The 2012 NATO summit hosted by president Barack Obama, got concluded yesterday in Chicago with all the leaders meeting each other to discuss the military matters of the world. These are not your regular catching ups; the NATO summit is held so that top leaders can discuss and build new partnerships with each other or non-NATO countries. There have been 24 summits of this kind and only 3, among this one, was hosted by the US. Many issues including exit strategy from Afghanistan and training of their army personnel were discussed. One of the issues was the NATO supply lines.
The NATO supply line which runs from Pakistan into Afghanistan, is a huge swarm of trucks carrying fuel, food and aid to soldiers of the US and other countries who are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. The supply line was blocked by Pakistan following the death of 28 soldiers by a US jet plane. The relationships between the two countries took leap into quarry when the Pakistani president refused to open the supply route, even as soldiers in Afghanistan were on less than half their ration of food and medicine.
Now, a deal to open the routes was being considered and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari, by invitation, flew to the NATO summit. But president Obama refused to meet the Pakistani president because the deal to reopen the NATO supply routes proved to be much more hassle than just an agreement. Pakistan is now asking $5000 for every truck that passes the border (earlier cost was $250 per truck, so 20x increment), even as the US is giving it more than a billion for its ‘war against terror’. And that’s not it, here are the five things that Pakistani ambassador demanded from the US, as being necessary to restore their ‘special’ relationship-
1) Apology for the 24 dead soldiers.
2) Reimbursement of CSF ( Coalition Support Fund), which basically means they want
1.8 billion dollars.
3) Sharing of intelligence
4) Stopping the drone attacks.
5) Shift in trade policies.
….. i mean it’s one thing to demand things while being an opportunistic blackmailer, but damn! No wonder Obama is pissed at Zardari. Not all demands are unreasonable, they want an apology for the dead soldiers, a reasonable demand. But they also want 1.8 billion dollars for ‘support’ and we all know where that is going. Pakistan has in the past used US fundings to enhance its military capabilities to counter the ‘Indian threat’. I don’t know what that means but they should really come to the Indian parliament for a day or two. They’ll realize that politicians here are into something so unrelated to them, that it borderlines indifference. Nobody here wants to attack Pakistan because they are so damn busy with their own lives. Something to learn there for them. They want information to be shared with them. Last time US had pin pointed Osama Bin Laden’s location to Pakistani high command. He had fled from the site right after. Similar instances have been reported when intelligence was shared and terrorists fled like clockwork. Talk about being obvious… I think the only intelligence, that needs to be shared, is some common sense.
Stopping drone attacks… they have been rambling against it ever since they began. I don’t blame them. Loaded precision jets, with no pilots, controlled by someone from the other side of the world is right out of science fiction. It’s become a habit to put a mention of it in almost every statement that they make… they keep saying things like… the drones are violating our borders and sovereignty…. Sounds suspiciously like molestation… Anyway the drones have been very effective against the militants, killing many of the prominent leaders recently, downside is they have also caused deaths of many innocent civilians.
But that’s what you get when you breed the terrorists in the first place. Its like telling your neighbor to mind your fence, after you let a pack of wild dogs after him. The Pakistani ambassador to US said that the raid on Abbottabad, which lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden was one of the reasons that have, “frayed our 60-year old special relationship”. Pakistan is fuming that they were not informed about the raid. In their own words, ‘We did not receive intelligence’. Hmmm, apparently not.The ‘special relationship’ needs some robust counselling if any good is to be done on Afghan soil. Pakistan cannot be spoon fed anymore because then, they never want to grow up. They can’t say they are fighting terrorism, while supporting terrorism, and laundering billions of dollars, all at the same time! Just smiling for cameras, shaking hands and saying everything is fine, while your country is ravaged by religious terrorism, poverty, acid attacks on women, murders of journalists to name a few things, is not how politics is played in the outside world. As a leader of a nation, nobody including your own people will hold any respect for you. Every country strives for its economic benefit and Pakistan is no exception. But trying to gain money to solve a problem, which you created, which is affecting other countries because of you, and not even using that money for the purpose, takes somebody really deprived of principals.
Even though i love watching Pakistan make a spectacle of itself, i feel sad after a while because behind the curtains are so many people that have to live in such an insecure environment while watching its own government being manhandled into doing things, that they should have done themselves.