The Statue of Liberty Smiles At Americans

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Hamid Waheed

The American democratic  culture has always been a symbol of justice and protector of human rights. The society moved  from slavery  to freedom and statue of liberty stood as source of strength of upcoming proud American Generation. The democratic system  traditionally rely on the separation of powers and judicial review to protect liberty and impose legal restrictions on government officials including intelligence agencies. But in the post-9/11 period, restraint of government was some how relegated to few who want to take away the  rights and liberty of the society.  The ones who have made American culture a hostage to fear of Terrorism. The effects of this are unfortunately being felt by the entire world in general and south Asia, the zone of War On Terror in particular.  After 9/11,  the human rights were often compromised in their commitments to principles of liberty, equality, dignity, fair process, and the rule of law. The group of few tarnished the American image of value system. With each step of victory in this direction the super power and its partners keep loosing the battle of hearts and minds . A decade later, the most daunting legacy of September 11th is that Americans have  gradually abandoned the notion that morally-based values such as human rights should define their identity and guide their behavior. As the time passes old issues like Abu Ghauraib  are complimented by new which signals an ascending graph of planned  deteriorating human rights situation in society.

On 25 Jun Jimmy Carter American Ex- president wrote that , “THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues. He suggests that at a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends. This is what Pakistani parliament and its Army Chief Kayani has been saying all along. The CIA and American army’s confused and at times conflicting strategies have mixed good with bad and friends with foes.   ”Today it is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, what we sometimes call trafficking in persons,” Clinton said at the unveiling of the report at the State Department as the US unveiled its annual report into human trafficking in mid of Jun.”Those victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys, and their stories remind us of the kind of inhumane treatment we are capable of as human beings,” said Clinton. On India, the report states that the country is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

A decade after 9/11 leaves unbelievable stories of American heros like Dr Shakil Afridi, who worked with the C.I.A. to collect DNA samples of Osama under the guise of a bogus vaccination. He gave fake vaccination against Polio, by actually taking DNA samples in the hope of locating Bin Laden.  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. Such silent killers remind of sufferings of generations born in Japan in 1940 and 50s. The  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 but the Americans term this the most effective tool to get Al-Quida leadership hiding in remote areas of Pak- Afghan border. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Navi Pillay said in a press conference in Islamabad that ”Drone attacks do raise serious questions about compliance with international law,” Dr Pillay told. ”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” .

It surprises the community when a credible international news paper in month of Jun reports that A former Indian army officer  Avtar Singh lived in the U.S.A illegally for at least five years before he killed his wife, two children this month. Mr Singh had been arrested by U.S. investigators for unlawful presence in July 2007 but they decided not to deport him but to use him. Police also discovered that he was being sought in India on a murder charge In Kashmir, where more than 68,000 people, mostly civilian, have been killed  under a controversial state Law. The American did jail Ghulam Nabi Fai who was just a lobbiest for freedom struggle in Kashmir  but  kept nurturing Avtar Singh a killer a human right abuser. The space for invoking human rights on moral grounds alone has virtually disappeared. The War Against Terror continues. It waxes and wanes. Innocents die. Livelihood   is lost. Bin Laden is found and killed  but the Americans themselves and world community keeps  loosing freedom and human values. Who will stop this degrading trend  still remains unanswered. The World views Americans as unjust and coercive nation as it remains hijacked by few who certainly do not represent the nation which draws inspiration from STATUE OF LIBERTY..

The writer is based in Rawalpindi & offered this article to Pakpotpourri2

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