Self-respecting nations | by Zaheer Bhatti


Self-respecting nations

SELF-respecting nations would never extend the begging bowl and mortgage their sovereignty to the lenders; knowing fully well that these lenders were front and mouthpieces of the Imperial West.

What Pakistan won on the battlefield in Kashmir in 1948 and the 1965 War against India, was lost at the negotiating table in Tashkent and Simla brokered by the big powers for the impracticable option of settling Issues bilaterally between two un-equals; consigning the UN mandated plebiscite for settlement of the core issue of Kashmir to the back-burner, and making the World Body look redundant as a fair arbiter for all member States regardless of their size or resources.

Only such leadership stands up to be counted which weighs its words and emerges as statesmen in achieving national goals such as King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Imam Khomeini of Iran, Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Mahatir Mohammad of Malaysia whose achievements speak for themselves rather than having to be stated by them or their mouthpieces.

While everyone has the right to dream, pragmatism and diplomatic excellence, and not mere dreaming, are important prerequisites of true leadership.

Notwithstanding the accusation that Pakistan’s Imran Khan had been programmed to power, unfortunately he after well over half his tenure still appears to be groping and repeatedly relying on his rhetoric besides some cosmetics, rather than achieving at least one major breakthrough in the direction of putting the Pakistani House in Order.

Imran Khan’s inability to fashion an unbiased process of accountability across the Board due largely to an ineffective NAB whose Chief ought to have been replaced for non-deliverance and radical changes brought about in NAB TORs to make it an organization which people look up to, rather than one repeatedly castigated by the Superior Judiciary, besides being dreaded by all and sundry.

Picking up and detaining selectively targeted individuals; mostly politicians from the Opposition and non-compliant bureaucrats for months and years and having to release them for failure to prosecute, has been NAB’s only achievement, for which many a heads in the organization itself ought to have rolled and its Chairman served an ultimatum to deliver or sent home.

With elimination of corruption on top of the Khan’s Agenda, Amnesty International Report about rising corruption during Imran Khan’s tenure instead, reflects very poorly over his team’s effort to get rid of the corrupt and make the swindlers pay, besides severely denting the International image of the country as a self-respecting nation.

Pakistan captures a serving Indian Naval Officer Kalbhoshan Yadev carrying a fake identity and tasked to carry out subversion, mass killings and sabotage by the Indian Government, of which he provides details admitting his mission of crime to a military trial court mandated by the country’s Parliament to proceed against terrorist crimes.

After protracted proceedings he is sentenced to death which is upheld by the superior judiciary and awaits execution pending clemency appeal by the criminal to the President of Pakistan.

Ironically, with the Indian Government having the cheek to approach the International Court of Justice questions fairness of the trial, the then Government in Pakistan chooses to defend the case in a court whose jurisdiction as a self-respecting nation it ought to have rejected since it was a matter of Pakistan’s security, and proceeded with the executing of the death Sentence.

Every now and then Pakistan celebrates achieving some milestone in defence, but merely passes off, with returning captured Indian pilot after downing his plane invading Pakistan territory, as a goodwill gesture and lets go its submarine violating your territorial waters with a mere warning, while sufficing in bragging about your vigilance.

Self-respecting nations would not return such a pilot wilfully carrying out an offensive mission, and would destroy the submarine trespassing a second time despite serving a warning once before.

And pray! What goodwill is Pakistan talking about with a country which regularly targets Pakistan’s institutions, its national assets and constantly engages in disinformation maligning Pakistan through fake news; and makes no secret of aiming to destroying you!
One has been constantly hearing about meeting FATF requirements despite knowing that it was yet another imperial pressure ploy to keep you reeling.

It was time the authorities in Pakistan shared openly with its people what exactly was Pakistan guilty of.

For all one knows, Pakistan has always tamely accepted prohibitions and sanctions clamped on it through the UN but never challenged their efficacy like a self-respecting nation.

How Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar supporting the Freedom Movement in India-occupied Kashmir can be designated as terrorists when, in fact, the Indian occupation forces, their Government and its extremist ruling BJP are the ones to have been designated as such.

With that not happening, people in Pakistan are entitled to know the details of crime committed by these outlawed personalities who enjoy great following in the country for their philanthropic work.

As a self-respecting nation, Pakistan ought to have disowned FATF jurisdiction which was continuing to make tutored demands; Indian influence over the body in keeping Pakistan on the grey-list also surfacing.

But discounting war as an option, Pakistan ought to have officially declared the bilateral Tashkent and Simla Accords redundant after unilateral Indian annexation of its occupied territory, and gone back to the UN to complete the unfinished Agenda of Partition left in a limbo by the British; proactively re-invigorating its mandated Security Council Plebiscite in the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their future by citing UN action in East Timor and Sudan.

Saudi Arabian offer to mediate for easing tension between India and Pakistan despite being an honest one, unfortunately is of no avail with India spurning any third party mediation and refusing to engage on the core issue.

Any sincere engagement by India looking a far cry, Pakistan itself can no longer suffice with mere lip service of continuing political, moral and diplomatic support to the bleeding Kashmiris, when in the face of heart-rending public protests, harrowing news of increasing torture, rape, murder, abductions and custodial killings by occupation forces are on the rise, but failing to register with world conscience.

—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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