| by Mahboob A. Khawaja
( December 12, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) After the scheduled retirement of daily newsmaker Chief Justice Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudry, another favorite General is sworn-in to replace General Ashfaq Kiyani - the outgoing Army Chief and expiry of Asif Zardari’s fraudulent presidency, the intriguing news stunts appear to have subsided. Nothing has changed over the years except Pakistan is floating in a bubble of political, social, economic and strategic entanglement and it is just a matter of time that foreign masters could undermine its flight without notice. Pakistanis are camouflaged into a world of fantasy and dream that crime-riddled corrupt politics of the few could rescue them from catastrophic consequences unthinkable to conventional wisdom at the present. Being a nuclear power in a highly competitive world of power politics is often a problem than a sustainable strength. It is not the power of nuclear weapons to be a decisive factor, but morally and intellectually enriched intelligent leadership to define the national interests effectively and to assume a powerful role of persuasive motivation and influence to gain favorable standing in global affairs. Pakistan is at great loss with nothing of that sort. Over half of century or more, Pakistanis failed to produce any intelligent and credible leaders to represent its national interests to a challenging world of competing interests. For too long, Pakistan’s national interests were not part of the political characters encroaching political power through backdoor conspiracies and secretive intrigues to maintain the status-quo for foreign dictates. There are critical issues involving large segments of the society and politicians to be complacent in sustaining institutionalized corruption and dismantling the foundational framework of the freedom of the nation. There is no scarcity of informed, well educated and intelligent people to take up the challenging role of new-age leadership to change the course of self-geared destruction of the society but most are not part of the corrupt “no system” of politics as they have not earned wealth through bribes and backdoor deals, so their chances to any meaningful participation in national politics are non-existent. The institutionalized corruption is itself an operating powerful system of governance and it denies receptive opportunities to outsiders – the honest and educated people of the new generation to enter into politics and make the difference. Money is a big motivator and hand-changer like the mafia of the feudal landlords and boxed-in family-based politicians of the few. None would feel the pinch if Pakistan is dismembered again and all that was precious and noble core values to its freedom fighters from the British colonial rule.
John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, 2005) knows too well how international economic development projects are planned and carried out by the World Bank and other international corporations affiliated to this paradigm. Pakistan is no exception as it owes some $70 Billions unpayable debt to the International Monetary Fund managed by the US. The mafia-like game works like this explains Charley Reese (“Confession of a Hit Man” Information Clearing House: 9/26/2005): “People like Perkins work for consulting firms, and their job is to entice a foreign head of state to go deeply in debt. They do this by greatly exaggerating the economic returns on big projects such as dams and electrification systems.
The payoff comes in two ways. The foreign country hires American contractors to build the systems, and they make big profits. Then, mired in debt, the head of state will do what the United States government tells him to do. If he proves too independent or too honest to accept bribes, then he will be removed from power, either in a coup or in an accident……. On the other hand, the ruthless and corrupt killers who play the game our way get rewarded with more loans and more aid. I know this sounds leftist and even, God forbid, liberal, but the more you get to know our government, the less you will think it's all sweetness and light. People fear the U.S. with good reason. We talk about spreading democracy, but what we do is extend empire and make war.”
Pakistani bureaucrats managing the official governance continue to sign IOU notes without tangible productivity and efforts to earn foreign exchange. Its national reserve assets (State Bank of Pakistan) are said to be now at $3.5 billions from $12.billions a decade earlier - the lowest level at the moment to spark speculation of near future financial bankruptcy. Where did all the national assets disappear? Most educated and conscientious Pakistanis feel the pain that their homeland is a victim of planned political cruelty and futuristic disasters of untold consequences to their sense of freedom and national integrity. Overseas Pakistanis earning the dollars and other negotiable hard currencies are not allowed to vote in Pakistani system of politics or to offer inputs to change and reformation of the strangulated politics of the few criminals. It is a crisis on its won of national identity that when needed in conflicts and wars, overseas Pakistani’s nostalgia is motivated but in the real world of politics, they are an undesirable entity. Ostensibly, if educated and honest Pakistanis will join politics, how would care about Bhuttos, Zardaris, Sharifs and the Generals - the dark and corrupt junk history of the Muslim nation. They all had their span of time and all of them betrayed the trust and expectations of the masses. Despite this odd and evil-mongering, they still rule the country under one or another fraudulent context of democracy. Pakistan is not just tarnished inside and outside but incapacitated by the American paid and sponsored few family-based political monsters and their accomplice few military Generals. What they have been destroying over the years was not built by them. So, they have no feelings for the oppressed nation. In 2011, one CIA operative contractor Raymond Davis killed two Pakistani civilians at Lahore. President Obama and Hillary Clinton identified Davis as US “diplomat.” The truth could not have been further than this. The loyal Pakistani politician – President Asif Zaradri –“our man in Islambad” as the US administration used to call him, and General Ashfaq Kiyani intervened to stop legal prosecution against this murderer and set him free from the prison. None of these figures had any sense of rationality or accountability to the legal justice of Pakistan. When Osama bin Laden was attacked and killed for political reasons in Abbotabad, they repeated the same token of absolute loyalty to the Master.
Gordon Duff, Staff Writer and Senior Editor of Veterans Today (“Diplomat, Drug Mule or Terrorist” 2/18/2011) spotlights the episode of Raymond Davis who killed two Pakistani national in cold blood murder at Lahore. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called him a “diplomat”, in reality he was a CIA operative contractor involved in subversive and illegal activities across that land of the poor and deprived, managed by the US aid dollars including the Pakistani government – the PPP –Zardari’s thug operative governance and the army Generals on regular US payroll. We now call it diplomacy explains Gordon Duff and the thugs are “diplomats.”
“We can only imagine what they do. We have seen their parties, gay sex orgies in Kabul. We have seen the photos from Abu Ghraib. We have seen the bodies, children, women, the aged, anyone unable to duck gunfire from the window of a Humvee or black Chevy Tahoe…. What is Raymond Davis? ….. Raymond Davis has supplied the answer. His training? Davis is “black ops.”…..“Black ops” is the friendly term for terrorism, usually reserved for our enemies. ….. What Davis is accused of isn’t new. Americans have been arrested for driving around Afghanistan, shooting people at random, throwing hand grenades into crowds. Americans haven’t been arrested for breaking into homes, dozens of them, murdering entire families “by mistake.” Americans haven’t been arrested for drone attacks that seem to leave rows of corpses, always so many children among them, burned and dismembered, just like the photos of the “precision attacks” on Gaza….Is America telling Pakistan that Davis and his friends were on “official business?” Have they explained exactly what that business is? I can’t wait to hear this one. Hey, what does it matter. Pakistan is notoriously corrupt. Wait a couple of weeks, slip a few hundred thousand bucks into the right pockets and it will all be forgotten.”
American foreign policy makers view the Pakistani politicians-Generals as beggars, bootlickers who will perform all kind of superficial acts to please the Master - the one who calls them an ally when needed but will stab Pakistanis when they become a liability. Emotionally charged protesters compete in shouting matches on streets when the US led NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani troops but never took time to THINK and to hold the domestic traitors accountable and to PLAN - how to change their enslavement to the foreign Master. After military defeats in Afghanistan, the Obama administration is keen to see its troops and hardware get a safe passage out of the Afghan hell via land route of Pakistan - the only logistically operational outlet for the landlocked Afghanistan. In a ripple affected conflict situation, the US continues to launch drone attacks on the innocent civilians in Pakistan. The impartial news media put the figure at 1,521 people killed by the US aggression in the past few years. The newly installed Nawaz Sharif Government is playing with the credibility of the data on civilian casualties just to resume American aid for the political recipients. It is a shame Pakistani can never overcome that its leaders are already sold-out to the American strategic interests. This was the historic moment if there were men of moral and intellectual conscience to represent the national interests, Pakistan could have worked out a fair and equitable agreement with the US to compensate the civilians killed by drone attacks and to smooth relations based on non-interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif is no stranger to the institutionalized corrupt system of politics, twice dismissed on corruption charges, originally brought-in as a cheer politician by General Zia ul Haq, Sharif made many millions out of the pains and sufferings of the masses and transferred wealth to UK and Saudi Arabia to invest in new schemes of money laundering and real estate like the Bhuttos and Zardaris. Recently, Raja G. Mujtaba, a concerned citizen, reputable journalist and Director of Policy Institute, Islamabad asked Nawaz Sharif in an open letter to explain the amount of wealth stolen from Pakistan to UK and money that he borrowed but never returned to the Banks in Pakistan. Others have expressed similar concerns about the suitability of Nawaz Sharif as a politician and a Prime Minister. Progressive nations encourage politicians of vision and integrity to make headways in political standing but not so in filthy politics of Pakistan, political actors pretend and deceive masses with illusions of change when nothing really changes on the ground once they get into power. Nawaz Sharif re-started his power where he was ousted by General Musharaf in 1999 and tried in a court of terrorism for refusing to land the incoming PIA flight from Sri Lanka with 300 or so passengers on board. Sharif ordered the flight to go to India and to have General Musharaf arrested by the enemy of Pakistan but the Captain of the flight refused to obey his command. The abrupt military coup also aborted Sharif’s plan to install another Chief of the Army Staff replacing General Musharaf at the time. Sharif should not have been sworn-in as a new PM unless he would have cleared the previous corruption charges. Sharif simply replaced corrupt monster Zardari and nothing else.
The trial of General Musharf is a convenient political escape from the pertinent facts of political history and pressing problems facing Pakistan. Musharaf made major political blunders in governance and violated the constitution but is not a traitor and should be set free. Nawaz Sharif should see the mirror. Time will pass but political shame will never go away from the image of Pakistan. None of the Pakistani politicians in the governance or at the National Assembly seem to enjoin individual conscience of honesty and intelligent credibility to be leaders at the national stage. This is what stalls all opportunities for change and development of the future-making. The nation’s priority is restoration of normalcy in social dwellings, trade and commerce, and a sense of political security out of the chaotic and destructive sectarian killings and Taliban daily atrocities against the innocents. Any responsible politicians should address theses issues of primacy for the national interest, certainly not Musharaf to make news headlines. Evil is not one but many and they all appearing to be active in dehumanizing the nation and its moral, spiritual and intellectual heritage. Pakistan needs a new beginning, away from the obsolete politics of the few historical dead conscience figures. Pakistan is deliberately fractured and susceptible to all kind of foreign influence under the heavy load of IMF debts. One rational and workable remedy that Pakistani masses should consider as a national priority is to demand the National Assembly to sack Sharif and set up a non-partisan Government of national unity under an able and intelligent leader to focus on systematic political capacity-building and to initiate work on a New Constitution, new public institutions and to encourage new educated and intelligent people of the young generation to participate in political development aimed at sustainable future-building of a nation being oppressed and its functional capacity continuously being shattered by the few crime-riddled politicians. Imagine, if in 1971, the known conspirators - ZA Bhutto and General Yahya Khan were arrested and tried for their crimes against the integrity of the nation, and political power was peacefully transferred to Sheikh Mujib-ur -Rehman- the majority political leaders after the elections in One Pakistan, the nation could have been saved from the humiliation of surrender to India and further dismemberment. History offers learning lessons to all those who are willing to learn from the past. Is Nawaz Sharif any different than what treacherous and shameful acts ZA Bhutto and Yahya Khan did to the nation? Are there any proactive and intelligent people to think critically and honestly about the present and future of our nation? To THINK of ANEW political beginning is the essence of time and urgent need for the future of Pakistan.
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).