KARACHI: Reading Kamran Shafi’s articles, I invariably come to the conclusion that in matters of politics, he sees everything in ‘a Pakistan versus the rest of the world’ prism, with the added conviction that all words and deeds by Pakistanis are nothing but stupid and callous and those from the rest are principled. It seems that it does not occur to him that on occasions, Pakistan’s stance could be the right one, but that to him would be an impossibility because he has already determined thus.
The Pakistan military gets a special battering from him, along with the “new-found ‘security analysts’, who are increasingly from the Air Force”. He took to task one of them for saying on Hamid Mir’s show that the Americans were not apologising for Salala because the government was weak. Now, the Americans apologised to India, to Poland and have done so a few times to Afghanistan. The only reason they would not apologise to Pakistan is that they think we won’t stand firm in our demand for an apology. It has been reported that while our ambassador in the US succeeded in convincing Americans of the need to apologise, our foreign minister made a statement saying words to the effect that Pakistan has decided to go beyond Salala, which definitely weakened our case.
Also, Mr Shafi ignores the fact that killing terrorists like OBL and others cannot lead to the elimination of terrorism in a situation where a felled terrorist is replaced by many new recruits. To eliminate terrorism, you also have to reduce the causes that give rise to it. However, he never touches these aspects, which makes his approach seem inadequate and superficial. Mr Shafi thinks that General John Allen’s suggestion to our army chief to clear out Taliban terrorists on both sides of the border is a sterling offer, which gives hope of stabilising both Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the results in Afghanistan, so far, hardly testify to the soundness of American planning in the region. Also, Mr Shafi is assuming that General Allen’s offer is a sincere one and has not considered the possibility that his ploy could be to get Pakistan extensively involved in the fighting and thus deflect the full fury of the forces fighting foreign occupiers towards Pakistan.
He is also quick to condemn the Mumbai attacks, and rightly so, but ignores that India has been doing much worse in Kashmir, although obviously that does not justify the Mumbai attacks in any way. Also, Indians have been involved in anti-Pakistan activities in Balochistan. And while the real cause of separation of our eastern wing was mistreatment of Bengalis by the western wing, no one can deny the fact that India did train the Mukti Bahini and physically intervened in former East Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.