THIS is with reference to the letter ‘World is plaything for the Americans’ (July 26), which underscored the fact that in the American policymaking process, the world is a plaything and the United States abandons a country when it is done with it.

I was invited by the US State Department in May 1990 to a four-week familiarisation tour and had the opportunity to closely witness how the American political mind/system works. The group I was part of met a host of American diplomats, lawmakers and professors, including, among others, Robert Hathaway, Stephen Solarz, Stanley Wolpert and Stephen Cohen, and travelled across the land to interact with a number of experts.

The said letter reminded me of an interesting incident that I experienced when we were visiting the Pentagon. In the afternoon, we were taken for a meeting at the iconic building where we were received by a young lady who was supposed to escort us to a meeting room where we were to meet the heads of India and Pakistan desks.

I was a little sleepy after a heavy lunch, and the prospect of walking through the long and cavernous corridors of the Pentagon seemed a bit daunting. “Do we have to go straight?”, I asked the escort. She immediately shot back: “Oh dear, there is nothing straight in the Pentagon!”

Little did she know that her innocent, matter-of-fact reply had many shades of US policy hidden in it.

Syed Jawaid Iqbal
Karachi

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021

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