Let’s not misinterpret PTI’s stance on NATO supplies

Published: November 10, 2013
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“I’m called an Islamic fundamentalist by Rushdie. My critics in Pakistan say I’m a Zionist agent. I must be doing something right.”- Imran Khan PHOTO: REUTERS

It would be an understatement to say that the timing of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death has become quite controversial. 

Just when he was planning to proceed with peace talks with the government, Hakimullah was targeted by a US drone. It has been quite apparent that the US is not thrilled with the possibility of peace between Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and Pakistan. Hence, the very first thing that comes to one’s mind is why this happened now when it had never happened before.

Instead of getting into the possible explanations, let us evaluate the reaction of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to this particular drone attack.

It seems inevitable that PTI, the party governing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), is most concerned about the drone issue. However, Imran Khan’s declaration in the National Assembly to block NATO supplies has received crossed opinions. Those who were already accusing PTI of being TTP apologists, are once again criticising PTI for its threat to block Nato supplies.

Whether it is right or wrong, one must appreciate PTI’s standpoint to continue peace talks in spite of the US’s attempt to disrupt peace efforts with these self-proclaimed true Muslims.

Moreover, it is absolutely wrong to associate this incident with the Salala incident like the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) spokesperson did. We lost 24 of our security forces in the incident last year and although we did block Nato supplies then, the government is not in favour of the current blockade proposed by the opposition. Even if the killing of Hakimullah has not brought anguish equivalent to the Salala incident to all concerned, it has come at the worst time for peace talks. Hence, blocking the supplies will give a firm message to the US that our national interests have, once again, been trampled upon by drones. This strike in particular, due to the importance of its timing; when we could possibly have had a chance of peace in our side of the world.

Leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have raised some serious concerns about the issue, but PTI seems to have a very different perspective in this regard – a perspective that has been clarified several times by various PTI representatives. Looking at the entire political leadership of Pakistan at the moment, Imran has turned out to be the most honest and straightforward politicians in the country.

Although we may or may not agree with certain policies of PTI, Imran does have a point when he says,

“I’m called an Islamic fundamentalist by Rushdie. My critics in Pakistan say I’m a Zionist agent. I must be doing something right.”

It is high time we started supporting the right things happening in our country, irrespective of which political party is behind them. By criticising everything, we are only going to further tarnish our image as a nation. Blocking Nato supplies earlier was our way of protesting against the unfortunate Salala incident that many of us are still grieving over. However, this time the objective behind blocking supplies is simply to communicate that the drones have already done so much damage to the country that they have to be stopped at any cost.

If the US cannot respect our national interests, then we can’t worry about their interests any more either.

Considering the circumstances, General Ayub Khan’s words ring true even today when he said,

“It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”

Kiran Wali

Kiran Wali

A business graduate working in the corporate sector. She tweets @KiranW_ (twitter.com/KiranW_)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.