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Whither Pakistan
The tentacles of the war on terrorism are spreading far and wide

By Ali Ashraf Khan
January 26, 2004

The media is today agog about the nuclear and Kashmir issue facing Pakistan. The nuclear hero's of yesterday are criminals today and are facing debriefing sessions in secret quarters, their wives and children, kith and kins and even their parents are not allowed to meet them and they have no news about the hero's of yesterday, this is how Pakistan treats their own benefectors, on the other hand the father of Indian atom bomb is the President of India today and is placed in the Rashterpatti Bhawan by a grateful nation.

Debriefing is a mild word or a synonym of investigation, let us call a spade a spade, the hero's of yesterday are criminals today, their only fault is that they have kept the wolf at bay in critical times, they put their heart and soul and energy in the defence of Pakistan for which they are being decorated by an ungrateful setup of power politics. The nation is confused at the treatment being meted out to these heroes by the very people who had eulogised them some time back.

So let us find an answer to one question: who ran the nuclear race? Who gave the nuclear secrets to Israel, and to other members of the nuclear club, who formed the nuclear club. Let us punish the founders of the nuclear club. Answer to these question will satisfy the clear conscience of peace loving people in the world. Too much emphasis is being laid on prosperity through security, let us not punish those people who created the sense of security amongst the people and destroy prosperity in the bargain.

The Devos world economic forum meeting has taken a U-turm on the concept of global village programme and open market economy thesis, the third world countries, who may not have brawns but they do have the brains, had rejected this idea of open market economy and global village and they also reject the World Trade Orgainsation, because of the supermacy of the so-called developed countries, they are very much developed in men and material but surely they are very much under developed in morals and with shattered home life, atleast we in under developed countries are secure in our homes and happy with our wives and children.

The tentacles of the war on terrorism are spreading far and wide into the body politics of the so-called under developed countries. After all why terrorism and that too suicidal, every living being born on the surface of earth wants to live, no one wants to lose his or her life just for nothing, unless there is a cause, and he or she has been pinned against the wall. If one tries to attack a cat behind a closed door, it will try to jump on the throat; so, the law of nature is live and let others live in peace and hamony.

In these lines my effort would be to answer the moot question facing the country - Whither Pakistan. We hear and read in the media a lot of rhetorics about Pakistan being in very safe hands and a nuclear power at that, recently we have been told that we are not rubber stamp of the super power, one may like it or not but the very fact that there is a super power makes them a super power on earth, and the rest of the world may or may not be a rubber stamp in the true sense of the word but they have got to give due regard to the utterences and the actions of the super power and this is a bitter fact and let us admit it.

Great Britain is an ally of America not because of the love of Americans but because they had to secure their own economic and political interests, so inspite of the upsurge of public opinion the rulers have to toe the American line; there lies their salvation.

No soldier can even walk on an empty stomach and we in Pakistan have to provide food to our people, medicine and education in order to sustain a democracy, it is not enough, that elections have been held and parliament has come into existence. It is being dinned into our ears that our foreign exchange reserves are to the tune of $ 12 billion, what are these 12 billion dollars worth for, when the people are ill fed and without proper medicine and education, let us concentrate more on these issues and that also on top priority and concieve a perspective development plan and develop infrastructure for economic revolution and welfare of the people.

The present state of affairs in other than the developed countries or to say the least, most deploarable, they have got hills, mountains and rivers, which they can be utilize for electric power, but they do not have the technical know how to the extent, where they can match strength with the developed countries.

When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came into power in 1971, he started on more on self-aggrandisement than on nation building. It is on record that he was advised by the then Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai, not to indulge too much in international politics to raise his own stature, but try to build a nation of steel out of what was left for him after the creation of Bangladesh. This advice went unheared and landed Pakistan in a quagmire from which the country has yet to come out, I will very humbly request our present rulers to re-consider that advise even today and stop harping too much on international gimmicks.

One of the factors, which is the source of trouble for any country is its dis-unity amongst its ranks and rampant corruption, if the rulers today are able to stem the rising tide of corruption and forge unity among the people of Pakistan, the battle for survival is won. Let us search our hearts, are we leading our nation towards unity and getting rid of corruption honestly and sincerely.

The reemedy for Pakistan or for that matter any country in the world does not lie in the tons of money in the coffers of government, that they can have by selling their national assets. Agreed, that the job of the government is not to do business, but surely it is the job of the government to create a conducive atmosphere at home and lay down its economic policies and provide infrastructure and establish industries as an emblem, free from corruption and nepotism, this is the greatest malady, which eats into the very body politics of the country and we are given to believe the rhetorics of our rulers day in and day out that milk and honey is soon going to flow into the rivers of Pakistan as a result of our compromise on core issues and sovereignty.

I would advise the nations in Asia and Africa not to scrifice their sovereignty at the altar of Camp David, and create an Afro-Asian bloc parallel to the United Nation, which is only a subsidiary of United States of America.

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