‘Pakistan being put through degrading routine’

December 12th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 12 (IANS) Pakistan is being put through a “degrading routine” in the aftermath of the Mumbai blasts but is left with little choice as it cannot “stand up” to the US and India, a noted political commentator said Friday.Writing in The News, noted political commentator Ayaz Amir also contended “it may be time to bid a final farewell to the diplomacy of jihad” as “times have changed” and “adventures once affordable are no longer so”.

“There should be no doubt about it, Pakistan is being put through a degrading routine - one not exactly calculated to promote national pride,” Amir maintained.

The article was headlined “Degrading…but do we have a choice?”

He also castigated the government for “acting in a manner which substantiates the accusations the Indian government, and a very shrill Indian media”, were hurling at Pakistan.

“In other words, our actions are making us look like criminals,” Amir maintained.

The comment came two days after the UN Security Council, acting on a request from the US and India declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group.

India blames the LeT for the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks and the Dec 13, 2001, assault on its parliament complex.

Soon after the UN action, Pakistani authorities sealed JuD offices and arrested its leaders, including Hafeez Saeed, who heads both the JuD and the LeT.

Did Pakistan have a choice in taking the action it took and, more importantly: “Do we have that in us which would make us stand up to American and Indian pressure?” Amir asked.

“Honestly, I don’t think so,” he maintained.

In this context, Amir noted that nuclear-armed Pakistan with the fifth or sixth largest army in the world “is not as plucky” as tiny-by-comparison Lebanon.

“There is nothing in Pakistan, not even the jihadi organisations like the Lashkar dedicated to vague causes, to compare with the courage and organisation of Hizbollah. And there is no leader in Pakistan, or indeed across the embattled world of Islam - a religion which we disgrace by our incompetence and cowardice - to match (Hizbollah chief) Hasan Nasrullah,” Amir wrote.

“So, with what weapons in our armoury can we stand up to America and India?” the writer wondered.

Amir also thought that “national dignity” was a term Pakistan “should stop using” as it had lost “what dignity it had” when (then president) General Pervez Musharraf handed over the Taliban ambassador, Mullah Muhammad Zaeef, duly accredited to Pakistan and therefore protected under international law, to the Americans when they attacked Afghanistan.

This apart, Pakistan’s “poor circumstances” (or empty coffers) left it “with little choice except to make appeasing and soothing gestures, hoping that the clouds above will somehow dissipate and all that we are presently facing somehow passes.”

“From which the slow conclusion emerges that it may be time to bid a final farewell to the diplomacy of jihad,” Amir wrote.

This was because “times have changed. Adventures once affordable are no longer so. What was doable 10, 15 years ago is now hazardous business, the international terrain having changed after 9/11″, he noted.

Amir, however, concluded on an upbeat note.

“In a way, therefore, if the proper lessons are drawn, Mumbai, a terrible event for India, may turn out to be a blessing for Pakistan, helping to concentrate Pakistani minds and enabling Pakistan to take the turning that otherwise it might not have taken so soon,” he maintained.

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