman”.
May’s speech should serve as an eye-opener for the overly biased, anti-Bhutto PML-N leadership, including the establishment and others in cahoots. By mentioning about the colossal Bhutto tragedy, Ms May encapsulated ugly manifestations of terrorism and its catastrophic impact on human beings world over. There could not be a better exposition of the evil that threatens every one where ever one is. Indeed, beards of terrorists need to be singed in their dens.
Pakistan’s run-away General Pervez Musharraf avoiding his arrest for murders of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti — has exposed his devil’s workshop. There is not enough space to respond to him for his epileptic outbursts, one would suffice to repeat to him words of British Prime Minister that Bhutto was “murdered for standing up for democracy, murdered for espousing tolerance, and murdered for being a woman.”
And this is all that GPM stood against. He had subverted democracy and committed act of treason by violating the Constitution. He told Benazir not to return, opposed her participation in elections and threatened her life. Moreover, he is the one who had closest links with the Jihadi terrorist networks. His defence of Hafiz Saeed shows how deeply involved he is with such elements.
One single act of having the crime scene washed by fire tenders under his orders within minutes of her assassination — is enough proof to indict him. Brigadier (retd) Javeid Iqbal Cheema, former director general of National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) had told the ATC that he had received orders direct from the Presidency to have the area washed immediately.
This could be judged from the fact that General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as DG ISI investigated the attempt on President Musharraf’s life, got to the bottom of the case through a telephone chip recovered from the scene of the blast. In Bhutto’s case, the master mind destroyed all the evidence.