Pakistan's hopes; Jerusalem's fears

The election results have projected the winner in Pakistan polls - Nawaz Sharif. The electorate in Pakistan's fifth elections in 12 years have decided who is to lead the country out of the present terrible mess they are in.

The country has had enough. Past governments have brought ruin to an already impoverished country. Politicians who came to power riding the "democracy bandwagons" behaved worse than the so- called "dictators" they reviled. I am always surprised at the naivet of the Pakistanis and their emotional outbursts especially when fueled by politicians. They attack "dictatorships" of Ayub Khan forgetting that during his tenure Pakistan had international respect and a good growth rate. There was peace in the land and a sense of optimism. 

Even under the late President Zia ul-Haq and despite heavy pressure from abroad because of the Afghan crisis and the then Soviet Union's threats, the country was plodding on. When the so-called democracy came in, the troubles started. I do believe that Pakistanis should decide their own fate. However, in a land of illiterates - (which is very unfortunate) Pirs, Fakeers, waderas and others - democracy becomes a ball game. And this is what happened. The whole country became a ball which the players were trying to catch.

A careful observer of the utterances of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its prime minister notices an absolute lack of cohesion. All the rhetoric is about "power", "gherao", "strikes". Not much is said about economic development, an end to corruption, raising literacy rates and a host of other social activities that any respectable government indulges in. Nor can the opposition be absolved of this blame. They too churned out words of "fire and steel" promising to make Pakistan a big bonfire. The people of Pakistan thus became grim spectators to this macabre drama. The time has now come to say "enough." Enough to all this nonsense. Enough to the exploitation of the country. Enough to those who used it as a sponge squeezing the last drop out. Pakistan has became a laughing stock. It has become the butt of jokes. Yet those responsible for its sorry situation are oblivious. The new government of Nawaz Sharif has to evaluate the situation and act quick to correct the present situation. It should focus on building and healing rather than dividing. It should have a bipartisan approach. Above all it should be composed of God-fearing individuals who believe in the principles and ideals that the country was built on: Unity, faith and discipline.

It is Pakistan's last chance.

Benjamin Netanyahu has become like the magician who usually pulls out a rabbit or pigeon out of a hat. However, his handouts are more lethal. He spews venom and hatred and engages in acts that are certainly killing the peace process.

By allocating 39 million to the Israeli occupation authorities in occupied Arab East Jerusalem, he has indicated a tightening of Israeli resolve on the city. By bringing in more settlers, many from the United States, he is trying to change the demographic status of the occupied city.

In this, he is being aided by hidden hands in the U.S. official and non official circles. He is also getting immense aid from American extremists and Zionists who are out to wreck the peace process. The Likud party working to seal the fate of occupied Jerusalem by annexing it officially and naming it as Israel's undivided capital.

This will completely kill the withering peace process.

The Arabs have to be wary of U.S.-Israeli intentions. They should not be lulled by U.S. promises of a fair deal. In the U.S. perception, a fair deal is one that gives Israel a total advantage over the Arabs.

This the Arabs should know by now.

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