PM’s interview | By Rizwan Ghani

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PM’s interview


PM gave a balanced interview. He publicly refused to allow any US bases, any sort of action from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

We cannot afford any more military actions from our territory and there is no military solution to Afghanistan.

He said that we will be partners in peace, not conflict which is an offer to reset bilateral relations permanently. It is now up to Biden to make the phone call.

The ball is in US court for the second time. Earlier Trump visited India and ignored Pakistan. Look at the fallout. America can still salvage its relations with Pakistan to save democracy in the region.

America can be back and Democrats can win 2022 mid-term elections if Biden takes these three steps: Establish coalition government, remove India from Afghanistan and restore UN status of Kashmir.

Trump would have won the election if he had accepted my similar recommendations in Feb 2020 (Trump’s Afghan Legacy).

Historically speaking, Imran’s refusal is echo of De Gaulle’s 1966 act in which he told America to remove NATO troops from France.

It was done to end an unequal partnership of France with the UK and US in the alliance, free the country from being drawn into NATO conflicts with Warsaw Pact countries and develop its nuclear arsenal.

It explains Imran’s thumping faith in Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence against India and foreign interest in our defence capabilities.France wanted to make its own treaty with the Warsaw Pact countries. Pakistan is in similar situation.

France stationed its troops in Germany with its permission during the cold war but Taliban have rejected security of Kabul Airport by the foreign troops.

As an independent country, Pakistan has every right to adopt independent foreign policy to have balanced and healthy relationships within the region and globally.

Imran upheld democracy on election credibility of Taliban. He said that Pakistan will deal with whoever represents people of Afghanistan. Taliban are almost 49% of Afghan population.

It is clear that no election and government minus half the population of the country can be legitimate.

It is democratic responsibility of all US lawmakers to force Biden administration to make political settlement in Afghanistan in coming weeks.

Biden should end use of terrorism in international politics. It was used in the 70s in Latin America to support corporate businesses (Pink Tide).

The US Federal agencies used mock fights against Great Crimes to expand their powers in the 1930s because otherwise state lawmakers blocked them from entering their states. The standoffs on Border wall, ballot paper and immigration are its modern day examples.

Today Western media outlets are using the same approach shown in ‘Public Enemy’ to turn murder into religious phobia and terrorism to which Imran referred. It should be stopped for international peace and harmony.

America is a powerful country. It can resolve Kashmir issue by helping to hold the plebiscite under the UNSC Resolutions so that people of Kashmir can decide their future. India has turned Kashmir into an open prison and killed more than 100,000 people.

It is gross violation of international laws and matter of highest concern because half of it is in Pakistan.

The talk of road map is a Palestine-like international ploy duping Pakistan into opening Pak-Afghan trade corridor to help Delhi economically to offset indefinite Indo-China border standoff.

Islamabad will not take any step that will endanger its national interests. Like America first, Pakistan also cannot allow destruction of its industry, jobs and economy.

India has to leave Afghanistan so that Pakistan can cut its defence budget, which has increased due to military presence on both its eastern and western borders.

The issue of sexual violence and rape raised in the interview is a matter of concern for any society.

Pakistan is fighting the menace. PM openly admitted that we are trying to tackle the issue.

Without undermining the challenge, the rape victims are also struggling in the West to get justice.

One in five women in the US and 1 in 3 in the UK face sexual harassment. Sexual abuse is rife in schools. Police is involved in rapes, murders and other abuses, which undermines democracy.

It is wrong to link rape to dress code. It is called victim blaming (or blaming the weak). Clothes do not convey consent for sexual actions.

Science does not back PM’s commonsense that attire is a significant causal factor in determining who is assaulted.

New York Times apologized for its uncritical reporting of community blaming the victim of gang rapes in Cleveland and Texas in 2011.

If rape is recognized as show of power, it can accelerate prosecution and end stigma attached to it.

With the rise of populism in India, the West should respect Pakistan’s democracy in the region.

Its youth (64% of the population) likes individual freedoms, rule of law and modern education.

There is hunger for good governance, transparency and accountability. West has to support genuine democracy if it is serious about saving democratic institutions, media and human rights with the rise in populism and regionalism. It will help improve human rights in the region.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.

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