THE US SHOULD NOT THINK, WE IN PAKISTAN ARE NAIVE
George W. Bush Administration started global war on terror with a big bang asserting that terrorists would be smoked out and terrorism washed off the face of earth and the world made safe. American public cheered lustily and jubilantly approved the invasion of Afghanistan to teach a lesson of life to the perpetrators of most heinous crime in which less than 3000 Americans, mostly Asian origin died. None questioned that no Afghan was involved in terror attacks on 9/11. Captivated by the sound and fury of media, none gave a second thought as to how the most secured country of the world and most secured cities of USA (New York and Washington) could be breached with such ease. Or how could Osama Bin Laden sitting in Afghanistan plan, coordinate and launch such an intricate and sophisticated operation and that too secretly. None thought of possibility of in house conspiracy.
The whole focus had shifted towards Afghanistan and outcome was eagerly awaited. Air and missile power of the sole super power was set in motion to annihilate poverty stricken Afghanistan devoid of air force, air defence and regular armed forces. Joys of Bush led neo-cons knew no bounds when Afghanistan fell into their lap like a ripe apple in one month time. Based on the intelligence that bulk of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters had taken refuge in Tora Bora caves, B-52 bombers carrying lethal bombs including daisy cutters and tomahawk cruise missiles came into action and reduced the whole region into mass rubble. Not even a lizard survived in Tora Bora but somehow most of the hunted managed to sneak away. US military started to consolidate its main base in Kabul under the misplaced hope that majority of Taliban-Al-Qaeda operatives had been killed and only remnants had fled to Pakistan and Iran. Other than the suffering of Afghans, things took a turn for the worst for the Muslims living abroad. They were slighted, humiliated and discriminated against everywhere.
Pumped up by easy victory, and blinded by commercial interests, Bush Administration got so drunk with power that they wanted another feather in their caps by conquering Iraq. The plan envisaged sequential destruction of Muslim countries in which Iran, Pakistan, Syria and even Saudi Arabia figured out. They ignored massive protests all over the world including USA against intended invasion. In order to pacify the opponents, Bush and Blair helped by intelligence agencies fabricated a false story that Saddam regime was in possession of WMDs and was linked with Al-Qaeda that had organized 9/11 attacks.
Revelation of tales of torture inflicted upon prisoners in infamous Abu Gharib, Baghram and Guantanamo prisons and application of excessive force by trigger happy US-NATO forces resulting in mass killings of Afghans and Iraqis triggered anti-Americanism. Humiliation meted out to Muslims living in western world under the pretext of security and deliberate effort made by western and Jewish media to defame Islam evoked resentment against the west and made them more religious. It also led to more conversions to Islam. Unjust and barbaric policies further steeled the resolve of resistance forces and inflamed terrorism.
Excited with trouble-free triumphs and seeing their mercantile interests within grasping reach, the US paid no heed to growing bitterness within the Muslim world as well as dissenting voices in America and western world. Advice rendered by saner elements including Pakistan to identify and address roots of terrorism rather than adopting bull-headed approach was haughtily scoffed. Terrorism was fought without defining terrorism since USA, Israel and India qualified as the leading terrorist states.
In order to defame Islam and Afghan Taliban, weaken Pak Army and to crush militant Pashtuns, foreign powers worked on a devious plan to kill many birds with one stone. They managed to win over some elements within FATA promising them full support to accomplish their dream of forming an Islamic Caliphate in FATA and possibly in whole of Frontier Province. They were guided to work on the pattern of Afghan Taliban to gather support of the locals. They were provided huge funds, plentiful arms, equipment, training facility, intimate guidance, intelligence and reinforcement. Their opponents were gradually bumped off. Pakistan was then coerced to induct regular Army in South Waziristan to oust foreign terrorists and was clearly told that US troops would barge in if it failed to do.
From 2002 onwards, 120000 security forces, later increased to 148000 are engaged in fighting the militants in FATA and other parts of Frontier duly aided by foreign powers based in Afghanistan. Most interesting part of the story is that the US in collaboration with India, Israel, Afghanistan and Britain is fomenting terrorism in Pakistan but also pestering and pushing Pakistan to fight terrorism.
Drone attacks on Damadola in Bajaur in January 2006 followed by another on a Madrassah in October were deliberate acts to provoke the militants of Bajaur. It resulted in cancellation of peace agreement and a terrorist attack on Punjab Centre recruits near Mardan in November. Some RAW trained militants sneaked into Lal Masjid Islamabad in end June 2007 who made Maulana Ghazi and others hostage. Use of excessive force against the inmates holed up in Lal Masjid who refused to surrender resulted in deaths of well over hundred men, women and children mostly belonging to Frontier and FATA areas. It triggered spate of suicide attacks and brought terrorism into cities. In 2007, 56 terrorist attacks took place; in 2008 the incidents shot up to 72 taking 1565 lives and in 2009, 130 attacks took place killing 1800. In 2010 till 15 March, 29 strikes have taken place. Total terror hits from 9/11 till mid March 2010 were 332, claiming 5704 lives.
Pakistan was made to fight on two fronts to weaken it from within. One was against terrorism at the behest of USA and the other against Baluch separatists supported by foreign powers. By pushing Pak Army deeply into the furnace of insurrectional war in the northwest, the US has succeeded in profusely bleeding the Islamists as well as the soldiers by making them clash with each other with full force. Pro-government elements in FATA are being systematically gunned down by drones and Blackwater.
Once Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was roped in, RAW and RAAM agents penetrated its ranks as fake Taliban and indulged in destruction of schools, attacks on mosques, Imambargahs, tombs of saints and funerals, kidnapping for ransom, beheading of captives and other gruesome acts so as to foment hatred against Taliban and Islam among Pakistanis and to terrorize locals. The US thus cunningly shoved the whole lot of Islamists against the wall by dubbing them as extremists, terrorists, pro-Taliban and an existential threat to Pakistan. Those who propped up US agenda were and are promoted and painted as patriots and democracy lovers.
The other front that was activated in 2005 was in Baluchistan where Baluch nationalism is being encouraged and supported by India, USA and Britain. Intelligence agencies of the three countries together with Blackwater are actively involved in supporting separatist movement spearheaded by BLA, BRA and BLUF based in Afghanistan. Baluch rebels are being led up the garden path by USA and India by assuring them that they will be extended full support for the realization of their goal of independent Baluchistan. Hate literature in Balochi language is being supplied from across the border and the Baluch students are being brainwashed to hate Pakistan, Punjab and Pak Army. Pattern is similar to the one adopted in erstwhile East Pakistan. Concrete evidence of RAW’s deep rooted involvement in Baluchistan has been collected. B. Raman, former RAW agent and Pakistan basher stated that struggle for an independent Baluchistan is part of unfinished agenda of partition.
Baluch nationalist leaders are openly espousing the cause of independent Baluchistan and proudly claim that in all Baluch run schools Pakistan flag has been replaced with Baluch flag, national anthem with Baluch anthem. Baluch students and women are being methodically brainwashed. Target killings of non-locals and pro-government elements are continuing unabatedly. Attacks on security forces are also taking place unceasingly. Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbyar Marri, Gazan Marri and Khan of Kalat Suleman Daud in exile and under the patronage of foreign powers continue spewing poison against Pakistan and say that they will accept support from any country assisting the Baluch in giving them independence. Suleman has formed ‘Council for Independent Baluchistan’ in London. He claims to have support of several friendly countries promising full support. Counter action by security forces is condemned by USA, western countries and India and dubbed as human rights violations.
Selig Harrison and CIA are also actively involved in aiding Baluch separatists and working on an agenda of carving out independent Greater Baluchistan. Recently, a conference was held in Bangkok by a shady group ‘Baluch Voice Foundation (BVF)’. It was supported by Harrison and funded by US based Jamestown Foundation connected with CIA. Iranian Baluch separatists from Sistan province were also present.
The US is responsible for getting Pakistan engaged in bloody civil war. It has betrayed Pakistan by encouraging India to keep Kashmir issue on the backburner and to foment unrest in Pakistan. It never uttered a word on numerous incidents of thefts and accidents in Indian nuclear plants, alignment of Indian army with Hindu terrorist organizations and indulging in rogue activities, or on water terrorism. While India has heinous designs against Pakistan and intends transforming our agricultural lands into arid deserts, America continues to see India from its coloured periscope and idiotically insists that it is a friend and pose no threat.
Despite putting all our eggs in the basket of USA and rendered massive sacrifices to serve American interests at the cost of our national interests, Pakistan was duped and subjected to worst form of discrimination. Blind loyalty to US has robbed Pakistan of its integrity, honour and independence. The US has clearly demonstrated its heavy tilt towards India at the cost of Pakistan. Time has now come for us to say to US leadership to stop its bluffing game and spell out whether it is with India or with Pakistan.
Brig Asif Haroon Raja is a Member Board of Advisors, www.oly.com.pk He writes on security and geo-politics.