Hyp­ocrites to the core

Those who have at­tempted to ac­knowl­edge our de­pen­dence on the US have been slammed by the ridicu­lous ' ghairat ' lobby.

The Pak Banker - - 4editorial - Ardeshir Cowas­jee

THE lo­cal ou­trage over the Wik­iLeaks ex­po­sure is as hyp­o­crit­i­cal as is the hypocrisy of our civil and mil­i­tary so-called lead­ers who cosy up to the Amer­i­cans in pri­vate whilst ex­pe­di­ently crit­i­cis­ing them pub­licly.

For far too long, Pak­ista­nis have abused the Amer­i­cans while si­mul­ta­ne­ously seek­ing help from them. Those who have at­tempted to ac­knowl­edge our de­pen­dence on the US have been slammed by the ridicu­lous ' ghairat ' lobby. Why the un­will­ing­ness to recog­nise that our mil­i­tary needs US-made hard­ware and our econ­omy needs US aid and in­vest­ment? Does ghairat de­mand that we pub­licly abuse the US and those who openly ac­knowl­edge Pak­istan's de­pen­dence on Un­cle Sam?

We all know how Jin­nah and Li­aquat Ali Khan pur­sued the US seek­ing aid, as have done all their suc­ces­sors. Let us look at the re­sponse to the coun­try's fifth prime min­is­ter, Huseyn Sha­heed Suhrawardy, who tried to be hon­est and ex­plain the re­al­i­ties of the world to the ghairat -ob­sessed. S.M. Burke, one of Pak­istan's ear­li­est di­plo­mats, who died re­cently aged 94, in his book, Pak­istan's For­eign Pol­icy: An His­tor­i­cal Anal­y­sis de­scribes truth telling thus:

"Suhrawardy fre­quently de­fended his pro-US for­eign pol­icy in pub­lic with a frank­ness un­heard of in Pak­istan till then. In one such ex­tem­pore per­for­mance he faced a large gath­er­ing of East Pak­istani stu­dents in the Sal­imul­lah Mus­lim Hall at Dhaka and de­cried the fact 'that if we say any­thing in favour of Amer­ica or the UK we are called "stooges of im­pe­ri­al­ism" and if we say any­thing in favour of Rus­sia we are called "in­de­pen­dent"'. He would try to com­pare the dif­fer­ences be­tween var­i­ous Mus­lim coun­tries but it must be re­mem­bered that all the ex­ist­ing Mus­lim gov­ern­ments were weak. 'The ques­tion is asked: why don't we get to­gether rather than be tied to a big power like the UK or Amer­ica? My an­swer to that is that zero plus zero plus zero plus zero is af­ter all equal to zero. We have, there­fore, to go far­ther afield rather than get all the zeros to­gether'."

Na­tion­wide protests en­sued against the prime min­is­ter's in­sult to the ummah. His res­ig­na­tion was de­manded, and the Mus­lim League and re­li­gious par­ties dubbed him an im­pe­ri­al­ist agent.

Wik­iLeaks on Pak­istan are merely pre­ma­ture. Most State Depart­ment ca­bles be­come avail­able af­ter a few years fol­low­ing de­clas­si­fi­ca­tion. Ac­cess to old ca­bles aptly il­lus­trate the hypocrisy of Pak­ista­nis to­wards the US.

Ayub Khan pub­licly spoke of want­ing Friends not Masters. But what did he say to the Amer­i­cans in pri­vate? In 1953, "Ayub Khan vis­ited Washington 'at his own vo­li­tion,' ahead of a visit by Pak­istan's civil­ian head of state and for­eign min­is­ter. He sought a 'deal whereby Pak­istan could - for the right price - serve as the West's east­ern an­chor in an Asian al­liance struc­ture." State Depart­ment de­clas­si­fied cable quoted in Shirin Tahir-Kheli's book The United States and Pak­istan : Evo­lu­tion of an In­flu­ence Re­la­tion­ship.

"In the quest for US sup­port, Ayub Khan went so far as to tell a US of­fi­cial, 'Our army can be your army if you want." Den­nis Kux . United States and Pak­istan, 19472000.

Zul­fikar Ali Bhutto made a ca­reer out of be­ing an­tiAmer­i­can. He even wrote a book ti­tled The Myth of In­de­pen­dence af­ter leav­ing the Ayub govern­ment to score the point that whilst oth­ers com­pro­mised sovereignty, he would not. But let's look at the text of Depart­ment of State Tele­gram from Amer­i­can Em­bassy Is­lam­abad to Sec­re­tary of State, Se­cret Cable No 861 dated 22 De­cem­ber 1971. ( Also in­cluded in Roedad Khan's book, The Amer­i­can Pa­pers Se­cret and Con­fi­den­tial, In­dia-Pak­istanBangladesh Doc­u­ments 19651973) . It talks of Bhutto's visit to the US am­bas­sador two days af­ter he took over. "Sur­pris­ingly and quite in­de­pen­dently, I re­ceived a phone call late af­ter­noon of Wed­nes­day, Dec 22, from the pres­i­dent's of­fice ask­ing if I would re­ceive the pres­i­dent at my res­i­dence in the evening. Pres­i­dent Bhutto ar­rived at 2130 hours lo­cal and con­versed with me for 35 min­utes. He was ac­com­pa­nied by Mustafa Khar, re­cently an­nounced gover­nor and mar­tial law ad­min­is­tra­tor of Pun­jab. Khar took vir­tu­ally no part in the con­ver­sa­tion which en­sued.

" Af­ter ex­change of so­cial ameni­ties, and af­ter not­ing that his call upon me was most un­usual from the stand­point of pro­to­col, Bhutto said that he was so act­ing to sig­nal strongly his reaf­fir­ma­tion of a whole new pe­riod of close and ef­fec­tive re­la­tions with the United States. He said what­ever crit­i­cism the United States may have had re­gard­ing his past pos­ture, he now hoped that it would be for­got­ten as our two coun­tries 'with mu­tual in­ter­ests' came closer to­gether in com­mon cause. He said that he again wished to ex­press his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the as­sis­tance which the United States had ex­tended to Pak­istan dur­ing its great­est cri­sis, and added that it would not be for­got­ten." There is much more but space is short.

Things haven't changed since 1956, when Suhrawardy made his re­mark. Pak­istan's present of­ten re­viled am­bas­sador the US, Hu­sain Haqqani, has read and learned a lot since his birth in 1956. He at­tempted to do as did Suhrawardy.

Soon af­ter be­com­ing am­bas­sador in a June 2008 in a TV in­ter­view with one of the ghairat cham­pi­ons Haqqani was asked, "Why don't we look the US in the eye?" He re­sponded, ac­cu­rately, "To look some­one in the eye, you have to be ap­prox­i­mately the same height."

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