By Shireen M. Mazari
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Just when one thinks the rulers can disgust no more, they surprise us once again. And so it was that one had to witness with revulsion the president of Pakistan awarding our Hilal series of national awards (second in rank after the Nishan series) to an American official whose sole claim to fame in Islamabad are his frequent visits to pressurize the Pakistani state into submitting to U.S. diktat.
To see Richard Boucher being given the Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam was to see our leaders slapping the Pakistani nation on its face. After all, Boucher represents the U.S. administration that has all but destroyed the Pakistani polity through daily killings of our people in drone attacks and through consistent demands to ‘do more’ even as we have seen the fallout of the insane ‘war on terror’ bring suicide bombings, terrorism and polarization into Pakistan as never before. Yes, we had had our share of sectarian terror much before 9/11, but it was limited and on the wane before the U.S. struck Afghanistan
with its deathly military might.
So what is Boucher being rewarded for? Killing Pakistanis in the tribal belt? Pushing forward a debilitating agenda for Pakistan? Putting Pakistanis into Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. prisons? Getting our military political leadership to participate in renditions and torture of Pakistani citizens? Or getting our civilian political leadership to give in to the new round of Indian histrionic demands post-Mumbai? Are all these what our rulers see as the furtherance of U.S.-Pakistan ties? What a shame and disgrace to this long-suffering nation of Pakistan.
But there should be no surprise in this. We now stand devoid of strong institutions, moral and ethical leadership and any modicum of dignity and self-respect. So when Boucher comes effectively as an emissary of India, to push Pakistan into accepting unquestioningly the Indian dossier on Mumbai, we award him the Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam. Which brings up the whole issue of the Mumbai dossier. Those who have seen this brilliant piece of diplomatic propaganda feel there is little substantive in the way of credible proof. Instead, it is a compilation of past accusations, old theories plus pictures and apparent identities of the dead perpetrators with some purported mobile calls and so on. It is no wonder the Indians sent their U.S. partner to push Pakistan into accepting everything without question. And our rulers welcomed Boucher with a national award!