In 1947 when Pakistan came into our national motto was ” Appney Watan Mein apny heiy Sub kuch Piyare.” This slogan with our becoming frontline ally of America has been turned into ” Appney Watan mein apna kuch bih Nahi heiy Piyare”.
By Ali Ashraf Khan
US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has been reported saying that the United States has a right to interfere in Pakistan’s economic and governance affairs as the US is the main fund provider to Pakistan. Ambassador Munter is not alone with this opinion. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has displayed the same attitude when she was criticizing the Pakistani government for going back on the raise of petrol prices – an entirely internal affair of Pakistan. And there have been many more such occasions where representatives of the US have criticized or even interfered into different aspects of the economic, foreign or defense policies of Pakistan. Why this is done just because our rulers and opposition have subjugated them before US functionaries. In justifying his interference and that of Ms. Clinton which had drawn quite some negative comments in Pakistan Ambassador Munter said that the United States was providing the largest amount of aid to Pakistan, therefore, it has right to interfere in economic and governance affairs.
This argument of Ambassador Munter is a very telling one and it should be analyzed carefully by our policy makers. What he is actually saying is that by giving aid to you we are purchasing your sovereignty and thus acquire the right of deciding how and where it should be spent. Now the US is not giving any aid with regard to keeping petrol prices at a certain level. That again means that by giving aid to Pakistan in one sector of economy, education or wherever else they reserve the right for themselves to comment and interfere in any other field of economic, political or military decision making of the government.
There are a couple of lessons to be learned from this: First, hundreds of states in Europe or elsewhere give aid to countries in the third world but none would venture to take over the government or decision making like the US does. Secondly, surely the US does give some kind of aid to India also. Would they dare to refer to India in the same way? When the Obama government decided to send Ambassador Holbrook as special representative for Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, India protested and immediately the name of India was taken out from Holbrook’s assignment. Thirdly, this case clearly shows what the intention of the US is in Pakistan: to make it a launching pad for their loosing war in Afghanistan and when the time comes that they will withdraw because they can’t afford the war effort any more, they will then blame Pakistan for it. Because they think they have purchased us so now they can do with us what ever they want. This attitude amply proves that power not only corrupts, but it also goes into the head of wielders, and in their intoxication they then try to spread their tentacles to bring in more nations into their suzerainty and sphere of influence as slaves, and that is what the United States is desperately trying with a looming challenge threatening their financial and economic system because credibility of dollar as world currency has been challenged by China and others and a war of currencies is in the offing. In an effort to reduce the US budget deficit it has been recently declared by Secretary Defense Robert Gates that American troops will leave Afghanistan by 2014 to control the financial recession looming over their head.
The world at the moment is in the grip of policy of isolation, America has succeeded to some extent in isolating Pakistan with allegations of harbouring terrorism and fundamentalists in the West, they are at the same time trying to divide our nation into secular and religious groups so as to pitch them against each other in the times to come to serve the American vested interest. Blasphemy law in Pakistan has been made a bone of contention for the West while they have completely forgotten that Law of Blasphemy was first introduced in UK to protect Christian faith, from the 16th century to the mid-19th century, blasphemy against Christianity applied mainly to the Church of England where it was held as an offence against common law. Blasphemy was also used as a legal instrument to persecute atheists, Unitarians, and others. All blasphemies against God, including denying His being or providence, all contumelious reproaches about Jesus Christ, all profane scoffing at the Holy Scriptures, and exposing any part thereof to contempt or ridicule, were punishable by the temporal courts with death, imprisonment, corporal punishment and fine. In 1656, the Quaker James Naylor suffered flogging, branding and the piercing of his tongue by a red-hot poker. Perhaps then there was no concept of human rights in the West, while Islam had laid stress on dignity of man and respect for humanity 1400 years ago.
The Blasphemy Act 1698 in the West enacted that if any person, educated in or having made profession of the Christian religion, should by writing, preaching, teaching or advised speaking, deny that the members of the Holy Trinity were God, or should assert that there is more than one god, or deny the Christian religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures to be of divine authority, he should, upon the first offence, be rendered incapable of holding any office or place of trust, and for the second incapable of bringing any action, of being guardian or executor, or of taking a legacy or deed of gift, and should suffer three years imprisonment without bail. In 1927, the British colonial rulers of the sub-continent made it a criminal offence to commit “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religious belief”.
In 1947 when Pakistan came into being our national motto was “ Appney Watan Mein apna heiy Subkuch Piyare.” This slogan with our becoming frontline ally of America has been turned into “ Appney Watan mein apna kuch bhi Nahi heiy Piyare”. In 2001when the War against Terror was thrust on Pakistan, our export earning was $ 9 Billion and we were receiving $ 7 Billion as remittance. Our Import bill was $11 Billion still $5 Billion were left in the national kitty. Since 2002 the cost of Pakistan involvement in War on terror is estimated around $ 100 Billion out of which only 6 to 8 billion dollars have been re-imbursed to us in five to six years during Musharraf regime, while the 3 year old Kerry-Lugar-Bremen package has spread into thin air and our sovereignty has been compromised for nothing. These are unexplainable facts, which make the readers think as to how our leaders have digested this out burst of Americans, when Prime Minister has declared to take back the recent increase in petroleum prices. There was an in house struggle going on JUI has parted ways, MQM ministers had tendered resignation, announced to sit on opposition benches in parliament and PML (N) gave an ultimatum with 11 point agenda for reforms to be accepted in 72 hours to tackle corruption, nepotism and mis-management in government expenditure. Prime Minister Gillani announced he will focus on those points given by PML (N) and as in the past Nawaz league decided to join hands with the government knowing fully the past experience of betrayals as alleged by PML (N) leadership under a well planned game of musical chairs. Miseries of common men in the street are hardly of any importance for all and sundry.
This American policy of adventurism is going to damage much more the world community than Pakistan. Little do they realize that the affects of this will be more startling then the outcome of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which have strangulated their own economy worst? In 64 years that Pakistan has come into existence, if America thinks that we can not bear the brunt of their explosive proxy war policy and we will start acting like a timed puppet, our deluged leaders may do so but the nation will not until and unless concrete steps are taken in this direction.
There are two alternatives arising from this scenario. One, the US should decide to include Pakistan as the fifty first state into the US and Mr. Munter can be made Viceroy of Pakistan and all his US embassy staff and the different ‘specialists’ working in the country can be made into the vice regal council and Pakistan can be US-Pakistan as it has been British-India before. This would certainly ruin the anyway tottering American economy!! But, on a more realistic note, they actually can’t afford us. The second option is, and this has been proposed by us many a time before, that our government finally decides to break the begging bowl, to send the IMF and the rest of the US to hell even if we have to eat grass as late Mr. Bhutto had said we will struggle with determination for liberation of Kashmir even if we have to eat grass for a thousand years. We should finally realize that all that aid given to us including the so-called ‘humanitarian’ one has a price tag on it; the price being our sovereignty. Is the nation willing to compromise its sovereignty? Certainly, Not. It is time to realize this simple truth and act accordingly.