Has the Count Down Started?


Ask not for whom the bell tolls

On May 6, this year, in an emotive moment, Obama embraced 79-year-old Shigeaki Mori, who survived the inhuman and first ever nuclear attack as an eight years old innocent child.  At the occasion Obama said everything about ethics and humanity but couldn’t pick up the guts to extend an apology because that needs courage and a character. This pompous and arrogant side of US is not something new. Dig out the history and there is not a single incident where one will find them extending apology over their glaring mistakes, wrong doings and shameful acts, may that be dropping atom bombs on innocent people, killing Kongs in Vietnam, brutality and war crimes against the Iraqis, ruthless murder of Afghans or killing more innocents and just 4% of the criminals in drone strikes in FATA. Who can forget about that famous blood bath given by the American drones thus killing 18 harmless civilians in Damadola? This all comes to one’s mind when the American president suddenly forgetting all the efforts, sacrifices and gigantic contribution made by Pakistan in GWOT, turned indifferent and while standing beside a fanatic demanded from Pakistan to punish Pathankot and Mumbai attacks’ perpetrators but the most alarming for war on terror’s alley was, sanctioning to India the status of ‘major defence partner.

Pakistan is shocked and bamboozled not over forging of this suspicious alliance but over America’s traditional selfish attitude which is not understood. Finally, it has forced Pakistan to seriously start thinking about realigning its relations with America. Despite the partner’s giving company for 36 holes to a golfer, if is still treated as a caddy then what’s the fun in wasting time? It’s evident through Pakistan’s behaviour after the recent drone strike against the Taliban Chief that the country’s high ups are of the view that, ‘enough is enough’. The summoning of American ambassador by the army chief of a country should not be taken lightly. The US envoys don’t pay heed to even the governments, while in Pakistan this precedence is quite rare.

It is very unfortunate that Pakistan who dedicatedly fought the GWOT right in the face of it was never appreciated for its noteworthy contribution and great sacrifices in terms of human life, collateral damage and economic losses during the last fifteen years, as a frontline state. It is a globally known fact that Pakistan’s economy suffered huge losses, in terms of exports, foreign investment, privatization and industrial production, due to turmoil in Afghanistan. Even now, Pakistan’s national economy is exclusively suffering a loss of roughly $10 billion annually as fallout of the war against terror, which has displaced thousands of people. Pakistan did all what it could do to keep the world safe but what it has got in return? During thirteen years about 423 drone attacks were carried out in a war alley’s air space, killing three thousand seven hundred and seventy five innocents. Pakistan is the only country who is facing the music of terrorism all by itself. No one can deny the sacrifices. So far, roughly well over two thousand Pakistani army officers and soldiers have been killed in the fighting which includes half a dozen of star studded generals as martyrs, too.

If, after such toll Pakistan has to listen to the useless and illogical warnings then the only choice left with us is to part our ways. Our policy makers should be sane enough to sense and smell the shift in American foreign policy and probably they have sniffed it. The recent bitter reactions by the foreign office reps, interior minister and the Army Chief’s blunt warnings seem to be an outcome of that anger.

Before showing eyes to Pakistan, the US should remember those days when the war against the Soviets was won with the help of Pakistan and surely by Afghans. “At the moment, Russia is too weak and unstable to exert any serious influence on the CARs but who knows when the time takes an abrupt turn? If one thing was in the US’s favour in the past, why can’t it be in Russia’s favour in the near future? If the US does not take much time in naming their friends (Pakistan and Afghans) as foes today, who stops the sons of the soil from joining hands with their once enemy Russia again?”

Why must the US forget that time can’t change the strategic importance of a country like Pakistan? It’s a boulder balancing on the tip of a rock. We all know the horrific outcome of disturbing that boulder. May be not a single person from the village down in the valley survives to narrate the wrath. It’s high time for the US to keep few facts in mind before chanting the mantra to do more:

  • Unfortunately, the stick and carrot policy won’t work anymore. Pakistan is no more a caddy and you won’t find anyone to help you in case your ball lands in rough this time. The fact is that the Indians aren’t a part of this golf course.
  • We all know that what all India and US will get out of recent defense pact which is going to allow both the countries to jointly use the assets against their enemies. Everyone knows who the enemy is now. However, US must do away with this narcissistic approach and must look back and see what all Pakistan has done in war on terror as the US’s partner. It was a bad decision by some ignorant to be the part of this GWOT but someone in a position now, may go against that and makes a reimburse attempt.
  • It would be nothing more than day dreaming if Americans are expecting peace in the region without involving Afghan Taliban and while involving India in Afghanistan. It would be a beginning of a journey back to the 80s. They must remember that no harm could ever be done to the genuine Taliban of Afghanistan. They are sane and sons of the soil and without involving them in any parleys, peace in Afghanistan can never prevail or prosper.
  • A common Pakistani has started realizing that the latest forming up of a league by the Americans, Indians, Afghanistan and Iran is merely to thwart CPEC and bring Pakistan on knees. This one eyed justice will only cause frustration and hate for America and the West among a common Pakistani and what all so called friendly gestures being displayed by the US embassy will go for six.
  • Obama did remember to stand with India against terrorists groups allegedly basing in Pakistan but where does his morality stand in case of RSS terrorists burning a train of innocent passengers, nabbing of a serving Indian officer in Pakistan with his pants down and attack on Pakistani forces and innocent citizens from the Afghan soil? I am sure the drones are well aware about the locations of the terrorists on the Afghan soil too? Hope he knew about the fanatic of the gentleman whom he received as the state guest?
  • And lastly that Pakistan is genuinely a nuclear state and any thought of destabilising it by any quarter would be sheer insane. Never forget about that boulder hinging on a rock’s tip. Americans are in a habit of carrying out adventures and eventually turning them into misadventures as in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In case of another miscalculation or misadventure, probably no one will live to extend an apology. I don’t know about the policy makers at the helm of the affairs in Pakistan but in my humble opinion the countdown for Pakistan has already started.

Sohail Parwaz is a bilingual columnist, playwright and a media strategist. He has authored a predictive fiction titled ‘The Cornered Rogue.’ He can be followed at Twitter @penpricker