By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished article)
Pakistani power circles are at crossroads over the question of resisting the American pressure. Just like Kerry – Lugar Bill, the issue of Raymond Davis has divided the Pakistani establishment and the sitting government again. Kerry – Lugar Bill was an attempt to encourage the civil government to keep the Pakistani establishment under control but the American inflexibility in Raymond Davis episode is again the sequel of KLB that can destabilize the sitting government in Pakistan.
But unlikely KLB where civil government was squeeze in between establishment and US, here regarding Davis issue the government has moral support in siding with the establishment. Previously media was divided over KLB but now even moderate journalists are also supporting the viewpoint of establishment. No one is passionate to support American point of view.
Though it is still not known to what extent Pakistan will resist but the American hurry shows that they have smelt the strength of growing anti-Americanism in Pakistani establishment and the motives behind it. It is true that Pakistan army has close relations with US but we must also not forget that as opposed to history of close defense relations with US there is no soft corner for US among common Pakistani people. And the reason is that Pakistani establishment never tried to portray US as trusted friend. In contrast China is always portrayed as time tested friend and people have a loving approach towards China.
Although moderates are not supporting American viewpoint in Davis case but still they are of the opinion that Pakistan needs US and vice versa. They don’t wish to see deteriorating relations for the sake of one person however they wish to see more relaxation form US in case of Davis. On the other hand common Pakistanis and passionate journalists think that Davis issue will decide the future of Pakistan. Though this time they are not promoting Davis issue as an attack on ‘fragile’ Pakistani sovereignty but any compromise on Davis case can lead to hard times for the sitting government.
There are rumors of ‘sacrifice’ of foreign minister but we must prepare a balance sheet of ‘gains and losses’ on Raymond Davis episode. For opposition it is game of point scoring but at the cost of losing the much needed American support. Religious parties are again rousing the sentiments of people to show their strength of bringing the people on roads but at the cost of creating troubles for the one million Pakistanis living in US. Establishment is eager to bring US to its terms but at the cost of wear and tear in relations with the US. Government is issuing statements in accordance with public sentiments but in reality it is well aware of the consequences.
Every one has a lot for points for scoring but suicide of Fahim’s wife Shumaila Kanwal, shows that she was the most helpless person during all these developments. She did not commit suicide in grief but the tussle between power circles on the question of resistance, has compelled her to do so. Supporters of resistance and surrender, all are doing it for the sake of gains but she was not in favour of bargain. She could not resist. Common people do not have the courage to stand firm in unfavorable circumstances. That is the lesson she has taught us by putting off the candle of her life.
Today only Shumaila has committed suicide but once our trembling economy will come to an end, we must fear of that time. Some segments are giving example of Iranian revolution and their firm stand against US. But we must know that Iran is an oil rich country. Pakistan is totally dependent upon foreign aids and loans. If our power circles are sure that they can stand firm against the American pressure and they believe that Pakistanis are ready for starvation, then no doubt we are ready for this psychological war. However our leaders must not forget that what they have propagated about the roots of terrorism. At every platform our leaders are crying that poverty is the main cause of terrorism. Are they sure that starvation will not compel our people to become an easy victim of terrorism? History tells us that we don’t have strong nerves. Very soon our people will turn against the government and will become an easy target for terrorists. We must handle the issue of Davis very carefully.
Presently US has only given the threat of worsening relations. We have swallowed even more severe threats after 9/11. Davis episode is just an issue of law. Drones are killing many Fahim every day but practically our leaders and courts are silent about them. In the past Taliban have lost their Islamic government and the peace of Afghanistan just to protect Osama. Fahim is our brother and we must take vengeance but not at the cost of Pakistan.