Wikileaks has exposed the complete capitulation of Pakistani political leaders before western powers, particularly America. It would be an insult to the fifty states that comprise the United States of America to assert that Pakistan had become the fiftyfirst state of the union, because even the state governments of those fifty states don't buckle under pressure from Washington DC as readily and unquestioningly as our governments have in the recent past.
The details revealed in the documents released by Wikileaks are indeed shocking, but the gist of their contents is hardly news to most of us. We already know about the comprehensive lack of backbone in Islamabad.
One had heard of the low esteem world leaders held our elected government in. After all, having sold your soul to the devil, you cannot expect respect from him, or others.
We also knew how this government came into power and how and why it has managed to survive two and a half years of mind-numbing incompetence, record-breaking corruption and a deliberate, systematic dismantling of our vital state institutions for personal benefits. Let not the significance of Zardari's reported remark to his American benefactors that, "We are here because of you," be lost.
From this it is apparent that he feels that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the ensuing groundswell of voter sympathy had little to do with launching his party into power. Instead, he feels he owes his acquisition of power to the Americans.
There is much to be grasped here for those who can read between the lines. Then there is our illustrious prime minister, who reportedly does not care if drone attacks on Pakistani soil continue as long as his party's power joyride goes on uninterrupted, and even reprimands Rehman Malik, of all people, for making waves about the issue.
The extent of our leaders' capitulation is mind-boggling. What was the need to show the American Ambassador Anne Patterson Benazir's ' will'? Why was Musharraf allowed safe passage with immunity and full protocol before he could be questioned in connection with Benazir Bhutto's murder and why raise the issue now after he is safe on foreign shores?
Edmund Burke wrote that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." The ' good men' among us seem to have already decided to accept the hideous status quo as a fait accompli and swallow in silence all the filth and sleaze kicked up by this administration and allow it free rein to do as it wills at the expense of the common good and national interests, even to the extent of making us all slaves to foreign vested interests. So then what is all this fuss about? We are becoming a nation of criers and whiners.
Go to any tea-shop in the bazaar, or even a plush drawing room of the well-to-do, and you will find no shortage of those who go on lamenting about what has become of this land of ours and regale each other with one horror story after another, but no one is prepared to do anything about it.
Not only that, but if someone points out the obvious, glaring urgent need for change, his voice is drowned out and instead a glacial strategy of 'patience' and 'riding out the storm' is advocated.
What exactly is so wrong with making a change in the course to steer the boat out of the storm to safe shores? What if there is no boat left at the end of the storm? Besides, with all our so-called leaders tripping over themselves to pander to foreign masters for the sake of power, who is looking out for the interests of Pakistan and its people?
Under such circumstances, why do we act surprised when we see the ship of the state sinking before our eyes? In the same breath, the proponents of 'the system' condemn those who are sinking the boat but also portray them as 'formidable' political geniuses who ' should not be taken lightly'. What better indication can there be than this of how low not only the calibre of politics and statecraft in general in Pakistan, but also our expectations of our leaders, have plummeted? Do these so-called self-proclaimed political experts and pundits really see no difference at all between a political genius and a crook? What could be easier than to achieve political objectives through deceit, lies and dishonest practices? But the art of politics and its genius lies not in dishonesty but in outmanoeuvring opponents to achieve desired ends under the umbrella of sound principles and acceptable norms of moral political conduct.