Feb 22, 2024
Feb 22, 2024
by Rahul Mukand
Pakistan PM Gilani gave a long speech in the Pakistani Parliament explaining the position for government of Pakistan post-Osama. If we try to dissect the speech, we come to a conclusion, he was catering to the domestic constituency in Pakistan and trying to explain incursion of US Seals in Abbottabad to nab Osama. For this, he pinned blame on not only Pakistani but world intelligence to track where-abouts of Osama since 9/11.
The speech has to be understood in a positive frame of mind because it makes passing reference to words like, "universal freedom, dignity, equality, tolerance, humanity, harmony and brotherhood," which are so vital to inculcate ethos of democracy in insurgency ridden state. These words have reposed faith partly to the world and fully to the local Pakistanis about existence of functional democratic apparatus which respondes to its voxpopuli.
Speech raises pertinent questions on the "bygone era," which led to emergence of Osama bin Laden and diplomatically pinned blame on US for creating Jihad and making it a breeding ground for Mujahideen in Afghanistan. In fact, Gilani empirically supported fight against terrorism led by Pakistan in its own territory and against Al-Qaeda. Linkage of state actors with non-state actors was discounted to the fullest in the speech. Nevertheless, ISI provided key leads about the location to nab Osama bin Laden.
Unilateralism was denounced in its totality, but capability of Pakistan military to quell such a risk in the near future was certainly directed towards India. Words of appreciation were showered at China, which was a source of inspiration and development for Pakistan. Fissures among Pakistan-US relations were visible in the speech. Ironically, process of engagement with India was viewed in "a positive and constructive manner." Some light too was shed on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations which was termed, "we must assume full ownership and responsibility for realising our shared vision of stability and prosperity."
Democracy and development are major factors which are required to concretise democratic ethos in Pakistan, but if followed in right spirit. Promotion of civilian rule will augur well for India to re-start dialogue process once again.
As rightly said by "Politician turned Peace activist" Mr. Manishankar Aiyar, "India Pakistan relations can improve only when un-interruptible and un-interrupted dialogue is possible between both the countries." Our hawks in the strategic community may denounce this theory as being illogical in the current scenario, but peace is a bare reality which both nations need at this moment as opposed to confrontationist attitude. Or keeping the blame game on.
Added to this, Gilani's speech reposed faith in civilian architecture in Pakistan and hope for remnant liberal elements to exist in largely shrinking civil society in Pakistan.
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