Breaking begging bowl

Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, reiterating PML-N’s post-Abbottabad policy of doing away with foreign aid to maintain the dignity and honour of the country that the US clandestine raid on its territory has badly hurt, has called upon the nation to stand up against those who have mortgaged its sovereignty and independence in return for personal gain. Mian Shahbaz was addressing a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Karkunan-e-Tehreek-e-Pakistan on Saturday to give away gold medals to Pakistan Movement workers and their heirs. “Time has come that we learnt to live with dignity by breaking the chains of slavery,” he asserted.One cannot help appreciating these sentiments and their timeliness, though, it would certainly have been better if this consciousness had come about much earlier. Unfortunately, if Musharraf thought that aligning with the US in the so-called war on terror would not only legitimise his rule, but also, in the process, put ample money at his disposal, his successors feel equally, if not more, beholden to the Americans for bringing them to power. Nevertheless, the belief that self-reliance should be the best policy under the circumstances now permeates all levels of society. The credit for creating this feeling goes to PML-N leaders, both Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who sensed this need of the hour.

Perhaps, a tellingly humiliating experience, like ‘Kill Osama Operation’ that violated Pakistan’s sovereignty in a most blatant manner, was needed to awaken the consciousness that had the leadership not made the country so much dependent on foreign aid, coming principally from the US and international financing agencies under its influence, we would have been spared the indignity of the US conducting a secret operation in the heart of Pakistan. The threats of repeating the exercise that keep emanating from Washington, should another high-value target be found hiding in Pakistan, gives the idea of self-reliance further strength. President Obama reiterated this threat when answering a reporter’s question on Sunday that the US would again launch a unilateral raid on Pakistan if a high-level target was found there. – TheNeation