By Moin Ansari
While the Wikileaks were on a 96 hour news cycle, and most US sources after having discussed them threadbare are beginning to move on to new subjects–the Bharati (aka Indian) media is clinging on to them and the orchestrated immature statements by the British Prime Minister. Delhi is getting full mileage of the so called 90,000 “leaks”. Only a few of them actually discuss Pakistan, but the Pakistaniphobic campaign led by the New York Times and the UK Guardia only focuses on the old and archaic news items filed by Afghan “agents”. Till recenlty the Afghan Intelligence agencies were fully in the hands of the Bharati RAW. In the days gone by the RAW men were so powerful that in a well documented incident Mr. Karzai was scolded by the head of the RAW in Kabul.
Most of the old filed reports were fed by Bharati intelligent agencies. These reports filed from Kabul have now become part of the Wikileaks–used by the New York Times to malign Pakistan and try to halt its growing influence in Afghanistan.
The way the news has been sliced, diced and presented by the New York Times, it ensures that the real story of the Wikileaks can be obfuscated by the sensational Anti-Pakistanism.
The Bharati elation at the Wikileaks will be short lived. However Bharat may stage a spectacular event to put pressure on Pakistan. Another Mumbai will create issues in South Asia, and push it back another decade.
Much of the Leaks deal with the targeted killings and murder of civilians by the US, ISAF and NATO forces. However the Sunday news shows and even Al-Jazeera did not focus on the human rights atrocities and the war crimes. Pakistan is the favorite whipping boy of the US media–especially the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Now that the US media is beginning to get tired of the Leaks, another batch will be released targeting Pakistan. The Leaks have tried to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The usual suspects in Afghanistan–the Pakistanphobes are cropping up in Afghanistan making the same old noises as before.
The Bharati carping will continue.
The short term affects of the Leaks have been a lot of discussion in the media. However the Obama Administration has not shown an indication of a change in its Afghan policy.
The Europeans are leaving the Hindu Kush next year. The Americans will follow–Cameron’s grandstanding not withstanding.
America has few options in Afghanistan. She has to work with Pakistan in order to get a face saving exit. The Leaks anger the very people that the US and the UK banks on to help them out. No foreign army can assist NATO, ISAF and the US forces–except the Pakistani Army.
Maligning the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani Intelligence Services (ISI) is counterproductive to American interests. While the US Administration has rushed to do damage control, with the White House and the State Department calling the Pakistani President and the Prime Minister–the Afghan president was forced to make some ugly noises which he will have to regret.
Pakistan demanded an explanation from Mr. Hamid Karzai, and the press heard some inaudible and incomprehensible gurgling noises which went something like this “the press has made something out of this”.
Despite the media headlines in the Bharati press, the fact remains that most US officials have come out to defend Pakistan. The Bharati media of course is publishing the fallout by editing the statements and publishing only part that suit their agenda.
While India’s recent diplomatic reversals get a short respite, the fact remains that in the long run, the Bharati machinations will create more enemies in Pakistan. Already the number of doves in Pakistan are becoming less and less. Even Mr. Zardari who started out as very accommodating towards Bharat has not turned hawkish. The Pakistan Ambassador to the US–often called the US Ambassador to Pakistan is incensed at the US and also at Bharat. If the most pro-India elements in Pakistan are now mad at Bharat, the hawks will have a field day. Bharati short-sightedness in the Wikileaks affair will have consequences for Delhi. An abrogation of any Afghan trade to Bharat is the most likely first casualty of the Wikileaks. There will be more negative affects for Bharat.
Those who want Bharat evicted from Afghanistan will be emboldened and become more firm in their resolve. Anti-Americanism will grow in the area, and this can never be good for America.
The long term blowback from the leaks will harm US interests in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. The leaks confirm the US stereotype–self-centered, untrustworthy and fickle.
The US has to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The Afghans want to talk to the Afghan National Resistance (aka Taliban). All roads to peace in Kabul run through Islamabad. Mr. Karzai knows this.
In the end Mr. Karzai will kiss and make up, and the US will continue to bank on the only game in town called the Pakistan Army.