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سوموار، 18 اپریل، 2011

Sinister move to disgrace military?

Letting the US do what they want while probably disregarding former agreements with Pakistan must be a slap into the face and a loss of dignity for our national prestige and honour, which they do not want to accept. They have been going out of their way to resolve the Raymond Davis matter because it has opened Pakistani investigators eyes about the covered operation under going in the garb of eliminating terrorism, while their main object was to undermine the national unity and solidarity by pitching brother against brother and creating ethnic, religious and provinicial disharmony, and risking public upheaval and unrest and the least that they were expecting was accommodation of their demands with regard to a stop of drone attacks.

By Mohammad Jamil
America reportedly insists that it would continue its covert operations, and if the need be overt operations in Pakistan’s tribal belt. In editorial of the Wall Street Journal - pro-establishment and neocons’ representative - it was stated: “Pakistan needs to be served an ultimatum by the United States on the same lines as the warning given to it immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks”. There were also threats and incentives offered to Pakistan suggesting to reap benefits of American alliance, or it can oppose the US and reap the consequences, including the loss of military aid, special-ops and drone incursions into their frontier areas, and in particular a more robust ‘US military alliance with India’. Apart from demonstration of inebriate super power’s arrogance, this seems to be a part of blackmailing tactics and a sinister move to lower prestige of Pakistan’s armed forces in the eyes of general public. Immediately after the recent meeting between CIA Chief Leon Panetta and ISI Chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, international media had published the story that summit failed to resolve issues over US drone attacks, and Pakistan has been told that “neither drone strikes would be stopped nor an explanation given for each attack, and that a drastic reduction in drone attacks is unacceptable”. There is indeed trust deficit because of American policies and also its sermons that Pakistan does not have any palpable threat from India. It is unfortunate that not only America but also Pakistani analysts, ‘brilliant’ panelists and pseudo-intellectuals subscribe to American leadership’s view that there is no threat to Pakistan from India. And second misperception is that Pakistan does not want to take action against, what they say, its future asset ie Haqqani network in North Waziristan. The problem is that various governments in the past failed to make Pakistan a self-reliant country, and it was because of this dependency syndrome that Pakistan buckled under pressure to join the war on terror after 9/11. There is perception that America wants Pakistan to conduct operation in North Waziristan, so that people of the region that are not against Pakistan till now may turn against Pakistan after operation in NWA. Our civil and military leaderships should ponder over how best to respond to such moves or even in case of a real threat to Pakistan. There seems to be a paradigm shift in American policy, and one is inclined to note that the US administration and Pentagon are now on the same page. Earlier, whenever members of US administration showed disagreement with or aversion to Pakistan’s policies, Pentagon tried to maintain special relations with Pakistan military. But since January 2011, when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen called Pakistan the ‘epicentre’ for global terrorism, it reflected a shift in the policy. He had said: “I am confident that the Pakistani military knows what it has to do to eliminate the threat. It is absolutely critical that the safe havens in Pakistan get shut down. We cannot succeed in Afghanistan without that.” Many analysts and panelists in Pakistan did not agree with the perception that US wanted to ‘secure’ Pakistan’s nukes on one pretext or another. In 2007, renowned Pakistani journalist, Ahmed Quraishi in his treatise under the caption “The plan to topple Pakistan military” had unveiled sinister designs against Pakistan. Ahmad Quraishi had written: “This is about clipping the wings of a strong Pakistani military, denying space for China in Pakistan, squashing the ISI, stirring ethnic unrest, and neutralizing Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The first shot in this plan was fired in Pakistan’s Balochistan province in 2004. The last bullet will be toppling Musharraf, sidelining the military and installing a pliant government in Islamabad”. But that was a gross miscalculation on part of the super power that by eliminating people or by degrading Pakistan’s institutions it would succeed in achieving its objective of taking control of Pakistan nukes. Quraishi’s observations got credence when on 10th August 2007 CNN’s Barbara Starr had reported that three US sources from the military and intelligence communities independently confirmed that “military intelligence officials” are assessing what will happen to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in the event of a coup against the then General Musharraf. She said: “The United States has full knowledge about the location of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, but the key questions, officials say are what would happen and who would control the weapons in the hours after any change in government in case Musharraf were killed or overthrown”. There has been a tirade against Pakistan doubting its intentions about war on terror and American think tanks have been raising alarms that Pakistan’s nuclear assets could land into the hands of terrorists. Pakistan has in the past warned that it possessed adequate retaliatory capacity to defend its nuclear strategic assets and sovereignty. In fact, Indian and Jewish lobbies wish to see anarchy in Pakistan so that US could give a call to the international community that it should come forward to ‘secure’ Pakistan’s nukes. But Pakistan is neither Guinea Bissau nor a banana republic that the US can walk over. Having that said, Pakistan should take measures to ensure that nobody uses Pakistani soil to operate in Afghanistan or elsewhere, and then tell Americans that Pakistan can no more afford to be a partner in the war on terror. It is, indeed, lackadaisicalness and ineptness on the part of Pakistan’s leadership and foreign office that they did not effectively counter the propaganda against Pakistan, accusing it of playing a duplicitous role in war on terror. The fact of the matter is that America is playing a dubious and double role. It signed civil nuclear pact with India, whereas it wanted out of Pakistan to fight terrorists to make this war winnable for America. In FATA, many people have been killed during drone attacks that have further generated hatred against America. But triabals are also likely to turn against Pakistan army for being an American ally. In Afghanistan, President Karzai is facing a similar situation. It could be a realisation on the part of Pakistani and Afghan leadership that civil and military leaders from both sides held a crucial meeting on Saturday, and agreed on the formation of a joint commission to carry forward the conciliation process, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the insurgency-torn country. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who held exhaustive talks in Kabul at the Presidential Palace, described the parleys as “historic”, saying that “the two countries stand together as they have shared destinies”. Prime Minister Gilani said that he in consultations with President Karzai, Chairman Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani and members of the High Peace Council, had agreed to establish the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for facilitating and promoting reconciliation and peace. Gilani extended Pakistan’s full support to the efforts of President Karzai and the High Peace Council, for initiating an inclusive process of grand national reconciliation in which all Afghans not only have a stake but the process also promises future peace and stability in their country. He said that the restoration of stability and peace in Afghanistan was essential for peace, security and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
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