Indo-US-Afghan game plan busted
India was pleased that the new Chinese premier Li Keqiang chose to first visit New Delhi and then Islamabad. She would have felt mighty pleased if the visitor had visited India only and ignored Pakistan as was the case with Barack Obama. India would have liked China’s PM to behave like Bill Clinton when after his three-day high-profile state visit to India in March 2000; he touched down at Islamabad for five hours, didn’t shake hands with Gen Musharraf and delivered a long sermon to Pakistani nation and then left in a huff. Or like George W Bush who gave all the goodies to India but lectured Pakistan to do more. It has been and still is India’s earnest wish to spoil Sino-Pakistan relations that have progressed leaps and bounds since late 1950s and have stood the test of time.
From the very outset, India has been scheming to harm Pakistan which she considers as a thorn in her flesh. Going by the book of Kautilya, India has been befriending the enemies of Pakistan and also trying to spoil Pakistan’s relations with its friends. To start with, India whispered into the ears of Afghan leadership to make Durand Line disputed and to raise the stunt of Pakhtunistan. She warmed up with former Soviet Union and made it exercise veto power repeatedly to block UN efforts to resolve Kashmir dispute on the basis of UN resolutions. Although India leaned heavily upon USSR and practically became her camp follower, she didn’t want Pakistan to establish special ties with other countries.
She played upon the sensitivities of Moscow when Pakistan joined western treaties and later on drew closer to China. Finding that Pakistan had forged special ties with the Muslim world particularly Arab countries in the aftermath of 1971 debacle, India worked extra hard to capture trade markets of the Muslim world and to disrupt Pakistan’s trade. India couldn’t make any progress in marring Pakistan’s relations with China and Iran under Reza Shah Pahlavi. India kept exploiting apparent coldness that appeared in Pak-Iran relations once Imam Khomeini seized power in March 1979. When Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in December 1979, India supported the invasion as well as Moscow installed governments in Kabul and became party to clandestine operations against Pakistan.
India drew closer to Iran when the Taliban captured power in 1996. Between 1996 and 2001, India forged close politico-economic-military ties with Tehran and supplied weaponry to Northern Alliance (NA) Army based in Iran and also imparted training. After NA took over power in Kabul in 2002, India with the assistance of USA proceeded with full speed to reinvigorate her lost influence in Afghanistan and to further expand it. At the same time, India went about creating bad blood between Afghanistan and Pakistan and improving Kabul-Tehran relations. To this end, India undertook the project of development of Chahbahar Port. Later on, India got involved in development of road infrastructure of Afghanistan as well as connecting Chahbahar with Afghanistan both by road and rail and opening a passage to Central Asia. This strategic move was undertaken with a view to reduce the dependence of landlocked Afghanistan on Pakistan, avail the new route for Indian trade with Central Asia and to undermine Gawadar port.
Disturbed over the US making Pakistan the frontline state to fight terrorism, India kept poisoning the ears of US leaders against Pakistan. She persistently told Washington to reconsider its decision of trusting Pakistan and advised that unless it broke ties with Pakistan and dealt with it the way Afghanistan was dealt, problem of terrorism wouldn’t be solved. Once the going got rough in Afghanistan, the US leaders started lending ears to Indian propaganda and became receptive to Indian themes. To start with Pak Army and ISI were accused of being linked with Taliban and al-Qaeda. Pakistan was declared as the nursery of terrorism, a haven for terrorists and the most dangerous country in the world. Pakistan’s nuclear program was projected as unsafe and likely to fall in wrong hands. These and many other suchlike obnoxious accusations gave a sense of satisfaction to hard pressed US-NATO forces fighting a losing war and felt relieved to put the blame of their failings in Afghanistan on Pakistan.
Having successfully diverted the attention of USA from its primary theatre of war in Afghanistan towards Pakistan, RAW in collusion with five other intelligence agencies based in Kabul then unfolded a comprehensive program of launching covert operations in FATA and Balochistan so as to destabilize, de-Islamize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. To this end, RAW used Afghan and Iranian territories as bases of operation and CIA-FBI facilitated its entry in areas of interest. Jundullah group based in Balochistan and handled by CIA was facilitated by Indian mission in Zahidan. This group was used by the duo with a dual purpose of destabilizing Iranian Balochistan and to tarnish Iran-Pakistan relations. In order to create misgivings between China and Pakistan, CIA and RAW lent support to Uyghur movement in Sinkiang and its members advised to operate from North Waziristan. The TTP was told to provide assistance to Uyghurs.
The overall game plan was to weaken, defame and discredit Pak Army and ISI by pitching TTP and its affiliates against them, encircle and isolate Pakistan and make it friendless, puncture its economy and then launch operation Cold Start followed by full-scale war if required.
All the schemes hatched by the said nexus have fallen flat and mercifully Pakistan has sailed past the turbulent patch. All the three conniving partners in crime today find themselves in hot waters. Pakistan which faced the major brunt of terrorism and fought it with commitment and sincerity of purpose was ridiculed, maligned, threatened and punished for uncommitted sins. The fun-makers derived sadistic pleasure in seeing Pakistan bleeding and in distress. It was pushed to do all the dirty work but at the end of each day it was haughtily told to do more. It was used as a convenient scapegoat to hide the failures of US military against Taliban and in eliminating scourge of terrorism.
After 12 years of fighting, overall security situation has changed dramatically. The ones flying in the 7th sky are grounded, while the hounded and oppressed Taliban are in the driving seat refusing to hold talks with the invaders. The US is today desperately seeking dialogue with them to arrive at a negotiated peace settlement so that its troops could return home. NA and ANA on which the US spent lavishly and had relied upon wholly have proved to be liabilities. Karzai is a doomed man and has gone raving mad.
India is getting highly vexed since her over ambitious plans are falling apart like nine-pins. Her strategic alliances with Afghanistan and USA are becoming inconsequential. Kautilya’s book offers no remedy to the prevailing situation since all games of intrigues together with use of massive force have failed to break the indomitable will of Taliban or to cow down Pakistan. No country in the world is in a position to convince the Taliban to ceasefire and agree to talk. Rather, the Taliban have accelerated their spring offensive since April last and are launching over 100 attacks in a day against both ANSF and US-NATO targets. NATO troops have lost heart in fighting the enemy which cannot be defeated or overawed. As the cutout date of December 2014 is drawing nearer, their anxiety is getting intensified.
After a long hazardous journey through the dense minefield, Pakistan is now seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The NRO cleansed and US installed PPP-MQM-ANP regime is down and out and PML-N after achieving a convincing victory in May 11 polls is ready to take over power on June 5, 2013. PM designate Nawaz Sharif is feeling confident and has already unfolded his plans to tackle myriad of problems left behind by the last regime. So far he is pressing the right buttons and evoking appreciative responses. TTP having confidence in Nawaz and Imran Khan is keen to hold talks aimed at restoring peace in Pakistan. China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, USA and even India want to help Pakistan in overcoming its energy crisis. Much to the chagrin of India and Afghanistan, the US has now placed full trust in Pakistan and sees it the only country which can bailout USA from the quagmire of Afghanistan.
The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org