US pressure on Pakistan

Posted: September 16, 2008 in General
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There is a lot more sinister against Pakistan than the accusations of its unwillingness or what they call incapability to rein in militants. Before dwelling on the subject of blatant intrusion into Pakistan’s territory and killing scores of people, it is appropriate to expose the US and the West for their machinations to prove that Pakistan is a failed state and it is on the brink of break up. It is true that Pakistan is confronting economic challenges, and also faces threats to its internal security in addition to threats to external security not other than the so-called allies for the last six decades. In the latest Time weekly, there is a cover story with the caption “Pakistan – A nation at risk”, adding that Asif Zardari, Pakistan’s new leader, inherits a broken state. Can he fix it”.The tirade against Asif Ali Zardari is incomprehensible and unjustifiable because the US and the West had themselves wanted that Pakistan should move from quasi-democracy to full democracy, and Zardari bagged more than two-third majority votes from the electoral college for the election of president. This much should suffice to expose their love for democracy, and now something about violations of international law and disregard for sovereignty of Pakistan by the champions of democracy, human rights and freedom of thought, speech and expression.

At least for five consecutive days during the last week, the US and NATO forces conducted air strikes killing more than 100 tribesmen mostly women and children. On Friday, when the ISPR’s spokesman was issuing statement after the corps commanders’ conference expressing the determination of government, army and the nation to safeguard the integrity of the country, another attack was launched killing 12 people. Pakistan’s foreign office as usual gave meek response and launched protest only, whereas Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s warning for retaliation was reflective of the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. Later, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had categorically declared that COAS Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s statement was in line with the government policy. But one does know what transpired on Friday, as talking to the media the prime minister said: “We can take up the matter of unilateral strikes in Pakistan on diplomatic level but cannot wage a war on the United States”. In fact, not a single leader or political party of the country has asked the government to declare or wage a war on the US. And only an imbecile could have done it. Even Qazi Hussain Ahmed Amir of Jamat-i-Islami, who normally comes out with motional statements, has only asked to counter the border violations.

Some incorrigible pseudo-intellectuals complain that in a democratic setup only government issues such statements and the COAS should not have done it. The politicians and so-called intellectuals with myopic vision cannot realize that it is Pentagon that provides all the inputs to the government to take the decision, and their commanders are coming out with political statements. It is not the intention here to propose that the army should interfere in politics but to highlight the ground reality. Anyhow, the government should understand the difference between waging a war and defence of the motherland. The fact remains that the entire nation demands that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country should be defended. It is true that the war on terror has now assumed alarming proportions and become Pakistan’s war, because quite a few misguided elements who believe in the righteousness of their cause for waging jihad to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Afghan brothers in Afghanistan are unwittingly putting Pakistan in a difficult situation which is fraught with serious dangers. They do not understand that if anything happens to Pakistan, there would be no other country to give them refuge in future. Nevertheless, apart from some fanatics there are operatives of foreign secret agencies that are very active to destabilize Pakistan. Past and the present leadership have been saying that Pakistan is as much victim of terrorism as Afghanistan it is not a rhetoric but eidetic reality. Those criticizing Pakistan government or security forces for conducting operations against miscreants do not realize that they are trying to bring down the morale of the members of the security forces, as if they are committing some sin when they are trying to establish the writ of the state. It is unfortunate that on one hand Pakistan army and other security forces are under tremendous pressure because they have to fight the terrorists, and at the same time they are under pressure from the super power. In fact, they have to fight so-called allies – the US and the West.

An impression is being created that (American) CIA-operated spy planes intrude in Pakistan territory in North Waziristan Agency and fire Hell-fire missiles whereas NATO forces have refused to conduct operations in Pakistan, as they have the mandate to operate within Afghanistan only. But one should not be misled by NATO commander’s statements or some French and Germans who might have said so because they know there is difference between fighting the terrorists and fighting Pakistani army, should the government ask the latter to retaliate. There is a widespread perception that Americans have lost war in Iraq and they are on the verge of losing in Afghanistan. Since it is an election year, President Bush feels that by exerting pressure on Pakistan, he can stem the tide of insurgency in Afghanistan to impress American voters to vote for Republican president nominee. But it could result in a complete disaster, as pushing Pakistan against the wall could invite massive retaliation. It appears that Pakistan’s so-called allies are framing charges against Pakistan and telling lies, the way they had done in case of Iraq. They are coming out with concocted stories and cooked up evidence that Pakistan is ensconcing Taliban. The charge is not only that Pakistan is not doing enough to rein in Taliban and stop cross-border terrorism but they have also reopened the closed case of nuclear proliferation against Pakistan. With International Atomic Energy Agency’s statement that “Pakistan’s network supplying Iran, North Korea and Libya with illicit nuclear technology had substantial and sensitive information on how to make atomic arms”, the US and its cohorts stand exposed. The IAEA in a restricted report made available to media, also alleged that “much of the AQ Khan network’s material was passed on to customers in electronic form – giving a potentially unlimited number of clients access, whether they were governments or individuals”.

The IAEA’s information was contained in a report on Libya and based on investigations conducted since that country renounced its efforts to make nuclear weapons in 2003. While Libya is no longer a proliferation concern, the report’s revelations on the network are important because it also accused the ‘network’ for having supplied Iran and North Korea with nuclear know-how and hardware. North Korea meanwhile has mothballed its nuclear programme in exchange for the economic package. According to the information, Iran has acknowledged buying from the AQ Khan network, but insists its nuclear programme is meant only to generate power. After report on Libya, a report on Iran is likely to be unveiled when Pakistan will further be pushed into the corner.But the US and the West should realize that air strikes or hot pursuit attacks as envisaged in their new strategy would prove counterproductive because anti-American sentiments would wax, and the moderate forces would sympathise with militants because of the collateral damage caused by their ruthless operations killing mostly women and children.

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