Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Young Benazir Bhutto.

Benazir Bhutto , the clear foreign policy  leader.
Benazir Bhutto was a  political leader of Pakistan whose charm and charisma swept the people's vote towards Pakistan Peoples Party in elections all over the country. From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's dynamic, populist political legacy  to Benazir Bhutto's determined thrust towards democratic people's rule we see how this young, Oxford educated leader in Pakistan transformed the consciousness of the Pakistan political man and woman, into the mainstream electoral politics. The crown of glory for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was raising the consciousness of the worker and farmer, the ordinary AWAM to face the rich and making the industrialist families lose power and influence but the crown of glory for this daughter of the east  was making each and every individual conscious of the power of his and her vote. her legacy is definitely the superiority of the people that is the parliament over all other institutions and authoritarian forces in the country. Young Benazir at the age of 25 wrote a book buy the name of Foreign Policy Perspective  which reflects the clear vision and leadership qualities that  were present in her even at that young age.she was  under detention in Lahore at this time between December 18, 1977 and January 14, 1978.
In her first chapter  "The most allied ally" she takes a bold , individual and seminal stance on the US -Pakistan relationship. She laments the attitude of Pakistan towards the US as a love affair , all or none relationship. She says that this does not prepare Pakistan for a  "rainy day". Pakistan's opposition or silent status at China's  membership at UN etc and its "sub-normal" relationship with socialist states is criticized.She says  that Pakistan builds one sided bridges which do not exist in politics and diplomacy. How true and prophetic this perspective seems in the context of the difficult diplomatic relationship that is now existing between Pakistan and the US.
Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto did lean towards China and that was the starting point in his foreign policy perspective and Benazir built up this perspective on that foundation. She did strengthen the Sino-Pakistan relationship and bonding  much more than any previous leader and her legacy holds. This has been utilized even by the armed forces and other allied industries despite their leanings towards the US.
Another very interesting and almost prophetic perspective statement is about the independence of Tunisia and Morocco.She writes that General Ayub Khan called the US a "natural friend of Pakistan". The independence of the two states was vigorously supported by Pakistan because it was not  opposed by the US. How ironic that at present her party government is being criticized as a supporter of the US although pragmatism requires this stance in foreign policy at this critical times and stage of history.
This chapter shows clearly her leanings towards a strong, bold and independent foreign policy. Her accusers and enemies in Pakistan are clear liars against her today as her writings can be seen by all.
In the chapter USA she asks the US government that was it necessary to destabilize Pakistan in 1977? This question pre-Taleban Alqaeda emergence gives the basic insight into the politics of the region that are now eating away at the very foundations and existence of Pakistan. Says she that the acquisition of the "Reprocessing plant " by Pakistan was the basis on which US punished the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It is ironic that the generation that carries the legacy of  that US supported militant, founding memebers of the Afghan Jihad have finally killed this leader and their political supporters in Pakistan use the name of Islam to carry out the agenda that the US set for them in the 1980s/ It seems that her book clearly gives the perspective in which Mr. Bhutto's  judicial murder was clandestinely handled by the military cum jihadi supporters of the US.
In writing about who is Pakistan's closest friend she maintains Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's stance that Pakistan's closest friend will be the country with whom she shares her common interest.The degree of the relationship changes with the degree of common interest.She emphasizes maintenance of good relationship with all the great powers . She emphasizes that the deterioration of US-Pakistan relations during Zulfikar  Ali Bhutto was not his doing because "For a leader of the people can never compromise on a central national issue".
Her book clearly shows the political and foreign policy blunders that the establishment and military junta of 1977 and later years has done that have brought Pakistan to this stage of socio-economic collapse. It also gives  insight into the "Tsunami" politics that are now blaming the incumbent government for all the evils that the US backed militant-jihadi-psuedo-political players did.
It is sad that Pakistanis forget and distort historical facts. It is sad that Benazir Bhutto was killed for her clear perspectives on foreign policy for Pakistan.It is sad that Pakistan remains, illiterate, unhealthy and unloved by its own elite be it military or civilian. It is sad that leaders like her were silenced so that Pakistan remians failed, corrupt and poor. It is sad that there will never be any justice supreme in Pakistan despite the populist, verbal Tsunami by the "New Emperor" pushed suddenly forward by the establishment.
Writer of this post Dr Meher Zaidi. (Ref: Forign Policy Perspective, Agha Amir Hussain, Classic, 42, Shahrahe Qauid e Azam , Lahore, Pakistan)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Memogate Conspiracy:The Emperor's New Clothes!

Honour is purchas'd by the deeds we do
So says Christopher Marlowe. 
As all hell seemingly broke lose in Pakistan in the Hussain Haqqani "Memogate" affair many a clothed people appeared nude. Bereft of the clothes of modesty and fairplay, their ugly inner selves showing grotesquely.Whither honor, whither shame. We in Pakistan as a society appear to be paranoid, delusional, amnesic. We forget the recurring dramas and theatrical albeit tragic plays that destabilise the fledgling democratic governments.Kamran Khan , a top rated anchor seems to have lost his fair reporting and seems to be flowing in with the tide of his television channel.The Pakistan Peoples Party is once again being burdened by the Zardari baggage. And all the king making devils are smiling. So Mr Nawaz Sharif wants Mr Zardari hanged by the 6th amendment?How convenient. Amnesia runs amok. Himself could not change a jail bulb. forgetting the dictator's treatment Mr Nawaz Sharif? How convenient. But then history has a bad habit of repeating itself.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves. Goethe.
So poor Mr Hussain Haqqani standing alone for freedom, democracy, polity. He shall however be not sacrificed alone. The emperor has been selected. The new emperor shall wear the new clothes. So the sages will predict. A coup, a change of guards. A few heads rolling. But who will pay the price? The ordinary people? The elite?or Pakistan?
A grim, dim future awaits us. The Ides of March have come to December.Now is the winter of our discontent"http://shakespeare.mit.edu/richardiii/richardiii.1.1.html
Are you call'd forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounced
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me
The deed you undertake is damnable.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pakistan Happenings..Attacks In Autumn.

Pakistan Happenings..Attacks In Autumn.

Twenty four jawans and officers killed tragically in morning attacks on 25th November, 2011 by NATO forces from across the border. The commander says it is being investigated. No submission of guilt or regrets . The female anchor Sana Buccha grills the commander again and again as to what punishment will be given if it was an individual act. The layman will be confused. How can the NATO US forces attack and kill so many in a Pakistan flag hoisted check post. The truth is too bitter to be discussed threadbare on Pakistan television channels.BBC World airs a documentary on 27th which gives a clear perspective on what the UK/NATO/US forces think about Pakistan forces. I deduce  the result of what actually may have happened as my hunch was.
The BBC documentary showed that the British and US forces believed that after 2005 when the US attacked Iraq ,the Afghan insurgency got a boost and the Afghan Taleban started consolidating their forces by training, ammunition and increased suicide and other IED attacks. The generals openly said that all this was provided by Pakistani forces. This  same thing was also stated in another manner by Pakistan television experts commentators that every time the Haqqani  network attacks or bombs a target in Afghanistan, the US blames Pakistan. The last sentence in the program was that this support is being done to this day. They went as far to say that all the British troops that lost their lives were killed by this Pakistan support.
The border area is very porous and there is no clear demarcation. The US forces which form a large part of NATO have very sophisticated night vision equipment and other  gadgetry. They have very sophisticated command and control strategy even in hand to hand fighting situation. Their attack at this level cannot be a mistake. It seems deliberate and well planned. It was successfully executed. This happened because they actually believe at the local command level at that time that these check post personnel were helping the insurgents physically. This is the reason that they called in fighter planes and not just helicopters. This is the sad truth that  seems so obvious. The US pushing for eliminating the Haqqani network and Pakistan resisting any more operation against this wily group of militants. It seems Pakistan wants to have the cake and eat it too.
The immediate solution in Afghanistan is not possible. This friction will continue till 2014 when larger part of US forces will withdraw. The US wants to strengthen Kabul’s defense. This may not come to fruitition as planned as Taleban will continue to assert. They may succeed in strengthening their hold in larger areas again. The NATO forces want to clear the Eastern provinces to make the insurgency invalid or lessen its fatality in Pakistan areas in the near future.
What the US wants will not be really the solution in the near future. The Pakistan and Afghan Taleban are not separate and the solution adopted by the Pakistan army may be the most acceptable in the near future. Too much war has ravaged Afghanistan and it has now crippled the frontier region of Pakistan. Imran Khan is right when he says we must negotiate with the Pakistan Taleban and bring peace to the region. But not by lying down and giving up everything. We must negotiate in stronger terms asking for assurance of Pakistan government writ and also removing the Frontier regulation act and bringing Pakistan law in FATA. Imran Khan is wrong when he says this is not our war that we are fighting. We are definitely fighting our own war but peace must come to the region soon.
The future of this region depends on immediate end to hostilities and a return to negotiated peace. This is the only solution in  short term that may reach out for a larger peace in long term.