On the course of retributions

Published Jul 22, 2011 11:24am

In this May 2007 photo Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director of the Kashmiri American Council addresses a news conference in Muzaffarabad, Kashmir. – AP Photo

The arrest of Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, and arrest warrant of a Pakistani national, Zaheer Ahmad, may appear as isolated legal actions of the US government against its citizens for unauthorised lobbying for Pakistan. However, scratch below the surface and it becomes clear that this is just the beginning of the US retribution against Pakistani actions.

The matter has been brewing and coming to the boiling point since Raymond Davis’ arrest and then jailing of those who helped the US in nabbing Osama bin Laden. In recent days, the US media has been reporting that the US is pressuring Pakistan for the releasing of Dr Shakil Afridi who was reported to be arrested for undertaking a fake vaccination campaign to get blood samples of bin Laden’s kids for DNA match.

Every Washington circle that had anything to do with Pak-American-Kashmir affairs was well aware of Dr Fai’s activities in the community, think tanks and on lobbying with Congress and Senate members. Most activists among the Pakistani-American community have been speculating about Dr Fai’s connection with Pakistani government and/or Inter Services Agency (ISI). Therefore, the allegation of having received about four million dollars from Pakistan and making over four thousand phone calls to his alleged handlers from ISI will not be totally perceived as concocted charges even among Pakistani expatriates. Pakistan embassy’s claim that Dr Fai is not a Pakistani citizen—he came from India and sought amnesty in the US—is not going to lessen the impact of such a damaging development.

Dr Fai’s activities on the Capital Hill and his arrangements of large and expensive conferences involving key people from Pakistan and India were quite open. It can be safely assumed that he was giving heart burns to Indian diplomats and lobbyists and they must have been pressurising the US government to rein him in. However, the US had chosen to look the other way for a decade and never bothered with his activities. But, now the parameters have changed. Probably because the US wants to send the message that it has some options to retaliate in Pakistani style as well.

It is well known that Pakistan has its own human intelligence assets in the US. Of course such assets must be a fraction of what a sole world superpower, the US, would have in Pakistan. The US financial power to buy human assets in Pakistan, Europe and from the rest of the world cannot be matched by a poor developing country. Nonetheless, the party with meager resources gets hurt more when mutual retributions occur.

Before Dr Fai’s arrest Washington’s diplomatic circles were subtly pointing out for such retribution. According to very reliable sources, the US side was arguing with Pakistani diplomats that millions of Pakistani-Americans live in America—some of them are Green Card Holders and technically, Pakistani nationals—and the US issues hundreds of thousands of student, visiting, business and work visas to Pakistanis while Pakistan is raising questions about a few hundred visas.

A thinly veiled threat is that if Pakistan continues restricting movements of its diplomats and citizens, the US can do the same putting Pakistani diplomats’ work in jeopardy and creating problems for visitors. Technically, the US can cancel Green Cards on very flimsy grounds, through finding any trivial fault with application process, and send thousands of Pakistanis back home. It is not very likely to happen but if things get too far it is not out of question either.

If the US expands the scope of retributions the diplomatic make-up of staff at Pakistani embassy may change as well. Pakistan may not be able to appoint ranking officials from intelligence agencies as ‘head of community affairs’ or under other such covers. The set of military mission in the embassy may be realigned as well. Most of all, the US agencies, particularly tax authorities, can be used to scare prosperous Pakistanis, mostly physicians, who hold fund raisers for the US lawmakers and arrange their meeting with Pakistani diplomats and incoming Pakistani officials. Such moves will certainly hamper little efforts Pakistani-Americans make to provide bridge between the two countries.

If the negative perception of Pakistan further deepens, the US may not be able to use drones in Pak-Afghan border areas but it will hit Pakistan’s financial system with stealth bombers. Besides stopping the financial aid, the US can harm Pakistan’s foreign currency earnings by creating difficulties for transmitting the remittances of Pakistani expatriates. Presently, Pakistani expatriates contribute a significant portion of foreign remittances of Pakistan. Furthermore, it can issue guidance to donor agencies, European partners and other private financial institution to hold back on financial transfers to Pakistan.

A sketch of broad possible scenarios of US retribution--been started with Dr Fai’s arrest--is not to scare the new found patriotism in Islamabad. Patriotic feelings are very noble, worthy and respectable but one should know the cost as well. Before throwing stones at others while sitting in the glass houses, one should have thick tall walls to protect oneself. Are Islamabad and GHQ ready to build such walls if the US process of retributions expands? Does not seem like it.

Dr Manzur Ejaz is a poet, author, a political commentator and a cultural activist. He is a Doctor of Economics and currently lives in Washington DC.

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Comments (60) (Closed)


Peter
Jul 22, 2011 05:16pm
Too bad, the learned doctor decided to write an article that is primarily meant to put Pakistan under pressure. There is no doubt that the US can punish the Pakistani intelligence operators in the US but going after the folks who have permanent residency in the US would start a protracted legal battle in the US court system. This kind of fear mongering is not expected from the expats. Pitiful.
waseem
Jul 22, 2011 05:30pm
Although its very subtle but the writer seem to be more inclined towards US than towards Pakistan. While defending US policy outrightly like a true patriot, he could not hide the venum against Pakistan. How else can one justify action against a peacful lobbyist as a retribution for an arrest of a killed like Rymond Davis who killed Pakistanis in broad day light. What the writer is suggesting is for Pakistan to surrender all its soverignity to US without any question and never raise an eyebrow no matter what US does with Pakistanis and Pakistan. I would rather die honourablly than accepting such terms for a life.
Muhammad Ahmed
Jul 22, 2011 05:34pm
The sad part about this article is that it gives a dark scenario of things to happen but it seems to forget some basic realities about Pakistan. Islamabad and GHQ may have their ambitions and inhibitions which direct them to act like this but in terms of how bad it really gets for a local pakistani citizen is rarely presented. The fact is that it might get really bad and probably worse for many Pakistanis since our quotas can also be reduced, our trade concessions can be eliminated and probably we may end up receiving sanctions with something along the lines of Pressler Amendment. It might really dry our economy and we may not end up receiving any aid from China and Saudi Arabia as well. We may go bankrupt and may even loose any assistance from IMF. So what happens after that? Surprisingly, things might really start improving after that. You can call me insane for imaging this but think about it. We have 180 million people. We have plenty of resources but criminal mis management. People might start devising ways of making this country better if they won't be able to escape anywhere else. We might start focusing on revising our structure and working setup. People will start depending on each other as countrymen which is really needed in Pakistan. We may end up having Tahrir Square demonstrations because people will want reform. I think we have seen enough of Gora Sahab and Bhora Sahab (This sahab has the heart of gora sahab and phenotype like us). Its time to get up and really face the mess we are in rather than putting these temporary band aids which really do not solve anything. I see a nationa going into abyss and then emerging out slowly at a pace which is acceptable to its own people. Lets hope it happens and we really get out of this entanglement of foreign aids disease. It may finally bring us down to earth and then make us rise to the level where we can sustain ourselves on the world map without intrigues of major super powers.
Khan
Jul 22, 2011 05:38pm
Patriotic feelings are very noble, worthy and respectable but one should know the cost as well. I cant beleive that the time has come when we have to read or hear somethng...we have been so programmed to think that we cant survive without this "worthless"aid;which as a matter of fAct is like peAnuts...we are now as a nation being progmmed to belive that if we say no to U.S.A to carry out illelgal operations inside our frontiers then we are headed for certain doom.... This is not the case for god sake....why dont we understand that america wants us as badly as we need it..as a matter of fact more badly...i am not one of those crazy twisted pakistanis who say thAt declare war on them or raise slogans like Crush America etc but still we can a find a way to safeguard our sovereignity and say a firm no whenever reequired... Reading thAt patriorism has a value has hurt me..infact i thinkmits ironic..do i have to start qouting the historical events which prove that feelings like love For your mother and partiotism are priceless..
Selina
Jul 22, 2011 05:52pm
Really interesting article. I hadn't considered Dr. Fai's arrest as retribution although his lobbying can hardly be compared to contributing to the development of fake vaccination drives in one of the worlds last remaining polio infected countries, killing civilians whilst not being a diplomat and aiding in an operation (even despite the target) which technically did breach Pakistan's borders and could have sparked off a nuclear holocaust with its neighbour that would have been unacceptable for the majority of nations. A visa for a genuine student (plenty of checks) is hardly comparable to a visa for a likely spy. To arrest this man, who has never been on the run from authorities, and is a US citizen, well known by everybody having been a lobbyist for decades and brand him as a Pakistani 'agent' to earn (as I see it) extra brownie points with India is really incredible, and to top it off, less that two weeks after the US president hosted the Dalai Lama. India's economic trajectory deserves praise and of course the US would want to strengthen its relationship with that country but to come down on the side of the substantive aggressor in Kashmir with this arrest (and that's how it comes across even if they argue it was for retribution) does a huge amount to hurt the US's reputation of standing (at least publicly) with the oppressed peoples of this world and absolutely legitimises brutal Indian rule in that region. Shame. He's not pushing the interests of a Pakistani bank, he's stopping the massive injustice of Kashmir from becoming a forgotten cause. Although I agree with the writer, Pakistan is in a far weaker position than the US (which some US lawmakers and journalists and politicians don't seem to have realised) and needs leaders who are willing when necessary to swallow their pride and take steps to protect the countries bigger concerns; its citizens. The beginnings to the end of destabilisation is not going to come until the draw down is complete and they need to think long term.
Jai Lal Kishan Khosl
Jul 22, 2011 05:58pm
Many years ago in New York I attended a meeting where Fai was one of the speakers. I belive it was the Asiatic Society. During the question hour someone asked Fai if he thought UN resolutions on Kashmir are mandatory. His response was that all UN resolutions are mandatory. the questioner then followed up by asking if that meant Fai supported the UN Resolution that led to the creation of Israel. Fai got very upset and accused the questioner of trying to trap him, Fai was obviously trying not to upset his ISI and Arab financiers. The questioner then persisted and asked Fai about how much money he was getting from Pakistan. Fai again tried to dodge the issue. There should be not doubt that he was and is a Pakistani agent and that he was biting the hand theat fed him when he was a student, that is India.
Raoul
Jul 22, 2011 06:01pm
GHQ - whether they like it or not - are going to be squeezed now most as the economic mess engulfs sector after sector in Pakistan. The funds for their wherewithal, CAN continue to flow from the US, PROVIDED they understand their place in the scheme of things, quickly. Eating Grass is all very well as a commandment for Patriotism, but will lead to sundering of the nation as we know it in just a decade or less if the economic glue is quickly not arranged/revived/improved thru in house better governance and focus on money on awaam as against army.
Disney Boy
Jul 22, 2011 06:13pm
Dr. Manzur Ejaz is right on the dot on all the options the US has. The GreenCard-Holders can be deported if they commit any crime including the misuse of social services like Medicaid etc.. The Pakistani Americans need to decide where there sympathies and loyalty lie. It is not only the US government, but also the people of the the US, they have been antagonizing by there actions and 'inactions'. There was a tremendous spontaneous populous out-pour of relief and jubilation in the whole of the US at the death of OBL. However, not even one solitary Pakistani American religious, political, social, professional, trade, media organization or group exhibited any satisfaction or pleasure that the person who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents, including Muslims, around the world was no more.... We cannot have it both ways forever.
Rohit
Jul 22, 2011 06:19pm
I welcome action againt Mr Fai. It was long overdue.I hope Pakistanis learn from this, and instead of trying to harm India, do something good for Pakistan.
A Shah
Jul 22, 2011 06:28pm
It is clear the international community doesn't care about the Kashmir cause and we Pakistani's have to stop our obsession with trying to bring down India and instead need to focus on building ourselves up. If our ISI is so great then how come we have the world’s biggest begging bowl and are known as the world’s terrorist epicentre. I think it is high time we give up our 'Strategic Assets' and start to build our country rather than trying to bring down the growing super power next door!
Najamuddin
Jul 22, 2011 06:28pm
Sir there is a war going on between the agencies and in war retributions are only part of the game...the pakistanis are ready and so are the americans...are the pakistani americans ready???
afterthought
Jul 22, 2011 06:30pm
Pakistan should seriously organise workshops all over Pakistan to take stock. Why do they want Kashmir? and How? Even if there is independence, Kashmiris will not get all of Kashmir, (let alone Laddakh and Jammu) to themselves even in the most optimistic scenario. If they do manage get some land a separate state, Kashmiris don't want to merge with their land with Pakistan. And the world will not permit a genocide like Bangladesh. They can not fight with India and take away Kashmir. So, let the Kashmiris settle it themselves. Pls don't burn own house just to burst a cracker in neighbour's house.
vasan
Jul 22, 2011 06:44pm
In these columns that say the USA has launched 'retributions' against Pakistan, there is too much speculation about grand US intentions and too little knowledge of how the US justice system works. It takes years for a case to be constructed against 'known' offenders. In this case the Department of Justice agents started looking into Dr. Fai only when a convicted felon made a plea bargain and offered to expose Dr. Fai's activities. The DOJ gathered evidence based on the leads provided by him over many years and finally when they had enough proof, they arrested Dr. Fai. I suspect the FBI agents who investigated Dr. Fai were neither pro nor anti Kashmir. In fact they may not even know what the whole fuss is about. All they knew was that Dr. Fai was taking millions from a foreign government source and giving it to US Congressmen. If instead of the Pakistani government he had been taking money from the Swedish Government, the result would have been the same. But all this is lost to to people who think the the DOJ just went and arrested him because the relationship between the US and Pakistan have deteriorated. The IRS started taking serious action against Indians who have undeclared assets in foreign banks. This did not happen all of a sudden either. Two months ago they were able to successfully convict a US citizen of Indian origin who had undeclared assets in Indian banks. In fact, there is an even bigger case for those who may want to indulge in conspiracy theories. Last month a huge SEC(Stock Exchange Commission) investigation led to the arrest of a man of Sri Lankan origin who had made billions in illegal trading. He was aided and abetted by many prominent Indians who also benefited from the illegal trades. Was this a 'retribution' against India? Hardly.
Bangash
Jul 22, 2011 07:10pm
An excellent article. With India and domestic terrorists already opposing Pakistan at every turn, GHQ should not be seeking a new enemy in the US. The policy of "strategic depth" has been a complete failure and needs to be jettisoned.
Forbidden Fruit
Jul 22, 2011 07:38pm
If only the glasshouse colonizers were as savvy as our columnists. Sir I reckon they would take your suggestion of thick, tall, fortified walls quite literally!
Rajendra M. Parikh
Jul 22, 2011 07:41pm
Dear readers, It is unfortunate that Mr. Nabi is holding an Indian passport that is why it took so long to arrest him. It the time that free ride time is over for Pakistan. Pakistan should realize there are more important problems country is facing than Kashmir, Self dissemination for Kashmiri people is very loose argument. How many elections have been held in POK for that matter.Kashmir is a lost cause for Pakistan and they should divert their energy to solve other problems. Harping oa same issue does not make any sense on any international event to raise K word. Thanks Rajendra M. Parikh Arlington, Texas USA
Abdul Aziz
Jul 22, 2011 07:44pm
The struggle for Kashmir cost us East pakistan and it seems the strategic depth in Afghanistan will cost us Kashmir and more isolation in the international community.
Usman
Jul 22, 2011 08:14pm
It's funny how writer fears cancellation of green cards as a retribution, he is a true Pakistani.
Noman
Jul 22, 2011 08:21pm
Anything is possible by Uncle Sam. I live in USA. I am a US citizen and yet I get treated as a second class citizen. Uncle Sam can get away with murder if they want to. Oh wait, they already do.
XXX
Jul 22, 2011 08:50pm
Peter, I am not sure of you know USCIS procedures...but anyone who has gone through the process knows the amount of ways the USCIS can make your life hell if they so choose. Legal fights are all well and good but for the typical middle class immigrant..they are too expensive.
Common Pakistani
Jul 22, 2011 08:59pm
Israeli Groups have always been involved in Lobbying against Middle East............Did anybody bother Catching them ? Retired Indian Army officers in U.S have always been lobbying for India against China and Pakistan , Did any body bother them ?
Wasit
Jul 22, 2011 09:23pm
The author is being paranoid. There is no danger of deportation to bulk of the green card holders who are just doing their honest job and are busy raising their children. Some community leaders who were active in raising funds or were otherwise supporting Dr Fai's committee might get into trouble though since their names must have been seized when Dr Fai was arrested. It is reckless of ISI to post its officers as Community Liaison Officers in our Embassy in Washington and use them to organise the Pakistani Americans to help Pakistani causes and worse still in spying. It is very risky to use at least the green card holders in this way. Dr Fai had been warned by IRS several times. He should have taken it seriously and at the minimum curtailed his lavish lifestyle not supported by any legitimate source of income.
sudhir
Jul 22, 2011 09:26pm
are the pakistani americans ready for deportations from USA
Usman Malik
Jul 22, 2011 09:54pm
You might find it as a news but Pakistani Occupied Kashmir has an independent Government with regular elections. Use Wiki :)
Usman Malik
Jul 22, 2011 10:01pm
Maybe we are not looking at the timing of the things. Fai gets arrested when Mrs Clinton is in India and is urging them to look "East" and use them as a counter weight against China in the region. She was also telling them there to work on Human Rights thing in Myanmar pretty interesting given she overlooked the Indian record in Kashmir and rest of the states. This arrest I believe was more aimed at assuring India that you have our blank cheque just stick with us. Pakistan needs to understand now before it is too late that this is a world where economic interests overlap everything else. We cannot be baggers and choosers in the same go! As for Kashmir with Fai down, we have almost lost it in States. Wonder if MI5 is snooping around Galloway now!
Pankaj
Jul 22, 2011 10:05pm
OK........ please...
Abrahim Chikna
Jul 22, 2011 10:16pm
We are losing perspective. There is injustice in Kashmir and for that matter even so called Azad Kashmir. 400K native kashmiris whome we call Pandits are refugee in Jammu and in Delhi. Scores of them were raped and killed in 80s and 90s. Kashmir is losing its own culture, language and native spirituality. Same thing happened to our Punjab. Punjabis are settled in Azad Kashmir. No wonder there is no support to Kashmir struggle in Azad Kashmir. It seems Kashmir struggle has been run and managed from London and DC. Poor Kashmiris are suffering becuase of that. For that matter whole Pakistan is being managed from London and DC. No wonder our all PMs and Presidents come from London or Dc and retire to Londoon.
Noor
Jul 22, 2011 10:16pm
i agree, absolutely spot on, sir.
Optimist
Jul 22, 2011 10:18pm
Dr Manzur Ejaz, very eloquently, is asking Pakistan to surrender before United States. If Pakistan falls for the American promises, these very columnists write against the leaders for not showing the guts to stand against US and if they show the guts, they ask them to surrender.
Anil Mishra
Jul 22, 2011 10:29pm
I wish elite and ruling class of Pakistan had same feeling as you. You are absolutely right in terms of standing on ones own feet. The day Pakistan will start focusing inward for the solutions it will also have it's priorities set. Pakistan will focus on Education, Health, economy and other improtant things for becoming self-sufficient. Pakistan will be known as a responsible and viable country not the epi-center of terrorism as it's known today. Once Pakistan will build a solid growth path then it will never would like to be deviated from that path. Young people will be inspire by innovation and entrepreneurship rather than going to fight for Kashmir or Islamic Jihad. As in India, there are people who get excited when there is a terrorist attack and start talking about taking revenge etc., but I am sure one thinking that stop them is future. Wars and fightings never bring lasting peace, but economic prosperity and equal opportunities do. Pakistan needs a revolution that is by Pakistani and for Pakistan not for Kashmir.
Paul
Jul 22, 2011 10:54pm
I think Americans are willing to work with Pakistan but the ball is in Pakistan's court. If they want to tit for tat, then we will continue down this path. How about a gesture of good will by Pakistan and invite Americans to hunt militants together.
BRR
Jul 22, 2011 11:21pm
I think the writer, and most readers, missed the point entirely. The charges against Dr. Fai is NOT that he is a spy, or that he represented the Pakistani ISI view, the charges are that he a) DID not register as a lobbyist - you cannot lobby without leting people know that you are, b) that he dispensed money from a foreign government (the ISI) without registering as a lobbyist and letting people know he was representing a foreign government (which is not illegal, as long as you declare it). Thus, Fai had been lying about his funding - by not declaring sources and not declaring his intentions and spending of such money. Even American citizens (several lobbyists) get into trouble for this are are often prosecuted. I am sad how ignorant the writer seems to be, as he should have known better. His other opinions / contentions of disputes between the US and Pakistan seem fair game for criticism, and I will not address that.
Saad
Jul 22, 2011 11:26pm
We would be glad to welcome our fellow 'trained' Pakistani physicians, surgeons, doctors, laborers and administrators back to our homeland.
Jawwad
Jul 22, 2011 11:41pm
So did Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah bit the hand the fed them? That is BRITISH RAJ India? You are implying people in the state of Kashmir are committing treason for asking for freedom both from India and Pakistan?
Vorshal
Jul 23, 2011 12:47am
I agree with your assessment of the article which I personally find very well compiled and enlightening. In my view, it is a must read for those in the Pakistani establishment who went in the mechanical denial mode as a response to the news. Some introspection is needed for we cannot feel fool all the people all the time! Sir, I cannot help but see your love for India. Sometime, do write about it too to clear the air!
Siva
Jul 23, 2011 12:54am
Its not the war my friend...Please wake up.Its the question of Pakistan's existence....You guys need to fix your house soon.
Tarun Vedi
Jul 23, 2011 01:11am
Let the truth be prevailed, USA legal system is one of the most trust worthy system in the world. If Mr.Faiz has nothing to hide he will be free in no time. If he is culprit believe me, he will be far better in prison in states then in any other jail of Asian country. One cannot dodge the law for ever, one day the truth will come out. So this is his chance to come out clean.
Azad
Jul 23, 2011 01:19am
Well said.
HAFIZ RASHEED
Jul 23, 2011 01:24am
I side with the author. Pakistan people and the govt. need to focus on nation building rather making new enemies.Modern world valuate a country looking at the size of their economy. it is high time for PAK to bring new financial reforms. It is always sad to see our neighbor fails. it is a fact that war on the economy is more vulnerable than conventional war. i don't thing PAK can survive such a condition, so better start never it's late
Mohammad Ali Khan
Jul 23, 2011 01:53am
Jalsa juloos don't have long term solutions.It is the small acts of forming sustainable local organizations, doing sustainable community projects, are the backbone of a successful reforms. Pakistan desperately needs such awareness and action.
sridhar
Jul 23, 2011 02:05am
Dude, i commend your thought process, but sadly it will take at least 2 generations for your dream to come true. But, it must start now. Again, in addition to what you said good neighborly relations are must for any country. Good conduct in the comity of nations is must to rise up. Sadly, Pakistan doesn't qualify and after loosing face at every world forum, Pakistan needs a new incarnation and new name to stabilize. --sri
Aasim Khan
Jul 23, 2011 03:11am
Dear Readers! IF you got a sever headache pls forget about your lost money. First get yourself in order and then comeback to attend the justice ceremony ... Nop, if you get wounded in the chest, stop complaining about the injury of your neck. Yes, of course, one issue takes precedence logically. How much intelligent intellectuals you need, we [the people of sub-continent] may provide you, on demand. See India has economically grown up therefore it has the inalienable right to suppress Kashmiri people and Jarkhand community, 36Garth and so many other oppressed races... Therefore, Pakistan is supposed to set chaos in Kashmir only when it gets well first. Right?
Ravi
Jul 23, 2011 03:22am
Glad to see that we have neighbors like you. Wish there were many more of them, so that both country can progress and enjoy peace!
iqbal khan
Jul 23, 2011 05:42am
Most of the problems faced by Pakistan and fellow Pakistanis are because of policies of ISI. The problems we face today with US is also because of failure of ISI. It is High time that this organisation is controlled,
Prof. michael brenne
Jul 23, 2011 07:29am
THE PAKIS ARE COMING! THE PAKIS ARE COMING! Washington is abuzz with the headline news that the FBI is accosting two Pakistanis who allegedly have been trying to win influence and influence policy makers to their country's advantage. They supposed are in the employ of the ISI. Politicos and commentators are waxing indignant at this affront to American sovereignty and the effrontery in aiming to corrupt elected office holders through campaign contributions. A highlight of these revelations is that one of these agents, a Mr. Fai, contributed $250 to the Gore and Obama campaigns - each. In total, they supposedly spent $4 million on lobbying as well as campaign contributions since the mid-1990s. That amounts to roughly $275,000 per year. It is no coincidence that the announcement was made with great fanfare at a moment of extreme tensions between Washington and Islamabad. The Obama administration is pulling out all stops in an implacable campaign to break the resistance of Pakistani leaders to its call for an escalated campaign against the Taliban. Condemnation of political lobbying suggests a double standard. Many foreign governments lobby Washington as several levels. True, their paid lobbyists are legally required the declare themselves as working for another country. However, there are various ways to circumvent the law to establish a political and public relations presence in the capital and nationwide. This aggrieved reaction is noteworthy for what it says about the presumed naivete of American officials are susceptible to being diverted from the path of righteousness by the diabolical scheming of foreigners. Equally worth noting is the failure to draw any comparison with American interference in the domestic political affairs of other countries. In Iraq, the United States has provided financial and technical assistance to their favorite Mr. Alawi in three successive presidential campaigns. American diplomats participated directly in the bargaining that eventually produced the current coalition government (albeit that in the end it was Tehran that shaped the outcome). In Afghanistan, they backed Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in his bid to unseat Hamid Karzai. In Pakistan, Washington insists on running its own large network of intelligence operatives without government sanction. In addition, it meddled in partisan politics by orchestrating the return of Benazir Bhutto while leaning on the government of General Musharraf to force back into exile her chief rival Mr. Sharif - who happens to be less sympathetic toward the United States. Their objective of a shotgun wedding between Musharraf and Bhutto wasn't realized - but not for lack of trying. If Americans are oblivious to these contradictions, they are glaring in the eyes of Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis. Isn't there something in Scripture about refraining from throwing stones unless you be free of having committed the same offense?
fk
Jul 23, 2011 10:02am
US did not single out persons of Pakistani origin, citizens or green card holders, even after so many of terrorists were captured in Pakistan. It has been 10 year after 9/11 and Pakistanis in the US have enjoyed normal privileges. They send four Billion dollars annually to Pakistan which is a substantial chunk of foreign exchange. Pakistan needs to be sensitive and diplomatic to US interests. It can not afford to be otherwise. It can, potentially, hurt itself beyond measure trying to dare a superpower unnecessarily. US is not perfect; it can make mistakes but often it can correct them too.
Mirza
Jul 23, 2011 11:31am
Great article and an eye opener for Pakistanis. They have to stop all illegal activities in the US and follow their laws. If Pakistan does not want to give visa to even a few hundred Americans then the Americans should also issue the same number of visa to Pakistanis. That would bring the relationship on equal terms. Regarding green card holders, they are Pakistani citizens and they can be sent back anytime, especially if they do not have jobs, are on public welfare, or committed any crime. It is about time that Pakistan should eat a humble pie.
SHARAT GUPTA
Jul 23, 2011 11:40am
Pakistani establishment's obsession with the issues other than the welfare of its citizens has cost the country dearly, be it East Pakistan, Kargil, Terrorism, Afghanistan or for long time now KASHMIR. One wonder when shall they focus on the problems within. Championing the cause of others (Kashmiris)at the cost of borrowed capital & grants is suicidal. How many wake up calls are required to get the leadership out of illusions.
FromTheUS
Jul 23, 2011 11:56am
It is high time US puts an end to Pakistani double games. Either clean up your act or face the consequences just like everybody else, including US, has to face.
rajiv
Jul 23, 2011 12:35pm
It is only this week that I started reading ur online paper. I am a person of Indian origin but living in Europe. I am surprised that their r many sensible comments amongst the Pakistani responders.The Kashmir issue has taken us no where in the last quarter of a century.Kashmir has only gone back during this time.One full generation is lost.Thousands have paid with their lives.They just become a number. I wish the Pakistani Government,ISI and the Forces understand the ground situation and build their country to the same level as India.Pakistan has the human resources to achieve that. Please enough is enough.
Sunny
Jul 23, 2011 12:47pm
Well said! I agree with u but pl do highlight the problems of people in POK, Gilgit, Baltistan && Balouch. They are also seeking freedom but nobody from ur side is talking about them. Since here they are more developed and enjoy the freedom to speak.
JNC
Jul 23, 2011 01:30pm
Well said! Unfortunately its difficult for us Pakistanis to see facts because facts and rationality take the steam out of conspiracy theories. Now that's something we never tolerate.
zahoopr
Jul 23, 2011 02:17pm
Very poor concept. A nation if it wannts to keep its head high and be respected needs to give sacrifices financially and otherwise. Most of the pakistanis do not want to give up their comforts and face the reality. They prefer begging to self esteem. They shall notice Iran how they are quizzed by Americans but do not give up. It is shame for Pakistan. As I have Observed thay do not have nationalism in their blood. They are separated based on their linguistic demarcations.They are Punjabis, Sindhis, Mohajirs and what not but not Pakistanis.Mr jinah had created Pakistan with a vision and goal but its leaders and people have forgotten that and very soon will see the adverse effects. There is still time to mend their ways and earn self respect and esteem Do not delay otherwise it will be very late
Jasbir
Jul 23, 2011 02:51pm
I fail to understand why the think tank in Pakistan is not bothered about the mammoth growth in population of country which is drying all the aids pouring from western and oil rich.The top most priority of the day for the Pakistan is to manage effective control over this menace rather to support the other activities which will not bring any cheer for its people in long run.I expect Mr Imran Khan to take the lead in this matter rather to speak the Dro....., otherwise the elephant if growing big with the time and the room will fall small.
ali
Jul 23, 2011 02:57pm
It is quite open now the nexus between USA and India. While Pakistan has every rightful claim over Kashimr and other territories in India, USA is playing the game of India and things are quite clear to Pakistanis now. Pakistan has full sympathies to Dr. Nabi and foreign office should do everything to get him released.
KK
Jul 23, 2011 03:19pm
First of all the operations US conduct inside the borders of Pakistan are not illegal. The world is threatened by elements living in Pakistan and other countries have a right to protect their people. And as for Pakistan surviving without US aid, look at Pakistan today, people lack the basic services, they have no water, no electricity nothing... and the instances of uprising against the state increase. Lack of help from the use will multiply these issues.
Bashir
Jul 23, 2011 06:05pm
Sir, how about your obligations and duties towards your sons, daughters, wives, parents?
VR
Jul 23, 2011 06:19pm
Pakistan needs to focus first on its people welfare and economic development. And stop interfering in Kashmir issues.
andleeb
Jul 23, 2011 07:05pm
Maybe because they are registered?
Mian
Jul 26, 2011 04:38pm
Every Pakistani talks about United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. Then why is our media so scared of publishing those UNSC resolutions????