In-credible Pakistan

The state’s credibility problem endures. Following the unprecedented attack on APS Peshawar, death penalty was reinstated after seven years moratorium. The death penalty returned with popular support based on the argument that it was needed to fight terrorism. Somehow, we believed, terrorists who were willing to die for their delusional cause would give up if they faced the death penalty. However illogical our reasoning, though, the death penalty has not been used as a tool against terrorists. Actually, only 7 per cent of executions are related to terrorism charges! This shows that ‘terrorism’ was only an excuse, not the real reason, which seems to happen with alarming regularity in Pakistan.

The state’s credibility problem has been on display in many ways lately. Not only from the death penalty report, but the release of Quetta Commission report also which catalogued the state’s duplicity including what Dawn described as ‘the state’s complicity with militant groups for parochial agendas that allowed the creation of an infrastructure of jihad’. Is it any surprise that rather than make any effort to correct these issues, the state has instead rejected its own report!

The unwillingness to face facts and be honest with ourselves has a long history. Over 30 years ago we were already telling ourselves sweet little lies.

17 December 1971 Dawn front pageThis failed mindset not only damages our credibility in the eyes of the world, it has destroyed the state’s credibility with our own people. When Quetta Commission report was released, who really believed it would change anything? Same with Abbottabad Commission before that and Hamoodur Rahman Commission before that.

 

Has Washington Lost Interest?

Sartaj Aziz

For better or for worse, the Pakistan-US relationship bestowed near-celebrity status on Pakistani officials for nearly a decade. Government officials and diplomats found themselves speaking before standing-room only audiences and the bright lights of American television studios. When Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Washington as Foreign Minister in 2009, he too found himself in the spotlight of American media. Recently, however, the lights seem to have dimmed. It’s true that Jalil Jalani doesn’t have the star power of Husain Haqqani or Sherry Rehman, but there is a growing concern among some that Pakistani officials no longer have the attention of their Washington counterparts the way they once did.

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