“There is, I would believe, a good measure of fellow-feeling between Muslims and the British people. It comes, perhaps from a practical way of thinking and an aversion from mere theorizing and sentiment. There are, of course, rubs and difficulties and misunderstanding now and then; but these are not so important as the friendship. Certainly, we in Pakistan who know the British people will have nothing but good feelings in our hearts. In a somewhat electric atmosphere of the last decade, we have said bitter things of them about British domination and their system of rule. That is now past and forgotten in the achievement of our freedom and establishment of Pakistan and in the friendly handshake and association of equal peoples.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Broadcast to the people of Australia, 19th Feb, 1948
Colonial wars imposed a system of nation-states which to Chomsky is an unnatural social formation mostly instituted by violence. That’s a primary reason why Europe had the most savage and brutal part of the world for many centuries, while conquering most of the world. European efforts to impose state systems in conquered territories are the source of most conflicts underway right now after the collapse of the former colonial system. Europe’s own favorite sport of mutual slaughter had to be called off in 1945, when it was realized that the next time the game was played would be the last. This is just some grim recent history, modern-day Europe and Pakistan enjoy a decent relationship.
The freedom struggle of the Indian Muslims to create their own nation-state of Pakistan, is a unique example in human history where a muslim territory and homeland was carved out from the might of the pen powered by a constitutional struggle. Pakistan and the world enjoys the inspiration of the Islamic maxim that “The ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr."
Pakistanis have nothing but good feelings for the British people and with a friendly handshake we wish to build stronger cultural bonds and economic connectivity with a focus on technology, innovation and education. The citizens of Pakistan aim to partner with the top English universities and democratize knowledge from Oxford and Cambridge to the streets of Pakistan.
Similarly, the War-on-Terror negatively affected Pakistan's friendly relationship with America. During the war, Pakistanis who were suspected of potential terror activity were abducted, not provided a trial and forcibly transported to offshore prison camps. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but unfortunately, the people of Pakistan were treated poorly and, Pakistani leadership was complicit in such inhumane decisions and actions. In a rotten and deeply corrupt system, the leaders are not invested in optimizing for the welfare of their own people. Personal advancement is preferred over national progress, and political will can be purchased by foreign powers.
Pakistani soldiers valiantly fought the terrorists. The country suffered ~17,000 terror attacks, lost +80,000 innocent lives and endured +$150Bn economic loss. America leveraged armed drone technology to eliminate terror threats but, this approach resulted in a significant loss of civilian life, which in turn, enabled greater hatred and promoted an anti-American sentiment in the region which, of course, is an undesirable outcome for both Pakistan and America.
The relationship hit an all-time low when Osama Bin Laden's compound was discovered in Pakistan after he had fled from Afghanistan in 2001. This was embarrassing and shameful, he was residing in Abbottabad close to a military academy. Had Pakistan been playing some ill-conceived double-game all along? We don't know. We do know that a significant number ordinary Pakistani citizens and front-line soldiers sacrificed their lives for fighting against terror.
People of Pakistan, also, experienced a sense of relief that we rid the world of a terrorist responsible for causing immense violence and suffering to the Muslim and American people alike. Pakistan is an ally that has suffered and valiantly fought terrorists in partnership with America. Pakistan made tremendous sacrifices and losses, and this needs to be acknowledged more by the international community, this will help in restoring a moderately strained relationship and getting on with it.
There are greater dividends to be yielded from a stronger relationship between Pakistan and America for both countries. Pakistan appreciates America's excellence in various fields of thought and sciences and seeks to adopt these ways of thinking in its national life to improve human lives, stimulate economic activity and generate wealth in both countries. America and Pakistan have +70 years of partnership, shared culture, values and a firmly riveted historical connection, which will only grow stronger with time. This is the most important relationship for Pakistan.
There’s an increased realization between the people of Pakistan and India that supposed conflicts of interest between the two states are mainly illusory. Even when there is a real conflict of interest, it must in time become obvious that neither of the states concerned would suffer as much by giving way as by fighting. The civilized people of Pakistan and India will choose binational cooperation and peace over mutual destruction. The older bitterness can evaporate into a friendly feeling of hospitality and economic connectivity.
Pakistan enjoys a time-tested friendship with China. Regional connectivity through modernized versions of the old silk roads via Chinese investment and expertise is accelerating progress. CPEC and the Chinese-developed port of Gwadar will improve the economic conditions in Balochistan and spur industrial development.
We will continue to build stronger relationship with China and be a model to the world of balancing competing international interests and fostering global collaboration by maintaining our values of transparency, democracy, inclusive approach for all people, freedom of speech & belief, and other democratic ideals, Pakistan aspires to espouse in it's culture and society.
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