A complete State of Denial

How has Pakistani rulers converted Pakistani State into a Pakistani society by surrendering its sovereignty to United State of America. The process started by criminal Pervez Musharraf has witnessed its high during the present regime lead by Asif Ali Zardari. For read a must read article by Abu Saad, published in “The Nation” Pakistan.

A complete State of Denial

By: Abu Saad

An all time technique to reject a story is simply to call it “conspiracy theory”. It is an established fact that Pakistan ruling party’s politicians have got command in calling news stories as conspiracy theories, which they blame are being hatched to destabilise the ‘democratic’ regime. In fact it is a ‘democratic regime’ where Parliament does not discuss the issues pertaining to national security and foreign policy and where major political parties do not feel it necessary to show their concern over US meddling in our day-to-day governance from local bodies issue to flour and sugar shortage. Due to US and now Saudi interference in our affairs the state of Pakistan has been concerted into a society of people with conflicting views. The sovereignty, which differentiates ‘state’ from ‘society’, ceases to exist in the land that had been carved out of the Indian subcontinent and named Pakistan.

The worst aspect of this story is the division of the civil society. One segment comprises NGOs related citizens – the ones being beneficiary of US influence has no objection to the American expansionist designs. The worst scenario develops with the deaf government unwilling to value the louder voices of the majority of the people of Pakistan who see these expansionist designs conforming to what Richard N Haass calls a “war of necessity”. Besides the growing society and media, the two prominent parties outside the Parliament – JI and PTI – have only raised anti-American or anti-US expansionist slogans.

Isn’t it the height of deterioration when on the one hand the US ambassador in Islamabad is meddling in Pakistani affairs, while on the other Pakistan’s [US] Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani did not even bother to issue a two-line statement regarding the inclusion of Balochistan in the state of citizenship column in the US citizenship and immigration services form for Non-US residents. After forming the Union of Patriotic Bloggers for Sovereign Pakistan (UPBSP), for running a campaign for the removal of the name from USCIS form and seeking an official apology, I also wrote an email to Ambassador Haqqani to raise the issue. Although the name was removed from the column silently within seven days after the news broke, the ambassador did not even express two words condemning this anti-Pakistan action by an official US agency. Now proving himself as US’s Pakistani Ambassador to US, Mr Haqqani has written a letter to the foreign secretary and chief of ISI suggesting them that denying visas to US journalists would not only hurt the country’s image but could also cost severely in view of the forthcoming herring about the US assistance to Pakistan. The Pakistanis smelling danger in every move of Mr Haqqani have, rightly, termed it a pressure tactic from our own ambassador to soften the process of the entry of US spies and Blackwater agents, which our embassy and the ISI has started screening after ‘media speculations’.

Going back as of August 21, 2009, our Foreign Office spokesman was telling the world that media speculations on the US embassy’s expansion were not true. Speaking at a weekly briefing, he said that the US had not yet formally asked for expanding its embassy compound or deploying additional security staff. “We haven’t yet received any formal request as to how many additional personnel they want to position in their embassy in Islamabad and in their consulates in Karachi and other cities,” Basit said. The media speculations rejected by the FO spokesman have become true now. The news of the ambitious plan of the United States to expand its presence in Pakistan surfaced in early August 2009, but the government has been in a complete state of denial. According to the news that first appeared in a section of the Pakistani press and is now being highlighted by the Pakistani society, media and blogosphere, the “fortress-like embassy” had to “accommodate close to 1,000 additional personnel being sent to Islamabad as part of the US administration’s decision to significantly raise its profile in the country. The new staffers will augment the current 750-strong American contingent already based in Pakistan; this against a sanctioned strength of 350.” But the news of 1,000 additional staff was rejected by the Pakistani government calling it an exaggeration of what they thought was to furnace anti-American sentiments. Once again a US diplomat has disclosed America’s plan to double the staff of its embassy in Islamabad, which though is lesser than the actual number that was planned, but if summed up with the present strength of 750 it will become 1,500. Almost 1,150 more than the sanctioned strength and just 250 less than what the media had been ‘speculating’.

In an interview with the BBC, Deputy Ambassador Gerald Festine also admitted that negotiations were on to buy Peshawar’s bombed Pearl Continental Hotel, where a diplomatic mission would be established. The Nation quoted Festine as saying: “One of the proposals is to purchase the PC Hotel in Peshawar as it has all the basic infrastructure according to our requirements.

The negotiations are on and no final decision has been made as yet.” According to the news story the deputy ambassador said: “We are in contact with the local security agencies, and similarly the discussions are underway with the US agencies as well.” The statement of Festine is a confession of what the media had been ‘speculating’ regarding Blackwater. The deputy ambassador has partially confessed, but what to say about our leadership that has put a blind eye on what is happening in the country. From the central leadership to our ambassador, all have made up their mind for selling Pakistan. However, our media and civil society can transform the Pakistani society into a sovereign state only if they wish to do so and make a sincere effort for it.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

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