West Ignores Pakistan’s Sacrifices Against Terrorism
Whenever any terror-incident takes place or any plot is foiled in Europe and America, their high officials deliberately link it with Pakistan in one way or the other. Notably, when more than 12 Pakistani students were arrested in UK last year in connection with terrorism, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had sated that the most dangerous plot had been foiled by the police. Afterwards, British authorities admitted that the students had no link with terrorism.
A few months ago, some suspected white nationals were arrested in Germany. Again, German and American intelligence agencies tried to link them with the tribal areas of Pakistan, despite the fact that there was no such evidence.
It is pertinent note that on December 26, 2009, a Nigerian, Umar Farouk-the alleged Al-Qaida agent tried to blow up a plane as it was about to land in Detroit, America. US law enforcement officials have shown his connections with Yemen. The government of Yemen also confirmed that he was in the country earlier this month. After this terror-attempt, US President Barack Obama pledged to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten” Americans, adding that whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia.” Every one knows that Umar Farouk has no connections with Pakistan, but Obama also mentioned the name of this country without any logic.
In the last three years, western leaders and media have continuously been propagating against Islamabad through various concocted stories. Besides other accusations, sometimes they say that white terrorist’s training camps exist in Pakistan’s FATA regions, and sometimes they indicate that a plot to attack American homeland and Europe has been planned in these areas. In the recent series of allegations, American and British high officials have blamed that Osama and top leadership of Al Qaeda have taken shelter in Pakistan’s tribal areas and Balochistan. To what extent, Osama could be used to gain political aims against Pakistan can be judged from the statement of British PM Brown who revealed on November 29, 2009, “We believe, he is in Pakistan.” As a matter of fact, in line of Obama’s new Afghan strategy, Brown wanted to justify 500 additional troops for Afghanistan in face of demestic pressure. Meanwhile, the US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones has also expressed similar view.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit, while refuting west’s accusation, remarked that the US and UK should share evidence with Islamabad regarding bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, but they did not provide any proof in this respect.
In the recent days, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki admitted that Osama Bin Laden’s daughter Iman is currently staying in Tehran. In this connection, The Bangkok Post revealed on December 23, “six of Osama bin Laden’s children and one of his wives, missing since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, are under house arrest in Iran.” Bin Laden was a wealthy national of Saudi Arabia, who also lived in Yemen and Qatar. In this context, it is also of particular attention that all the alleged terrorists who planned the 9/11 catastrophe were from Arab countries. The posters of the most wanted terrorists regarding that tragedy were Arabic in appearance.
Quite contrarily, the US and European leaders only want to use Osama Bin Laden as a scapegoat to target and destablise Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
While Mullah Omar including other core leadership of Al Qaida cannot take shelter in Pakistan where CIA-operated drone strikes have killed a few of the renowned commanders of the Taliban, especially Naik Muhammad and Baitullah Mehsood at a cost of around 2000 innocent lives; there is no mention of these as if these were worthless animals. Moreover, since 9/11, Pakistan’s security agencies have also killed or captured many militant commanders which also include the masterminds of Al-Qaeda, namely Khalid Sheikh and Abu Faraj entailing other key leaders. Owing to these developments Taliban leaders had already decided to go to Afghanistan where they have control over more than 70 percent of the territory. Here it is pertinent to ask that before in the name of Al-Qaida, more lives and properties are destroyed, who created Al-Qaida? America needs to answer this question.
Especially, during the successful military operations in Swat and Malakand Division, the Taliban commander, Maulana Fazalullah escaped to Afghanistan who was recently seen in a video-tape, telecasted by some TV channels. Since the recent military action started in South Waziristan, various middle and lower level commanders of the insurgents have also run to Afghanistan. In this respect, question arises as to how Osama could be hiding in Pakistan, while Al Qaeda or Taliban commanders prefer to live in Afghanistan where they are more safe, and where they have been fighting against the US-led NATO forces, and where level of militancy has increased in 2009 as admitted by the western military commanders.
Nevertheless, if we judge the losses of any country regarding war against terrorism in the last eight years, Pakistan as a frontline state has given great sacrificesin terms of human life, collateral damage and economic losses. In this context, on November 14, 2008, a statement of Pakistan’s Finance Division indicated that the country’s economy suffered a loss of Rs2.1 trillion due to the global war on terror. It elaborated that the economy suffered direct and indirect losses in terms of exports, foreign investment, privatization and industrial production. Chairman Pak-US Business Council and VP SAARC CCI Iftikhar Ali Malik had pointed out on March 24, 2009: “Pakistan’s economy has suffered irreparable loss of US $68 billion due to turmoil in Afghanistan—more than three million Afghan refugees harbouring in the country are also posing security risk.”
According to an estimate, Pakistan’s national economy is exclusively suffering a net loss of $7 billion annually as fallout of the war against terror, which has displaced thousands of people.
No doubt, Pakistan has sacrificed more than NATO and USA owing to this new style conflict. Besides other losses like suicide attacks and lawlessness in the country, more than 2000 personnel of the security forces have been martyred during war against militancy.
In fact, Indian secret agency, RAW which has established its clandestine networks everywhere in Afghanistan in connivance with the Indian army and additional consulates has regularly been sending well-trained militants in Pakistan so as to target the security agencies and to commit suicide attacks. Perennial support to separatism in Balochistan, and insurgency in the Frontier Province are part of this plot against Pakistan. During the Swat-Malakand and South Waziristan operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-General Athar Abbas has shown to the media, huge cache of arms and ammuniton, entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. Recently, Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister have disclosed that India is backing the militancy in our country.
India whom America wants to make a super power of Asia has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip, and to get strategic depth against Pakistan, while also acting upon anti-China policy. For these secret strategic goals, India is determined to keep its security agencies there permanently under the cover of the US-led allied forces.
The US is following a dual policy with Pakistan, its most trusted ally. America needs to address Pakistan’s concerns vis a vis Indian and Israeli presence in Afghanistan. Why these two countries are being given free hand against Pakistan? Mr. Obama should pick up the courage and fold these two countries out of Afghanistan. If America fails to address these genuine concerns, it would become increasingly difficult for Pakistan to support the war on terror against the mounting public pressure.
The recent utterances by the Indian army chief to attack Pakistan and China is also a continuation of the same duality of the American policy. Basically this threat by General Kapoor is meant for Pakistan and not for China. Now India feels well entrenched in Afghanistan and thinks that it could attack Pakistan from both East and West. Such misadventures would only raise the stakes for a nuclear war.
While, the US and some western countries praise the successes achieved by Pakistan’s armed forces during the military operations against the Taliban militants, but still emphasise to do more in this regard. They also propagate that the nukes of Pakistan are unsafe. Meanwhile, by ignoring the role of Hindus and western nationals in relation to the nuclear black market, revival of blame game about Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network is also part of deliberate campaign against Islamabad. In this context, The Washington Post, citing a previous account of Dr. Khan reported on December 27, “Pakistan helped North Korea with vital machinery and technical advice for enrichment of uranium in addition to making plutonium for bombs.” On the other side, Islamabad has strongly denied these accusations about Khan and North Korea.
Of late, the Zionist controlled media of the US is publishing and reporting instigative stories about Pakistan. They are propagating Pakistan’s disintegration and fueling the disgruntled elements. How would America feel if China are Russia were to instigate such movements within America? Freedom of press and expression is understandable but playing a role of a deceptive weapon is nothing short of open hostilities against the target country.
However, these false allegations are part of a conspiracy against our country. Particularly US which tactically favours anti-Pakistan campaign of India has been playing a double game with Islamabad. It could also be assessed from some latest developments. In the aftermath of Obama’s decision to increase additional 30,000 troops for Afghanistan, on December 27 last year, America’s B-52 heavy bomber aircraft which can carry nuclear and conventional ordnance was again seen hovering over Pakistan’s tribal areas. Furthermore, Obama did not consult Islamabad for new Af-Pak strategy.
All these moves against Islamabad indicate that some US-led countries can conduct full-fledged air strikes on our FATA regions. Although fact remains that in the last eight years, unlike other countries, Pakistan has borne the brunt of major losses during war on terror, yet America and its western allies ignore the sacrifices of our country.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.