By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Recently I had an opportunity of having candid and informal interactions with seasoned media leaders. The majority of them are working in North America and European countries although they include some from Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and African countries.
Being a Pakistani journalist, in a country neighboring India, and China, and hosting a flagship project of BRI— China Pakistan Economic Corridor, I am usually considered by foreign media friends as “an opportunity” for them to get an in-depth pulse and undercurrents of politics of the region. The total sum of my conversation can be concluded that the majority of North American and European media persons are not happy with what former prime minister Imran Khan is facing today and they wanted to know exactly what happened and why did it happen and how could Imran Khan be removed through a vote of no confidence because they were sure (maybe assured) that Imran Khan would rule Pakistan for next 10 years and would fix “irritants” like Kashmir issue, cold Indo-Pakistan relations, growing CPEC project and possible further extension of Pakistan’s nuclear program.
According to them, the above-mentioned issues must be fixed as they are issues of constant concern in the Western world. It looks like they are still in shock and wanted to figure out why did Pakistan’s military withdraw its support to Imran although the military (according to their understanding), had been crafting him for a ten-year tenure to fix issues West had been asking Pakistani military to fix since long. I was a big disappointment for them because I had no answers to satisfy them and I had no answer actually to satisfy even myself that what happened in the first three months of the year 2022?
Conversations with such important media personalities enabled me to have an iota of what kind of future the West wants to see for Pakistan, although they see no future for Pakistan and they look inquisitive and trying to find reasons how Pakistan is still surviving after numberless jolts it had faced in last 75 years? According to my understanding, the West wants a Pakistan that has no territorial conflicts with India. In simple words, the West wants the resolution of Kashmir by submerging Kashmir as provinces of both countries with the same boundaries that are today.
According to my understanding, one of the reasons for this is that the West wants to fix the Kashmir issue not only between Pakistan and India rather wants to create a precedence so India can demand the same resolve with China for finishing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and converting LAC into Indo-China international border and the Line of Control (LoC) into Indo-Pak international border line. Moreover, the West wants sureties from Pakistan that it would not stand with China and would not provide a trade route to China in case the West blocks the Chinese water trade routes in the future and Pakistan will also not stand with China if ever Indo-Sino conflict aggravate at the level of an actual war. I may be right but I may be wrong that the West sees India as today’s Ukraine from where the West will able to provide complete weaponry support to India to defeat China (as West is trying in Ukraine). I believe the West has no problem with Pak-China relations once Pakistan gives a guarantee for the two important points mentioned above.
Can we see this desire of the West in reference to the virtual halting of the CPEC project during PTI’s rule and allegations of corruption PTI’s ministers had been leveling in the CPEC project when they were sitting ministers of ministries dealing with CPEC projects? Does it mean PTI directly or indirectly was pleasing Western powers by halting the CPEC project for three years?
Moreover, was PTI’s meager response to the Indian decision to change the status of Indian Occupied Kashmir converting IOJK into a union state linked with this Western desire?
Western media is shocked that Pakistan’s power structure is altogether changed within the last one and half years without getting “desirous results” and Pakistan not only restarted the CPEC project rather is enhancing support for China to keep reaching global markets.
I think Western media understands that stopping the further expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear program is (was) a critical issue and it could not be achieved “instantly” but thinks that the 10-year tenure of Imran Khan could get this result too.
Since departure of Imran Khan from the corridor of power is a huge disappointment for Western Media therefore I have reasons to believe that it will remain supporting Imran Khan and will continue to raise questions it was on its list for ages and that are Human Right Issues, Freedom of Expression, all-inclusive democracy and level-playing field for all political parties. Since Western Media is yet to get an “in-depth” rundown of COAS Gen Asim Munir, it also tries to get maximum information about his personality, his viewpoint, his philosophy of life, his vision for Pakistan, etc. Even his initiative of agricultural development of non-cultivated lands is being looked at as something “unusual”.
According to my understanding, people who are responsible for media management in Pakistan should keep in their mind that Western Think Tanks and Western Media will keep questionings the status of “Human Rights” issues, and the famous diction of “Human Rights violations” shall have to be faced by Pakistan in time to come.
Moreover, extensive lobbying of PTI in the West had already written a “post elections observation report” that (forthcoming) General Elections were “rigged” so be ready that the West is not going to give you honest observations even Pakistan will hold cleanest ever General Elections in near future.
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 DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.