Editorial : US report - Friday 8th April 2011

DO we really need the US to inform us about the deficiencies of our government? Its frailties and alleged wrongdoings are well known to the citizens of Pakistan, thanks primarily to a largely free media as well as an inbuilt cynicism fuelled by a series of dubious dispensations in Islamabad. The latest biannual report submitted to Congress by the White House paints a bleak picture of governance in Pakistan and points to the shortcomings of an administration that is apparently so involved in political wrangling that it cannot address core issues such as the economy. Again, this is not news for the people. At the same time it should be noted that such reports are mandatory, a routine affair, and need not be construed as a terminal indictment of Islamabad. The US needs Pakistan in the fight against militancy, and what the White House says in public may not be reflective of negotiations taking place behind the scenes.
And that`s a key point here. The US may have concerns about the viability of the Pakistan government but such matters are best discussed in private. Airing its displeasure in public helps neither Islamabad nor Washington. A government that is not short of critics at home only comes under increased pressure when an ostensible ally such as the US chooses to point out its shortcomings, be they real or not. Washington would also do well to remember that there is no shortage of anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and there are plenty of conservative and right-wing politicians here who will jump at the chance to exploit any perceived slight. As it is, there are deep suspicions among the public about America`s role in Pakistan and many are convinced that we are fighting someone else`s war. That is not entirely true, for this is our own battle as well, but inflammatory statements do not help either side`s cause.
Questioning the Pakistan Army`s commitment to the fight against militancy, such as its reluctance to begin a full-fledged operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan, is another sore point. While our military`s services in countering the Taliban have often been acknowledged by US commanders and some top officials in Washington, such praise is routinely followed by criticism that can only strain the relationship between the two countries. Consider this: Pakistan`s armed forces have deployed close to 150,000 troops in the tribal areas and a significant number of servicemen have died in the battlefield. What more can this country do? The US-led alliance, which is now mulling over its Afghan exit strategy, must respect the resilience shown on this side of the Durand Line.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/08/us-report.html

No comments:

Post a Comment