Once again, Shaheen Sehbai’s analysis has been proven wrong. With so many errors, one must begin to wonder if the problem is his sources, his analysis, or his personal agenda clouding his reason. Whatever the cause, he continues to be proven incorrect in his analysis. This time, Mr. Sehbai’s predictions about falling US support for the Zardari government have been cut down by the Americans themselves.
Following Secretary Clinton’s October 2009 trip to Pakistan, Shaheen Sehbai wrote that President Zardari’s time in office was limited and that “the Americans have pulled the rug” from under his support. Mr. Sehbai quoted a number of anonymous people saying that Mr. Zardari had lost his support with the Americans, and that even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had “her entire perceptions changed.”
However, speaking with Pakistani journalists only yesterday, Secretary Clinton said that the United States would like “strong vibrant democracy in Pakistan and that is what we will continue to support in Pakistan.”
In contrast to Mr Sehbai’s assertions, Secretary Clinton’s statements showed that the United States intends to support the civilian democratic government in Pakistan. “I know there are all kinds of challenges to the current government, but that is for the people of Pakistan and your political process to work out,” she said.
In fact, the American Secretary of State was quite clear about her government’s position.
Mrs Clinton said that in her meetings with the military and intelligence leadership of Pakistan she did not have any indication that they had any other intentions other than supporting the democratically elected government. ‘We believe future of Pakistan is so positive but of course that has to be stability and has to be kind of security that (Pakistan) military is fighting for in South Waziristan, there has to be a kind of political stability.’
In an interview with Geo News correspondent Sami Ibrahim, Secretary Clinton said, “It is democracy that strengthens the institutions and to my reckoning, Pakistan is quite resolved for the democracy; however, the country itself will have to tackle its internal issues.”
Despite Shaheen Sehbai’s assertions to the contrary, Secretary Clinton’s statements clearly show the Americans have a continued commitment to supporting the democratic process, and the democratic government in Pakistan. As Secretary Clinton said herself, the Americans “want to help for the democracy in Pakistan. We want to do this in such fashion that democracy in Pakistan is buttressed and Pakistanis attain a future of their choice, which they told me during my Pakistan tour.”
Secretary Clinton’s interview shows that the United States does not plan on leaving Pakistan, that the United States will support Pakistan’s democracy and economy and that the United States is openly not in favor of a military coup. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Mr Sehbai has been so very wrong in his commentary. I hope in the future he will be more careful in his research and analysis. In the meantime, is it too much to ask for Mr. Sehbai to issue an apology in his paper?