The US, however should take cognizance that attacking Pakistan is not going to be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear weapons equipped battle hardened country which will defend itself or go down fighting. It is hoped and prayed that good sense prevails in the US administration!

By S. M. Hali

The US government has virtually read out the Miranda warning to Pakistan. Miranda is the formal warning required to be given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in a custodial situation before they are interrogated, to make the accused aware of, and remind him of his rights under the US Constitution. Admiral Mike Mullen, Leon Panetta and the White House Spokesperson have virtually issued Miranda warnings to Pakistan accusing it of supporting attacks by the Haqqani network on US targets in Afghanistan, including the September 13 assault on the US Embassy/NATO Head Quarters in Kabul. While briefing the US Senate, the Admiral categorically stated: “The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s internal services intelligence agency.” US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senators the presence of safe havens in Pakistan, is giving the insurgents advantages they have otherwise lost. White House spokesman Jay Carney last Friday called on Pakistan to “break any link they have” with the Haqqani terror network, blamed for attacks in Afghanistan including the recent strike on the US embassy in Kabul.

The synchronized blame game has been refuted vehemently by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Defence and Foreign Ministers and the Chief of Army Staff. History is replete with wrongful US indictments. It had attacked both Afghanistan and Iraq with apparent UN approval but under trumped up charges. In the case of Afghanistan it invoked the self defence clause, insisting that the Taliban regime was harbouring Osama bin Laden, the purported perpetrator of the 9/11 attack. Despite the Taliban’s insistence that the US provide evidence pertaining to the allegations and Osama would be tried under Afghan laws, the US invaded Afghanistan and has caused the death of over 40,000 civilians so far. It must be understood that “self-defence”, firstly in both international and US law, must be clearly distinguished from the use of force for revenge or punishment; states, like persons, must not act as vigilantes. Secondly, in criminal law, “self-defence” may be invoked in the face of an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. In general, the threat must be immediate and the response must not be pushed beyond what is reasonably required to repel that threat. Thus the invasion of Afghanistan was not a legitimate act of “self-defence” by the United States after the 9/11 attacks. There is no UN Security Council resolution authorizing the United States, whether alone or in coalition with other countries, to attack Afghanistan. Between 11 September and 7 October 2001, when the Afghanistan invasion began, the UN Security Council adopted only one resolution concerning the 9–11 attacks. Resolution 1368 of September 12 condemned the 9/11 attack while Resolution 1378 of 14 November 2001, adopted more than five weeks after the bombardment of Afghanistan commenced, only condemns the Taliban and supports “the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime”!

  The Spectre Haunting Europe

Countries that plan wars in order to capture resources, conquer territory, or in other ways advance their strategic interests or hegemonic designs never lack for noble-sounding pretexts: self-defence, defending civilization, rescuing threatened national minorities, and so on. After no weapons of mass destruction had been found to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration argued that it was legitimate to overthrow a brutal dictatorship in order to free the Iraqi people. But to allow any country to make war entirely on its own grounds means throwing out international law and replacing it with “might makes right.”

Now the US is threatening to throw its erstwhile “most non-NATO ally” Pakistan to the dogs of war. The US has already violated Pakistan’s sovereignty on two accounts, firstly by launching the Drone attacks and secondly the May 2 attack to “eliminate” Osama bin Laden. Pakistan needs to take its case to the UN; but this step may yield no results if former US Permanent Representative to the UN John Bolton is to be believed: “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States, when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along… When the United States leads, the United Nations will follow.”

The US, however should take cognizance that attacking Pakistan is not going to be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear weapons equipped battle hardened country which will defend itself or go down fighting. It is hoped and prayed that good sense prevails in the US administration!

 

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