This week in Islamabad
We may take the most despicable and heinous thing first, the NATO helicopters attack on our military post in Mehmand Agency. NATO or ISAF knew that it was a Pak military post, according to the lists given to them. So they knew that it was an official military post and not that of the Taliban. Yet they had the cheek to attack it and kill in this attack 21 military personnel. And wounded many. Had our military killed so many NATO soldiers there would have been great storm of demands like “ Hand over the persons responsible for it” We should do what NATO would have demanded. Here what has been said and those protestations boil down to verbosity – lodging protests and nothing more. Is such cold blooded murder remain to verbal protests! We should have asked that the responsible for the killing should be handed over to us for trial by a military court, that each of the murderer would be sentenced under terrorist act and sent to jail and compensation to the families of the victims of this killing spree at the rate of $ one million each person should be given by the US/ or the country of the criminal soldier should be paid to the Pakistani heirs of the tragedy. Meanwhile no NATO supplies will be allowed to pass through Pakistani border posts to NATO in Afghanistan. for double the days of the number of Pakistani soldiers killed by NATO helicopters Just verbal protest means nothing. This is what the white people would have asked from us for the death of their soldiers by our choppers if the case had been the other way round. NO verbal protests. Protests should have teeth. One may ask Have you not killed enough in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya that you want to try your hands on Pakistanis also? Pakistan, as a mark of protest, should at least shut the Nato supply line for as many days as the number of our soldiers killed in the air strike.
As regards the NRO Judgment, an attempt was made to prolong the proceedings of the NRO case by what is called filibustering but the Chief Justice cut through to the one question and ruled NRO illegal and asked action to be taken against the “beneficiaries” of this generous dispension at the expense of the country and principles of rectitude. I have a bad habit, even though I am an ill educated person in religious matters, to recall some guidelines given by the Holy Prophet (SAWS) on application of the law. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said law must be implemented.” By Allah I would have cut the hand of my daughter if she had committed theft. The Foregone people were destroyed because they applied the law with favouritism” or some thing like this. Now let me not recall the examples from Muslim history where the mightiest bowed to the Courts’ judgments. No one is above the law.
I was thinking when the British Courts deliver judgments on the match fixing case so quickly when in our courts they would have been languishing for want of this and that formality and meeting the requirements of “ the so-called due process ad infinitum. Similarly the appeal against the judgment on the cricket stars was also dismissed within a a few days after it was filed. How come this can happen in London but never in Karachi or Lahore or Islamabad. By the lower courts After all we inherited the legal system gifted to us by the British and it is patterned on the principles of the British legal traditions and system. But here the proceedings move with snail pace, and there fast . May I ask when we have inherited the laws and procedures from the British why cases in our courts linger on and on. Is observing due process is an excuse for avoiding to take the bull by the horns?
The matter of appointment of Sherry Rehman as Ambassador to Washington as a successor to Hussain Haqqani was a surprise... First this is perhaps the first case in history where official circles name an Ambassador to a country before even asking for what in diplomatic jargon is called “agrement” or acceptance by the receiving government of the nominated ambassador .In diplomatic practice the name of an appointee is supposed to be kept secret till the receiving government has given ‘agrement” or approval to the nominated person. In many cases if the name is made officially public by the nominating government before the agreement has been asked or is received the receiving government does not like taking it to be taken for granted on agreeing to the appointment Another point is that the media was publicizing that the Prime Minister has appointed Sherry Rehman as Ambassador to USA. This is a wrong position .A Prime Minister merely recommends to the Head of the State appointment of an ambassador but constitutionally only the Head of the State appoints an ambassador, not Prime Minister. because an ambassador is a personal representative of the Head of the State to the Head of State of vreceiving government.. His/her Commission of Appointment and credentials are signed by the President. as his representative .
Coming to more substantive matter, no doubt Sherry Rehman comes from an illustrious family and is a cultured decent person but Salman Bashir was a better candidate. Washington is a “front line” diplomatic post. It is more difficult to be an ambassador at the frontline posts than a cabinet minister. In the home ministries one has so many technically capable assistants to assists the Minister but an ambassador has to deicide how he will achieve the results. The Government gives him only the task to be done but how it is to be achieved is for the Ambassador to decide .He builds his own circle of friends, and whom to counter. It is his own judgment, the means he should adopt and through whom he should move the inner circle of a government.. A foreign secretary is the best person if he is available to be posted on a front line state. Sherry has no such experience, One should in principle not start a difficult job at the top of the top . It is loss of the country that Salman Bashir has been ignored. Pity .If some one from outside the experienced diplomat was to be ambassador , there were many experienced persons likee S M Zafar, Mushahid Hussain, Wasim Sajjad, I should think Manzoor Wassan seems to be a born diplomat, soft spoken, persuasive, ability to handle tough situations. I do not know Wassan at all but the impression he gives he is cut out for diplomacy.. Among mature and experienced ladies like Sayyeda Abida Hessian, Attiya Inayatullah and so on so forth were available. In appointments of national importance one should not remain confined to “ the Party” Country is greater than Party.
Like Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar may be a good lady yet she would do well to read much more to function as an effective Foreign Minister. Her latest statement as I heard it on TV that Pakistan is not a candidate for a Permanent UNSC seat was unfortunate. It was a ‘U’ turn on 24 years of the position Foreign Office had taken on it, It could be construed as if Pakistan approves of India as a permanent member of UNSC. This shows that barring a few, nothing is a substitute for experience. Diplomatic jobs require considerable updating of knowledge.