I’ve said before that our Foreign Office seems to be populated by the most neanderthal minded dumb****s in the country. Which is not surprising since for the last 40 years our “foreign policy” has basically been vicarious acid-throwing (i.e. in any given foreign conflict we are more likely to support the party which believes in throwing acid on some hapless female, beheading civilians or blowing up girls schools).
So it seems like, empowered by his chicken dance at the Indo-Pak dialogue, the foreign minister has now decided to start openly defying his civilian leadership. From Dawn:
For once the PPP leaders were not just at odds with the military leadership, but also the Foreign Office, led by their party man. The army conveyed its displeasure after the ISI chief cancelled his upcoming visit to UK. After hectic day-long consultations, sources said the final decision was on these lines – President Zardari will go ahead with his visit to UK; ISI chief to call off the trip; and the Foreign Office, which is torn between the political and military cross-currents, to summon a British High Commission official. British Prime Minister Cameron’s remarks in India earlier in the week accusing Pakistan of exporting terror created uproar here with demands for a strong response to the statement.
Mr Cameron, despite protests from Islamabad which described the comments as saddening, and criticism back home, stood by his statement. Diplomatic observers say ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha’s decision to cancel the visit conveyed the disquiet in Pakistan on the issue, even though the president desired to downplay the diplomatic row by sticking to his plan.
Both Mr Zardari and Gen Pasha were to visit UK separately. Mr Zardari is going there on a five-day state visit, while the ISI chief was to visit London for consultations with intelligence counterparts.
The Foreign Office’s failure to announce President’s Zardari’s UK visit along with his visit to France, which are taking place back to back, fuelled speculations that the visit might be cancelled.
However, shortly afterwards it was clear that Mr Zardari was adamant to go ahead in view of what his aides described as “strategic partnership and broader bilateral relations”.
Two graphics will illustrate this sad state of affairs. The first, via Cafe Pyala:
The second, via blog reader Shahid: