Mrs.Clinton Mysterious Move
By Sajjad Shaukat
Political elite may follow timid policy, but it is not the job of statesmen to reflect such an ambiguous strategy. In these terms, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been acting upon an enigmatic approach.
In this regard, during her recent visit to India, while speaking in Indian tune, Hillary Clinton allegedly that Pakistan had not taken enough action against Hafiz Saeed, Chief of the
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) who was blamed for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. She accused that top Al Qaeda commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri “is somewhere in Pakistan.” Repeating old American maximum to do more against the insurgents, Ms. Clinton pressed Pakistan “to do more to ensure its territory is not used as launching pad by terror groups.” Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna also raised similar allegations, asking Islamabad for elimination of “terrorist sanctuaries” in the neighbourhood.
In response to Hillary’s allegations, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar stated, it does not have any intelligence suggesting that al-Zawahiri was hiding in the country and urged the US “to share information if any, instead of issuing speculative statements.”
It is notable that in order to pamper India, last month, the United States offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the conviction of Hafiz Saeed.
However, in this respect, Hillary Clinton shows controversial statements by ignoring the facts. Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit already revealed on April 7, this year that India had not given “any solid and significant evidence” against Hafiz Saeed, and “action can only be taken on the basis of solid evidence.” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also expressed similar thoughts.
As regards the Mumbai mayhem of 2008, while fully cooperating with New Delhi, Pakistan had took action against the banned organisations, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD). In this context, Pakistan’s interior ministery not only lodged FIR against some suspected persons, but also detained many individuals for investigation. But Pakistan’s Lahore High Court had released Hafiz Saeel on bail, saying that there was no evidence agianst him in connecion with the Mumbai catastrophe.
Notably, on November 10, 2011, during the meeting of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Maldives, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said about Pakistan’s position that Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the 26/11 terror-incident is a “non-state actor…should be hanged, so should perpetrators of the Samjhauta Express blast.” He also said that Pakistan Government was awaiting a visit of the Judicial Commission to India and to get some evidence that will help in prosecuting the accused of the 26/11 in his country, if we have “credible evidence.” Nevertheless, recently the Judicial Commission visited India, but it could not succeed in collecting evidence due to non-cooperation of the Indian concerned officials.
It is mentionable that interior secretaries of Pakistan and India talked at Islamabad on May 24 and 25, but Indian Home Secretary RK Singh failed to produce any solid evidence about Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks. He also fulfilled only formality by indicating that legal action is being taken against the accused of Samjhota Express. On the other side Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed that Indian intelligence agency, RAW, was involved in the Samjhota Express incident and blaming Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was totally wrong.
While the true story of the Mumbai carnage had been proved last year, when a day after the Indian media exposed the name of the terrorist, Wazhul Qamar Khan whose name was included in the list of 50 alleged terrorists given to Pakistan in March, 2011. But Wazhur Qamar “is living in the suburbs of Mumbai with his family” and “is regularly reports to a court that gave him bail” as reported by The Times of India. In this regard, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram was compelled to admit that what the media described an embarrassing lapse—but disowned responsibility for preparing the list. On the other hand, Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies were desperately looking for Wazhul Khan and had his name not been made public. Besides, reports suggest that another most-wanted culprit, Feroz Abdul Khan who is supposed to be hiding in Pakistan has also been found out in India.
Nevertheless, India has failed in supplying solid proof to Pakistan in relation to Mumbai tragedy except providing a self-fabricated story which was quite fake—full of loopholes, created by Indian secret agency, RAW.
In the past, Indian Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Singh Modi had revealed that the Mumbai terror attacks could not have been carried out without internal help, while the Mumbai police chief Hassan Ghafoor had also admitted that two Indians who were arrested by the Indian police had been involved in the Mumbai tragedy. Their comments were in sharp contrast with claims of other Indian high officials and Ms. Clinton who hold Pakistan solely responsible for the carnage.
Hillary’s paradoxical approach could also be judged from her various statements. In this connection, in the recent years, some US top officials including Hillary Clinton and US retiring Admiral Mike Mullen had alleged Pakistan for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan, emphasising to break its links with the Haqqani network, based in North Waziristan, which is waging a ‘proxy war’ in Afghanistan with the assistance of ISI. Mullen also accused the Haqqani network’s “acts as a veritable arm” of ISI, blaming for the bombing on the US embassy in Kabul on Septemeber13, last year. But during her visit to Islamabad in October, 2012, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for Pakistan’s help to “encourage Taliban to enter negotiations in good faith” including the Haqqani nework. Replying to a question that ISI was involved in attack on the US embassy in Kabul through Haqqani network, she categorically pointed out, “We have no evidence of that.” Ms. Clinton agreed with Pakistan’s stance and pointed out, “Now US is realising that launching new military operation in North Waziristan does not suit Pakistan’s situation.” Contrarily, on October 27, 2011, before Congress, Ms. Clinton said that she delivered a frank message to Pakistan that it was urgent to act against the extremist Haqqani network, which she blamed for anti-US attacks in Afghanistan.
It is worth-mentioning that when last year, heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security check posts and other infrastructure. Ms. Clinton had also warned Karzai-led regime to take action against the safe-havens of terrorists in Afghanistan posing threats of attacks against Pakistan.
Besides, Hillary Clinton has been encouraging Qatar-based talks with the Taliban militants; while on the other hand, she is secretary discouraging Pak peace dialogue with the militants. This shows her wavering policy.
It is noteworthy that in 2009, when the heavy-armed Taliban entered Buner, Hillary Clinton had stated that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists, endangering the security of the West. Surprisingly, when Pakistan’s armed forces ejected the Taliban insurgents out of Swat, Dir, Buner and South Waziristan by breaking their backbone, Ms. Hillary started admiring the Pak Army.
Confused in her goals, sometimes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praises Pak sacrifices regarding war on terror; sometimes, she admits that stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan without the help of Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, sometimes she states that stability of Pakistan and the region directly impacts the security of the US, and sometimes, she realises that US wants to continue to work to put its relationship with Pakistan on a stronger footing, but at the same time, she blamed Islamabad to end to safe-heavens of militants in Pakistan.
All these contradictory statements clearly indicate Hillary’s enigmatic approach towards Pakistan at the cost of India as US has been assisting New Delhi to counterbalance China and destabising Pakistan for the Indo-US secret strategic interests.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations