INDIA IS THE PROBLEM; NOT A SOLUTION
By Moin Ansari
It has been a tumultuous week in which the United States Administration officials have played good cop and bad cop–with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blowing hot and Barack Obama blowing cold over Pakistan. US President Barack Obama on Wednesday fell into the Democratic Party lecture mode which tries to tell Pakistanis who the enemies are. He forgot Bharat (aka India’s obsession with Pakistan) and suggested Pakistan had some bad habits. As if talking to a child he lectured that his Administration wanted Pakistan “to get over its obsession with India” and focus more on terrorist groups operating in Pakistan.
During a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai the American President said: “I think there has been in the past a view on the part of Pakistan that their primary rival, India, was their only concern. I think what you’ve seen over the last several months is a growing recognition that they have a cancer in their midst; that the extremist organizations that have been allowed to congregate and use as a base the frontier areas to then go into Afghanistan, that that now threatens Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
There appears to be mounting pressure from Washington on the Islamabad
government to act against the terrorist in North Waziristan. General Kayani has clearly said that the operation in North Waziristan will be conducted at the time of the Army’s choosing. President Obama seemed to echo the sense in his administration that that process was going to be gradual.
Delhi supports terror outfits in Lanka (LTTE), Bangladesh (Chakma), Iran (Jundullah) and Pakistan (TTP, BLA). Bharat has threatened Pakistan with all out war–and arrayed all her forces on the borders for months. She sent 80,000 terrorists into East Pakistan disguised as the Mukti Bahni, and dressed as Pakistani soldiers.
Mr. Obama has been to Pakistan and has talked to hundreds of Pakistanis. He is also internet savvy. What compels him to make a statement that is repugnant to all Pakistanis. Pakistan sees the TTP as an Indian appendage and an irritation–the real threat is from Bharat (aka India).
When Mr. Obama fails to recognize this simple fact–he represents “The Ugly American” to Pakistanis–and creates more Anti-Americanism.
President Obama declared that “It’s going to take some time for Pakistan, even where there is a will, to find a way in order to effectively deal with these extremists in areas that are fairly loosely governed from Islamabad.”
The American President’s statement comes in a week during which US administration officials have attempted to use the Times Square incident to exact more pressure on Pakistan.
Washington went into a tizzy fit with Hillary Clinton leading the Quixotic “Charge of the Light Brigade” against the Turkish Army which were windmills in actuality. Pandering to the domestic audience the right wingers in Congress she warned Pakistan of “severe consequences” if such an attempt originating from its territory were to be successful.
There was a huge backlash to the Hillary Clinton threat in Pakistan. The Pakistani Senate renounced the threat and the Pakistan media spent days analyzing every nuance of the bluster. Ms. Hillary Clinton lost a a lot of credibility in Pakistan, and it will be tough for her to build trust with the Pakistanis. If a lone wolf can tarnish US relations, what kind of strategic dialogue is it?
The threat apparently caught the State Department by surprise and they sent in their fire brigade to do as much damage
control as possible. Both the State Department spokesman PJ Crowley and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke tried to play down the impact of her statement by saying that she had not said what she had said.
Hillary Clinton had really gone off the handle when she declared in a CBS interview that “Pakistan has a real problem internally with terrorism and we’ve seen them fight back against it. But they also have a problem that affects the rest of us because all too often that terrorism is being exported.”
Mr. Obama–when will the Democratic Party stop defending Bharat–when will its Bharati obsession be over?