October 08, 2009 (The Frontier Post)
Last week Kerry-Lugar bill was approved by American Congress allowing an aid of 7.5 billion dollars for Pakistan. But the clauses of the bill have divided Pakistani leadership. Chinese representative was not present at the meeting of Friends of Pakistan. But as Zardari returns home, media shows Zardari and establishment top leadership, holding the hand of Chinese ambassador and cutting the cake having smiles on their faces. And a few days later Shahbaz Sharif and Chowdary Nisar visits Islamabad late at night, getting the green signal and next day start criticizing Kerry – Lugar Bill. Not only PML (N) but PML (Q), Jamat-e-Islami and JUI (F) also criticized the bill. PML (Q), Jamat-e-Islami and JUI (F) are the tested friends of establishment.
It’s a new development at Islamabad. The powerful hands are setting one against the other to try to modify the clauses relating to the prevention of interference of establishment in politics. But this approach can create hurdles in our political government’s relations with America. In a way it is the first violation of Kerry – Lugar bill. But in a very dramatic way breaking news of Nawaz Sharif meeting with Saudi leaders is brought to media. It seems that perhaps Nawaz Sharif will now stop his campaign regarding pressurizing Peoples party government on the issue of American aid. Our establishment is of the opinion that American help must be without conditions. And they have thirty years experience of handling the American pressure. But we must keep it in mind that for thirty years we always waited for American help. This help was always like injecting a patient in emergency so that he can survive only. Establishment may have tactics to handle Americans but still Pakistani nation is waiting for the day when there will be prosperity in our country. Their tactics may help them to run their prestigious organization autonomously but still our system starts collapsing if American help is suspended.
Few days back the Prime Minister Gillani stated that friction among institutions can create troubles for the system to function properly. The establishment must give free hand to political government to run the country. They must not fail to remember how they were trapped in network of intrigues in Musharaf period. Judiciary crisis, terrorism, threats for nuclear assets and insurgencies inside the country. All these crises were handled by the political government and today establishment enjoys the unification of the nation regarding terrorism, non military aid is promised for five years, Chinese projects are on track again and there are no more demands of “Do more”.
Our establishment is extremist in a sense that we never used the option of having relations with various global powers and to keep a balance in it. India makes its image of a neutral state and enjoys good and strong relationships with Muslims and non Muslims states. We were not able to keep balance in our relations. In friendship of America we created enemies in our surroundings. Is this American mistake? No, rather we don’t know how to move with the ever changing world even in 21st centaury.
Some of the clauses of Kerry Lugar Bill are the requirement for reforming our system, for example free judiciary, no intervention of army in politics and monitoring of the foreign funds. In reality these are the flaws of our system and politicians have suffered a lot because of these problem. We always criticize our government for corruption, now American aid will be monitored by foreign experts. We must learn from western nations how they monitor financial matters.
Do we like to see our judiciary playing like a puppet in establishment hands? No. Do we like to see establishment interfering in government affairs? No. So why we are opposing Kerri Lugar Bill? May be we are not used to listen truth from others. Nawaz Sharif should not listen to those people who deserted him in October 1999 and banned him to take part in politics for ten years, who put him behind the bars like a criminal and compelled him to sign that scandalous agreement. Once again it is October and we must close all those openings from where non political actors can hamper the political process. Politician must make their hold strong on the state affairs and Judiciary and free media must play a fair role now.
Suppose America want to put our establishment in chains but in the end these chains will be controlled by our politicians and free media. We always criticized America for supporting our establishment but now when America wants to strengthen politicians and our civil institutions, we are opposing it. Isn’t it strange?