Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are the American Allegations Legitimate?

September 24, 2011

By Saeed Qureshi

It is another matter if it is merely a blame game to place Pakistan under pressure for more mileage what has been repeatedly termed as,” do more” But a solemn statement by Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee is of seismic proportions.

This sudden quirk of developments cannot be wished away as formal pressure tactics. The allegations coming from the America’s top most military official that Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency ISI maintains a double face are preposterous or well-founded.

This latest vehement insinuation seems to be the pernicious fallout of the May 2 Abbottabad episode when a group of American Navy Seals killed the chief of al-Qaida, Osama Ben Laden in a clandestine raid that even the vigil intelligence network of Pakistan could not detect.

In the aftermath of that elephantine incident, ISI also came under severe diatribe of America for harboring Osama Bin Laden for pretty six long years in the otherwise safe and well cordoned environ of Abbottabad’s military garrison area.

With the incredible and stunning victory of Pakistan’s armed forces entailing huge casualties of its troops, massive disruption and deployment, the United States wants Pakistan to move to the thus far untouched terrain of North Waziristan where another anti-American network is based and active against the occupation forces.

Mike Mullen alleged that the multiple attacks on NATO outpost in Kabul, on the American and the Indian embassies, and on the Intercontinental Hotel were carried out by the so called Haqqani group in collusion with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. The ISI is primarily a counterpoise of the Indian intelligence network named the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing).

It has been India’s ardent wish all these years to get the ISI discredited and disbanded because this agency has been putting up an extremely befitting and matching response to RAW with exemplary professionalism and brilliance.

After the advent of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2001, to destroy both al-Qaida and their abettors Taliban, the ISI has been in the forefront to collaborate with their American counterparts with outstanding and breath-taking results.

Not long ago, the American premier secret and intelligence agencies including the FBI and CIA have been profusely acknowledging the vital and useful role of ISI in providing the crucial intelligence and information that helped the American and NATO alliance to destroy and vanquish the hideouts and sanctuaries of Taliban and that of al-Qaida. In case of drone attacks, Pakistan intelligence agencies shared invaluable information with the American secret operatives.

Perhaps in the wake of The United States’ plans to exit Afghanistan, the United States army commanders want to produce a stunning and spectacular surprise and last ditch surprising victory for a kind of face saving.

While Pakistan’s record is second to none and superbly outstanding as an ally of United States in the war on terrorism, The NATO all these years looked like a lame duck and sleeping partner of the principal party: the United States.

The NATO countries or ISAF partners fighting along with the American troops in Afghanistan have not been affected by the global terrorism as the United States is. So primarily it is the United States’ war alone though symbolically supported by NATO members. Their involvement in the Afghan war is simply to exhibit their solidarity with the United States by sending token contingents with limited number of troops.

The latest ominous turn of events and the spiraling and intensifying friction initiated by United States against Pakistan is what could best be described as the replay of the treatment that was meted out to Pakistan before the incident of 9/11.
Even at that time, Pakistan came under enormous pressure from United States, that was on the verge of declaring Pakistan a terrorism sponsoring state.

But to the good luck of Pakistan, this hostile and ravaging tide turned back without causing any harm to Pakistan as it conceded to stand by the United States in her war on the Islamic radicals in Afghanistan.

On the conclusion of that historic conflict that dismantled the socialism and for capitalism to triumph, Pakistan was abandoned like a ruffian, or a temporary hireling, although it was the hub of the anti Soviet Union war operations in Afghanistan and had mobilized the fighters from all over the Islamic world. That victory gave birth to the new world order spearheaded and lorded over by the victorious United States, assuming the role of a sole super power.

Pakistan once against stands maligned and despised like a criminal by the United States on the strength of charges which are dubious and have yet to be substantiated with incontrovertible evidence. Pakistan is being treated like a puppet that can be swung into action or scolded as when the puppeteer wants.

Pakistan is no allowed to make any friends in the world because it is repugnant to the United States. Pakistan must obey like servant with folded hands whenever there was an order from the mighty superpower, forgetting its own security priorities and national interests.

And if Pakistan resists or protests, the sword of terrorism and betrayal is conveniently hung over her. Logically the relations of Pakistan with Haqqani group would stand in good stead for United States in the longer run.

Now when US herself want to break the barriers of hostility with Taliban, why Pakistan is not allowed to refrain from antagonising all the factions of Taliban. The collaboration of ISI with the Haqqani group is yet to stand the test of credibility and veracity. If there are proofs these must be laid on the table before the Pakistani government and asked for an explanation.

Mere flimsy and frivolous castigation might invoke America’s wrath against Pakistan but without Pakistan which other power in this volatile region would stand behind the United States in case of prolongation of war or her leaving this region.

The people of Afghanistan will never accept the hegemony or over lordship of India. Even if India wants to play a role in beleaguered Afghanistan it cannot because geographically Pakistan stands in between.

Is Pakistan’s intelligence agency comprised of goofs who would not know that their complicity with Haqqani group cannot remain a secret? The only rationale that lies behind Pakistan’s reluctance to expand its war to North Waziristan is not to thin out it forces further and suffer more loss of Pakistani soldiers. After all it is not Pakistan’s exclusive war.

If United States thinks that attacking and destroying Haqqani network was so indispensible, she and NATO are free to launch their military forays in North Waziristan, though it may be violation of the territorial integrity of Pakistan.

After all its deadly drone attacks are continuing unabated in complete disregard of Pakistan’s protestations. What then stops her from military action in North Waziristan? But would that be sagacious for her to do so?

The young foreign minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani has rightly remarked that it was the choice of United States to leave Pakistan but it is she and not Pakistan that would suffer in the longer run.

She was again right earnest when she asked America not to believe the hearsay and come out with facts and figures. Her remarked were drenched in national honor when she articulated candidly that, “don’t humiliate Pakistan, as it will be at your own cost”

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