The political narrative propagated by PM Imran Khan, in response to the no-confidence motion, is making sense by keeping history into account. Post-cold-war global hegemon, the US, wants everyone complaisant to its interest-based policies and so-called progressive political philosophy. The white house wants visionless leadership and regimes which are ready to adopt its institutional policies, manifested by the famous statement of George W. Bush: “Either you are with us or against us”. They don’t like any heroism or independent thinking.
The United States and its institutions want this colonial ambition to be fulfilled by hook or by crook. They try to achieve it through indirect ways such as buying local stakeholders or fueling local movements against the disobedient. For example, their role in Arab Spring, the Egyptian movement against the brotherhood and even in Ukrainian revolutions is no more a secret. Furthermore, they don’t hesitate to employ force using so-called peace-promoting international institutions as tools. The Iraq invasion is a landmark case. The Russian media is highlighting, during this Russia-Ukraine conflict, this western hypocrisy at its peak.
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The time is changing and the unipolar world order is being challenged
The strengthened economic muscle allowed China to have unprecedented independent and daring foreign policy towards the US. Russia is another challenger. The disreputable US after the misadventures of Iraq and Afghanistan has much reduced political space to repeat them. Probably, the west predicted it and established financial institutions like IMF and Brentwood system in order to create dependency syndrome in the name of providing economic breathing space. The “Confessions of Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins is a very interesting and thought-provoking read in this regard.
Pakistan has also become a victim of this economic dependency syndrome. The west and United States keep exploiting it to get their desired political results. Moreover, they have control over the key political leaders including Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari has provided safe havens for their laundered money. The result can be seen in the reactions of these political leaders to America’s adventures in the war on terror, drone attacks in Pakistan and Bin Laden’s murder clearly violating the sovereignty of the country. Asif Ali Zardari’s article in the New York times, right after Bin Laden’s murder, even gave the Americans a shock as they didn’t expect such a level of slavery.
In return for their required complaisant political attitude towards them, the west is benevolent enough to help them remain in power corridors. What else would they want? State interests at the cost of their own above-stated interests?
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One needs to understand the “Prisoner’s dilemma”
The civil-military hybrid produced in Pakistan, after the 2018 elections, has been displeasing the west and the US. Not attending the summit for democracy held by the US; “Absolutely Not”; attending China Olympics despite of western boycott; PM Imran Khan publicly criticizing the US for Afghan misadventure and not appreciating Pakistan’s role and finally Pakistan’s visit to Russia and not voting against it in UNGA are more than enough for being independent, if not against, towards the US. However, in order to walk its stated policy of not becoming part of any block, Pakistan should have participated in the summit for democracy held by the US.
PM, Imran Khan, waiving the letter in public gatherings reminds me of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto’s similar act in Rawalpindi back in the 1970s. PM, Imran Khan’s, remarks: “Only Animals can be neutral” consolidates having the same motive as well.
Pakistan has suffered a lot in America’s war on terror not only in the form of 80,000 lives and more than $150 billion but mostly in the form of losing soft power and foreign direct investments. It also couldn’t develop its tourism industry which could have been a major breakthrough for its economic crisis. Unfortunately, the army had to launch operations, as operations Zarb-e-Azab and Radd-ul-Fasaad, in its own territory, inevitably killing some innocent individuals as well.
Apart from more than 3 million people being displaced, the collateral damages caused during these operations and drone attacks by the US-made locals disgruntled towards the state and its security institutions. It made them more vulnerable to be exploited by non-state actors. It will take generations to repair these losses.
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Independent foreign policy demands living nations and economic muscle
This is the high time for the nation to stand and compel political stakeholders to give a unanimous message to the west and Europe that: Pakistan is an absolutely independent sovereign state; no one can dictate its foreign policy. Pakistan is open to everyone and more than willing to cooperate in the economic arena following its geo-economic strategy benefiting the national interests solely. At the same time, propagating Army Chief’s recent comment that Pakistan’s peace-loving policy should not be considered its military weakness at all.
Apart from inflation and trade deficit, Pakistan’s economy is in the right direction. Although, Pakistan needs more reforms to promote export-oriented industries while attracting FDIs as well. But before that, we need to inculcate in our psychologies that we will not fail as a state without western economic injections. Iran and Malaysia are landmark examples. There is nothing free in the world of international relations, this western economic dependency syndrome has already cost us a lot.
The writer is a practicing lawyer. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.