LAHORE: This is with reference to the editorial “Futility and bombast” (December 7). Surprisingly, it seems from the editorial that we as a nation have reached a state of mind where not raising a voice for our rights seems logical to us. If anything, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) protest has managed to stop just that. Also, this sent out a strong message and strengthened Pakistan’s position, resulting in Chuck Hagel, the American defence secretary, visiting Pakistan for the first time. This also raises the question that if the alternative routes are so viable and the rhetoric of ‘I couldn’t care less’ propagated by the American administration is not a bluff, then why did Secretary Hagel need to meet the prime minister of Pakistan to request the lifting of the blockade?
Internationally, most Nato countries support the stance that these drone strikes are illegal and that the US should sell Pakistan the technology to take out any unwanted elements. It is now up to the federal government, whose responsibility it is in the first place to defend Pakistan’s sovereignty, how it utilises this position of strength for Pakistan.
As to the ‘goods’ transported via Pakistan, one can see armoured carriers to totally covered ‘equipment’ in the pictures published in most national newspapers. If one believes the propaganda that they are ‘least’ important, then the PTI’s success in putting immense pressure on the US administration using this ‘least valuable’ asset of a route is tremendous to say the least. One needs to remember that the American establishment realises the potential and strength of Pakistan but plays with our psychological fears to achieve its strategic ends. We should realise our potential and get out of the quagmire of fear General (retd) Pervez Musharraf left us in. Only this way can we begin to build and strengthen our nation.
Lastly, the continuous focus on the supposed ‘massive’ loss to economy is neither material nor are these peanuts going to last forever. The focus should be on building a lasting economy and not feasting on temporary blood money at the cost of massive destruction and losses of over $100 billion.
Omer Zaheer Meer
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2013.