Friday, December 11, 2009

President Zardari’s Letter to New York Times

December 10, 2009
President Zardari’s Letter to New York Times
By Saeed Qureshi
I have seen president Asif Zardari’s letter published in New York Times with dateline of December 9 instant. Ostensibly the letter is addressed to the American public opinion. It’s a desperate and futile attempt to expect that one letter from a controversial president of a subservient and surrogate country would make any tangible difference in molding, even marginally, the public opinion and perceptions about the nature and tenor of Pak-America relationship. Let it be clear to all that American public has no big role to play in policy making. The policy making in America is just like other countries, in that a group on top slots of administrative machinery crafts and implements the policies. The only difference is that American leadership is patriotic to the core while their surrogates lack this national spirit and cardinal ethos.
The very title of the article connotes the existence of certain kind of fences that have to be mended. Now which are those fences have not been explicitly specified. A lot of emphasis has been expended on the phraseology and diction of the letter but one feels that its tone is apologetic and written in a beseeching manner. The controversial or contentious issues between two sovereign states have been washed in the pages of the newspaper. It displays a defeatist attitude as if all available options have been exhausted and the only avenue left was to write an op-ed to air the grievances. If there is ice between the United States and Pakistan, the warmth of an appeal type op-ed is not going to melt that away. It means that the diplomatic skill and finesse of Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in Washington DC is stuck up in grooves.
The letter is predictably written by Pakistan’s eloquent ambassador based in Washington DC. It could well be an attempt by the ambassador, who is also caught in the vortex of the NRO, to demonstrate dissention and cast way the impression of being an American protégé. The letter summarized the past history of Pak-Us relations - pinpointing the American misplaced penchant for supporting the dictators. Besides highlighting Pakistan’s gubernatorial performance in Swat and Waziristan against terrorism and fanaticism; it points out that “in both countries there is deep suspicion toward the other”
And ludicrously, Pakistan arrogates to herself the prerogative of telling mighty Americans how they can mend their fences with Pakistan - a helpless, emaciated country with a begging bowl and expectations of charity from the charity givers. Does United States need to heed Pakistani president’s advice or directives to shrink herself from a giant’s height and come down to the lowly position of a dwarf to accept what Pakistan has to say by way of counseling? Where our diplomacy is heading to?
The main import of the strenuously written letter is to convey to the Untied States that she should tell India to behave and not do things that are injurious to the American sponsored fight against terrorism. Economic aid for social sectors is another issue that has been raised in the letter. With candid hypocrisy the president’s claim has been boldly posted in these words,” Over the last weeks I have moved forcefully to re-establish the traditional powers of the presidency as defined in the parliamentary model on which our Constitution is based. Our Constitution was distorted and perverted by military dictators who usurped the legal powers of Parliament. In accordance with the manifesto of the Pakistan People’s Party, I am working toward strengthening the separation of powers of the presidency from those of the prime minister”
Even a goof in Pakistan can vouch that this is a blatant lie. Do the Americans live in a marooned island that they don’t know that the president Zardari’s efforts, since assuming the presidency, have been focused on stalling and thwarting every move and break any pledge that he made to turn Pakistan into a parliamentary democracy? The president’s assertion, that “I voluntarily handed back the chairmanship of the National Command Authority that exercises control over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal” is patently false because he did so under pressure from the Pakistan army.
Freakishly, in the morning hours, the letter’ text could be read wholly. In the evening it was made obligatory to first register with the New York Times which necessitated disclosure of private information such as country of residence, the income etc. It’s a riddle as to why all these years this article alone was subjected to certain implausible conditions that someone may not meet for merely reading president’s Zardari’s article. Was there some move to first collect the information of the readers and then chase those who might turn out to be suspicious?
If the contents of the letter are for the entire world to read, support and sympathize with Pakistan’s point of view, then why this burden on the freedom and conscience of a reader is dropped? Someone has to explain this mysterious restriction upon the readership of the New York Times: a highly respected and unquestionably known as an independent liberal daily. Finally the letter talks of the endgame which looks like the biblical endgame of the annihilation of the anti Christ forces in the world: a sort of the Armageddon. My question is who drafted this myopic letter if the endgame is not fully understood.
The letter concludes with these pathetic lines, “And then after 9/11, the United States closed its eyes to the abuses of the dictatorship of President Pervez Musharraf, providing support to the regime while doing little to help with social needs or encourage the restoration of democracy. For Pakistanis, it is a bitter memory”.
Verily United States closed its eyes to the abuses of dictator Musharraf but who is still keeping his dictatorship intact under the garb of a sham and shady democracy? The pity is United States is still viewing all this farce with closed eyes.

1 comment:

  1. Zardari Seeks to Streamline Corruption, Help People of Pakistan