ISLAMABAD: With the increasing tension in Pak-US relations, the war of words has also intensified. Moreover the stand taken by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, leader of the opposition in National Assembly, is gaining popularity. He says in the present war on terror, the US used Pakistan in the most abominable manner and weakened it to the extent that almost all institutions are facing crises.
He further says Pakistan’s pro-US policies have destroyed the economy, the living, and peace. “It will not be far from truth to say that America has incapacitated us by injecting the sweet poison of aid.” Ch Nisar had two days ago urged the government to summon an emergent session of the parliament and take initiatives to evolve a consensus among political parties on a national agenda in view of any possible US action. It is gratifying to note that the prime minister has displayed positive reaction to the proposal. A day earlier PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain too had urged all political forces to show maturity at this critical juncture of national history. He had said it was time to change traditions and ‘we will have to move towards dialogue for a solution to the problems confronting the nation’. He had urged Prime Minister Gilani to contact politicians without any loss of time to evolve a consensus, and thus infuse a new spirit and confidence in the nation.
He had even quoted a couplet of Allama Iqbal in this regard:
“Nishan yehi hai zamaney main zinda quamon ka
Keh subh-o-shaam badalti hain un ki taqdeerain”
(The hallmark of vibrant nations is that their destinies change very often; even in the morning and in the evening).
In spite of Sunday being a holiday, a lot of activity was witnessed vis-‡-vis Pak-US relations. Political and military leaderships in the twin cities were mulling over the situation. Two days ago Chaudhry Nisar had jolted them out of their stupor, saying: “It is not the time of offering explanations or making humble requests to US”. He said the nation had not yet come out of the trauma of Abbottabad incident, while the latest US threats were ridiculous, devoid of common sense and contrary to facts.
The question by the opposition leader that if Pakistan or ISI was involved in the attack on US Embassy in Kabul, they should be asked after all what benefit Islamabad is expected to accrue or what objective was about to be fulfilled from such a misadventure. This point must have come under consideration in the Corps Commanders Conference. The question raised by Ch Nisar is very pertinent that: “Is this the reward the US wants to give to Pakistan after we sacrificed lives of our 35,000 citizens and made half of the country a the battleground?” He said this issue could neither be solved during the DG ISI’s visit to Washington nor by explanations offered by the Foreign Office spokesperson. This issue can be solved only by bringing the entire nation on one platform and by adopting a clear, solid and integrated policy. He had said dangers to the national security caused by economic collapse should also be paid due attention. Referring to the law and order situation in Karachi, Chaudhry Nisar said the Supreme Court had accomplished something, which the government could not do. The Supreme Court has brought those responsible for lawlessness into the dock. Now allegations and counter allegations of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and Altaf Hussain need to be probed.
Top political leaders support the following points of Chaudhry Nisar’s national agenda:
i) An integrated and solid policy to grapple with the challenges facing national integrity be prepared unanimously.
ii) A comprehensive reforms agenda be chalked out for continuity and improvement of national economy.
iii) Uniform solid steps be taken for improvement and durability of internal peace and security and they must be enforced without discrimination.
iv) Energy and water have emerged as our greatest dangers to national security which are casting their ominous shadow on our economy, society, trade and commerce, and almost in all spheres of life. Political forces will have to agree on joint efforts to solve the huge problems.
Chaudhry Nisar said consensus on a national agenda should not be restricted to political forces alone. “Rather other policy-making, solid and vibrant organisations as well as civil society should be associated with this exercise.”Political observers are of the view that the government has displayed sagacity by giving importance to the sincere advice of Chaudhry Nisar and Chaudhry Shujaat, and summoned a session of the parliament from October 3. Further preparations are afoot to hold a national dialogue. The contacts of the prime minister with politicians are emerging as a ray of hope in the darkness of dismay. All this reminds you of a couplet of Allama Iqbal:
“Shaam-e-gham laikin khabar deti hai subhe Eid ki
Zulmat-i-Shab main nazar aiyee kiran ummed ki”
(The darkness of a sad evening heralds the arrival of Eid morning. This is exactly a ray of hope in this deep darkness.)