Since the introduction of the Kerry-Lugar aid bill in the US Congress, Pakistan’s doom-sayers and opportunistic conspiracy journalists have been spinning tangled webs of intrigue about how the bill has sold Pakistan to the Americans. Thankfully, people have had enough of the misinformation being put out by political opportunists who put their own careers before the best interests of Pakistan.
Malik Muhammad Ashraf writes in The News “A True Perspective on Kerry Lugar” that puts to rest these fallacies:
There is nothing against our interests in the announced package and all the conditionalities reflect positive approach to the issues geared to promote mutual interests. Those who are trying to read too much between the lines need to revisit their thinking in the light of the ground realities and give credit where it lies.
A few words for the consideration of the opponents of the Bill in Pakistan to clear the mystery shrouding the controversy. Suppose the US Secretary of State does not certify the fulfillment of the conditions by Pakistan. That means Pakistan has reneged from its commitment to the nation and the world at large to fight the war against terror, abetted and supported the terrorists that are killing innocent people of Pakistan, helped proliferation of deadly weapons and its security forces have subverted the democratic institutions of the country. Can any sane person visualize or support such a scenario? Who can differ that combating all these challenges have the collective will and support of the people of Pakistan. This means that the conditionalities attached to the bill, in fact, support the objectives and aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
Looking from another angle, let us suppose we reject the bill and refuse to accept the aid as its conditionalities tend to accept “servitude” of the United States. Would Pakistan take a U turn and begin supporting the terrorists and the proliferators. Certainly not. Opposition for the sake of opposition is surely not the practice by the present elected representatives of the people. They have a stake in the development, prosperity and progress of the people of Pakistan. Aid is certainly required to fulfill these aspirations as the rhetoric of democracy alone cannot satisfy the people who have sent their representatives to Islamabad to work for short and long term objectives of making life easier for the common man. It is thus imperative that the KLB is accepted by the Pakistan government and supported by all those who want the people of Pakistan to prosper.
Ali Malik goes a step further on his blog and gives readers the full text of the Kerry-Lugar bill so they can read and decide for themselves. What Ali Malik finds is what any honest reader will see in the bill – no “shackles” or “slavery.” So where does this sort of talk come from? From those who stand to gain from the isolation of Pakistan.
It is just that the forces of regression, whose seed was sowed in our land by [Abul Ala] Mododi’s philosophy and which have infiltrated deep in our media and academia under the patronage of various military regimes (most in Zia-Ul-Haq’s) are bound on putting Pakistan on path of confrontation with not only United States but everything that stands for modern world. These Majid Nizamis, Hamid Guls and Jamat-I-Islamis and their prodigies in political classes, judiciary, media, business community and academia have thrived on this isolation of Pakistan. Ghairat, hamiyat, khudmukhtari etc are emotional catch phrases whose repeated utterance in media arouses the educated classes of Punjab and with out looking at the facts and applying their brains to analyze issues, they fall for the cliches so cleverly created by the Mododi’s media in Pakistan.
Should there be any surprise that Jamaat-e-Islami is trying to capitalize on anti-US sentiments to deny $7.5 billion in aid that will help the poorest in Pakistan? Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan has based the full hopes of Jamaat’s political future on anti-Americanism. Just the other day he told Mazhar Abbas on ARY News that the next big alliance by Jamaat and Islamists will essentially be an anti-US movement.
For Jamaatis like Hasan and Liaquat Baloch, anything from America is a threat to their power. The more Pakistan joins the world community, the less interest people have in their form of undemocratic control. That’s why they’re trying so hard to paint this remarkable American aid package as somehow sinister, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The truth is in the writing, though, and in a democratic country, the writing is there for everyone to read. As it clearly states in the Kerry-Lugar bill, there are no shackles for Pakistan, no imperialist agenda, only one democratic nation reaching out a hand to aid a fellow democratic nation during a struggle. This is not a threat, it is a path to a brighter future for Pakistan.