Picture on the left is of May 2009. I could not get one latest as they were not seen together.
Asking for money without development plans!
Mr. Zardari's visit to US has raised some serious issues. His talk of $100 billion has been questioned and made fun of. Its allusion to Bret Stephens WSJ Editors article "Let's buy their Nukes" (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122939093016909205.html) has been damaging. The media has been up in arms from genuinely concerned to advocates of conspiracy theories.
The anti US stand unfortunately it is not restricted to a few people like Shireen Mazari as reported by Washington Post, who under the shadow of Imran Khan of questionable intellect and vision plays to the gallery. Imran is the one who was also against The Operation in Swat targeting the terrorists who were blowing up schools and police stations and making people’s lives miserabl, on an absurd premise that Pakhthoons are in the army too (Dawn and various talk shows).
If a Pakhtoon is a terrorist, a thief or a dacoit and if the judge is a Pakhtoon too, will he not convict him? He can’t possibly leave him just because he is a Pakhtoon otherwise we won’t have peace. This is just to demonstrate the hollow and shallow thought process in Imran Khan's camp.
Reasons for anti American feelings lately…
I am not going into the Vietman saga when anti-American feelings started and its support to Israel in every which way. I am also not talking of the apathy US has shown to problems of Pakistan with India due to Kashmir. I am talking of very recent developments.
Pervez Musharraf gave freedom of expression to the Media that was ill prepared to accept this responsibility and went overboard. Most anchors were sold out, as it now transpires and all worked against him and America. He was the victim of his own policy of openness. Dr. Shahid Masood unarguably the King of Conspiracy Theories along with the vernacular media set in motion a thought process that favored the terrorists one way or the other and pitched themselves and their audience against the official policy of Pakistan.
Dr. Shahid Masood simply confused people’s mind with his box office Bollywood formula type spicy episodes. He was also the propagator of The Conspiracy Theory that 9/11 was done by West itself to make a case for attack, in a way defending the accused. The media also appeased the so called religious parties which also never helped matters.
Seeing his supposed following, other channels followed suit with similar ideas 24x7 for years now. The questionably educated Hamid Mir fell in line, so did Talat Hussain, Javed Choudhry etc. etc. not to talk of Waheed Hussain of Waqth News which is a full baked terrorist channel. There are so many like these, dime a dozen. It is not entertainment but the Daily Talk Shows that are the best revenue earner for channels. You will find very few unbiased and balanced journalists like Najam Sethi for instance.
When you read a newspaper or a magazine you take some pains. When you watch TV you make no efforts, strain nothing. The result is, with constant repeated bombardment, people started imbibing anti Pakistan State and anti American sentiments of the media. They never aired people’s views but their own in the name of people’s views and wishes. If people’s wishes were to be ascertained some referendum had to take place, it never did.
It is all a hotchpotch at the moment. They all hate America. It is fashionable to do so although politically not correct. You don’t find any balanced analysis by the media. And the guests that appear further aggravate matters. They mostly are least informed and bloated with preconceived notions and biases. The American case is lost in the media. There is no chance ordinarily. Is there something America can do? I think yes.
What can America do?
If at all America is to redeem it’s position it has to do something really big and let people know about it. It has to prove its sincerity with people living in Muslim Countries. I have a few ideas that are as follows:
1. Help Pakistan solve the Kashmir problem democratically without a war so that Pakistan and India co-exist together like good neighbors prospering in peace together. This will demonstrate that America wants to help people who are occupied against their wishes sending a positive signal in the entire Muslim World not just Pakistan.
2. Develop Afghanistan just as they developed Japan post WWII. Presently Afghanis have nothing to loose. Then they will. Don’t now abandon Afghanistan to its fate as US did post Russian occupation. Truly develop it before and after you get out. DO NOT ABANDON IT.
3. Apologize for killing 1.4 million Iraqis a number a 1000 Saddams could not have equaled. Just imagine the impact it will have.
4. US and "UK have destroyed Iraq. They must rebuild and restore it to the pre-invasion state if not better. It is the responsibility of US and UK.
5. US has used over 70 vetoes to help Israel and now it is high time that era of unconditional support to the aggressor and usurper must stop. Past policies have given a bad name to USA. And let the world know that this one sided policy has stopped for good. Now on, USA will side with the right and not a wrong. So the world will go with US, not against.
The unconditional support of Israel and giving no helping hand in solving the Kashmir problem is helping the terrorists. And you have invaded Afghanistan, there was some justification. You invaded Iraq there was no justification. So you cannot be viewed as just people. Annul that image.
You have one good example of Kosovo. Advertise it. And until 9/11 USA had not invaded a singly Muslim Country. It had the best record unlike UK, France and Italy etc. En cash it. Let the Muslim world know about it.
If genuine measures are not taken there is no hope. Right now US is only receiving help without giving any thing in return and asking Pakistan constantly to do more. People are now saying no more. In such things money is not a major motivating factor. It is just like getting all the concessions from the late Yaser Arafath and giving nothing in return. In Pakistan that won’t work.
Doling out some money for the War on Terror will never be counted in US favor. It probably just goes into some pockets in civilian regimes. Every one knows the real or given reputation of Mr. Zardari. His reputation of his percentage reaches the destination well before he does.
And the problem is, he is asking for money without any development plans. So the world is skeptical.
What can Pakistan do?
If he had had plans to do something for Pakistan he would have gone to them and said that they have a plan with land ceiling in place restricting land ownership so that more and more people have access to land and resources and hence self employed and now the requirement is water, fertilizer etc. and they need to build a thousand dams both large and small and canals across the country. For this the world would open their coffers. They could make Pakistan the Bread Basket of the world. But without land ceiling, dams and canals and the proposed infrastructure, this won't ever happen. This could trigger an economic boom with industries coming up and employment generated.
He could go and tell them he wants to develop Mykolachi a seaside area in Karachi for instance and make it something better than Disney Land, he wants say $ 500,000,000 to design and build to International Standards and build Hotels, Road, Rail Network and the infra structure for it. Above all provide Law and Order which is non-existent at the moment. Such projects will earn foreign exchange for Pakistan. We need money. The world would then fund such ventures with aid, loan and investment. Sadly no such plans are in place.
He could go and tell the world he has a plan to make Pakistan the Center of Learning and Education for the world and make it a top School and University destination. The world community would fund it. Show Vision, Ideas and a plan in place, don’t ask money for nothing. Don’t go to them without a thorough homework so that they respect you. These are just some ideas off the cuff. Rest shall elaborate later Inshallah.
Begging bowl does more harm than good!