Work in progress | Pakistan Today

Work in progress

Committee undecided

With every course of action, lie its pitfalls. Reversing the decision to block the Nato supply routes as unilaterally as the government has taken it in the first place would have had a large public fallout. But it would have been a discrete step, one that would have been taken promptly after the government weighed the pros and the cons.

On the other hand, passing over the buck to the parliament would automatically get the ownership of the opposition parties, which would help in curtailing the fallout. The PML(N), for instance, even in its most rabid of populism, couldn’t rabble-rouse around a parliamentary decision that it was signatory to.

The flipside to getting the parliament on board, however, is the endeavour itself. It is like herding cats. Especially when the opposition benches want to be seen making noises. Even some from the treasury (the MQM, basically) don’t pull any punches when they want to play to the gallery, literally, in this case, with the Press Gallery watching over the legislators.

Others, like the JUI(F), face political repercussions were they to agree without objections to a possible resolution. The party’s boycott of the multi-party Parliamentary Committee on National Security continues unabated. There were chances of a thaw with the American ambassador meeting with the party’s chief but the latter’s position is still to be decided.

In Pakistan’s relations with the US, the political class needs to realise that there is a scheme of things that has to be explained to the electorate. This pertains to our rather precarious position in the comity of nations. We are this close to being a pariah state. The nexus between elements within the deep state and non-state multinational terror outfits.

Similarly, the US needs to understand that Pakistan is not the one-window operation it used to be during the times of (complete) military rule. For cooperation, the elected government has to sell an idea to the polity. The more the US, through its actions, makes the citizens of Pakistan hostile to itself, the less cooperative the government will be able to be.