|Indian War Games Danger to Pakistan
Statement by Leader of the Opposition
Islamabad – 18 November, 1998
The Leader of the Opposition Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has expressed grave concern over the massive Indian Military War Games on Pakistan’s sensitive Southern Flank. These exercises also include an amphibious landing which shows how dangerous alienating Karachi in particular and Sindh in general can prove for the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.
The Nation expected that in the light of the series of Indo-Pak talks which have taken place, the undemocratic Nawaz regime would have sought a postponement of the Indian Military exercises, as a measure to build confidence between the two countries. Unfortunately the insecurity driven policies of the Nawaz regime which has made the politics of revenge, the corner stone of its governance, has internally weakened Pakistan and made our borders vulnerable. Last summer we had hot pursuit across Kashmir for the first time since the fall of Dacca. This was followed by relentless Indian firing.
Despite being a nuclear power, thanks to Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s position is considerably weakened by the inability of the regime to formulate proper diplomatic, social or economic policies.
Security is a multi-faceted regime. Simply having nuclear power is not enough. One needs the industrial base to sustain it. By eliminating Quaid-e-Awam, by abuse of the judicial process, Pakistan lost its industrial base and thus the economic strength to make the acquisition of nuclear power meaningful in terms of security. .
Since Pakistan became a nuclear power its position of influence ironically has deteriorated regionally and internationally instead of being strengthened. For many we are perceived as a nuclear threat. Failing to seize the initiative by spearheading the move to sign CTBT on May 28, 1998 and thereby wining the goodwill of international community, the unfit mafia ruling Pakistan seized foreign currency deposits. This injurious action was followed by the crude attempts to brow-beat powerful multinationals by abuse of judicial process. The actions against Hubco clothed in judicial garb, led to the collapse of foreign investment in Pakistan. In the absence of foreign aid, and foreign trade the economy simply collapsed.
Mr. Nawaz Sharif goes to Washington posing as a powerful leader of a nuclear power. In fact he is the weakest leader to ever visit Washington. No great achievements are expected from this visit. Neither a Brown Amendment retrieving US $ I billion to Pakistan, nor the return of the F-16s, nor debt relief nor financial aid nor any movement on Kashmir. Our position on CTBT has already been made known during Nawaz Sharif’s address to the United Nations General Assembly and by our delegates at Geneva.
President Clinton is simply being kind to receive Nawaz at Washington. He knows fully well that Pakistan is bankrupt, not due to sanctions, but Pakistan’s own economic mess.
Pakistan’s position will continue to deteriorate under the leadership of a bully boy from “Gawalmandi” and his team which is good at propaganda but an absolute failure in governance.
The announcement of Indian war games emphasis is the need of fresh election to enable the genuine leadership of Pakistan to defuse external threats and build internal unity through adoption of the Nine Point Programme announced by the Pakistan Peoples Party on November 16,1998.
Instead of responding to concerns raised by the democratic forces in Pakistan, the regime is too busy in diverting public attention from its defaults, money laundering and other failures by cooking up stories against the Opposition and deceiving foreign governments with trumped up and perjured statements.
The country needs more than false accusations to survive. It needs the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and its allies to steer the country out of troubled waters.
The regime could begin rectifying its colossal mistakes by lifting Governor’s Rule in Sindh and permitting the Assembly in Pakistan’s second largest province forming its own government. Otherwise history will not forgive it.
A situation similar to the one in Dacca is threatening Pakistan which no patriotic citizen wants to see. The amphibious assault exercises indicate that in the event of conflict, the Indians could consider storming Karachi by sea and terrorist amongst the alienated Karachi-ites might come up as their rear guard defence. Terrorist freed by Nawaz Sharif.
Pictures of a Sindh Assembly shut, with members forced to sit on the ground facing guns, could be played worldwide causing immense damage. It is time that these senseless policies are given up. If Nawaz Sharif has a shed of patriotism in him, he would resign. Diplomacy with countries in the region can safeguard our borders. That diplomacy has been missing. Only economic progress and justice to the federating units can strengthen the country from inside. That too is missing.
Unfortunately, this regime lacks the vision to recognize a problem leave alone solve it. It is so driven by the fears that its key-members will be hauled up to pay defaulted loans or face prosecution in foreign countries on money laundering charges that it will resort blindly to more propaganda against the Opposition and its allies which alone are in a position to safeguard Pakistan’s future.
The Pakistan Peoples Party and its allies in PAI are therefore holding a grand rally in Lahore on November 23 at Minar-e-Pakistan to create awareness amongst the people before desperation drives them into the hands of politicized Mullas or God forbid a revolt in institutions.