Rejoinder to “Futility and bombast” in ET
By: Omer Zaheer Meer
(Below is my response within 400 words, to the Express Tribune (ET) editorial titled Futility and bombast dated 7th December 2013.
It was published in Express Tribune on 11th December 2013
Surprisingly it seems from the editorial that we as a nation have reached a state of mind where not raising a voice for our rights seems logical to us. With American drones hitting settled areas of Pakistan after killing the peace process by hitting Hakimullah at the wrong time despite letting him go at-least two/three times before this could well have been the beginning of the end with American strikes in Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, e.t.c. at will.
If anything PTI’s protest has managed to stop just that. Also this sent out a strong message and strengthened Pakistan’s position resulting in Chuck Hagel, the American Defense Secretary visiting Pakistan for the first time in 4 years. This also raises the question that if the alternate routes are so viable and the rhetoric of “I couldn’t care less” propagated by American administration is not a bluff than why Mr. Hagel needed to meet PM Pakistan to request the lifting of the blockade?
Internationally most NATO countries support the stance that these drone strikes are illegal and that US should sell Pakistan the technology to takeout any unwanted elements. It is now up-to the federal government whose responsibility it is in the first place to defend Pakistan’s sovereignty, how they utilize this position of strength for Pakistan.
As to the “goods” transported via Pakistan one can see armored carriers to totally covered “equipment” in the pictures published in most national newspapers. If one believes the propaganda that they are “least” important then PTI’s success in putting immense pressure on the US administration using this “least valuable” asset of a route is tremendous to say the least.
One needs to remember that the American establishment realizes the potential and strength of Pakistan but plays with our psychological fears to achieve its strategic ends. We should realize our potential and get out of the quagmire of fear Musharraf left us in. Only this way can we begin to build and strengthen our nation.
Lastly the continuous focus on the supposed “massive” loss to economy is neither material not these peanuts are going to last forever. The focus should be on building a lasting economy and not feasting on temporary blood money at the cost of massive destruction and losses of over $ 100 billion.