Giving mere policy statements is not enough any longer. Tweeting sitting in Islamsbad while the families enjoy American citizenships is not sufficient any more. Giving public statements to appease Pakistanis and then apologising with the staff of the American embassy behind the scenes is no longer an acceptable act.
We don’t need to put fuel on the fire either but if the fire is thrown at us then we need to rid ourselves of the match box. Diplomatic Tit-For-Tat is the norm around the world. Policy statements mean nothing. If they expel one of your diplomats, you expel one of theirs. It’s a simple diplomatic answer. And now by the same token, if America has cancelled all cooperation with Pakistan on the security front then America does not need to have over 1500 people, in the garb of security cooperation personnel in Pakistan. We all know who they are. Legal Attachés are from FBI or the CIA. Commercial Attachés are trained economic hit men. Security cooperation personnel are operatives with cover from the department of state or Langley, Virginia, and we all know what’s in Langley.
If there is no longer any security cooperation between Pakistan and America, then there should be no excess personnel, which shouldn’t have been there to begin with, in Pakistan any longer. As our diplomatic right under the regulations, we can demand that the exact number of diplomatic staff that we have in Washington D.C. should be the exact number we will allow of the American staff in Islamabad.
We did not call for this absurdity of Trump onto ourselves. We did not initiate termination of cooperation between the two countries. We did not instigate idiocy filled Tweets from the American President. We did not demand anything that should have triggered a nonsensical reaction.
And since we did not do all of the above then we should not sit quietly and just give policy statements to appease the domestic crowd. And one more thing, if IQAMA can be a ground for disqualification of the highest office in the land, then how can bureaucrats or politicians have properties in America or a Green Card or a business visa ? They should all be fired immediately. And immediately means as of yesterday. Enough is enough.
Author: Mir Mohammad AliKhan