By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished article)
America must ask herself that for almost half a century she is investing in Pakistan but most of Pakistanis have negative opinion about their companion of Jihadi era. On the other hand Chinese investment, instead of the fact that Pakistanis consider communism as infidelity, is less in quantity but Chinese image in Pakistan is even better than the Pakistani politicians. Chinese development is taken as a balance to American achievements and people of Pakistan take special interest in stories of Chinese development.
At the 50th anniversary of China I was doing masters in journalism and my research topic for thesis was “Image of China in Pakistani press”. Thoroughly I studied four newspapers for four months and it is astonishing that not only a single word was used against China. US must give consideration to this fact.
Every year US invites working journalists from Pakistan and some are given scholarships for higher education but still very few journalists are writing in favor of US. And even these journalists are not writing is such a way that can satisfy general masses because they can not justify American policies.
Last year after the event of Kerry Lugar Bill Hilary Clinton cam to Pakistan and met with journalists. She must have noticed how Pakistani journalists were hovering over her. I have not noticed any one who supported her point of view and the last argument left with her was her statement that why Pakistan is accepting this aid if it is against its national interests.
US has allotted millions of dollars for Pakistani media to create positive image of America in Pakistan but it will not work for longer terms because it looks like rip-off. Only US close relations with the general masses of Pakistan and Afghanistan can create positive image of it. There is a lot of potential in Afghanistan and Pakistan education sectors. Journalism departments can be established in universities of both these countries where pro American journalist can be brought up.
In Pakistan Pro-Jihadi organizations had started diploma courses in journalism for working journalists since Jihad era. It was done with American consent. For example Al-Rashid Trust and Jamat Ul Dawa have started post graduate diploma courses in journalism where famous Jihadi journalists deliver speeches. Now US should invest in such organization which can start diploma courses for working journalists, based on liberal and secular views. But for this first of all US will have to change her policies. Instead of reconciliation with extremist elements US should reconcile with liberal and nationalist elements of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It could be a new concept of strategic depth for US in the region. US must confess that there is some thing wrong in its policies that caused hatred for her in most of Muslim countries.
US investment and relations with Pakistan has a long history but in all these years US was friend of army. Their relations mainly limited to Pakistan army that’s why Pakistan army never felt bounded to parliament. Though the image of army is positive among Pakistani masses but US-Pak army relations always created suspicions in their minds. On the other hand Chinese relations with army and politicians are considered a positive step here in Pakistan. As long as US will not change its policy of domination Muslim will never accept her as a friend. Muslims can not be deceived by constructing mosques in US. The only difference between China and US is its policy of domination.
I don’t remember that China has given money for budget deficit. On the other hand US funding or US supported loan are basically given for budget deficit and other related issues. Chinese investment is always in the shape of technology transfer, trade, construction etc. people of Pakistan see Chinese investment in physical shape that motivates them to have positive image of China. US will also have to invest in Chinese way in Pakistan and Afghanistan otherwise its billons of dollars investment in Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon be forgotten.
US is investing in health also but conditions of health in Pakistan and Afghanistan are not encouraging. Even middle class person can not afford bypass surgeries, general surgeries, cancer, HIV, Kidneys and Hepatitis treatment. US can not raise the per capita income but it can construct hospitals providing cheap or even free treatment.
US is always busy in criticizing extremism but broadly speaking US has done nothing to eliminate the real causes of extremism. What US has sowed during Jihadi era still US is supporting that in shape of reconciliation. US must invest in the education sector of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its main objective should be on eliminating extremist point of view from the syllabus. That will be the real war against terror.
Our neighbors China, India and Iran are now industrial countries but Pakistan and Afghanistan are still living in the age of tribal society. US will have to establish industries here in this part of the world. Busy nations do not have time to look towards activities like terrorism. What I have pointed out these are some of the neglected areas where the real potential to frame positive image of US rests. US must promote and invest in these areas otherwise it should not hope of its positive image. We are not interested in the arrest of US made hero “Osama”.