Living in the streets unaware of the affairs being discussed the corridors of power this question has always been bugging my mind that why the United States has been paying to the rulers of Pakistan. What the job they have been doing for the US rulers. Rulers of Pakistan never feel shame in putting the begging boul in front of US rulers. I think there must be limit. I have been feeling sympathy with the citizens of United States as their money is being wasted by their rulers. There will be no denying the fact that US economy is also in a shambles and giving more money to Pakistan will be disastrous for the sinking economy.
The United States, whose President Barack Obama is enjoying the status of hero, should advise the rulers of Pakistan to learn the method how to live by using their own resources. If you are giving money to someone you have been making him dependent on yourself. The US rulers are deliberately making Pakistan dependent on herself. But for how long the US can afford to give money to Pakistan. I am just adding an editorial of a leading Pakistani newspaper.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has asked the visiting US envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mr Richard Holbrooke, to convey his request to Washington for the writing-off of a $1.35 billion Pakistani debt to the United States. Mr Holbrooke’s response was that “the US would look into the matter”. Mr Gilani welcomed the $300 million additional American assistance to the refugees from Malakand-Swat and asked that the annual aid package of $1.5 billion be expedited.
From Mr Holbrooke’s remark that “measures were being taken to accelerate military supplies to Pakistan” one can infer that the American support to the Pakistan Army at this critical juncture is an important factor in Pak-US relations. Mr Gilani pointedly hoped that the “major European and Muslim countries would follow the US lead and come up with timely assistance”.
Pakistan is in dire straits with nearly three million refugees stranded after the military operation in Malakand Division. Most of them are being looked after on the basis of Pakhtunwali, the tribal code of hospitality, as hot-weather refugee camps cope unsteadily with people displaced from their cold-weather homes. Pakistan’s manufacturing economy is half-shut and maintaining macro-economic stability is difficult unless injections of assistance from outside keep coming.
The IMF stand-by arrangement and the Friends of Pakistan group of countries have come forth for Pakistan because of American persuasion. The share of the Muslim countries, especially the oil-rich Arab states, has been less than generous in this hour of need. The PPP government, confronted with fast declining economic indicators, had first approached its Arab friends for concessions on Pakistan’s oil payments; but with no notable success. And the European Union is not famous for shelling out bilateral money out of human sympathy.
How is one to interpret all this? After President Obama’s Cairo University speech, most Pakistani comment was based on lack of trust and a fundamentally negative understanding of the United States. There were voices that condemned Pakistan for aligning itself with “the enemy of the Muslims”. Worse, some looked back on the past half-century of bilateral relations and saw only “American perfidy” in it. That is why the current reliance of Pakistan on US money will be seen by some political leaders as something that Pakistan “will live to regret”.
Yet, now as never before, the national consensus in Pakistan is that the Taliban have to be fought rather than “talked to”. This consensus has not prematurely sprung up from nowhere. People have seen the savagery with which the Taliban have treated innocent Pakistanis and continue to see such acts of sacrilege as blowing up people in the mosques through suicide-bombers shouting “Allah-u Akbar”. The Senate in Islamabad surprised everyone on Friday when a majority of the senators lashed out at the Taliban in front of the once-dominant pro-Taliban members.
What should we make of the still current TV and newspaper myth that the Taliban are indeed bad but they are an ally of the US and India? How should we understand the undying rhetoric that the US is interested only in setting India up as a regional hegemon with Pakistan meekly behaving as its satellite? Not long ago, the same sources who spread these “analyses” around loved the Taliban because they were fighting the “American invasion”.
The US remains “realistic” when it says it is helping Pakistan in pursuit of its own national interest. Why shouldn’t Pakistan follow the same realistic principle if it finds it impossible to overcome the current xenophobic environment? Some “experts” on TV channels keep insisting that Pakistan has enough “hidden wealth” that it can tap by squeezing its rich classes. Others put “honour” above economics and ask for martyrdom in the war against America.
But the truth is that after the dust of passions settles down the national economy gets the upper hand. To avoid getting the last fatal judgement pronounced by the economy, Pakistan must mend its fences in the region where it is located and join any power in the world that is willing to help it defeat the Taliban. A close look at the actual strength of these enemies of the Pakistani state tells us that Pakistan will not be able to fight them alone.