More than two dozen soldiers who were there protecting our country were mercilessly butchered in November by a foreign power. And the native government is satisfied at the utterance of the word “sorry” by that power. But the question remains: why is the government content at the word “sorry”? Would the murderer of Benazir Bhutto be forgiven if he merely uttered it? A few year ago an American surveillance plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet near the coast of southern China. The Chinese pilot died after the jet crashed into the sea. The American plane was forced to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island and the crew was taken into custody. Later, the Chinese government announced that the Americans had been spying on them. This story not just about two planes or a dead pilot but it is about what happened next. Four days after the crash, an apology was demanded by the Chinese. At first, the US officials tried skirting the issue with the statement that they regretted the death of the Chinese pilot. This was not enough for the Chinese to forgive the Americans and return the US plane and its crew. Days passed until, in a letter, the US ambassador to China said “very sorry” over the collision and apologised for the US plane’s landing on Chinese soil without permission. This incident clearly illustrates the difference between the two “sorrys.”
In our case the second sorry must have been expected and then accepted, but the government, without having a clear concept of the two different meanings, accepted the first one. In its eagerness to mend relations with the US, the government did irreparable harm to Pakistan’s sovereignty. This is terrible for the morale of the thousands of fighters on the borders fighting for our protection, and everyone else who loves Pakistan.
Muhammad Ibrahim Tariq