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ہفتہ، 7 مئی، 2011

In a bind

Brave words truly are these that have come from the military command and the foreign office mandarinate. But one has heard of this brave talk even in the past that an alien transgression into the Pakistani territory, if repeated, would draw a severe response, only to see it being followed up only half-heartedly or just ignored. And a public seething with rage over the Abbottabad American raid would be least amused by this tall talk. In any case, fundamental issues pertaining to national security have to be decided by the political leadership, not by military commanders or diplomatic corps. And that is where the citizenry is stands so distraught and disenchanted, so befuddling has been this leadership’s act. The ruling elites cannot even imagine how deeply has this American adventurism hurt the nation in its psyche, showing up their nuclear state even worse than a banana republic. And no excuses can soothe their agitated nerves over the state defence apparatus’s indefensible collapse that it reveals. As the American president and his core security and administration team was huddled up together in the situation room watching the raid live on our territory, our own ruling elites were blissfully asleep. That has left the nation in an unbearable psychological shock. And shockingly, instead of steering a bewildered people out of this pathetic predicament, the political leadership has behaved so appallingly waywardly that not even a third-rate leadership would have in such a condition. On the fateful night, the president was all engrossed in his own foray of cobbling up a new coalition for his wobbling government’s sustainability and longevity. And as the day dawned, the prime minister was packing up his baggage for a junket to France. One had expected being the country’s chief executive he would plunge into a flurry of meetings and conferences with the officials to find out what went wrong that the raiders carried out their mission so uninterrupted, interact with political leaderships across the spectrum and hammer out a national response to the American adventurism. Instead, he took the first flight to Paris. His flunkies contend his visit was prescheduled. So what? In such events, even prescheduled visits are postponed. Hasn’t India’s prime minister put off his Afghanistan scheduled visit to be at home at this time, even though the raid took place not on his domain but in a neighbouring territory? There indeed must be something wrong with our top political hierarchs’ upper chambers. As the prime minister is unpacking his baggage, the president is now in his wings for a voyage to Kuwait and Russia, in so abominable a close parody of the globetrotting duo of Musharraf-Shaukat Aziz, who would often cross each other with one taking off from the airport’s one side and the other taking down on the other side. What, after all, had the prime minister to hawk to his French hosts? Load-shedding of power and gas? Runaway unemployment and inflation? Waltzing poverty, squalor and disease? Worsening lawlessness and criminality? Rampaging terrorism, militancy and insurgency? And what else will have the president to sell to his Kuwaiti and Russian hosts, if not all this? Both should have stayed back home. They must understand the country is presently in a dire bind. If anyone has the sweat delusion this Abbottabad raid was the last of America’s adventurism on our land, he better disabuse himself of it, the sooner the better. It would not be. The Americans have made it clear in so many words. Their Friday’s drone attack once again on Datta Khel in North Waziristan must tell this tellingly. In all probability, not just North Waziristan and Quetta but some other places too may face their ground raids, particularly when their real intents about this country are not even known. Nor should India’s blusters be taken any lightly, when even to give effect to their touted Cold Start doctrine they have raised a rapid-action strike South West command to take on Pakistan along their Punjab-Rajasthan sector; and presently are forming up a mountain strike corps and activating their advance air facilities along the Chinese border in pursuance of their doctrine of two simultaneous wars against Pakistan and China under the nuclear overhang.  Both the president and the prime minister sit at home to prepare for the new security threats in-the-making with intensive deliberations with the officials and extensive consultations with cross-sections of the political strands. A consensus action plan they must so evolve to face up to these emerging threats. If for the plan’s diplomatic part, their foreign visits are inevitable they may undertake them latterly. But for the present, they must give up on these junkets.
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