Pak Interests Differ from US on Substantive Issues

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The Americans cannot understand mainstream Pakistan because they never get beyond the selected few amongst even the elite, the rulers and the civil and military bureaucracies. Ms Clinton never got the real picture on her earlier visit and surely she will not understand the depth of the anti-American sentiment that prevails in Pakistan today, despite (or perhaps because of) the massive inflows of intrusive aid into this country.

We are told she has come with a $500 million aid package and apparently the aid will go into power, agriculture, health and dams also – but as we all know for the Americans there is no such thing as a “free lunch” – and already our country is bleeding because of the alliance with the US so we are going to be bled some more with this aid package which is believed to be part of the old $ 7.5 billion Congressional aid package.

So why is one seeing this as a “bribe”? Simply because it is intended to soften the blow that the US is trying to deal Pakistan in terms of altering what remains of our indigenous foreign policy. So much has also been admitted by the self-styled expert on Pakistan, like many others on Holbrooke’s team, Vali Nasr. In a talk with CNN while he admitted that there was a wide trust gap between Pakistan and the US, besides stating that changing the relationship would take time. But his assessment was that “We are not going to be able to change their foreign policy on a dime.” If he had been a proper expert on Pakistan and actually knew the country well, he would have realised that it is not money that will alter Pakistan’s thinking (leaving aside the fifth columnists) on the US, but actually policy changes in US strategic policy especially in this region.

What are the primary changes the US will need to make to allow Pakistanis to rethink their perceptions of the US?

One, a stop in drone attacks, which can in definitional terms be regarded as state terrorism against the Pakistani people. Let Pakistan talk to its militants – many of whom are Pakistani citizens – rather than demanding our military simply kill the people of FATA indiscriminately.

Two, a new approach to the Pakistan-India relationship and a more even-handed policy towards both states. As long as the Indo-US nuclear agreement remains and the US pressurises Pakistan on its civil nuclear agreements with China, the US will be suspect. Also, the supply of state-of-the-art conventional weapon systems to India with no restrictions on their use, and the highly conditional sale of F-16s to Pakistan also add to the suspicions about the US agenda for Pakistan. And let us not forget the missile defence system for India, which will compel Pakistan to increase the number of its warheads and missiles. On Kashmir also, the recent statement by the US State Department, echoing the Indian position and ignoring the disputed status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir within the UNSC, hardly creates confidence in Pakistan. Many are asking why this is so and what the secret clauses are to this Agreement since the US is desperately seeking access for India through the land route across Pakistan into Afghanistan?

Three, the US has to rid itself of its approach to the Muslim World, especially towards Muslim states that refuse to toe the US line. Its killings of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan; its harassment of Muslims in the US itself all add to the anti-US sentiment. The US analysts are ignorant about the fact that Pakistan has since 1947 been in the frontline of assisting Muslim causes – be it our pilots flying Syrian planes against Israel or the Tunisian and Algerian leadership using Pakistani passports and our embassy in Paris as they struggled for independence from France – to cite a few examples only.

Four, the Guantanamo Bay and Dr Aafia cases are reflections of persecuting Muslims outside the pale of international law.

Five, the media campaigns – that is how they are perceived here – against Pakistan on many fronts do nothing for US interests in this country.

Six, the manner in which US diplomats, covert operatives and private contractors strut about their business in Pakistan, revealing US neoimperialist arrogance, also does not help the US cause.

These changes can bring the US more in line with Pakistan’s foreign policy interests in the region which include sustaining a credible nuclear deterrence, relying more on nuclear energy for our energy shortfalls in the long run, building upon our strategic partnership with China, improving relations with Iran – a neighbour with whom we have historic and cultural linkages and no dispute – and furthering our Muslim identity through strengthening the Ummah, and most critically moving India into conflict resolution of the core issue of Kashmir in accordance with UNSC resolutions. Can the US deliver on any of these goals? So far the answer remains in the negative.

The Nation

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  1. Muhammad ali July 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Am not good in typing please over look spell and syntax……………………….

  2. Muhammad ali July 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    An interesting article one can comment on all points a ot with an open mind , however summarily views are:-
    The ground realities are very different. The mother of ills is internal disorder of our organs which have gone beyond repairs warranting emerging of sane leadership. This nation of 180 Million people are already sacrificing and will do more if a Massey emergences……….
    “The Americans cannot understand mainstream Pakistan because they never get beyond the selected few amongst even the elite, the rulers and the civil and military bureaucracies” This logic is not on strong footings, can anybody tell me a super power having all resources of the world cannot understand the mainstream of Pakistan? Its an emotional statement. The funding coming in Billions of US$, in the past have been spent through the govt institutions but where it has gone. Corruption is the cancer for the country to grow. Second was through NGOs and again the corruption and dishonest lot is ( not all but majority) running their organizations with an aim to make their pockets full……………………….”We are told she has come with a $500 million aid package and apparently the aid will go into power, agriculture, health and dams also”………..the aid coming for the issues referred are in shambles and if these are not addressed be ready to have serious food and water security problems emerging having total anarchy in the country. Every country that offers grants etc is not a lolly pop to the toddler, its to suit their interests in the region. Yes I agree not to accept if all the rich families of Pakistan having Billions of US$ laying in foreign countries bring them back to Pakistan. From where this money has come with these families. Certainly one of the corridors of making illegal money is foreign funding that is misappropriated……………..
    “What are the primary changes the US will need to make to allow Pakistanis to rethink their perceptions of the US?”
    Comments on the issues highlighted are:-
    Issue One – Drone Attack………. Its agreed drone technology should be given to us and we must use against the radicals / mischievous mongers who are have made the 99.9% of FATA of peace loving people hostage to suit their interest.The local of FATA are remarkable people, any collateral damage certainly have negative effects.
    Issue Two = Approach to India Pakistan Relations………We should be very clear that how to safe guard our interest. One thing is positive despite all ills in our political leadership, that in the hour of crises they sit down and take outstanding decision to safe guard NATIONAL INTERST and the example is no compromise on acquiring NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY and Inshallah we should expect equally a good approach with regards to PAK CHINA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP. Why US is having strong bondage with India, we all know very well and I must complement President of Pakistan for having a successful visit to CHINA “our time tested friend” to go for a partnership that safe guards the strategic interest of both the countries and world at large…………”Supply of state-of-the-art conventional weapon systems to India with no restrictions on their use, and the highly conditional sale of F-16s to Pakistan also add to the suspicions about the US agenda for Pakistan” ……………..Who stops you to accept dont do it. What’s the way forward? You can go to the international market and find anybody who is ready to give you the birds at your terms and conditions? Mind it we are a nuclear state having a say for safe guarding our NATIONAL INTEREST and nobody can dictate. If F 16s have been given conditional, who stops you from using when your survival is at stake? It doesnt matter US may give any missile system to India, Pakistan is strong enough to deal with. Relax we don’t need very many WAR HEADS; our vision should be very clear. The nuclear might of Pakistan is India centric and it’s a fact. We don’t have to be the champion of Muslim Ummah to waste our might for them…why and for what? However at all World Forums we must support muslim cause on reciprocal basis. Yes the access to INDIA FOR LAND ROUTE SHOULD BE DENIED AT ALL COST COME WHAT MAY BE. “ALL ILLS OF PROBLEMS IN BALOCHISTAN IS BEYOUND DOUBT IS INDIA” they have the reason for it…………………… but we have to contest at any price.
    Issue Three – The US has to rid itself of its approach to the Muslim World. To be the front line muslim cause is good but the way it is portrayed by the analysist is not acceptable. We should be the Champion for our own cause. Have we all forgotten as and when our delegations are sent to Iraq, Oman, Palestine Leadership etc etc what’s their response……to support us for India’s mischievous acts…………a total lukewarm. Has ever Palestinian or Iraqi Leadership left the floor of world bodies in our favor……..No sir never. We should be pragmatic and literate in our Nationalist Approach…………….and it should revolve around PAKISTAN AND ONLY PAKISTAN. If we are strong, it means every weak country is strong.
    Issue Four Dr Aafia Case – Yes she should have been tried by the International Court of Justice and if found guilty she be penalized. Just to keep her in custody without trial is a violation of basic human rights. Sentencing by US courts is not being taken positively on all Moral and Humanitarian grounds.
    Issue Five The Media Campaign – I don’t blame US, when your own media is acting most irresponsibly to sell Countries national interest by playing in the hands of others, we should not blame. Look at the TV anchors how badly they are handling National Issues. They should be channelized and example is US Media and Indian, they both look towards their government policy and play accordingly. We have many Mir Jaffars in Pakistan who are adamant to harm the country on the pretext of “AZADI E SAHAFAT” Freedom of Press. Its indeed very sad showing all the times bomb explosion and negativities is badly affecting the growth and minds of young kids. Some of the children have become psycho and who will take care of pathetic condition of the parents who are in great agony.
    Issue Six US diplomats and their covert operatives in Pakistan – The problem is with our thinking. We got safeguard our interest and here comes the Nationalist Approach rather than Muslim Ummah. With regards to energy crisis, strategic partnership with China, resolving of Kashmir issue, these no one can compromise. We should also see, can these issue be resolved without America under the present geo strategic environments? NEGATIVE. Follow the Chinese model…….make your house in order and all these issue will be resolved without resistance. Few of the problem areas that got to be seen critically if we have to avoid becoming Ethiopia are………POPULATION MASHROOM GROWTH a cancer and mother of all ills and secondly CONSTRUCTION OF WATER STORAGE DAMS……..our enemy has invested in billions to create a lobby from and within us and this unpatriotic group emerge like an enemy as and when Kalabagh Dam issue is raised.
    I read an interesting article Top The War – Pakistan’s Coalition Of Conscience
    http://www.pakalertpress.com/2010/07/19/stop-the-war-pakistans-coalition-of-conscience
    and the comments opined are also forwarded and if the readers want to go to site to read this article go to the site as highlighted above.
    Greetings Gentleman! The charter of demands is good but there is lot to see critically. How can you conclude that some of the Muslim countries you have referred are welcome. In my opinion they are equally responsible to bring chaos in Pakistan because of their doings. Fighting their own war on the soil of pures rather than fighting on their borders. We got to be pragmatic and open minded. The unscrupulous radicals having no respect for the teaching of Islam are a slur bringing bad image of our great religion. These bug gars do all unethical and morally low and below human dignity activities sodomy is part of their socializing in the hide outs. Yes the US should be told for the amicable resolving of the problem. One can write and write alot. I lost my kith and kin in the bomb explosions at HAZARAT DADA GUNG BAKSH RA a great saint and decedent of Hazrat ALI A.S. These saints are the one who brought Islam in this part of the world……and what all the intellectual are doing is Sad and very worrisome. Please revisit your demands that are viable and EXPECTABLE TO THE HUMANITY at large not to the US only. When you are trouble you ask for humanitarian assistance to the US, the example is earth quake…..Had the Chinooks helicopters not been there the catastrophe would have been unimaginable. Its one example…..I am not a loyalist of the Holy Pope but one should be realistic.

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