Pak-US Leadership Challenges

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Hamid Waheed

Huge Challenges at times dwarf the leadership when they fail to protect the rights of its people who select them to lead in this democratic world. At such time the leadership of great powers are at greater risk as they do not only bear responsibility of their Nation but also  of the region and the globe. The Nations in situation of crisis sometimes act in the most irregular way and it becomes difficult to understand difference between wrong and right , a friend and a foe. Unfortunately the confusion between American state department, Pentagon and CIA  has made the world and Americans a hostage . American Nation known for its uprightness, fairness and values have been put against the wall with deep shadow of fear to decide between death due to terror or give up social liberty and human values. Not realizing that taking values and liberty away from a society means its death leaving behind only the name to be buried in history. Under such a state each wrong step invites more confusion leading to death of culture. Culture is a pattern of shared basic assumptions that a Nation  learns as it adopts a way of life for external adaptation and internal integration which  is passed on to new generation as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel. The changes in this pattern of life are  now being felt by the entire world as America stands as the sole superpower of the world. The tremors are being felt by others and more so by its collation partners like Pakistan who have suffered all along in War On Terror. It seems that faulty lessons from Iraq are being carried forward instead of being analysed and corrected. Unlawful HR violations at prisons and innocent killings in drone attacks apart, there is a long list of doings and sayings which may be comical for some but for others this joke is meaning end to their livelihood and destruction.

Dr Shakil Afridi, who worked with the C.I.A. to collect DNA samples of Osama under the guise of a bogus vaccination  was sentenced  to 33 years in prison under Pakistan’s tribal justice system. He gave fake vaccination  against Polio, by  actually taking   DNA samples in the hope of locating Bin Laden. The American Secy of State said,”The United States does not believe there is any basis for holding Dr. Afridi.  His help, after all, was instrumental in taking down one of the world’s most notorious murders”. To get to this old dysfunctional Osama the CIA never realized the cost of life of about 200,000 children in FATA area of Pakistan who are now at risk of Polio to live throughout their life as handicapped individuals. Almost the same what happened in Heroshima, Japan .

On other side Drone strikes have been a sore point with the public and Pakistani politicians, who describe them as violations of sovereignty that produce unacceptable civilian casualties wgere as the Americans term this the most effective tool to get Al – Quida leadership hiding in remote areas of Pak- Afghan border. The New America Foundation policy institute says that of 283 reported strikes from 2004 to Nov 16, 2011, between 1,717 and 2,680 people were killed. Between 293 and 471 were thought to be civilians — approximately 17 percent of those killed. BARACK Obama, according to Foreign Policy magazine ”has become George W. Bush on steroids”. Armed with a ”kill list”, the Nobel peace laureate now hosts ”Tuesday terror” meetings at the White House to discuss targets of drone attacks in Pakistan and at least five other countries.

THE United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has advised Pakistan to seek an official UN investigation into whether US drone strikes there are legal.  Navi Pillay told Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani he should invite the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to visit the country to examine the legality of missile attacks by remote-controlled aircraft in areas near the Afghan border.”Drone attacks do raise serious questions about compliance with international law,” Dr Pillay  told a press conference in Islamabad. ”Ensuring accountability for any failure to comply with international law is also difficult when drone attacks are conducted outside the military chain of command and beyond … transparent mechanisms of civilian or military control.’ The deliberate targeting of rescuers and mourners by CIA drones was first exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in February 2012, in a major joint investigation with the Sunday Times. On more than a dozen occasions between 2009 and June 2011, the CIA attacked rescuers as they tried to retrieve the dead and injured. Although Taliban members were killed on almost every occasion, so too were civilians – many of whom the Bureau’s field investigators were able to name. The investigation also reported that on at least three occasions the CIA had struck funeral-goers.

Obama in his address to UN did reflect   his desire for peace in the world and American interest in humanity. Despite such realizations US policy  seem more of a mind boggler than Carrot and stick or DO More type now. The strange statements now coming from Panetta like US losing patience with Pakistan over insurgent bases and talking of war in Pakistan during his visit to India has further widened the wedge between the two countries, which in no way will lead to peace in this part of the world. Pakistan has a Key place to every solution may it be Afghan exit, or future economic route to central Asia. Pakistan and America have to create a solution even if does not exist on principles of accommodation on basis on respect for National interests.  It is not possible to pressurize a country of huge population like Pakistan and take unilateral decisions through coercion as they would prove temporary. The concept of America fighting thousands of miles away from its borders and considering techniques for tactical victory to fulfill their domestic requirement  is understandable but main decisions have to come  keeping America and its people in mind . The present volley of accusations and raising fingers at Pakistan by Obama Administration is nothing but panic when they sink in Afghanistan. The Nations demand that their leadership must protect and safe guard their values , respect and honor not by bullet but winning hearts and minds for a durable peace. After death of Osama the people must demand revival of their values which they inherited for their coming generations.

The writer is based in Islamabad & contributed this article to the Forum.

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  • Salim  On June 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Dear Ms. Ali;
    Please elaborate on:

    CIA never realized the cost of life of about 200,000 children in FATA area of Pakistan who are now at risk of Polio to live throughout their life as handicapped individuals
    Do also include any reference and sources available. Many expatriates in the West would like to provide verifiable info to our friends here.
    Salim Chowdhrey MD.

    • Waheed  On June 12, 2012 at 2:00 am

      Many Pakistanis, of tribal areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, have long been suspicious of polio vaccinations. They fear that these are a ploy to sterilize Muslims even though they are carried out by government health workers and local NGOs (albeit with international funding). Rumors along these lines, coupled with inadequate health care and persistent insecurity, mean that up to 200,000 children in Pakistan have already missed their polio vaccinations in the past two years and this will keep increasing till confidence of people is restored. Some 198 cases of polio were reported in Pakistan in 2011, the highest number for any country in the world and up from 144 cases in 2010. This year, 16 cases have already been reported, primarily from the tribal areas. Please also see my Tweets today as fresh cases of Polio are discovered in FATA. CIA is directly responsible to retard the social work in the area where there is no education. The NGO working for humanity need to take up the case. For latest follow my tweets at mediapointpk.

  • Yasmeen Ali  On June 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    The article is not written by me,however I can share your message with the author & in case of a reply revert to you.

  • MUHAMMAD CHAUDHRY  On June 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    The response of any individual,be he/she a leader of the big country or a small organization,to any stimulus,depends on his/her evaluation of ground realities that in turn is determined by his/her perspective formed by a host of factors as well as his/her own traits. As I wrote in case of Panetta,the Defense secretary who mainly influences the decisions of Obama,detailed hereunder:
    Leon Panetta ,on account of his professional background as CIA Chief and protege of Bush,has his own fixed thinking and habit of screwing the other parties through manipulative tactics instead of re-evaluating ground realities and retooling to get out of the quagmire of the worst type.Probably ,he was a bad choice by Obama to induct him as Defense secretary at this juncture.He is likely to mess up the situation further through his overdoings, to the deteriment of America,Pakistan,this whole region and humanity at large .

  • Syed Wajahat  On June 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I am truly beginning to believe, for a person brought up amongst Muslims in Indonesia, Muslims are like
    domestically grown chicken in the perception of value.

    Peace in the world can also be achieved through intensive targetted negotiations. The act of vaccinating
    children merely to get to Ben Laden was in fact a very cruel and insensitive act.

    What did children had to do with the perceived terrorism that they were exposed to the risk of
    a life of disability.

    The world needs to ask the terrorist group the following question every first of the month.
    “What do you really want to see in the world”

    That is when true negotiations start. The time for exterminating pests is long gone.
    Perhaps time has arrived for some scholarly negotiations. Let us believe, every human being has
    the capacity to be fair. After all even the worst terrorist wants to survive and see his family flourish.

    • Naveed Tajammul  On June 11, 2012 at 3:09 am

      shah sahib
      The point is who is the actual terrorist ? the one on whose behest the
      Act of vaccinating took place or the one who executed the orders ?
      And here we have a class of people,who even yet want that foul fellow
      to be given a fair trial ?

      Naveed Tajammal,

  • Waheeduddin  On June 11, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Muslims in America voted en-bloc for Senator Barak HUSSAIN Obama, knowing very well his opportunism of changing faith and then betraying even his mentor and Baptizer Jeremiah Wright. The man obviously is unprincipled. Prior to that, Muslims, at the height of their naivete had voted for Governor George W. Bush en-mas because his opponent Al Gore had refused to shake hands with their leaders to leave their fetish unsatisfied. Leon Panetta, a protege of Clinton, not of Bush, is a joker and he rightfully drew laughs in New Delhi.

    However, in my opinion, all this vociferous wrangling is nothing but a waste of time. I once heard Maulana Abul Kalam Azad say: “Main phool patton ki bat nahin karoonga. Main to jar ki bat karoonga.” Translation: I will not talk about the foliage; I will talk about the roots.

    So the root cause of these crises in Pakistan is that the nation as well as its individuals, has no pride in itself. Unless you put your house in order there will always be some Leon Panetta making a joke of your existence. You are scared to death thinking about losing your material benefits. Think simplicity; think sahaba, think those selfless individuals, whom the enemy is determined to kill off.



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