There is a common perception amongst SAARC countries about Indians and their lobbyists in Washington: If you ask them how their country is doing, they will talk about China. If you ask them what is wrong with their country, they will tell you what is wrong with Sri Lanka. If you ask how they can fix their country they will tell you what Pakistan is not doing to fix their country and also as a corollary create problems for the United States of America. If you ask what the future holds for India, they will tell you what the past (starting from the creation of Pakistan) looks like.
Perhaps this is why they start paragraphs with ‘gosh’ in news outlets and exclaim that Pakistani Foreign policy is hard to explain. After all, their writing is meant, it seems, to gain readership of the ever encouraged ‘pak-phobes’ which, unfortunately, the Huffington Post wants to tap into. All their narratives have the same tune, the USA is unwise when it comes to Pakistan and it must realize that its inhabitants are akin to the biblical people of Gog and Magog.
Keeping up with the ‘pak-phobes’ viewpoint means just one thing; write about Pakistan as an ‘expert’ while sitting comfortably in the land of ‘honey boo boo’ and ‘black lives don’t matter.’ Extra dollar pings if the ‘phobe’ is an American Pakistani with a massive chip on their shoulder. Peddling fiction as fact assured by the backing of influential media-types and their corresponding ‘brown sahib’ academics (read South Asian pawns who have been given inflated titles such as ‘analysts’).
Of the many such pawns, one twinkie eating ill-informed Malik Siraj Akbar pops up. His recent article titled ‘Sharif’s Futile Trip to Washington’ is laden with false claims and assumptions. He starts by stating that the recent trip by the Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif consisted mostly of ‘whining’ about India and externalizing their problems. This is an interesting claim considering it is, in fact, India that is famous for blaming all its internal and external issues on others. For example, it has popularized the narrative that problems in Tamil Nadu are due to Sri Lanka, in Bihar because of Bangladesh, in NEFA the mischief is by China, any other problem anywhere even to the extent of beef eating is due to Pakistan and its ISI. If anything happens in Afghanistan then also it is Pakistan’s fault.
In his article, the writer says that the USA has taken the Indian side regarding the Kashmir dispute. This would be a rather perplexing development (if it were true), because it would result in the USA ceasing to support the UNMOGIP and the recalling of the peace keeping force deployed to monitor the ceasefire since 1948. Perhaps he needs to be reminded that it was India, and not Pakistan, that took the Indo-Pak Kashmir dispute to the United Nations, while Pakistan was urging for a localized resolution. Also never has the U.S. given a statement supporting the Indian claims on Kashmir, except insisting on a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Maybe Mr. Akbar was present during a confidential conversation the rest of us are not privy to.
Cementing his ‘pak-phobe’ credentials he begins to accuse Islamabad of being a rouge terrorist sponsoring state. This view point nauseating given the fact that Pakistan still continues to do more in the ‘war on terror’ than the architects of the phrase themselves. Pakistan is and has always gone against terrorism in all forms and manifestations. LET and its likes have no state backing. The Jihadist culture is a left over agenda from the Afghan war. Has the world in which Mr. Akbar lives forgotten the Mujahedeen visiting the White House and Congress? They were treated like the Robin Hood’s up to and until their utility ran out. The lethargic fact checking of this article further rises to the surface when Mr. Akbar attempts to justify his rants by stating odd things. He insinuates that the Pakistanis to one up India deliberately leaked the rumors of the talks of a Pakistan-U.S. civil nuclear deal. The fact that this was leaked by American journalists and not denied by the White House seems to have been missed by him. Then he attempts to distort historical facts by stating that the Kargil incident was linked to a jihadist movement. Again he must be sleeping because the Kargil conflict occurred in reaction to Indian aggression in Siachen.
It would seem that the joint statement after Nawaz Sharif’s visit and the dossier kept by United States of Indian terrorism in Baluchistan, FATA and Karachi seems to have raised hackles in ‘Whine land” or India. This is the reason a spate of articles claiming that generals wrote Nawaz Sharif’s brief on what to say in his meeting with President Obama seem to be flooding the news. It is clearly beyond these ‘analysts’ skill set to understand statecraft and how the prime minister would need input from all the institutions of the nation before proceeding for talks with any country. The fact that the U.S. has after a long time been fair in dealings in the subcontinent and has kept Pakistan and India on the same plane on all issues; whether Kashmir, Nuclear or Terrorism, seems to have led many a ‘pak-phobe’ to scurry about and distort the true picture. A picture in which Pakistan is now being recognized as a geopolitical hub and road way to peace and economic well being of South and West Asia.