Bla­tant lies and 'na­tional in­ter­est'

The Pak Banker - - 4editorial -

Ever since Wik­iLeaks started re­leas­ing US diplo­matic ca­bles, we con­tinue to dis­cover one thing or an­other ev­ery day. Some new rev­e­la­tions about the power equa­tion in Pak­istan are not just in­ter­est­ing but quite re­veal­ing. The Wik­ileaks drama and its fall­out have af­fected many in this coun­try too. Politi­cians stand ex­posed - the true colours of many are vis­i­ble to us all. We now know just how bla­tant lies are told and how much hypocrisy ex­ists even among those who put on all kinds of pi­ous airs. It is for these rea­sons that so much anger has been gen­er­ated by the Wik­ileaks af­fair, with the De­fence Com­mit­tee of the Cabi­net stat­ing dur­ing its meet­ing that 'na­tional in­ter­est' has been hurt. Oth­ers have expressed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments. But per­haps just the op­po­site is true. While that very con­ve­nient term - ' na­tional in­ter­est' - is raised of­ten in our coun­try - and in­deed also in oth­ers - there is con­sid­er­able room for de­bate over what ex­actly it means. In many ways, let­ting peo­ple know what is true serves the in­ter­est of a nation bet­ter than the vague no­tion re­ferred to by politi­cians who seek only to cover up their mis­deeds. Of course, ev­ery­where politi­cians en­gage in ac­tions that are du­bi­ous in na­ture. The fact that or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Wik­ileaks are ca­pa­ble of bring­ing these out into the open could per­suade them to think just a lit­tle bit harder about the con­se­quences of what they are do­ing and why they should avoid do­ing so. The con­cept of in­tegrity needs to be re­vived. In­deed it is this that top lead­ers should be look­ing at, rather than hurl­ing blame the way of Ju­lian As­sange and his team. The Cabi­net, for in­stance, needs to re­view the dis­clo­sures and as­sess its own ac­tions in the light of what has been re­vealed. Other po­lit­i­cal par­ties and play­ers need to do just the same. At present we are see­ing an at­tempt at dam­age con­trol by some groups. This is un­der­stand­able. The same ex­er­cise is tak­ing place around the world. But that is not enough. What is vi­tal is that some process of learn­ing should take place and all those in power re­mem­ber that what they do and say, in this new age of technology, will not nec­es­sar­ily re­main hid­den for­ever.

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