Situation getting ripe for a civil war
When Pakistan came into being, Hindu leaders regarded creation of Pakistan as a tragic mistake that could still be corrected. They indicated on many occasions that partition is merely a temporary division. Break up of Pakistan and its absorption into Indian Union had become the national goal of Indian Congress. The Hindu and British economic wizards’ predicted that Pakistan would collapse under the weight of complex problems within six months. Part of their dream got fulfilled in 1971 when former Soviet Union helped India in treacherously amputating its eastern wing. They are now banking upon USA to dismantle Pakistan.
We the Pakistanis in particular and other men of conscience want to ask one pertinent question, as to which countries have derived the maximum benefit. Undoubtedly, the answer would be Israel and India, besides Bush-Cheney Junta Tony Blair included, even the people of America have lost. Can the Americans rise and question these self stylyed world Policemen?
The Americans have now joined hands with India and are speaking the same language as spoken by Hindu leaders in 1947. Apart from tens of government sponsored think tanks and newspapers in USA coming out with variety of stories of balkanization or fragmentation of Pakistan, David Kilcullen took the lead by forecasting that Pakistan would break up within six months. By saying so he once again energized doomsayers in India that had become somewhat depressed. Dr. Michel Chossudovsky of USA said, “Washington’s foreign policy course is to actively promote fragmentation and balkanization of Pakistan as a nation. To achieve this objective, it would foment social, ethnic and factional divisions and political fragmentation, including territorial breakup of Pakistan”.
Recently, the US has awarded a contract worth US $ 350 million to Israel to manufacture APCs for Afghanistan. India has been rewarded over 84 projects worth a few billions in addition to her political and military grounding in Afghanistan at the expense of America, reported Gordon Duff in Veterans Today.
India is not lagging behind in any way. According to Indian sources, India has over 84 projects going on in Afghanistan that has a work force of over 20000 from India alone. This is multipronged activity going on. Under the cover of this reconstruction and development, India is training, funding and arming them to infiltrate Pakistan for its destabilisation. Is America unaware of these nefarious activities? If she is then it’s a very sorry affair and if its in her knowledge its even worse, its criminal.
US think tanks and western analysts including noted US intellectual Noam Chomsky see Pakistan as a failed state and on the verge of collapse. These doomsayers predict that Pakistan is in imminent danger of disintegrating into fiefdom controlled by Islamist warlords having disastrous implications for world security. In the assessment of US intelligence, defence and diplomatic officials, Pakistan is a failing state and there is little hope of preventing nuclear armed Pakistan from disintegrating.
Nicholas Schmidle has rubbished these stories asserting that “Pakistan is more viable than most Americans like to think”. He says that it is fallacious notion that Pakistan will cease to exist; the Pakistani people’s resilience is greatly underestimated”. I fully subscribe to his views. Pakistan has come to stay and will stay in spite of web of intrigues and never ending machinations of India and its partners.
Notwithstanding Nicholas and many other saner elements in USA like Gordon Duff and Bob Krause who criticize US dual faced polices and see Pakistan with greater understanding, Obama Administration is continuing to follow Bush’s hostile policies against Pakistan. It has deliberately turned a blind eye to nefarious activities of 17 intelligence units and 14 consulates in Afghanistan against Pakistan. Each consulate and Embassy in Kabul is infested with RAW officials along with Mossad operatives.
Dozens of cultural and education centers in major cities of Afghanistan run by Indians are busy brain washing the Afghanis. Years of sustained efforts have borne fruit and today they have nearly washed away all traces of friendliness with Pakistanis which the Afghan Pakhtuns in particular nurtured. While many among Afghan Pashtun who are suffering at the hands of US military and Karzai regime may still be having soft corner for Pakistan where 14 million Pashtuns and 2.7 Afghan refugees reside, whole lot of non-Pashtun Afghans have no love for Pakistan.
Shamsi airbase in Balochistan is in occupation of US troops since Oct 2001 and is in use for drone operations and where Blackwater mercenaries have been hired by US military for loading of missiles and bombs. Hardly a day passes without the deadly drones hovering over FATA menacingly and releasing hellfire missiles on suspected targets. US drone attacks are continuing taking lives of innocent people in FATA and fuelling militancy. In 2009 alone, 44 drone hits killed 700 civilians and only five al-Qaeda men. It implies for each al-Qaeda and Taliban militant killed, 140 innocent civilians also had to die. Jeremy Scahill has confirmed that most people killed were innocent. Considering the number of on-target hits, it can be concluded that the drones have proved to be an extremely inaccurate weapon system and a total failure. Its only usage appears to be to strike terror among the peace loving citizens and to alienate them and compel them to join hands with the extremists. But for drone attacks, the fence sitters or those who had joined the ranks of militants under coercion or certain compulsions would have by now got themselves detached from the hardcore militants. Instead of giving up this monstrous weapon which is imprecise and unproductive, the US is now actively considering using drones in Quetta and other major cities of Pakistan to proliferate the scale of bloodshed. This highly expensive, fruitless and cowardly practice is not being given up only to minimize the involvement of US military undertaking risky missions.
In the wake of highly successful operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan (SW), the main base of Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), the US seems to have lost interest in that region. This is in spite of the fact that sizeable numbers of militants including the leadership of TTP are still active in areas west of Ladha-Srarogha towards Afghanistan and are carrying out sporadic raids on security forces. Rather than targeting them, the CIA has stepped up drone attacks on North Waziristan (NW) with a sinister purpose to instigate Gul Bahadur and others to confront the Army and thus force the Army to start another operation in that region without fully stabilizing SW. The people of NW look towards government for protection but get shocked to learn that the drones are operating with its connivance. The tribesmen have no means to destroy the high flying spy planes since their ack ack weapons do not hit them. Their repeated appeals for protection has made no impact on the ruling regime which is either tied to a secret understanding with Washington, or has no spine to tell USA to put an end to this one-sided killing game. Whatever complaints made are devoid of strength and commitment.
It is high time that Pakistan should take a firm stand on this issue and tell USA in categorical terms to stop drone attacks or they will shoot them down and the army would detach itself from war on terror and road supply to NATO troops in Afghanistan stopped. If it doesn’t, it would authenticate the claim of opponents that the government has all along been hand-in- glove with USA over use of drones but has been putting up a false front to fool the people.
While the Taliban are no threat to US homeland security they do pose credible threat to US regional interests as long as Afghanistan remains in occupation of foreign troops. Al-Qaeda is a reactionary force which has assumed international dimensions because of American excessive oppression of the Muslims under the garb of terrorism. Al-Qaeda, which has worldwide tentacles, is the chief threat to USA. Al-Qaeda challenges the pro-rich capitalist system, skewed US dictated democracy which is a means to neo-colonise the developing and under developed world, unjust judicial system that is expensive, time consuming and protects the rich only. It challenges the doctrine of war on terror framed by the Bush led neo-cons which is Muslim specific and meant to eliminate all anti-US elements residing in Muslim world with the help of handpicked secular leaders.
Most NATO countries military commanders in Afghanistan as well as other NATO countries having fought the resistance forces in Afghanistan for the last eight years to subdue militancy are now having second thoughts. They say that force is not the answer and a political settlement through process of dialogue should be found to end insurgency. Members of NATO had to be intensely exhorted to provide extra 7000 troops and they have given in with a heavy heart since they know that early exit and not troop surge is the solution to the problem. These feelings are also shared by majority of Americans including sizeable segment of Democrats.
While Obama led Administration has apparently decided to befriend Afghan Taliban to achieve peace in Afghanistan and create conditions for exit of foreign troops, then why Pakistan is refrained from doing so? Our rulers are prodded to sell the American coined theme that it is not American but Pakistan’s own war and must be collectively fought to the finish. Our tunnel-vision rulers instead of protesting steadfastly maintain that this war is our war and that full force will be used to eliminate the scourge of terrorism threatening the very existence of the state. They are against dialogue and advocate that force is the only solution to the problem.
Slogans of extremism and terrorism as main threat to security of Pakistan are raised to please their mentors in Washington. They forget that foreign agencies are behind all acts of terror. Foolproof evidence of RAW has been found in Balochistan, FATA and Swat. RAW in collaboration with Blackwater is now active in Karachi. Blast on Shias procession on 28 December followed by mayhem was a premeditated act to enfeeble main economic hub centre, trigger sectarian and ethnic unrest and to indicate that Talibanistan has entered Karachi. The US is making use of shady Blackwater elements within cities to foment anarchy. While the public is pointing the places where Blackwater elements are residing in Pakistan, Interior Minister denies it for reasons best known to him. Americans caught red handed indulging in terrorism are being let off. It was under intense public pressure that the main base of Blackwater established at Sihala near Kahuta in 2003 under the garb of imparting training to the police has been ordered to wind up and to shift to Diplomatic Enclave Islamabad.
Instead of blaming USA that it is solely responsible for converting our peaceful regions into war zones, our leaders are thanking USA for the generous economic assistance it has been doling out without which Pakistan would not have survived and assure them that the fires of extremism and militancy they had lit will get extinguished sooner than later. Instead of protesting as to why they rekindle the fire doused by our security forces after rendering sacrifices, they assure them with folded hands that they will continue to serve their interests with zeal and efficiency irrespective of the price the people of Pakistan had to pay.
Having come to know that our so-called friends are playing a double game and stabbing us in the back, our rulers continue to rely on them and are faithfully following US dictated policies. They are dying to recommence futile dialogue with perfidious India.
Socio-economic security gaps, poor governance, illiteracy, poverty, lack of justice, yawning gap between rich and poor and insensitivity of affluent class towards deprived classes have created space for crimes and militancy to grow. Prolonged deprivations have converted their frustrations and resentment into disillusionment and despair. Pent up anger and hatred has impelled them to pick up arms against the state. Protests and strikes have now been replaced with terrorism, insurgencies and ideological movements. In the wake of weaponisation and militarization of the society, frequent deadly clashes between the security forces and the militants as well as between local armed lashkars (fighters) and militants, presence of Blackwater/Xe World elements together with leadership crisis, rampant corruption and lack of governance, the situation is getting ripe for a civil war. If such a thing happens, its spill over effect will have fatal consequences for US-NATO troops in Afghanistan and for India in particular.
To conclude, Pakistan is being punished both by America and by the people from within for its association and friendship with America. Wont it be right if we pulled out of this mass killing of the people by the US and NATO Forces and concentrate on nation building? Henry Kissenger rightly said that friendship with America is far more expensive than enemity.
The writer is a retired Brig and a defence and security analyst. He is a Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker and author of several books.