At a seminar in Islamabad this Tuesday, the National Security Advisor brought some much-needed perspective to world affairs. And though it was reported as his personal opinion, it is a source of some satisfaction that, in the clueless corridors of civilian power, at least someone has a clue— and the courage to talk about it. This broader perspective could give our foreign policy the missing spark and direction but is anyone listening?

Our elected government is obviously not interested in understanding the current trends in global politics that its own National Security Advisor talked about? After all, these trends are no big secret. The US-led empire is openly working to ‘contain China’, to thwart the ‘resurgence of Russia’ and to ‘keep the Muslim world in a controlled chaos’. But we never hear our government talk about this crucial context within which we should be formulating our foreign and security policies.

Except when pushed by the military leadership, the government is happy to ride the imperial bandwagon in futile fuzzy circles, refusing to bring clarity and direction to our policy and action. There is a reluctance to recognize contemporary challenges, let alone respond to them. This is the time to take that decisive plunge from being a vassal to an independent sovereign state. But obviously, the government does not want to rock the boat that brings it its daily cash in dollars.

The flurry of activity by foreign ministry officials triggered by the meeting at the GHQ will not suffice. Clearly, it is little more than a heartless enactment. The heart of the government and its minions still beats for the empire. They can’t see beyond imperial carrots and sticks. They’ll keep striving for the approval of their imperial masters rather than taking necessary steps that could save us from the duplicitous cruel games of the empire.

As China and Russia are learning fast, there is no possibility of a civilized engagement with the empire, no give and take. Dialogue is clearly a tool of deception; the empire has its mind made up like a bull-headed monster. There is no talking to it, no changing its mind. To every Plan A, it has its Plan B and Plan C, all designed to bring us to the doom and gloom scripted by it for the world. There is no turning it back from its quest for unchallenged world hegemony.

The ceasefire in Syria is a perfect example. Since February when it was negotiated with Russia, the US has been using the ceasefire as a cover to continue advancing its nefarious goals in the country. It refuses to fulfill its promise to separate its so-called moderate rebels from terrorists, providing them both a shield of protection, all the while arming militant groups and expanding the training program for them. Clearly, for the empire, the ceasefire is a ploy to continue its agenda of regime change and to buy time for its militant proxies.

If China has not been able to dissuade the US from its moves to isolate and contain it, and Russia has failed to bring it round to accepting its rise as a global power and resolving the differences between them through negotiations, what makes us think we could talk it out of its sordid plans for Pakistan and the region? Is there anything we can do to make it change its mind about using Afghanistan as a launch-pad to export chaos and civil war to its neighbors? I don’t think so. We can only hope to defend ourselves from the evil it has planned for us.

It is time to start the process of comprehensive disengagement with the US cabal in earnest, complimented by a parallel process of speedy integration within the SCO framework. Pakistan needs a decisive realignment in every sphere, from defense to diplomacy, development to economy. It is no time for business as usual, of running with the hare and hunting with the hound. This is not about balancing our relations with both sides but choosing a side. And the time to do it is now.

Those infesting the clueless and colorful corridors of civilian power couldn’t seem to care less about the serious repercussions of their inaction and fuzziness. Each day, the daily circuses our power players enact in the name of democracy are getting more and more absurd. It is hard to ignore how civil institutions are rapidly losing credibility and collapsing around us in slow motion. Our oh-so-democratic prime minister, who happens to be our foreign minister as well, thinks it is okay to go underground for weeks.

More like a king, the prime minister refuses to let anyone else run the country as long as he lives. As the head of a political party with an absolute majority in the parliament, he certainly could have done better than that. So while he recuperates in his infamous London hideout, the high-end flats his loyalists would like us to forget everything about, a headless government tries to pretend that nothing is amiss. Surely, we can’t expect the world to pause even for a while, and wait for him?

It’s funny that our system of government is called democratic. As representatives of ruling and opposition parties make a hash of governance, substituting the larger public good with their petty and personal interests, and putting their partisan political goals over national interest, one wonders about their actual role in our lives. Who do they represent and whose interests do they serve?

If we take off our politically correct glasses for a while, it is not hard to see that if there is anything other than themselves that the champions of our democracy represent, it is imperial interests. These are the interests they serve.

(Correction: In my last column, The Dollar collar of slavery, the allocation in the budget for CPEC was wrongly compared with the annual expenses allocated for the official houses of the Prime Minister and the President. I stand by my point though. Just like its foreign and security policies, the spending priorities of the government have nothing to do with the national interest.)

The heart of the government and its minions still beats for the empire. They can’t see beyond imperial carrots and sticks.