Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear Americans, Please Don't Make Nawaz Sharif Your Latest Friend -- For His Sake

Oh God, it's happening again.

It happened to Dear Leader Pervez Musharraf, an otherwise hugely popular president who, under the weight of his alliance with the U.S. and his panga with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, had to leave office. It has happened to Asif Zardari, who people forget was quite popular about twelve months ago. It would have happened to his late wife had she managed to stay alive. And, make no mistake, it will happen to Nawaz Sharif.

There are rumblings within the U.S. that the Lion of Punjab, Champion of the Judiciary, Savior of Democracy, and Hero to the People is being considered a worthy ally in the fight against the Taliban. Two basic facts are pushing this line of thinking. First, the Zardari government has not managed to fight this war with any great efficacy. Second, the old "only Nixon could go to China" argument; the idea that what is key to making difficult choices is the fact that the person or institution making them cannot be outflanked or be considered traitors. Thus, it is no coincidence that the senior leadership of Pakistan's military and the BJP were the only actors that embarked on a meaningful peace process between India and Pakistan: both had street cred.

Now, I am sympathetic to both ideas, even if the logical conclusion of them ("Nawaz Sharif will be a worthy ally in the fight against the Taliban") is a little iffy to me. Be that as it may, I have one message to the U.S:


You would have thought that by now, the Americans would have learned that anyone they designate as an ally becomes instantly unpopular in Pakistan. Clearly, you would be wrong. Even if they are correct in thinking that Nawaz Sharif can fight this war, they should not say so. They should not send representatives to his Raiwind estate. They should not mention him in press conferences other than to castigate him, and they should stop leaking these ideas to the New York Times. Use email, webcams and teleconferences; do whatever you want behind closed doors, but dear Lord don't do this in public.

I promise you, Nawaz Sharif may be ridiculously popular right now, but there's a very easy way to change all that: have America tell the world -- and Pakistan -- that they like the dude.

Don't do it, America. I beg you, don't do it. Don't destroy the career of another Pakistani public figure.


Captain03 said...

i truly hate nawaz sharif
he is nothing more than a scumbag

sameer said...

yaar its too late for pleading to the american govt. now---cant you see, they already sent out feelers to sharif, and ppl all over pakistan sniffed it and got wind of it---thats precisely why you posted this topic because even you know about it now!!
dude, the ironic truth is, pakistan is a client state while america and saudi are our patrons---they feed and clothe us and we are obligated to them whether we like it or not. Personally, i hate it, but there is nothing pakistan can do---any pakistani govt. cannot afford to risk irritating america and saudi---Pakistan would starve to death. We already have no shortage of mortal enemies; india,israel,iran,afghanistan,rusia,jewish lobby, beitullah mehsud, al qaeda, taliban. We barely can resist them so we better not antagonize our masters. coming back to sharif, your right he has become popular but only by default, due to musharraf and recently zardari's numerous f--kups. I believe he is no better than zardari and is also involved in mass corruption except that unlike zardari who brags, boasts and brays about it openly, ganjaa does it in a more calm, calculated and clandestine manner and leaves no traces or evidence until some media person picks up on some info leaked by govt. spooks to undermine him. i doubt that ganjaa can deal any better with the taliban than zardari;in fact, i fear that ganjaa will cave in to more taliban demands and wont mind even partial state of shariah in islamabad--- whats surprising is that, and i dont know if any of you have noticed it, but until a day or two ago, ganjaa and his party member were mysteriously quiet about the girl being flogged incident as well as the recent taliban control in bunair and spillover in near by districts. I strongly suspect, that mehsud and his mafia see ganjaa and his party people as allies, though he never says it in open---the only people targetted are law enforcement people and of course the secular peoples party establishment(of course, musharraf, qatil league and mqm are also considered fair targets). I believe american govt. officials did also discreetly notice this and came to the eerie conclusion that somehow ganjaa holds sway over these militants. I am not sure whether this logic is valid or not, but somehow things just dont seem to add up here and i do believe that behind the scenes there is some double dealing going on.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and Benazir pleading allegiance to the US and publicly promising to turn over AQ Khan and what not really lost her party public support and the elections didn't it.

Ahsan said...


No, it didn't cost her the election, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have cost her in the future. First of all, all the anti-American anger was centered on Musharraf at the time, so BB's pronouncements on AQ Khan and her alliance with the US were sort of in the background. Second, uh, BB WAS KILLED TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE ELECTION. That's sort of an important point, isn't it? Sympathy vote and all.

BB would have been about as popular as Zardari right now if she had done the same things that he has done on the judiciary and the US and drones (which she would have, just dressed up in better talk).

Jadev said...

It feels strange to me..even in the cyber age..these guys (Hoolbroke and Mullen)fly all..every week to Pak,Afghanistan etc..
Why don't they use a secure Internet connection tunnel to chat..why waste aviation fuel and cost of all the security that is required to protect them from suicide bombers(which is evidently very difficult if not outright impossible). For PR, they could conduct a video press interaction..which could be streamed on line to the public. A more transparent way to do that I guess..

karachi khatmal said...

what's scarier still is that in pakistan the only reason politicos get power is that everyone thinks - well he can't be as bad as the last guy...

which means that with nawaz soon to be embraced by the americans and hence rejected by the people, the only power player left would be baitullah and his franchise of the taliban.

yay! thank you uncle sam!! :)

Anonymous said...


Does this rule apply to countries as well?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the results of the election would have been THAT different had BB not been killed. Even with her pro-american rhetoric, she was still the most popular leader in the country. Thus your theory is laid to waste. Go Nawaz.

CPM said...

This is from the Cafe Pyala blog:


Suck it up, Brian Hunt
So, the second bit of news from the weird Twilight Zone we inhabit is this:

The US Consul General in Lahore, Brian Hunt will give the "prestigious Congressional Eagle Award" to three Pakistanis on Thursday. "The award is being given for the first time to any Pakistani", according to the Press Release printed in The News.

Among the recipients are Geo reporter Moeen Ahmed, for filing a story about counterfeit vaccines; Mehar Khalil, the intrepid driver of the Sri Lankan cricket team bus during the 3/3 fiasco; and... wait for it... Hamza Sharif, son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

According to the Press Release:

"Hamza will be awarded for courageously running the business and other affairs of his family during their exile."

Do I really need to comment on this?

Ahsan said...


No, it's not. My theory, as such, is that if BB had followed the same course that AZ has -- and I can't see why she wouldn't have -- she would be unpopular right now.

And I agree that the election results would have been the same, because BB's pro-America stance was hidden behind Mush's. And besides, the main issue during the elections were the judges. But like I said, her popularity would have dropped off after she won.

sidrah said...

@Sameer erm, just how is israel and the jewish lobby our mortal enemy? i was under the impression they didnt give a fudge about us.

also, your multiple and appropriate use of the word ganjaa in your comment-post is made of win. good job!

sameer said...

well, officially they dont give a fudge about us, ur rite, but behind the scenes they are active in collaborating with india and and the indian lobby here in america to undermine pakistan---however, i personally do strongly believe that throughout the years and decades, previous pakistani leaders for no valid reason made israel and the jewish lobby our enemy by sucking up to the arabs---and what do we get fromt the arabs?? sure saudi does give us "miskeen baakistaneez" lots of money but in turn we are obliged to them and cant say no. also, the idiot zia haq called pakistani bomb "islamic bomb" breaking the doctrine that pakistani nuclear assets were india-specific only and israel fearful that we would transfer such technology to one of its adversaries such as iran or some hostile arab country considered us as an enemy country. you can really thank zia for that.
personally, i think, behind the scenes, pakistan should mend its ties with israel and convince them that our bomb is only india-specific and that we have no enmity with them but i doubt any pakistani govt. leader has the will to do that.

Anonymous said...

i would argue that z is not hated for being pro american.. But for being a sleaze ball and the biggest crook in the land. Hence as long as nawaz maintains his populist position on issues such as judges etc his popularity will not be affected

bonobashi said...


I know this will sound like tinkle-bell to you, but really, truly, most Indians don't want Pakistan to fall apart. They're busy earning a living, trying to survive a recession.

There is a lunatic fringe that wants Indian Muslims, not Pakistanis (Muslim or otherwise), on their knees, acknowledging daily that they are humbly beholden to their magnanimous masters; this extends to Indian Christians, those horrible misguided Indians who have become Buddhists without figuring out that their position in the cosmic heirarchy was set thousands of aeons ago, and there's no escape, and Indian tribals who stick an arrow into sleazy traders who try to make money out of them with beads and baubles kind of trade terms.

These lunatics are bothered with those within India whom they hate and want to push around. Hindu men and women who don't think like them are included; google Pink Chaddis to find out more. Not with Pakistan. Watch carefully, please. They never, EVER get close to getting on bad terms or militarily in trouble with Pakistan, not until some commando yahoo steps up and kicks sand in their faces, when not they, but the country itself, closes ranks and pushes back.

In case you feel some Indian bozo isn't the right person to tell you these things, or that these aren't the right things, let me know and I'll produce better authority, people you might believe.