Ahmed Quraishi’s article If fired, Haqqani threatens to unveil ‘reams’ of Pakistan’s secrets is a prime example of how this journalist is able to twist and manipulate facts in order to provoke hate and anger amongst the Pakistani community. As the title of Quraishi’s article states, it seems that if Ambassador Haqqani were to be removed from his post, he would threaten to disclose Pakistan’s secrets. Quraishi then tries to substantiate his argument by quoting the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.
The article in the Foreign Policy magazine that Quraishi refers to, does not at all, state that Ambassador Haqqani will be opening up a Pandora’s Box. It is highly unfortunate that Quraishi has yet again, through his writings, picked out sentences in order to sling mud on those he despises. Ironically, in the same article Josh Rogin articulates
“Insiders point out that the aid conditions, which require the U.S. government to report on the Pakistani military’s efforts to combat terrorist groups in their midst, were available for all to see well in advance. Moreover, they say, similar conditions were included in U.S. aid packages dating back to 2001, when President George W. Bush and President Pervez Musharraf were the respective leaders. Ironically, it is Musharraf’s allies, now in the opposition, who are now harping on such conditions.”
It is rather “ironic” that Ahmed Quraishi who is an avid supporter of General Musharraf suddenly has a change of heart – from previously supporting such conditions – and is now cursing the very essence of the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Why did Quraishi refuse to include the above excerpt in his article where he has written against the efforts of Ambassador Haqqani?
The sentence in Rogin’s article that Quraishi centered his editorial on is as follows
“sources also say that Haqqani has reams of documents that could embarrass the forces aligned against him and sacking him could open up a Pandora’s box of controversy that the government would not appreciate, which he might do if forced to defend himself after being fired his article”
Firstly, any person holding an official government position has the ability to disclose state secrets. It is rather obvious that over time, Ambassadors come across and read classified documents that may be harmful for the state, if shared with the public. And secondly, to assume that Ambassador Haqqani would comprise Pakistan’s sovereignty by revealing “reams of documents” is a mere speculation that does not carry any weight.
Furthermore, Quraishi chose to not add a statement by the same source who stated, “most people don’t have the courage to tell the Pakistani people we need the United States”. This clearly explains that strengthening Pak-US ties is essential not the opposite. It is also regrettable that Quraishi failed to disclose that Rogin also articulated in his piece “his (Haqqani) U.S. ties are exactly what makes him an effective representative for Islamabad”.
Quraishi in his article also quotes a former US military officer who states “US officials do not know, that the problem is not the so-called ‘anti-American forces’ in Pakistan but the offensive language in the bill”. If this is the case then Ahmed Quraishi, you as a journalist have failed to do your job correctly by not being able to clearly identify the problems associated with the Kerry-Lugar Bill.
By coming out in public and stating that the US is not aware of the situation in Pakistan in regards to the Kerry-Lugar Bill, Quraishi is only making a fool of himself. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan is currently in Washington explaining the situation to none other than the Vice President of the United States and key members of the US Senate. General Kayani has explained his reservations over the Kerry-Lugar Bill to the top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen. “US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson and the US military leadership are playing important roles in sensitizing President Obama to the controversial clauses of the proposed US aid bill that has triggered a crisis-like situation in Pakistan”. And yet Quraishi has the audacity to state that the US is not fully aware of the criticism and this is primarily due to Ambassador Haqqani misinforming the United States.
The main argument against the implementation of the Kerry-Lugar Bill in Pakistan is that the Bill threatens our national sovereignty. Today, Senator Kerry stated that the US Congress would “offer a new explanation and clarification” for those criticizing the Bill. I fail to understand how Quraishi has the ability to write “the problem is that American policymakers have been badly misinformed” when the sponsor of the Kerry-Lugar Bill is coming out and addressing the issues arising out of the Bill.
Quraishi’s article is proof of the kind of deplorable and controversial style of journalism he has become accustomed to. He has mastered the art of twisting facts around so brilliantly that many of us have lost sight of the truth and facts. This article is not an attempt to defame Quraishi but rather a request to stop spreading rumours which play with the hearts and minds of Pakistanis. My country has had enough of conspiracy theorists and it is time we enjoy the greatness of truth and accountability Quaid-e-Azam envisioned for us.