” Our biggest problem isn’t caves, its credibility. Our messages lack credibility because we haven’t invested enough in building trust and relationships, and we haven’t always delivered on promises” writes Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff in an article for US military Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, while referring to the Muslim World.
Yankees credibility crisis might be a rattling revelation at home but not for the rest of the world. As America is a famous architect of duplicitous policies and White house is commonly viewed as a ruthless Wizard’s House where countless conspiracies have been hatched against other nations in order to consolidate her position in the political arena of the World. The occupiers of the White House have violated almost every International law, abrogated Geneva Convention repeatedly and have not even spared her very own constitution.
And it is not disproportionate bashing of a leading State. Time and time again, America has proved that it still possesses colonial genes and that she will never respect the whims and desires of people abroad that do not fall in line with Washington’s interests.
America while sings the mantra of democracy at home, supports the dictatorship abroad. It preaches and idolizes freedoms but practices the philosophy of liberal interventionism. It believes in Capitalist free market economic model but chops off the hidden hands of Adam Smith when it starts bearing fruit in shape of recession.
There are many contradictions within contradictions.
This being said, still the question remains.
Why would Mullen make such remarks at this time?
Does he want us to believe that America has changed under Obama? And America is ready to abandon colonial policies practised under previous regimes?
His statements are mere political razzle-dazzle.
Here is a glimpse of World under Obama.
It’s only been nine months since American hope, Mr. Barrack Obama, stepped in as the US President, but these nine months have been enough to prove the odds wrong who saw hope in him.
In Middle East, Gaza was already a blood bath in Middle East as Obama took over. Some thought that the Man of Change would intervene and at least pursue Israel to put an end to economic blockade of Gaza and stop expanding settlements on Palestinian land. On the contrary, Israel is expanding settlements faster than ever before. Economic blockade of Gaza is still very much enforced. In Iraq, instead of ordering immediate withdrawal, Obama has adopted the Bush administration’s policy of staged withdrawal effectively meaning they are there to say. No wonder Obama has retained Bush’s Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, to oversee the withdrawal.
In South Asia, just three days after his oath taking ceremony, hell fire missiles were launched on Pakistan resulting in the killing of dozens of innocent civilians. Incumbent US administration has designed a new strategy, commonly referred as Af-Pak that necessitates the launching of large scale military operation on the Pakistani side of border, resulting in widening of War theatre well inside Pakistan. Many thousand have lost lives on both sides of border in just these past 9 months.
In Eastern Europe, after the defeat at the hands of Russia in Georgia, Obama showed desire to press the reset button in US-Russia relations. In spring, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually carried a box to Russia labelled reset button as a gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov. But even this symbolic gift was given with a symbolic mistake that summarizes the relationship between two countries under Obama. Instead of Russian word for reset, the box featured a slightly different word peregruzka meaning overcharged. America is unwilling to abandon hostile missile programs in Eastern European countries and is still pressing her demands for NATO expansion.
In Western Europe, the current economic meltdown has underlined the long standing rifts in the region. To much embarrassment of Britain and America, Franco- German alliance openly criticised Anglo-Saxon model of Capitalism in G20 summit held in April. Also, France and Germany have turned down Obama’s demands to significantly increase the number of troops in Afghanistan.
In Korean peninsula, America has been meddling in the internal affairs of States and dictating terms for quite some time now. This colonial behaviour provoked North Koreans to give a befitting response. American efforts to police the region have back fired as North Korea has yet again conducted nuclear tests. And America under Obama, instead of admitting and rectifying past mistakes, has continued to show hostility and has once again raised tensions in the region by increasing military support to South Korea.
In Latin America, traces of recent military coup in Honduras are found in Washington. Obama administration is being accused of staging the coup and aiding the Generals to oust President Zelaya. This is yet another example that unmasks the Obama administration and shows her real and ugly face.
And yet only nine months have passed under Obama. Many analysts already are writing that it appears like Bush has been elected third time in a row.
Admiral Mullen wants us to believe that the incumbent regime of America recognises her past mistakes and is ready to rectify, but there is a saying actions speak louder than words.
Mullen further wrote in his article for military Journal that ” We need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about our actions communicate”
And what do their actions communicate to us?
Soon after Mullen wrote this article on 30th August, Harpoon missile controversy broke out a couple of days later. And it was alleged in papers carrying ink made in Washington that Pakistan upgraded American missiles in violation of the accord signed between the two countries.
It is yet another example of carrot and stick policy that America practices too often at least in the case of Pakistan.
Much talked Harpoon missiles were handed over to Pakistan by Reagan Administration. And now why on earth would Pakistan want to fit a brand new 7 class BMW engine in a 1977 edition of Mazda? Robert Hewson has been quoted in The Times that Pakistan already has more modern land-attack missiles that it developed itself or acquired by China. ”They’re beyond the need to reverse-engineer old US kit. They are more sophisticated than that” he said.
And not for the first time American newspapers have published cooked up stories citing unnamed sources to malign and degrade the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
If we are only to analyse last 2 decades of US relationship with Pakistan, it would show us how Washington has played Islamabad time and time again.
Pakistan and US forged a strong partnership against Soviet Union and Pakistan played a decisive role to knock USSR out of Afghanistan. But soon after the Cold War ended, America approved sanctions on Pakistan that crippled economy and had long lasting effects on military and social infrastructure.
Senator Pressler might be forgotten in US, but even today he remains a famous figure in Pakistan. Economic and military sanctions were imposed on Pakistan in 1990 under the Pressler Amendment, a country specific law enacted in 1985 that only singles out only one nation on the nuclear issue. One consequence of this Amendment was the decision by the US to withhold military equipment contracted to Pakistan prior to 1990, worth about $1.2 billion, even though Pakistan had paid for this.
Additional sanctions were imposed on Pakistan in 1993 under the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) for collaboration with China on missile technology.
This is the story of 90s.
And after all these and many other injustices unleashed on Pakistan by the US, a democracy loving dictator Musharraf vowed to support US by any means and at any cost. And he literally meant when he said at any cost. Now he has fled the country and the nation is paying the cost for his ill deeds.
Today, discussions of extreme importance have completely eroded from the political spectrum. No more columns appear that discuss Musharraf’s unilateral decision on War On Terror, analysts have stopped asking basic questions like Is it really our war or America’s misadventure? Unless we discuss these fundamental issues, our slide to further chaos would continue its course.
Was it a right decision to provide America with bases to launch attack on Afghanistan? It is an old debate, but a vital one nevertheless. Some basic points on the matter are discussed below:
1) Economic Cost: Since 2001, Pakistan has received monetary aid from US of around $10 billion. But according to a statement issued by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in April this year, Pakistan has suffered loses of US$34 billion in this unpopular War on Terror.
$34 billion is very significant figure for Pakistan as Pakistan’s total foreign debt stood at $35 billion in year 2005. And note, there are unaccounted losses incurred due to lack of economic activity because of law and security situation on ground as the war spilled over from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
2) Law and Security: In 2001, Musharraf, ignoring the advice of brave and competent army officers who sensed the grave danger and objected, accepted humiliating demands from Capitol Hill with tremendous alacrity and provided American forces with bases to launch attacks on Afghanistan. And this was the time when the seeds for the current disastrous situation were first laid. Then in 2004, on the directives of Washington, Pakistan launched operation in the tribal areas.
The phenomenon of suicide bombing was never heard in Pakistan before this period. Law and order situation started to deteriorate from this point onwards, and here we are today. Because of bloodshed, fear and hysteria has pervaded in our society. Countless innocent citizens have been killed and many hundreds of brave soldiers of our army have lost their lives in the process.
Another fruit of this suicidal decision of supporting American War on Terror is the missing person phenomenon. Many hundreds of Pakistani citizens have been abducted after the government allowed CIA and FBI to open up offices in major cities.
3) American military apparatus: As America was provided with airbases and land by Pakistani government, chaos and lawlessness has spread like a wild fire in the terror hit country. The irony is such that today America uses airbases given to her by Pakistan to launch hell fire missiles resulting in the killing of citizens of Pakistan. US Senator Dianne Feinstien, chairwoman senate intelligence committee, admitted in February this year, that US was launching Predator UAV strikes from at least one base in Pakistan. And now America has gripped Pakistan like a bug that is slowly up sizing its arms and legs by each passing day and empting the blood.
This is the cost that Pakistan had to pay for riding with the US.
Now America is expanding her military installations by many folds within Pakistan.
A gigantic American military fortress is being built in the heart of Islamabad. Notorious Private Armies are allowed to recruit agents from civil and military bureaucracy.
Obviously it is not possible without the approval from government and from the powerful corridors outside government.
And while America in 2009 is building a super embassy in Islamabad, our NRO beneficiary political leadership and their henchmen, Lion of Punjab and his Stalwarts, MQM and other Leagui mavericks, all of them, are in 1992 discussing the maps of Jinnahpur.
It reminds one of Emperor Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned.
In the aftermath of February 2008 elections, people of Pakistan were enticed to think that finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. But in these last 18th months, the message for those people was poignant.
Without noticing the hue and cry of local people, Political leadership has worked really hard to impress upon Washington by showing unwavering support to the unpopular WOT.
Some say that this democratic government has not delivered yet. And government’s pretension has been that we have done enough and only the blind cannot see our performance.
One such accomplishment of the government has been the unprecedented rise in Corruption.
According to Transparency International, Corruption has increased by 400% in last 3 years in Pakistan standing at Rs.195 billion in 2009.
Also a permanent NRO for the politicians is also in the making that bars the prosecution of any public-office holder after three years of the expiry of his term.
But still the question remains. What is the antidote to our situation today?
Put an end to American Raj in Pakistan.
And it is achievable by following a simple strategy provided we have a genuine visionary leadership instead of a cowed, timid and impotent leadership as of today.
With change in the leadership, what is also required is the complete overhauling of the current paralytic political system of the country. The current economic model is vulnerable to foreign pressures. As it is based on Capitalist economic model and thus largely dependent on the monopolistic organisations created by the West. One such notorious organisation IMF has already projected that Pakistan would owe the world $75 billion by 2015 under the present arrangement.
Whereas, there is an alternative system that would not only eradicate corruption, solve the economic miseries of the residents of Pakistan, but would also release Pakistan from the slavery of the West and would safeguard honour and lives of the people of Pakistan.
This solution is not designed by the mind of any human, in fact this is a solution provided to us from our Creator. And our Lord has chosen Khilafah as the only governing system for us that addresses all the problems encountered today.
In Khilafah, NRO like ordinances or any other laws that legalise corruption can never be enacted. As Khaleefah has no authority to legislate. On the contrary, in Khilafah there is a very strong check and balance mechanism in place, and Khaleefah is accounted for his actions. And if found guilty of deviating from Shara’h, then no secret wheeling dealing would hinder the process of his removal and the subsequent punishment will follow.
It would only be under Khilafah that the true potential of Pakistan can be realised.
For centuries this system of Khilafah has been tested and the Muslims were the leading nation of the world when they ruled according to Shara’h.
It is high time for the Muslims of Pakistan to rise up and reclaim the right to live according to the Book of Allah.
Muhammad Bilal Qureshi