Written By : Bakhtiar Hakeem
This article was written in May 2005.


Governments will come and go. And history will be ruthless with us, lets be sure. And if we Pakistanis are fortunate enough to emerge as one piece as a political entity at the end of this make-shift civil-military enlightened arrangement then let us use this breathing space to count the fruits of U-turn. The about-turn we took on Afghanistan in year 2001. I have collected some of these fruits. Take these please.

The most striking, pinching and the icon of what all we have messed up after the fall of two buildings in America is the Cartoon; the cartoon published by Washington Post. It is especially insulting for those who believe in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as the manifestation of ideology of Islam; and for those some who still believe we are muslims first and then any thing else. In this cartoon an American marine or a GI is standing in his battle dress. His loyal dog brings to him the catch. And he pats the dog on head for his good deed. The catch is hanging from the dog’s mouth. And it is Mujahid Abu Farraj. And can you bear with it, what is written on the dog! I simply cannot re-write or reproduce. It is the name of my beloved country.

Sorry mujahideen of Reshmi Roomal Tehrik, sorry mujahideen of Roti Tehrik we were not what we have become in these five years. We were known by your names and deeds. Sorry mujahideen of Bala Kot, we are  ashamed of you Shah Wali Ullah. Shah Ismail Shaheed forgive us, please. Johar brothers we were to be known by your struggle and efforts of Khilafat Movement. Our past was studded with Jalianwala Bagh, the Chura Chori incidence, and the incidence of British troops firing on Khaksar procession on 18th or 19th of March 1940 at Lahore. We were never known to be the loyal dogs hunting for white sahib. This Cartoon was fruit number one, of course last in the chronological order.

Fruit number two, is the ever depleting sovereignty and independence within the country. Soon after September 2001, postings of many, say score of Pakistani officers was dictated by US coercive tools. One of these was our defense attaché in Kabul as well. At one point of time General Moeinud Din Haider was not allowed to land at Jacobabad Airport. Gen Moein was than Interior Minister, however, Americans were occupying the Base. NGO and foreign bodies and some dignitaries have been allowed access to middle in our internal affairs. International Crisis Group (ICG) is allowed to function here, howsoever, is their agenda biased against our interests and policies. Miss Angelina had the courage to give statements against the official stand point of Pakistan. The issue was rehabilitation of Afghan refugees. Why should she be worried?

Fruit number three is the ever-expanding influence of India in Afghanistan. More than thirty offices of RAW operate close to our western border. More than sixty sites, camps and basis are assisting and training members of BLA in Afghanistan. Our U-turn on Afghanistan has been a boon for India, our erstwhile enemy; whether number 1, 2, or 3, it is difficult to state now.

Fruit number four has been Indian PM’s clear pronouncement that the map of sub-continent can not be re-drawn. President and his mouth-pieces, keep hinting towards track two policy and its progress. Who is winning and who is losing, it is all mystery so far. Dear brethren let us hope for the best.

Fruit number five is again India specific. India is making progress on CBMs, for sure. We have progressed well beyond basant business, into applying and advertising for marriage proposals across the border. Lahore-Amritsar bus may soon be a reality and so will be import of some six hundred items from India. However, any material progress on Kashmir or Sir Greek, is a taboo. While Kashmir is an issue of right of self determination Sir Creek is only a trivial matter of delineation of shores.  We are approaching towards cultural inundation but allowing the drying up of our Chenab and Jhelum.

Fruit number six is alienation of Iran; our one time strategic depth. Today Iran is clearly closer to India as compared to us. Gwadar is one sour icon of the problems, however, the distrust and apprehension about our role as a neighbor is deep seated in our U-turn on Afghanistan. 

Fruit number seven is the defense oriented closeness and nexus between US and India. Look at the differential sale of armory and other platforms of weapon to India as compared to us. In this particular scenario US is not the only partner, Israel is another very close associate of India.  And is there any one in Pakistan who is in doubt about sincerity of US and Israel towards muslims in general and Pakistan in particular?

Fruit number eight is the jigsaw puzzle of safety, security and writ of federal government in Gilgit followed by Dera Bugti. Even the front-line government led by American friendly fauj  is in a spin as to who is behind it and how much is the share of each partner. Chinese influence in Gwadar goes against the interest of both India and US. Not only that even Iran is unhappy.  We have yet to crystallize what is the grand scheme. How strong is BLA, some guess works put it at over two thousand and below two thousand five hundred. This is one naughty  boy, still a baby, of our U-turn. But baby, is growing fast and kicking legs.

Fruit number nine and last in the list of this article is the lack of re-establishment of a legitimate civilian rule in the Country. Uniform serves them well,  damn be the dam o cracy; them, the cartoon makers and think tanks at Brooklyn Institute.  Part time Prime ministers and well behaved technocrats provide for make-do arrangements, may be very efficient in short term scenario.  Forex reserve is often quoted as the yard stick to measure the results produced by the current government. Mr. Shaukat Aziz how do you view this cartoon? However, in the absence of a living, and assertive house of parliament such jokes can become the real yard stick, like Ch. Shujjat,  the ex PM was extremely proud to have completed his tenure as a PM.

I could easily include the current fate of our nuclear program coupled with Dr Khan’s predicament. However, to conclude, I will accommodate those who insist to disagree on all these nine or ten to be the fruits of U-turn. Do they accept some of these? Say first second, fourth, sixth, ninth and tenth? I hope the worthy readers will come to terms on this given and take.