50 MPH and a Ticking Bomb in the ‘Bus’

30 May

By Sohail Parwaz
I almost forgot the 1994 Hollywood blockbuster “Speed”, where an NYPD police officer Jack Traven jumps to the steering wheel of a busy bus after he discovered there was a bomb on board, planted by the gaily crazy Howard Payne, and to make matters much, much worse, the bomb would go off if the bus slowed to under 50 miles per hour or if the passengers had tried to escape it and thus leaving Jack as the only one who could save them. Answer honestly that aren’t we Pakistanis aboard that speeding and out of control bus which has to be kept moving at above 50 MPH, nevertheless, regardless of that keeping the bus and lives safe (thanks God we too have a responsible ‘Jack’ on the bus)? At least, after the recent happenings of last few days it sounds so.
President Obama displayed smugness while announcing about Mullah Mansur’s death on Monday describing it as an “important milestone.” To some outside experts, it sent an equally powerful message to Pakistan since Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment was alleged to favor Mullah Mansur, while many others of the view that Pakistan did share some information about him with the Americans. It’s not understood that if Pakistan was one of the helping hands then what message was exactly conveyed to Pakistan? During last 24 hours the US authorities had to take two jolts; Chauhdry Nisar’s statement who warned US against ‘Cloak and Dagger’ policy; certainly a dish not cooked, following the official recipe (wink, wink)and then COAS’s meeting with the American envoy whom the mighty man bluntly cautioned about the damaging of relations between the two countries.
In late 1972, I bought a book about prophecies by Hazrat Naimatullah Shah Wali from a railway bookstall. Amazingly, in the last 45 years many events have taken place and the chilling fact is that a number of them are yet to happen, like he prophesied, “During the month of Muharram, the Muslims would procure weapons and then they would go for invasion and aggression. Following this, there would be a great rout, disturbance and hubbub in India. There would be a great sedition and rabble-rousing. That would be the time when the Hindus would be dominating the Muslims. The Muslims of the western portion of the Subcontinent would have the blessings of Allah. The most responsible leaders, skilled scientists and highly professional and dedicated military experts would be available to them. All the Muslim countries would be looking towards them. Muslims from Turkey, Arabia, Iran and the Middle East would turn up with remarkable Ummah spirit to support them and the area of Chitral, Nanga Parbat, Gilgit, China and Tibet would become the main battlefield. The people of Kabul would also come out to kill infidels”. Just few lines mentioned here are without any comments and with an aim to suggest you to relate them with what is happening around us.
After Obama’s narcissistic statement, John Kerry also corroborated his president’s remarks and said, “Mansoor posed a continuing imminent threat to US personnel in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians and NATO coalition, thus the air strike on Mansoor sent a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners”. So the rule of the game is that the rules set by the Americans (according to the time and situation) are the final ones. That’s more like a jungle law but who cares. Isn’t it happening since 1945 when the custodian of the world peace nuked Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed thousands of innocent people in an eye wink’s time? It was fair since the US said so. Iraq was first used against Iran and when the cause over, the elimination of Saddam was the rule; hence the inopportune country was blamed for piling up WMD and made a horrible example. Same happened with Afghanistan and now it’s happening with Syria too. Once enemy Iran, is now on a date (apparently) with the Americans while the Afghan Taliban, for whom the Americans showed lost love in 80s, are bad guys these days. There is no doubt left that the conspiracies are being hatched to tight a noose around Pakistan for whom the plans are being made to punish for the crimes like; having a say among the Taliban, allowing Chinese to materialize CPEC, having a nuclear deterrence about which no one is clear as what level of threat it carries for foes. In fact the last crime is a blessing in disguise which is keeping the enemies at bay and reluctant to even dream about Iraq or Afghanistan like treatment.
Only some ignorant would not notice the starting of countdown, soon after the Indian serving naval officer’s arrest from Balochistan. The layers are being unfolded one after the other. Killing of Wali Muhammad or Akhtar Mansur has been blown up as a huge crime committed by Pakistan but what is the status of Fazalullah, who is holing up in Afghanistan and known to the Americans? No one spoke when RAW’s ‘monkey’ Kulbhushun was arrested and scores of others were found serving in Pakistani mills without any police verification. Ironically, not even our government protested to the Indians about this serious and sensitive crime committed by our neighbour. Wasn’t the nabbing of Indian agent enough to prove that Pakistan has become a heaven on earth for the drifters, illegal immigrants, infiltrators and all sorts of perpetrators? A country, which accommodated and hosted more than eight million refugees for decades while half of them have mingled up with the locals and have refused to go back to their native country, isn’t it insane to blame that state for harbouring one person who was not known to many? Strange and mysterious fact that he had not been staying at one place permanently and has been travelling frequently then why he was killed when in Pakistan, why not in Afghanistan, Iran or Bahrain? Pakistan is expected to host the parleys also and being reprimanded and ridiculed at the same time. What a gawky and pathetic policy it is?
Moments ago I came across a candid worried write up shared by a friend Lt General Tariq Khan, an authority on current war in tribal area, who bluntly criticised the Americans and said, “So Taliban office is kosher when in Dubai and the flag is Halal too. Dying to talk to the Taliban is equally acceptable as being displayed by the US who now is feeling the heat. Pakistan, which is held responsible for these talks, is considered the right road to take by all including our own think tanks who have so hurriedly offered their services. Yet if a Pakistani goes to Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban to coax them for a table talk it’s a no-no. On the other hand, if the Taliban are invited to Pakistan to be convinced to speak to the Afghan-US group, they are droned. So where do we go from here?” The General is critically of the view that; Pakistan should withdraw from any Afghan peace process stating they ‘don’t have a bone in this fight’ and invite the Indians to hold them in Delhi, Pakistan must warn Dubai about hosting Taliban in their country at the cost of Pakistan and instead of protesting, Pakistan should recall their ambassador and tell the US to shut shop, all passports issued to Afghans be cancelled immediately. Any country hoping to invite them should prepare proper travel documents themselves, Pakistan should not be used as a transit port for them instead India or Iran to be told to handle that and lastly, Pakistan must not be used en-route for Hajj or Umrah as if it’s a Sarai. He is of a strong view that, “we must stop being a slogan without substance and recognise the difference between national interest, the Ummah’s interest and the US interest”.
Amidst this development people are giving lots of importance to Indian PM Modi’s visit to Iran. Well, apparently it looks so but has anyone noted the fact that Modi is utterly violating his Guru Chanakya’s basic teachings that ‘my enemy’s enemy should be my friend’. It appears he is too impatient to dismember rest of the Pakistan. The enmity has turned him blind and he is romancing with the Arabs (especially Saudis) and dating the Iranians at the same time. The way he has tried to distort the history has made his trip hilarious. Remember that a fanatic can never be a visionary. My worthy friends may not agree with me but the fact is that Arabs and Iranians aren’t going anywhere. People may mark my word. Maybe I am unable to justify my point in the light of current hostile and aggressive anti-Pakistan drive but trust me that this friendship will not last for more than a couple of years which in fact will be a blessing in disguise for Pak leadership who may like to open their eyes before it is too late. At the end of the day world will find Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan standing together with Chahbahar and Gwadar as a gigantic deep sea complex. Afghan Taliban are a reality since they are not incubated, one may or may not like it. Sooner or later the US will have to submit to their terms, unless ambitious Obama commits a blunder to have another feather in his cap before leaving the Oval Office. In that case his one mistake is going to jeopardize the world peace which will certainly be very unfortunate.
In the movie ‘Speed’, the dutiful cop remained in the bus till he saved every single passenger. Logically we have the right to hope the same for the Pakistan’s out of control bus that our hero will not leave the bus and the passengers at the mercy of the ticking bombs and the planters.


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