Currently there is an outcry in the country demanding punishment for General Musharraf. Personally, I have always been a cosmopolitan democrat and would want to see the culture of democracy thriving in our country. But there are certain hard facts that must be honestly considered before taking any decision about punishing anyone involving suspension of the constitution. At the turn of the 20th century, the then US president Theodore Roosevelt stated in a meeting with his advisers that the United States could not ignore a large swath of this planet called Asia Pacific and would certainly like to extend its influence over there, then under European influence.

The first World War reared its head, just at that opportune moment at the end of which the European colonists were half paralyzed but still did not give up control of their colonies. It seems God Almighty was again kind to North America because World War Two broke out a few years later which, this time, totally devastated Europe. As a result the United States gained complete control of the world, barring a few exceptions falling under Soviet control.

Now, the United States could not just stand by and see its close cousins, the Europeans, fall economically. So a ‘Marshall Plan’ was devised for them with the caveat that they would completely relinquish control of their colonies. The world map was also redrawn to some extent as per US wishes, in which the Muslims of India also gained their own homeland.

After Quaid-i-Azam’s death Quaid-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan also wanted to pursue a policy of pragmatism. Pakistan was a poor country having an illiterate population which was almost entirely dominated by a tribal mentality. So we had to extend a begging bowl before the Americans, who had their own agenda in this region, no aid was given to us for opening schools but private seminaries were allowed to spring up which later spawned utter extremism in our society. The country was in the hand of rich landlords who did not want educated masses to grow into a force that would question their wealth and power. Thus they kept them uneducated not giving any thought to the future of the country but their own personal interest. The USA kept us under their thumb by paying these politicians to keep the country ready and prepared to wage a Jihad against Communist influence. From 1977 to 1999 Pakistan saw the rise of a group of Mujahidin which General Musharraf inherited. The terrorism element was again promoted by the US to fight the Russian invasion. USA has historically been a country that uses other countries for its own good and then abandons it!

MUHAMMAD KAMAL,

Muzaffargarh, January 7.