After the WikiLeaks deluge
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan stands insecure as our leadership, both political and military, ruling the country have been exposed by no one else but Washington, to whom our leadership is shown by WikiLeaks to have sold their souls at the cost of national integrity, honour and prestige.
Is our fate in safe hands? This is the fundamental questionthat boggles almost every mind in Pakistan as the WikiLeaks bombshell, believed to be deliberately leaked by Washington to attain its designs including chaos in Pakistan, leaves hardly anyone among the leaders here to be trusted.
Each and every word of WikiLeaks would be taken as true if Pakistani authorities and leaders, blamed and shamed by these leaks, do not come out with a clear answer. They need to reply, more importantly through their actions, that Pakistan is no more American domain.
Otherwise, WikiLeaks precisely proves what was earlier said i.e. Pakistan has been practically reduced from a sovereign state to an American colony as the president, prime minister, top political leaders and even Army chief all have been shown pleasing or taking into confidence the US ambassador — the de facto viceroy of Pakistan — to continue ruling the roost with the blessings of Washington.
DG ISI Lt Gen Pasha too crossed the limits of discipline as he is shown by the WikiLeaks to have told US officials that President Asif Ali Zardari was corrupt. The question here arises why did he report such purely internal matter to the Americans.
The only exception has been Imran Khan, the man who on the face of Americans has been criticising US policies, drone attacks, the so-called war on terror besides asking for negotiated settlement with Taliban to end extremism and refusing to dance to the tunes of the “real masters” of this unfortunate country.
Shame is too little a word to reflect on the portrayed conduct of those ruling Pakistan after one goes through the WikiLeaks, which is expected to heap more dirt on Pakistan as well as the Muslim nations.
What would be more shameful than reading President Asif Ali Zardari as conceding to the Americans, “We are here because of you,” and then assuring Washington, “We won’t act without consulting with you.” To the pleasure of his masters, Zardari committed Pakistan to the war on terror, insisting that it was Pakistan’s own war.
Asfandyar Wali too shares the shame by inviting Washington to influence both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari through Jeddah and Dubai to mend fences. Why did he invite three foreign countries in matters purely pertaining to internal politics?
Look at the callousness of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who on the issue of drone attacks told Washington, “I don’t care if they (US) do it (carry out drone attacks) as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.” The premier had snubbed the interior minister Rehman Malik, who had suggested to the Americans that the Predator attacks should be stopped after the Bajaur operation.
Look at the double speak of the PML-N, whose top leadership both Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were shown repeatedly assuring the Americans that the PML-N was pro-America. To leave no doubt about his loyalty to the Americans, Nawaz recounted his decision to override his Chief of Army Staff and deploy Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia in support of the US coalition in the first Gulf War. Here Chaudhry Nisar Khan reminded that it was the PPP and its leaders who were organising street demonstrations against Pakistan joining with the US coalition.
Exposing the hypocrisy of the already stinking Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the WikiLeaks revealed that the leader of the country’s most fiercely pro-Taliban religious party, hosted a jovial dinner for Ms Patterson at which the Maulana sought her backing to become the prime minister and expressed a desire to visit America. His lieutenant Abdul Ghafoor Haideri acknowledged that “All important parties in Pakistan had to get the approval of the US (to get power).” Just compare the actions of these Maulanas to what they preach in their speeches. Simply disgraceful!
Interior minister Rehman Malik is referred to as a frequent and co-operative interlocutor, who professes his support for cooperation with the United States.
No less shocking is the way the Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been opening his heart and mind before the Americans, including the US ambassador. Otherwise giving the impression of being a man of few words, the Army chief spoke before the Americans against President Zardari and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, and also talked of getting resignation from the president and tailoring democracy to his sweet choice.
He also hinted at supporting Asfandyar Wali Khan, the leader of the Awami National Party, as the new president. Kayani even made it clear to Ms Patterson, the former US ambassador, that regardless of how much he disliked Zardari, he distrusted Nawaz even more.
Such hobnobbing of the military chief with any foreign diplomat or official, what to talk of Americans, is undoubtedly a violation of discipline and breach of his oath. Unluckily, we have a tainted president, tainted prime minister and tainted political leaders otherwise this is a fit case of seeking explanation from the Army chief.
With such leadership, both political and military, Pakistan’s future is really bleak. Whom should we trust? Who is free from the US influence? Can we become a sovereign nation? Can we take our own decisions? Why do we have more faith in Washington than in God? How could we save Pakistan from being destabilised after reading what our president, prime minister, political leaders and Army chief have said to a minnow American — Anne Patterson? With such leadership, how can we tackle the problem of terrorism? Who would save us from disgrace and shame?
One hardly has any answer to the above questions. Our irony is that our leaders are leading us to shame like never before. What option do they have to undo what they have brought for this country and its people? Resignations and stepping down from their respective public and political offices is one option. Another option is to say a firm no to the American drone attacks, cut the Nato supply line, revisit our policy on US’s so-called war on terror, halt all military operations inside Pakistan, open up dialogue with the local Taliban leaders to bring to an end terrorism and desist from dancing to the tunes of Americans.
Otherwise these leaks, containing truths and half-truths all suiting Washington but embarrassing others, are bound to create more mistrust and chaos in the country, which is the actual design of those having leaked it from Washington.
Is Mr. 10% showing his true colors now? There was a reason, perhaps, that during Mohtarma’s time this man was never part of the CEC? He goes to Sector Nine Zero of MQM and starts chanting “Altaf Zardari Bhai Bhai”.
Perhaps they are, brothers, after all. We should have known all along?
MOST IMPORTANTLY Be prepared for the siege on the Army House on the 25th. We need to start preparing for that and I’ll be updating you shortly on that.
|Zardari issues ‘charge-sheet’|
|Snubs Aitzaz; says he is not interested in restoration of personalities
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has issued a long charge-sheet against the deposed superior court judges, saying they never came to his rescue and were responsible for his eight years in jail.
In the clearest indication that the PPP may not stand by the Murree Declaration to restore the judges, the PPP leader told his central executive committee in Naudero that he was not interested in the restoration of personalities but wanted a judicial reforms package.
Analysts said things were getting complicated for Zardari, both within the PPP and outside, as he was moving closer to allies of President Musharraf and drifting away from his coalition partner Nawaz Sharif.
As Zardari issued his charge-sheet against the judges, Makhdoom Amin Fahim demanded the disbandment of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians which he heads. Others in the PPP blasted the party leadership’s decision to join hands with the MQM.
On the other hand, the PML-N is determined not to compromise on the issue of restoration of the deposed judges through a resolution in the National Assembly. The party says it seeks strict adherence to the Murree Declaration and would not accept any formula or constitutional amendment that restores all the deposed judges minus chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
“After gaining so much because of the political initiative that Zardari has taken in the recent weeks, the PPP co-chairperson is on the verge of losing all,” a senior PPP leader told this correspondent from Naudero, revealing the situation in the interior Sindh was extremely tense after Zardari’s visit to the MQM headquarters popularly known as Nine Zero.
In a post-dinner gathering of the PPP’s central executive committee, the source said, many PPP leaders minced no words in criticising Zardari’s decision to woo the MQM. PPP MNA Shugufta Jamani and Sethi Ishaq were among those who expressed strong resentment and wondered how the PPP could join hands with the MQM, which was responsible for the killing of PPP workers.
“The Sindhi people have not given a mandate to Zardari to thrust upon them his personal agenda of humiliation in the name of reconciliation,” a PPP leader told The News, adding, “We strongly oppose and condemn the PPP-MQM coalition in Sindh.”
The leader asked: “Who caused the May 12th incident? Who was behind the Oct 18 blast? Who killed Murad Baloch and Munawar Suhrawardy? But you still went to the Nine Zero to express solidarity with the MQM against the wishes of the nation. Now it’s time for us to rethink our support for you, Mr Zardari,” said the source, who sounded quite disturbed.
“There is a wave of anger,” a PPP leader said. The likes of Raja Pervez Ashraf, Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Jahangir Badr, however, showered Zardari with praises and called him a great leader. Badr even crossed all limits by saying that the PPP had become more popular under Zardari.
Zardari, however, defended his party’s rapprochement with the MQM and termed it a sensible political move having far-reaching impact. He said he wanted to open all political avenues for his son, Bilawal, and never liked to see the doors of Nine Zero closed for him. He said the MQM would be forming a government with the PPP.
Aitzaz Ahsan, who sought the restoration of the deposed judges, told the meeting that it would be in the interest of the party to get the judges restored.
Zardari, according to sources, came hard on the issue of the judges’ restoration. According to one source, Zardari snubbed the widely-respected lawyer leader and said he knew the worth of the judges whose restoration was being sought by the lawyers’ community.
Zardari said these were the same judges who had earlier taken oath under the PCO and validated the military rule. Referring to his jail life, a source quoted him as saying that he was let down by these judges, who had even refused to release him on parole to attend the funeral of his nephew. He said he was allowed only a two-hour parole despite Farooq H Naek’s pleading before the same judges.
He said the then Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed had also refused him a parole. He termed the same judiciary biased, which he said was responsible for his eight years in jail. Party sources reported that Asif Ali Zardari was quite emotional while speaking on the judges’ issue. One source said he talked of the restoration of the judges but linked it to a constitutional package. He said the party was interested in the independence of the judiciary and not in personalities.
A party leader said he was disappointed to hear what he termed the charge-sheet issued by the PPP co-chairperson against the deposed judges. According to him, almost 60 per cent of the co-chairman’s speech was on Aitzaz Ahsan and the judges.
While the PPP is clearly seen connecting the judges restoration issue with a constitutional package, the PML-N is determined not to budge from what had been agreed between the two parties in Murree on March 9, 2008.
“We don’t accept the ‘Minus-One Formula’ or any such solution that excludes Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,” PML-N minister Ahsan Iqbal told this correspondent, adding the “Minus-One Formula” would mean accepting March 9, 2007 Gen Musharraf’s action of suspending chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as legitimate.
Ahsan said as per the Murree Declaration, the deposed judges would be restored through a resolution. Ahsan categorically said that the question of any constitutional amendment for the judges’ restoration did not arise.
Ahsan said the coalition was committed to the Murree Declaration and clarified that the PML-N was not averse to a mutually-agreed constitutional package having no link with the restoration of the judges.