He said that Iraq was anathema to the US because of her progressive policies. During Saddam’s tenure, he said, 6oo Iraqis were sent every year to Western universities for technical training and higher studies and, as such, the US Neocons wanted to see Saddam out.
Talking about the Arab Spring, Ghauri held that it didn’t result from just a lack of democracy, but also because of the absence of fundamental rights. He said that in a meeting with a Saudi envoy, Muhammad Al Faqih, the latter had said that nothing like the Arab Spring could ever occur as the Arab governments provided their citizens with all the basic necessities of life. Ghauri claimed to have countered the argument by quoting as an example the thousands of Arabs who went overseas and found the freedoms and fundamental rights taken for granted in western countries glaringly absent at home. Such realisations, he said, would certainly raise questions in their minds which could find an outlet in the form of discontent with their governments. “That is precisely what happened,” according to Ghauri, “It was the denial of fundamental rights that precipitated the Arab Spring.” Comparatively speaking, he said that people in Pakistan had all the freedoms, hence, there were no chances of an Arab Spring here. The former ambassador also highlighted certain external dynamics shaping things in the Arab world; firstly, the fact that the Arab world was home to three-fourths of the world’s oil resources and, secondly, the presence of Israel. Ghauri pointed out that Arthur Balfour, then serving as United Kingdom’s foreign secretary, could sense the role oil would play in the future of world politics, hence, he wrote the letter to Walter Rothschild that came to be known as the “Balfour Declaration”. “That created commercial interests in the Arab world which was, to a great extent, a factor that constantly contributed to destabilising the region,” said Ghauri.