By Dr. Haider Mehdi
Kya kiya Khizer ne Sikandar se
Ab kise rahnuma kare koi
Jab tavaqqo hi ath gai Ghalib
Kyooh kassi ka gilla kare koi
What, after all, Khizer (the mythical prophet who is supposed to have known the secret of immortality) did for Alexander (the Greek conqueror who sought immortality)!
Whom should one adopt as one’s guide?
Ghalib! When all expectations have ended,
Why should one complain about anybody?
Ghalib, Translated by William Stafford
Recently, the Pakistani Foreign Minister told the European Parliament in Brussels that economic aid is key “if you want to help us fight extremism.” In this insane and appalling piece of diplomacy to appease their masters in European capitals and Washington, the top Pakistani diplomat, in effect, told his audience that the blood price of Pakistani citizens is a massive amount of dollars, Euros and British pounds flowing into the coffers of the incumbent regime in Islamabad.
“Extremism” here in the Foreign Minister’s statement is meant to be the so-called “war on terror.” And when the entire
sentence is precisely translated and fed into the belligerent anti-Islamic, anti-Pakistan mindset of European-US establishment, it implicitly means the following: keep us (the incumbent regime) in power, feed us with money and we will do your fighting of a proxy war against our own citizens. Pakistani blood is for sale. This is an auction and you will have to offer us the highest price!
Disappointing and disturbing as it is (viewed from a nationalistic perspective), the strategic doctrine and the management of the so-called “war on terror” has been so far working in favor of the Zardari-Gilani regime. In spite of an absolutely abysmal political management performance, loss of public support and the credibility of the Zardari clan, the incumbent regime in Pakistan continues to receive the overt and covert support of its masters in Washington, London and other European capitals. However, now a new set of political-economic parameters are being set by the so-called “Friends of Pakistan”: US-European political establishments are demanding that Pakistani taxpayers fund the so-called “war on terror” and pay in blood as well as in money. The Zardari-Gilani regime does not mind spilling Pakistani blood, but they want to be tough on the money deal—it is in this context that the Foreign Minister made the recent statement to the European Parliament: if you want us to fight your war, you will have to pay – no bars on shedding the blood of Pakistani citizens.
The loss of national sovereignty and dignity is incredible under the present political dispensation in Islamabad. US-European interference in Pakistan’s domestic policy-making has reached unprecedented levels: Hillary Clinton is demanding a new tax structure in Pakistan, British Foreign Secretary William Hague insists that Pakistan needs “a widening of the tax base” and the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle does not hesitate to suggest that Pakistan needs structural changes in its tax system. The Friends of Democratic Pakistan, the IMF, World Bank and Asian
Development Bank, all have their own remedies and demands on the Pakistani people: raise electricity tariffs, add tax to gas and petrol prices, increase borrowing of foreign loans, seek foreign investment on terms dictated by foreign companies and do their bidding on the so-called “war on terror” by spilling blood of our own citizens and renting out our armed forces to fight their wars for global-political, economic and military domination. In response to this belligerent European-US approach to Pakistan’s problematic, all the Pakistani Foreign Minister said to appease his masters at the Brussels talks, where 26 countries and international groups had gathered, was: “…the government of Pakistan is fully cognizant of what they need to do…there are more reforms (what a terrible misuse of the word) in the pipeline.”
The fact is that the incumbent Pakistani government does not know “what they need to do.”
The Zardari-Gilani regime has made a mockery of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Indeed, we do need a reform of our tax system, we definitely require a fundamental change and an adjustment in the equilibrium between rich and poor in this country, we do want the quick emergence of a middle class society, we need to control inflation, we need efficient fiscal management, we need to resolve fundamental problems of mass economic-social deprivations, we deserve health and educational reforms, we desire environmental protection, we need to enact an independent foreign policy, we need the armed forces to defend our territorial integrity and, among a host of other “do’s,” we need to safeguard our nuclear assets. But all of these “do’s” must emerge from within the political system and political structure of this country rather than being fundamentally linked to the illegitimate demands and global policy goals of some foreign powers.
What the Zardari-Gilani political clan has done so far is to fundamentally alter our national priorities. The top priority of this regime is to stay in power with the backing of US-West’s political establishments and promote the US-West’s neo-conservative agenda of global domination. Paul Craig Roberts, in a recent article entitled “The War on Terror – What’s It All About” observed, “The …bottom line answer is that the ‘war on terror’ is about creating real terrorists. The US government desperately needs real terrorists in order to justify its expansion of its wars against Muslim countries…The US government creates terrorists by invading Muslim countries …killing vast numbers of civilians…installing puppet governments…to murder and persecute citizens as is occurring on a vast scale in Pakistan…Their plan fit with the interests of America’s ruling oligarchies. Wars are good for profits of the military/security complex…”(and consequently good for the US-West’s capitalist multi-national corporations). Hence, it is an illusion that the US-Nato forces will completely quit Afghanistan unless the “Resistance Forces” there inflict such heavy damage on allied troops that public opinion in the West turns against their own political establishments.
In the meantime, the Zardari-Gilani government continues to facilitate the US-Nato agenda of so-called “war on terror” by further pushing Pakistan into this quagmire (indeed, in exchange for the West’s support for their government and continuing in power). This is in spite of a rising public resentment against the US-Nato: nearly 90% of Pakistanis consider America as its main enemy. At the time of writing this article, a high-powered Pakistani delegation headed by the ever-obliging, soft-spoken saint/Pir from Multan, Shah Mahmoud Quraishi, including the army chief, the ISI chief, the director general of military operations and several ministers and federal secretaries, are getting ready to fly to Washington to present Pakistan government’s own plan for military operations in the North Waziristan tribal area along the Afghan border during a strategic dialogue with the US. In a statement issued in Islamabad ahead of the forthcoming “strategic dialogue,” the Foreign Ministry said there was no “lack of Pakistani resolve to fight terrorism.”
Indeed, we all know Pakistani citizens’ blood will be for sale and this nation’s sovereignty will be negotiated in a complex and deceptive web of official statements at the end of this so-called” strategic dialogue” – explicitly organized to appease and please the “masters” in Washington, London, Paris, Bonn and elsewhere.
Absurdly, an Associated Press report claims that militants in Pakistan are destabilizing the US-allied government and are getting ready to take over the state. Don’t we remember the US-West’s warning that “Islamist militants” were sixty miles from Islamabad all set to ransack the capital and take over the Presidential Palace and the Prime Minister’s House? Consequently, the world was going to fall apart because Islam, being a living, growing, exploding organism, was about to devour Western civilization and rain nuclear bombs on Tel Aviv, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Vienna and everywhere else.
The question is: How far can the US-Wet continue this kind of psychological warfare against its own people and the world at large in the interest of its ruling capitalist oligarchies?
The fact of the matter is that the Afghani people are fighting a war of resistance against a brutal merciless occupation.
Islam is not the enemy; US-West’s neo-conservativism is the enemy of its own people and of the people all over the world.
As of the Zardari-Gilani clan, one can only recall what Ghalib implied in his verses: They will never attain individual or historically important political immorality – they will pass into oblivion by virtue of their own misdeeds!!!
The Zardari-Gilani theatrics is a comedy of errors – that will end in a Shakespearean tragedy!!!
That is how the cookie will crumble!!
Jab tavaqqo hi ath gai Ghalib
Kyooh kassi ka galla kare koi!!
The writer: professor, political analyst, published author and conflict-resolution expert.