In what appears to be yet another blooper on the international stage our President Asif Ali Zardari has yet again dropped a bombshell on our nation. If the security threat in the North West arena was not enough to handle he has just awoken a sleeping giant when he labeled Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorist in an interview with WSJ a few days back.
WSJ: When I [Bret Stephens] ask whether he would consider a free-trade agreement with traditional archenemy India, Mr. Zardari responds with a string of welcome, perhaps even historic, surprises. “India has never been a threat to Pakistan,” he says, adding that “I, for one, and our democratic government is not scared of Indian influence abroad.” He speaks of the militant Islamic groups operating in Kashmir as “terrorists” — former President Musharraf would more likely have called them “freedom fighters” — and allows that he has no objection to the India-U.S. nuclear cooperation pact, so long as Pakistan is treated “at par.” “Why would we begrudge the largest democracy in the world getting friendly with one of the oldest democracies in the world?”
There is one thing to be diplomatic and try to patch up relations with our freinds across the border, but its an entirely different thing to dump your country in midair literally abandoning 61 years of a nations policy to reach across without a proper plan of action and a commitment to change. More importantly issuing this statement in a whimsical interview half way across the world and more importantly to do it without the consensus of the Parliament. Somehow it seems that our President has a serious need to be trained on how to act and behave like the President of Pakistan, as its been barely a month since he inaugurated his Presidency and has already committed one too many blunders literally not worth writing home about.
This ‘casual’ comment resulted in an outrage amongst Kashmiri Muslims opposed to Indian rule, many of whom who regard militant groups fighting Indian rule as freedom fighters. Many protesters took to the streets on Monday, near the Line of Control to display their anger and even burnt an effigy of Mr Zardari.
Today UK High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan went into damage control mode and tried to issue a clarification by email to many media outlets BBC reports
BBC: High Commissioner Hasan said that Mr Zardari was not seeking to undermine “the indigenous struggle by the Kashmiri people for the right of self-determination” in his Wall Street Journal interview. Mr Hasan made his comments in an e-mail sent to various media including the BBC. He said that Mr Zardari had repeated that “Pakistan is opposed to external militants indulging in cross-border terrorism and subverting a genuine indigenous freedom movement”. Correspondents say the phrase “cross-border terrorism” is one that has been used consistently by India, which has accused Pakistan of arming and helping Pakistani-based militants fighting in Kashmir.
The problem here is that our President seriously needs to stop thinking of the $100 Billion dollar begging bowl which he has set his eyes upon and start thinking of how to drag this country out of this crisis and into a breathable state. He should truly be far interested in clearing up the mess rather then opening up the pandoras box with India. Gaad [sic] help us