Hakimullah Mehsud’s death has become quite controversial and that is because of the timing of his killing by a US drone strike. Just when he was planning to proceed with peace talks with the government, Hakimullah was targeted by a drone. It has been quite apparent that the US is not thrilled with the possibility of peace between Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and Pakistan. Hence, the very first thing that comes to one’s mind is why this happened now when it had never happened before.
Instead of getting into the possible explanations, let us evaluate the reaction of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to this particular drone attack.
PTI being the major party governing KPK has complete right to be most concerned about the drones issue. However, Imran Khan’s declaration in the National Assembly to block NATO supplies has received crossed opinions. Those who were already accusing PTI of being TTP apologists, are once again criticising PTI for its threat to block Nato supplies.
Keeping aside whether to have peace talks with the killer group like TTP is right or not in the first place, at least PTI’s standpoint to block the Nato supplies in response to the US intervention to disrupt the peace efforts of the country with these self-proclaimed true Muslims needs to be appreciated. It is absolutely wrong to associate this incident with the Salala incident in which we lost 24 of our security forces last year and although we did block Nato supplies then, the killing of Hakimullah is incomparable to the said incident. Blocking the supplies now does not in any way imply that the killing of HUM has brought a grieve to us like in case of Salala incident, it in fact will be only giving a firm message to the US that our national interest has been hurt by this particular strike at the very wrong time when we possibly could have had a chance of peace in our side of the world.
We may have serious concerns on the statements coming from the leaders of JUI and JI, but PTI seems to have a very different perspective in this regard which has been clarified several times by many PTI representatives as well. Even if we analyze the whole political leadership of Pakistan at the moment, Imran Khan by far has turned out to be the most honest and straightforward politician of the country. We do not really have to approve of all the policies of PTI but Imran Khan does have a point when he says:
“I’m called an Islamic fundamentalist by Rushdie. My critics in Pakistan say I’m a Zionist agent. I must be doing something right”
It is high time we started supporting the right things happening in our country, irrespective of which political party is behind them. By criticizing everything, we are only going to further tarnish our image as a nation. Blocking Nato supplies earlier was our way of protesting against the unfortunate Salala incident that many of us are still grieving over. However, this time the objective behind blocking supplies is simply to communicate that the drones have already done so much damage to the country that they have to be stopped at any cost. If the US cannot respect our national interests, then we should not worry about their interests any more either.
Considering the circumstances, the words from General Ayub Khan’s book, “Friends not Masters” ring true even today,
“It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”
PS: This article also appeared in the Express Tribune Blog