August 16, 2007

When will the nonsense end?

Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:36 am


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kamran Shafi

India celebrates its Independence Day by holding a joint session of parliament; we spend ours debating whether a failed dictator should be given another five years in the Presidency. How direr, if I may coin a word, can straits get?

Reading stories and comment in the newspapers, both foreign and those coming out of the Fatherland, one very quickly comes to the conclusion that the nonsense that the junta’s reign has been for the past six years is as nothing compared to the complete nonsense it is today. The statements coming out of the many mouths belonging to the “leaders” of the junta truly amaze even I, as used as I am to silly nonsense coming out of the government of Pakistan as anyone on God’s earth.

No lessons have been learnt: let alone being humbled, no one is even a little bit chastised; or ashamed, or embarrassed, or humiliated. None of the foregoing has ‘adhered’ to anyone at all, not even to those who till very recently indeed, talked so loudly and so self assuredly and so proudly about how right was on their side in the matter of My Lord the Chief Justice. The senses boggle at what is going on….

The Chief of Staff to the Commando actually has the gall to call on the Chief Justice to assure him that the Commando ‘had wholeheartedly accepted the restoration of the chief justice’; and to revive “family relations” that the Commando, according to none else but the Commando himself, had with the CJ prior to the foolish and ill-intentioned reference against him? Why? Why indeed was the news leaked to the press?

Nor is this all. Shiekh Rashid has the gall to say that ‘the executive’s “cordiality” might not be there for every future ruling of the Supreme Court’? And the Presidency, instead of disciplining him most strictly has the gall to merely announce that what he said ‘does not reflect the feelings of the Presidency’? Meaning what? That any future ruling against the government will not be taken in a spirit of “cordiality”? Have ‘sharam’ (shame) and ‘haya’ (rectitude) so completely deserted these people who make up the top echelons of the teetering (but for the lifeline thrown to it by Benazir it would have been dead in the water by now) junta that they are now stooping to using the very worst tactic of obsequiousness coupled with threats?

This is not all. The Commando has said that Dubya ‘called him over the phone and assured him of respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty’. The Commando is then quoted verbatim: “I am fully confident and very sure (200%!) that there will be no action across the border. If there is an action it will be conducted by the Pakistani forces and we will do it ourselves.” I ask you!

How many times must American and NATO forces cross our borders and raid villages within Pakistan’s territory and kill and kidnap people; how many times must American and NATO fighter aircraft and drones fire missiles on Pakistani targets killing Pakistani nationals (and foreigners, of course, but within Pakistani territory) before we acknowledge that, sadly, America is Amreeka Bahadur and we are we? That NATO is NATO and we are we? And that we can bloody well do nothing about it!

This is the Commando talking please note, who, when the Americans air-raided Damadola, killing women and children but no ‘asset’ (or whatever they call Al Qaeda operatives these days) of any note, that it was the Pakistan Army that conducted the raid. (I ask you!).

The above three bright lights of the junta are not alone in talking nonsense: in order of importance for she does more important work, the FO spokeswoman and the Private Banker have also waxed lyrical. The spokesperson said words to the effect that ‘Pakistan on Monday dismissed as “speculative” reports that the United States has information about the location of its nuclear assets’. And that Condoleezza Rice’s ‘recent telephone call to President Pervez Musharraf amid rumours of emergency rule was not a direct call but routed through Pakistan’s embassy in Washington’.

I see. Suzuki wagons and buses take off for Kahuta from Rawalpindi’s filthy and clogged streets to shouts of “Bum factory” “Bum factory” and the Americans don’t know where our nuclear assets are held, even at other locations? And Ambassador Durrani runs a telephone exchange in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington D.C., in Army parlance ‘putting through’ calls from US officials to his boss, the Commando? Why make silly statements when even Charlie and his aunt know perfectly well that not only Rice but even Dubya spoke to their ‘tight’ buddy and warned him that imposing emergency rule will spell the end of him?

And last and least, the Personal Banker to Princes and varied Potentates (PBPP), our own so-called ‘Prime Minister’ has said that while ‘the government does not want to impose a state of emergency right now, it has not ruled out the measure for the future’. He says this after all the backtracking he and his boss, the Commando, had to do under pressure of not only their bosses in DC, but the Pakistani people too, who by word and mood made it quite clear that no such adventurism would be tolerated any longer.

PBPP also said the ongoing political crisis and surge in militancy have stained the country’s image abroad, resulting in a slowdown of economic growth over the past few months. Well, who started the political crisis please if not himself and the junta of which he is some little part?

It is with heavy heart that I conclude this piece from the ancient German town of Regensburg, famous for its beautiful churches and cathedral, the Dom, and for the Danube that flows through it. But my thoughts, as always are for home. Sixty years have gone by and what do we have to show for it? Let alone all the other beauties quoted above, PBPP, who could not win a local councillors seat without help from the State/the use of money is our ‘Prime Minister’!!

And Benazir Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan’s only party not sullied by charges of being hand-maiden to the venal Establishment is making a deal with its nemesis. India celebrates its Independence Day by holding a joint session of parliament; we spend ours debating whether a failed dictator should be given another five years in the Presidency. How direr, if I may coin a word, can straits get?


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