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Islamabad

June 12, 2017

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Pakistan relates its tragedies and hopes

I am facing more tragedies since my birth in 1947 compared with my fellow countries in the region, and I am doing an endless struggle and sacrificing my people for my survival. I decided to prepare a ‘balance sheet’ of my sufferings and achievements. And it pains me to see that my sufferings are more than the achievements. I wonder that why I am still a victim of terrorism? Why I have been isolated in the world and why I am under heavy international debts? Why I have failed to give speedy justice to the litigants and why the poor in my country are getting poorer by every passing day? Why I failed to explore my minerals/ natural wealth and who is stopping my prosperity and good governance? These are my national tragedies and we all see its effects in our streets.

Let me contemplate who has trapped us? We are still entrapped by the international debts, which have crippled our progress. All successive governments keep doing the same blunders, showing rosy picture to the innocent public. However, the truth can be hidden from people for some time only. My story of my sufferings is long and painful.

The journey of my sufferings began with my birth when I witnessed mass murders and migrations full of miseries. Many were forced to leave their homes but those homeless were happy that they have now bigger home and would live together in a bigger Muslim family.

I saw their faces full of hope and full of determination, under the guidance of my family, Quaid-e-Aam, who had given them new hope of life. I still see disappointment on their faces?

The first national level injustice was done to me when the major part of my Kashmir was declared as disputed territory. It all happened on Oct 26, 1947 when a minority ruler Raja Hari Singh of Kashmir signed an agreement with India and handed the valley over to India.

I am watching gross violations of human rights, torture and murder of the innocent Kashmiris. Does the world have any justification not to raise its voice against these sufferings?

In 1948, on 11th of September, I lost my founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, giving me a big setback and I became an orphan. In a tragic way, even a working ambulance could not be provided to the Quaid to reach a hospital swiftly. His death raised many questions which are yet to be answered.

Just after three years, another tragedy that I went through was on 16th October 1951, when my first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated. He was shot dead. Indeed, it was yet another heavy loss I had to face, and the mystery of his murder is still stands unresolved.

Iskander Mirza was the one who imposed the first-ever martial law in 1958.

Followed by a martial law by General Ayub Khan and despite he gave air bases to the US, against Soviet Union, yet his masters could not save him falling from grace. India took advantage and imposed war in 1965, which my nation fought till the victory.

 I was once again put under martial law imposed by General Yahya Khan in 1969. So the basic rights of my inhabitants were smashed again and again.

India had been looking for an opportunity to disintegrate Pakistan. Under Indira Gandhi, it financed and supported Mukti Bahni and managed to implement its long drawn anti-Pakistan agenda in 1971 by cutting my one arm, East Pakistan. Did we ever make honest assessment as to why my Bengali family went into the hands of India? Where did we fail? Were we unaware that RAW had set a plan to break us? Are we aware of the never-ending evil designs of India to replicate its East Pakistan formula in Balochistan?

Indian PM Narendra Modi felt no shame in confessing to his country’s war-crime of breaking a sovereign state. He took pride in announcing it at a function recently. India is responsible for killing my 500,000 innocent people, yet no remorse and shame on its face.

Here comes a proud son of my soil who gave me hope and brought back 90,000 troops from India including General Niazi. Subsequently, he managed the world Muslim conference and set the roadmap for nuclear programme by bringing Dr A Q Khan back despite opposition by the world powers.

The irony is that despite this commendable achievement and endless hard work, Bhutto was made yet another victim of a military coup on July 5, 1977. Due to the personal vendetta coupled with American backing, General Zia not only managed to eliminate Bhutto physically but also hindered the progress of Pakistan, and obstructed the democratic journey of Pakistan once again.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was arrested on the false charges of murder abetment and was executed on April 4, despite a controversial trial and protests.

On 4th of April 1979, after two years of imprisonment, the great leader of Muslim Ummah and the architect of nuclear and powerful Pakistan, Bhutto was hanged on the behest of the powers which did not want a powerful Pakistan.

I witnessed the confession of the Supreme Court judges repenting the judicial murder of a leader who gave pride to the nation. I was expected to grow stronger with his vision, but my hopes died with his judicial murder? Will the present independent judicial ever give justice to him post-death?

The suffering did not end here. Soon after the Soviets entered Afghanistan in 1979, the US made Pakistan a tool to use it for its interests and created the Afghan Mujahideen. It was General Zia who sold me to the USA on one dark night when he gave a commitment to CIA Director William J. Casey in the annexe of his official residence.

Gen Zia exploited Islam and his masters used him to fulfil the geopolitical designs of the CIA in the region.

Zia gave us non-ending culture of illicit arms/KK and varieties of drugs with fake dollars.

I fell in trap and became a sandwich between the two world powers and even Zia’s masters could not save him from death in falling of a C-130 in 1988. He met the fate like all who work for their masters and perhaps it was a revenge of the nature as he had got ZA Bhutto hanged.

Benazir Bhutto with her struggle became my first Muslim woman prime minister, who suffered heavily first at the hands of dictator Zia and then at the hands of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regime. She always fought like a brave leader. And finally this great leader, Benazir Bhutto was killed on 27th of December 2007, under a local and an international conspiracy.

This great leader was killed by those who did not want to see Pakistan as prosperous and terrorism free country for my family. Unfortunately, the complete case is still pending for many years and her soul and nation is waiting for the judgement?

Why this delay? If the military court can convict a criminal in weeks, then why can’t be murderers of Benazir Bhutto? This loss was national tragedy.

I again badly suffered soon after 9/11 because of some unwise decision made by Dictator General Pervez Musharraf, who had pledged his support for US in Afghanistan. He repeated the blunders of General Ziaul Haq, as his actions created Taliban and al-Qaeda and the actions of Gen Mush created the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

This war has cost me billions of dollars/killing of 70,000 innocent people and yet I am not treated as a victim of terrorism and so-called war on terror.

The anti-Islamic, unlawful and inhuman practices of attacking, kidnapping and beheadings are being done by the TTP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-Sahaba and now Daesh, resulting in over 21,000 terror attacks and killing of more than 620,000 people.

These terrorist organisations have carried out hundreds of most deadly attacks on my soil including most unfortunate attack on Army Public School in December 2014 which killed 141 innocent people and out of which 132 were children, and dreadful attacks on the other educational institutes like Bacha Khan University and Islamic University.

Will I ever know who attacked Malala Yousafzai and what was real purpose of the attack on her? Will the truth about this attack see the light of the day from Eshanullah Eshan? After all, she is the daughter of this soil. She along with her family needs to know who did this injustice with her and her friends Shazia and Kainat. Is the Malala episode a sign of national strength or a failure, exposing our weakness? Is it not tragedy that our brave daughter is now being looked after by another country in self-exile? Will she ever come back to Pakistan?

Despite Pakistan being host to more than 1.2 million Afghans, this unthankful Afghanistan still continues supporting terrorism in Pakistan and playing in the hands of my cunning enemy India.

The death of more than 70,000 Pakistanis and the financial bleeding of more than $123 billion reflect the price paid by me and my people for indulging in the war against terrorism. It has also dismantled the economic growth and trading activities. The delays in production process have slowed down trade. And the foreign direct investment has also decreased because of the rise in terrorism.

Moreover, since 1947, Pakistan’s foreign debt till date has crossed $72.98 billion and it is feared that soon the country will be heading for bankruptcy. It will be even bigger tragedy if we do not halt more borrowing?

Furthermore, despite sacrifices of my people we are still isolated by the international community, and especially by some Muslim countries. It is yet another tragedy for me as this was not what we deserved? Who is at fault? Obviously we all?

Most recently, during the Saudi summit in May 2017, Pakistan’s efforts for fighting terrorism and its sacrifices were completely ignored and I, as a nuclear Muslim state, appeared to be an odd man with a depressed face.

The people of Pakistan have great patience and determination and they do not want to lose hope for a bright future, despite enduring intense violence, terror, injustice and political instability in the past 70 years. The emotional strength of a Pakistani is unmatchable. It is the people who stood against the dictators and had let the stream of democracy flow and I sincerely hope that the future holds more promising prospects provided we get up and show sincerity and dedication to the cause of Pakistan and earn our lost name in the international community.

I hope that with sincere diplomatic efforts in the utmost national interest, we will be able to compel the international community to give us our fair share of recognition for our efforts to ensure peace in the region. My creation was no less than a miracle and I rose and progressed against all odds.

The above ‘balance sheet’ of my sufferings and sorrows shows that we, as a nation, have become hostage at the hands of the IMF and World Bank and we have already mortgaged our country to international donors. Our foreign policies/ internal policies and economic policies are neither independent nor effective.

Our failures are more as compared to our success.

Let us make our sufferings and tragedies as our opportunities and let our leaders rise above their personal gains. Let our leaders match their patriotism with sincerity and work for the betterment of my people here and abroad because my father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had said: If we stand together, there is no power in the world that can undo Pakistan.

The answer is to end political polarization and make Pakistan corruption- and terrorism-free country which will automatically increase the success rate and reduce the national tragedies.

Let us work for Pakistan, and act on the principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline.

May God bless my Pakistan, Amen.  

The writer is PPP senator, senior politician, and former interior minister of Pakistan, and chairman of think tank, Global Eye’ and Senate body on interior & narcotics. He can be reached at [email protected] and he tweets @senrehmanmalik

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