By Dr. Haider Mehdi
On November 18, 1999, immediately after General Pervez Musharraf took over the helm of affairs in Pakistan, this columnist (Dr. Haider Mehdi) wrote a personal letter to him. The following is an extract from that letter. Consider the enormous accuracy of the predication of the political-military fallouts made over a decade ago.
“…Americans have been conducting their relations with Pakistan with specifically designed agendas. In the first phase, Pakistan fought American political battles of anti-communism… this was followed by Zia’s years, in engaging the Soviet Union in armed intervention; and now the likelihood is that the Americans would want Pakistan to assist them in destabilizing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. As we enter the next millennium, the American and European political obsession will be to destabilize Islamic countries (what they coin now as “extremism”)… It is beyond the scope of Pakistani politics to define whether the political regime in Afghanistan ought to be destabilized or not. But, there is a certainty about one thing: should Pakistan get involved with Afghanistan’s internal affairs and carry out the American political agenda in its newest form, the long-range consequences for Pakistan will be disastrous.”
And the ultimate disaster has struck us. Read between the lines: Admiral Mike Mullen has declared war on Pakistan. Has he not?
A simple question: Is Pakistan in a state of war now? The simple answer is YES!
Another simple question: Is Pakistan prepared for this forthcoming eventuality of American aggression and direct military intervention on its soil? The simple answer is: NO!
Yet another simple question: What should Pakistan do to respond to the growing US military threat?
We need to make multiple coordinated military and civil maneuvers: Pakistan’s armed forces (Air Force, Navy and Army) should be immediately mobilized in “Red Alert.” We should let our adversaries know, in no uncertain terms, that so far, Pakistan has been patiently tolerant, in the interest of peace and political reconciliations, of the low-intensity war conducted against it, both covertly and overly for years by the Americans and their allies. But, in the wake of Admiral Mullen’s recent testimony in the US Senate, the political and military ground realities in Pakistan have completely changed. Pakistan will have a “zero tolerance” military policy against any US aggressive initiatives. The preemptive civil and military counter-effective strategic response to future US military designs on Pakistan (which seem to be in an advanced stage) is to make sure that the Obama administration fully comprehends that Pakistan’s future military engagement with US forces will turn the ongoing low-intensity war into a full-fledged military conflict, should the Americans decide on yet another aerial or ground offensive in any part of its territory. Pakistan’s high military command needs to tell the American President, in unequivocal terms, that Pakistan’s army is not for hire anymore; it will not fight US-West proxy wars nor will it engage itself in waging aggression against its own people on the behest of the US and its allies in the name of the so-called “war on terrorism.”
Let us play politics with America on the basis of our strengths rather than be coerced into submission by American political, military and financial aid threats: Let us remind the Obama administration that America still has 130,000 troops in land-locked Afghanistan whose present survival and future safe exit depends on Pakistan’s generosity of political conduct and goodwill – and if the US insists on playing fire with us, we will play fire with America. The Americans should have no doubt in their minds: we will block NATO supplies, shoot down the next drone that violates our airspace and respond to any US military aggression with our full might. We are equipped with military capability to confront any armed adventure against our nation – and this military confrontation will not be a “zero sum game” – the political military odds will most certainly be tilted to our advantage.
So let us keep a humanitarian context in view: Let us invite the US to join us at a negotiation table, and let us talk peace. Let us help America in ending this vicious war that has been their making in the first place and let us give the Afghans their country back. We need to make Americans realize now that they are not fighting a specific insurgency but an entire Afghan nation; they are fighting the Afghan people! It is about time that the Taliban’s legitimate national aspirations be respected and their moral- political rights recognized in an independent Afghanistan. Let us make US-Nato leadership understand that even in a 100-year war, the Afghans will not allow foreign military presence in their country.
Let us make Americans understand that they have failed in their conceptualization of the 21st century global world and their capitalistic corporate strategic goals do not sit well with the present-day enlightened socio-political awareness of the masses. The American-Western dogma is dead: look at the economic failures, take stock of the continued free-market crises and failings in capitalistic democracies. Stop indulging in counter- revolutionary wars: there is no room in the present-day world, in the interest of the masses everywhere, to create more Afghanistans, Iraqs and Libyas. America, as the leader of the reactionary, neo-con and neo-imperialist axis, needs to be stopped now – if necessary, by force.
Barrack Obama needs to be told that, in the aftermath of General Mullen’s Senate testimony, Obama’s re-election bid for the second presidential term largely depends on Pakistan’s goodwill and favorable political conduct. Obama needs to take bold and valorous acts of political statesmanship to opt for instant peace in Afghanistan than to choose another instant war against Pakistan. And Pakistan can help Obama in attaining peace instantly at a negotiation table helped by the Haqqani network and coordinated by the Taliban – without which Barrack Obama will be part of an ugly American history in the year of our Lord, 2012.
And the final vital question: Is the Zardari-Gilani regime capable of delivering this important message and able to communicate Pakistan’s nationalistic point of view with required dignity, integrity, convincing arguments, conceptual strength and tactical diplomacy to Obama’s administration? I am afraid the simple reality is: NO.
Zardari-Gilani are Pervez Musharraf’s protégés incapable of comprehending the looming crisis over Pakistan – just as Musharraf, a decade ago, intentionally and consciously disregarded Pakistan’s national interests (which was brought to his attention in my letter of November 18, 1999) – all for the love of personal power!
So what needs to be done? An interim government – to deal with the political- military crisis coming our way in the next few weeks! Perhaps even in the following few days!
Stop America, now!