August 31, 2009 (The Frontier Post)
What is the national interest of Pakistan? Explore the answer of this question on internet and the most frequent answer you will come across, is “To Promote various terrorist organizations in their very own soil like laskar-e-toiba , jamaat-ul-dawa, Taliban. Terrorism is the foreign policy of Pakistan” (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_National_Interest_of_Pakistan). There may be scores of books and articles written on this subject matter, representing positive and encouraging image of Pakistan but those books or articles will not be included in the first twenty search items. Today internet is a cheap source of data collection for research. Just like electronic media, what ever comes in front of people in the first attempt on internet, they are captivated by that information. Ordinary people can’t assess the partiality or impartiality of these news stories. They just compare this data with their own limited information, mostly acquired from the same biased media. So no matter what the media is feeding to the people, it is by and large digested as it is.
Often we Pakistanis are doubtful about the policy of the government or simply today what the government wants to portray, is not in accordance with the wishes of the people. For example for thirty years we represented these terrorist organizations as a symbol of Islamic Revolution and savior of our national goals. Now in presence of their same leadership and same course of action, how these people became terrorists? First their enemy was Russia and now America. It is also a dilemma that in sixty two years our intelligentsia never bothered to portray America as a friend. Here in Pakistan, China is considered a time tested and all weathered friend. Americans should also think about this mind set that what are the reasons of positive image of China in Pakistani mind set. In our academic books non Muslims especially Hindus are depicted as idol worshipers like Quresh of Mecca. Now in this scenario Mujahideen fits well as our well-wishers and America as an evil spirit. Secondly now our government and even international media have declared that Bait Ullah Massod is dead. But people are still doubtful about his death. Surprisingly they believe in the same media when it says that Usama is alive. The reason is that they hope to see these leading actors alive, pronouncing Jihad against America.
Pakistan as nation state never set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reachable and Tangible) goals. The national interest is a country‘s goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the basis of the pragmatism. The national interest of a state is multi faceted. Primary is the state’s survival and security. Also important is the pursuit of wealth and economic growth and power. Many states, especially in modern times, regard the preservation of the nation’s culture as of great importance. Today, the concept of “the national interest” is often associated with political Realists who wish to differentiate their policies from “idealistic” policies that seek either to inject morality into foreign policy or promote solutions that rely on multilateral institutions which might weaken the independence of the state. Before discussing the national interest of Pakistan, if focus on the question that what we have and how to get what we want? If we look at our neighbor India, she depicts herself as a big democracy and large market. And in this way she convinces the world to come and see the prospects in India. What we present to the world? War on terror. We make an effort to convince the world that if we fail against terrorism so the human race will have to face the consequences. Do we have any thing else to exert a pull on foreign investment instead of funds and loans?
At this critical moment we can’t bring to light new horizons and perspectives for foreign investment but if we try than we can workout potential future policy throughout this period of tender democracy. We will have to transform our mind sets. Some of our day dreaming scholars are of the opinion that we have atomic bomb, strong army and scholars inside and outside the country etc etc. But they don’t refer to the running expenditure of these minarets of hope. Are we capable to maintain these institutions? The answer is no. we all are waiting for foreign financial support to accomplish these ventures.
It is not possible the all at once some one can change the scenario. But if planed the way as it should be so a new start is possible. But this time our sole efforts should concentrate on economic development. War on terror is a quick-fix project. Soon it could be pack up in the near future so we must have some thing else to be a magnet for foreign investment. Now we must take bold step to put Pakistan on the path of economic development. For how long we can frighten the world to help us?