Though absolutely true, President Asif Zardari’s pronouncement of the US-led war in Afghanistan as a huge destabilizer of Pakistan is sure to have not many a buyer in the world. And for this, the Islamabad establishment has squarely itself to blame. Never ever has this inept and inert establishment told Pakistan’s story to the world in a coherent, sustained and orchestrated manner, leaving the field wide open to the Afghan war’s commanders and their political masters to paint a wholly untruthful and misleading version to put Pakistan in the dock for their own falls and failures in Afghanistan. And since its act has throughout been at best patchy, it is their tendentious narrative that sticks worldwide; Pakistan’s true story goes by default, even as this war has cost Pakistan preciously in human lives, material losses and economic woes. For this self-inflicted affliction of the Pakistani state, its inveterate detractors in western officialdoms, legislatures, think tanks and media are so emboldened as even to falsify the known history and demonise it for what they themselves must have thick mud splattered all over their faces. It was America’s own CIA that had roped in fanatics worldwide to fight their proxy war against the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. That war they effusively labeled as jihad, a holy war, and their fanatical proxies as mujaheddin, holy warriors. Among that glittering collection was Osama bin Laden, their highly-adulated post-boy, who they eulogised adoringly as a billionaire heir having renounced worldly comforts to fight for the liberation of his Afghan coreligionists from the apostatical communist occupation. And so was Jalaluddin Haqqani, now their bete noire, then their much-loved mujaheddin Afghan commander. So enamoured were them of him that Charlie Wilson, the US Congressman who employed his clout to wangle huge funds from the Congress to bankroll and arm the Afghan mujaheddin, would affectionately always refer to Haqqani as “goodness personified”. And Haqqani, then recipient of the largest largesse of American money and weapons supplies, had not only once hosted Wilson in his Khost redoubt but was also the principle host and handler of the CIA’s Arab fanatical recruits. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar similarly figured high in that prized constellation of CIA’s favourite Afghan mujaheddin commanders, similarly blessed with American money and arms supplies. Yet the American lords across the spectrum conveniently gloss over this filthy past of theirs and tendentiously posture as if they had had nothing to do with the unleashing of an incendiary human bomb of religious fanaticism and radicalisation on Afghanistan and in its periphery on our side of the territory. Quite cheekily, they parade the calumny it was all the work of the Pakistani military, especially its “intelligence arm”, the ISI. And as none in the Islamabad establishment bothers putting the record straight, their malicious campaign is carrying conviction, bringing piles of pillory on the head of the Pakistani state, its people, its military and its intelligence agency. And it is for this establishment’s shyness of calling a spade a spade, they are also berating Pakistan for the madrassas that they had mopped up the Saudi and Arab monies in bagfuls to set up to create fanatics for their Afghan jihad. But will this sloth-eaten establishment ever open up its sealed lips and say a few things, if not of the past, at least of the present to save the nation from the global scorn it is getting in heaps for no fault of its own? Worldwide, this hapless citizenry is maliciously being viewed as a terrorist polity, whereas it itself is the worst victim of the cruelest terrorism, much of it foreign-sponsored. Amazingly, even the Muslim fraternity’s radicalisation in western polities for their own acts of omission and commission is being conveniently put in its lap. And this establishment is sitting pretty, doing nothing to counter this vicious western campaign. Is this establishment too bent upon going Musharraf’s way? The Bush people had asked him if he would become a partner of their spurious war on terror. He bowed, prostrated, and opened up this country to them as a big game park to hunt and poach on freely and unchecked. Had he acted a self-respecting sovereign of a self-respecting nation, the establishment would not have faced the shenanigans of the Americans and their CIA that it is discovering to its great discomfort and distress now. Should one expect if for once the establishment would get its act together and launch into powerful campaign to counter the Americans’ and their allies’ vicious tirade against this country? Or is it expecting too much?