By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Apparently, losing grounds in Arab world and fixed in with its diplomatic complexities, Pakistan did not show any undesirable reaction over highest award conferred by United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Indian Prime Minister Modi but Human Right Watch, writers, intellectuals Turkish as well as Qatri media questioned the timing of this award.
Within Pakistan, strong reactions came out from President of Azad Kashmir Masood Khan who condemned the Award during his address to National Press Club Islamabad on Monday and Pakistan Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani who decided to cancel his pre-scheduled trip to the UAE over award given by UAE to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
No doubt, Pakistan’s main stream media also avoided to highlight the issue; possibly due to lukewarm response of its Foreign Office over the development but there was a hue and cry in social media and strong criticism over UAE decision came on surface.
For cooling down the situation, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi while responding a question stated that Pakistan could not (cannot) intervene into bilateral relation of somebody with other country.
Some section of media is saying that awards of Kingdom of Bahrain and UAE to Indian Prime Minister Modi actually could help Pakistan to revisit its old-fashioned Middle East centric foreign policy and its idea of “Islamic Ummah” with whom it had been living with since early 80s when Ummah was helping it to fight Afghan Jihad against former Soviet Union.
لائن آف کنٹرول پر واقع گاؤں کے بزرگ نے کہا جب ہم لاشیں اٹھا رہے ہیں تو امارات نے ہمارے قاتل کو ایوارڈ دیدیا یہ ہم کبھی نہ بھولیں گے ایک نوجوان نے پوچھا ایرانی رہبر خامنائی نے توہمارے حق میں آواز بلند کی ہے کیا انہیں پاکستان ایوارڈ دیگا؟میرے پاس جواب نہ تھا https://t.co/jP4w8XAFML
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) August 26, 2019
There is no doubt that now international media and Genocide Watch International is also indicating that India is purging Kashmiri as well as Bengali Muslims. There are reports that soldiers of Indian Army are raping Kashmiri girls and women and entire Indian Occupied Kashmir has become slaughter house for Indian Army which is free to kill, rape, subugate, kidnap or jailed anybody it wishes. India is far away from Middle East and impact of Kashmir genocide may not be registered in Middle East which has itself saw Palestinians being purged but several Middle Eastern countries have cordial relations with Israel.
International Human Right Watch has also expressed his concern over situation in Kashmir where according to Human Right Watch, all human rights have been withdrawn from Muslims and UAE Award to Modi is a surprising development for Human Rights Watch.
Closing its eyes to Indian PM Modi’s persecution of Muslims in Kashmir (and his tolerance of violence against Muslims throughout India), the United Arab Emirates honors him. https://t.co/YbE1t7HiYP
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) August 25, 2019
For Pakistan, relations with Islamic Ummah are useful and need of the day and situation for Pakistan is not as bad as some circles of media is portraying.
UAE has always been kind with Pakistan by providing direct financial help and support in several infrastructure projects in former FATA and KPK province.
Whenever Pakistan has economic crunch, it looks towards Saudi Arabia and UAE for financial assistance. Recently both countries bailed Pakistan out of economic sickness and to manage Pakistan’s balance of payment.
Both countries are assisting a number of projects including some cadet schools, hospitals and orphanages in Pakistan. Saudi Arab usually sends dates to poor Pakistani people and both countries as well as Kuwait are actively helping poor people of Pakistan through several projects run under their poverty alleviation programs.
Both countries are also helping development projects through their Development and Assistance funds.
Assistance Pakistan takes from Saudi Arabia
Saudi Fund for Development is contributing over 2,600 million Saudi Riyal at several projects including MIRPUR MATHELO FERTILIZER, PIPRI THERMAL POWER STATION, TARBELA DAM REPAIRS, PIPRI THERMAL POWER STATION ( PH II ), THE LEFT BANK OUTFALL DRAIN-STAGE I, SIBI-RAKHNI ROAD, STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT SUPPORT, MAKRAN COASTAL ROAD PROJECT, Golen Gol Hydropower, Neelum Jhelum Hydropower, Construction of the infrastructure of Malakand Region, Construction of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower (additional loan), Construction of Golen Gol Hydropower Project (Additional Loan) and Chella Bandi – Patika road project.
Assistance Pakistan takes from UAE
Meanwhile, UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) is helping Pakistan from school bags of children to roads and bridges in KPK and former FATA including food for poor people.
UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) includes:
Hospitals/clinics in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Waziristan and Bajaur.
UAE PAP took the initiative to help Pakistan by building and equipping 60 educational projects per modern international standards.
UAE is sponsoring 53 projects as a first stage. Educational projects were carried out in a number of regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Waziristan, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency.
UAE also helped in Swat Valley and north-western areas of Pakistan for mitigating seasonal floods. Road network in Southern Waziristan is also done with the help of UAE.
In Education sector, UAE PAP management distributed 60,000 school bags among poor families and orphans in 2012/2013. Streets of towns and villages in Swat Valley are now swarming with male and female students heading for their schools carrying UAE PAP bags which testify to the support offered by the friendly UAE.
The UAE Pakistan Assistance Program (UAE PAP) launched the “EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN” in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan under the slogan “HEALTHY AND BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ALL”.
The UAE PAP did a great help to manage displaced people due to military operation in former FATA. It offered Pakistan 193,000 baskets of foodstuff and 700 tents to distribute to the homeless hit by floods and military operations in 2012, 2013 AND 2014.
In addition, 55 tons of dates were distributed to the poor and the needy in various areas and provinces.
One can image, how Pakistan can take a stiff position against UAE or Saudi Arabia over awards they gave to Indian Prime Minister Modi when Pakistan is receiving uncountable financial assistance as a poor country from these two brotherly countries?
There is no doubt that “Islamic Ummah” always helps Pakistan in difficult times but every country of Islamic world has right to design its own Foreign Policy.
There is also no doubt that Turkey and Qatar through their official media houses expressed dissatisfaction over UAE award to Indian Prime Minister Modi but of course both countries cannot feed poor Pakistanis in a way UAE is doing.
The UAE is causing further outrage among Kashmiris by awarding Narendra Modi with its highest honour. https://t.co/lAXO3mjEyU
— TRT World (@trtworld) August 22, 2019
All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) of Indian Occupied Kashmir called “Order Of Zayed” to Indian Prime Minister Modi as “an embarrassment for the entire Muslim Ummah” but of course APHC cannot provide UAE what Indian government is providing. Sometimes, reality check is important in life for shunning off baggage of “Political Romanticism”.
We are still at a position where we need schools bags for our children, food for poor people, help for constructing roads and bridges, support for providing polio drops to our children and assistance for building and running hospitals. When we would come out of this stage, then we may have courage to have independent Foreign Policy.
There is saying in Russian language which I can translate as:
“You must accept that which is given to you, especially if you don’t have the means to acquire it yourself”.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.