Tucked away in a lengthy August 25 press report on the fourth visit paid by the president to China is the most cheerful news to come to us for a while. Exactly why Asif Ali Zardari has found it convenient to pay four visits to outlying areas of China in less than a year spent in the presidency is not clear, though of course many surmises come to mind. What does bring us good cheer is that China and Pakistan will be collaborating on the breeding, in Pakistan, of ornamental fish. We will be supplied with technology for diagnosing and controlling their diseases. There will be visits by experts in the field, plus the inevitable holding of seminars and workshops - progress indeed. Gold and silver fish, and bearded beauties notwithstanding, the bad news delivered a day after the good is that the other 'friends' of Pakistan know what we and those that control our finances are all about. They all may have pledged USD 5.7 billion way back in April, but we have yet to see one shining dollar as they want to know the details of just where the money will go. Just how will we be able to convince our 'friends' that even a fraction of the expected funds will be spent on the good of the beloved awam, to relieve their sufferings and stress? They won't be able to, because the 'friends' know them too well. The past is not another country when it comes to the doling out of hard cash. The puzzling news, surfacing at the same time, is the resurrection of issues relating to the 1992 Operation Clean Up in Sindh, and the 1990 ISI operation whereby government funds were doled out to politicians to create the IJI and keep Benazir at bay. Who prompted the retired Lt General Nasir Akhtar and Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmed of the murky background to appear on one of the interminable television talk shows to 'clear' the MQM and indict the then government of Nawaz Sharif, in the alleged 1992 Jinnahpur affair and the operation conducted in Sindh to crackdown on terrorist activities? It was not a question of two great minds thinking alike. They were put up to it - by whom? Why is not too difficult to figure out. Mian Sahib of Raiwind was the target and he reacted in typical style. His spokesman, Ahsan Iqbal, immediately retaliated the MQM chief in London who had suggested that a truth and reconciliation commission be set up. Iqbal's contention was that the army chief had conducted the operation against the MQM without the knowledge of the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. This is akin to the Kargil issue when Mian Sahib pleaded that COAS General Pervez Musharraf had proceeded on his own without Sharif's knowledge or permission. Nawaz Sharif is making a habit of not knowing what it going on under his watch. If he was ignorant of the 1992 Operation Clean Up, as he says against all evidence, and of the 1999 Kargil fiasco, then he should not have been where he was on both occasions. Is the PML-N being led into a trap? Its leader should be careful. In May 1992, Prime Minister Sharif presided over a meeting at GHQ at which were present, inter alia, Sindh Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Home Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, COAS Asif Nawaz, Commander V Corps Lt General Nasir Akhtar. The PM was briefed and approved a Sindh-wide campaign against militants of all breeds, who were making hay with the law and order situation, to which the army was to give logistical support. Operation Clean Up (Operation Blue Fox) was launched that same month, and the successor PPP government of Benazir Bhutto continued it in 1993. All politicians suffer from convenient selective amnesia, and the media are either too inept or too lazy to track down facts. By any chance, did the PM tell the COAS at that meeting not to launch the operation? There must have been minutes kept. Or did he at any time after the launch order that it be halted? Has he ever before disavowed the operation? The nature of the operation and the wisdom of launching it may well be questioned, but it cannot be disowned after approval had been given. It is universally agreed that at this time we need to build bridges inside Pakistan to keep the democratic system afloat, rather than instigate disputes, fight old battles and further recast history to suit intent. What, or whom, similarly prompted the former chief justice of Pakistan, Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, a frequent visitor to all our channels, to suddenly bring up the old story of the ISI distribution of funds to 'fix' the 1990 election? This matter has been written about at length and is the subject of a human rights petition which was last heard one day prior to Musharraf's 1999 takeover. Is it still alive? Can it be taken up by our Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry? The names of politicians who still grace our political scene are on the list of takers. Two resurrections within one week Coincidence or intent? The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: jilani.amina@gmail.com