Former Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi has announced his resignation from PPP and the National Assembly. It is a moment that surprised nobody, but I still think the whole things tastes of spoiled milk, and that’s really disappointing. The debates about diplomatic immunity are now firmly in the past, and Pakistan needs leaders who are focused on the issues of today.
Whatever SMQ decides about his political future, what is important is that he stays consistent in his principles. If his does this, he can influence whatever party he decides to join with to take a reasoned approach to close relations with the US and other nations in the west.
Looking back on his years as Foreign Minister, it cannot be denied that SMQ’s legacy is without doubt the Kerry Lugar bill that he helped pass and when it was attacked he stood with his American partner Hillary Clinton and defended it vigorously.
At the time, SMQ came under attack from certain elements who claimed that he was selling out the nation when nothing could be further from the truth. Even his son Zain Hussain Qureshi was targeted because he worked in US Senator Kerry’s office when the bill was written – an entirely unfair and pointless accusation.
Pakistan’s history is filled with the politics of betrayal and revenge, and vendetta politics never makes for good policy. So can we please set aside petty personal feuds for once and do what is right for the nation instead? Shah Mehmood Qureshi has a perfect opportunity to show young people interested in politics that the old ways of politics based on strategic alliances and personal loyalties are dead, and a new politics of principles is the way of the future.