Secretary Pompeo fall with General Bajwa by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

In the 1980s and 2000s, we had military generals ruling the country that needed international legitimacy. They willingly accepted to make Pakistan a frontline state in the first Afghan war and War on Terror respectively. Both these wars cost this nation dearly and we are still paying the price. In 2020 we have a similar situation when an ambitious General is seeking extension rather than quietly ride into the sunset at the end of his constitutional tenure. The whole nation rejected the legislation for the extension as evident from the backlash on social media. The two major opposition political parties PML N and PPP have lent their support to the legislation to pursue their narrow interest of the party heads. They are meekly trying to hide behind the parliamentary procedure to justify it hoping that people of Pakistan can be fooled again and again.

In this backdrop, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chooses to call General Bajwa rather than the so-called elected but powerless foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi or Prime Minister Imran Khan. Why no call was made to the civilian counterpart? It seems bilateral history guided their decision. DG ISPR informed us about what General Bajwa said during the call but did not inform about the demands made by the US Secretary of State. This should raise anxiety in our minds considering our long history of becoming embroiled in foreign wars. I demand that the transcript of the US Secretary of State call to General Bajwa should be provided to Senate and Parliament Foreign relations committees for discussion and debate. It should also be made public so that it is confirmed no promises were made that are detrimental to the national interest. We will not accept any foreign policy decisions that are not holistic but made by only one institution.

There seems to be an effort to damage the military institution to entertain ambitions of one individual. I sent a message to both government and opposition, on Sunday night, that legislation for the extension will not be supported until it is made clear it serves the national interests as well as protect the institution. I request all of you to be prepared to oppose it if no proper debate is conducted in the light of our three conditions. The engineered and rigged parliament has so far been unable to serve national and public interests.

There is extensive debate in America that President Trump ordered strikes against Gen Qasim Soleimani to distract people from the impeachment proceedings that are expected to start this month by Senate. He has also gone back on his election promise of withdrawing military forces from the Middle East and Afghanistan. The American deployment to Gulf Countries has increased from 3000 in May 2019 to around 14000 by the end of December. There is also talk of further increasing these forces in the next few weeks. These forces are deployed in Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. This practically means that GCC is now colonized and have lost their sovereignty. This is a concerning development. it is because of that I have suggested in a tweet that special meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and OIC should be convened to de-escalate tensions in the region. Failure to develop a multilateral response to American exceptionalism and unilateralism is detrimental to all regional stakeholders.

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