Posted by: uss017 | February 14, 2009

Petty revenge before National Interest

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, appeared on CNN on 12/02/09 in an interview with Jim Clancy. The interview revolved around the terrorist attack in Mumbai and Pakistan’s role in the subsequent (ongoing) investigation.

Overall the High Commissioner did a fine job in defending Pakistan. He reasoned how Pakistan was a victim of terrorism and emphasised the efforts made by Pakistan to fight terrorism. I definitely do not believe in the policy of opposing someone just because I dislike him and/or his politics. I attempt to give credit where it is due. But I think that the High Commissioner blew it all by making an utterly foolish comment near the close of his interview.

Jim Clancy stated that both India and Afghanistan had routinely pointed fingers at the ISI and accused the agency of facilitating terrorism therein. Clancy proceeded that no ISI official had ever been brought to justice and repeated the age old allegation that Pakistan had been playing a “double game.” What was Wajid Shamsul Hasan’s reply? Here it goes: he responded by saying that the ISI was “no more” involved in this and that it was now “more” subservient to the government!

This logically means that the ISI was involved in terrorism in the past and was not subservient to the government in the past.

I wonder, does this “reply” harm or benefit Pakistan’s national interest? Does it put Pakistan on a stronger footing when it is suggested that in the past the ISI WAS involved in such activities, that it was playing a double game, and that in the past it was NOT subservient to the government, thereby acting on its own accord? How much brain power is required to comprehend the simple fact that such type of a statement hurts Pakistan’s national interest and lowers her credibility?

The High Commissioner could have reasonably argued that mere pointing of fingers does not make someone guilty; that proof and evidence must be submitted. He could have asked Clancy to produce the evidence which supposedly shows the ISI’s alleged involvement in terrorism within India and Afghanistan. He could have denied the allegation of ISI’s “double game.” He could have strongly asserted that the ISI is a professional intelligence agency which does not engage in such activities etc. But he did not do that.

Why should anyone take Pakistan seriously and trust its agencies when the current regime casually admits the ISI’s alleged indulgence in terrorism? Why should anyone now believe the word of the government when it insists that the ISI is “no more” involved in this? If anything, individuals such as Wajid Shamsul Hasan have equipped Pakistan’s enemies with a terrific excuse for not trusting the ISI, the army, and the other security agencies of Pakistan, and for continuously casting doubts upon their intentions.

Recall that Zardari – and I still can’t believe that this guy is the President – made the same disastrous move in one of his early interviews after assuming the office of Presidency. He too endorsed the suggestion that the ISI, under the Musharraf government, had been acting deceitfully and was playing a “double game” all along.

Unfortunately, the Pakistani leadership is the product of a strong culture where petty revenge comes at the expense of national security and interest.

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© Musharraf Supporters 2009 All rights reserved

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