Foreign Policy Blogs

Paksitan has done it again!

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

Saint Augustine

According to a report in Dawn, once again, Pakistanis have embarrassed themselves, and ironically enough, their struggling country the other day at Washington Dulles Airport by acting awfully.


It is unfortunate to note that there has never been any report of delegation from any other country getting in trouble at any airport in America, except-prepare yourself for the shock- from Pakistan. And, it is impossible to comprehend why people from Pakistan, especially when they are ‘touring’ the United States in any official capacity don’t act professionally. Why must every law, every rule and every regulation that is the norm in America for Americans and foreigners alike be considered an attack on Pakistan’s pride?

Remember, there are delegations from around the world in America every day; trade delegations, cultural missions, business travelers, military and civilian groups, and all these people visiting the United States never ever get in trouble, especially at the airports, but somehow, Pakistanis have managed to make a scene out of two, not one, but two official trips within couple of months.

The latest incident took place at Washington Dulles Airport when a Pakistani army officer made unacceptable comment or remark while aboard a commercial flight from Washington to Tampa, Florida. Whatever he said was enough to cause concern among the passengers who contacted the airline to express their anxiety about the comment and as result of this discomfort among the passengers, the entire delegation was asked to leave the plane.

Somehow, this incident has become a diplomatic row between Washington, a city that is always accommodating and yes, apologizing to Pakistan, and Islamabad, a city that is always unhappy and angry with America.

Fortunately, there is no evidence that these passengers were removed because they are from Pakistan, but the evidence that has emerged so far suggests that the leader of the delegation was responsible for triggering this unpleasant incident.

Anyone who has traveled to Pakistan or has lived and traveled within Pakistan can understand that people serving in Pakistan army are walking statues of arrogance. They consider civilians to be second class citizen and these officers are not used to answering questions by the civilians. So, it is only natural that when they were confronted at Dulles Airport, they ‘demanded’ to speak with ‘higher ups’ or ‘in-charge’ of security at the airport. Imagine, just imagine the oozing arrogance from the scenario. Instead of answering genuine questions by the officials regardless of their rank or title, Pakistani delegation wanted to speak to the man/woman responsible for running the entire security operation at the airport. Because they had an invitation from Centcom these visiting buffoons thought they cannot be stopped, questioned, or worse, expected to deal with junior level people.

Whatever happened at the airport was unfortunate, but the reaction from Pakistan Army’s Headquarters was even more appalling. Instead of dressing down the leader of the delegation for creating a scene, his bad behavior was encouraged and even rewarded because the delegation was asked to cancel trip and come back to Pakistan.

Yeah, real mature way of handling a difficult situation. It just confirms that Pakistan’s army is out of control, period.

When people from Pakistan complain that their country has gone to hell, they don’t stop and honestly take into account their own transgressions. You will never hear any Pakistani admitting fault or failure, but the tendency is always to shift the blame, to always find a culprit somewhere else. But the sad reality is that it is Pakistan that is mostly at fault. The latest airport incident is just another example and a reminder that we are not dealing with a normal nation.



Bilal Qureshi

Bilal Qureshi is a resident of Washington, DC, so it is only natural that he is tremendously interested in politics. He is also fascinated by the relationship between Pakistan, the country of his birth, and the United States of America, his adopted homeland. Therefore, he makes every effort to read major newspapers in Pakistan and what is being said about Washington, while staying fully alert to the analysis and the news being reported in the American press about Pakistan. After finishing graduate school, he started using his free time to write to various papers in Pakistan in an effort to clarify whatever misconceptions he noticed in the press, especially about the United States. This pastime became a passion after his letters were published in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and his writing became more frequent and longer. Now, he is here, writing a blog about Pakistan managed by Foreign Policy Association.

Areas of Focus:
Taliban; US-Pakistan Relations; Culture and Society