Jalees Hazir There are no signs that the Pakistani leadership has learnt any lesson from the WikiLeaks disclosures about their meetings with American officials. Rather than doing something to streamline the Pak-US interactions, they are carrying on as if nothing has happened. The American government and their 'developed-world cousins, governments and corporations, are equally stubborn. They are gunning for the WikiLeaks founder, rather than taking stock of their short-sighted and dangerous role in the world. And as if to prove the double standards of these crusaders for freedom, this years Nobel Peace Prize, viewed more and more as a politically-motivated joke, was awarded to a Chinese dissident. In a world powered by deceit and hypocrisy, is there any hope for change? Other than powerful players quoted in the leaks, who would naturally like to discredit the information, some independent observers are also smelling a rat in the whole affair. They point at the selective nature of the leaks and suggest that the whole 'drama has been enacted to discredit the Pakistani leadership and divide the Muslim ummah. There are problems with this line of argument, and those who view WikiLeaks as challenging the stinking anti-people global power structure, readily point out that the revelations do more than just that. Besides, they argue, there is little to be gained from discrediting an already discredited leadership and dividing an already divided ummah. At best, they say, the leaks provide evidence for what people already knew on these counts. Whatever the truth about where the leaks are coming from, they actually strengthen the hands of those pushing to make this world a better place. In Pakistans case for instance, the leaks have been very useful on two counts: the Pak-US equation and the Rule of Law movement. It had been common knowledge that the Americans were meddling in our affairs a bit too much, and that our leaders behaved more like stooges of the 'sole superpower, rather than representatives of Pakistan in their interactions with them. Before WikiLeaks, however, there was nothing concrete to pin them down. Besides, people did not have an idea of the depth to which our leadership had sunk. Even if we blame the American officials for dragging our leaders in these officially-irrelevant discussions, putting words in their mouths and then reporting back with a bias, the disclosures point at a much-needed reform and implementation of diplomatic protocol, and making all official discussions public. Obviously, it will be in the interest of Pakistani citizens, if the leadership moves to correct things. The WikiLeaks disclosure has actually added weight to the argument for streamlining the Pak-US interactions. And even if it was intended to tarnish our 'shining leaders, we could use the information revealed to push for things that are good for us. But despite calls in the media for bringing some discipline to how American officials conduct themselves in our country, no attempt has been made in that direction by the government that, it seems, would rather live in denial than accepting any mistakes and working for their redressal. As if emboldened by the governments lack of resolve to curb American meddling in our internal affairs, the new US Ambassador held a meeting with a group of ulema in Karachi last week, appreciating them for spreading peace and harmony, and tempting them with promises of exchange visits and a desk at the consulate to coordinate with them. After the sectarian disaster created by the Americans in Iraq, should we not be wary of such meetings? If anything, WikiLeaks has served to make us more apprehensive of the activities of American Ambassadors and those from their developed cousins. The other good thing coming out of the leaks is information regarding the Rule of Law movement and the restoration of judiciary. Again, people closely associated with the movement knew, or at least had a clear idea, of what has been reported. But back in those heady days, and even after the restoration, a lot of misinformation was consistently spread to take the wind out of the movements sails. Among other things, we were told that the movement was sponsored by CIA. Some said it was the army. And when the judges were restored, as a result of the historic long march of ordinary citizens, lawyers, civil society and Nawaz Sharif, the achievement was again trivialised. We were told that the judges were actually restored because the army and the Americans wanted it. Attempts were made to reduce this empowering moment in our history to the routine impotence of the people against the powerful movers and shakers of the world. WikiLeaks has cleared those doubts once and for all. On this count too, the leaks have brought about disclosures that strengthen the people of Pakistan. We know that the high and the mighty were all arraigned against the restoration and they did their best to stop it. It was the power of the Pakistani people that forced these supposedly powerful players to relent and act in accordance with the wishes of the nation. The leaks have exposed the misinformation that was meant to dilute the sense of empowerment among the people and instil in them notions of helplessness, as if they didnt actually have the power to do anything to shape their future. And the misinformation had not stopped. Once restored, the independent judiciary was maligned and projected as a tool for intelligence agencies out to destabilise the 'democratic government. The unprincipled ruling elite does not like any institution in the power structure to be independent, and the restored judiciary is obviously a thorn in its side, to be discredited. The WikiLeaks has made the job of this parasitic anti-people elite more difficult. We live in a world that is run from behind closed doors by hypocritical leaders, who say one thing in public and plan otherwise in their clandestine discussions with fellow power players. The good thing is that people all over the world, who are actually victims of this heartless greedy elite, are waking up to the games their leaders play and are not willing to take it lying down. The people of Pakistan stood up for an independent judiciary that would check the excesses of those exercising power and though it might not be enough to change things completely, it has been a step in the right direction. In my opinion, by exposing what goes on in the smelly high-powered meetings between those moving and shaking the world so bad, WikiLeaks has provided an impetus to take more steps in a pro-people direction The writer is a freelance columnist.