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Bush Visit - A Blessing in Disguise

13 March, 2006

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A lot is being written and discussed both in the print and electronic media about President Bush`s recent visit to the subcontinent. What is mostly being reflected is a picture of disappointment bordering despondency.  A feeling of being let down by the US and not coming up to the great expectations expected of it. No nukes, no Kashmir, no aid, no nothing except a little cricket. That`s one view.  However, I hold a different view of it all and consider it to be a blessing in disguise. To me nothing what happened was unexpected. We have been through it all before, not once but thrice. Every time Uncle Sam not only let us down but ditched us also well and proper.  The visit has, therefore, been a good eye opener. Leaning any more on the US crutches will be suicidal. Azmooda ra azmoodan jahal ast. (trying the tried one is stupidity). We have a friend in need and indeed in China, to whom we are extremely grateful for her continued unstinted support and co-operation despite our sporadic faltering with the US. One must admire the Chinese sagacity of ignoring understandably our such foolish honey mooning with the one known for discarding her allies once her interest is served.  But, despite it all, suppose the US had treated Pakistan also at par with India and gone into some `strategic` deals and agreements, what would have been the Chinese reaction to it all? Would it not have caused some anxiety in their mind about us? Would it not have weakened the fabric of friendship between we two?  It is for this reason that I consider it to be a blessing in disguise for providing us with the opportunity of taking a serious stock of the ground realities. Even a cursory analysis of the so far American friendship and aid to us would reveal that all they did was  - in the words of some one - gave us a fish to eat but never taught us to catch one.  On the contrary our Chinese friends not only gave us the fish to eat in plenty but also taught us how to catch it. The fishing net they gave us was full of  impressive loads like  Heavy Rebuild Tank Factory, Heavy Barrel Factory, Heavy Industrial Electrical Complex, Heavy Mechanical Complex, Defence Electronics, manufacture of Karakurram Eight (K-8) and F-7 fighter planes, Chashma Nuclear Power Project, Sandak Mineral Complex, Gawadur Deep Sea Port, Jinnah Sports Stadium Islamabad, etc. etc. apart from huge consignments of military hardware in hours of greatest need and many  pacts for the aid in cash and so on so forth.  It would have been a folly of the greatest magnitude on our part to once have again jumped into the unreliable American fold jeopardising our most trustworthy and sincere friendship with China.  The visit opened our eyes and that`s why I call it a Blessing in Disguise.

 

Truly  

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Reader Comments:

Wrong again, Mr Jafri

There is no friendship or love here. China or Pakistan is not a man or a woman that they could be in love. It is all about national interests, a concept, which is alien to you people. The Chinese are in it for their own national interests. Someday when pakistan no longer interests them, they will drop you like a hot potato. That day will come soon, probably in the next 3-5 years.

Now, since this is coming from an Indian, this will obviously not be taken in the right perspective. But let me still point out the fact that you people are obsessed with India. In pursuit of your dreams of liberating kashmir and breaking up India, you have shot yourself in the head and nearly destroyed whatever you set out to do in 1947.

India names its missiles, you pick counter names. India explodes nukes, you follow, India buys weapons, you jump in to match. India is making great strides in the IT sector, Benazir Bhutto says "if she were in power, you would have been the IT giant and not India". Just open any Pakistani newspaper and you will find articles comparing you to India, everyday, day after day.
Ask a Pakistani "why nothing is going right for you even after 60 years of Independence ?". The answer will be "Things are not that good for you either. China is far ahead of you and you have the largest number of poor people in the world."! This dialog really happened. Do you see the problem with the answer ? Never mind the idea or the motive behind the question.

And then there is the constant refrain that the USA is not giving you the proper compensation for your role in the war on terror. Let me ask you Mr Jafri, were you expecting certain specific kind of rewards or compensation before joining the war on terror ? If so, do you know what such people are called ? - mercenaries. But if you are in the war on terror because it is in your national interests, then there is nothing to complain about.

And finally, your argument that your relations with the USA will cause anxiety in the Chinese mind is in keeping with the same mindset that we are talking about here. You only need to look at Pakistan's balance-of-trade with China and the answer becomes crystal clear!

My apologies, if this hurts. But isn't it the truth.

R Kris, Hungary - 14 March, 2006

i agree

I totally agree with the Col. Jafri, Pakistan needs to realize once and for all, that USA will never be its true ally. The general public know this but for some reason the those in power are aloof to this fact. Relying on a selfish,unrelaible, greedy and unfaithful so-called friend like the USA is nothing more than suicidal. I am confident that the next time the USA needs a "gullible" pakistan to accomplish some other imperialistic objective in the region, our ruling elite will jump in the arms of the USA. For a few green dollars and some false praises, USA can get away with anything when it comes to Pakistan...

saj khan, United Arab Emirates - 14 March, 2006

please stand on your own feet!

means Pak wants some crutches to survive, if not US then China.

in international relations there are no permanent friends or foes, there are only permanent interests.

Pak will make an error to depend on China. Not sure how Pak people perceive China, but in international parlance China is the most untrustworthy country. remember nehru panchsheel and going around the world convessing for China's permamnent membership in UN Security Council. And in response we got occupation of Tibet and aggression on our own borders.

currently every country is looking with suspicion the way China is spending on its military buildup.

China needs pak only till it can to balance India. the day India become big enough for Pak to measure up, China's interest in Pak will be over.

why can't you just stand on your own feet.

Chan, United Kingdom - 14 March, 2006

Believe is one self...!

I agree with Kris, why should Pakistan always keep comparing with India. India and Pakistan historically started off on a different note. India had secular, democratic constitution with equal rights to all religions, creeds, races, sex.. even though India is trully Hindu majority state. However Pakistan started off as Islamic , democratic state, however its constitution was changed umpteen times because of various reasons.From India's perspective, we find Pakistan is obessed with India. This may have worked in Cold Was era, but now..in this liberalised , globasiation...self interest of each country is paramount. And hence ever power be that USA, China , India would look towards relationship with their own self interest. Economic relations will play major role in the future...! Ideological bearings like NAM, OIC, NATO, etc will become irrelavant with paasage of times. India and Pakistan have no choice, but to co-operate, live in peace if they want their countries have to progress. Future lies in more tolerance, plurality, secular , democracy ..without all these, societies will never be civilised.USA, China or any other countries will never come to rescue of Pakistan in crunch, if it constinues to ravel on present path.

Sanjay, Hungary - 15 March, 2006

To R Kris

R Kris, your arguements and the points you put forward are quite flawed. Everything is about national interest, who said anything about love??The concept of national interest applies to all countries, including India, China,Pakistan,USA and America,etc. Please spare us the patronising attitude,we Pakistanis are not living in the middle ages that we are not aware of such things. A true friendship can never be measured in dollars, have you ever heard of the saying," a friend in need is a friend indeed"? There have been numerous instances where China has come to help Pakistan in the hour of need.But how many times has America helped us when we needed it? Zero times.
America has only come to us when it needed us. And our foolish elite open up their arms and take the USA back in its arms like a jilted lover...
If you read the Col. Jafri's article in full you will see the amount of investment china is making in Pakistan., and we are talking multi-billion dollar projects here. China is a tested and reliable true ally of Pakistan. Indians can not stomach the fact that China is far ahead of itself in every sector, and you always compare yourself to china. Despite your achievements economically and in the IT sector,you are still no match to China. But to be frank, all indians are like an old record that keeps playing the same tune. I am quite fed up of reading your boasts about your achievements in the IT sector, etc. If you have gained some benefits, keep it to yourself,we dont want to know. Why do you always try to impress us with all this? Are you suffering from an inferiority complex?? I am amongst a growing number of pakistanis who dont watch indian films,dont listen to indian music,and generally dont care about india at all. I think Pakistan could achieve a lot more if they set higher standards for themselves and set china as a role-model and benchmark for success

Saj Khan, Pakistan - 15 March, 2006

Mr Jafri

my message to Mr Jafri is that there is no friend & enemy in international relations. This is their own national interest which leads them to behave like that.No country will help you unless they have their own interest otherwise their countrymen will not allow the head to rule because it is their tax money being siphoned.
So far you agree with them they are your friends,the moment you apply your wisdom you are gone.
Better to be on your own & don't depend on them.For this very very very important thing is
best teachers (good knowledge with good moral values)to be developed/appointed so that they may create thousands of educated children with good moral values only then nation can be independent(it will become the chain reaction).World will look at you rather than we are looking at world for begging.I believe in simple theory that police & teachers should be of good moral values,deserving & highly paid.country will become gold & corruption will be uprooted & country will be independent.Neither India nor pakistan are independent.They are still in the clutches of poverty,illeteracy,corruption,begging & what not.For the last 50 years looking at others for help & we are celeberating independence day.What kind of independence when part of population sleeps without food & water.We are taking care of human beings dying in our own country & racing for pleasing USA & CHINA.Please take care of your brothers & sisters they are your real assets.They will help at odd times.Think about them.Outsiders are all to rule on you & loot you.I don't know what we learnt from the past.

suresh taneja, Pakistan - 16 March, 2006

This in refrence to the letter posted by Saj Khan.In all his appreciation about China's aid to Pakistan he has quite forgotten that it was China's premier that visited India in september 2004and this year is being celebrated as Indo-China friendship year.This just confirms that China too like other nations is guided by it's self intrest and not by it's moral duty to help a needing nation.Pheraps it recognizes the fact that India is slowly but surely becoming economic power,a fact boasted not only by indians but many noted economists around the world.Regarding many people not watching indian films in Pakistan,bollywood frankly, does'nt care for few audience in Pakistan when when it's popularity is rising in Europe as well as other parts of the world

vipul sharma, Hungary - 19 April, 2006

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