Pakistan is not the only developing country that seeks aid. However, while others show gratitude, Pakistan responds with arrogance
By Tarek Fatah
Believe it or not, Dr. Shakil Afridi, the man responsible for locating the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, instead of receiving the $25-million bounty on the jihadi terrorist’s head, has been convicted of treason by Pakistan and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
To understand this bizarre sentencing of a man who should’ve been celebrated as a hero, one has to understand the schizophrenic nature of the Pakistani state itself. Among the community of nations, Pakistan today stands out on one hand as a petty thug brandishing a dangerous weapon, and at other times as a concubine, sleeping with anyone willing to pay for her expensive tastes.
Stung by the humiliation of being caught in the act of providing a safe haven to the world’s number one terrorist, the Pakistani military took its revenge by imprisoning Dr. Afridi and shutting down the supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Shamelessly, Pakistan is also demanding a U.S. apology.
The country needs tough love. But no one is willing to wrestle Islamabad to the ground and drag it away to a detox centre where it can be woken from its visions of grandeur and confronted with its true worth — a nation that can offer nothing to the world other than jihadi terrorism.
Pakistan is not the only developing country that seeks aid. However, while others show gratitude, Pakistan responds with arrogance.
One month after its creation in August 1947, its founder, M.A. Jinnah, dispatched a senior finance official to Washington with a begging bowl and a demand for $2 billion in aid. His message: If Pakistan collapses, the Soviets will be able to walk to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.
While his official lobbied Washington, back in Karachi, Jinnah was flaunting Pakistan’s geo-strategic location to the U.S. media. He told Margaret Bourke-White of Life magazine:
“America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America … Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed [on] the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves.” Bourke-White wrote. Jinnah leaned toward her, dropped his voice to a confidential note, and wagged his finger. “Russia,” he said, “is not so very far away.” The Cold War had barely begun and here was the founder of Pakistan trying to benefit from the impending clash between the USSR and USA.
For 65 years the U.S. has succumbed to Pakistan — until now.
Thanks to congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) as well as Sen. John McCain, the Pakistan bluff has been called. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has referred to Pakistan as “a schizophrenic ally” while Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy said Pakistan’s conviction of Dr. Afridi, was “Alice in Wonderland at best.”
But talk is cheap.
The time has come for Canada, the U.S. and the West to draw a line in the sand. If Pakistan is unwilling to free Dr. Afridi and arrest the al-Qaeida leader Ayman Zawahiri, then we should cut all aid to Islamabad.