By Ahmad Nadeem Gehla
Those who have had an opportunity to do business with Arab corporates know very well that deals are neither transparent nor free from political influences. This is very rare that any corporate head from ‘Royal Family’ lodges a complaint with foreign governments or approaches other power centres in foreign states. Conspiracy theorists are terming the complaint of Saudi Prince against Ministry of Religious Affairs to be first cool wind of change from ‘Holly Land’. Obviously, their can be other reasons as well, as the present Minister for religious Affairs belongs to a sect of Muslim which is vocal against Taliban and not a favourite of Arab Kingdoms. This also might be a genuine discontent of business tycoon but it is difficult to believe that a Prince wont follow the ‘rules’ and protest as at home business follows the ‘Royalty’.
As Supreme Court of Pakistan has takes Suo-Moto notice on Prince’s complaint, discussing the merits or otherwise of the case might prejudice the issue but political implications are open for public debate. The famous quote of ‘3 A’s’, Allah, America and Army is crafted very carefully, intentionally ignoring another ‘brotherly ‘A’; the Arab Empires’. The infamous ‘American interference’ in internal affairs of Pakistan is a favourite topic of right wing ‘Talk Show Hosts’ , political Mullahs and politicians. However, they conveniently ignore interference of ‘Brotherly Sheikh’, as it does not hurt our half-sovereignty. Historically, some Arab Kingdoms’ has always been actively micro managing internal affairs of Pakistan and played key role in making and breaking of governments.
Iran is the only ‘Islamic Nation’ which is not qualified to be included in ‘Brotherly’ group as it is disliked by ‘Sheikh’. A’s consider micro managing war torn Afghanistan as their legitimate right. However if Hamid Karzai makes a statements about Pakistan, the custodians of half-sovereignty start condemning ‘foreign interference’ in internal affairs of Pakistan. Certainly, one has to be rich and powerful to qualify as a ‘brother’ – that is our culture. Presently ‘Holly Land’, not only influences the decisions of establishment and politicians in Pakistan but it has got new followers in corridors of justice.
Zardari regime earned displeasure of ‘Sheikh’ by defying the wish of ‘His Highness’ to stay away from Iran, which irritates badly the’ Elder of Ummah’. The supply agreement of ‘impure Gas’ from Iran through a pipeline project has put present regime at odds with ‘Holly Land’. Although since assassination of King Faisal, ‘Sheikh’ has never been very kind towards secular Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The ‘Soviet War Project’ brought ‘Kingdoms’ further closer to right wing dominated establishment and politicians. Some Arab Kingdoms were unhappy when Benazir Bhutto came in to power, as the women’s rule is against their interpretation of religion.
The brotherly states played a major role in convincing ‘political Mullah’s’ to assemble against secular Pakistan Peoples Party. No-confidence motion against Benazir Bhutto was generously funded by Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, a great well-wisher of Pakistan who wanted the ‘land of pure’ to get rid of ‘women rule’. Same ‘Kingdoms’ played an active role in formation of infamous IJI and later brokered a deal with Pervez Musharaf to get Mian Nawaz Sharif released despite his multiple convictions from court. There are speculations that tenure of agreement between Pervez Musharaf, Kingdom and Mian Nawaz Sharif will expire next month and later is ready to bid for premiership. Certainly the ‘Elder of Ummah’ would like to reward his friend and previous host for his obedience and common goals towards ‘impure Iranian gas’ and identifying good Taliban.
Democracy might be a best revenge but democracy in third world is not a wise revenge when playing against the wishes of economic, religious and regional players. They got the powers to make example out of Bhutto, King Fasial, Benazir and adventurism of those who tried to defy the system. Things are not that complicated. Zardari regime has to decide weather it wants to stay in power or make enemies. Gas pipeline from Iran irritates the ‘Highness’, recognition of good Taliban is a joint project of ‘Elders of Ummah’ and righteous. Going against the tide wont help when corruption’ allegations against Minister of Religious Affairs are ‘proved’ in Supreme Court and general elections follow with this much inflation and allegations. Iranian gas is good for economy and war against terror is important for nation but survival is the key – get wiser before you get revenge – feel the winds of change from ‘Holly Land’.