Pakistan Observer

Foreign policy narrative & Malala

Rizwan Ghani

Monday, October 15, 2012 - Government should not use Malala attack to impose political and foreign agenda. The attack on Malala is a tragedy and nation’s prayers are with her. The timing of tragedy, unity of thought shown by Islamabad, Washington in local and American politicians including presidents, PM and ministers and their counterparts in the backdrop of International Day of Girl has clearly shown that tragedy is now part of international agenda. It is therefore responsibility of state, politicians, media and civil society to stop the government to hijack the incident to impose political and foreign agenda.

The government is using the tragedy to impose pro-US foreign policy ahead of next election. It should be blocked and boycotted. Individual incidents cannot be and should not be used to impose foreign dictated foreign policies. The politicians’ call of choosing Malala’s Pakistan was echo of ‘with us or against us’. The media is being used to spin Malala incident to counter PTI’s foreign policy narrative in which Imran said that he will engage Talibans and end Pakistan’s role in America’s fake war in terror. He pointed out that it was not our war. America must withdraw from Afghanistan to help restore peace in the region and drone attacks were counterproductive.

Zardari’s government bid to use Malala incident to impose pro-US status quo will fail. The ruling alliance leaders including People’s Party, MQM who are demanding boycott of negotiations with anti-Pakistan forces to restore peace in the country should provide a practical alternate to Imran’s foreign policy outline. The ruling elite should spell out when and how they plan to retract from US alliance against Afghanistan to restore peace in the country.

The public cannot be conned to keep Pakistan entangled in open-ended fake war against terror to justify US presence in the region. Due to Islamabad’s pro-US policies, the 90 percent of Pakistanis including taxpayers have been forced to live below $2 a day. Pakistan’s economy, industry and jobs have been destroyed due to the Afghan war. The pro-US puppet regimes of Pakistan have spent taxpayers $100bn on America’s fake terror Afghan war leaving national sectors including energy, health and education without funds. Reportedly, over 52 percent girl students are out of school due to poverty and government is spending only 1.5 percent of the GDP on education despite collecting over Rs 1900bln in taxes. All those condemning denial of basic rights to Malala including Obama, Hillary, Ban Kimoon, human right activists, media and civil societies in Pakistan, US and modern Europe should be ashamed for keeping tens of thousands of children from schools in Pakistan due to American drone attacks.

Media, politics and crocodile tears cannot fool the voters. Washington is supporting most corrupt rulers of Pakistan so that their Afghan war continues to be funded under America’s war ‘outsourcing policy’ in which allies share expenditure of American wars and military setups. Washington, Islamabad and International community including UN, human right activists and foreign embassies in Pakistan showed concern for children and missing people in Pakistan.

It is hoped that they will show same commitment to help find 55,000 missing children in India for the last 3 years, bring justice to girl rape victims of Sir Jimmy Savile by withdrawing his Knighthood and bring to book all those who covered his crime at BBC. New Parliament should choose its own president. A double game is played to support US fake war on terror for mutual benefit. Reportedly, plans are being made to keep Zardari in office in 2nd term in exchange for supporting continuation of pro-US policies in the region. In exchange, country could have ‘free and fair’ elections and PM from winner party (Can Zardari be re-elected before election? Pak Observer).

It explains recent ‘unity of thoughts’s on Malala incident in Islamabad, Washington and Zardari and PML (N). Any such agreement will allow continuation of decade long Musharraf era policies, which have already resulted in 40,000 deaths and irreparable loss to Pakistan for continuing to be part of US fake war against terror in the region.

Like America, the pro-US politicians are equally blocking return of peace in Pakistan, revive economy, end unemployment, dependence on foreign aid and help the country to benefit from regional economy and stand on its feet. It is therefore duty of other pillars of democracy to save hijacking of Malala incident and help ensure holding of fair elections, allow new parliament to elect new president and get rid of dual nationality holders as part of democratic rights of the public and the state.

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