Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is currently on a visit to USA and is holding wide ranging talks of mutual interest. The visit assumes significance since it is the first visit of any head of state to USA on the request of Obama Administration. The latter’s endeavor would be to give a message to the world in general and China in particular that India is its strategic partner and a bulwark against China and hence deserves special handling and concessions.
In the wake of the planned visit, India had started to play upon issues of threats of nuclear and terrorism to India emanating from Pakistan. It was stated that another terrorist attack against India on the pattern of Mumbai was in the offing. Pakistan’s linkage with Taliban was played up. Dissatisfaction on Pakistan’s response to culprits of Mumbai carnage was drummed up. Pakistan was projected as a terrorist and a failing state. ISI and Pakistan Army were maligned. It was stated that Taliban were planning to attack Indian nuclear installation(s). All this was done to project Pakistan in worst possible light and to paint itself as an innocent victim of terror. Purpose is to hide RAW’s clandestine operations against Pakistan.
Singh’s primary endeavor will be to seek greater benefits and concessions from USA.
Permanent seat in UNSC for India and more access to superior nuclear technology will be upper most. More importantly, poison the minds of Obama led Administration and others who matter against Pakistan. Spice will be sprinkled on existing doubts and apprehensions to widen chasm as well as mistrust between USA and Pakistan. Indian diplomatic staff in Washington coupled with Indian and Jewish lobbies in USA must have done their groundwork in energizing pro-Indian officials within Obama Administration, Congress, State Department, Senate and Pentagon and neutralized negative influences so as to make the visit a roaring success. The Jewish controlled media must have been fully tapped and charged up to project Indian viewpoint positively and to portray Pakistan poorly. Governed by age-old mindset, pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street newspapers, Times and Newsweek magazines in particular together with electronic media would come out with contrasting stories projecting India and Pakistan divergently. Jaundiced US media and think tanks have been continuously writing scandalous and cooked up stories about Pakistan military, ISI and nuclear program. Indo-US-Israeli-western rancorous propaganda campaign against Pakistan under a well orchestrated plan has been going on relentlessly for the last so many years and is still continuing to spit out venom. Conversely, India has been spared of US-western invectives and all its sins are covered up.
Sticking to its stance, no US newspaper would project Manmohan Singh in poor light. He would not be harried and embarrassed by asking pointed questions. Rather, he would be projected as a man of peace. The tone and tenor of Manmohan’s visit has already been set by his interview to CNN on 22 November. In response to questions asked by the interviewer, he said Kashmir border cannot be redrawn, Pakistan has not done enough on Mumbai carnage, terrorism in Pakistan can spill into India, Pakistan is selective in its dealing with terrorists and would do only that much which suits its own interests and not that of USA or India, Pakistan continues to retain links with Afghan Taliban to cater for post US departure from Afghanistan, democracy in Pakistan is weak and Pak Army is the real strength which calls the shots, India seeks peace, Indian record on nuclear is free of accidents and proliferation and as such it qualifies to draw maximum benefits from Indo-US nuclear accord.
After exchanging pleasantries and thanking Obama and his team for all the graces bestowed upon India, Manmohan would assure his hosts that India would remain beholden to USA and would look forward to act as its humble proxy to guard American regional interests with utmost loyalty and devotion. Praying for mutually sustaining ever lasting and ever growing Indo-US friendship, and reiterating that India and USA are natural allies, he will become somber and broach the touchy subject of Afghanistan. He would laud the good work done by US military in Iraq and in Afghanistan in trying to bottle the genie of terrorism which in his view affects USA, western world and India the most. He would urge Obama not to commit the mistake of quitting Afghanistan for another five years if not more otherwise all the sacrifices rendered would go waste. He will build up a frightening scenario to impress upon Obama that abandonment of Afghanistan at this crucial juncture would spell disaster for the whole region including India.
He will urge him not to trust monstrous Afghan Taliban and enter into any kind of negotiations and let them share power. With folded hands he would beseech Obama to quickly make up his mind and cede to the request of Gen Stanley McChrystal for additional 40,000 troops to steady the rocking boat of Afghanistan. This suggestion will be made in the hope of wining the goodwill of Gen Chrystal who has started to have serious reservations over the expanding and intrusive influence of India in Afghanistan having negative fallout effect on regional security. He will also put in a good word for Karzai led regime with whom India is having best of relations and is anti-Pakistan and urge Obama to continue with present arrangement irrespective of Karzai’s compromised and weakened position because of fraudulent elections. He will reassure him that USA would not find a better alternative than Karzai and that given US patronage he would come out of the woods sooner than later. He will advise Obama not to consult untrustworthy Pakistan while rehashing new Afghan policy.
Having discussed Afghanistan he will then turn the course of his talks towards Pakistan and while doing so he would tend to become more gloomy and dejected. Instead of feeling sheepish and apologetic after RAW’s blatant involvement in all the troubled spots of Pakistan getting thoroughly exposed, he would attempt to cover up by asserting that Pakistan is indulging in a vilification campaign to despoil the reputation and image of India. Terming the allegations as white lies, he would put up an innocent face saying it was not possible for RAW to indulge in covert operations from Afghanistan in the presence of military forces of 37 countries and five other intelligence agencies stationed there since late 2001. He would rouse his audience by stressing that Pakistan’s frivolous allegations amounts to casting aspersions on USA and other allied countries that all are jointly indulging in cross border terrorism against Pakistan. He might quote the maxim of ‘kettle calling the pot black’ to lighten up the atmosphere. He will jokingly ask his hosts whether he looks like a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism.
He will whine that Pakistan has so far not taken any steps against Mumbai carnage despite India providing all possible evidence and giving names of the culprits. He will try to incite Obama that Pakistan’s attitude is non-cooperative and defiant and has not paid any heed to US counsels in this regard. He will quote the example of Hafiz Saeed, whom India has declared as the master mind behind Mumbai attacks, having been let off by Pakistani courts. He will skip Indian negative and non-cooperative role in providing real evidence and refusing to carry out joint investigation or making available Ajmal Kasab, the lone witness in custody of Indian authorities either to Interpol or anyone from Pakistan for questioning. He will not disclose the series of steps taken by Pakistan to appease India and commencement of trial against seven members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In hushed and secretive tones he would whisper into the ears of Obama that RAW has found out that ISI is linked with LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JM) and that it is in league with Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda and is surely abetting terrorism in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and in Afghanistan. To lend authenticity to his revelations he will hasten to add that even Mossad, MI-6, CIA, FBI and RAAM corroborate it.
He will whisper another lie fed to him by RAW that Muredke and Azad Kashmir have become dens of terrorist camps where terrorists are trained under the patronage of ISI and army and that infiltration into IHK has of late been stepped up. With trembling voice and eyes welled up with tears he would add that he has received intelligence that Pakistan is planning yet another Mumbai like attack in India. His voice almost choking, he would grudge that while India has been and still is the victim of terrorism, but Pakistan has the audacity to allege that India is indulging in terrorism in Balochistan, FATA, Swat and other parts of Pakistan. Continuing with his wailing, he will speak of insensitivity and heartlessness of Pakistani leaders that whereas India is seeking recommencement of peace talks which it had to perforce stall, Pakistan is indulging in blame game and is stubbornly rejecting genuine request of India that Pakistan should not allow its territory for cross border terrorism into India.
He will remind Obama of the negative role by Pakistan Army in the aftermath of traumatic Mumbai incident when it arrogantly stopped India from carrying out aerial strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan and refused to listen to Adm. Mike Mullen, Gen Petraeus and Holbrooke. To project Pakistan as an aggressive state he would remind him how the defiant PAF had made the F-16s airborne to scare away Indian jets that were on a routine flight near Azad Kashmir and Muredke and how madly Pakistani troops had been rushed forward towards the eastern border and were all set to clash with Indian strike formations that had moved up only as a precautionary measure. He will also jog his memory about the perverse role played by Gen Kayani in disallowing the ISI to come under the wings of Rahman Malik led Ministry of Interior. With a sense of deep regret he would cry out that accomplishment of that plan would have clipped the wings of ISI for good and thus paved their way to reach up to their much sought nuclear treasure. Overwhelmed by feelings of sadness he will moan in pain that but for the ISI and Pak Army, they could have accomplished all their objectives by now. He will once again drill into the minds of US leadership that until and unless Pakistan army and the ISI are reined in, the security situation in the region will remain fluid and insecure.
Continuing with his anxiety ridden grievances, he will mutter his grave concerns about growing strength of Taliban in Pakistan, instability of Pakistan and vulnerability of Pakistan nuclear program. He will bring to light Indian fears about the possibility of extremist elements within Pak Army and nuclear establishments taking over nukes, emphasizing that such a threat was far more dangerous than threat from Taliban. He will try to scare his listeners by saying that in case some nukes are whisked away by these elements, they would use them against India, or American installations in Afghanistan. He will urge the attentive addressees that before the nukes fall into wrong hands; the US must act fast before it is too late. He will candidly point out that unless Pakistan is denuclearized and turned into a vassal state of India, it will not be possible for India to assume the role of a proxy super power of the region to protect US interests. He will inform them that but for softness of Obama Administration; Pakistan could have been netted by now. He will insist that provision of counter terrorism equipment to Pakistan Army would not only bolster its capability but would enable it to use the equipment against India. He will persist not to relent on laid down conditions in the Kerry-Lugar Bill and to ensure compliance in letter and spirit. He will express his unhappiness over the successes achieved by Pakistan Army against militant forces in Swat and South Waziristan giving his weird logic that the runaway militants are now homing towards India and IHK and a cause of great worry.
He will convey his concerns over US-China joint communiqué issued on Obama’s maiden visit to Beijing in which it was stated that the two countries would help sort out Kashmir dispute. He will complain that rather than quizzing China about Dr AQ Khan’s revelation on Chinese assistance in fuel and technology to Pakistan nuclear program, Obama chose to touch upon Kashmir which is integral part of India and over which there is no dispute and Bill Clinton as well as George W. Bush were in agreement with Indian contention. Obama might offer a lollypop of UNSC seat to India, for which Indian leadership is desperate, in return for an amicable settlement of Kashmir dispute acceptable to India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir. But Singh would insist upon UNSC seat as well as settlement of Kashmir dispute on Indian terms and speeding up of denuclearization and balkanization of Pakistan in return for India standing up as a bulwark against China.
Among several causes of defeat of Germany in 2nd World war, one reason was Hitler’s wrong choice of Italy as an ally. Likewise, France was a liability for the Allied forces. USA is blindly and myopically trusting India which is well-known for its cunningness, selfishness, small-heartedness, falsehood, broken promises and double standards. It also has a poor track record of its military exploits be it wars with Pakistan and China, its misadventure in Sri Lanka, counter insurgency operations or UN missions. 1971 Indo-Pakistan war was a one-sided exercise with troops in which India enjoyed all the strategic, tactical, technical and administrative advantages and was fully supported by USSR while Pakistan suffered from countless limitations and handicaps. India excels only in intrigues and machinations. To expect that India would stand up to Chinese challenge is like wishing for the moon. Eight years of close collaboration with India in Afghanistan should have been an eye opener for US leadership as to what it achieved and what all it lost. Like Israel, India too wouldn’t mind if USA sinks in the quagmire of Afghanistan so that the two natural allies having far too many similarities emerge as future super powers. If the US leadership intoxicated with power has become tunnel-vision and its rational thinking has got blurred, isn’t it high time for the saner elements among the Americans to guide their leaders and restrain them from committing Hara Kari. Likewise, shouldn’t the saner elements in India rein in 2% cruel and callous Brahmans and 8% of their opportunist companions who are ruining the lives of 90% Indians living in utter misery?
Pakistanis have already taken up the challenge. They proved their resilience during the lawyers movement and are now eagerly demanding accountability of the corrupt and the criminals. The judiciary is reasserting its authority and independence to provide justice to all. Fully motivated Army is robustly fighting the scourge of terrorism and achieving commendable results. There is complete harmony within the three services and nuclear assets are in safe hands. Vile propaganda has further steeled the resolve of guardians of nuclear arsenal to protect it from all evil forces at the peril of their lives. Civil-military relations are harmonious and the army looked at with respect. The general public braved load shedding in the scorching heat and shortage of commodities composedly. The people are putting up with almost daily acts of terrorism and back breaking price spiral courageously while lashkars in restive areas are combating the terrorists boldly. Hustle and bustle of cities goes on as usual. Mosques are getting crowded and God fearing Muslims pray five times seeking forgiveness of Almighty Allah and thanking Him for His bounties. They pray for Pakistan’s safety from evil forces and for those in Pakistan who have lost direction and fallen in the trap of our adversaries to revert to the righteous path. Political parties are getting together and shedding their traditional antagonism. Serious efforts are in hand to find a political situation to Balochistan imbroglio, created and nurtured by foreign agencies. Media is free and playing its role to highlight grey areas and to keep the people updated. It is this kind of awakening which is direly needed in USA and in India.
Brig Asif Haroon is Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker, he writes on defence and political analyst based at Rawalpindi and author of several books. He has also been Military Attaché to Egypt.