Pakistan US Relations: New Paradigms
I was on CNBC News on Saturday in their Reporter’s Diary. The current situation and recent developments were analyzed in detail. Here I would say with complete satisfaction that over the past few years what I have been professing; now the entire focus is gravitating in that direction. I have always maintained that gradually Pakistan must reduce her dependence on the US because historically it has never been a reliable friend. Her history is full of deceits and exploitations. What a bigger threat could be that the US tried to hijack the political government and stab us in the back. An entire mercenary army of Blackwater was infiltrated into Pakistan; certainly it was not without the connivance of the people in power.
Since the Raymond Davis issue, the US has not learnt any lesson. It’s pushing hard on Pakistan violating the sovereignty and demolishing the trust that should be there between any two allies. What America is doing does not surprise me a bit but those sitting in the corridors of power as their installed assets can no longer defend them or enhance their agenda. Raymond Davis was followed by May 2 ,2011 Abbottabad OBL drama, then an attack on PNS Mehran where two (2) of the most sophisticated P3 C Orions were destroyed to deplete the maritime capability of Pakistan Navy so that any seaborne operation could be launched with ease.
Eventually, Pakistan got tough, essentially the Armed Forces and ISI; they exerted pressure on the Interior Ministry and had all of them sent out. Since their departure, the rate of terror acts and suicide raids has gone down considerably, Karachi the commercial hub of Pakistan has become more peaceful and life is returning to normalcy.
Since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto how Asif Zardari climbed the steps of power is a complete subject for study. How he handled the murder of his wife, those who were sitting with her as security protectors needs to be studied to understand how Asif Ali Zardari landed in the Presidential Office. The 2008 election process was orchestrated to have all the desired parties (pawns) on board. Prior to the elections, a new instrument was floated through Mian Nawaz Sharif, known to be ‘Charter of Democracy.’ If the essence of this document is studied, it was primarily an anti army alliance to defame and downsize it. Who all were signatories to this document should lift the veil from everyone’s eyes. Altaf Husain, who at Nehru University in New Delhi delivered a speech where he regretted the creation of Pakistan, he apologized from the Indian Hindus and termed it as the greatest tragedy of history. This utterance alone can have him framed for treason against the state of Pakistan. Other signatory was Asfandyar Wali, whose grandfather Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan never accepted Pakistan; in fact he had his burial in Afghanistan some years back.
All such parties were brought on board and a national alliance headed by Asif Ali Zardari was formed. For the first time in history, in a so called democratic setup, there was no party left to play opposition, all were in the government.
This did not happen; it was made to happen by the Americans through their assets in Pakistan. In fact Americans played a direct role also. To have got such a setup in power, the American goal was that through this, they would be able to take over the Pakistan Army and the nukes. Rahman Malik was made the Interior Minister who through Husain Haqqani in Washington DC issued visas in mass to Americans to travel to Pakistan. Who were these Americans is no hidden secret – The notorious Blackwater. 7000 of them had come into Pakistan, they were moving freely across the Durand Line and had contacts with RAW and Mossad very openly. The arrest of Raymond Davis exposed the entire game plan and its players.
The very first blow that this Zardari Government gave to the security of Pakistan was placing of the ISI under Rahman Malik’s Interior Ministry. Why was this being done needs no detailed explanation; had it remained under him, ISI would have been clipped and reduced to a non entity that would have made things easier for the Zionist America who is in league with Israel, India, Great Britain etc. At frequent intervals, enough has been written and said against Rahman Malik by various writers, newspapers and commentators over the TV channels.
Husain Haqqani was an open asset of the US; he at times was pulled down from the stage by the Pakistani community in the USA and hooted out from the functions. His involvement in May 2 Abbottabad raid has come out in the open. His credibility is no longer a secret. To top it, the memo gate scandal in which quite a few names are involved has further exposed the exact agenda of the present government but it needs to be ascertained how deep the damage has been caused.
The aim and objective of this memo was to get the American support to remove General Kayani, the Army Chief and General Pasha the ISI head thereafter a new security setup was to be installed. Through this setup, the strategic assets of Pakistan were to be placed under American control who would have taken these away. Learnt reliably, Zardari would often say that these nukes should be handed over to the Americans if their departure from the region is desired.
When this memo gate got exposed, Haqqani removed from the office of the Ambassador, the US struck Pakistan at Salala Border post that was there to check the inflow of American sponsored TTP. This check post was attacked by full force in which AC130 along with gunship helicopters were used; Pakistan lost 28 soldiers. Americans knew about this post and to what extent it was armed. Pakistan never expected that America would attack in such a cowardly and mean manner.
This NATO attack created complications beyond Americans wildest dreams. It ran a wave in the entire length and breadth of the country that brought everyone out against America and NATO. The American installed government in Islamabad came under tremendous heat beyond its expectations. The government was left with no option but to stand with the sentiments of the nation. Army command reacted swiftly and blocked all NATO supplies to Afghanistan. Today its 14th day running that no NATO supply has passed through and there is no possibility within foreseeable future.
By all visible signs, in blocking the supplies of NATO, Pakistan is not alone; other powers of the region now want a fatal blow to America for they can avenge their defeat and remove a looming threat forever. Russia, China, Iran and Turkey came out strong in favor of Pakistan. Soon after Pakistan announced closer of the supplies, the Russian Ambassador to NATO warned that Russia would not allow any NATO supplies if America did not withdraw the Nuclear Defence Shield from Europe. In any case now over the years, America has taken a complete u-turn from a friend to a foe. The reliability and trust factor has taken a new dip that would be very hard to rehabilitate. Now the nation is not prepared to accept any verbal assurances and nor does want to be an ally in so called war on terror.
The aggressive American attitude that is being displayed by General Dempsey, “US needs to tackle Pakistan’s clout in Afghanistan,” is by no means a language of friendship. Also Hilary Clinton and others admit that there is no solution to Afghan problem without Pakistan yet they want to diminish Pakistan’s role or influence that would never be possible.
Besides American aggressive attitude, Karzai’s hostile statements towards Pakistan only speak of American mindset. He is only acting as their mouthpiece to appease both the US and India. Lashkar-e Jhangvee is a dead outfit, whose leadership like Riaz Basra etc has since long been silenced. Moreover they never operated outside of Pakistan but battled within.
Also the arrest of a Kashmiri activist Ghulam Muhammad Fai when he went back to the US after attending an International Kashmir Conference in Muzaffarabad; was to appease India whom the US takes as her strategic partner. Fai had been working for a permanent solution of Kashmir and was in contact both with Pakistani and Indian governments but nothing could be established about his being on the payroll of ISI. This fact he admitted before the court and there is nothing wrong with it. It’s obvious that when a solution is sought, contacts with stake holders have to be established. His being on ISI pay roll etc. are extorted of statements under duress by the CIA/FBI that hold no ground in a court of law.
The US only regrets on the killing of 28 soldiers but is not offering any apology to Pakistan; in any case an apology would never bring back the dead or any relief to their kin nor would it do any good to the nation but this is a God given opportunity must not be lost to redefine our instruments and treaties with the US and NATO.
Knowing that it would not be possible to permanently keep the NATO supplies blocked; negotiations would start, Pakistan should demand a hefty amount that should compensate our economic losses due to wear and tear of our infrastructure to allow the transit facility but with complete end to any military cooperation on this unjust self inflicted war on terror. It would be justified if Pakistan charges the NATO forces close to what they pay to Northern Distribution Network (NDN) for bringing the goods through Russia and CAR. Along with this Pakistan should also demand safe passage through Afghanistan to CAR. Here it must be mentioned that taking advantage of the Afghan Transit Trade facility, the US and NATO tried to slip in their supplies; ISI sniffed some foul smell. On checking, they found it out and confiscated the goods. If Afghan government does not respect this facility then there is a possibility that there be a total blockade of goods to Afghanistan.
This shift is a prelude to a complete regional reorientation and new alliances. As I have been saying in my various TV talks that Pakistan will have to revisit her foreign policy; needs to warm up towards Russia and further strengthen ties with China. Gas pipeline from Iran must be completed on priority and extended to China. Road and rail network also needs to be laid and bolstered. Once Pakistan has her road and rail network linking Iran, Afghanistan, China and CAR, Pakistan would have multiple routes and options available for trade and travel.
Now that Shamsi base has been closed and all drones shifted to Afghanistan therefore anymore drone attacks would constitute airspace violation that must be met effectively with force. Now the government must also make it public how many bases were given to the US and certify that none remain in their use.
Iran has claimed to demonstrate an advanced use of technology by electronically forcing an advanced US drone to land intact that it has displayed to the world. This has certainly put Pakistan Military under pressure to down any air machine that violates our airspace. Pakistan Air Force has the capability and the desire to do so but had been kept under restraint by the American friendly government. The Army Command made an announcement that Air Defence system has also been brought on the western border to ensure that no violation goes unchecked.
Pakistan has had enough, American friendship is far more expensive than being its enemy is a fact stated by Henry Kissinger therefore one must learn a lesson and pull out of the American camp.