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What’s the most stirring thing about the revelations WikiLeaks has brought to us today? Nothing? Or everything? For starters, quite a few people reading the cables right now must be gloating and inwardly thinking or outwardly bragging. “Hah! I knew it all along!” Of course you did. Didn’t we all?

But then there must be those thinking that the flower garlands they distributed and the drum beats they danced to during the Chief Justice’s reinstatement wasn’t exactly for the right motive now, was it? Do you feel cheated? Did the Sharifs pump you up for the wrong reasons? Watch out, their rejection of foreign aid (read American aid, not Saudi aid) just might be another political ploy too. No secret document needed to figure that one out.
"The nation wants a change and it will come. We have decided to go ahead with the Long March. This  government is a sham," Nawaz had said at the time of the long march.
But what the cables tell us today is that actually Sharif sahab, your long march was a sham. Your rally was a sham and your motive was a sham.
“Shahbaz stressed that his party could not afford the political humiliation of abandoning what had become a long-standing principle in favour of Chaudhry’s restoration. At the same time, Shahbaz claimed to understand that Chaudhry was a problematic jurist, whose powers would need to be carefully curtailed,” reported Lahore Consulate Principal Officer Bryan Hunt in a secret American diplomatic cable describing his meeting with the younger Sharif on March 14, 2009.
That’s not what you told us, Mr.Sharif. So much for being a democracy when hardly anything around here is done for the people. Instead, what our democracy and democratic leaders have done for years is protect their interests through the people, as opposed to thinking along the lines of national interest.

Let’s leave democracy and the sham aside for a minute. Let’s focus on all those who believe that the army believes in sovereignty. Do you feel cheated? Seems like our government isn’t the only one exchanging secrets with America. Our army has a wish-list too.

In a meeting on January 22, 2008 with US CENTCOM Commander Admiral William J. Fallon, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani requested the Americans to provide “continuous Predator coverage of the conflict area” in South Waziristan where the army was conducting operations against militants. The request is detailed in a ‘Secret’ cable sent by then US Ambassador Anne Patterson on February 11, 2008. Pakistan’s military has consistently denied any involvement in the covert programme run mainly by the CIA.

Another previously unpublished cable dated May 26, 2009 details President Zardari’s meeting on May 25 with an American delegation led by Senator Patrick Leahy. “Referring to a recent drone strike in the tribal area that killed 60 militants,” wrote Ambassador Patterson in her report, “Zardari reported that his military aide believed a Pakistani operation to take out this site would have resulted in the deaths of over 60 Pakistani soldiers.”

There you have it Pakistani people. Your leaders and your army both have more faith in the American government than they do in themselves and although this certainly is not a shocker, it most certainly is a confirmation of every doubt we have ever had against them.

Talk of sovereignty today is a farce. Sovereignty is not sacred and whether it’s Kayani who pretends to uphold it or whether it is Gilani, fact remains that we are secretly (well, not so much anymore) selling it every single day.

Then what is it about WikiLeaks and what it unveils, that makes Pakistani people stunned and jittery? The fact that we are reading ‘classified’ files? Or is it the secret jargon? We are a nation of conspiracy theorists and we already have assumed every worst possible scenario.

If these cables that have been revealed, tell us anything, it is that ‘yes, you are right.’ You are right to doubt the government’s competence, you are right to question the military’s motives, you are right in assuming the Sharifs just want to safeguard their power and most of all, you are right when you believe that no one cares about you. These classified documents do not tell you anything more or anything less. They just confirm what you have already been thinking all along.

Shyema Sajjad is the Deputy Editor at Dawn.com

Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan/Dawn.com


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Shyema Sajjad is a former Dawn staffer.

She tweets @ShyemaSajjad


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Comments (72) Closed



Raheel May 20, 2011 04:42pm
The title of your blog sums it up perfectly. Indeed, our ruling elite, the politicians, are in most part, a bunch of liars! Wake up, people!!
Usman Shahid May 20, 2011 04:51pm
Total Biased article against PML-N. I don't know how dawn.com allow these types of blogs to be published on its website.
Zulfiqar Haider May 20, 2011 05:12pm
A change will come soon. People are now aware of the hypocrisy of our ruling elite.
Farid May 20, 2011 05:13pm
Agree with you. This democracy is full of flaws being exploited by culprits. I am not sure if the version of democracy in Pakistan should be debated or not... even after all these revelations.
Mauren May 20, 2011 05:25pm
Biased article? So, what IS your take on Mr. Sharif's stand? Democracy can succeed only when people move from who they like in order to focus on what their leaders do.
Hasan Mahmood May 20, 2011 05:44pm
The sad part is that the majority of Pakistanis will still go out and vote for PPP and PML-N in the next elections...
Kaleem May 20, 2011 05:57pm
And in 'Latest news' section of dawn, I just read news that PML-N' Punjab canceled six aid agreements with US. And those agreements were mere MoUs, Memorandum of Understanding which is just an intent not an agreement. They are fooling us public and we are falling for it.
Ahsan May 20, 2011 06:02pm
How many of the learned readers of Dawn would have ever voted
Tariq May 20, 2011 06:06pm
Democracy is a form of government where the majority is suppose to lead and represent the nation. Looking at the characteristics of majority of people in Pakistan there should not be any surprise regarding the rulers' character.
MOONIS May 20, 2011 06:19pm
PLEASE WAKE UP!!!
Suhail Yusuf May 20, 2011 06:49pm
USMAN! it is not a biased blog against Nawaz Sharif, but our another phase of disappointment from other political party after PPP. We have already felt humiliation and embarrassment upon Raymond Davies, Selling Afia, contract of Shamsi airbase to third party, under hand permission of Drone attacks, Abbotabad operation, Osama hide out. I was thinking that Sharif brothers were more acceptable for the people after the extreme failure of PPP current regime but Alas! Sharif were playing with people on the issue of Judiciary restoration. Shyema did a good job to write this piece and now the Pakistanis could better understand why Leaders lied many times to the nation and passed all the information to outsider. There is a huge camouflaged curtain between Pakistanis and their leaders. What they are doing, we don't know and we are dying, they don't care.
Jp May 20, 2011 07:31pm
Another example of a hopeless nation where people are so selfish they do not care who does what!
Yusuf Patel May 20, 2011 08:38pm
Biased? Just statements of facts and comments thereon and you call it biased. Truth hurts. So called Main democratic parties are taking people for ride, shame on them, they should all be booted out.
Aimal May 20, 2011 09:02pm
I agree completely. It is time to wake up and take the matters in your own hand. The nation must get out of the denial mode and face the realities. Only economically strong nation can command respect of the world. No all-weather friend - neither US nor China - can make you stand up. A borrowed strength will always undercut the sovereignity.
Meenal May 20, 2011 09:05pm
well thats a shocker, extremely disappointed about the army asking for drone coverage...... It is a crime against humanity to kill people indiscriminately without given a chance to be proven guilty in a civil court. These militants should be arrested and tried in a court, not killed with drones. Since when did using drones become a way of serving justice. Why isn't the FREE judiciary doing anything about this? My question to human rights groups: why the silence?
Meenal May 20, 2011 09:06pm
since when did a human life become so cheap?
Deemi May 20, 2011 09:33pm
Indeed.
Deemi May 20, 2011 09:36pm
I vote every time (except once when the party I wanted to vote for protested by abstinence). And I agree with Hasa mahmood here. We don't have a right to complain if we continue to bring the same two tried and tested ones again and again. The re-election of Jumshaid Dusty is a recent case in point.
Touseef May 20, 2011 09:41pm
To the Leaders of this Great Nation !! Enough !! Ab Jag Raha hy Pakistan !!
Abdul Qadir May 20, 2011 09:58pm
Well said Tariq bhai. It is the people who make the govt, it is the people who tolerate bigotry, it is the people who kill other people. Our people need to wake up soon.
vikas, india May 20, 2011 10:12pm
imraan khan is the only good leader...make him prime minister if pakistani really want to bring a change.
Baalaj May 20, 2011 10:37pm
You, the people of Pakistan deserve this becuase you were the ones who voted for these people.
khalid May 21, 2011 12:06am
Shame on all our leaders including the Army. They are selling all of us and nobody is there to stop them.
Azam Khan May 21, 2011 12:07am
Under the garb of democracy it is in fact an aristocratic oligarchy - a group of people mostly coming through inheritance who together govern a country for their own interests. Therefore, I consider benevolent dictatorship better than corrupt democracy.
Dr Khan May 21, 2011 12:44am
Mr Shahid, wake up and smell the coffee!
VK May 21, 2011 01:47am
I just woke up...now what should I do :)...Boss nothing is going to change..look at the option you have...Zardari - who is most corrupt , sharif brother - who are not Sharif, Army Chief - who is asking for Drone which is opposed by whole Pakistan. ISI - who did not know of OBL hide out for 5 yrs and they did not even know about how US enter and did 40 Min operation...So what should I do after wake up..NOTHING
n May 21, 2011 02:16am
The reason we are the masters of conspiracy theories is because everybody lies in our country. We are so used to it that when other countries make statements we refuse to believe them because we think like us they are lying.
Morfeus May 21, 2011 03:45am
...and for some strange reason you thought that somebody did? Get real....
Mustafa May 21, 2011 05:17am
the time at which US is publishing these leaks is important to note, especially when PML-N is coming out openly against US interests in Pakistan
zaman khan May 21, 2011 05:43am
There was no doubt in the minds of many Pakistanis (except N league workers) that Nawaz sharif was resorting to long march with the ultimate aim of getting the govt of his brother restored in Punjab. Our people are (what to call them) going to vote these so called leaders into power this time. I request that the media and Dawn Group keep informing the people about their true worth.May be this time around we see some change. I have no affiliation with any party however I think in current circumstances IMRAN KHAN is the only hope if the people would vote him.
wake up!! May 21, 2011 06:14am
Its high time that people wake up now. There are people who do not read news paper or blogs in the country, a lot of them. Lets bring awareness to everyone in the country. Lets stand united and let the corrupt know that democracy is for those who chose the leaders and not for the "chosen leaders" who get drunk in power.
Blitzer May 21, 2011 10:01am
Well, I'm not surprised to say the least. This is the same Nawaz Sharif who was a by product of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq's dictatorial regime. It's the same Sharif who had his police goons literally assault the Supreme Court of Pakistan to bandage his bruised ego back in the late '90s. And it's the same Sharif who chose to flee the country and live a cushy life in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the 1999 coup. So much for bravely facing all criminal charges against himself. Zardari, Altaf or Sharifs, they are one and the same -- the many faces of the same dice of political opportunists. May God have mercy on our souls.
Shahzad May 21, 2011 10:08am
We should caste votes and take responsibility.
Humayun Irshad May 21, 2011 10:30am
Please don’t be prejudice; it’s an eye opening article. We the people of Pakistan have been sold from the day one. However, I guess the all happening for many years is happening for something good. Insha Allah. The matter of the fact is that all nation has become corrupt, hypocrite and greedy so as our civilian and army leadership. But a time is near to come, when we all have to change. Then Allah will bless us with a sincere leadership. Let us change our selves. This leadership is the reward of our sins. When will correct our deeds, wishes and practices.
Aijaz Hussain May 21, 2011 11:01am
Excellent article. You've described the situation perfectly...talk of sovereignity is just that, talk. Unless the common Pakistani realises the fact that the Establishment is out there to fatten its wallet and do nothing else, there will be no change.
shafiq May 21, 2011 11:37am
i totally agree with tariq! he is absolutely right
Quratulain May 21, 2011 11:45am
True. It is sad on our part that even when we have been exposed to such information time and again, we still fall in the trap that is set by our leaders. We still are deceived by the partial truth brought to us and do not search for the complete and comprehensive facts underlying it.
Tariq May 21, 2011 11:50am
To me, all wiki leaks are just a confirmation of what is going on in this region.
Najam Yusuf May 21, 2011 01:57pm
Agreed
Yusuf May 21, 2011 02:16pm
May be its time to Vote for Imran khan, atleast he played for pakistan whole heartedly and built a hospital for the people of pakistan, hopefully he brings prosperity to pakistan
Ali May 21, 2011 02:33pm
Considering the timing of the published leaks, even though I am not a fan of politicians but I highly doubt that the news paper motives are all that crystal clear as well.
Ramachander nanduri May 21, 2011 02:41pm
excellent blog exposing duplicity of pakistani leaders duplicity in their dealings and compromising sovernighty.Pakistan lost sovernighty when they gave air bases to usa in 50's under seato agreement.no point in lamenting now
Hassan May 21, 2011 04:25pm
India is in the same boat my friend. Your leaders have also sold the govt. to the Western Super power. So don't speak so soon.
Atif May 21, 2011 04:39pm
You still say its biased???? This is the reason why we are still not termed as NATION because whenever someone tries to speak truth the other comes up with doubts and conspiracies...
MJ May 21, 2011 05:00pm
India and Pakistan may become a better friend than Indo-US or Pak-China if these politicians (on both sides) and Pak army ever get serious abt it. Thses countries have so much in common and common people want to live on peace and harmony. Imagine if India and Pak were not so insecured abt each othr and wasted so much money in buyin US or chinese arms, our countries wud hv been doing so great. But why will these Western power including China will let us live in peace. Who will buy their weapons then?
Salim May 21, 2011 05:17pm
Absolutely. We need to change ourselves first. Future is worse than present. Take action now by changing our own deeds..
fazal May 21, 2011 05:59pm
if we still think this sham democracy(parliamentory form)is going to work for people after repeated elections,we are living in fools paradise.probably presidential form of democracy i.e vote for president and vice president may work for us.in this way people who are honest and sincere like Imran khan may have a chance and pakistan may also have a chance to survive otherwise we are heading for break-up or a bloody revolution
Maaz May 21, 2011 06:42pm
Can wikileaks be another scam???? What makes one so certain of its truthfulness?
Fersos May 21, 2011 06:54pm
We now know why all the Worlds leaders are hell bent on silencing Assange and closing down Wikileaks. Their hypocrisy stands exposed. We need many more sites like Wikileaks so that we can call our Rulers to account.
raju May 21, 2011 08:01pm
My advice to Ramachander and hassan, what will we gain by pulling each others leg. The result will be more hatred. Lets gain more value for our words on this public blog. Let us be more competitive in Goodness which will help both sides. Let us not waste our time in creating more bitterness but let us waste our time in creating more good feelings for each others.
shahid May 21, 2011 08:06pm
Lets now bring Imran Khan Who seems to be the last hope of Our Generation Lets give him chance and bring Youth of pakistan forward to build good of pakistan Atleast Imran khan has vision motive a goal that he always expresses but rest of our leaders hardly have any future or current plans to even be exposed
mazhar May 21, 2011 08:16pm
I am surprised at your reaction. but, do we deserve a better leadership. bad people=bad leadership.
prashant May 21, 2011 08:32pm
Mr Hassan neither india receive any aid from "superpoer" nor india have presence of any foreign army.can you explain a bit more?
M. Asghar May 21, 2011 08:32pm
Ali, let us care about the revealed information even if there were unavouable motives behind them.
matta May 21, 2011 09:55pm
there is a saying in India the kind of king you have the same kind of people you will have...in democracy the kind of people you have the same kind of leaders you will have..........
Usman Shahid May 21, 2011 10:29pm
:) you also
Usman Shahid May 21, 2011 10:35pm
The article has targeted only one person so how we should say this is not biased. By the way from where the conspiracy theory come? The author should have mention what have been written on wikileaks about PPP govt as well to remain neutral.
Usman Shahid May 21, 2011 10:46pm
Article would have been much better if it has targeted every politician on wiki leaks rather then targeting PML-N only.
SteveSwimmer May 21, 2011 11:00pm
I care about you: Open letter to the people of Pakistan. Many Americans, Iraqi people, the Afghanistan people, I; and, now you, the people of Pakistan, know the pain of "extra-judicial homicides" as American authorities reclassify murders that they commit against
Rizwan May 22, 2011 06:31am
Well it's about time that we realize that PPP is not only corrupt, but incompetant. So this election, we all go out and vote for PML-N. Half way during the next government's rule, we'll be sick of PML-N again for the 18th time, and will vote for PPP in the following elections. I mean, this has worked in the past 60 years, why wouldn't it work now? Yay democracy!
OS May 22, 2011 08:58am
Why shouldn't the army and government let the USA use drones when it saves the lives of Pakistani soldiers? Would you rather let even a single Pakistani life go to waste when you could have saved it using a Predator drone?
Malek Towghi (Baloch May 22, 2011 12:21pm
I continue to believe that Nawaz Sharif is THE solution if there is any solution for Pakistan's problems. However, Mian saheb has to get rid of his brother Shahbaz Sharif, before it becomes too late. As the supreme leader of the ML-N, Nawaz Sharif should replace Shahbaz with the most courageous and most principled personality of the party, i.e., Makhdoum Javed Hashmi, as president of the party, and with a choice of Hashmi saheb as the Chief Minister of Punjab.
siddique May 22, 2011 12:32pm
Janab, i appreciate the efforts of DAWN and salute for their courage and true journalism. First time a credible information has been provided from a reliable source. whether it is about Army, PML (N) or PPP. We should swallow these facts and accept the reality. We can't afford more true lies in our life. Enough is enough. Now get ready to accept the truth.
Aisha May 22, 2011 01:28pm
I deserve not to be cared for. When I change and become a selfless person who also cares for others other than his own self, acts on solutions that improve his own inner self and the prevailing conditions in his home and his country, only then do i deserve any care from the Creator and the creation.
Pakistani May 22, 2011 02:47pm
I read your whole open letter and as a fan of Hollywood have seen many dilms on this drug issues like Traffic and all...n u said rightly american will not go away from here easily as much they will keep setting their puppets on us i feel first we need to et a true leadership and then to kick out those drones which are killing our own people just bcoz they are suspects and in reaction they come to our cities to kill the other fellow pakistani. like its going to creat a destabalizing the country...as a destabalize pakistan is easy for US interest then a stabalize one... bcoz in stabalized countries they think for their own interests first but US warlors who support wars who supported shameful Vietnam and Iraq war will try to open other fronts in pakistan...i really appreciate your writing and i hope you will do well in your life.. May your son soul rest in peace in heaven......We like US people, but we dont like US war morngring policies to invade country for their interest and get get recources....Greetings from Pakistan..Let's pra for peace everywhere in the world...We have only this planet let's share it with peave and do progress no hatred for religion caste and creed and countries... All the best ! Keep writing !
Pakistani May 22, 2011 02:51pm
i agree with you very well said Raju.. Keep writing !
Pakistani May 22, 2011 02:54pm
Prashant, well you're doing better...India is a country with great power and good leaders and we're lacking that and i dont think there is any or even near to any such scenario as pakistan is facing in the USA interference but i don't think US nuke deal will support India in the future they might will like to play same game by giving little asking so much and set the puppetts to extract the common public blood...But i hope it wont happen...Greetings from Pakistan...
Aamir May 22, 2011 03:59pm
I firmly believe that in the long run a nation gets the leaders it deserves. The long list of failed Pakistani leaders is not their failure, but it is the failure of the Pakistani people. I do not blame Zardari, Gilani, Nawaz or other leaders. They simply reflect the crooked face of Pakistani nation, an easy target to deflect our own failures as a nation. Do you really think that current govt. falls and new govt. comes in it will misterously solve all the problems? Not a chance. Unless and until, the people reform themselves (a long task that can take decades), nothing will change.
SLDUA May 23, 2011 11:42am
you say.............".........Let’s pra for peace everywhere in the world…We have only this planet let’s share it with peave and do progress no hatred for religion caste and creed and countries…" Only such sentiments can be a hope for peace in the subcontinent and in the world. Very much soothing. Keep writing.
Khan Saheb May 24, 2011 02:40pm
Thats the prime example of why do we face situation like this. Some people like you are not accepting of the fact that certain leader like Mr Sharif are one of Pakistan's most corrupt leaders and due to blind fate in such leaders and failure to listen to any negative feedback we have created whole political arena full of corrupt politicians and yet we hope that Pakistan will survive. Are we not fooling ourselves here by keeping such a hope?
Dani May 25, 2011 11:00am
As an American citizen I am surprised that a great number of Pakistanis are ashmed of thier country and the leadership. They feel they deserve the bad leaders. I assuer you that at least America is not as corrupt or bad as your leaders so don't complain about Americans. Your leaders will destroy you if we leave you alone.
Dino May 25, 2011 01:43pm
"Nobody Cares About Us" i Agree with U 110 %