The US must stop bullying Pakistan

Asif Haroon Raja

A recent revelation of a course arranged at Joint Forces College in the US Defence Department has brought to fore the hidden intent of neo-cons in USA. It preached that it would be necessary to consider using lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in this war against Islam to protect USA. Although the course has been cancelled by Pentagon, its planner Lt Col Michael A. Dolley who teaches at Norfolk, Virginia College remains steadfast and continues to spit hate. He ridicules concept of moderate Islam, distorts definition of Jihad and quotes Quranic verses and Hadith out of context. His types are the ones who have prolonged the GWOT into longest war fought by USA and do not want it to end.

In accordance with the engineered plan, George W Bush offered a hand of friendship to Gen Musharraf after 9/11 attacks in New York and Pentagon on the condition that Pakistan should break off ties with the Taliban regime in Kabul and join the coalition to fight GWOT. A veiled threat was hurled that if he refused, Pakistan would be bombed to Stone Age. Musharraf deemed it expeditious to become an ally of USA and accept its harsh demands to save Pakistan, not imagining that this alliance would prove extremely costly in the long run. He and his team naively thought that Afghan venture would be short and swift, after which foreign troops would return to their respective countries. Within one year time of occupation of Afghanistan, George Bush once again threatened Mush to induct regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) and sort out the foreign terrorists (al-Qaeda) and those who had given them refuge, or else the US military would barge in and do the job.

Mush capitulated once again by sending troops into FATA for the first time in Pakistan’s history in violation of the 1947 agreement between Quaid-e-Azam and the tribesmen. Mush miscalculated that he would de-induct Army after one to two operations. Since majority of al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives had fled to FATA from Tora Bora caves in December 2001 after the massive carpet bombing by US air force, military operations as well as hunt for fugitives continued. Most of the collaborators of Al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban have become Pakistani Taliban and are relentlessly fighting Pak troops since they view them as American collaborators fighting for dollars.

For Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and not al-Qaeda are most dangerous since it is being funded, trained, equipped, and guided by CIA, RAW, Mossad, MI-6, and RAAM. Abdullah Mehsud detained in Gitmo was brainwashed by CIA and then set free to conduct guerrilla war in SW. He was later joined by Baitullah Mehsud. After the death of the two in 2007 and 2009 respectively, Hakimullah Mehsud commands TTP and he and several hundred runaway militants from Swat, Dir, Buner, Bajaur and SW have been provided shelter in Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan wherefrom they are launching cross border attacks in Mehmand, Dir and Chitral. Nine years have gone by and Pak Army is still fighting the war on terror because of continued foreign support to terrorists.

Once it was ascertained that Musharraf-King Party combination is not politically strong enough to enable the US to cross the red line and denuclearize Pakistan, Bush team and Tony Blair team jointly hatched a plan to marry up Mush and Benazir Bhutto. Power sharing deal between the two, who in that timeframe were under distress, was made possible by the architects after Mush was assured that he would continue to serve as president till 2013. BB in self-imposed exile and in no position to return to Pakistan because of dozens of corruption cases pending against her and her husband Zardari had given a commitment that she would fulfill Washington’s agenda in totality.

The undertakings included allowing US-NATO troops to conduct hot pursuit operations in FATA; opening up of our nuclear program for inspection by IAEA and making Dr AQ Khan available for interrogation; mending fences with India by settling Kashmir dispute on Indian terms and continuing to fight GWOT with full force. Rumor has it that she backtracked from her commitments after she returned to Pakistan in October 2007. Earlier on, she had not honored the promises made with USA in 1986 and in 1994. Seeing that she was slipping out of their hands, she was bumped off in December 2007 and in her place, totally pliant and acquiescent Zardari was brought in. He consented to work hand-in-glove with USA to enfeeble Pak Army and the judiciary and make the two institutions totally subservient to the whims of US manufactured parliament consisting of American stooges.

Unlike BB, Zardari was not strong enough to convince Gen Kayani to follow the US Af-Pak policy in letter and spirit and allow cross border raids by the US Special Forces on the basis of actionable intelligence. As a compromise the US was allowed to use drone as a choice weapon against suspected terrorists in FATA freely. It was also agreed to employ the Army full hog against the militants led by Maulana Fazlullah, thereby dissuading US forces to step in and eliminate the threat. Accordingly, unanimous parliamentary resolution was passed to authorize high level military operations in Swat, Bajaur and SW. Outstanding victories achieved by the Army and FC which not only disarrayed al-Qaeda-TTP alliance but also exposed foreign involvement in restive regions, strengthened rather than weakened the Army and raised its image, thus pouring cold water on the evil designs of the detractors of Pakistan. In frustration, late Richard Holbrooke stated in December 2009 that more could be done by Pakistan to defeat Afghan-centric Taliban.

Hullabaloo over safe havens in North Waziristan and Haqqani network was made with the intent of pushing the Army in yet another carefully laid out death trap. Ignoring Pakistan’s sacrifices, the US kept pressing Pakistan to launch another military operation and resorted to all sorts of pressure tactics but Gen Kayani stood his ground and refused to get snared. He candidly declared that Pak military human losses far outnumbered the losses incurred by 43 member NATO countries and hence to accuse that it is in cahoots with militants is mischievous. He added that NW will be tackled as and when the security situation so demanded.

As if this frustration was not enough, counter measures adopted by the ISI in the aftermath of arrest of Raymond Davis further enraged the US and it decided to hit Pak Army and ISI below the belt. The schemers were sure that OBL venture followed by a terrorist attack on Mehran base would for sure discredit the premier institutions. When the two ventures together with propaganda snipes failed to achieve the expected results and blowback of OBL killing occurred in Afghanistan in the form of series of attacks by Afghan Taliban in and around Kabul in September, the US military and NATO went ballistics. ISI was held responsible for the attacks and a revengeful attack on Salala was launched in November 2011.

Despite feeling the pinch as a result of closure of supply routes for over six months, the US refuses to tender an apology and to cease drone attacks. It wants Pakistan to comply with its dictates without a whimper. In retaliation the US cut off Close Support Fund, slashed aid, humiliated Zardari at Chicago and took several other aggressive steps to intimidate Pakistan and force it to reopen supply lines. Pentagon, CIA, Congress and Senate are boiling with impotent anger but are helpless since the ISAF is caught up in a vortex in Afghanistan and it is Pakistan only that can extricate it. The US must stop bullying and befriend Pakistan if it wants to exit safely.

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