‘Speak softly to the empire’

At a time when the tectonic plates of geopolitics are shifting every day, in unpredictable ways and at an alarming pace, our Prime Minister who is, and has been for all these recent years, our Foreign Minister as well, finally found time to visit his neglected ministry. The broad guidelines he issued to senior officials at the Foreign Office make one wish he’d stayed home.

Among other hackneyed instructions that hang in thin air today, Nawaz Sharif directed the Foreign Ministry to seek deeper engagement with the US. Hiding behind ‘peaceful-neighbourhood’ clichés, he asked the ministry officials to launch initiatives for improving ties with Afghanistan. Most importantly, he also advised them not to view the growing US-India ties as a threat to Pakistan. And he was not joking.

It’s not as if the Prime Minister decided to grace the ministry with a visit out of the blue. Just two days before the visit, the Foreign Ministry had issued a refreshingly strong statement in response to the Trump-Modi joint statement, terming it as ‘singularly unhelpful’ in achieving the objectives of strategic stability and durable peace in South Asia. Clearly, the visit was aimed at toning the Foreign Office down.

That’s actually the last thing we need to do in the given context. As the Trump-Modi summit in Washington and its various outcomes show, the US-India nexus of evil is growing stronger. They are determined to deepen their nefarious collaboration in Afghanistan aimed at destabilising its neighbours through terrorist proxies and they have decided to weave the false narrative on terrorism hand in hand. Here’s how it goes:

Pakistan is now a certified bad guy, either allowing terrorists to use its territory to attack Afghanistan and Indian Occupied Kashmir, or actually sponsoring them. The US is the unquestioned leader of the good guys which include Israel, India and Saudi Arabia. Along with other NATO and non-NATO allies-cum-vassals, the good guys are supposed to be leading the global war against terrorists. Can you imagine?

Cornered thus, Pakistan will have to articulate its position boldly and loudly, and that is what the Foreign Office statement had done quite well. Here are a few extracts from the Foreign Ministry statement that rebuked pointed assertions of the Trump-Modi joint statement against Pakistan and boldly defended the right of Kashmiris to fight for their freedom:

“Any attempt to equate the peaceful indigenous Kashmiri struggle with terrorism, and to designate individuals supporting the right to self-determination as terrorists, is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable is the wilful disregard of the atrocities being committed by Indian security forces against innocent Kashmiri civilians....”

“Regrettably those who seek to appropriate a leadership role in the fight against terror are themselves responsible for much of the terror unleashed in recent years in Pakistan. India has supported the Tehrik-i-Taliban as a proxy against Pakistan from across the border. India’s culpability in creating this further source of regional insecurity cannot be ignored…”

The statement was refreshing to say the least. The Foreign Office should have added a few words about the role of Uncle Sam and his CIA goons in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan as well. After all, Raymond Davis did not tell all. He did not say anything about his links with terrorists or the fact that hundreds of intelligence operatives and private security contractors were sent back to the US as bargain for his release.

The Foreign Office should have spoken about the war-lords, drug-lords and terrorists the CIA partners with, not only in Afghanistan but all over the globe. But that is too much to expect from our Foreign Office. What it did manage to say would have been good enough for now. In it were traces of the tone for a Pakistani narrative, a narrative that is as good as formed but is taking too long to be articulated at the official level.

This is hardly surprising. To be truthful, the Pakistani narrative will have to be essentially anti-imperialist, and those in charge of our destiny are obviously not ready for taking on the empire. How could they? They work for it. They depend on their imperial masters for so many things. Most importantly, what would they do without the billions of borrowed dollars they need to pay their fat bills?

It’s a pity that in a rapidly-changing world where the tyranny of the Dollar-god is ending, those who lead us still worship it and believe in it like believers believe in God. An economy without dollars is not only possible, it is already emerging right at our doorstep. China, Russia, Iran and several other countries are bypassing the dollar to trade in their own currencies. This is a sin for our leaders.

It is beyond them to even imagine a life without the blessings of the fraudulent Dollar-god. They only know how to function with the support and within the guidelines of dollar-based imperial financial institutions. And though the opportunity to break out of this financial dependence is knocking at our door, they are not prepared to take that leap. They don’t have the vision or the will. They don’t even have the desire.

Little surprise then that our two-in-one Prime Minister-Foreign Minister rushed to the Foreign Office to hush up the seminal tones of an independent Pakistani narrative that had emerged in its statement on Modi-Trump summit and Kashmir. Nawaz Sharif was there to rein in the narrative and confine it within a framework that doesn’t challenge the lies of the empire and its crooked partners.

So there he was, urging senior ministry officials to deepen engagement with the US that is clearly out to get us, to waste their time launching initiatives to improve ties with the puppet government in Afghanistan that has no power to decide about what goes on in the occupied country and to disregard the obvious danger that a growing US-India partnership entails for Pakistan.

Interestingly, he was accompanied by the Finance Minister who had been brought along most probably to lecture the ministry officials on the importance of borrowed dollars for Pakistan’s survival and to tutor them on subservience to the empire.

The writer is a freelance columnist.


The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be contacted at hazirjalees@hotmail.com

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