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Go Amreeka Go!

Go Amreeka Go…

by Ali Khan on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 5:42pm

It seems that Pakistani media has assumed, or calculated, that Pakistanis expect drama on a continuous basis. Raymond Davis is the new and ideal fixation. An American shoots two ‘innocent’ Pakistanis and a third one is killed by a U.S consulate vehicle rushing to Mr. Davis’s aid. The widow of one of the deceased commits suicide after declaring that she had no faith in the legal system to bring the killer of her husband to justice. What a Godsend!

It is a testament to the free-market enterprise that given freedom to do business companies will always come up with new ideas and stories to meet demand. It is not that the media invented this one or even that it is blowing it out of proportion; after all, the killer in question is a James Bond style American. But the fact is that scores of people die every day in shootouts across the country and Americans kill Pakistanis almost daily in the drone strikes. It’s just that this time the man is a mystery and plenty political mileage can be had by politicians by painting their opponents American stooges and themselves as sufficiently anti-American. Even police and the courts are going out of their way to express solidarity with public opinion.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi has become the voice of resistance to the American pressure to free the man. He must be the hypocrite of a higher order since no such ‘ghairat’ was seen in him on drone strikes. And the people cheering him must be the same fools who cheered Salman Taseer’s killer. Whether the drones kill terrorists or civilians is not the issue really. Americans are doing what they think is in their national security interest. Screw the laws when it comes to your national security. But as Pakistanis, we should, for once, think: A foreign country is bombing our territory!  Plain and simple. Americans will be gone sooner or later but the rest of Pakistan will have to live with some very vengeful people in their midst.

Some have called on the Govt to show spine and tell the U.S Govt to take a hike. They suggest that even if the Americans cut the money etc, it should be seen as ‘good riddance’. Ratios and percentages are dug up to show the minuscule nature of American aid impact on the country’s economy. I agreethat charity has never solved poverty and Pakistan must conduct internal reforms to grow the economy and cut waste. But in the event of an economic squeeze in the short term (assuming the nearly implausible situation of U.S aid cut), it is not people like those pundits or politicians or even many like me and you who are affected nearly as severely as those living on, near or below the poverty line. Are these ‘ghairatmands’ willing to help their fellow countrymen through tough times? More importantly, are they willing and committed to see real reforms implemented without bias, and unite the country behind a true national agenda?

There are also those who suspect Mr. Davis’s involvement in terrorist or espionage activities in the country (as if there are no Pakistanis involved in both already). The American is certainly no ordinary man. He has all the hallmarks of a Special Forces soldier. And he is probably in Pakistan as much more than a technical consultant to the embassy. Most likely, he is one of many deployed under cover to hunt America’s enemies. But the fact remains that the Army and ISI knows about these operatives and in all likelihood provide them with any support needed. So the rage directed at United States, Zardari and all the so-called puppets of America should, in fairness, be re-directed at the Army and ISI. Without their consent none of this sort is possible in Pakistan. Yet, the ghairatmands cynically avoid the mention of Army and ISI’s alliance with the Americans.

Off course, Army’s alliance with the United States goes back decades. Gen. Ayub Khan declared Pakistan a frontline state in the Cold War.  Since then, Army has maintained good working relations with at least the defense establishment of the United States. It is ironic that Pakistanis consider their Army to be free of U.S influence and politicians as its cronies. Nonetheless, Army deals with the U.S very skillfully, extracting aid and military hardware while maintaining an image of independence and nationalism.  Army has developed its policy-making and research think-tanks and is much better positioned than the under-developed political parties in the art of international affairs and diplomatic give-take.

To be concluded…..

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Categories: War & Politics
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