By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
US officials and politicians are most of the times so much convinced with their own policies that they seems like megalomaniacs, hypnotised and robotic. This inflexible attitude has caused deaths and destruction to millions in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. Probably for that very reason US invest in recruiting agents then making true friends from the masses.
Nicholas Burns, US Assistant Secretary of State was in the same trance when I asked him at (IISS) International Institute of Strategic Studies in London in 2008, something like, ‘what moral lessons you have for the people resisting occupations (under International Law) of two occupied countries’? He asked me which two countries and I replied ‘Iraq and Afghanistan’ sir. Ambassador Burns gave a response backed with UN resolutions which some people call ‘dodgy justifications’. He and others defended the US official policy almost religiously”.
On the other hands Pakistani policy makers mostly believe in ‘pay as you go’ or ‘I will always scratch your back even if you are not itching especially if you are from USA’. It is due to the deep roots of US obliged corrupt elite. Pakistan always had a significant role in the strategic designs of the USA in the region. Pakistan’s political, civil, military establishment and influential organised minority groups like Shias, Ismailis, Parsis, and Qadiyanis have always been entwined with foreign agenda for various reasons perhaps their own
In 43 years 710 Pakistanis visited USA was from 1964-2008, but numbers shot up in 2007-2008 when 207, Pakistanis have visited US under Fulbright scholarship?
Vulnerabilities? According to a US based senior analyst, ‘Zardari regime is a classic example of smooth ‘shia Muslim minority’, rule without even 95% of the people knowing what actually is going on? Get press, media, finance and law in your control and whole state is in your hand. That suits the foreign players including India.”
The corrupt regime of Asif Zardari is full of criminals and out laws that is why Pakistan does not have a law minister for the past three months. Why? Farooq Naik was his family lawyer who was first promoted as law minister then chairman of upper house (Senate). Few weeks ago I told him in the House of Lords in London to introduce another NRO so people like his boss can bring their black money back into the country. He said, ‘OK’.
Countries where leaders have vision, promote rule of law, invest in education, especially in research and development from bird watching to space travel. Research is an expansive business but some times money can’t buy everything? The best source developed countries can get from developing countries is human resource. Britain is one of the richest countries in research, human resource development, and retaining human resources for generations. That is why a country size of Pakistan is being run by the officials’ rank of a director general or joint secretary? No wonder London is known as junk yard of Pakistani politicians and officials.
Public opinion is not in favour of the US policies as religiously followed and adopted by the corrupt elite. US has always had a place in the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan until after tragic events of 9/11 in which approximately 3000 people died and subsequent killings of millions of people with destruction and displacement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Ironically Pakistani governments and the establishment have always facilitated the US policies? US enjoy this advantage because it has an elaborate plan to ensure its grip on the governing infrastructure of Pakistan. Amongst a number of ostensibly innocent ways to ensure this control two are quite prominent. One is the ‘International Visitor Programme and the other is Fulbright Scholarship. Under visit programme, US attracts important / influential members of Pakistani society i.e. politicians, civil/military bureaucrats, journalist, intellectuals etc by offering a visit to US under privileged arrangements.
During these visits, required people are spotted and later on engaged to work for both short and long term US interests in Pakistan. It does not end here, later on; these people are also assisted and supported to progress in their fields to reach targeted positions of high value from where they can provide required service to their masters. Every year short listing of the potential individuals is done by the existing sources in respected fields that are duly supervised by US embassy. A complete profile of the short listed individuals is made with special emphasis on strong / weak areas. These areas of the individuals are exploited during their visits / tours to US and they are motivated or forced to work for US interests. Lucrative postings of the armed forces for UN peace missions can be a good networking start for future assets.
According to reports, ‘since FATA has become an important area for US, in 2008, five Pakistanis from FATA were selected to go to US where they stayed for almost a month. Baluchistan carries a similar position for US so no wonder US regularly sends short listed Baluch nationalists on these visits. US efforts on Pakistani politicians of the mainstream parties never stop. Currently, more than a dozen sitting MNAs (Members of National Assembly) of leading political parties are on a trip to US. It is interesting to note that most of these MNAs are members of Parliament’s Standing Committee for Defence, which indicates that US wants to develop source to keep a closer eye on Pakistan’s defence infrastructure including the nuclear asset.
According to a senior analyst, “Under Fulbright scholarship, selected students are sent to US under arrangements of The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan. This programme is funded by U.S. Department of State and offers up to four years of graduate study in the US towards a Ph.D. degree. US provide tuition, books, airfare and a trip back home after two years, a living stipend, and health insurance.
In 43 years from 1964 to 2007, total numbers of Pakistanis visited USA was 710 but the numbers shot up in 2007-2008 when 207, Pakistanis have visited US under Fulbright scholarship? These sponsored visits to US cover almost all important fields of Pakistani society which include Armed Forces / civil bureaucracy (both senior and junior levels) religious scholars, politicians, businessmen, media personnel and students”.
The beneficiaries of this US patronage, work for their master on long term bases and reach place of strategic value. All the way through, heavy financial rewards and full protection is guaranteed to these individuals in case they are in trouble. One can simply recall a number of journalists, politicians and bureaucrats, who were caught for their wrongdoings but went scot free to the utter surprise of every one. It was known later that US government exerted pressure for such releases.
A defence analyst said, “It is quite ironic to note that despite clear service rules and regulations, government departments directly coordinate and process various scholarships and visit programmes. Most of the times no questions are asked before issuing NOCs (no objection certificates) and no debriefings are done on return. It is quite understandable as to why the government does not bother about its officials’ visit to US and growing US influence within important government departments as well as society. But if we want to maintain our religious, cultural, social and political integrity, it is very important that Pakistan government should exercise maximum control over the growing US control of the countries”.
It would be wise if USA and others connect with the people of Pakistan then recruiting, investing and protecting small ‘chiefs or thieves’.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University)
Views expressed are not of The London Post