By S.M. Hali
The Mouse That Roared is a 1955 Cold War satirical novel by Irish American writer Leonard Wibberley, in which an impoverished backward nation declares a war on the United States of America, to get out of its economic woes hoping to lose, but things don't go according to plan. The events of the previous week, commencing with Admiral Mike Mullen’s ill founded testimony and US jingoism and concluding with the All Parties’ Conference (APC) reminded me of the above quoted novel, except that in the story, the best laid plans of mice and men go awry and the tiny nation, by a stroke of unforeseen events, wins the war. In our case the mouse did not roar but merely whimpered.
As the contours of endgame in Afghanistan appear to be somewhat perceivable, the pressure on Pakistan mounts with every passing day. Pakistan is paying the price of supporting the US led war on terrorism (WOT) and offering sacrifices in terms of suffering grave losses of human lives, property and drainage of economic resources. Pakistan is still committed to its resolve to fight the menace of terrorism but unfortunately due to divergence of Pak-US national interests, the relations between the two countries have suffered a setback, setting fresh tones to redefine the parameters of cooperation on WOT. Being a super power US is bulldozing its way through coercive methods to get Pakistani cooperation. On the other hand Pakistan’s question of sovereignty, security concerns including sensitivity of nuclear assets, fears from eastern border, US tilt towards India the age old rival of Pakistan, internal political instability and economic/energy crisis, embittering sense of US cold treatment and humiliating attitude towards Pakistan are sufficient for the policy makers to determine fresh lines to adjust policy position for Pakistan.
In the wake of US warnings on Haqqani network, there was a dire need for Pakistani policy makers to project their case not only to US policy makers but to different fora of the world to present the truth about Haqqani network, out-rightly rejecting the US allegations against Pakistan for having links with Haqqani network. In this regard evidence was to be sought from US to prove their allegations against Pakistan.
The much touted APC did take place but the end result was far from the expected results. Whereas the crisis became evident due to the warnings and threats emanating from the US based on false surmise and precepts yet in the resolution released at the end of the APC, the name of US did not even appear in print. The bellows and snarls of all our leaders came to naught when it was time to stand up and be counted. The begging bowl, which has become a millstone around our neck, was to be smashed and foreign aid was to be rejected so that we could make use of this adversity to unite and stand on our own feet but none of it was even pledged. It is remarkable that politicians of various ilk sat and supped together for better than 1/3rd of a day and tried to reach a consensus on providing a roadmap on how take the bull of terrorism and US blackmailing by the horns. However, neither were the terrorist acts condemned, nor a course charted to lead Pakistan out of the shark infested waters and deal with the US.
The undercurrent and general whisperings in Pakistan indicate that the US and India are trying to destabilize Pakistan. The credibility of these undertones can be substantiated by consecutive terror and sectarian attacks taking place in Karachi, Peshawar and Mastung-Quetta, in which precious lives have been lost. Pakistani analysts and commoners openly blame CIA and RAW for their involvement in these terrorist attacks. Sponsoring terrorist activities inside Pakistan by foreign hands is not only painful for Pakistan but is also arousing anti US feelings. People of Pakistan perceive that over the past few years CIA has been able to cultivate its own intelligence sources and have successfully established independent networks of information having intelligence value. These include religious parties, political leaders, social outfits and non-state actors including terrorist organizations. Thus CIA’s meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs is leading to increased anti US emotions in Pakistan. To improve US image in Pakistan requires winning of hearts and souls which entails US policy review as opposed to use of coercive and reproving approaches to put more pressure on Pakistan. The roar of the mouse unfortunately got drowned in the crescendo of selfish motives of the politicians.