A fair and realistic approach
Let us hope that this time US behave differently
and "Compensate for the past mistakes.
Sep 24 - 30, 2001
President General Pervez Musharraf appeared honest
and sincere when he presented before the nation in a televised
interview his assessment of the situation developed in the region in
the aftermath of devastating terrorism in the United States and the
decision of the Government of Pakistan to side with international
coalition against global terrorism. His assessment was fair, realistic
and down to earth and his decision to support the US-led onslaught on
terrorists was well reasoned. The President did not mince words in
admitting that any other course taken by Pakistan would have been
disastrous for the country. Strongly and firmly defending his decision
he said that as commander in chief of Pakistan he had to safeguard the
security of the country first. "Pakistan comes first, everything
else is secondary", he observed.
In his about 40 minutes much awaited address to the
nation, General Musharraf said that country was confronted with the
most serious crisis after 1971. Pointing on extremely complex
situation and mood of the American plus conspiracy and intrigues being
hatched by Indian against Pakistan, President Musharraf announced that
the people of Pakistan, Military personnel and the entire nation was
ready to defend and protect the country and lay their lives for its
safety. "Pakistan Air Force is on high alert with do or die
mission", he added. The President said that our enemy has offered
every kind of support to the U.S. with a mischievous design to exploit
the prevailing situation and get Pakistan declared a terrorist state.
"From us the American have sought our permission to use Pakistan
airspace, intelligence information, and logistic support", he
Expressing his determination to deal with the
situation with courage, logic, and wisdom, in the light of Islamic
principles and the precedents set by the Holy Profit he asked the
nation to have trust in him. He has taken the decision after great
deal of thinking and prolonged consultations with a cross section of
people besides services chiefs, core commanders, National Security
Council and his Cabinet. He has received overwhelming support for his
decision based on wisdom and not on emotions and false notions of
courage and bravery. Only a small minority — hardly 10 to 15 per
cent are trying to grasp the opportunity by promoting their personal
agenda by inciting people, are opposed to the line of action adopted
by the Government. "But this small minority cannot be allowed to
make the majority hostage", he added.
The General is right that minority should not be
allowed to make the majority as hostage any longer. This militant tiny
minority has been holding the nation as hostage since long and their
threatening posture is getting more menacing with every passing day
because of policies of appeasement and accommodation perpetuated by
political expediencies. The time has, perhaps, come for the Pakistan
Army and thinking classes to decide whether they want this country to
remain under the looming threat of Islamic fundamentalism, with a tiny
but militant minority refusing to let Pakistan to pull itself out of
medieval ages and get on with the job of economic and social
reformation and reconstruction, or join hands to purge the polity of
terrorism, blackmail and retardation.
General Musharraf has taken the plunge, he must get
the support of right thinking silent majority within the country.
Above all the West specially the United States have also to realize
that General Musharraf may turn out to be their last hope if they want
to see Pakistan as a moderate and liberal voice in the region having
substantial weight in the Islamic world as their only member with a
nuclear capability. He should be extended all kind of support to
discharge this onerous responsibility which he has taken upon himself
at great personal risk. Based on their bitter experiences in the past,
the people of Pakistan, have lost trust in the U.S. Administration.
U.S. excels in leaving friends in lurch once their purpose is served.
Osama bin Laden and Taliban are the products of such treacherous
policies. Let us hope that this time US behave differently and
"Compensate for the past mistakes", as committed by the new
U.S. Ambassador in Pakistan.