Dr. Shireen Mazari criticizes Nawaz Sharif's recent statements on India
Puppets on US strings
August 16, 2011
Vice President for Policy Planning, National Security and Foreign
Affairs expressed amusement at the manner in which PML-N Chief, Mian
Nawaz Sharif, was seeking to toe the US line on India and other issues
thereby sending a confused message to the country and his own
peace in the neighbourhood but it realizes that a durable and just peace
can only come when the very real political conflicts that exist between
neighbours are resolved through dialogue based on principles of justice
and fair play. PTI feels the Security Route to cooperation similar to
the origins of the EU in the European Coal and Steel Community is the
best way to détente and lasting peace in the region since it focuses on
conflict resolution not conflict management.
the other hand, it is clear that as the PML-N continues to see its
popularity falling rapidly, its leader has revealed a desperation in
trying to gain US support as an alternative to the support of his own
Asif Zardari has
openly and brazenly continued to follow US diktat on all foreign policy
issues, including in the context of India – one aspect of which has been
the continuing delays on dealing with India’s increasing theft of
Pakistani waters. It has also been in the Zardari regime that the
highest number of US citizens have received Pakistan’s national state
awards. Now, Nawaz Sharif has also decided to jump on the US bandwagon
in the vain hope that that would bring him closer to power again in
Pakistan. Most recently this was reflected in a speech he made at a
SAFMA function in Lahore in the presence of visiting Indians.
for Nawaz, his efforts in this speech, to create a “new” perspective on
India, and his strange response to a critique of it by a major media
chief, have only resulted in absurdities and confusion as well as
creating a total backtracking of some of Muslim League policies.
instance, he actually thanked India for, as he put it, “playing a major
role in making Pakistan an atomic state.” Given how earlier he had not
only claimed sole credit for the decision for Pakistan to go nuclear
what was India’s “major role” in assisting Pakistan? Did India provide
technical assistance or major political and economic support to
Pakistan? Certainly Indian tests in 1998 were a major incentive for
Pakistan to also go overtly nuclear but the fact is that Pakistan
already had a clandestine nuclear weapons capability much before 1998.
He also expressed regret over both Pakistan and India taking the overt
nuclear step in 1998 which again is in total contradiction to the Muslim
League and Pakistan’s position supporting a nuclear capability for the
country to counter the conventional strategic military imbalance and
continuing external threats.
more bizarre are Sharif’s claims that had he been allowed to complete
the Motorway up to Tashkent and India had taken the same Motorway to
Calcutta (Kolkata) trade and business would have been carried out and
automatically the Jammu and Kashmir issue would have been resolved.
Clearly, in his eagerness to appeal to the US, he has chosen to forget
what the Kashmir dispute is all about. Factually, the Kashmir dispute is
neither about trade or commerce nor about mere territory. It is about
the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination – a principle
enshrined in the UN Charter and reiterated in UN Security Council
resolutions on Kashmir. Additionally, Pakistan’s legitimacy as a party
to the dispute also rest on UNSC resolutions. To reduce resolution of
the Dispute simply to increased trade and business is to insult the
Kashmiri martyrs who have generation after generation laid down their
lives for their right to self determination.
Sharif seems to now also be confused over the culture and heritage of
Pakistan as a whole since he declared at the SAFMA function that
Pakistanis and Indians “are members of the same society and share the
same background, culture and even the dishes and vegetables.” A little
study of our history would have shown that Muslims and Hindus in India
never lived as one society since the Hindu society was and continues to
be caste ridden. Even more pertinent, while some segments of Punjab and
Sindh may have common cultural and historic links with northern India,
the people of southern Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa have
greater cultural, historic and linguistic links with Iran and
Afghanistan. Most critical, generations of Pakistanis born after 1947 do
not have any cultural or societal links with India and the historic
links are those of oppression, wars and breaking up of the country.
one wonders why Mr Sharif did not form a Kargil Commission when he was
still in power? After all, he had ample opportunity when he went to
Washington in July or when he came back and ordered the withdrawal. He
was, as he liked to claim, a PM with “a heavy mandate”. After all, the
Indians formed their Commission immediately. Sharif’s present rantings
against the military are sounding more like attempts to please the US
rather than anything substantive.
Mr Nawaz Sharif needs to revisit facts on some of the sensitive issues
he has held forth on recently in a state of confused pandering to US
diktat, which will neither result in regional stability nor will it
allow those who are losing popular support to come to power.
Dr. Shireen Mazari