Friday, 28 September 2012

Anti-Americanism in Pakistan

It is true that US is providing Pakistan with huge military and civilian aid but it is not buying goodwill for US because at the same time US is involved in other activities which are perceived by Pakistani ordinary people as anti-Pakistan.
Traditionally, Pakistani politicians use anti-American slogan to gain votes during elections. The more a politician is anti-American; there is chance that he will get more votes in election. Pakistani politicians know that Pakistani people are anti-American because of America’s wars against Muslim countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and American involvement in the Palestine problem.
What are those American activities which are considered by Pakistani people as anti-Pakistan? Let’s start with the most recent attack on a Pakistani check post near its border with Afghanistan that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. This incident happened in spite of the fact that Pakistan is an ally of US in the war against terrorism. Pakistani media used this incident and caused a media spin that created animosity for US in the minds of the ordinary Pakistani people. As a result of this incident, Pakistan stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan passing through its roads.
Drone attacks by the US on the terrorist hide outs in the poorly controlled tribal region of Pakistan also create anti-American feelings in Pakistan. Although these attacks kill mostly terrorists but civilian deaths also do occur and again when the news of these drone strikes is aired in media, it creates anti-American sentiments.
The religious political parties use anti-American slogan to get votes during elections because of American involvement in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year an American CIA agent killed two Pakistanis in broad daylight in Lahore in Pakistan. But he was released by Pakistan due to the diplomatic immunity he possessed. But the news of this incident was rampant in Pakistani media which presented US as a hostile country. This incident changed the views of many Pakistanis towards America.
Similarly, the incident of the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden by US military was taken by Pakistani people as an obliteration of the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Although American helicopters flew from Afghanistan and entered Pakistani airspace with the explicit knowledge of Pakistani authorities to kill Osam Bin Laden in his compound in Abbotabad, the ordinary Pakistani is unaware of the fact.
Any thing happening in neighboring Afghanistan also impacts the minds of Pakistani people. The incident of burning of Koran by the US military personnel not only caused uproar inAfghanistan but also in Pakistan and changed the minds of the ordinary people of Pakistan. In another incident an American soldier killed sixteen Afghanis including children and the news of this incident also made headlines in Pakistani media.
No civilian aid from US can change the mindset of Pakistani people if America cannot change its policies towards Muslim countries. Although US military aid is helping Pakistani Army to balance its power with the rival India but the mindset of the Army is also anti-American. US aid cannot even buy sympathies of the army. The most recent incident of moving a resolution in the American congress in support of the right of self-determination by the people of Balochistan is perceived by the military of Pakistan as a threat to its sovereignty. Balochistan is a province of Pakistan and the issue of the rights of the people of Balochistan is an internal matter of Pakistan. It is the belief of the Pakistan army.

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