RAWALPINDI: Though I don’t have much love lost for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he has certainly earned my respect for daring to ask US President Barack Obama to apologise to Pakistan for the Salala misadventure. Being challenged by so young a person must have come as a rude shock to Mr Obama — but the fact is that Bilawal has spoken for millions of Pakistanis. And the sooner the US government realises this, the better it would be for it.
They Americans should understand that even if parliament, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, or even the army itself agrees to opening the Nato supply route, the Pakistani nation will not let it happen. It is more than 1,000 kilometres from Karachi to Torkham and not all the King’s men and horses put together can guard it against the sporadic attacks that are bound to take place. The only way out for the US and Nato is to come to terms with the sentiments of the Pakistani nation. And they should also understand the age-old dictum ‘respect begets respect’.
Col. (retd) Riaz Jafri
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.