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National

September 17, 2017

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Not all westerners plead clash of civilisations

Not all westerners plead clash of civilisations

Clash of civilizations and clash of ideologies can be resolved only through trust, tolerance and by giving weight to one another’s concerns and challenges.

Though the overall atmosphere in the governmental spheres of many western countries is indicative of skepticism vis-a-vis the Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular, nevertheless some diplomats and leaders of the West have tried in all earnest to minimize the animosities either by communicating in the language of others or by treading the path of candour that sometimes stands in conflict with the top echelons of their respective state setups.

In this regard, the dignitaries who have taken this route of convergence of civilizations include the young and dynamic Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew and American Senators namely John McCain, Lindsay Olin Graham, Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon.

The gestures as well as observations coming from these personages may just be a tip of the iceberg towards the removal of misgivings but they are indeed very good moves towards the lessening of tensions that had heightened because of lack of knowledge about the actual facts or because of no sincere effort having been made to ascertain the truth before the leveling of allegations, as in the case of Pakistan which was put in the dock by US President Trump and some American generals who remained groping in the dark without making a serious bid to unearth the realities.

On top of everything comes the UK High Commissioner Thomas Drew’s goodwill gesture that has succeeded in creating an impact of global harmony free from malice and skepticism. It came to the fore in the form of his brief speech wishing Pakistan all well with a touch of cordiality since each and every word he expressed was in Urdu. In this speech, he also took pride, from Britain’s side in 70 years of UK-Pak friendship. Drew said Eid Mubarak and also hoped that the deep friendship would continue during the next 70 years also. In international relations, moves aimed at creating harmony and amity do lead to softening of attitudes which is the only and the best option to be adopted on the path of peaceful co-existence. Those who criticize goodwill diplomatic moves as cosmetic gestures contribute only to the clash, not the convergence, of civilizations. The realization that has now come and is there to stay, is that civilizations and ideologies and their adherents must co-exist in order to make the globe livable. Canadian PM also spoke well about Muslim community starting his Eid message with the cheerful ‘Asalam o Alaikum’ in Urdu.

As regards the observations made by some American Senators, they are based on solid facts about Pakistan’s actual position and achievements in the war on terror. These Senators from the United States paid visits during the current year to the areas of operations conducted by Pakistan’s armed forces against terrorists. Their observations do not endorse the mistrust expressed by American President Trump and some of his military commanders.

John McCain told his Senator colleagues that his visit to Pakistan had been very informative and important enabling him to understand the challenges and successes (of Pakistan), and the remaining challenges that require close coordination and assistance from “us and with us”. “We are confident that with regional cooperation and the right strategy we can see success in this very long struggle”.

Senator Lindsey Olin Graham observed that one of the great success stories in the last few years is the Pakistani armed forces’ efforts to change the FATA for the better. I cannot stress how impressed I am with what has happened in the last two years. It speaks well of Pakistan Army and the people in this region and there is no turning back now that they have rejected terrorism and “it’s up to us working together to make sure that terrorism stays out of this area”.

Senator Elizabeth Warren also pleaded strong partnership with Pakistan in this manner: “ We have learned about how Pakistan is on the frontline of fighting terrorism and how important it is to have a strong partnership with Pakistan in this fight. That is the only way we will succeed”.

Senator Sheldon : “ It never crossed my mind that I’ll be visiting South Waziristan, let alone a peaceful South Waziristan, so many congratulations to the Pakistani military”.

If the observations of these men of wisdom are to be made the yardstick, then it can be verily opined that the convergence of civilizations is not an impossibility at all but for the rigidity a la the self-styled masters of the world who want Pakistan to do more without considering the undeniable fact that Pakistan has already done more than enough.

 

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