By Farooq Sulehria
Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me
Both of these, however, are under American hegemony
American aid gave us wheat, as also their deceit
Do not ask me how long we've suffered their conceit
And yet the bayonets are all around this flowering valley
Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me --Habib Jalib
Regardless of how one views the recent visit of George W Bush
to Pakistan --- a success or a failure --- one thing is praiseworthy.
He kept the American presidents' tradition of paying visits to
Pakistan only when a khaki man is at the helm. Last time, it was
William J Clinton, back in 2000 (March 25 to be exact), meeting
General Musharraf in Islamabad. Since the 'war on terror' had
not begun, William Clinton therefore was reluctant in providing
a photo-session opportunity to the Empire's satrap in Islamabad.
The first US president to visit Pakistan was Dwight Eisenhower
landing in Karachi in 1959. He stayed for two days (December 7-9)
and during this informal visit, he met General Ayub Khan. Like
General Pervez Musharraf, 'Field Marshal' Ayub Khan was a lucky
man. He received two US presidents. Second time it was L B Johnson
landing in Karachi on December 23, 1967.
Ayub Khan's immediate successor, General Yahya Khan played host
to Richard Nixon when President Nixon visited Pakistan (August
1-2, 1969) on a state visit.
Despite all the valuable services, General Ziaul Haq, however,
was denied the pleasure to host any Emperor.
True, the 'Father of the Nation' Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself set
the pro-US line even before Pakistan was born. In May 1947, he
was telling US diplomat Raymond Hare that Pakistan would be oriented
towards the Muslim countries of the Middle East. Since they were
weak, 'Muslim countries would stand together against possible
Russian aggression and would look to the US assistance'.
By declaring that 'communism [does] not flourish in the soil
of Islam', Jinnah dispatched his representative Mir Laik Ali to
obtain $2billion from Washington. Jinnah must have been disappointed
by the near total turndown since only $10 million was approved.
Dollars were showered upon Pakistan only when a khaki man had
been put in place. The first khaki ruler the US imposed on Pakistan
was a political genius by the way. He told the democracy-hungry
nation: 'Democracy cannot work in a hot climate. To have democracy
we must have a cold climate as in Britain.'
What Pakistan got during the ten years (June 1950-December 1959)
as US aid ($ 1119 million) was granted for its second Five Year
Plan (1960-65) when a military dictator was in power. Pakistan
received $1818.7 million for the second Five Year Plan. The generous
US aid was a reward for a country that, as Ayub Khan describes
in his biography, had become the 'most allied ally in Asia'. The
'most allied ally in Asia' was a bulwark against communism. It
also had put its military at the service of the Empire to safeguard
her oil interests in Middle East.
Ayub Khanwas consigned to the dustbin of history meant for Empires
satraps by a mass democracy movement. The GHQ learnt nothing from
the anti-Ayub movement. General Yahya Khan told his GHQ colleagues:
'The army will have to take over'. It took over and refused to
respect the democratic verdict from East Pakistan. Instead, East
Pakistan was taught a lesson for not voting for the approved parties:
Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami. The bloodshed unleashed by
Yahya was making even the US embassy staff in Dacca nervous. The
US embassy staff sent a collective 'dissent channel' telegram.
But President Nixon's advice was 'Don't squeeze Yahya at this
Yahya was squeezed anyway. Not by the Nixon administration but
by the Pakistani masses. Finally, democracy. Since 'democracy
cannot work in a hot climate', the Empire made an example out
of Bhutto to prove 'we must have a cold climate as in Britain'
and must never think of a nuclear programme. Yet another dictator
was imposed and was generously showered upon by US aid. Pakistan
became the third largest recipient of US aid after Israel and
And the nuclear programme? Afghanistan had gone through the 'Saur
Revolution', therefore the US secretary of state Alexander Haig
told Foreign Minister Agha Shahi: 'we will not make your nuclear
programme the centrepiece of our relations'. A six-year waiver
was granted in 1981. In October 1986, President Reagan certified
again that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear device even if the
US media were warning that Pakistan was 'two screwdriver turn'
from possessing a fully assembled weapon.
As soon as democracy was restored viceroy Robert Oklay was warning:
'If you take any action on the nuclear programme and you go past
that line ....[Bush] will blow the whistle and invoke Pressler'.
The Pressler amendment was indeed invoked. The year 1990 passed
without any certification and Pakistan was denied $564 million
meant for 1991. It took another military coup in Pakistan and
another war in Afghanistan to get rid of amendments, waivers and
On September 24, 2001, the Bush administration lifted all sanctions
against Pakistan under the Glen, Pressler and Symington Amendments.
Colin Powell was telling NBC television that the US had no concern
over Pakistan's nuclear programme and the Musharraf government
was stable. A new package worth $3.2 billion was offered for the
'non-NATO ally' to combat al-Qaeda terrorists. The generals at
GHQ are all smiles since. The Emperor is happy. As long as the
Emperor is happy and the rulers are ready to take U-turns, mango
seasons will keep passing uninterrupted. Another U-turn on Iran
and we maybe lucky enough to receive yet another emperor. Meantime,
the masses will remain in chains. Democracy will remain an elusive
If the dacoit had not had
The village guard as his ally
Our feet would not be in chains
Our victory would not defeat imply
Mourn with turbans round your necks
Crawling on your bellies, comply