Feb 10, 2009

Pak-US Relations: The Change and its Imperatives

President Clinton's five-day visit to India, along with the trouble of five-hour stopover in Pakistan, is of great significance in highlighting the outlines of the US role in the future not only in the sub-continent but also in the politics of whole Asia. It would not be wrong to say that this visit is indicative of basic changes in the half-a-century-old US policy for the region. The US leadership has made its intentions and new priorities abundantly clear through 'gesture, posture and words'. The message in establishing friendship with India and strained-ties with Pakistan is quite obvious and meaningful. This is an open challenge for Pakistani nation and its leadership.There is no way for us but to examine with all honesty, objectivity and loyalty with the country and the nation our relations with the US, the past, the present and the future. We should come out of the world of dreams and wishes and in the light of the new situation, and keeping in view the ground realities, draw a vibrant, clear and sustainable strategy for the protection of our interests and achievement of our ideological, political, economic and civilizational objectives and ideals. The real message of the visit, if any, is that it is time we understood the reality of friendship and affinity of the "friendliest of the friends" and the "most allied ally", saw which direction the wind is blowing, came out of illusions, and availed of the opportunity with the characteristic insight of a Muslim. We should determine our policy and objectives without any delay and strive for their achievement. A Muslim cannot be bitten twice from the same hole. Fresh resolve and clear policy befitting a dignified nation that knows well the value of independence is the need of the hour. Delaying and dawdling is fatal. To come out of the illusive and ambiguous dreams of friendship and to envisage a new program for building our future is what is badly needed. An objective and aboveboard examination of half-a-century-old friendship with the US, realization of our role and determination of our objectives in the light of the new American priorities is the foremost task. It should be kept in view that Pakistan's creation is the result of a democratic struggle and enormous sacrifices of the Muslims of the sub-continent; and that the people of Pakistan are the real trustees of this God-given trust. The task lying ahead can neither be accomplished by an individual nor can it be left to so-called intellectuals, civil servants, generals or representatives of NGOs. The decision is to be taken by the nation, after open discussion and with consensus and rising above expedient considerations. As our independence, security and honorable national life depends on this decision, no one can be allowed to play with its fate. It is the duty of the incumbent military government to take the nation into confidence and reconstruct anew a foreign policy that is truly reflective of its historical aspirations, sentiments and national security and that is based on real national solidarity and consensus. While the central issue is about relations with the US, discussion on relations with India and other world powers is also inevitable. And as this is to be done in the backdrop of the global political map that is being shaped these days, it is necessary to think anew all the aspects of the foreign policy. The issue is not of ad-hoc or cosmetic measures, it is about policy formulation by keeping in view the long-term requirements. This cannot be done in closed-doors. It requires open discussion and that the government consults the nation and its trusted representatives so that a truly national policy is arrived at. Even foreign observers have noticed that the thought, aspirations and sentiments of Pakistani nation are different from the sensitivities of those associated with the Western politics and English-medium class. In the backdrop of Clinton's visit, the Economist in its peculiar style has indicated towards this problem of the nation, ignoring which can beset a big calamity. It may take some time before it becomes clear that whether Mr. Clinton has sobered Pakistan or enraged it. Pakistan's English-language newspapers, which share many of his views about what direction Pakistan should take, almost welcomed his scolding. The vernacular press, which is closer to popular opinion, accused him of coddling India. (The Economist, April 1, 2000, p. 61)Not exclusive to the Urdu press, the English press too includes writings, though relatively fewer in number, that reflect popular sentiments. The real issue is not about the wishes or interests of certain quarters, but is of passions, feelings and aspirations of the whole nation. Any course taken in indifference to the wish of the people is a recipe to disaster. We, therefore, would like to clearly state that:The foremost need is to examine Pak-US relation with complete objectivity and to formulate a clear and sustainable policy with respect to national aspirations and requirements of independence. Escaping the challenge or the inevitable (like ostrich) or shivering with fear (like jackal) presents no solution. What is needed is to face the challenge, boldly and squarely. This requires the ability to recognize ground realities, maturity and to see the long-term imperatives. Not only that this task of policy review and reconstruction be accomplished in the light of national aspirations and interests but also that a stance be adopted that is based on national consensus. Nation be taken into confidence and policy is formulated with its participation. Merely the foreign office or the chief executive's secretariat cannot do this. Participation and satisfaction of all the true representatives of the nation is a must. Only that decision can stand the test of time that is based on national thinking and backed by collective conscience. This is the essence of Islam and democracy. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------We do not want to bog down in a discussion as to whether Clinton's visit was a success or a failure though this has been a focus of great attention, not only in India and Pakistan but even in Europe and America, ever since the visit.This visit to the sub-continent was Clinton's 62nd tour during his presidentship and was unique with respect to pomp and show and regal ostentation. President's Air-Force I was escorted by an awesome fleet of 76 aircrafts, one-third of the cargo division the US air force. Only the planes through 50 flights daily delivered in India all the equipment and personnel that were to protect the democratic president. Some 100-200 men from secret agencies, 30 bullet-proof automobiles, two military trucks, a dozen helicopters and even beds, water and military dogs were all there for service. This single sojourn of the champion of democracy and equality cost $ 75 million. In other words, a democratic president spent on the visit to see a royal memorial of Taj Mahal more that what might have been the cost of the construction of entire Taj Mahal. In spite of all this, American analysts are saying that Clinton has returned empty handed as far as the objectives of the visit are concerned, which were highlighted by President Clinton himself in his article in the International Herald Tribune of March 20, 2000 viz. clearing the most dangerous place of the world of the dangers of war, making India and Pakistan agree on US policy of nuclear non-proliferation, and evolving a solution to the Kashmir issue. Greatly annoyed by the criticism, Clinton responded by saying that his failure was because of Republicans Party's political game in the Senate that did not allow the ratification of CTBT. New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times all with one voice have declared the visit an extravaganza and a failure with respect to its targets. Weekly Time has thus summed this up: There is delight in Delhi, disappointment in Islamabad and despondence in Kashmir as Bill Clinton returns home from South Asia. The American President takes with him a suitcase full of souvenirs and sense of relief at having survived the diplomatic minefields of what he called the most dangerous place in the world today. As a result, Clinton leaves the sub-continent an even more dangerous place than he found it. (Time, April 3, p. 24)Time's forecast of the future is that if the governments of India and Pakistan do not act upon Clinton's advice then: In the months ahead, Delhi's delight will turn into dismay, Islamabad's disappointment into desperation. Only Kashmir's despondence will remain unchanged.It is for US authorities to find out what America gained and what it lost by this visit. Washington Times has declared Clinton's this visit to South Asia a "costly failure", but there is much in it for Pakistan to learn. Even now, if it serves as an eye-opener for our leadership and those influential segments that almost have a belief in the US, then in spite of its being ill-mannered, changing sides and humiliating this bitter experience can herald a safe, reliable and more successful future. We think that the matter has gone beyond complaining and grumbling and as a nation it is needed of us to come out of illusions, face the realities and strictly adhere to the honorable attitude of charting the course of action ourselves. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------The era of prevailing relations with America began in 1950 with the Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan's US visit, and ended with President Clinton's visit to India in March 2000. For the first four years (1950-54), America tried that Pakistan, India and Afghanistan adopt the same policy, Pakistan takes strides as a state of South Asia, and that all the three side with America in the post second world war politics. Exceedingly it wished and tried to have India stand by its side and help it erecting a siege around the Socialist world. But Pundit Nehru never showed interest in becoming a part of this system and tried instead to strengthen the non-aligned movement together with Indonesia and China. This was contrary to the US policy. Pakistan, according to its own strategy, considered itself as belonging more to the Central Asia and Middle East than to the South Asia and was perceiving a role for itself among these very countries. In such circumstances, Pakistan became member of the US' Defense pacts like Seato, Cento and Baghdad Pact and America's closest ally during the cold war. American democracy saw nothing wrong in General Ayub's military dictatorship and the two developed great affinity. General Ayub addressed the American Congress and eternal bonds of friendship were pledged. But, America returned to India in the very first trial in 1962, armed two divisions of Indian army teeth and nail for so-called combat with China, gave it sophisticated warfare technology and nuclear technology, and prevented Pakistan by coercion from taking any step in Kashmir and thus we lost a historic opportunity. Then, when India attacked Pakistan in 1965, emboldened by American military and economic aid for three years, then instead of helping its ally America cut-off the military supply to Pakistan in the name of 'even-handedness', though Pakistan almost completely relied on American arms whereas India's main supplies came from Russia. Friendship with General Yahya too was developed. The Pakistan that had facilitated Kissinger's and Nixon's access to China was deserted once again during critical times in1971 when India openly supported terrorism and Makti Bahini and finally invaded East Pakistan militarily in November 1971. The official documents that have been published now have notes of the US secretary of state that were written to the US President on both occasions and wherein it has been clearly said that though US had friendship and agreements with Pakistan, American interests dictate that it should give preference to India over Pakistan. The US opposition was at its rudest with respect to our nuclear policy. In spite of all favors that Pakistan had done to America in establishing contacts with China, courting for itself great risks, and because of which it was considered a 'trusted friend', Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of State, warned Pakistan of making it a "horrible example". Then President Carter felt no hesitation in severing relations and subjecting to economic sanctions. It was Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the resistance of Afghan Mujahideen and Pakistan against this onslaught that compelled America to seek friendship with Pakistan. But, as soon as there appeared signs of Russian military return from Afghanistan, both Afghanistan and Pakistan were deserted once again. It is admitted that Pakistan did get during this period a few benefits from America in rebuilding its army, military structure and economic field. On the other hand, we could not get many benefits that were greatly likely but could not be achieved due to the incompetence of the leadership, corruption and sycophant mentality. However, an objective balance-sheet of the entire period reveals some irrefutable facts.Throughout the period, American relations, not only with us but also with all countries of the Third World and Muslim world, based purely on American interests. Though there was great clamor about free world, democratic rights and basic liberties besides the rhetoric of ideological and moral principles and universal values, yet, in fact, US policy's single central principle has been the interest of the US as a global power. Its friendship is highly unreliable. Changing sides is a usual norm. This is not just our experience, highly positioned American policy-makers have admitted with Machiavellian temerity that this is their real policy and if others do not understand this, it is their fault and not an American duality. In none of the accords America and Pakistan have entered into with each other, the former has accepted the legal and constitutional responsibility to extend help to the latter at the hour of trial. Many US presidents and secretaries of state and defense held out verbal assurances of help but these were never considered binding. Addressing the joint session of the American Congress on July 12, 1961, General Ayub had said: "The only people who will stand by you are the people of Pakistan provided you are prepared to stand by them."President Kennedy thus responded:"Pakistan was a friend of immediacy and constancy. Americans in private and in their public life appreciate the value of friendship and the constancy of friends."This was exposed in 1962. Then US secretary of State Dean Rusk astounded not only Pakistan but the entire world by expounding that: The commitments do not bind us to any particular course of action. Most of them state that in the event of aggression we would act to meet the common danger in accordance with our constitutional process. How we act in fulfillment of these processes will depend upon the facts of the situation. Some situations require less participation on our part than others. When Senator Semingtion compelled the State Department in 1966 for explanation of 'commitment', a senior official came up with this Machiavellian principle: The President could make a statement on day and disavow it, if he chooses, the following day. No commitment devolved on the United States because of statement made by the President.The story of 50 years of Pak-US relations is replete with such betrayals and is a living prove of the principle that was expounded by the founder of American democracy George Washington in his farewell address: An attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. It is a folly on the part of a nation to look of disinterested favors from another. It must pay with portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------One of the results of American friendship came in the shape of dependence in political, economic and even military fields. In global politics, we subordinated, to a great extent, our friendships and enmities to America's global objectives and system and could not evolve a foreign policy that befits a really independent nation and protects the interests of Muslim Ummah. We got deeper and deeper in the trap of foreign aid and loans and the situation has gone bad to worse. This situation has taken us to a point where our independence is fettered and endangered by loans and that our entire economy is being used to fulfil each and every desire of the foreign lenders instead of responding to the real needs of the country and priorities of the nation. We depend heavily on America with respect to military equipment and war machinery and capability. As it is not bound by its own promises (to the extent that we could neither get the F-16 for which we have already made payment, nor could get the money back) and can cut-off supplies whenever its expedient considerations dictate so, our defense capability is decreasing continuously. This friendship has cost us heavily in all fields. To put all the blame on American self-serving dual policy would, however, be oversimplification and unjustified. It did what it deemed fit for its own interests, but our leaderships, including army and civil and Muslim League and Peoples Party, are responsible for our plight. In this respect, we should be thankful to Clinton that he, though with haughtiness and arrogance, has awakened us and gave a shake to our conscience and pushed us to a point that is critical and fateful. Since all this has been done with detailed planning, it is necessary to present all "the scenes of the drama" before the nation, lest the logic is lost while discussing the pros and cons of friendship and disloyalty.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Consequent upon the disintegration of Soviet Union as world power, the new world order that America has outlined is erect on four important pillars. The basic aim of these is to ensure America's status as single super power for as long a period as possible in the 21st century and to block the emergence of any alternative power. Intellectual foundations of this strategy owe particularly to Francis Fukuyama's philosophy of the End of History, Samuel Huntington's theory of the Clash of Civilizations and Brezhenski's the Grand Chessboard. In this framework there are scores of research papers, reports of think thanks and practical activities of politicians and their study and analysis reveal clearly the features of the system of the future. This four-point formula include the following: The first pillar is globalization that means establishing a global economic order where domination of Western nations and particularly America is ensured forever through free trade, free movement of capital and multinational corporations, and thus the inequitable distribution of wealth that is the product of imperial era is consolidated. Through this domination, the share of Western countries (Europe and America) which was only 27 percent of world's GDP in 1800, rose to 87 percent by 1918, whereas their population was only 18 percent of the world's. This order could be perpetuated only when other countries of the world are unable to develop their economies on the basis of self-reliance and rather become part of this system by exporting raw material and importing finished goods. Thus, the developed countries should enjoy not only the superiority but the rest of world should remain dependent on them. It is interesting that these standard bearers of free trade and free movement do not believe in the free human movement. They want to place embargo on migration so that the domination of Western nations is not affected and if there has to be any movement of the population it should only be of the educated and the rich from the developing countries to the developed Western nations. Thus, along with the flow of the material resources, brain drain should also continue with the result that developing countries serve to infuse more strength into the developed countries. In this context, all basic minerals and sources of energy particularly oil and gas, have to be occupied permanently and their supply routes be guarded. The second pillar of this system is political. It implies that under the cover of individual freedom, democracy, protection of human rights and prevalence of religious toleration such systems should be established in developing countries as could be easily influenced through political intrigues, material resources, financial support and control ver thought through the means of information, and civilizational dominance. These champions of democracy have their own interpretation of democracy. To them, democracy does not mean equality of people, nor could it allow people a right to determine their own system of life as they wish in the light of their creed, values and priorities. According to their interpretation, it means that Western democracy should be reinforced to the extent that all other countries be reduced to mere camp-followers and their leadership be in the hands of those who are enamored of Western civilization and act as protectors of Western interests. NATO is being expanded with a view to enfold even those European nations that have independent civilizational identity and may provide ground for an alternative system in future. While a farce of democracy is going on in Turkey, the whole country is to remain subservient to the secular military junta. The people of Algeria want, out of their free will, the Islamic system but the whole of their leadership is chained and a situation of civil war is created in the country. All this is done in the name of democracy. Democracy serves as a vehicle for multiplication of civilizations and systems of life. Rather, Western political and economic institutions are thrust upon the whole world and through them the local populations are exploited to serve their ends. And when circumstances do not conform to the designs of Western nations, they retain the right of intervention to the extent of armed action in the name humanitarian considerations. This does not require permission or consent from any international body, as it is to be kept within the purview of the authority of America and its allies. These champions of democracy are not prepared to recognize any law or impartial authority. The United Nations has been rendered ineffective. General Assembly of the UN is powerless. In the Security Council, that has authority, there are five powers that enjoy veto and if there is any proposal for extending this right to others, the plan is to impose some members from their own band, not on the basis of some democratic principle. Important world financial institutions like IMF and World Bank are so overwhelmed by these wealthy countries that they cannot even move without their signal. Had these champions of democracy been really interested in democracy, they would have strived to democratize these institutions, but it appears a far cry. Western powers' control of world media and all the resources of information technology is part of this liberal order. Globalization and democratic liberalization are twin pillars for strengthening this new order. Technology, particularly nuclear and hi-tech computer technology, constitutes the third pillar of this system. Western nations enjoy monopoly over them. Consolidation of America's permanent and unbeatable military might and its right to destroy any danger from anywhere (however imaginary it may be) is the main pillar of the new defense system. 'Deterrence' in this system means that there should exist no potential challenge to the superiority and power of America and its allies. The aim of nuclear non-proliferation is not to clean the world of the nuclear weapons but to perpetuate nuclear superiority of the West and to block the way of any challenge. The ban on chemical and gas weapons is part of the same scheme. Similarly, the program for restraint in missile system too is to ensure their military superiority. The campaign that has been initiated against terrorism is to subject every emerging alternative power in the world to a calculated violence. This itself is a serious crime against humanity. No sane person can ever support terrorism and violence, but when an oppressed individual is forced to react or when the subjugated nations strike against the nerve-centres of tyrant rulers after finding that their democratic progress is impeded, how can it be branded as terrorism? If it is terrorism, then 80 percent of the existing political map took its shape as a result of such a struggle and this process is continuing even today. Its latest example is East Timor where a plebiscite was held under the aegis of the UN after 20 years of armed struggle. It is something else that East Timor attracted the attention of the Western countries due to its oil potential and has resulted in the establishment of a Christian state at the cost of weakening a Muslim country. But this is an established principle and as many as 130 countries of the United Nations attained their freedom through this process. It should not, and cannot, be regarded as terrorism simply because it would benefit Muslims in Kashmir, Kosovo, Chechnya and Mandanao. Drawing the political lines anew is the fourth pillar of this system. This is being done cunningly and with dexterity. It includes expansion of NATO, mediation for economic dominance of Israel after its military supremacy has already been established in the Middle East, mechanism to influence Muslim states in Central Asia that are linked with Russia and the West and efforts to prop up India as an Asian power. The real targets of this siege are China and the Muslim world and particularly those countries of the Muslim world that can adopt an independent policy and where Islamic movements can become a dominant force. The foremost targets along with China are Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. For Turkey, there is a program to merge it with the European Union and to weaken it constantly through Kurd-Turkish strife and internecine conflicts. There is a plan to crush Islamic movements of Central Asia accusing them of terrorism. Iran and Afghanistan are either to be subdued or be converted. There are attempts to destabilize Pakistan, to create misgivings with China, and block its moving closer to Iran and Afghanistan. In this context, the strategy is to exert economic pressure on Pakistan and to confront it with military threats from India. In its motive and spirit this is the same system of siege that was set up against Russia, China and the Eastern Europe during the cold war period, though its tone and tenor and titles are different. In this scheme, the role of areas, countries and political allies as well as the nature of relations all have undergone a change. In this background it is obvious that Pakistan is no more a natural ally of America. Now India is America's "natural ally" and "strategic partner" no matter that a party that propagates Hindu Chauvinism, preaches Hindutva instead of secularism, sheds blood of Muslims, Christians and other minority groups and is bent upon their civilizational murder is in power in India. The new map calls for new friendships and a review of past relations as the experts of international relations say that no friendship is permanent in practical politic, safeguard of interests is the only thing that is permanent. The form and nature of interests keeps on changing like the movement of desert sand. Friends and foes are graded in this light. We should, therefore, try to understand new American priorities and ways open to us. To complain about past friendships or to dream about their revival would be against the rightful approach of facing the reality. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------There has always been a soft corner for India in different American governments, particularly in Democrat Presidents and the party leadership. Keeping in view its geographical location, area, population, financial resources, strength of market and its political influence, this cannot be regarded unnatural. However, the way Indian leadership, right from the days of Nehru, presented itself as the champion of socialist system, enjoying strong ties with Russia and an active member of non-aligned movement, kept it at a distance from America during the days of the cold war. Situation changed after end of cold war. India too gave up the socialist system (in whatever shape it was then) and shifted to market economy and also adopted a liberal trade policy. Despite its backing of Russia vis-à-vis Afghanistan, it gradually started establishing relations with America. By 1995 these links had assumed a definite shape and included economic cooperation, ever-increasing trade, higher American investment, agreement in political matters, refueling facility to American planes during war against Iraq, and ultimately the commencement of joint US-India military exercises under a regular agreement concluded with American defense secretary in January 1995. The role of Indian businessmen, industrialists and particularly of information technology institutions in America has been another important factor during this period. There has been an increase of 0.4 million people of Indian origin in America in the last twenty years which is 66 percent more than the strength in 1980. Indian software earned a position in American market and shot up from $ 45 million in 1991 to $ 5 billion in 1999. Now as many as 125,000 Indian software engineers are working in the Silicon Valley of America. Indian exports to America were more than $ 10 billion last year, that is 22 percent of India's total export. Similarly, about 9 percent of its imports are from America. Trade balance is in India's favor (about $ 6 billion surplus), hence the importance of Indian markets for American products. American investments also have increased considerably in India. Presently American share of foreign investment in India is about one fourth and about 450 American corporations are busy in making investments. Now compare this with the situation in Pakistan: India's annual exports to America only ($ 10 billion) exceed Pakistan's total exports ($ 8.5 billion). American investment in India (Ind. Rs 456 billion) is more than Pakistan's total budget. India has not relied only on its foreign office and its embassies in Washington and New York but spread a network of pro-Indian organizations. More than 125 American Congressmen are part of the Indian lobby and voters of Indian origin are effectively using money and their political influence. Their role is so important that a well-known Indian economist Jagdesh Bhagwati who is professor in Columbia University, says: But one clout comes from the fact that the Indian community constitutes what I call the "next Jews" of America: a highly successful, intellectually eminent and economically prominent group that has all the networking advantages that a merit based immigration-oriented society as the American one offers. Our influence comes through the fact that the eminent intellectuals, artists, scientists, policy specialists and researchers among us interact freely with influential native Americans and through our writings in the media. And in a political system heavily reliant on cash contributions, our political influence is steadily increasing also because our businessmen, principally in information technology, are among the new multimillionaires whom Messers Clinton, Gore and Bush now eye with respect desired simply from greed! ("The Next Jews" in India Today, April 2000, by Jagdesh Bhagwati) India has done its homework with prudence, skill and dexterity. The ten meetings of Jaswant Singh with Talbot have influenced the thinking of American policy makers. Jaswant Singh's book Defending India, published in 1998, severely criticizes the Non-Aligned Movement and reckons the 40 years of this policy as lost years. Now foundation has been laid not only for friendship with America but also for formal and institutional relations. Its result can be seen in the 'document of vision' that establishes the same relationship between America and India as India had with Russia in 1970 prior to India's attack on East Pakistan. On the eve of Clinton's visit, Foreign Secretary Madeleine Albright gave a very important statement that they apologize to India for neglecting them during the last 50 years and Karl Inderfurth said in clear terms: Overall relations with India will not be hostage to our relations with any other country.On behalf of a Task Force, headed by Dr Richard N. Haass, Vice President of the famous Brookings Institute and director of its Foreign Policy Studies, twenty one top intellectuals of America, prepared a report where Clinton was advised to give central role to India after the end of cold war and not to allow Pak-India conflict and nuclear issues to stand in way of this new setting, that Kashmir be put on back-burner and the threats of terrorism and Islamic extremism should be accorded importance. This Task Force had also suggested that Pakistani people should be directly addressed through TV and radio. President Clinton's entourage included a large number of American traders, industrialists, investors and Indian-origin professionals. The target of all this was to bind India and America in a new alliance and to evolve a system of dialogue and cooperation for future collaboration and decision making. For this to achieve it was but essential to ignore Pakistan as well as the issues that are important for it. Kashmir issue, about which President Clinton had expressed his concern during his first address to the General Assembly, promised 'personal interest' in the declaration of July 4, 1999, and reportedly resolved to find out a solution to it before the expiry of his term, was treated as a mere bilateral and bye-issue. The central issue now is terrorism and that too as the product of Pakistan's intrusion. President Clinton and his team took no time in forgetting the violations of human rights in Kashmir which had been repeatedly mentioned in their own speeches, letters and in the reports of State Department and the Human Rights Watch. At the time of cease-fire in Kashmir the number of Indian army there was only 12,000 and that too was promised to be reduced. Today it is more than 700,000 amounting to half of the total Indian army strength. During the last 10 years 70,000 Kashmiri youth, old and children have been martyred. However, this state terrorism finds no mention in the statements of this second and current phase. An analysis of the document of vision' and speeches of the President and his associates makes it quite clear that they are saying in diplomatic language more or less the same what India itself says and wants them to say. Indian democracy is being praised but no exception is taken to the tyranny hell let loose on minorities in India. As many as seventeen separatist movements are operating in India today but what Mr. Clinton could find was ethnic, linguistic and religious tolerance and harmony throughout the country. Quietly and deftly, he has paved way for change in the nuclear policy itself. India has receded from its earlier stand of cleansing the world of nuclear weapons, to 'non-proliferation' while America has indirectly recognized the security risks of India which has been blessed with leadership of not only this region but at the world level as well. According to the Document of Vision: In the new century India and United States will be partners in peace, with common interest in and complimentary responsibility for ensuing regional and international security. We will engage in regular consultations on and work together for, strategic stability in Asia and beyond. We will bolster joint efforts to counter terrorism and meet other challenges to regional peace. And on return from tour Madam Albright writes in an article that has been published in American papers on April 4: Democratic institutions are vibrant in India, growing in Bangladesh and threatened in Pakistan. The fundamental goal of President Clinton's visit to India was to set our course for qualitating and better relationship with India, not a simple return to the status quo before its nuclear tests. Commenting on the India-US unison as a result of this tour and its implications for Pakistan, The Economist writes: During Mr. Clinton's six-day visit to South Asia, most of it spent in India, the United States came closer than ever before to endorsing India's view of the region's main conflict. Mr. Clinton said pretty clearly that India cannot be expected to negotiate with Pakistan until violence in Kashmir subsided. He came close to recognizing that since India will never surrender its position of Kashmir, the line of control ought to become the permanent border, a solution that most Indians but so far few Pakistanis would accept. Some pundits claimed that the American 'shift' would embolden India to take revenge for last spring's Pakistani intrusion into Indian-controlled Kashmir. (The Economist, April 1, 2000) Undoubtedly India is rejoicing over it. Farrukh Dhonde, a columnist of Asian Age writes: They will say that his visit has tilted the balance of the USA's friendship towards India and away from Pakistan (The Asian Age, April 6, 2000) If Pakistan's leadership ignores these major changes and does not prepare effective strategy to face the new situation, then it would amount to national suicide instead of life and development. President Clinton has spared no effort in informing us on American priorities, concerns, interests and plans. The way he landed in Pakistan makes for a scene of a suspense novel. The demeanor, the language, the style of speech and negotiations with Pakistan made every thing clear. Even for photography, every care was taken not to depict the President meeting the Chief Executive or shaking hands with him. The way the champions of democracy kept distance from people and resorted to threats and reprimands has led to the question, both in and outside the country, whether the tour was arranged for enacting this scene? (see M. Ziauddin's column "The Clinton Visit" in Dawn, Masood Haider's article from New York "The Fallout of Clinton Visit" (March 21) and Shaheen Sehbai's from Washington "Who Pushed me in the Pool" (March 30)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The most important question now is as to what should be Pakistan's approach in such circumstances and how it could face the situation. Of distress, sorrow, repentance, or anger none provides the remedy. Our reaction should not be emotional and under the pressure of obtaining circumstances. A section talks of elasticity and in the name of realistic approach counsels for treading the path marked by America, albeit with certain reservations and some window-dressing. In its support it refers to unfavorable circumstances, battered economy and the world situation. Coldness and apathy of friendly countries like Turkey and Malaysia is being mentioned. There is also talk about towing IMF and World Bank. Their advice is for signing the CTBT, mitigation in Jihad-e-Kashmir, control over religious academies and severing relations with Afghanistan. Track II diplomacy is being considered for support and attempts are made to strike fear and temptation for American policy of carrot and stick. This noise and whisper is restricted to a small section of the people whereas the majority, after a sense of pain and shock, now anxiously awaits a completely new initiative. Time has reached that without indulging in anti-American emotionalism the nation conveyed to America with solemn determination and due respect that the door is open for friendship and cooperation but there is no room for subjugation and allegiance. President Clinton said it twice that the people of India and Pakistan are sovereigns to decide about their security and welfare. America enjoys the right to adopt an alternative that serves its interests better. But despite being a relatively smaller country Pakistan and its people too have the right to decide about their stand keeping in view own freedom, security and national interests. In essence Pakistan today is confronted with the same circumstances as the Muslims of the sub-continent were faced with during the British rule 60 years ago. The British government, the Indian National Congress and the Hindu majority wanted, in the name of democracy, world opinion, and the powers of that time, to ignore the ideological and political identity of Muslims and to put them in the grip of such a political system where there was nothing for them except subjugation and deprivation. Muslims were weak, disorganized, and economically backward. Congress had declared that there were only two forces in India: the British and the Congress; and that only they had the right to decide about the future. Quaid-i-Azam and the Muslims challenged this and asserted that there was a third power of Muslims as well who have their own identity; and that no plan for future can be made without their participation and approval. The British and Hindus both considered Muslims' demand as irrelevant. A nationality based on religion was something novel for them, in the context of Western political and cultural concepts, and as nationalism and democracy were the dominant ideologies and that Muslims were politically weak and economically ineffective, their demand will prove to cry in wilderness. But the resolve and sacrifices of Muslims, Quaid's lofty and mature leadership, the popularity of Pakistan's ideology and its capturing force changed the situation within seven years and whatever seemed impossible became a living reality.We are faced with the same situation today. During the half century the cultural progeny of the British that has been in power diluted the achievements of Pakistan Movement. Quaid's Pakistan was bisected and the nation that had won freedom from the grip of the British and Hindus, was cunningly pushed into the lap of America. The situation worsened to the extent that today President Clinton has the audacity to suggest a peaceful life and economic development under the domination of India. But these people are not aware that the followers of the holy Prophet (pbuh) are made of a different substance and that they 'may slack but are not devoid of the sense of duty'.Those who suggest behaving like a weathercock are in fact pushing us to slavery and subjugation. We still hold good opinion about them that it is perhaps unconsciously that they see some signs of life in 'escape from reality'. But, to us, there is only one way to respect and progress: not to compromise and not to allow so-called flexibility in respect of our real destination, objective of existence, freedom and ideological identity, to gear up for struggle, diligent work and to offer sacrifices 'realizing well the bitter facts of life', and to mobilize for achieving the desired end. The Holy Qur'an provides guidance: In the case of those who say, "our Lord is Allah" and then they stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them: "Fear ye not, but receive the glad tidings of the Garden (of Bliss) which you were promised." (Fussilat 41:30-31)Qur'an ordains patience and courage to face hardships and difficult times: O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy: vie in such perseverance; strength each other; and fear Allah; that ye may prosper. (Aal-e-Imran 3:200) Undoubtedly we should ensure in every matter that we are on the right path but any weakness or compromise does not befit the faithful. We find the best example in the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that when his revered uncle, being under pressure from Quraish, suggested some compromise and latitude, he (pbuh) openly refused saying 'I shall not stop inviting people towards the right path even if they place the sun on my right hand and the moon on the left till the time of my mission meets success or I (pbuh) perish in it. Iqbal has also advised Muslims not to turn with the tide but to turn the tide in the light of Holy Prophet's ideal. Quaid-i-Azam exuded this determination and provided guidance and finally achieved freedom for the nation after a great struggle: An honorable agreement can be reached between parties enjoying equal status. Until both learn to respect and have fear of each other, there can be no strong foundation for any agreement. The weaker's offering peace means admission of weakness and invites aggression. (In such circumstances), appeals for loyalty, honesty and well-wishing carry no weight. (Speech in October 1937, Speeches and Writings, vol. I, p.32) That is the same strategy that Qur'an ordains: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power to strike terror into (the hearts of ) the enemies of Allah and yours. (Infa'al 8:60)In order to brave these circumstances the foremost need is to have firm believe in Allah, faith in the truth of our objectives and our targets, firmness about our stand, avoiding selfishness and self-aggrandizement, devotion for nation's freedom, security, honor and prosperity, and resolve and struggle for contending with every situation. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------There cannot be two views about the soundness, genuineness, and benefits of this strategy. There are, however, some requisites for practically enforcing it and without which it cannot be effective. This needs self-confidence, firm belief in Allah and trust in the nation; instead of looking towards others and asking them for help. This requires confidence in the nation and convincing it for struggle by apprising of the real situation and presenting an example of leadership whose model we find in the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that if people had to fasten a stone in the hour of trial, they would find that the Prophet fastened two!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------With internal solidarity, rising above internecine conflicts, temporary consideration and group interests, it is imperative to mobilize the entire nation for the achievement of self-reliance and an economic and military force that can strike awe in the ranks of enemy. Safeguarding nuclear capability and its development are one aspect of this task. Along with it the nation has to prove its mettle in fields of social and milli solidarity, thought-giving leadership, and education and research. Infusion of true spirit of Islamic Jihad in the nation and judicious distribution of resources present the most effective way to achieve this end. Only the deliverance from the fire of hatred in which we are burning and the poverty and financial anarchy a large portion of population is beset with can enable us to safeguard our independence and national security. Revival of the institution of democracy and coming to power of a well-trusted leadership is a must to make this exercise fruitful. The same resolve, insight and self-less struggle is needed today as was raised by the Muslim nation 60 years ago under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. In the obtaining circumstances, people are naturally looking towards the Islamic movement and those forces and individuals that love the country and whose hands are clean exploitation, corruption and breach of trust. The nation is vibrant and there is no dearth of those who can provide true leadership. Deliverance from the tested and rejected and giving reins of the affairs of the state to a new, determined, faithful and capable leadership is the need of the day and is decisive for the success of the proposed strategy. Though the performance of military leadership and its civilian team has so far been highly unsatisfactory, yet Clinton's recent visit and the new direction of the American politics have provided a historic opportunity that should be availed of without any further loss of time. A leadership that can meet the challenges of national harmony and unity, mobilization of all elements for one objective, cooperation between the nation and the military, establishment of truly representative democratic system, and defense and national reconstruction should take reins of the country. This is the call of the time and answer to the challenge.

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