Friday, October 12, 2007

US policies are a double-edged sword

In an interview to a private satellite channel reported today, Gen. Musharraf openly confessed US involvement in the ongoing negotiations with Benazir Bhutto to secure a political deal with Pakistan Peoples Party. He also talked about political reconciliation with all opposition parties including Nawaz Sharif in order to build consensus to fight the so-called menus of terrorism and extremism. He declared terrorism and extremism as Pakistan’s biggest problems and reiterated his resolve to eliminate them in the core interest of Pakistan.

It is the same Musharraf who eight years ago, while capturing the reigns of power, lamented his political predecessors as corrupt and evil. He even amended the constitution to bar his two rivals from taking the office of the Prime Minister for the third time. But now the media is once again reporting that the government is mulling a “Nation Reconciliation Ordinance” to accommodate the return of Benazir Bhutto by granting her amnesty against criminal cases of corruption, which are being pursued by the NAB (National Accountability Bureau).

The question is as to why Musharraf is being forced to eat his words? The answer is very simple. Musharraf and America has gone very weak in Pakistan. The operation in Wana Waziristan, U-turn on Kashmir and Jihad, imprisonment of the nuclear scientist Dr. A. Q. Khan, Red Mosque operation in Islamabad and increasing western cultural invasion through media and curriculum has infuriated the masses. People see Musharraf as a loyal American stooge and hate Musharraf as much as they hate America. Furthermore, People of Pakistan have rejected America’s definitions of terrorism and Jihad. At the same time the government has failed to muster support for the so-called War against Terror. Also the current ruling coalition of Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam group) headed by the two Chaudhary brothers have proven that they cannot shoulder the secularization drive and the war against terrorism with conviction and force. The reason being that this party has conservative vote-bank and the politicians in this party are not Islam haters. As a result they may verbally support Musharraf in public but in private they are not interested at all in running a campaign to build public opinion for America’s war on Islam.

Under these circumstances America is forced to look for partners who openly call for secularism and have a comparatively popular support-base in the society. Only Pakistan Peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto fits the glove. It is worth mentioning here that the vote bank of Benazir mainly constitutes rural areas of interior Sindh and lower Punjab provinces most of which are poor uneducated farmers who are no more than slaves of the bigger landowners known to be as Jageerdars and Wadairas. Whilst the rest of the vote bank constitutes the slim minority of staunchly secular urban population who are no more than a fringe group in the Pakistani society. It is for this reason that Bhutto has not fear of losing his vote bank even if she openly pursues western anti-Islamic agenda. This was echoed by Gen. Musharraf in his interview yesterday emphasizing that power sharing with Benazir is a possibility. The only downside for US in this option is that Benazir has strong links with the British establishment and therefore allowing Bhutto to have a share of the pie would mean allowing British involvement in Pakistan’s political setup. It seems as if the deal has been struck and it is only a matter of time when Bhutto will be back to secure the reigns of power. Furthermore US seems to be quite confident that she can continue to control Pakistan with the help of Pakistani Army as she did in the past even if Musharraf is forced to relinquish his uniform under the Anglo-American deal. This was hinted by Musharraf in his interview when he said that there is not an ounce of difference of opinion and thinking between him and the next Army chief i.e. the Chief would be as loyal to the US as Musharraf is.

During the ongoing political crisis in Pakistan the people of Pakistan has once again experienced the ugly reality of the democratic process where the laws are twisted to accomplish the imperialist’s objectives. People are sick and tired of dictatorship as well as the alternative democratic parties and are not willing to take to the streets to support them. The recent episode of deportation of Nawaz Sharif has exposed the political weakness of the all the opposition parties combined. Muslims of Pakistan can only be mobilized on the basis of Islam as we have seen in the recent past on issues such as the desecration of Qur’an, Iraq and Afghan crisis. The people of Pakistan are longing for the return of Islam and it is upto the da’wa carriers to capture this emotions by further increase their activities in this blessed month of Ramadhan so that the Muslims of Pakistan could see the alternative with the much needed clarity. America knows that she is losing time and she has to change the nature of the society quickly before it is too late. But at the same time steps taken to crush Muslims and Islam is forcing Muslims to hate American and its civilization and turn towards Islam and unification. This is a double-edged sword, which American is finding hard to control and use it purely in her interest.

Naveed Butt

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