By Brig Asif Haroon Raja
The whole world is abuzz with discussions on flood of revelations made by WikiLeaks. Every thinking biped has got glued to the sensational leaks. Analysts are still busy drying their pens writing about the motives and the impact made on affected countries and personalities. Those who have been exposed are feeling sheepish but trying to put up a brave face and also asserting that the leaks are not authentic and are either Zionist inspired or US-Jewish motivated. Some are pretending as if nothing serious has happened and are urging the media not to exploit the issue.
The first bombshell of leaks had been dropped in April this year in which a video showing an American Apache helicopter mowing down unarmed Iraqi civilians in October 2007 was played. The next was in July when 90,000 classified documents related to Afghan war were leaked; the splinters fell mainly on Afghanistan and Pakistan. This time, 250,000 diplomatic cables have been released which have caused embarrassment to several ambassadors, diplomats as well as political and military higher ups. Many more are yet to be published which are even more sensitive and damaging.
The man behind the avalanche Julian Assange went into hiding but was arrested from London on 8 December. Efforts are in hand to extradite him to Sweden so that he could be tried on charges of molestation of two Swedish women. Since he is Australian by birth and a citizen of Sweden, he cannot be tried in USA on charges of sedition as demanded by many angry higher ups in USA. He will be taken off the radar screen and protected by the ones who had used him to serve their ends. In case the masterminds feel threatened of getting exposed, Assange will be bumped off. However, their objective of tarnishing the image of selected countries and individuals has been achieved to quite an extent.
Although the details revealed are abysmally shocking, but most of the breaking news didn’t come as a big surprise since these are already known. Newspapers and TV anchors have been bringing out exhaustive details about the misdoings of political and military leaders and the meddlesome role of USA and India. What is new is that the information that was based on rumors, allegations, corruption scandals, assumptions and assessments and known acts of commission and omission of the politicians, bureaucrats and military leaders has now been authenticated.
The ones who had put up a double face, one for the public and the other for real masters in Washington have been exposed. The faces reserved exclusively for US officials including US ambassador were kept hidden and would have remained veiled had WikiLeaks not unmasked them. Dual faced are the ones who have sold their souls and have little care and respect for the country and its people. Their sole aim in life is to keep the US leaders happy since in their view their safety and stay in power is entirely dependent upon Washington’s blessings.
It is a hard fact that most regimes in third world have been propped up by Washington. Elected leaders defying US dictates are removed from power; some even assassinated, and replaced with compliant dictators. The US has been traditionally putting up with most corrupt and most inefficient rulers simply because they obey the commands dutifully. This category panders to foreign masters since they owe their acquisition to power to their patrons. They sell the country and its people and bend over backwards to do the US biddings to be able to stick to power and to safeguard their ill-gotten wealth. Such kind of characterless and dishonorable persons who turn their countries into client states suit the US the most. The US wants submissive not defiant leaders; they need men of straw not of steel so that they could be easily manipulated and turned into puppets.
What has come out of WikiLeaks saga is that barring Quaid-e-Azam, all military and political leaders were mini-minds with feet of clay. They have been cheating and duping the people of Pakistan by raising hollow slogans of democracy, supreme national interests, Pakistan first and welfare of people. Democracy is a sheer façade to hide their wrongdoings. They have always held own selfish interests above national interests and have gone to any lengths to protect their personal interests. There has either been sham democracy or military dictatorship in Pakistan while the wish for a real democracy has remained unaccomplished. The civil and military leaders have always been at loggerheads with each other both holding the other responsible for the multiple ailments and deep-seated malaise in the society. The two regard each other greater threat than the meddlesome role of US leadership and its overbearing attitude. However, the two power centres regard the US as well wisher and panacea for all the ills.
Among all our pro-American leaders, Gen Musharraf was the only one who went an extra mile to earn the goodwill of Washington. It was during his time that the US military and NATO came in such big numbers to next door Afghanistan. The incoming troops from 48 countries were accompanied by five intelligence agencies to promote US agenda against China, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian States. While others became cautious and alert, Musharraf threw caution to the winds and opened the gates of Pakistan to let US influence gush in. Taking full advantage of its proximity and easy entry and travel inside Pakistan, the US pretending to be a friend and a strategic ally, it has been systematically undermining Pakistan through a secret war in which the CIA was assisted by RAW, Mossad, MI6 and RAAM. Our rulers feeling jubilant to have again fallen in good books of USA after a lapse of one decade, and completely forgetting that it has always been betraying Pakistan at critical times, they happily served US agenda. In so doing they allowed the US to tighten their noose around the neck of Pakistan.
The US in return changed the status of Gen Musharraf from an outcast to blue-eyed boy and allowed him to continue sitting in the saddle of president in uniform for eight years and one year without uniform. It accepted sham democracy run by King’s Party which was a collection of turncoats and NAB defaulters. The US officials started to treat Pakistan as its 51st state. Our leaders shared state secrets and indulged in backbiting against political opponents during their close door meetings with US ambassador in Islamabad. Pakistan foreign and domestic policies were tailored to suit American interests. The whole country got engulfed in flames of terrorism resulting in huge human and economic losses. This was a price paid to remain at the helms of affairs for nine years.
When the change of guards took place in the presidency in August 2008, the new rulers were reminded that they could never have taken over the reins had Washington not wished so and as such they had to return the extraordinary favor done by way of pursuing policies of Musharraf and doing as told to do. Since the main purpose of the new incumbents was to make money, it impacted upon governance, law and order and moral turpitudes. Assertive judiciary which not only revoked infamous NRO but also opened up corruption cases brought the ruling regime under pressure. Gen Kayani’s decision to keep the Army out of politics and corrupt practices and his upright stance on certain critical matters like restoration of judges and Kerry Lugar Bill discomfited the ruling regime. Feeling unsafe, they increased the frequency of their visits to US embassy so as to share their worries and to gain sympathy of the US ambassador Anne Patterson who virtually assumed the role of a viceroy.
Wikileaks have attempted to discredit Pakistan and its institutions, tarnish the image of key personalities, and trigger confrontation among institutions, politicians and bureaucrats. It is an effort to stir up misgivings between Muslim countries and turn their friendship into distrust if not outright enmity. A deliberate attempt has been made to spoil Pak-Saudi brotherly relations. It has tried to undermine Pak nuclear program and has also cast aspersions on Pakistan’s sincerity in war on terror. An attempt has been made to renew mistrust between Saudi Arabia and Iran so that the two become antagonist to each other. The whole focus has been on drawing cleavages within Muslim world. Notwithstanding the motivations of others, there is a dire need to put own house in order since all that has been revealed is factual.
Brig Asif Haroon Raja, a Member Board of Advisors Opinion Maker is Staff College and Armed Forces War Coursequalified, holds MSc war studies degree; a second generation officer, he fought epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war, in which Maj M. Akram received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo. He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir. He is lingual and speaks English, Pashto and Punjabi fluently. He is author of books titled ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, Roots of 1971 Tragedy’; has written number of motivational pamphlets. Draft of his next book ‘Tangled Knot of Kashmir’ is ready. He is a defence analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defence and political matters for numerous international/national newspapers/websites