The Nation in its February 22 issue, has reported that the United States is putting pressure on Pakistani authorities to allow it to establish intelligence bases in the country’s Balochistan province to gather intelligence on Iran, and this report has been confirmed by two officials from the security agencies and one from diplomatic circles. Furthermore, the resolution introduced in the US Congress to recognize the right of Baloch people to self-determination is part of the pressure tactics to force Pakistan to give in.
We heard so much about dictator Pervez Musharaf giving in to the US on one telephone call and that this would not have happened had a democratic government been in power then. However, continuation of drone attacks despite unanimous parliamentary resolutions against these as well as unequivocal condemnation by top civilian and military leaders, the Abbottabad operation and subsequent attack of Salalah post that killed 24 soldiers do not quite reassure the public of government’s strength. Of course Salalah attack drew strong response from civilian and military leaders, like stoppage of Nato supplies going through Pakistan, throwing out Americans from Shamsi airbase, and determining new terms of engagement with the US by the parliament. However, we heard that Nato supplies through our airspace resumed while the parliament has still not finalised its recommendations, which is surprising to say the least. 
We have not seen much way of good governance but hope that at least on a matter of such vital importance for Pakistan, the government would take a firm stand and will not accede to requests or even threats from Americans who are no friends of ours and are here to implement their agenda of redrawing the maps of Muslim states as well as depriving us of our nuclear weapons. Allowing the Americans to operate near the Iranian border would be doubly harmful because in addition to their subversive activities in Balochistan, they would successfully draw a wedge between us and friendly Iran. The Americans and their accomplices successfully created tension, between Shia and Sunni communities which have been living together peacefully in Iraq for ages. It would be a shame if we allow them to do the same here and thus cooperate with them in our own undoing and that of our neighbours, in return for a few dollars in aid or otherwise.
S.R.H. HASHMI,
Karachi, February 22.