“Unnamed Sources” and New York Times Rumours

Mr. Ibrahim Sajid Malik has an important post on his blog about the recent rumours circulated by “unnamed sources” in the New York Times who claim that Pakistan was reverse engineering US-made Harpoon missles in violation of the United States Arms Control Export Act. These rumours were immediately disproven by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani. But Mr. Malik begins an important conversation about the importance of the US treating Pakistan as a trustworthy partner.

In his post, Mr. Malik notes that, under the Bush administration, there was some double-dealing that went on with previous Pakistani governments:

And, the Bush administration also talked from both sides of their mouths, maligning Pakistan through leaks in the media while simultaneously supporting Pakistani army generals.

One hopes that the Obama administration recognizes the role Pakistan is playing in the fight against extremism. With any bit of luck, the US government is also cognizant of a long history of friendship with Pakistan: from opening a back-door diplomacy channel with China to assisting in defeating the Soviet Union, Pakistan has delivered everything America has ever asked for.

Absolutely correct. In fact, the Pakistani government has demonstrated not only through its words but through its actions that it is serious about fighting the scourge of militantism and promoting democratic reforms.

Why else would we be seeing the military making advances against Taliban in Waziristan and Balochistan? And the PPP’s continued work towards to abrogating the 17th Amendment and implementing the Charter of Democracy?

If the US government felt the need to play a double-sided game with previous governments like Musharraf, perhaps they had their reasons. But the Zardari government has been nothing but a loyal partner with the US and the world community.

Leaders in the American government and the media should not be spreading anonymous rumors that hurt the reputation of Pakistan as it increases its commitments to the fight against militantism and support for pro-democracy measures.

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