Waiting for Wikileaks in Pakistan

Posted on November 28, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Media Matters
47 Comments
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Adil Najam

Flicking through Pakistani TV channels I note that all of Pakistan’s mediadom seems to be waiting for imminent release of new documents on WikiLeaks, reportedly including communication from US officials on Pakistan, Pakistanis, Pakistani politicians, and Pakistani agencies and officials.

News junkie that I am, I must confess that I, too, am waiting for Wikileaks. But I am not really sure ‘what’ I am waiting for – or anticipating to hear – from Wikileaks. Nor, do I think, does anyone else. At least any Pakistani. Maybe that is what makes the entire episode so enticing. But it also shows just how messed up US-Pakistan relations really are today.

Amidst all the talk about how dangerous the leaks might be and how they might spoil relations between the US and its supposed ‘allies,’ I wonder exactly what we might find from the leaked documents that would really ‘surprise’ any Pakistani leader, or Pakistani journalist, or any Pakistani for that matter?

Would we, for example, learn that US officials have no trust in or respect for any Pakistani leader, or for Pakistanis, or for Pakistan? And if we did, would that really be a surprise or ‘news’ for anyone in Pakistan or in the US?

Or, maybe, the leaked documents will tell us that the US has continued and plans to continue an illegal, immoral and ineffective campaign of drone attacks into the territory of one of its closest ‘allies’? That despite their apparent protestations the Pakistan government has remained cognizant but acted ignorant of this campaign? That these attacks have consumed more civilian life than military targets, increased anti-Americanism in Pakistan? And if they did, would that be a surprise for anyone who has watched TV news or opened a Pakistani newspaper at anytime in the last year?

Maybe they will reveal that the amount of contempt that Pakistani institutions and officials have for the US is matched only by the contempt that US institutions and officials have for Pakistan? Or that the Pakistan’s favorite pundit sport of ‘blame it on America’ is no different from America’s favorite pundit sport of ‘blame it on Pakistan’? And if it does, who, pray tell me, is supposed to be surprised by that?

Of course, I do realize that the entire point of a ‘surprise’ is that it cannot be anticipated. That, after all, is the point of calling it a surprise. Indeed, there will be surprises. More than that there will be validation of that which we already believed. And most of all there will be details. All of these will keep the news wheels grinding – in their different styles and rhythms, but with equal but inconsequential fervor – in both Pakistan and USA.

But the real and most important revelation that these particular Wikileaks could make about US-Pakistan relations has already come out in the run-up frenzy to the leaks: The US-Pakistan relationship is at such a low point in both USA and in Pakistan that nothing – well, maybe ‘nearly’ nothing – can make the trust deficit too much worse than it already is.

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47 responses to “Waiting for Wikileaks in Pakistan”

  1. Asif says:

    The Americans were worried about Pakisani nukes falling into the hands of Taliban. The leak of so many secret documents have created doubts whether America can safeguards its own nuclear arsenal from falling into the hands of terrorists.

  2. Adnan says:

    the timing of wikileaks revelation is quite Interesting. Like others I also believe that this “mega hack” was not possible without any aid of insiders. There are few interesting thing lately leaked out which I had been discussing on this *respected* forum for long time yet foreign madrassahs brainwashed *liberal Talibans*

    – According to Wikileaks, Like Benazir, Zardari believes that murder of Benazir was not carried out by Talibans and there is some1 else behind her assassination.

    -Wiki reveals, India has been playing major role to create unrest in Pakistan by feeding thugs in the name of Talibans.

    – According to Wikileaks, American forces physically take part in local operations.

    There are many others to be revealed in future by the site.

    I remember how brainwashed liberals “religiously” rejected the idea and threw up usual stuff to blame Taliban or religious people. Now, I can just hope these mighty brainwashed cult would not issue a fatwa to label Julian Assange a Taliban member. Would not be surprising if Nadeem.F.Paracha, the ex girl friend of Zia blame Ziaul Haq and JI to provoke Mr.Julian to destabilize Zardari government.

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