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No Qualms Against America

The article, No qualms against America, argues that we the ordinary people are not able to see how it concerns the US that we should not reinstate our Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his fellow judges to their due position. However, we have no qualms against the US and its officials who are behaving like international goons. We want to know what roles our leaders are playing in this game.

by Dr. Khalil Ahmad

I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.

For us ordinary mortals, the ways of the extraordinary souls are strange and unfathomable. We live in an ordinary world of usual moral and social values. They live in an extraordinary world of unusual standards. We usually believe in what we see and hear around us. They never believe in what they make us see and hear. Our political geniuses tell this is politics. Nay, Sir, this is no politics. This is disregard for values and principles at best.

What really surprises us mortals is how they commit to various things! Take, for example, the Bhurban Declaration. How before the whole nation, and media of the country, the two extraordinary souls signed an agreement to restore the judiciary of November 2, 2007. And after that how they, no he, changed his ways. But no, please! We should not make a grave mistake most of the people are making at this time. It was the only one extraordinary soul, not both of them, who started interpreting the agreement in such strange ways that were just outrageous to the common sense.

The point is we the lot should not abandon our social and moral values, and give the due credit to whom it is due. So, it was Mr. Asif Ali Zardari who made a travesty of this agreement. Is an agreement which we sign before the media merely a political statement? Isn’t media a custodian of truth? Is it media that defame such extraordinary souls? Can we just refuse to accept what was a public act of ours? But we must ask what they were both doing in London and how Mr. Richard Boucher happened to be there and why did he meet them? This is Pakistan’s electorate’s due right to know.

Again, isn’t it strange that Mr. Zardari had so urgent tasks to attend to that he straightaway flew to Dubai in the heat of the moment? The second party to the agreement, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, and more than that, the whole nation was looking askance what was going to happen, and he just went up the hill like the proverbial jackal. In contrast to him, we the ordinary mortals when in such a critical situation, and when it concerns others particularly, postpone our most important engagements and present us to the needful.

Another example that eludes our commons’ understanding is these extraordinary souls’ negotiations they have in meeting with foreign diplomats especially from US and UK in the present context. We the street people are always at a loss in guessing what was discussed in those meetings in closed rooms. Suppose the hot current issue is the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his fellow judges. Under the circumstances, Mr. John Negroponte or Mr. Richard Boucher lands here in Pakistan, and calls on Mr. Zaradari or Mr. Nawaz Sharif. After these parleys, we are told that they just discussed matters of mutual interest.

Apparently, such press releases are issued for ‘public consumption.’ It’s the strangest thing that one attends a funeral and leaves it without uttering a word about the dead person. May be these extraordinary souls are used to behaving like this. However, we the people take such acts of theirs lightly, rather comically, like our Punjabi saying that of course there was no mentioning of the trouser. But clearly, for us it is sheer dishonesty, lying in the face of the public, and betraying its trust on the part of these extraordinary souls.

One more example will suffice to stretch the argument to its conclusion. After 9/11 we the uninformed were on a spree of guessing and surmising and inferring how the dictatorial government of General Musharraf took the U turn that it from abetting the “terrorists,” started fighting them. It is also one of the strange ways of these extraordinary souls that they do not speak truth. They hold it back to be revealed at an opportune time. But when one is a dictator and law unto himself, he needs not wait for the opportune time; he himself chooses the time to serve him as an opportune moment. Other extraordinary souls keep these and such truths buried in their hearts and live in waiting till they are retired from their public office, and then write books and sell these truths and earn an extra penny. But General Musharraf at the height of his “public career” wrote these truths down in a book, published and launched it and earned millions of dollars. Apart from the controversy on this publication, we the ignoramuses found through this book what transpired between General Musharraf and America that forced Pakistan to take the infamous U turn.

This U turn was also such a truth. General Musharraf disclosed in his book that after 9/11 the then Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage rang him and threatened that ‘if Pakistan did not cooperate with US in the war against terror, they will bomb it into the Stone Age.’ And, lo Pakistan is still cooperating with the US. Was it such a ‘truth’ that must not have been told to the Pakistanis whose fate it was going to affect in the most adverse manner possible? But the extraordinary souls who rule us by virtue of being our elected representatives or as rulers imposed upon us by virtue of their might, they all distrust us who make the citizenry of this country.

We the powerless are always in dark, or kept in dark, how such significant decisions are made on our behalf and in our name and we are never told and taken into confidence. What an irony that such decisions are made the brunt of which only we and we the hapless have to bear! Those who take such decisions never take the responsibility of doing any thing and after playing havoc with our lives and properties, our rights and freedoms, our wishes and dreams, just leave the office and go home which is usually abroad and live in peace and happiness and that too at the expense our tax money.

These extraordinary souls say we the lowly people are short of intelligence and reason, and we should not be reposited with ‘state secrets.’ They declare such truths which they do not want to see the light of the day as “classified information.” They themselves are always free to do as they like or see fit to their benefit. Sure, if they distrust us, we do not trust them either. We know that they fool us and exploit us on such pretexts. We in the deepest of our hearts know these extraordinary souls, the politicians who rule us, to be the greatest liars. They laugh lies, weep lies, tell lies, eat lies, and spit lies all around them. It is for this reason that we desperately want a judiciary independent of such extraordinary souls’ machinations, a constitution the supremacy of which is beyond the reach of their vested interests, and rule of law in the eyes of which both these extraordinary souls and we ordinary mortals are equal and both have the security of their fundamental rights and freedoms. To this end we welcome all those extraordinary souls.

But we completely distrust all of those extraordinary souls who take dictations from their local or foreign masters, who do not give ears to the voice of their people, who do not keep us the people of Pakistan on top of their or their parties’ agenda, who instead bow down before the local or foreign masters and go begging to rule us Pakistanis. Why they do not realize that it is the people of Pakistan who give them power to rule over them? Then, why do they serve the local or foreign elites in their earnest, but not the people the masters of their fate?

It’s no fiction that had General Musharraf come to the people of Pakistan with the American threat in his hands, they would never have disappointed him even if he was a dictator. People of Pakistan would have liked to stand with him against America. They would have seen to it how they bomb their country to the Stone Age. But General Musharraf’s governing elite knew it was their war, not a war of the people of Pakistan, and that it was their sowing that they had to reap. Obviously, they never took the people into confidence before attempting any adventure, so they went for another the consequences of which we the innocent people are suffering to this day.

Now today it is the same game being played before us. We the ordinary souls are not able to see how it concerns the US that we should not reinstate our Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his fellow judges to their due position. If it endangers the US government’s favorite dictator of Pakistan from his Presidentship, why don’t they take him to US and use him to bulldoze their constitution and undermine their judiciary?

But we have no qualms against the US and its officials who are behaving like international goons. We want to know what roles our extraordinary souls are playing in this game. We want to be told what it is that they are negotiating with Negropontes and Bouchers behind closed doors and why don’t they tell us anything while all the things get leaked to the media in the form of rumors hearsay. Why don’t they take us into confidence? Or, otherwise we are justified in believing that they have their own concerns and interests to vouchsafe.

Our concern is confined to our leaders and their give and take only. It must confine to them alone. Why should we blame others, outsiders and foreign powers like those mothers who never see any fault in their child? It is simple and straightforward. If I lie to myself, deceive myself, harm myself, I am an enemy of myself. If our extraordinary souls cheat us, fool us, tell us white lies, and harm us, they are our enemies. Those local or foreign masters are not our enemies whose “orders” these extraordinary souls are always prepared to follow. I always argue, as in a local manner we say, if someone advises me to jump into a well, and if I act upon his advice, it’s me who is responsible, not the one who advised me.

If America advises our leaders and elected representatives not to restore our Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and they like an obedient servant say, ‘Yes, My Lord,’ we must not blame America. It is our local leaders and representatives who are to blame for betraying us. It is they who are our enemies.

It is more like a fact and repeatedly told by History also, that no people can be subjugated but with the clandestine support of such inside traitors who under the guise of loyalty to the people conspire with the foreign powers for personal power and gain.

So, we should not go for fighting against America or Britain or any such power. They are doing their politics and what is in their interest. The point of argument is that would America ever allow our diplomats to go in US and advise them to forcibly remove the Chief Justice of their Supreme Court and then not restore him even if the American people demand so. Would America allow our diplomats to advise them to do this and do that? Of course, America will, should we win some of their leaders to be our men in America?

Hence, who should be our target are our own leaders and representatives. It is they who sell their loyalties and betray the nation that gives them everything from respect to riches. This is where we differ with the Al-Qaeda sort of thinking and people. It is in addition to our commitment with the principle of non-aggression and non-initiation of force against anyone. But we have every right to protect our freedom from any usurper.

Also, it is evident that if there had been a relationship of mutual trust between us and our leaders, and if they were in the habit of taking us into confidence before making decisions fateful to the lot of us ordinary people, we would never let them go alone to the gallows like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and be assassinated callously like Benazir Bhutto. These extraordinary souls always betrayed the Pakistani people, and they were paid back in the same coin.

These extraordinary souls must learn a lesson now that if they have no heart for us, we the street lot have no heart for them either. It is in this context that we emphatically make it clear that we have no qualms against US government. We will never be cheated by those leaders who do anti-America politics. We know their anti-America slogans are a ploy to mislead us. They actually give a cover to the enemies within us. On the other hand, sure we have everything to do with our leaders and elected representatives who betray the cause of the people of Pakistan. We will never let them whisk with their booty. We will make them accountable.

But if they prove they are truly loyal to us and are always honest to us, no power on earth can conquer the will of us people. As a goodwill gesture towards this “homecoming,” they must first restore the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his fellow judges with full grace and honor. Then, they must restore the Constitution to its original state of October 12, 1999. Also, it must be seen that they have due regard for the Constitution and our fundamental rights ensured in it. The choice is up to them to make. It will determine their destiny. However, if they continue to pay heed to their local or foreign masters’ advice, and act against the will of the humiliated and insulted of Pakistan, they are the doomed enemies of the people of Pakistan. They have no future in a new Pakistan.

This article appeared in The Frontier Post on May 16, 2008.