Monday, October 13, 2008

What is the of Definition National Interest?

Khan Arif wrote:

The fact is that enemies of Pakistan have hired mercenaries and planted fifth columnists to destabilize Pakistan the only Muslim country with nuclear power. The rumors are there that conspiracy is being hatched to create Pakhtoonistan - and to use their land to invade Iran. There would be revolt in Pakistan if Iran is attacked using Pakistani territory. The challenges posed by the fifth columnist warrant national reconciliation and united efforts by all parties. But our selfish politicians and corrupt journalists are creating hurdles.

Arif Khan

Dear Arif Sahab, Would you like to re-define the definition of National Interest and Fifth Columnists [Traitor or Ghaddar ya phir Salees Jamat-e-Islami ki Zaban men Mulk Kay Nazariyati Sarhadoon Kay Dushman-In Jamat-e-Islami's Jargon "Enemies of Pakistan's Ideological Boundaries].

A per my humble opinion ‘national interest’ means Unity of Pakistan and people living in it and it should be run through an Strictly Parliamentarian System guaranteeing complete Provincial Autonomy means except Defence, Foreign Exchange, Communication, and Foreign Policy everything must be managed by Provinces [that is called a True Federation not like present i.e. The Unitary Form of Government and that is the negation of Jinnah's Pakistan]

Some members of the Pakistani establishment and especially those agencies, which have assumed the role of determining what is ‘national interest of Pakistan’, and who is loyal, and who is anti Pakistan, have perhaps done more damage to Pakistan than known enemies of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that every blunder, be it at national level or in foreign affairs, is made in the name of ‘national interest of Pakistan’. People of Pakistan are perplexed as they fail to understand what is ’national interest of Pakistan.

People are further bewildered when some of these leaders, perceived and declared as ‘anti Pakistan’ or ‘security risk’ are sworn in to hold some kind of office in Pakistan. There are many examples where people declared as an ‘Indian agent’ or ‘traitor’ had taken high public office; even those who had no Pakistani nationality or rescinded it, had an opportunity to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. Once these people have decided that something is in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’, they will pursue that agenda without having any system of check and balance and appraisal. If any one dares to criticize what they do in the name of ‘national interest of Pakistan’, he/she is declared as ‘anti Pakistan’.

Similarly if a Pakistani person criticizes Pakistan government, or holds demonstration against the government policy, he is declared as ‘anti Pakistan’.

Either they don’t understand or they don’t want to understand that government and state are two different things. Governments come and go, and not all citizens of the state have duty to defend the incumbent government or its policies, whereas the state is there to stay and it is duty of every citizen to defend the state. In other words there must be loyalty to the state and respect for its integrity, but one doesn’t have to show loyalty to a government or an agency member in order to be loyal to the state.

Any criticism on one policy of any government is not a frontal attack on the existence of the state. A policy of any government could be criticized, opposed and challenged, and this action does not make anyone anti state. But some members of the Pakistani establishment think they have monopoly over wisdom and interpretation of what is ‘national interest of Pakistan’.

There is a long list of blunders which were made in the name of ‘national interest of Pakistan’. Governor General Ghulam Mohammed did all his ‘misdeeds’ in the name of ‘national interest of Pakistan’; and Iskandar Mirza and General Ayub Khan also kept this tradition alive. In the ‘national interest of Pakistan’ he successfully invaded his own country and abrogated the first constitution which was agreed and passed after nine years of hard work.

Pakistan joined SEATO and CENTO military alliances against Soviet Russia, provided bases to America near Peshawar that America could conduct spying operations against Russia, and invited Russia wrath against Pakistan. And when U2 spying aero plane, which took off from Peshawar, was shot down, Russian leaders said we have made a red circle around Peshawar.

In 1956, Western countries including Israel attacked Egypt over the issue of Suez Canal, all Muslim countries and many other countries including India condemned this aggression, but Pakistani government supported it, and annoyed Muslim countries. Both incidents had far reaching consequences for Pakistan but those who made decision claimed that they did this in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’.

General Yahya Khan was also a ‘competent’ general, and in ‘national interest of Pakistan’ he also impose Martial Law and abrogated the constitution, refused to transfer power to the party with absolute majority in the parliament, ordered his army to attack Pakistani people in East Pakistan, which resulted in fall of Dhaka, and death of millions of innocent people and imprisonment of 93,000 armed personnel.

This decision not only resulted in break up of Pakistan, it also brought shame to Muslims, as it was the biggest surrender of the history. In this unfortunate situation, where people were denied their rights and right to form a government, and were forced to defend themselves against a military action, brothers fought each other and killed each other. But those who took these decisions claimed that it was done in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’, and they got away with it.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto dismissed democratically elected governments of Balochistan and North West Frontier in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’; Pakistan National Alliance started campaign against Bhutto’s government in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’, General Zia Ul Haq also had Pakistan’s national interest in his mind when he overthrew Bhutto’s government and imposed Martial law.

General Zia Ul Haq fought America’s proxy war against Russia in the ‘National interest of Pakistan’; and in return, ‘imported’ Klashnikov and heroin culture. As if this was not enough, he dismissed government of his own hand picked man Mohammed Khan Junejo while he was on an official visit abroad; and Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Farooq Leghari who became Pakistani Presidents after the demise of General Zia Ul Haq, followed the tradition and history of dismissing elected governments in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’.

In the ‘national interest of Pakistan’, Pakistani government allowed more than three million Afghani people into Pakistan. These officials thought it was in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’ to help, support and encourage Jihadi organizations in Pakistan which ultimately carried out Jihad in Kashmir, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Now it is in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’ to crush these Jihadi organizations

It was a well-considered policy and surely a ‘national interest of Pakistan’ that Taliban movement succeeded in Afghanistan, all sorts of help and support was provided to them. Once they were in power it was in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’ to ensure that they remain in power, and for this respective Pakistani governments strained their relations with many friendly countries including Iran. Once again Pakistani officials made a U-turn and in the ‘national interest of Pakistan’ helped and supported down fall of the Taliban government. I have only pointed out very prominent events where Pakistani governments acted in self-interest but covered their deeds under the label of ‘national interest’, and those who raised objections were either put behind the bar or branded as ‘anti Pakistan’. I am sure many more such incidents could be added to this list. For writing this I will be criticized by a group of people who think they have monopoly in wisdom and have right to issue ‘fatwa’ who is loyal and who is ‘anti Pakistan’. Some Pakistani writers have also written and highlighted some of these events, and some have even used harsher words than what I have used.

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