Pakistan’s lead roles of global dimensions
AMID Afghanistan immersed with critically difficult and complex circumstances following the unimagined fall of Kabul to the Afghan Taliban, the world looked towards Pakistan frantically to rescue people stranded at Kabul including people in combat helmets.
For them, nights were long and days even longer. Besides, SOS calls across the globe, it was own sense of responsibility which moved Pakistan to evacuate people of all hues in distress without distinction and in epoch of challenges of diverse character and greater magnitude, it was most satisfying for all those who relied upon its emergency help. Pakistan delivered daringly and startlingly without any mishap.
It was indeed a performance par excellence. Ten thousand people were evacuated in the shortest possible time, lodged in Islamabad comfortably and finally, dispatched to their destinations orderly.
Apart from this, Pakistan is also leaving no stone unturned to help forge intra-Afghan consensus for an inclusive government in Afghanistan to set the ball rolling in the right direction for enduring peace.
It is an apt manifestation what of late, PM Imran Khan said to the US “we will be partners in peace, not in conflict”. Pakistan is a dealer in hope for peace because a stable Afghanistan is an imperative for peace in the region.
The flurry of telephone calls of gratitude for its exhilarating solo rescue operation and a beeline of foreign high ranking dignitaries to visit Islamabad for exchange of views on Afghanistan, stands testimony to these facts glaringly nevertheless, it is not first time what Pakistan has done for humanity and peace in world.
A cursory look into contemporary times, would vividly illustrate its sense of purpose which Pakistan has always demonstrated astutely and in return, what it received, was a shattering experience; momentary praise/gratitude and no reward in substance rather ugly accusations when it clashed with their exclusive interests.
It was condemned as of an outcast summarily. A few days back, in the US, Pakistan was being talked about for sanctions to make it a perfect scapegoat for their failures in Afghanistan.
Pakistan is always on frontlines of UN peace keeping efforts from Europe to Africa. It is one of the largest contributors of troops to UN for decades and is seen one step ahead of others when going is tough and full of risk to save humanity and peace in strife-ridden areas irrespective of religion, creed and colour.
Probably this the reason that the UN has declared Pakistan a country highest in serving the humanity.
Contrarily, the UN is timid when matters related to Pakistan come on its forums, particularly the Kashmir dispute.
More recently, Pakistan was repeatedly denied opportunities blatantly to address UNSC meet on Afghanistan by its biased Indian President despite its major stakes/role for peace in Afghanistan.
In July 1971, Pakistan successfully built bridges for Chian-US rapprochement, considered a giant leap forward for peace in world multifariously. To the contrary, the US conceded dismemberment of Pakistan to India concomitantly.
It only differed with India on its method to achieve it. In Dec 1979 when Soviet tanks rolled in Kabul, Pakistan did not only act as a frontline state to thwart its further downward thrust to the Arabian Sea but also took more than four million Afghan refugees ungrudgingly which in present times, remains highest number of refugees in a country at one time.
Former US President Regan empathetically acknowledged “Pakistan today stands in the front rank of the nations shouldering a great responsibility for mankind”. For the West, the Soviet Union was an evil empire.
They viewed its existence/demise for humanity in these words “either mankind will awaken to the horrors of darkness or to a glorious dawn”.
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Pakistan was most allied ally. It was the darling but became villain overnight when Soviets withdrew, calling Afghanistan a bleeding wound.
It was left high and dry to suffer downsides of Afghan war alone. 9/11 was an upheaval in modern human history, allegedly caused by an act of terrorism. The US took incumbent upon itself to punish its alleged architects based in Afghanistan.
No one from Pakistan was involved, yet Pakistan joined international coalition to fight against terrorism and played a lead role which no other could emulate. It suffered human loss of eighty thousand people and material loss of 200 $ billion.
There was yet another loss. It was loss of almost two decades which in real sense, was most expensive loss because loss of time is irredeemable. Unfortunately, no one even within Pakistan talks about it.
This time, Pakistan was accorded designation of a major non-NATO ally for its monumental role but in reality, only superficially because mantra of ‘Do More’ never saw end rather because of its frequency and intensity, it was an edition to international glossary of terms.
Besides, there were unjustified accusations. In comparison, material support was scarce and could rightly be termed a set of cufflinks. The Kashmir issue is a moral debt which the whole world ought to owe.
Unfortunately, its conduct is wanting, hence, this has left Pakistan alone to carry its whole burden. It is another service which Pakistan is rendering for cause of humanity.
In brief, track record of Pakistan in service of humanity and peace is illustrious and could hardly be matched by a country equal to its size and resources.
In return what Pakistan has got for its lead roles is a tale of broken pledges, double talk, contradictions and inconsistencies. Such a behaviour has repercussions while making it a case study in international affairs.
The world needs to rise above its indifference and prejudice for benefit of the mankind and global peace and encouragement of those who stand ready for their pursuance.
— The writer, a retired Lt Col, is a senior columnist based in Islamabad.