Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking one for the nation?

Taking one for the nation?
I have never written anything regarding the government or any specific leader without negativity nor without sarcasm – but today that changes, to a certain extent at least. Today, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi changed a lot of things – especially the perception that all our leaders will buckle down under pressure and go miles for a bit of extra weight in their pockets.
With so much speculation regarding the Raymond Daviscase, where everyone from US leaders to our very own embarrassing Fauzia Wahab have given contradictory statements, Qureshi stands firm on his stance – Davis does not enjoy blanket immunity. Said out loud in plain and simple terms.
I am perhaps a part of that generation that often sinks into apathy and then jumps to extreme patriotism and vice versa. The generation that has spent most of its youth being embarrassed by the representatives of Pakistan. But today that
changed slightly. Here is a man who was, as he said so himself ‘the face of Pakistan’ in the international arena, stripped of his portfolio and was offered the Ministry of Water and Power instead. And what does he do? In a dignified way, rejects the offer and in an even more graceful way, does not bash the party that disappointed him, but instead further committed himself to the PPP, going as far as to say that he is a part of the PPP family and his commitment to it was unconditional. How many of you have heard that one before? Even if we assume for a minute, that those were clever words simply written down for the cameras, fact remains that they were dignified words.
We have leaders talking about each other’s hair transplants and bedroom escapades. We have leaders hurling abuses at each other on talk shows and giving demeaning statements against the other in press conferences. But today, there was no blame game, no name throwing, no finger pointing and no dramatic statements – refreshing change.
No doubt, Qureshi was always an eloquent speaker, but today he was much more than that. He was the kind of leader many would feel proud of. Now let’s look at what his fault was – defending Pakistan’s integrity and saving it from a yard sale yet again? If so then be it and let others follow his faults as well, for these ‘faults’ are the very traits that establish the difference between a leader and a puppet.
In his speech today, Qureshi showed his strength of character by constantly referring to facts and records instead of mere speculations and angry emotions. He did not speak as if the word of the United States of America is the be all and end all and in fact pointed out that if Pakistan needs America, then America also needs Pakistan. This may be a strong conclusion to come to, but I don’t believe Qureshi’s aim here is to sell Pakistan’s sovereignty. In fact, if he continues to show the strength he did today, then he will probably only end up continuing to pay the price of telling the truth.
Instead of stripping him off his authority and position, PPP should have held on to him tighter because its only leaders like him who may be able to restore respect in the eyes of the nation that has been failed profusely by its government.source

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