Whose blood? Whose money?

By Talat Farooq

It is like a slap in the face, a personal affront, legality and religious endorsement of the act notwithstanding. Raymond Davis has finally been delivered into safety and freedom by the federal government, the provincial government, the security agencies and the judiciary. How united we stand when it comes to serving our masters overseas!

Who wanted Davis back? America. And who was the guarantor and the mediator? Saudi Arabia. How did Saudi Arabia achieve this American objective in Pakistan? By using the Islamic-leverage; a strategy that Saudi Arabia has effectively applied since the Afghan-Soviet War in the 1980s. They have used the religious bent of the people of Pakistan and their sentimental attachment to the Prophet to help the US attain its foreign policy goals in Pakistan.

Raymond Davis is not only the murderer of two individuals, he is involved in espionage against the state of Pakistan. What right then did the Saudis have to arrange Davis’ return? Who were they to pay the blood money on America’s behalf? The sad truth is that we as beggars cannot be choosers.

The political hypocrisy of both the US and Saudi Arabia has never been more apparent than it is today. It is reflected in their responses to the peoples’ uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. It is manifested in their prompt intervention in Bahrain and their delaying tactics in stopping the hand of Qaddafi. The Saudi role whether in Pakistan or Bahrain, has demonstrated how its monarchy works hand in glove with the US.

The question is how then do our mullahs find the Saudis to be the great upholders of the ultimate truth? Why are the Jamaat-e-Islami and the rest of the bearded lot only condemning America? Is the Saudi obsequiousness any different from Tony Blair’s catering to the fancies of George Bush?

The Taliban that have become the bane of our lives were manufactured by the military and mullahs with Saudi riyals. Why then do we consider them our benefactors? How is Saudi intervention in our internal matters any different from America’s violation of our sovereignty? The Saudis are as much responsible for what has become of Pakistan today as America and Pakistan’s security agencies. Saudi riyals have bought Pakistani vested interests with as much ease as US dollars.

The US and Saudi Arabia are not the only ones who stand exposed. More importantly, it is Pakistan. The politicians, the judiciary and the military establishment are all party to this drama. Raymond Davis, the murderer of innocent Pakistanis has left the country; America, the mass murderer of innocent people all over the world, has struck Waziristan with a vengeance.

Prime Minister Gilani tells us that the drone attacks were ‘irresponsible’ and the government has protested to the US. And the bases from where the drones flew, where were they, Gilani Saheb? In India? Afghanistan? America?

If there were any doubts about the nature of power politics in Pakistan, the Raymond Davis drama has dispelled them. The politicians whether from the ruling party or the opposition will always be remembered as cowards of the highest order. The representatives of the judiciary will be remembered as unjust, the military as inadequate, and the mullahs as hypocritical.

They are all working according to their respective agendas. The politicians want to loot and plunder while the iron is hot. The judiciary wants to rock the boat but not to the point of drowning itself. The military wants to protect its self-created monsters in North Waziristan and Punjab; the mullahs want to use religion to attain power and blame America but not Saudi Arabia. They all have their own axes to grind.

No-one gives a toss about the people of Pakistan. They do not matter; their integrity is a joke, their dignity for sale. They are treated like commodities, used and discarded. They are a mild irritant in the way of the high and mighty and their desires. They are insects that the elite don’t even notice when they crush them under their shoes. They once dared to dream of an independent country where they would live with dignity. They once believed that Jinnah’s Pakistan will be better than Nehru’s India. Today they are crushed, abused, broken and humiliated. Their blood is being spilled every day in the streets of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

But no one will ever ask for their forgiveness; no one will ever offer to pay their blood money in order to win freedom. They are nobodies, redundant, superfluous, and dispensable. They will remain uncounted, faceless and nameless for their life is not a matter of national interest for America or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

So let us then bow our heads and weep for the dreams that could not materialise. Let us bow our heads and weep for the self-respect lost along the way and for being betrayed by those we trusted with our lives and dreams; the ones we trusted with the future of our children. Let us weep for lost hopes and broken dreams. Above all, let us weep for never having the courage to stand up to the usurpers, the exploiters and the oppressors. Let us weep because our dreams were important to us but not that important.

The writer is a PhD student at Leicester, UK. Email: talatfarooq11@gmail.com

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