The irony is that the US does not want to be a friend of Pakistan, not allow any other country to be a friend of Pakistan. At the time of independence in 1947 from British rule, The US was among the very few countries that recognized Pakistan and established diplomatic relations. Both countries have a long history of collaboration and cooperation. Although the journey of friendship was not very smooth, rather bumpy, and experienced many ups and downs.
However, Pakistan was in the American camp for more than seven decades, a close ally during the cold war against the communism threat, a front-line state in the Afghan war against USSR invasion, a non-NATO close ally in its war on terror. Pakistan is the only country that has suffered the heaviest loss due to being a partner with the US in the Afghan war. 80,000 precious human lives were lost, much more than any NATO or ally nation. The estimated economic loss was around US dollars 250 Billion, the social impact was severe, additionally, the menace of terrorism, extremism, intolerance, drugs, and gun culture were extra gifts. Yet Pakistan was penalized and imposed the hardest sanctions.
Pakistan was protecting and looking after American interests in this region for almost seven decades. Pakistan ensured that the US achieved all its strategic goals in this region with the help of Pakistan. Since the US kept its distance from Pakistan and put all its priorities on India, the US has been facing one after another failure during the last several years.
It was an American policy shift to focus on India and keeping distance from Pakistan since 2004 (approximately) unilaterally. The US has been pressurizing from all directions, sometimes through IMF, FATF, and sometimes through its friends like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and others. Sometimes, directly threaten dire consequences. Although Pakistan was and is willing to maintain good relations with the US. At least, Pakistan has nothing against America, it cannot be a good friend, at least there is no reason to hate Pakistan, coerce Pakistan, or penalize Pakistan.
As a matter of fact, during the seven decades of friendly relations, the US has deep penetration into Pakistani society, ruling elite, and defense system. They understood the weakness of Pakistan and kept exploiting our weaknesses. They have identified the greedy, corrupt, naïve, disgruntle, and destitute Pakistanis. They keep close contact with them and always please them. In fact, they have cultivated some of them to be used to serve their goals in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, was educated, brought up, lived in the West, and is a moderate Muslim. His understanding of the West should have been utilized to bridge the East and West. He is the only Prime Minister in Pakistan having the highest number of Foreign Nationals, or dual Nationals in his cabinet. Especially, in the key positions in the state, he has appointed very much Pro-west individuals. He is surrounded by American lobbyists around him. Yet, the Americans do not like him, which is beyond understanding. Is his visit to Moscow or abstaining from American motion in the UNSC, his vision of an independent sovereign state, or any other thing which might have irritated the US? Pakistan was always ruled by a pro-west elite, having deep stakes in the West. Some of the ruling elite or wealthy people are keeping their assets, money families, in the West or planning to move to the West after retirement. Their children are studying, working, or migrated to the West. They all are the well-wisher of the West, to some extent, more loyal to the West.
Of course, he is sincere and loyal to the nation, which should not be taken against him. He got international attention as a moderate global leader and his efforts for global peace and stability gained momentum. All these acts should be taken positively, with no justification for punishing him.
The US has a track record of changing regimes around the world and gained huge expertise in this regard. They might use different policies and action plans to change the regime in different countries. In Pakistan, they are using their agents and front-men for this purpose. Any attempt to change the regime in Pakistan by any foreign power is taken very seriously by the Pakistani public. As a nation, Pakistan is full of diversity and enjoys the highest degree of freedom of expression in the whole world. Our media is fully free and the judiciary is independent. It is believed that the people of Pakistan are wise enough to decide on their own leader, any foreign intervention may become counterproductive.
In fact, the graph of his popularity was declining due to poor governance, especially the price hike and enhanced inflation. But, with the foreign conspiracy, his popularity has improved a lot. Political activities are a healthy sign and we encourage the opposition to play a positive role and criticize the wrongdoings of the Government. But, if foreign agendas are being implemented, the nation is united to confront them collectively.
The coming few days are very critical in Pakistani politics. Although the ball is in the court of judiciary, yet, the public is urged to think smartly and decide their loyalties to any political party, based on their best judgment. All Political Parties are equally good to support and a healthy completion is good for the country. Even a strong opposition is the beauty of this society. However, it is urged to be loyal to the country and united against any foreign intervention or conspiracy. Each individual is held responsible to judge and decide according to his/ her conscious. Respect the constitution of the country and stay peaceful under all circumstances. Understand your rights and duties and emphasize duties too. Struggle to transform Pakistan into an independent, strong, and prosperous nation in the club of the civilized world.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: email@example.com).