Two very significant and extraordinary events unfolded, the Parliament of Pakistan declared its neutrality in the Yemen war, and the UAE’s Foreign Minister issued a warning to Pakistan for doing so. This warning was not given in hidden words; the arrogant, harsh and brazen warning of Dr. Gargash exposes the true colours of the Arab mind, often concealed by superfluous layers of deceptive brotherly veneer. Pakistanis have a good reason to thank Gargash for his mindless uttering’s. He expects a responsible state to join a coalition of belligerent pirates in attacking a small ship. Gargash threatens that not doing so will result in Pakistan ‘paying a heavy price’. Here are a few suggestions that may help him and his Arab co-aggressors to operationalize their warning in a civilized manner.

Insignificant as it might appear to the naivé, the first action ought to be for all Arab Sheikhs to unanimously pledge putting an end to their annual appearances in Pakistan, for the sole purpose of destroying Houbara bustards. This would include a commitment to surrender all those who violated the law by killing birds far in excess of their authorized quota.

Arabs have a legitimate demand for pay-back, but only from the seminaries and groups who have been doled out religious charity over years. It is not Pakistan, but the managers of these seminaries and other recipients who must come to the rescue of their donors. It would be appropriate for the Arabs to disclose the list of all such seminaries and groups who received these gracious, under-the-table, offerings. Pakistan could then promptly oblige by dispatching the recipients to their respective donors – preferably on permanent basis.

The third punitive step could be to seize the billions of dollars that have been siphoned and deposited by our ruling class in UAE and other Arab countries. This could be a win-win situation. Not only that it would make our rulers more egalitarian, but also put an end to the dynastic politics of Pakistan, which thrives on the plundered wealth.

How come countries with such formidable military armadas are not willing to sacrifice a single soldier of their own, in a conflict that in their ‘perception’ has endangered their very survival. Have they not read in the newspapers, the number of soldiers that Pakistan lost in its own war of survival? So the fourth immediate step, that ought to be taken by the Arabs is, to think and behave like ordinary humans and remember that there is also a ‘heavy price to pay’ for a false sense of pride and treating others with contempt.

NAEEM SADIQ,

Lahore, April 12.