Associated Press of Pakistan, the official government news agency, reported on Monday that “a media report” has criticised Pakistan’s former Ambassador Husain Haqqani for speaking against the state. The “media report” APP is broadcasting comes from a website called “ZoneAsia-PK”. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad. Nobody else had either. Which is why I thought it was very strange that it was being quoted by APP. The author of the piece is noted as “Shehzad Malik…a Pakistani researcher based in the US with a Masters degree in International Relations”. I was curious about who this person was, so I decided to do a little checking. As it happens sometimes, one thing led to another, and I found myself looking at some very interesting information.
Indian Prim Minister Narenda Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore added to the celebrations of the week. Nawaz did not greet his Indian counterpart as part of a high level diplomatic mission, and yet it was exactly the type of diplomatic ice breaker that has been so desperately needed. Even Imran Khan was found appreciating the event, terming it ‘a positive step’.
Not everyone was pleased, though, as certain media personalities took to social media to make their own opinions known.
— Ahmed Quraishi (@AQpk) December 25, 2015
Jindal accompanying Modi raises suspicions of what sort of backdoor business deals may in the pipeline!
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) December 25, 2015
PM Modi’s move to stop at Lahore airport & summoning Nawaz Sharif is a brilliant Indian strategy. Pakistani excitement is plain stupid! 😂
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) December 25, 2015
For the common man, improved relations between the two nuclear powers is an obvious benefit. Besides reducing the obvious chances of violence, improved relations also promises to improve economic opportunities and tourism. For certain media talking heads, though, improved relations are obviously very threatening. Perhaps this is because their own economic success depends largely on continued tensions and an easy enemy to demonise. Is it possible that certain individuals are willing to put their own wealth and fame above the good of their own country? Would someone who puts their own greed before their country be correctly called a ‘patriot’?
Obviously this may be taking things a bit too far. However if these individuals are not acting for their own self interest, whose interests are they so desperate to protect? Perhaps the better question is who is it that gains the most money and power from having poor relations between our two nations? Some will point to religious groups and their private funders who find themselves with more power when they can convince the people that Islam is under threat. There are others who will note that it is not only religious groups that play the ‘fortress of Islam’ card to continually increase their funding and authority.
Probably we will never know what causes some to feel so threatened and scared of peace between Pakistan and India. Never mind them, though. There have always been those who have tried to sabotage Pakistan’s relations to their own benefit. Some will dismiss the visit between the two Prime Ministers by saying that it didn’t accomplish anything. This is not entire accurate, however. It did accomplish one thing which was flushing out certain individuals and making them show their true face.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the United Nations General Assembly and satisfied critics who threatened the government would fall if the he did not make Kashmir a front and centre pillar of his speech. The PM dutifully read his script and newspaper headlines boldly quoted him as terming India a threat to world peace and demanding a plebiscite in Indian-held Kashmir. Well, our newspapers did. As for the rest of the world? Nobody seems to have paid the least attention. Continue reading
PM Nawaz Sharif is in New York for the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly which is scheduled to take place on 30th of this month. As usual, there is much speculation being reported. Will he take a sideline meeting with Modi? Will he give Kashmir a front and center place on the agenda? Will he reveal damning evidence about Indian involvement in terrorism? There have been strong statements coming out of the capital, and expectations are running high. However, some new facts that have not been reported could find the PM meeting some unexpected hostility.
PPP finds itself being squeezed rather tightly lately. Sadly, the squeeze really comes as no surprise. When Pakistan Rangers first raided 90 earlier this year, the writing was already on the wall. Today, PPP leadership is crying foul over being targeted, but in some ways their troubles are a result of their own doing. When it became obvious that Army was going returning to operations against political parties, the PPP took the strategy of trying to cozy up in hopes of weathering the storm. Did they really think that it would work?