Articles of the year 2006

Oath of Office
Published on March 09th, 2006

"US lawmakers have reacted with concern to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's claim that she personally brought missile blue prints from North Korea while she was prime minister" Washington March 08 reported in Dawn 0903.

"Congressman Dana Rohrabacher,a republican from California and a member of the House International Relations Committee labeled the statement a demonstration of ' both the arrogance and insanity of Pakistani leaders'."

I have a few problems here. Firstly why couldn't she just shop like a normal Pakistani housewife, and buy up all of Marks and Spencers . Why buy missile plans? Maybe the Koreans did not have much on offer in shoes and bags, and she got a bargain in the plans. And then why talk to the American Congress. Does she think the Americans will trust her more? Or less. It is quite obvious that Congressman Rohrabacher has seized the opportunity given him by an ex prime minister –no less, to further paint Pakistan as an irresponsible state, and were it not for the Osama factor, a pariah.

Pakistan is facing many enemies, internal and external, and the anti-Pakistan lobbyists in Washington must be laughing their heads off , for here was Benazir doing their work for them, and doing a better job than they could have imagined! It gets better. She has also given them the chance to bracket us with North Korea. Poor President Bush must be having a hard time in maintaining his support of Pakistan. There is an upside to this, for in her strange behaviour she is making President Musharraf look absolutely outstanding by comparison, as a statesman.We have had to watch countless swearing-in ceremonies where Presidents,Prime and other Minsters, are sworn in witnessed by friends and relatives. The Oath I believe is to uphold the constitution etc etc,---and to protect the secrets that may be part of the office that you hold. This Oath of secrecy extends to all officers of the Govt. Does she not realize that she has violated her oath of office, in divulging State secrets that she had sworn to protect? . Ghulam Ishaq and Gen Aslam Beg now stand proven correct in not having trusted her. Of course this perception existed deep within the establishment, and would have taken a lot of hard work to overcome. Now it will be even more difficult.At this rate she is quite successfully painting herself out of future politics, and may be compromising the future of the Peoples Party, or at least her role in it. Asif Zardari, is looking good and the Party may start looking at him in a different light. Maybe this country has had enough of the 'arrogance and insanity' of the Bhuttos. The consequences of this act will be far reaching, and may affect our bi-lateral agreements with some countries, whom we would still like to work with, but who may now not trust us. I am sure the damage control mechanism in Islamabad must have gone into high gear to ensure that the fallout is contained. The Koreans right now have serious problems of their own, but they will cope, and their neighbours will be working hard to arrive at a working arrangement, and to defuse the regional threat. It seems they are a way down on the American priorities, as they do not yet constitute a threat to the US interests, nor do they have any oil, so they for the time being are safe.Meanwhile President Musharraf's luck seems to be getting better, for this was truly a gift to him which not even his team of planners in GHQ could improve upon.