Opinion
Friday Mar 18 2022
By

Don’t destabilise our beloved homeland

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Pakistans Prime Minister Imran Khan in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Reuters/ file
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Reuters/ file

The current political situation in Pakistan is getting complicated day by day. In order to counter the no-confidence motion, the government has decided to gather one million people in front of Parliament House. The OIC meeting has been scheduled in the coming days. There are already several conspiracies on the basis of Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent visit to Moscow that Pakistan, in this critical time, has left the US camp to join the Russian bloc.

We need to understand some of the facts: Ukraine was once a part of the former Soviet Union before 1992. After the collapse of the USSR, it emerged as an independent and sovereign state on the world map. The Russian language is still widely popular there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine’s current leadership is under the influence of the US-led Western bloc. According to him, the Western bloc wants to destabilise the region by empowering Nato to carry military activities on Russian borders. However, it is a fact that Russia has not yet achieved the desired results. And now, according to the latest reports, Russia has asked for China’s military assistance in the war against Ukraine, but China has decided to remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the UN meetings.

All discussions about formation of a Russia and Chinese bloc are just speculation at the moment but after the current global situation, the debate on a Russian bloc and an American camp has started once again in our country. Although Pakistan has been a natural ally to the US-led western bloc, the politics of these global blocs has affected Pakistan very badly in the past. In 1971, when we were waiting for the US in our support, India, a key member of the Soviet bloc, waged a decisive war to separate our eastern part from us.

I believe that in such a critical situation we should not pursue a policy to make any side upset with us. My stance in this regard is very clear: global issues related to friendly countries should not be discussed in public. Similarly, irresponsible statements by our political leaders not only make diplomats in Islamabad concerned but even on a global level, it results in maligning the image of our country.

No doubt, the domestic politics of our country was internationally influenced in the past. I am also aware of the fact that today we are lacking a solid foreign policy. Our participation in a specific bloc has not proven beneficial for Pakistan. On the other hand, countries like India and Oman are playing the pivotal role of mediators while keeping their foreign policy free from foreign influences.

We should also try to minimise the negative effects of a possible confrontation between world powers. The focus of our political struggle should be purely to serve the people as well as national development. The leadership of all political parties must convey a joint message that nobody will support any unconstitutional action that could destabilise our beloved homeland.

While writing this column, I am reminded of an incident in neighbouring India. When the opposition moved a no-confidence motion against then-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, opposition leader Sharad Pawar personally went to Mayawati, a female politician, to ensure the required number. 

In response to the opposition leader’s assurance, Mayawati decided to vote at the last moment against the government which proved decisive for the future of Vajpayee government. I still remember that 269 votes were cast in favour of PM Vajpayee while the opposition secured 270 votes. Vajpayee suffered a historic defeat with just one vote. 

However, he accepted the results with a smile, did not blame any kind of international game, and tendered his resignation to save the country from political instability.

The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. He tweets @RVankwani

Originally published in The News