He wikicised us

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Ever since WikiLeaks started figuring big in the news here, people have been getting really indignant about the King of Saudi Arabia criticising the President of Pakistan by calling him (Mr Zardari) corrupt and an obstacle to the progress of Pakistan.

There were angry comments on Facebook and in the papers about the matter. A letter to the Editor in one of the English dailies has a retired colonel of the Pakistan Army saying that he feels hurt by the monarchs remarks. He says that seeing as Mr Zardari is the elected President of this country, the Kings remarks are an insult to the people of Pakistan. He says that it is our right to question and criticise him, not anyone elses, and that if they do so it is interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

Dear Mr Colonel Sir, I would normally feel the same way myself, particularly since the rulers of Saudi Arabia are, as you point out, not elected, nor (as I add) of clean repute, which makes them somewhat like Mr Zardari, on the latter account. There are other similarities too, one a picture of King Abdullah kissing Mr Bush, whereas Mr Zardari prefers other ends to achieve his means.

However, this is not a normal situation, and while neither protagonist is what would normally be called an acceptable Head of State, elected or otherwise, it is more to the point what we are, or are not, and that includes our Head of State and his buddies, and if you please, the King was only telling the truth.

Yes we have the right to question and criticise our leaders, and we have been doing so, but questions without answers or results are no use. Whats more, elected representatives are meant to, you know, represent, or respond to the interests of those who elected them. Its what the deal was. But I see no representation here, no response to the needs of the people of Pakistan. Did we, for example, really need two more ministers in our already large federal cabinet? It appears we have the pleasure of supporting the lavish needs of two more such officials, as of last Tuesday. There is such a thing as eating a people out of house and home, and I thought we were being asked to downsize? Indeed our Prime Minister had proclaimed that this would be done. So what have they done, stopped putting almonds in their gajjar ka halwa or something? Goodness no! That would be too much to expect of our elected representatives.

As far as the bit about internal affairs and sovereignty is concerned, in todays day and age, no country leads quite the isolated existence it did once upon a delightful time. Certainly Pakistan does not. How internal are our affairs, do you suppose, when we breed and foster the likes of the Taliban who spread out into the wide, wide world and bomb the people of other countries? And how sovereign is our country when it goes around begging bowl in hand to every country in the world, asking for aid every time the wolf is at the door and also otherwise? I think the ruddy wolf has taken up residence there, frankly, in fact it seems to be breeding even as fast as the Taliban themselves.

Mr Zardari, and Mr Sharif, if they pooled their money stored in safer places and/or if they tried to govern as they ought, could prevent this from happening. But do they? They procure more expensive cars for themselves, spend millions on their official and personal residences, make useless tours when they spend billions on their accommodation and expenses, all on the tab of the country thats standing by begging for help.

How sovereign are you if you owe the very clothes on your back to someone else? I reckon every man and his grandmother anywhere in the world has a right to a say in our affairs, when they are forever obliged to feel sorry for those poor people in Pakistan, and to give, forever give donations from their wallets against disasters that take place here. Ugh.

I think its time we figure out what our biggest disaster is, please, and deal with it, and once we do that, then we have the right to get tetchy about what anyone else says about us. Not before.