Is “qoumi-ghairat” a relevant concept when dealing with other nations?

In a recent episode of “Awam Ki Adalat” on Geo Television, topic of “ghairat” was extensively debated, but for me it still left something to be desired. PPP and most left wingers as portrayed by Imtiaz Alam tried to spin “ghairat” by talking about honor killings etc but the debate was about the concept of “Ghairat (honor)” in a different context i.e. should “ghairat” be a consideration when making international decisions?

Well, before one can make a choice on whether “ghairat” should be a consideration when dealing with other nations/countries, we need to clearly define what does “ghairat” mean in international relations. Those interested in international relations and geo-politics understand that nations don’t have permanent friends or permanent enemies, they only have permanent interests and where interests of two nations align with each other, that’s when they become friends and vice versa. So logically all nations must look after their interests and in my opinion those who don’t look after their national interest or compromise on their national interest are the ones that deserved to be labeled as “be-ghairat”.

Our leaders have displayed “be-ghairatee” on numerous occasions and surprisingly those that have been the staunch supporters of “ghairat” have displayed more “be-ghairatee” then those that have opposed it. Zia ul Haq, a military dictator who was a big on “ghairat” but in reality he was a complete American toady, in fact so much so that it was on American behest that he overthrew a democratically elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and eventually hanged him which is unanimously considered a judicial murder by Pakistanis. After Zia, let’s look at the era of Nawaz Sharif, another one of those leaders who sold “ghairat cool aid” to further his political agenda, it was under his regime that an American lawyer said “Pakistanis are people that sell their mother for a few thousand dollars”. Than comes Musharraf , another so called nationalist military dictator whose slogan was “Pakistan first” but was completely flattened by one phone call from Washington.

Currently Pakistan is ruled by a democratically elected government of PPP, and it seems like it’s their duty to defend their corruption, incompetence and total failure under the pretext of pragmatism. PPP has adopted a different approach, they are trying to prove to the people Pakistan that ever increasing foreign debt and gap between rich and poor combined with a total surrender of Pakistan’s foreign policy to US is in fact the proper way to move forward, keep in mind this is the same party whose leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto preferred gallows over accepting American hegemony. Off course PPP is not alone in selling this idea to masses, military establishment is completely backing PPP, in fact military establishment is more of a culprit because they control Pakistan’s foreign policy.

It seems that regardless of which form of government we have in Pakistan, all of them have one thing in common which is a complete surrender to US. From democracy to dictatorship, from left wing to the right wing, they all share this common trait. Right wing displays hypocrisy by selling “Ghairat cool aid” to masses but also has an under the table hand shake with US and left wing has been a complete sell out on it’s founding principle of Islamic socialism and self reliance while military establishment is a complete American toady as displayed by Kayani, and his predecessors.

Let me use an example of Palestinian and Israeli conflict, during the negotiations between Yasir Arafat and Israeli leader, Yasser Arafat was given an option to accept Israeli proposal of selective Palestinian autonomy, well, if you put on a pragmatic hat and think about it, Yasir would have accepted the deal, but when you extensively research and study the deal offered to him you would realize that it was not offering Independence to Palestinians but rather pushing them further in to the depths of slavery and oppression as this deal gave them no control over their own security, trade and development etc. Arafat very wisely rejected the deal as he kept his national interest intact.

Now, let’s look at Cuba, a tiny nation about 70 miles off the coast of Florida, it just defies logic how they have managed to keep themselves out of any influence from a world biggest super power. By the way, it is ruled by a communist government which is an epitome of left wing. Also, look at China, they always keep their national interest a head of anything else as seen in examples given by Wusatullah Khan in “Awam Ki Adalat”, China is Pakistan’s friend but their largest trading partner is India. Wusatullah Khan actually was trying to justify that Ghairat has no role when making international decisions but unknowingly he was strengthening the argument for “ghairat”.

We need a competent, honest and a brave government that keeps our own national interest ahead when dealing with other nations and that to me is true display of “ghairat”.