By Brig Asif Haroon Raja
India being the sole terrorist state in the region has been playing upon the theme of terrorism since early 1990s but could not make any headway in getting Pakistan declared a terrorist state since USA was not directly affected by terrorism. 9/11 changed the whole scenario and terrorism became the buzzword for USA. The entire threat scenario got fixated to Islamic terrorism and the neo-cons under George W. Bush in Washington picked up cudgels to activate the crusade. Irreconcilable Islamists opposed to US imperialism were to be eliminated and seculars empowered, boundaries of the Middle East realigned to impose US doctored democracy and to install puppet regimes ready to hand over mineral, gas and oil resources as well as nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and installation of handpicked regimes led by Hamid Karzai and Maliki respectively, and Musharraf regime in Pakistan was in line with the conceived plan. It was through these phony secular leaders that Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan were to be cleansed of Islamists, education system and society secularized and concept of Jihad done away with. While Afghanistan provided direct access to Central Asian Republics where mercantile interests of the US resided, Pakistan provided shortest route to Arabian Sea through Gawadar for transporting gas and oil to world markets. Presence of mineral resources including black diamond in Balochistan whetted the appetite of US merchants. Common border of Balochistan with Iran was another area of interest for USA since Iran had also been circled for subsequent military action. Pakistan was important to USA since it had to provide logistic and intelligence support and above all fight the extremists elements within its area. It also had to be denuclearized at an opportune time because of serious concerns of India and Israel. Iraq had been selected as a target to get hold of its oilfields and to pose a direct threat to Iran.
While the US-NATO forces got busy fighting protracted war in occupied countries and Pakistan military locked horns with tribesmen of FATA for the first time, Indo-US-Israeli media started targeting Pakistan with a vengeance. In concert with US and western media mostly controlled by the Jews, Indian writers based in India and outside have also been pouring scorn on Pakistan under a motivated program. Indian-born Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek in his recent write up labeled Pakistan as a ‘terrorist hothouse’. He tantalizingly listed the names of several Jihadi groups banned by Musharraf in 2001/02 to prove his point that Pakistan has become a supermarket for terrorists who can procure money and weapons without any difficulty. He audaciously declares that he knows for sure that Pakistan government supports and encourages Jihadi groups.
His main source of information is ill-reputed Hussein Haqqani, who happens to be the Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington. Rather than protecting Pakistan’s interests he is known for never missing an opportunity to harm Pakistan’s interests. Zakaria has taken a leaf out of Haqqani’s book ‘Pakistan between mosque and military’ in which he says that support for Jihadis has been a consistent policy of the state. His suchlike juvenile uttering has made him a blue-eyed boy of USA, Israel and India. I remember how fervently he pleaded for the passage of Kerry Lugar Bill in which several clauses running counter to armed forces interests were inserted at his behest. I also recall how plentifully he issued visas to Americans with shadowy background including those who had been deported from Pakistan on charges of terrorism.
Haqqani’s ties with Israel are no secret. Some of the well-known anti-Pakistan neo-cons like Stephen Schwartz and Daniel Pipes are among his close friends. Instead of making them pro-Pakistan, he considered it proper to sing their tunes. As mentioned by Maidhc O’ Cathail in an article appearing in Opinion Maker, there are strong reasons to believe that Jewish lobby and Tel Aviv had a hand in selecting him for his current post.
Schwartz is among several Pakistan-bashers who has drummed up Times Square incident and linked Faisal Shahzad with Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) and Pakistan. He has slightly modified the allegation about some elements within Pak Army and ISI linked with Taliban; and Hillary Clinton stating that some government officials know the whereabouts of Osama and Omar. Schwartz says that Pak Army and ISI are Jihadist dominated and hence reluctant to fight the Taliban. He seems to be out of sync and way off the mark. This theme was in hot circulation till as late as mid 2009 when CIA-RAW-Mossad funded, trained and equipped TTP was giving a tough time to Pak security forces on several fronts in the northwest. Indian consulates and tens of terrorist camps established in Afghanistan by the trio were churning out new recruits and funneling cash, sophisticated weapons, ammunition, explosives, jamming devices, wireless sets, phones, vehicles to keep Pak Army embroiled.
On one hand terrorists were nourished, on the other Pakistan was constantly harassed, admonished and pressed to do more against terrorists. Each reverse or casualty inflicted upon soldiers was rejoiced by the double dealers. They got so deeply engrossed in this evil game that they failed to notice that the ground under their feet was being systematically nibbled away by Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda. By the time they woke up from their slumber they had lost nearly 80% of territory to the Taliban. Conversely, Pak Army succeeded in recovering most of lost spaces and in disarraying the TNSM in Swat and TTP in FATA.
US leadership had to reluctantly admire the spectacular turnaround; praises are still being heaped generously. Since this change was not to the liking of people like Schwartz and others as well as India and Israel, they have started firing venomous salvos against Pak Army and the ISI – the two premier institutions responsible for turning the tide. Left with little propaganda material to play with, they are singing hackneyed themes which very few are prepared to listen. While toying with the old theme of FATA as the breeding ground of terrorists, the main HQ of al-Qaeda leadership and the most dangerous place on earth, propagandists have turned their focus on North Waziristan (NW) and to a lesser degree on Punjab. Like Haqqani, another shady character Rehman Malik is making their task easier by lending support to foreign theme that Punjab has turned into a den of Punjabi Taliban. Demand for a military operation in Punjab is gradually being built up. It will be heated up no sooner the Army decides to launch an operation in NW.
The propagandists in their mad lust to undermine Pakistan stoop so low that they turn a blind eye to the state of casualties suffered by officers and men in fighting US imposed war on terror. In spite of suffering several times more casualties than that of ISAF, the morale of all ranks is high and so is their tenacity to fight the scourge of terrorism. In contrast, the state of affairs of US led coalition forces from 43 countries in Afghanistan is pathetic. It was because of internal pressure that Obama was forced to announce date of commencement of withdrawal. It is USA and not Pakistan which is very keen to negotiate with the Taliban. Karzai has been given a green signal to arrive at a negotiated settlement with militant forces. It is ironic that Pakistan is still being suspected, threatened and asked to do more.
While people like Hussein Haqqani with dubious past have no compunction in giving strength to white lies of Indo-western-Israeli spin masters, it is a matter of great satisfaction to see some morally upright and courageous persons in USA exposing the misdeeds of US leadership and dirty work of Israel and India against Pakistan. This trend is a recent phenomenon and I am sure with the passage of time this trickle will convert into a rivulet and a river and will drown the voices of deceit and falsehood.